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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft and Kittens join forces to stop spam (infoworld.com) 1

Onlyodin writes: An executive at Microsoft has an unusual idea for beating spammers. Powerful software tools and supercomputers aren't involved, but kittens are. Or rather, photos of kittens.

Kevin Larson, a researcher at Microsoft's advanced reading technologies group, has found that asking a user to identify the subject of a photo, like a kitten, could help block spam programs.

Services like Microsoft's free e-mail service Hotmail commonly require new users to type in a string of distorted letters as proof that it's a human signing up for the account and not a computer. The trouble is, computers are getting smart enough to recognize the characters and it's a race for Microsoft to continue to alter its HIP (Human Interactive Proofs) system to fool the computers before they catch on.

With 90 billion pieces of e-mail spam sent every day, according to Larson, companies like Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft that offer free online mail services have an incentive to try to block spam. Otherwise they pay for the resources that help send the spam.

The Media

Submission + - Resident Evil 5 Trailer Spawns Racism/PC Debates

An anonymous reader writes: The Resident Evil 5 trailer shown at E3 2007 has received a largely positive response from gamers and the gaming-related media. However, a blog entry by an African-American woman (who's apparently not a gamer) is critical of the trailer's "depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young fearing, hating, and destroying Black people." Not surprisingly, forums and talkbacks have degenerated into allusions of racism, reverse-racism, and out-of-control political correctness. On the other hand, some blogs have started questioning the racial sensitivity of the trailer which shows the mass killing of Black zombies (who may look more "sick" than zombie-like) in a part of the world (Africa) that has been ravaged by AIDS and has a relatively recent brutal history of Black racism.
Patents

Submission + - Monster Cable trademarks more dictionary words (uspto.gov)

mbelisle writes: "As I was reading about Monster Cable's ongoing campaign to sue anyone who uses the word monster, I came across two recent trademark filings by the company: "High Speed" and "Advanced" as they pertain to "Electrical and electromagnetic signal transmitting, amplifying, receiving, and converting devices, namely, cables, wires, and connectors for use with electrical, electronic, and computer devices." It may not in the same league as the patent on the internet, but should we be concerned? I don't want get a VeRO notice for selling high-speed cables on eBay."
Supercomputing

Submission + - NASA to build largest Supercomputer ever (linuxworld.com.au) 1

Onlyodin writes: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has given the green light to a project that will build the largest ever supercomputer based on Silicon Graphics' (SGI) 512-processor Altix computers.

Called Project Columbia and costing around $160-million, the 10,240-processor system will be used by researchers at the Advanced Supercomputing Facility at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

What makes Project Columbia unique is the size of the multiprocessor Linux systems, or nodes, that it clusters together. It is common for supercomputers to be built of thousands of two-processor nodes, but the Ames system uses SGI's NUMAlink switching technology and ProPack Linux operating system enhancements to connect 512-processor nodes, each of which will have more than 1,000G bytes of memory.

Full Story at Linuxworld

Announcements

Submission + - Boson explains high-temperature superconductivity

kgb1001001 writes: Just saw this (http://www.engr.uiuc.edu/news/?xId=071508320770) in a newsletter the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Seems like the key to understanding high-temperature superconductivity might be a new elementary particle. The article discusses how they think that the new boson is an emergent phenomena — maybe you can't find everything by breaking things apart in a particle accelerator.
Security

Submission + - Hardware-secured USB-HDs secure? Well... no. (spritesmods.com)

Sprite_tm writes: "In this review, two hard disk enclosures with integrated encryption, which is said to securely store your data away from prying eyes, are reviewed: one which uses password-based authentication, the other using fingerprint recognition. Are they as secure as the manufacturers want us to believe, or are they as much snake-oil as some other products? Let's just say it might not be a good idea to uninstall TrueCrypt yet..."
Software

Submission + - BitTorrent 6.0 beta closed source, Windows only

makomk writes: The BitTorrent (Mainline) 6.0 beta has been released, and it's a rebranded version of uTorrent. Unfortunately, it's also closed source and Windows-only. (Apparently, BitTorrent Inc always planned that the next version of Mainline would be closed-source, even before they decided to base it on uTorrent.) It also comes with a mysterious content delivery system called BitTorrent DNA, which appears to consist of a single invisible background task, dna.exe.

