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NASA

Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA? 479

MarkWhittington writes "Has NASA become a problem for the Obama transition? If one believes a recent story in the Orlando Sentinel, the transition team at NASA, led by former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver, is running into some bureaucratic obstruction." Specifically, according to this article NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made calls to aerospace industry executives asking them to stonewall if asked about benefits to be gained by canceling the current US efforts to revisit the moon; we mentioned last month that cutting Aries and Orion is apparently an idea under strong consideration by the Obama transition team.
Supercomputing

IEEE Says Multicore is Bad News For Supercomputers 251

Richard Kelleher writes "It seems the current design of multi-core processors is not good for the design of supercomputers. According to IEEE: 'Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, in New Mexico, have simulated future high-performance computers containing the 8-core, 16-core, and 32-core microprocessors that chip makers say are the future of the industry. The results are distressing. Because of limited memory bandwidth and memory-management schemes that are poorly suited to supercomputers, the performance of these machines would level off or even decline with more cores.'"
The Media

Online Reporters Now the Journalists Most Often Jailed 147

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists today released the results of its annual survey of journalists in prison. For the first time, they found more Internet journalists jailed worldwide than journalists working in any other medium. CPJ found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Their chart of journalists jailed by year is also interesting."
Security

'Greasemonkey' Malware Targets Firefox 370

snydeq writes "Researchers have discovered a new type of malware that collects passwords for banking sites but targets only Firefox. The malware, dubbed 'Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.A,' sits in Firefox's add-ons folder, registering itself as 'Greasemonkey,' the well-known collection of scripts that add functionality to Web pages rendered by Firefox. The malware uses JavaScript to identify more than 100 financial and money transfer Web sites, including PayPal, collecting logins and passwords, which it forwards to a server in Russia. Trojan infection can occur via drive-by download or download duping."
Sci-Fi

Battlestar Galactica Gets Spinoff Prequel Series 297

It was recently announced that sci-fi remake series Battlestar Galactica is getting a whole new spinoff prequel series called "Caprica." Signed on for twenty hours worth of finished product, including a two-hour pilot, the new series is to be set 50 years prior to Battlestar Galactica, and will focus on two rival families, the Graystones and the Adamas. "Enmeshed in the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence and robotics that will eventually lead to the creation of the Cylons, the two houses go toe-to-toe blending action with corporate conspiracy and sexual politics. 'Caprica' will deliver all of the passion, intrigue, political backbiting and family conflict in television's first science fiction family saga."
Linux Business

"FOSS Business Model Broken" — Former OSDL CEO 412

liraz writes "Stuart Cohen, former CEO of Open Source Development Labs, has written an op-ed on BusinessWeek claiming that the traditional open source business model, which relies solely on support and service revenue streams, is failing to meet the expectations of investors. He discusses the 'great paradox' of the FOSS business model, saying: 'For anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the software industry lately, I have some bad news. The open source business model is broken. Open source code is generally great code, not requiring much support. So open source companies that rely on support and service alone are not long for this world.' Cohen goes on to outline the beginnings of a business model that can work for FOSS going forward."
Patents

Rewriting a Software Product After Quitting a Job? 604

hi_caramba_2008 writes "We are a bunch of good friends at a large software company. The product we work on is under-budgeted and over-hyped by the sales drones. The code quality sucks, and management keeps pulling in different direction. Discussing this among ourselves, we talked about leaving the company and rebuilding the code from scratch over a few months. We are not taking any code with us. We are not taking customer lists (we probably will aim at different customers anyway). The code architecture will also be different — hosted vs. stand-alone, different modules and APIs. But at the feature level, we will imitate this product. Can we be sued for IP infringement, theft, or whatever? Are workers allowed to imitate the product they were working on? We know we have to deal with the non-compete clause in our employment contracts, but in our state this clause has been very difficult to enforce. We are more concerned with other IP legal aspects."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Blames Add-Ons For Browser Woes 307

darthcamaro writes "Running IE and been hacked? Don't blame Microsoft — at least that's what their security types are now arguing. 'One of the things we've seen in the last two years is that attackers aren't even going after the browser itself anymore,' Eric Lawrence, Security Program Manager on Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, said. 'The browser is becoming a harder target and there are many more browsers. So attackers are targeting add-ons.' This kinda makes sense since whether you're running IE, Firefox, Safari or Chrome you could still be at risk if there is a vulnerability in Flash, PDF, QuickTime or another popular add-on. Or does it?"
Unix

Unix Dict/grep Solves Left-Side-of-Keyboard Puzzle 423

destinyland writes "For decades, people have been asking this brain teaser: 'What's the longest word you can type with only the left-hand letters on a keyboard?' The answer is supposed to be 'stewardesses,' but grepping the standard dictionary that ships with Unix reveals a much better answer. There's nearly 2,000 shorter words that can typed with only the left hand — including one word that's even longer. (The article also quotes a failed novel attempt using nothing but words typed on the keyboard's left side.)"
Power

New Generator Boosts Wind Turbine Efficiency 50% 315

MagnetDroid writes "A startup company based in Vancouver has developed a new kind of generator that could harvest much more energy from the wind. The design could not only lower the cost of wind turbines but increase their power output by 50 percent to as much as 100 percent, in some locations. Normally, when wind speeds drop, a turbine's engine becomes less efficient. The new engine, from ExRo Technologies, runs efficiently over a wider range of conditions. The design replaces a mechanical transmission with what amounts to an electronic one. Magnets attached to a rotating shaft create a current, but individual coils can be turned on and off electronically at different wind speeds." The company will begin field-testing a small, 5KW wind turbine by early next year.
Sci-Fi

New Star Trek Trailer 591

roelbj writes "The full trailer to the next Star Trek movie is now available at the movie's official web site. The upcoming J.J. Abrams-helmed installment represents a changing of the guard, a reboot of the franchise, and a return to the original-series crew. It should prove interesting to see how Abrams' writing staff (Cloverfield, Lost, Alias) tackles the Star Trek universe and all the continuity and baggage that comes with it."
NASA

NASA's Orion Mock-Up Fails Parachute Test 163

leetrout writes "Fox News has the story on a parachute test failing on a mock up of the new Orion spacecraft. 'This is the most complicated parachute test NASA has run since the '60s,' said Carol Evans, test manager for the parachute system at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. 'We are taking a close look at what caused the set-up chutes to malfunction. A failure of set-up parachutes is actually one of the most common occurrences in this sort of test.' Space.com has the video."
Mozilla

Firefox To Get a Nag Screen For Upgrades 565

ruphus13 writes "Firefox has been pushing version 3.0 very aggressively, and firmly believes that it is a solid product. The Download Day was just one of their ways to drum up user support for the new release. Now, Firefox is going to 'gently nudge' users of Firefox 2.0 to upgrade. Some users may have been waiting for their add-ons to get upgraded, but now Mozilla is planning to apply a little nudge. Sometime within the next week, people using Firefox 2.0.0.16 will see a request to upgrade and though you'll have the option to decline, it's likely Firefox will ask again anyway. Users will most likely be offered a second chance to upgrade after several weeks. (Mozilla will stop supporting version 2 in December.) It will be interesting to see if this speeds up the rate of upgrade by users, as well as upgrades of the add-ons."

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