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Software

OpenDocument Foundation Closes 177

Munchkinguy writes "First, they dropped support for their namesake OpenDocument Format and declared a switch to the W3C's 'Compound Document Format.' Then, W3C's Chris Lilley clarified that CDF 'was not created to be, and isn't suitable for use as, an office format.' Now, the Foundation has mysteriously closed up shop, leaving the following message: 'The OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. is closed. We sincerely wish our friends and associates in the OpenDocument Community all the best and much success going forward. Good-bye and good luck.'"
Censorship

How To Configure Real PC Parental Controls? 618

Orange Crush writes "As the resident computer geek in an office full of accountants, my boss recently asked me how she could reasonably keep her teenage son from using the family computer to 'access inappropriate sites.' I of course responded 'Give up now. There's nothing in this world that can keep a determined teenager from acquiring porn.' Sadly, she was dissatisfied with this answer. I mentioned that there was in fact software available for this purpose, but that all of it was trivially easy to bypass for a clever young mind. I really can't think of another answer. She could password protect the BIOS to prevent booting a different OS, but that's easily defeated with a screwdriver at most. The only solutions I can think of involve upstream firewalls/proxies/etc to which I gleefully redirected her to her ISPs tech support number. As much as I disagree with her reasoning — and ignoring the obvious 'go to a friend's house' loophole — is there really any other way (on a home budget) to netnanny a household computer?"
Movies

G.I. Joe No Longer the Real American Hero? 548

Advocate123 writes "Clearly, Hollywood has forgotten the, 'Real American Hero.' G.I. Joe originally symbolized the American WWII soldier and a great generation. Now Hollywood celebrities are going to turn him into a international multicultural coed task force with no government affiliations. Isn't anything sacred to these people?"
Robotics

Submission + - Can we hope for a personal robot? (robotsblog.net)

Paul5151 writes: "Do you remember computers industry 30 years ago? Huge machines helped companies and different institutions with calculations. In our days, robots industry looks very familiar to computers 30 years ago. As for computers before, now for robots are given special tasks — they are helping people with building, making cars and many other works. In 1970 people could only dream about personal computer on desk in every home and now, this is daily routine. Most can't even imagine life without PC..."
Nintendo

Submission + - Wii Becomes Leading Console

Bender0x7D1 writes: According to VG Chartz, total worldwide sales of the Nintendo Wii have surpassed those of of the XBox 360. It has been a long time since Nintendo held the lead in console sales and Sony, the sales leader of the previous generation, is lagging far behind in this current generation. The question is: Does the Wii have the staying power to keep outselling the competition, or will upcoming games like Halo 3 and GTA IV give the advantage to Microsoft and Sony?
United States

Submission + - Why No High-MPG Diesels For The U.S.?

gbulmash writes: "While looking for a high-MPG minivan, wagon, or SUV, I've been finding that the pickings in the U.S. are pretty slim, but that there are plenty of fuel-efficient diesel models in Europe that get even better mileage than some of the larger hybrids for sale in the U.S. With the U.S. having so many people driving so many miles, it seems ridiculous that even Ford is offering highly fuel efficient diesels in Europe that they don't/won't offer here. Is there an actual plausible reason why these models aren't being brought to American markets aside from "marketing objectives"?"
Biotech

Another Way To Erase Memories 232

amigoro writes "Neuroscientists have discovered that long-term memories are not etched in a stable form, like a 'clay tablet,' as once thought. The process is much more dynamic, involving a miniature molecular machine that must run constantly to keep memories going. Jamming the machine briefly can erase long-term memories." A few months back we discussed a similar removal of rat memories by a different method.
Businesses

Diebold Rebrands What No One Wants 175

Irvu writes "Diebold has apparently failed in their bid to sell their tainted elections systems unit. Unable to find a buyer the CEO of Diebold promised that the system will be run more 'openly and independently.' To prove that they are serious, they renamed it. Diebold Election Systems is now Premiere Election Solutions. They still sell GEMS, AccuVote OS and the ever-unpopular AccuVote-TSX which performed so disastrously in California's Top-to-Bottom Review under the same names. Apparently their rebranding effort only goes so far."
Robotics

Submission + - OLE, the fire fighting beetle (gearfuse.com)

bob82 writes: "Researchers are working on OLE, a new autonomous robot that could one day help out putting out fires. This fire fighting beetle will be programmed to run through the forest at 20 to 30 km per hour, looking for potential forest fires in the works and extinguishing them with an impulse appliance."

Steve Jobs Hates Buttons 713

ElvaWSJ writes "While many technology companies load their products up with buttons, Steve Jobs treats them as blemishes that add complexity and hinder their clean aesthetics. The iPhone is Steve Jobs's attempt to crack a juicy new market for Apple Inc. But it's also part of a decades-long campaign by Mr. Jobs against a much broader target: buttons. The new Apple cellphone famously does without the keypads that adorn its rivals. Instead, it offers a touch-sensing screen for making phone calls and tapping out emails. The resulting look is one of the sparest ever for Apple, a company known for minimalist gadgets. "
Biotech

Humans Evolved From a Single Origin In Africa 461

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Researchers at the University of Cambridge have combined studies of global human genetic variations with skull measurements worldwide to show conclusively the validity of the single origin hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis contended that different populations independently evolved from Homo erectus to Home sapiens in different areas. The lead researcher explains, 'The origin of anatomically modern humans has been the focus of much heated debate. Our genetic research shows the further modern humans have migrated from Africa, the more genetic diversity has been lost within a population. However, some have used skull data to argue that modern humans originated in multiple spots around the world. We have combined our genetic data with new measurements of a large sample of skulls to show definitively that modern humans originated from a single area in Sub-saharan Africa.' The article abstract is available from Nature."
Science

Dark Energy May Lurk In Hidden Dimensions 164

Magdalene writes in to let us know about a sketch of an idea, that might one day become a theory, to explain the dark energy that is making the universe flee faster and faster apart. It posits that dark energy may be the result of a new kind of neutrino wandering in tiny extra dimensions above our familiar three. She adds, "There is no word yet on whether Sphere or Square are available for comment." From the article: "The mysterious cosmic presence called dark energy, which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, might be lurking in hidden dimensions of space. This idea would explain how the dimensions of space remain stable — one of the biggest problems for the unified scheme of physics called 'string theory'... To get the same amount of acceleration seen by astronomers, Greene and Levin calculate that the extra dimensions should have a scale of about 0.01 millimeter."
Biotech

Politically Incorrect Observations About Human Nature 613

gsa writes "Why do men prefer blonds? Why are most suicide bombers Muslim? Psychology Today analyzes some of these non-politically-correct questions in this essay about ten politically-incorrect truths about human nature. It turns out there may be an evolutionary or psychological explanation for all of these observations. For example, 'Sociologists and demographers have discovered that couples who have at least one son face significantly less risk of divorce than couples who have only daughters. Why is this? ... There is relatively little that a father (or mother) can do to keep a daughter youthful or make her more physically attractive. The continued presence of (and investment by) the father is therefore important for the son, but not as crucial for the daughter. The presence of sons thus deters divorce and departure of the father from the family more than the presence of daughters, and this effect tends to be stronger among wealthy families.'" Update: 07/08 05:51 GMT by Z :Removed sentence that misquoted article.

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