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Space

Submission + - NASA Delays 4th Spacewalk (techluver.com)

Tech.Luver writes: "NASA canceled a spacewalk Wednesday as it scrambled to deal with two power problems at the international space station. The spacewalk set for Thursday was supposed to deal with a malfunctioning rotary joint for the solar wings on the right side of the space station. Instead, the astronauts were informed that their next spacewalk would be Friday -at the earliest-and involve work with the station's ripped solar wing. Both issues are competing for the precious little spacewalking time that's left in Discovery's mission, which already was extended a day after the joint problem cropped up last weekend. The problems could delay future missions and make it even harder to finish building the orbiting outpost before the space shuttles must be retired. ( http://techluver.com/2007/10/31/nasa-delays-4th-spacewalk/ )"
Games

Game Reviews are Broken? 168

Kotaku is running an opinion piece looking at the process of reviewing videogames, and comes to the conclusion that the whole system is entirely broken. Author Mark Wilson takes potshots at the concept of assigning a numerical valuation to a game, and the emphasis on product reviews rather than content reviews. "If there is no such thing as a perfect game, when why the hell are you scoring out of 100? It's not just PC Gamer that thinks this way--most publications, even those who do give out 'perfect' scores, do so begrudgingly. It's as if the developer has somehow cheated and broken their system. The movie reviewers solved this problem a long time ago. That's why most adopted a simpler rating system in which a 4-star movie didn't imply 'perfection' but supreme excellence. In most cases, games are penalized through being divided by a sum that they can never possibly reach."
Microsoft

Submission + - DirectX 10 is Dying (extremetech.com)

ChristmasOnMars writes: ExtremeTech's Joel Durahm points out that DirectX 10 is a dog, noting that Microsoft made a lot of promises that aren't coming true. "I haven't noticed much of a performance improvement, or the promised visual splendor, that Microsoft seems to think DirectX 10 provides. So far, in most games, engaging DirectX 10 mode cripples them on all but the most powerful computers."
Power

Submission + - Are We in a Speculative Bubble with Regard to Oil? (theoildrum.com)

Prof. Goose writes: "Maybe the two most common explanations (or myths) about high oil prices are:

1. oil companies are manipulating prices
2. speculators are driving prices up

Of course, these two explanations are satisfying our natural impulse to find scapegoats rather than facing the depressing facts of fossil fuel depletion. Let's debunk them with some data.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3157"

The Military

Submission + - Wireless micro-sensors prevent jet engine failures (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Researchers at Purdue University are teaming with the US Air Force to develop tiny wireless sensors tough enough to survive the harsh conditions inside jet engines to detect when critical bearings are close to failing, shut them down and prevent breakdowns or crashes. The researchers have shown that the new sensors can detect impending temperature-induced bearing failure significantly earlier than conventional sensors. The sensors could be in use in a few years in military aircraft such as fighter jets and helicopters but the technology also has potential applications in commercial products, including aircraft and cars — anything with an engine. In addition, the sensors could be used in aerospace applications to monitor bearings in satellite attitude control wheels to keep the satellites in position. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/21349"
Communications

Submission + - The Pirate Bay developing new P2P protocol to repl (blorge.com)

mlauzon writes: "(TITLE SHOULD READ:The Pirate Bay developing new P2P protocol to replace BitTorrent)


The Pirate Bay, one of the largest BitTorrent trackers in the world, is reported to be actively working on developing a new peer to peer file sharing protocol. The reason? Brokep, One of the head honchos at TPB, claims that BitTorrent as a protocol won't last longer than 12 months. Brokep was interviewed at a conference over the weekend by German website Netzpolitick.org and spoke about The Pirate Bay, and it's future plans for world domination. When asked about the future of the site, he revealed:

"I think we will still grow for a couple of months or maybe a year, and I don't think Bittorrent as a protocol will survive much longer. So if our new protocol works, we will be one of the big websites still. If it doesn't, maybe someone else takes over."

"The biggest problem is that it's owned by the Bittorrent company, which developes new versions of it. So we don't have any input as users to say what we want in the protocol. And Bittorrent is funded by companies which we don't necessarily like as well."
It seems that The Pirate Bay aren't too happy with BitTorrent Inc. and it's recent decision to make some newer additions to the client closed source. They also want to develop a new protocol which will better fend off the increasing incidents of anti-piracy organisations and spammers from affecting the flow of file sharing. The rest of the interview doesn't really reveal any secrets or surprises but this is big news. The BitTorrent protocol has revolutionised the trade in illegal files over the Internet. Which is why sites such as TPB are so intent on keeping the flow going, and why organisations like the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) are so intent on shutting them down and disrupting their activities. The Pirate Bay pirates (for want of a better description) are already working on the new client, but a release of any kind is unlikely until next year."