Does the original, open source BitTorrent client have a future, or is it time for its users to switch to one of the many other BitTorrent clients?
Windows

Submission + - Windows XP Service Pack 3

epsi writes: "Windows XP SP 3 probably in 2008 — MS had a Roadmap in his recent Partner-Mag — and there was mentioned that a Service Pack 3 for Windows XP will be available in 2008..propably not the end of XP now? ;)"
Quickies

Submission + - New FingerprintingTechnique to Reveal Race and Sex (telegraph.co.uk) 1

Tech.Luver writes: "Telegraph reports, " A new fingerprinting technique that can identify the race and sex, and possibly the diet of suspects has been developed. Scientists have shown that using a gelatine-based gel and high-tech chemical analysis can provide significant clues to a person?s identity even if police do not hold existing fingerprint records. ""
Announcements

Submission + - Time travel barriers overcome... (newswise.com)

Samarian Hillbilly writes: "Israeli physicist Amos Ori claims to have overcome many of the theoretical obstacles to time travel. He claims that a space-time warp could "evolve" on it's own with a little bit of a "push". Caveats, travel would only be possible between times that have developed this technology and implemented the infrastructure.
http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/532037/"

Software

Submission + - Nissan turns to high-tech to stop drink driving

StonyandCher writes: As part of its drive to reduce road deaths and injuries, Nissan Motor has installed in a car three prototype high-tech systems designed to stop drink driving.

The first attempts to directly detect alcohol in the driver's sweat and gear shift lever. A second system in the car uses a camera mounted in front of the driver to monitor eye movement. If the driver is drowsy it triggers the seat belt to tighten and this movement will hopefully snap the driver out of their drowsiness or prompt them to take a rest. A third system monitors the path of the vehicle to ensure it's traveling in a straight line and not weaving about the road, as is common with a drunken driver.
Handhelds

Submission + - 20 Yet Unreleased Gadgets for Geeks (autopartsplace.com)

ipodwheels writes: "The following are the devices that I feel will be a part of the future's digital lifestyle. From infrared keyboards, to edible music media, these will surely have you drooling. The following has been a compilation of gadgets still under development at NEC. This story later inspired the "List of Gadgets not Sold in the US" on the Auto Parts Blog which on the other hand listed gadgets that are "banned" for distribution in the US."
Communications

Submission + - 25 Years of the Emoticon (cmu.edu)

raylu writes: The Emoticon will be 25 years old this September. From the Carnegie Mellon article,

"It has been fascinating to watch this phenomenon grow from a little message I tossed off in ten minutes to something that has spread all around the world," said Fahlman [the creator of the smiley].


In the more humorous NYTimes article,

More than once, Alexis Feldman, the director of the Feldman Realty Group, a commercial real estate company in Manhattan, has been moving forward on a major deal when, she said, "at the 23rd hour, I get an e-mail from the broker saying, 'Sorry, my client is not interested in the space, too bad we couldn't make the big bucks' — then there's a frown face!"


The original thread and some others are reproduced here.

Data Storage

Submission + - What OS/FS to use for 16TB storage array? 1TBx16!!

Dan Cabrera writes: "So I just took delivery of a large package (pickup truck bed sized box) labeled 'server' — turns out it's the one I've been waiting for a while from a client. We had some miscommunication and I assumed this was a 2-4, maybe 5TB system for use as a production content shared drive, but it turned into a real monster, SuperMicro SC-836 with HighPoint 2240 Controller and *16*x*1TB* Hitachi drives in a RAID5 array. It's got WinXP64 loaded, but there must be a better solution after reading of ZFS and related technology now available as open source, no? Looking forward to your comments and suggestions! I'll repost with some benchmarks as this puppy grows up (into the wee hours of the morning I'll work :) Happy SD'in! PS: Just need a large drive to save rendered projects to and backup music/other projects (This is for a world known DJ, so the each tour/show can involve a LOT of media!) ...and, how the heck am I gonna do off-site backup for this in event of disaster? Ay-yay-yi!"

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