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Communications

Korean Artist's Intentionally Useless Satellite To Launch This December 151

An anonymous reader quotes the introduction to Inhabit's article on the upcoming launch of an art project cum satellite intended to be as different as possible from conventional space hardware: "South Korean artist Song Hojun has created his own DIY satellite from scratch – and he's planning to launch it into space this coming December. Song created the satellite from assorted junk he found in back-alley electronics stores in his home town of Seoul, and over the course of six years he has finally managed to complete his space-bound project. Song's satellite cost just over $400 to make, however the cost of launching it to space is going to be a lot, lot more – over $100,000."

Comment Re:Other options? (Score 1) 378

Or what about this one right here that many, many people have been asking for, but has been languishing for years because it's not "interesting" to developers?

IMO, Thunderbird stopped being industry-leading or interesting from a UI/UX perspective years ago. As one who uses it on a daily basis, it makes me sad.

Things like Postbox show that the code base can still function well and can be used with some UI/UX love, but since Postbox is a closed project, the majority of extensions, etc. cannot be used with it unless they are "Postbox-specific" versions. (Note, I am not knocking them for this, just stating the facts.)

I just wish we had the Postbox UI with the community of Thunderbird around it...

KDE

KDE 4.7 – a First Look At Beta 1 264

A few days ago, the KDE project shipped the first beta of the upcoming 4.7 release. Reader dmbkiwi submits a link to a rundown of what 4.7 looks like, snipping from which: "Previously it was Gnome that was the steady plodder making minor incremental changes through the 2.x series, building stability and only adding minor features. However, with the recent releases of both Gnome Shell and the Unity desktop on Ubuntu, the Gnome/Ubuntu side of the desktop linux equation has made radical and controversial steps away from the well loved Gnome 2.x series, leaving KDE 4.x as the 'steady as she goes' option."
Games

The Misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art 267

Buffalo55 writes "These days, you don't have to worry about misleading box art, thanks to sophisticated video game graphics. In the 70s and 80s, though, companies tried to grab a consumer's attention with fancy artwork that bore no resemblance to the actual game. Atari, in particular, was one of the biggest offenders, particularly with its 2600 console."
Microsoft

To Ballmer, Grabbing iPad's Market Is 'Job One Urgency' 764

Barence writes "Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has vented his frustration at the success of the iPad and said developing a Windows alternative is 'job one urgency.' 'Apple has done an interesting job of putting together a synthesis and putting a product out, and in which they've... they sold certainly more than I'd like them to sell, let me just be clear about that,' Ballmer told analysts. The Microsoft boss said the company plans to deliver a range of tablet formats in the next year, some based on Intel's next-gen Oak Trail processor. 'It is job one urgency around here. Nobody is sleeping at the switch. And so we are working with those partners, not just to deliver something, but to deliver products that people really want to go buy.'" In Microsoft's vision, slates will run a derivative of Windows 7.

Comment Re:Shrimp free zone? (Score 3, Interesting) 643

Well, in my case I have an anaphylactic reaction to cats, including dander, fur, oils, etc, so having them in the closed-circulation cabin air could indeed be fatal.

It's especially worrisome since allergic reactions often intensify the more often they occur -- someone might not even realize that the next one could be fatal until it's 2 hours too late into a 5+ hour flight.

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."
GUI

IDEs With VIM Text Editing Capability? 193

An anonymous reader writes "I am currently looking to move from text editing with vim to a full fledged IDE with gdb integration, integrated command line, etc. Extending VIM with these capabilities is a mortal sin, so I am looking for a linux based GUI IDE. I do not want to give up the efficient text editing capabilities of VIM though. How do I have my cake and eat it too?"
Programming

An Open Source Compiler From CUDA To X86-Multicore 71

Gregory Diamos writes "An open source project, Ocelot, has recently released a just-in-time compiler for CUDA, allowing the same programs to be run on NVIDIA GPUs or x86 CPUs and providing an alternative to OpenCL. A description of the compiler was recently posted on the NVIDIA forums. The compiler works by translating GPU instructions to LLVM and then generating native code for any LLVM target. It has been validated against over 100 CUDA applications. All of the code is available under the New BSD license."
Power