Opera 9.5 Beats Firefox and IE7 As Fastest Browser 510

Abhinav Peddada writes "Ars Technica takes Opera 9.5, the latest from Opera's stable, for a test run and finds some interesting results, including it being a 'solid improvement to an already very strong browser.' On the performance front, Ars Technica reports 'Opera 9.5 scored slightly higher (281ms) than the previous released version, 9.23 (546ms). And Opera 9.x, let it be known, smacks silly the likes of Firefox and Internet Explorer, which tend to have results in the 900-1500ms range on this test machine (a 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM). Opera was 50 percent faster on average than Firefox, and 100 percent faster than IE7 on Windows Vista, for instance.'"
Handhelds

Submission + - iPod Touch + iPhone Earbuds = VOIP iPhone (applegazette.com)

Steve writes: "Apple Gazette makes an interesting point...The iPod Touch should be able to make VOIP phone calls.

Since it runs the same browser as the iPhone, that means it will work with SkypeforiPhone.com. Unless Apple has somehow preemptively disabled the mic from iPhone headphones, there's no reason that they shouldn't work when you plug them into your iPod Touch.

After you log into your Skype service via the Safari browser, you should be good to go."

Software

Submission + - Smaller and more lightweight software is better?

An anonymous reader writes: I prefer software that takes as little hardrive space and RAM as possible. I can't stand bloated software like iTunes, as compared to Foobar or classic Winamp; or Windows Media Player, as compared to VLC or Media Player Classic. What are some of your favorite applications which are virtually bloat-free?
Announcements

Submission + - Ohio Linuxfest 2007 Schedule Announced (ohiolinux.org)

Damin writes: "The conference schedule for the Ohio Linuxfest 2007 (Saturday, September 29th, Columbus Ohio) has been posted and it contains a suprisingly diverse mix of topics. In it's Fifth year, the conference has been growing steadily and remains free to the public. The list of speakes is quite impressive; Max Spevack, leader of the Fedora Project, kicks off the conference with a presentation on "How Red Hat Continues Learning to Stop Worrying and Love the Community" and Bradley Kuhn former Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation will close out the conference with an evening keynote. Always worth seeing, Jon 'maddog' Hall of Linux International will be on hand as well as Warren Woodford, the founder of MEPIS. Ubuntu, Debian, OpenOffice.Org, Zenoss, PostgreSQL will all be represented.

In addition to the regular fare, there are a few really interesting presentations such as "FOSS and How Developers Pay the Bills", "Are Developers Responsible for Ensuring Users Can Use Their Programs" and this one on using Open Source tools to manage baseball stastistics. Google is apparently planning one hell of an after party. It is hard to argue with the value provided for the cost($0) of this conference. While free and open to anyone, registration is required, and with over 2,000 people expected this year things should be quite hopping!"

Security

Submission + - Storm worm more powerful than top supercomputers

Stony Stevenson writes: Security researchers who are tracking the burgeoning network of Microsoft Windows machines that have been compromised by the virulent Storm worm, are saying it has now grown so massive and far-reaching that it easily overpowers the world's top supercomputers.

"In terms of power, the botnet utterly blows the supercomputers away," said Matt Sergeant, chief anti-spam technologist with MessageLabs, in an interview. "If you add up all 500 of the top supercomputers, it blows them all away with just 2 million of its machines. It's very frightening that criminals have access to that much computing power, but there's not much we can do about it." Sergeant said researchers at MessageLabs see about 2 million different computers in the botnet sending out spam on any given day, and he adds that he estimates the botnet generally is operating at about 10 percent of capacity.
Biotech

Submission + - Beeborne Virus Possible Cause of Colony Collaspe (iht.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The project involved an unusual partnership between entomologists and scientists working at the leading edge of human genetic research. It employed the same technology being used to decode Neanderthal DNA and the personal genome of James Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA.

Turns out it's entirely possible a VIRUS previously unnoticed until recent sequencing technology might be the cause of bee colony collapses...imagine that, it might not be the evil cell-phone radiation after all.

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