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Comment Re:Wait (Score 1) 136

There was a British (and possibly with later backing and involvement from ESA) project in (iirc) the late 80's early 90's called Hotal, it was a low orbit space plane, mainly focused on passenger travel. It didn't get much beyond the drawing board) As the Skylon project is from ESA I wouldn't be surprised if Hotal had an influence on this.

Submission + - Freaky Japanese Baby-bot

mux2000 writes: "With Japan's birth rate still worryingly low, the powers that be may not thank the Japan Science and Technology Agency [Japanese] for the unveiling its new humanoid robot last week, a 33-kilogramme effigy that can make facial expressions, react to its surroundings by blinking and stand up with assistance. Giving it a set of skills and abilities that its maker claims allows CB2 (Child-Robot with Biometric Body) to emulate the physical abilities of a 1- or 2-year-old toddler. Here is another write-up that includes some unsettling videos of this digital toddler as well.


The only problem being that unlike the real thing, CB2 is neither comical nor cute — far from it in fact. The not so little fella's freakishly real — and at the same time not real — features quite possibly putting people off having kids forever.
Although that said, his (or indeed her) loving look up at its 'father' is possibly enough to melt even the coldest of hearts.


Submission + - Microsoft launches a new multi-touch platform

Fengpost writes: "Microsoft just luanched Microsoft Surface ( A multi-touch display user interface which can sense multiple finger input, multiple devices or even multiple credit card. The demo is set on top of a desk or table. It is intended for commercial use initially for business to interact with comsumer. However, the pure consumer use can not be far behind."

Submission + - Linux finally getting XBMC

B47h0ry'5 CuR53 writes: XBMC is getting ported to Linux. A few developers of Team-XBMC have begun the porting of XBMC to Linux using OpenGL and the SDL toolkit. In this effort, they are recruiting developers. XBMC is, by far, one of the finest projects to come out of the open source community; and to think it is homebrew. XBMC is a massive project, with the current SVN branch weighing about 350M before compilation. Porting it will be a big effort and any hackers willing to contribute should check out the Linux port project.
Operating Systems

Submission + - A Full Linux Alternative To Windows Home Server?

ben_ writes: The ZD Net UK website has a proposal for the open-source/Linux community to come up with an alternative to Windows Home Server.
From the posting: "There are a lot of Linux experts on this site. I challenge them to come up with a list of applications that work the best for each of the given functions found in Windows Home Server. Show me a list of something that you guys think will beat or meet Windows Home Server, that will work for a lot of people and that you think can be easily reproduced. I will build it and give you an honest appraisal of my experiences while doing it. I will document it well enough that others less skilled will be able to do it. I'd like to be able to release it as a DIY compilation distro if possible."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The Slurpr - Mother of all Wi-Fi Access Points!

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten writes: "

On June 1, 2007 Mark Hoekstra ( will preview The Slurpr at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. The Slurpr is a high speed Wi-Fi broadband router that takes up to six available Wi-Fi channels and combines them into one free and ultra broadband connection. Fast and Free Internet Access with just one box! Now you can enjoy the great advantages and comfort that come with a high speed internet connection, all for free.

The Slurpr automatically connects to the 6 strongest available Wi-Fi channels in your neighborhood to give you unparalleled connectivity. To make this happen, 6 Wi-Fi adapters are combined in one small package. The six extra sensitive antennae give you an even wider range of connectivity.

The Slurpr will be on display and available for pre-ordering at The Next Web Conference.

Technical specs:

The Slurpr consists of a Six-channel wardrive-box broadbandrouter with 6 11/54Mbit fully configurable Wi-Fi connections bundled and redistributed to 9 wired ethernet connections. A 266MHz MIPS CPU with 64MB RAM with Linux installed on a 1GB Compact Flash card powers this extraordinary set-up.

Both the hardware and software of The Slurpr will be released under a Creative Commons license making it easy for users to build their own Slurprs and using and enhancing the software.

More information on:

How it all started: -a-wi-fi-canalizer/"

Submission + - Microsoft software ordered off Macs in NZ schools

doofusdog writes: The New Zealand Ministry of Education has decided that the $2.7 million NZD that Microsoft wanted as part of the new Schools Agreement for Office Mac could not be justified. Therefore all schools that installed it under an old agreement must either remove it from all computers or buy separate licenses.
Linux Business

Submission + - Dell releases Ubuntu 7.04 PCs at Windows prices

Tookis writes: The day Linux advocates have been waiting for has arrived. Dell has announced three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. However, those expecting lower prices for their Linux boxes may be disappointed because there is little or no price differential between the Linux and Windows models. In fact, the entry level E520 Windows desktop is significantly cheaper.

Submission + - Secrets of Successful Software Requirements

Igor Jese writes: "Although most companies do some form of requirements, there is often a lack of understanding as to exactly why the requirements need to be created and how. This article looks at some secrets to improve your requirements process even under tight deadlines. Read more..."

Submission + - Holocaust Dropped From UK Schools

dteichman2 writes: "It appears that UK schools are ignoring The Holocaust. A government-backed study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, found that some teachers are reluctant to teach history lessons on The Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. As such, many schools are not covering the subject. Additionally, similar problems are being met with lessons on The Crusades because these lessons contradict teachings from local mosques.

Isn't there a law that requires UK schools to cover these topics? Should there be?"

Submission + - Star Wars fan creates security scare in Melbourne

svunt writes: "A Star Wars fan in costume (blaster included) was swooped on by a number of police today in a Melbourne shopping centre. From the article

"The replica gun appeared to have what resembled a battery pack connected to the gun by a coiled wire, while boots and a laptop were also in the bag. The man was clad in black with unusual logos on his sleeve and breast pocket, and had what appeared to be a hands-free mobile phone earphone in one ear.
The man was later charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. It appears that he was en route to a photo shoot to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars."
Linux Business

Submission + - Dell starts selling Ubuntu Laptops Today

An anonymous reader writes: Later today, Dell will offer U.S customers three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. These systems will be available by 4pm CST today. Starting price for the E520n desktop and the E1505n notebook is $599; the XPS 410n starts at $899.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - PS3 1.80 USA update first impressions

root-kun writes: "PS3's 1.80 update is now out for USA (and probably other regions). The USA/JP consoles with the emotion-engine do now have PSX/PS2 1080p upscan. DVD upscan works like a charm, PSX/PS2 memory cards can now be properly read and written too, and several other new features. The PSX/PS2 upscan is disappointingly blurry compared to the EE's pixel-perfect native 480p output however it can be disabled, and overall a great step forward for the platform!"

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