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Space

Fuel Efficient Five-Gear Rocket Engine Designed 122

Roland Piquepaille writes "Georgia Tech researchers have had a brilliant idea. Rocket engines used today to launch satellites run at maximum exhaust velocity until they reach orbit. For a car, this would be analog to stay all the time in first gear. So they have designed a new space rocket which works as it has a five-gear transmission system. This rocket engine uses 40 percent less fuel than current ones by running on solar power while in space and by fine-tuning exhaust velocity. But as it was designed with funds from the U.S. Air Force, military applications will be ready before civilian ones. Here is how this new rocket engine works."
Printer

Submission + - New technology could pave the way for 3-D printers

nomoreself writes: "According to a story over on Physics Web, a team of scientists in Jerusalem have come up with a method for creating self-assembling 3-dimensional models from a single sheet of paper. The "Chemical origami" is created by etching a pattern of monomer onto the paper, then heating it. The chemical's reaction to the heat causes bends of varying size in the paper, molding the sheet into the patterned model. A professor in the States with no apparent ties to the study whatsoever says in the article that the technique could be used to create self-assembling prototypes, or even a printer that prints 3-D objects."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - "Free Public WiFi" Explained

Kichigai Mentat writes: "Michael Rose over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (or TUAW) recently discovered the cause of the proliferation of Ad Hoc networks marked "Free Public WiFi.". From the article:

I had seen these "Free Public WiFi" peer-to-peer networks around before, usually in airports, and had ignored them as malware honeypots; the truth is apparently a little less malicious but still pretty scary. It seems that our friends in Redmond have (since Jan 06) some strangeness in the wireless network management routines under XP;
Apparently Windows XP echos the SSID of Ad Hoc networks that it once was connected to, but no longer can find."
Books

Submission + - Blender Character Animation Book a Top Seller

Tony writes: Blender news has been coming thick and fast lately. Just days ago Blender's fantastic new version 2.43 was released, and now Introducing Character Animation with Blender has just been released from Sybex/Wiley, one of the top publishers in the field of 3DCG. The book reached #11 on Amazon.com's Computers & Internet top sellers list this morning, which is really something for this kind of title. ICAWB covers all aspects of character creation and animation in Blender, the world's premier open source 3D modeling and animation software package. If you have been wondering about what all the fuss over Blender is about, this is a great way to find out. More information about the book, including some snapshots, is available at BlenderNation. People interested in checking out Blender itself should go to the official Blender Website and download the latest version.
Patents

Submission + - Patent row could hit MP3 industry

w1z4rd writes: "The BBC Reports "News that Microsoft has been fined for violating MP3 patents belonging to Alcatel-Lucent could have widespread fallout for the industry. Experts now suggest the US ruling could lead to hundreds of firms — including Apple and RealNetworks — being pursued for payments relating to the format. "Any of the companies that have licensed and implemented that technology have to have great concern about this verdict," said Microsoft vice president Thomas W Burt. And it seems the Federal District Court in San Diego agrees — it ordered Microsoft to pay Alcatel $1.52bn, an award both companies say is the largest patent award in history.""
Security

Submission + - When security firms merge, some users are losers

taoman1 writes: ""When one security vendor merges with another or is acquired by a larger IT provider, the parties involved always tout the benefits customers can expect — better help desk services, a wider array of management tools and the tighter integration of security into the larger infrastructure. Unfortunately for some users, those benefits don't always materialize.""
Microsoft

Opera CTO Hits Back at Microsoft's Standards Push 246

Michael writes "Opera CTO Håkon Wium Lie hit back today at Microsoft's push to fast track Office Open XML into an ISO standard, in a blistering article on CNET. He also took a swipe at Open Document Format: 'I'm no fan of either specification. Both are basically memory dumps with angle brackets around them. If forced to choose one, I'd pick the 700-page specification (ODF) over the 6,000-page specification (OOXML). But I think there is a better way.' The better way being the existing universally understood standards of HTML and CSS. Putting this to the test, Håkon has published a book using HTML and CSS."
Censorship

Submission + - AtomicMPC Forums Ban Linking to Other Forums

(SF)exlex writes: "The popular forums for the Australian magazine AtomicMPC, a Haymarket Media publication, have banned linking to any other forums on the internet as described in their updated FAQ: ""Linking to any competitor site for the explicit purpose of recruiting new members is not allowed. It's simply bad form. We respect what you give, please respect what we provide. Linking to a competitor site that contains information related to the conversational topic at hand is fine. Acceptable examples: Posting to another tech site that has information not found on Atomic, or a game site that has exclusive information. Sending a PM to any member with the aim of recruiting for another site similar in forum content to Atomic is not allowed, and really is just plain bad manners. If you receive such a PM please report it to the moderators. These rules also apply to links in your sig."" In enforcing these rules members have been forced to remove any links to their personal websites in their sigs if they have a forum."
OS X

Submission + - Mac developer deletes home directory of pirates

An anonymous reader writes: http://www.versiontracker.com/php/feedback/article .php?story=20070207124614786 A program called display eater is eating the home directories of people using known pirated serial numbers. The home directory would be most simialar to the windows directory on a pc. The developer admits that there are several illegal cd-keys that unlock his demo program and that using such keys will "erase something". Many mac users and developers are expressing anger at such a move.

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