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The Military

Submission + - The real Mother Of All Bombs - 46 years ago today (

vaporland writes: "Tsar Bomba is the Western name for the RDS-220, the largest, most powerful weapon ever detonated.

The bomb was tested on October 30, 1961, in an archipelago in the Arctic Sea. Developed by the Soviet Union, the bomb had a yield of about 50 megatons. Its detonation released energy equivalent to approximately 1% of the power output of the Sun. The device was scaled down from its original design of 100 megatons to reduce the resulting nuclear fallout.

The detonation of Tsar Bomba qualifies as being the single most powerful device ever utilized throughout the history of humanity."


Submission + - Asus' Linux-based Eee PC 701 reviewed 3

Bongo Bob writes: has a review up of the Asus Eee PC 701 that runs Linux and according to the reviewer "It's hard to fault the Eee PC, mainly because of its price. It can be difficult to use because of the cramped keyboard, but it's better than similar-sized laptops like the Toshiba Libretto. If you're in the market for a second PC, or looking for something you can take with you almost anywhere, the Eee PC is definitely worth buying."

Submission + - LoggerFS: a revolutionary take on logging (

An anonymous reader writes: LoggerFS is a FUSE-based virtual file system written in C++ using the FUSEXX C++ bindings. It seamlessly passes log data through the file system and directly into a database. Unlike existing log parsers, which often run periodically and scan the entire file for changes, LoggerFS takes a unique approach by masking the database backend with a filesystem frontend. When log lines are appended to a virtual file on the LoggerFS file system, lines that match a regex pattern are directly stored in a database. Read on for an Introduction to LoggerFS.

Submission + - Browsing Wikipedia differently (

Sheece writes: "With the explosive growth of Wikipedia content, there seems to be a lot of interest in offering not just mirrors to Wikipedia, but alternative ways to interact with Wikipedia content. Some examples out there are WikiProject and A new mashup that's just been released is WikiSlice from Webaroo.

WikiSlice produces slices of Wikipedia, based on a particular topic. Anyone can easily create a slice and browse through it, just by running a search query. There is also the option of downloading and using a WikiSlice with the Webaroo software."


Submission + - Operator Turns Off Engine - UAV Crashes in Arizona

Scott Tracy writes: The plane crashed near Nogales, Ariz., because the pilot had turned off the engine and never noticed, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled Tuesday. The board chairman, Mark V. Rosenker, said part of the problem was inadequate supervision and regulation of U.A.V.'s. "We definitely need to change the mind-set from computer game-boy to pilot of an aircraft," he said. If the object was simply to operate a computer console, with no reference to safety on the ground, "you could get an 8- or 10-year-old kid who probably could fly it better than what the pilots are doing."

Submission + - Extrasolar Planet Predicted, Then Found (

An anonymous reader writes: Breaking news! It has been more than 150 years since astronomers last predicted the orbit of an unknown planet — and then found it. Last time around, the planet was Neptune. This time, it is a Saturn-mass planet orbiting a sun-like star more than 200 light years away. The discovery is a feather in the cap of astronomers Rory Barnes and Sean Raymond. Their new theory that solar systems are "packed," as full of planets as they can be, led to the successful prediction of the distant world.

Submission + - Particle physics on your home computer (

michaelmarshall writes: "The Large Hadron Collider, the massive particle accelerator being built in Switzerland, is going to generate an enormous amount of data. To help cope with it, the LHC team have relaunched the LHC@home system. This allows people to donate their computer's downtime to the LHC's computing projects. It's modelled on the popular SETI@home software."

Submission + - 'Floating Bridge' Property of Water Found (

eldavojohn writes: "When exposed to high voltage, water does some interesting things. From the article, ' When exposed to a high-voltage electric field, water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity. Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.'"

Submission + - Lisaac : The first prototype object compiler (

Ontologia writes: "Lisaac is a new prototype based object language. It stands as a Self and SmallTalk successor and takes some Eiffel ideas like genericity and contract programming. The goal of the project is to provide a high level language as fast as C.
In fact, with some benchmarks on an mpeg2 decoder rigorously translated from C, Lisaac is 17% faster to 44% slower than C, for 40 % less lines of code with lots of gcc optimizations.
Lisaac provides a lot of powerful features thanks to the prototype based object model : Absolutely all is object, contract programming, dynamic inheritance, block type which is a list of instruction giving functional programming facilities, and so on..

The 0.12 version, distributed in GPLv3, is the latest stable version for the 0.2 specification.
Lisaac was convincing enough for writing IsaacOS, a fully object operating system. IsaacOS runs on five different architectures."


Submission + - Major fraud in climate research

Sara Chan writes: The European Science Foundation has just held the first World Conference on Research Integrity. A major conference topic was the fraud allegation against SUNY professor Wei-Chyung Wang. Wang's research has been crucial evidence that urbanization effects are insignificant in global warming studies (and Wang's research was relied upon in the latest report from the IPCC). Now it has been alleged that Wang's research was fabricated. The Daily Tech has the story. The allegation was made by mathematician Douglas Keenan, whose report is clear and disturbing. Wang's university has begun an investigation.

Submission + - Pen testing and unintended consequences. 2

shdo writes: Over at Craig Goranson submitted a thought provoking question about unintended consequences of pen testing.

A nagging feeling is telling me that this is just the tip of the iceberg and one which is not only something we will need to take in to account but the possibility of abuse is staggering.

Submission + - Squirrels use infrared signalling to scare snakes

arneMan writes: A recent article in PNAS reveals a novel mode of communication between ground squirrels and rattlesnakes. Apparantly, squirrels can scare off snakes by employing a technique called "tail flagging" — frenetic back and forth waving of the tail, "harassing" the snake. Using infrared cameras, scientist have discovered that when encountering infrared sensitive rattle snakes, the tail also heats up, putting even more fear into the snake. Experiments using a robotic squirrel (!) confirms this. Interestingly, the squirrel can discriminate between infrared sensitive and non-sensitive snakes, only heating up the tail if it encounters the former kind. Only the abstract is availabe for non-subscribers, but here is a summary of the article along with some nice pics and movies.

Submission + - Cassini's Spectacular Iapetus Flyby

cupofjoe writes: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is reporting on the Cassini spacecraft's recent close flyby of the Saturnian moon Iapetus, highlighting images taken from distances 100 times closer than the Voyager 2 flyby in 1981. Near real-time images were shown to Cassini mission team members in a presentation at JPL yesterday, during which a pre-recorded message from Arthur C. Clarke was played to the audience. Clarke wished them luck on the flyby, reminding all present that he had included a pretty accurate description of Iapetus in the original 1968 text of "2001: A Space Odyssey", years before Voyager made its flyby. The images are pretty spectacular, trumping the mosaic shot during Cassini's New Years' 2004 flyby — no sign of the Star Gate, though.

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