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Power

Submission + - The hype of quantum computing

Schrodinger's duck writes: Ars Technica looks at some of the hype surrounding tomorrow's expected demonstration of a 16-bit quantum computer by Canadian start-up D-Wave. 'D-Wave's demos will show Orion crunching through a database search and handling a seating plan with a large number of constraints, such as you might find at a wedding reception. It's probably safe to say that, despite any of the doubts about the company, Orion will almost certainly show a major speed advance when applied to these two problems. But, given the limitations and questions, and the fact that D-Wave doesn't appear to currently be hurting for money, why are they bothering?' Ars' science journal, Nobel Intent, also has a pair of companion articles explaining Adiabatic Quantum Computing, the method used by D-Wave, and the P vs. NP problem in computational science.
The Internet

Submission + - Charter Communications Hijacks Windows Live Search

Tony Bradley writes: "There are plenty of spyware and malware programs out there that will hijack your default home page or search engine. Antivirus and anti-spyware software will typically identify and block such attempts because they are illegal, or at least unethical. Imagine my dismay then when my default Web browser search engine was hijacked...by my ISP!! I did some investigating and found that they rationalized their browser hijacking by calling it an opt in "feature". The problem is that they opted everyone in by default and never gave users the opportunity to choose. I also discovered that this "service" only seems to apply if you use Microsoft's search engine. If you are a Google or Yahoo user, apparently you don't need to be forced to opt in to Charter's new "feature". Check out my walk-through of my investigation into this browser hijacking, complete with screen shots to illustrate the story. http://netsecurity.about.com/od/webbrowsersecurity /ss/charterhijack.htm"
Biotech

Submission + - A 2-nanometer-high Solomon's knot

Roland Piquepaille writes: "UCLA chemists have built a molecular Solomon's knot at the nanoscale. The Solomon's knot is composed of two rings that interlace each other four times, with alternating crossing points that go over, under, over and under as one traces around each of the rings. This nano-version is roughly 2 nanometers high by 1.2 nanometers wide. And what would it be useful for? The project's leader offers a refreshing answer: "There is often a connection between the beauty and elegance of a chemical structure and its potential usefulness, and this Solomon knot structure is quite beautiful and elegant." Good luck to her! Read more for additional details and a picture."
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun gives out free Solaris 10 DVDs

Tarmas writes: "For a limited time only, just like Ubuntu's ShipIt service, Sun Microsystems lets you order Solaris 10 absolutely free of charge. The operating system comes on a single DVD sporting both the x86 and SPARC versions. Also included is Sun Studio 11."
The Internet

Netscape Dumps Critical File, Breaks RSS 0.9 Feeds 137

An anonymous reader writes "In the standard definition of RSS 0.91, there are a couple of lines referring to 'DOCTYPE' and referencing a 'dtd' spec hosted on Netscape's website. According to an article on DeviceForge.com quite a few RSS feeds around the web probably stopped working properly over the past few weeks because Netscape recently stopped hosting the critical rss-0.91.dtd file. Probably someone over at netscape.com simply thought he was cleaning up some insignificant cruft." Some explanation has been offered by a Netscape employee.
Privacy

Submission + - New Spin on "Big Brother" database for UK

POPE Mad Mitch writes: The BBC is reporting that in a move that both the opposition party and the Information Commission have condemned as another step towards a "Big Brother" society, Tony Blair is on monday going to unveil planas to build a single database to pull together and share every piece of personal data from all government departments, the claimed justification for which is to improve public services. Sharing information in this way is currently prohibited by the "over zealous" data protection legislation. An attempt to build a similar database was a key part of the, now severely delayed, ID card scheme.
Announcements

Submission + - Jobs Announces iPhone, AppleTV & Movies

An anonymous reader writes: Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced made some much anticipated announcements in his keynote address at Macworld Expo today. Along with the previously previewed AppleTV (formerly known at the iTV), Jobs announced that Apple struck a deal to sell Paramount movies through the iTunes store. He also announced the much-anticipated iPhone, which he boasts will "leap frog" ahead of other mobile phones. Jobs believes that usability will set this phone apart. Instead of a keyboard or stylus, it uses "multitouch" for touch screen navigation. This smart phone runs OS X, so you can access email, the web, and text message through a familiar interface. One of the most interesting features is "visual voicemail" that lets you navigate through your voicemail directly to the message you want. It synchronizes with both Macs and PCs through iTunes.
Television

Submission + - Jobs' Officaly Announces iPhone

Thansal writes: Jobs has announced the Applie iPhone at Macworld. Reuters snippit
Apple-branded mobile phone with a touch-screen that combines features from the popular iPod music player.
Space

Brightest Comet In Decades Now Visible 35

mlimber writes "Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1), the brightest comet in decades, is currently visible to the naked eye in the early evening and early morning sky for the northern hemisphere. The northern latitudes have the best view, but it can be seen even in the southern hemisphere during the day with the right equipment. Another image is available as NASA's astronomy picture of the day." Here is a graphic of the comet's evening location from 40 degrees north latitude.
Security

Submission + - The National Software Reference Library

An anonymous reader writes: Few people are aware that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) maintains a huge database of software file signatures and file profiles. They collect original media for off-the-shelf software and process the files to obtain digital signatures that uniquely identify them. The information is stored in a database matching files to SHA-1 and MD5 signature hashes. This database is used by law enforcement agencies around the world to address the problem of sifting through files during forensic computer searches. By tapping the database agents can exclude known files from consideration and only focus on user created files. The database also allows the identification of files being traded on P2P networks. As of September 2006 the database contains 11,514,592 unique SHA-1 and MD5 signatures and is growing at the rate of betweekn 250K and 1M new unique signatures per quarter. And the best news of all is that the database is freely available as a set of CD images downloadable from the National Software Reference Library web site.
Space

Submission + - Secretive Blue Origin Launches New Website

BoboB-69 writes: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' other company, the highly secretive Blue Origin, has launched a new website. Blue Origin is focused on, "patiently and step-by-step, to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go and so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system. Accomplishing this mission will take a long time, and we're working on it methodically."

They have a nice video and lots of pics of a vertical launch and land vehicle which was launched on November 13th, with commentary from Jeff Bezos.

http://public.blueorigin.com/index.html

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