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Comment Re:In need of perspective? (Score 1) 138

Upon further reflection, and with your succinct description, I think I understand. Obviously, stereoscopic view isn't needed to track orbits, most telescopes are monocular. One just needs to see something moving (e.g., a tool-bag in orbit). I guess for some reason the impression of an object heading straight at the lens came to mind, which is clearly, well silly.

Submission + - MySQL CEO says open source is unstoppable

StonyandCher writes: Despite a growing acceptance of open-source software, MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, said Monday in a keynote speech at the first-ever Ubuntu Live Conference, that there are also ongoing threats to open source development. Those threats, he told attendees, come from proprietary software companies such as Microsoft, which can spread criticism and doubt — backed by their legal and economic might — to push proprietary products.

"Microsoft can use [its] money in other ways to threaten free and open-source software, and I'm sure that they have," Mickos said. "But I think we will see less of that in the future because they've done it and it hasn't helped them."

"...I'm not too worried," Mickos said. "This open source movement is so strong that nothing can stop it anymore."

Submission + - Data Visualization Tools for Linux

An anonymous reader writes: In this article, I provide a survey of a number of popular Linux data visualization tools and include some insight into their other capabilities. Finally, I identify the strengths of each tool to help you decide which is best for your application. The open source tools that I explore in this article are gnuplot, GNU Octave, Scilab, MayaVi, Maxima, and OpenDX.

Submission + - Verizon Copper Cutoff Traps Customers

theodp writes: "As it hooks up homes and businesses to its FiOS fiber-optic network service, Verizon has been routinely disconnecting the copper infrastructure that it was required to lease to other phone companies, locking customers into higher broadband bills, eliminating power outage safeguards, and hampering rivals. A Verizon spokesman argues customers are being given adequate notice of the copper cutoff, which includes this read-between-the-lines fine print: 'Current Verizon High Speed Internet customers who move to FiOS Internet service will have their Verizon High Speed Internet permanently disabled after their FiOS conversion.'"

Submission + - Jumping robots for space exploration?

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to a team of engineers at the University of Bath, "jumping is a good way to move over rough terrain, and is considerably easier to design than walking." reports that this is why they've designed two jumping robots inspired by animals. They think that their two new robots, Jollbot and Glumper, will help astronauts to during future space missions. As one researcher said, "the cost per kilogram of launching something into space is very large, so jumping robots, which are likely to be light in weight to maximize their own performance, are ideally suited from that perspective." Of course, such robots would also be useful to explore any other places involving traversing rough terrains such as volcanoes. Read more for additional references and excellent pictures of these jumping robots."

Submission + - floating wind turbines (

The Great Pulgoso writes: Norwegian energy group Norsk Hydro is to place giant floating wind turbines in the North Sea that will provide a reasonable, environmentally-friendly and economically feasible alternative to standard energy generation processes. The design uses a three-able tethered system, similar to the ones used in oil rigs, that holds a 200 meter tall steel tube with an attached turbine and three 60-meter-long blades. It expects to be able to use this technology on sites located 50-100 miles off shore, and with a depth of up to 500 meters. Images on the prototypes are on the link provided
Data Storage

Submission + - Artificial neural network storage - a first? (

GovCheese writes: Two scientists at the University of Tel Aviv, Professors Baruchi and Ben-Jacob, claim to have stored information in an medium of a network of neurons cultured outside the brain. The stored information, which they called "memories," persisted for a matter of days. The short article in the Jerusalem Post remarks, "They are apparently the first in the world to have actually stored information in a cultured neural network for an extended period." Of course it was the headline "cyberbrain" that caught my attention, and the phrase in the article "neuro-silico cyberchip" isn't too shabby either. Johnny Mnemonic anyone?

Submission + - Google Flips the Moon

proxima1 writes: "Not only does Google think it can change the earth, it apparently has the power to change the orientation of the moon. Google's very own Lunar Phase widget that comes with their desktop presents us with a moon that is tilted 90 degrees clockwise, with the lunar "west" pole pointed up. Unless there has been a major astronomical event the NASA boys are not letting us in on, someone at the Big G was asleep in their astronomy classes. Google's arch rival Yahoo got it right however.

For Google's take on the earth's only satellite go here:

But to see the way it should be:"

Submission + - Compressed air car from India could kill GM, EXXON

vaporland writes: "This article in Business Week describes a car that runs on compressed air, ready for production in India. The fiberglass MiniC.A.T. runs on compressed air, and offers zero pollution and very low running costs. It is expected that US politicians will be able to easily refuel it by speaking into a hose located in the passenger compartment . . ."

Submission + - John Backus (1924-2007)

Assassin bug writes: From the journal Nature

John Backus, who died on 17 March, was a pioneer in the early development of computer programming languages, and was subsequently a leading researcher in so-called functional programming. He spent his entire career with IBM.

Fortran remained Backus's lasting contribution to computing, for which he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1975 and the Turing Award of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1977 — computer science's highest honour.

Submission + - Accounts Compromised

An anonymous reader writes: There is a cross-site scripting vulnerbility on the registration page of popular social networking site The hole allows cookies and sessions of logged-in users to be hijacked, compromising the account. The exploit can be triggered simply by a user clicking a maliciously-crafted link. A full explanation and sample exploit code is available here

Submission + - The mystery of vitamin B12 finally solved

Roland Piquepaille writes: "You probably think that scientists know everything about the common and essential vitamin B12, the only vitamin synthesized by soil microbes. In fact, one part of this biosynthesis has puzzled researchers for at least 50 years. But now, MIT and Harvard biologists have solved this vitamin puzzle by discovering that a single enzyme known as BluB synthesizes the vitamin. So what is the next challenge for the researchers? It's to discover why the soil microorganisms synthesize the vitamin B12 at all, because neither them — nor the plants they're attached to — need it to live. Read more for additional references and a picture of BluB."

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