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Submission + - Google launches 'person finder' for Chile quake... (

KPexEA writes: Google on Saturday quickly activated an online "person finder" tool to allow relatives and friends to find loved ones following the huge earthquake in Chile.

The "Person Finder: Chile Earthquake" from the California-based Internet giant is located at and offers users the choice of using it in English and Spanish.

It asks users "What is your situation?" and gives them the choice between "I'm looking for someone" and "I have information about someone."


Submission + - US Gov't Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition 5

Hugh Pickens writes: "Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist Deborah Blum has an interesting article in Slate about the US government's little known policy to scare people into giving up illicit drinking during prohibition in the 1920's by poisoning industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States. Known as the "chemist's war of Prohibition," the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, killed at least 10,000 people by the time Prohibition ended in 1933. The story begins with ratification of the 18th Amendment, which banned sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the United States after high-minded crusaders and anti-alcohol organizations helped push the amendment through in 1919. When the government saw that its “noble experiment” was in danger of failing, it decided that the problem was that methyl alcohol, readily available as industrial alcohol, didn't taste nasty enough and put its chemists to work designing ever more unpalatable toxins adding such chemicals as kerosene, brucine (a plant alkaloid closely related to strychnine), gasoline, benzene, cadmium, iodine, zinc, mercury salts, nicotine, ether, formaldehyde, chloroform, camphor, carbolic acid, quinine, and acetone. In 1926, in New York City, 1,200 were sickened by poisonous alcohol; 400 died. The following year, deaths climbed to 700. These numbers were repeated in cities around the country as public-health officials nationwide joined in the angry clamor to stop the poisoning program but an official sense of higher purpose kept it in place while lawmakers opposed to the plan were accused of being in cahoots with criminals and that bootleggers and their law-breaking alcoholic customers deserved no sympathy. As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was "our national experiment in extermination.""

Submission + - 5 of the Best Free Linux Data Recovery Tools (

An anonymous reader writes: Data recovery is the process of retrieving data from corrupted or damaged storage media when it cannot be accessed. The storage media in question will often be a hard disk, but it can also be removable media such as CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, and storage tapes. There are many different reasons why a system administrator may need to use data recovery tools.

At boot up, mainstream Linux distributions perform routine scans to identify and fix any inconsistencies in the file system. A damaged file system might be caused by the computer not shutting down in an orderly fashion, which can occur say in the event of a power cut. However, such routine scans will not detect hardware failure which might exist for a long period without being noticeable to users. Accesses to bad sectors on the media can make the situation worse, and with further usage as well as the passage of time, the media can eventually become unreadable.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 high quality Linux data recovery tools. These tools may well be a life-saver in the event that you need to retrieve data from corrupted media. We would strongly recommend that you become familiar with how they work just in case you are ever put in the position of needing to recover data.

Comment Don't think about the contribution side just yet (Score 1) 1

If you like the idea of your project just start it.
It's always a mental hurdle to put down those first designs and/or lines of code but once you start the ball rolling it becomes much easier.

Possibly set up a repository on github or similar and code away.
Wiki up the top ten things needed to be done.
Break down the first one into several steps and then tackle them one by one.

That should get you started at least.

Good luck.

Submission + - Starting a programming project 1

leachlife4 writes: I am a freshman Computer Science major, I have taken two years of programming in high school which used Visual Basic for the introductory course and Java for the 'advanced' AP class. Having received credit from the AP test I was able to take CS II (which was also taught in Java) my first semester here in college where I felt extremely bored, my professor encouraged the use of UML diagrams and MVC program structure. This semester i am taking a discreet math course and a Computer Architecture course based on MIPS assembly. Recently I have become involved with *nix and have learned a bunch, but I would like to contribute to the OSS community. I have an idea for a project and have written out rough guidelines for what i would like to implement, but I am at a loss for where to begin with the design and implementation of the program. I would like to program this in C++ though I have limited knowledge thus far. I really want to learn a lot from this project but also end up with a good and usable program. What can i do to get myself going on this project (which may well be outside of my knowledge so far), or at this point should I not even be thinking about beginning to write code and still be working on planning?

Submission + - Free Software Foundation urge Google to free VP8 (

jamesswift writes: The FSF have written an open letter to Google urging them to free the VP8 codec with an irrevocable royalty-free licence.

"With its purchase of the On2 video compression technology company having been completed on Wednesday February 16, 2010, Google now has the opportunity to make free video formats the standard, freeing the web from both Flash and the proprietary H.264 codec."


Submission + - Shuttle Endeavor returns to Kennedy Space Center a (

MileHighScience writes: Space shuttle Endeavor, on the fifth-to-last mission of the shuttle era, returned to Earth Sunday after delivering two important components to the International Space Station. One, a cupola with seven windows, will give astronauts on board the ISS the opportunity to have a 360-degree view into space.

Submission + - Thermaltake Element T Case Review @ Tweaknews (

An anonymous reader writes: With a budget chassis like this, we can overlook some minor shortcomings due to the low price. There is room for lots of hardware in the Element T, with three big bays and six HDD mounts with a placement for a 2.5-inch drive. It is lightweight but sturdy while being relatively easy to work in.

Submission + - First Interview with NASA Chief Technologist (

shadowspawn1 writes: The NASA Chief Technologist is the principal adviser for NASA regarding agency-wide technology policy and program development. You want NASA to develop your rocket-packs? You'll need to make your case to this fellow.

' spoke with Braun near the end of his first week doing what he calls his dream job. The chief technologist talked about how NASA can tap new innovations and game-changing technologies to realize any number of possible futures for exploring the moon, the asteroids, Mars and beyond'


Submission + - Grammar Checking Add-on for Firefox (

An anonymous reader writes: My project just released a grammar, style, and spell checking add-on for Firefox. It's smart because it uses context to generate spelling suggestions and decide which errors to show. After the Deadline for Firefox works with most web pages. You can check grammar in Google Docs, vet your comments on Slashdot, and check your tweets with the push of a button. Our goal is to give everyone tools to write better, no matter where they are. The technology is open source too.

Submission + - Google hack author may have been identified (

SpuriousLogic writes: US analysts believe they have identified the Chinese author of the critical programming code used in the alleged statesponsored hacking attacks on Google and other western companies, making it far harder for the Chinese government to deny involvement.

Their discovery came after another team of investigators tracked the launch of the spyware to computers inside two educational institutions in China, one of them with close ties to the military.

A freelance security consultant in his 30s wrote the part of the program that used a previously unknown security hole in the Internet Explorer web browser to break into computers and insert the spyware, a researcher working for the US government told the Financial Times. Chinese officials had special access to the work of the author, who posted pieces of the program to a hacking forum and described it as something he was "working on".

The developments will add to the furore over the hacking campaign, revealed last month when Google said its systems had been compromised. It threatened to pull out of China, and secretary of state Hillary Clinton asked the Chinese foreign minister for a probe.


Submission + - Real-time movie-quality CGI for games? (

An anonymous reader writes: An Intel-owned development team can now render CGI-quality graphics in real time! "Their video clips show artists pulling together 3D elements like a jigsaw puzzle, making movie-level CG look as easy as following a recipe." It's hoped that the simplicity of "Project Offset" could ultimately give them the edge in the race to produce real-time graphics engines for games.

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