Nuclear Reactors As Art 118

Hemos recommends the coverage over at Wired of a project to digitize nuclear reactor art. "Not all nuclear reactors are built alike. Power plant designs can vary in their fuels, coolants, and configurations, a fact beautifully illustrated by a series of reactor wall charts originally published in issues of Nuclear Engineering International during the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, the charts have been lovingly collected by Ronald Knief, a nuclear engineer at Sandia National Laboratory. Recently, he completed his collection... and began to digitize the drawings. The first eight out of more than 100 have now been permanently archived online... 'This is not a CAD/CAM-type thing,' Knief said. 'This really is art.'"
Power

Why Is a Laptop's Battery Dearer Than a Lawnmower's? 427

Barence writes "PC Pro's contributing editor Paul Ockendon has bought a new lawnmower powered by lithium-ion batteries — part of a recent flood of such lithium-ion-powered garden and workshop tools which are taking over from NiCd and NiMH thanks to lighter weight, longer life and lack of the pernicious 'memory effect.' This is pretty much the same battery technology used in laptops, mobile phones and MP3 players, so volume manufacture is already established. Yet laptop manufacturers charge more per Watt-hour than lawnmower makers. This blog investigates whether such a seemingly ludicrous situation can be justified."
Japan

"Universal Jigsaw Puzzle" Hits Stores In Japan 241

Riktov writes "I came across this at a Tokyo toy store last week, and it's one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. Jigazo Puzzle is a jigsaw puzzle, but you can make anything with it. It has just 300 pieces which are all just varying shades of a single color, though a few have gradations across the piece; i.e., each piece is a generic pixel. Out of the box, you can make Mona Lisa, JFK, etc, arranging it according to symbols printed on the reverse side. But here's the amazing thing: take a photo (for example, of yourself) with a cell-phone, e-mail it to the company, and they will send you back a pattern that will recreate that photo. This article is in Japanese, but as they say, a few pictures are worth a million words. And 300 pixels are worth an infinite number of pictures."
Businesses

What Can I Expect As an IT Intern? 325

p3np8p3r writes "I'm in college and working towards my Bachelors in Computer Science. Last year I passed both my CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications and now have been offered (via a staffing company) a full-time Internship at a wireless lab of a major laptop manufacturer. The pay is going to be around $8 an hour full-time but that is not my primary motivator. I'm considering this significant decrease in pay from my previous (non-IT) job to be counterbalanced by what valuable knowledge I may gain both in the technical aspects and industry insight while I finish school. This field is all new to me and I don't personally know anyone who has worked in it before who will give me their honest opinions on it. Although I know circumstances differ greatly, in general, what can I expect as an IT Intern? What have been your experiences?"
Government

FCC May Pry Open the Cable Set-Top Box 222

awyeah writes "The NY Times reports that the FCC is finally looking into the practice of cable companies requiring use of their set-top boxes to access their digital cable and video on-demand services. The inquiry (PDF) states: 'Consumers can access the Internet using a variety of delivery methods (e.g., wireless, DSL, fiber optics, broadband over powerlines, satellite, and cable) on myriad devices made by hundreds of manufacturers; yet we know of no device available at retail that can access all of an MVPD's services across that MVPD's entire footprint.' Yes, there are a few devices out there — for example CableCARD-enabled TVs, and CableCARD/Tuning Adapter-enabled TiVos and Windows Media Center PCs, but only the cable companies' set-tops can access services other than broadcast TV, such as video-on-demand and pay-per-view. Is it finally time to open these devices and embrace actual standards and competition?" Lauren Weinstein has a cautionary blog post about the world we may be entering if this FCC initiative comes to fruition, which concludes: "I have difficulty seeing how this universe can be made to function effectively in the absence of some sort of regulatory regime to ensure transparency and fairness in situations where the Internet access providers themselves are providing their own content that directly competes with content from the external Internet."

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