nevillethedevil writes: The BBC has a story about a man who "found" a missile launcher in a shed in Florida. Having tried to dispose of it he finally handed it to the Kicks for Guns scheme. After inspecting the rocket launcher, police spokeswoman Sgt Barbara Jones said: "I tell you, you never know what you're going to get."
An anonymous reader writes: ECN magazine posted a long interview with the Woz. "Apple Inc. co-founder and legendary hacker Steve Wozniak recently found a new passion in energy-efficienct housing. Last month he told PC World magazine, 'I have a long dream to build my own house in a very energy-efficient approach,' and here at ECN we thought you'd like to know more. So we interviewed Woz by email. Here is a transcript of our questions and his answers." Good insight into the mind of a living genius!
ILikeRed writes: In a Quakecon 2007 interview, John Carmack introduced his new high end game Rage, and then went on to call the Wii "a spark of newness". He talks about creating a Quake Arena themed game for the DS, and porting Orks & Elves to the Wii. He was less than happy with current cell phone hardware and Java however.
Onlyodin writes: An executive at Microsoft has an unusual idea for beating spammers. Powerful software tools and supercomputers aren't involved, but kittens are. Or rather, photos of kittens.
Kevin Larson, a researcher at Microsoft's advanced reading technologies group, has found that asking a user to identify the subject of a photo, like a kitten, could help block spam programs.
Services like Microsoft's free e-mail service Hotmail commonly require new users to type in a string of distorted letters as proof that it's a human signing up for the account and not a computer. The trouble is, computers are getting smart enough to recognize the characters and it's a race for Microsoft to continue to alter its HIP (Human Interactive Proofs) system to fool the computers before they catch on.
With 90 billion pieces of e-mail spam sent every day, according to Larson, companies like Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft that offer free online mail services have an incentive to try to block spam. Otherwise they pay for the resources that help send the spam.
destinyland writes: "Mathematician Rudy Rucker argues that any natural process can be regarded as a computation — which means "The digital thing is sort of a red herring." If one system can be "mapped" using another — since they share a recurring pattern — a universal computation is expressed in any number of systems, including living beings. Taking the idea to an extreme, he's explored the idea in a new science fiction book asking if
existing patterns approximate ongoing patterns, could it generate partial predictions of the future?"
WillCodeForRaisins writes: "Bill Gates has lost it again, this time in a fit over Apple's new John Hodges' PC ads. Among his comments:"I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it's superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say? Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it." The full interview with Newsweek can also be read here."
Friends of Jim writes: "Amazon has loaded satellite image data from the area where computer giant Jim Gray disappeared into Amazon Mechanical Turk and they are asking the community to help scan those images for signs of Jim Gray's boat. Details on the background of the data can be found on the weblog of Amazon's CTO Werner Vogels."