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Comment Re:Old technique (Score 4, Informative) 58

X-ray_microtomography is not new. What is new is :

"using partially coherent object illumination instead of previously used quasi-incoherent illumination"

which led to :

"We obtained three-dimensional reconstructions of mouse adenocarcinoma cells at ~36-nm (Rayleigh) and ~70-nm (Fourier ring correlation) resolution, which allowed us to visualize the double nuclear membrane, nuclear pores, nuclear membrane channels, mitochondrial cristae and lysosomal inclusions."


Submission + - Kenya referendum monitored by SMS and Twitter (

fjanss writes: An article of the Christian Science Monitor reports on the use of the Uchaguzi platform to monitor the Kenya referendum.

The Uchaguzi platform – the word means "election" in Kiswahili – grew out of earlier software developed during the violence that rocked Kenya after the 2007 presidential election.

It sets up a special SMS shortcode, Twitter hashtag (#uchaguzi for Kenya’s referendum) or e-mail address, publicizes it, and encourage ordinary people to send reports.

In case of irregularities the central office alerts the local electoral officials to investigate.

The scheme’s developers plan to introduce similar platforms to other East African countries that have elections looming in coming months, including Tanzania and Uganda.

Comment Not so Comprehensive rebuttal (Score 1) 635

The rebuttal says nothing about the subsidies needed, and requested by the nuclear industry, to make nuclear energy "competitive".

The conclusion of the New York Times article is :

“The frantic effort of the nuclear industry to increase federal loan guarantees and secure ratepayer funding of construction work in progress from state legislatures is an admission that the technology is so totally uneconomic that the industry will forever be a ward of state, resulting in a uniquely American form of nuclear socialism.”

(Solar also needs subsidy at the moment, but less as time goes by)

Comment Re:Why optical? (Score 1) 122

USB and HDMI cables have to be really short anyway, isn't optical overkill?

It is a replacement that, because it is optical, does not need to be limited by "really short cables". If the technology is cheap enough, I would love to have webcams at 100m distance instead of expensive ethernet cameras (as an example).

Comment Re:I Disagree with Some Parts of This Article (Score 3, Insightful) 348

The article is largely based on the analogy :

"In a smart essay in the journal Fast Capitalism in 2005, Jack Shuler shows how similar the rhetoric of the 1990s digital frontier was to that of the 19th-century frontier era."

That may be true. But there is an important difference the article does not see. The 19th-century frontier may have "seemed" infinite, but the information space (or noosphere) is for all practical purposes infinite.

What many corporations try to do is block the access to that infinite space, and make us forget that it exists. And make us pay to access their walled-in spaces.

They might still succeed, but only through "legal" trickery, not because of any natural limitation, such as the large but finite area or the "west".

Comment Threat is not to the open-source philosophy (Score 1) 1

The threat The Economist warns about is not to the open-source philosophy, but to "companies and consumers [that] could get locked into a cloud even more tightly than into a piece of software".


"This sort of problem has spawned an open-data movement. In March a group of technology firms led by IBM published an âoeOpen Cloud Manifestoâ that has since received the support of more than 150 companies and organisations. It is only a beginning, but perhaps this time around the industry will not have to go through a long proprietary period before rediscovering the virtues of openness."

The article Open-source software in the recession : Born free also expands on "open source's growing popularity". It mentions the trend "to sell proprietary extensions to an open-source core."


Submission + - Locked in with cloud computing 1

jedibrand writes: The Economist has published a Leader this week on the perils of proprietary-based cloud-computing. Specifically, they warn of the impending threat to the open-source philosophy coming from a familiar source--proprietary lock-in. This time, however, the practice takes the form not so much of software and operating system maintenance and upgrades, but instead concerns data storage and management in the great (proprietary) cloud in the sky.
My question to you, my dear slashdotters, is whether these concerns are valid given not only the evermore dynamic nature of FOSS efforts but, specifically, those concerning cloud-computing solutions. I can think of a couple of examples myself such as Google's recent unveiling of the "Wave protocol," and Mozilla Lab's Weave. Of course, neither of these necessarily aim to offer full-fledged, productivity and collaboration suites, but certainly solid examples of the components that would make up such an offering are readily available in the FOSS world and, of course, space is ever cheaper, both physical and virtual--think remote backups, such as those offered by Amazon's S3 Service, among others. So, what say ye open-source proponents, should we fear the great cloud in the sky?

Comment Re:Successful chips killed by process... (Score 2, Informative) 275

> then they ran out of steam (don't know why)

"The Alpha architecture was sold, along with most parts of DEC, to Compaq in 1998. Compaq, already an Intel customer, decided to phase out Alpha in favor of the forthcoming Intel IA-64 "Itanium" architecture, and sold all Alpha intellectual property to Intel in 2001, effectively "killing" the product."


Linux Business

Submission + - Wal-Mart's $200 Linux PC Sells Out (

hankmt writes: "About a week ago Wal-Mart began selling a $200 linux machine running on a 1.5 ghz Via C7 processor and 512 megs of RAM. While the specs are useless for vista, it works blazingly fast on Ubuntu with the Enlightenment Window Manager. The machine is now officially sold out of their online warehouses, and the product sales page at is full of glowing reviews from new and old linux users alike."
The Military

Submission + - Chinese "Steath Submarine" surprises US Na ( 1

MrSteveSD writes: A Chinese Song Class submarine has managed to surface close enough to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk to launch torpedoes. How the sub managed to slip past all of the defences is not yet known. Were the Chinese military trying to embarrass the US? Was it a mistake? Or is it simply a case of one of the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk crew ordering a takeaway?

Comment Re:2 questions (Score 1) 365

The text published by the European Commission

Wherein :

"First, 'open source' software developers will be able to access and use the interoperability information."


"The agreements will be enforceable before the High Court in London, and will provide for effective remedies, including damages, for third party developers in the event that Microsoft breaches those agreements. Effective private enforcement will therefore complement the Commission's public enforcement powers."

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