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Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect 845

stereoroid writes "As of January 1, it is a crime in Ireland to commit Blasphemy. The law was changed in July 2009 to fill a gap in the Irish Constitution, which states that it is a crime but does not define what it is, an omission highlighted in a Supreme Court decision in 1999. To mark the occasion, Atheist Ireland published a list of 25 blasphemous quotations on the website, from such controversial figures as Bjork, Frank Zappa, Richard Dawkins, Randy Newman, and Pope Benedict XVI. (The last-mentioned was quoting a 14th Century Byzantine Emperor, but that's no excuse.)"

IDEs With VIM Text Editing Capability? 193

An anonymous reader writes "I am currently looking to move from text editing with vim to a full fledged IDE with gdb integration, integrated command line, etc. Extending VIM with these capabilities is a mortal sin, so I am looking for a linux based GUI IDE. I do not want to give up the efficient text editing capabilities of VIM though. How do I have my cake and eat it too?"
The Courts

A New Libel Defense In Canada; For Blogs Too 146

roju writes "The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian Supreme Court has created a new defense against claims of defamation, allowing for reporting in the public interest. They specifically included bloggers as eligible, writing: '...the traditional media are rapidly being complemented by new ways of communicating on matters of public interest, many of them online, which do not involve journalists. These new disseminators of news and information should, absent good reasons for exclusion, be subject to the same laws as established media outlets.' and 'A review of recent defamation case law suggests that many actions now concern blog postings and other online media which are potentially both more ephemeral and more ubiquitous than traditional print media. ... [I]t is more accurate to refer to the new defense as responsible communication on matters of public interest.'"

Microsoft Game Software Preps Soldiers For Battle 44

coondoggie writes "Soldiers may go into battle better prepared to handle equipment and with a greater knowledge of their surroundings after an intellectual property licensing deal Monday between Microsoft and Lockheed Martin that will deepen the defense giant's access to visual simulation technology. The intellectual property agreement between the two focuses on Microsoft ESP, a games-based visual simulation software platform for the PC."

Submission + - Machine converts CO2 into fuel (

krou writes: Called the Counter-Rotating-Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator (CR5), researchers at Sandia National Laboratories believe it is capable of using the sun's energy to convert CO2 waste from power plants into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

the cylindrical machine consists of two chambers on the sides and 14 rotating rings in the center. The outer edges of the rings are made of iron oxide. When the scientists heat the inside of one chamber to 1,500C with a solar concentrator, the iron oxide undergoes a thermo-chemical reaction where it gives up oxygen molecules. As the rings rotate (at one revolution per minute), the hot side approaches the opposite chamber and begins to cool down. When carbon dioxide is pumped into this chamber, the iron oxide retrieves oxygen molecules from the carbon dioxide, transforming it into carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide could then serve as a building block to create a liquid combustible fuel.

They also note that the machine is capable of producing syngas, and hydrogen. It's still 15-20 years from being marketable, and they still need to increase overall efficiency of the machine, hoping to at least "get in the range of 10% sunlight-to-fuels".


Computer Games and Traditional CS Courses 173

drroman22 writes "Schools are working to put real-world relevance into computer science education by integrating video game development into traditional CS courses. Quoting: 'Many CS educators recognized and took advantage of younger generations' familiarity and interests for computer video games and integrate related contents into their introductory programming courses. Because these are the first courses students encounter, they build excitement and enthusiasm for our discipline. ... Much of this work reported resounding successes with drastically increased enrollments and student successes. Based on these results, it is well recognized that integrating computer gaming into CS1 and CS2 (CS1/2) courses, the first programming courses students encounter, is a promising strategy for recruiting and retaining potential students." While a focus on games may help stir interest, it seems as though game development studios are as yet unimpressed by most game-related college courses. To those who have taken such courses or considered hiring those who have: what has your experience been?

Comment Re:Then you can work, thief! (Score 1) 645

"The problem is that doctors are rather incented to declare people sick, so insurers will pay them."

And This.

Insurance companies are incented to deny claims.
So the doctor declares you sick and assigns expensive treatment. You go along with it thinking your insurance will take care of it. A few months later you get a bill from the doctor with either a part or none of the bill paid for by the insurer.
Both the doctor and the insurance company win, and you get stuck with the bill. The system works great as long you pay. :)


What Happened To the Bay Bridge? 407

farnsworth writes "Tony Alfrey has put together a fascinating page with some history, analysis, and possible explanations for what ultimately went wrong with the recent emergency repair of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The bridge has been closed for days and is not scheduled to open for days to come, hugely inconveniencing more than 250,000 people a day. His analysis touches on possibly poor welding, a possibly flawed temporary fix, and the absence of a long-term fix or adequate follow-up by Caltrans, the agency responsible for the bridge. Slashdot is a great engineering community; what other insights do you have on the bridge situation?"
The Internet

Lockheed Snags $31 Million To Reinvent the Internet, Microsoft To Help 326

DARPA has awarded a $31 million contract to megacorp Lockheed Martin which will, with some assistance from Microsoft, attempt to reinvent the Internet and make it more military-friendly. "The main thrust of the effort will be to develop a new Military Network Protocol, which will differ from old hat such as TCP/IP in that it will offer 'improved security, dynamic bandwidth allocation, and policy-based prioritization levels at the individual and unit level.' Lockheed will be partnered with Anagran, Juniper Networks, LGS Innovations, Stanford University and — of course — Microsoft in developing the MNP. Apart from that, Lockheed's own Information Systems & Global Services-Defense tentacle will work on amazing new hardware."

What Kind of Cloud Computing Project Costs $32M? 158

coondoggie writes "The US Department of Energy said today it will spend $32 million on a project that will deploy a large cloud computing test bed with thousands of Intel Nehalem CPU cores and explore commercial offerings from Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Ultimately, the project, known as Magellan, will look at cloud computing as a cost-effective and energy-efficient way for scientists to accelerate discoveries in a variety of disciplines, including analysis of scientific data sets in biology, climate change and physics, the DOE stated. Magellan will explore whether cloud computing can help meet the overwhelming demand for scientific computing. Although computation is an increasingly important tool for scientific discovery, and DOE operates some of the world's most powerful supercomputers, not all research applications require such massive computing power. The number of scientists who would benefit from mid-range computing far exceeds the amount of available resources, the DEO stated."

Sloppy Linux Admins Enable Slow Brute-Force Attacks 391 passes on the report of Peter N. M. Hansteen that a third round of low-intensity, distributed brute-force attacks is now in progress — we earlier discussed the first and second rounds — and that sloppy admin practice on Linux systems is the main enabler. As before, the article links to log data (this time 770 apparently already compromised Linux hosts are involved), and further references. "The fact that your rig runs Linux does not mean you're home free. You need to keep paying attention. When your spam washer has been hijacked and tries to break into other people's systems, you urgently need to get your act together, right now."

Time Warner ToS Changes Could Mean Tiered Pricing, Throttling 162

Mirell writes "Time Warner Cable has recently changed their Terms of Service, so that they are allowed to charge you at their discretion via consumption-based billing. They were shot down a few months ago after raising the wrath of many subscribers and several politicians. Now they're trying again, but since they make exclusions for their own voice and video not to count against the cap, this could draw the attention of the FCC."

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