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Submission + - Era ends for The Blue Cube (

HockeyPuck writes: Before a color guard and the wife of a hero, they said goodbye Wednesday to a famous artifact of space and the Cold War — Onizuka station (aka Sunnyvale's "Blue Cube,") — named for pioneering Asian-American astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who was killed in the 1986 Challenger crash. The windowless blue box that housed secret operations for four decades. In its first 25 years, the people at the center did critical work as a global antenna for military and civil satellites. In many ways, it is a monument to technology long since supplanted. The Cube was built to house big mainframe computers, which demanded temperatures in the 60s. Even now, the rules of classification forbid the Cube's veterans from talking about most of what they did, but they can tell a few fond stories of how they did it.

Submission + - Secrets of silk lie high-tech opportunities

JC7 writes: Tougher than a bullet-proof vest yet synonymous with beauty and luxury, silk fibers are a masterpiece of nature whose remarkable properties have yet to be fully replicated in the laboratory.Thanks to their amazing mechanical properties as well as their looks, silk fibers have been important materials in textiles, medical sutures, and even armor for 5,000 years.

Submission + - A New Book About Classic Graphic Adventure Games (

j_philipp writes: As a fan of the genre, I've compiled and edited a book called "Graphic Adventures: Being a Mostly Correct History of the Adventure Game Classics By Lucasfilm, Sierra and Others, from the Pages of Wikipedia". As the title says, it's collected from the pages of Wikipedia, with slight or heavy editing as well as additional material — depending on what was needed to make it work in book form — and with many additional creator interviews I conducted with people like Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry) or David Fox (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken...). There's also many screenshots from the games. If you liked to play Loom, Monkey Island, Space Quest, Myst and many others, perhaps this is something of interest... and because the book is GNU-licensed, you can grab the free download if you like.

Submission + - How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us

eagledck writes: DINOSAURS were shape-shifters. Their skulls underwent extreme changes throughout their lives, growing larger, sprouting horns then reabsorbing them, and changing shape so radically that different stages look to us like different species.This discovery comes from a study of the iconic dinosaur triceratops and its close relative torosaurus. Their skulls are markedly different but are actually from the very same species, argue John Scannella and Jack Horner at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.
Data Storage

Submission + - Samsung surprises in hard drive showdown

crookedvulture writes: In the world of mechanical hard drives, two-platter, 7,200-RPM models generally offer the best mix of speedy performance, low noise levels, sufficient capacity, and affordable pricing. The latest examples of the breed cost well under $100 and offer an even terabyte of capacity, but which one is best? This comparison of two-platter terabytes from Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital tests performance, noise levels, power consumption, and even considers the value proposition offered by each drive to determine the pick of the littler. Samsung's Spinpoint F3 comes out on top thanks to quick transfer rates, low seek noise, and the cheapest price of the bunch. Not bad for a company with less than 10% of the hard drive market.

Submission + - Marty McFly Was In No Real Danger, Scientists Say ( 1

RedEaredSlider writes: In the movie Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox's character travels into the past, altering the circumstances of his parents meeting and threatening his own existence. But some scientists would now say he needn't have worried.

Seth Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of technology, thinks you can't change the past — and that he has a good idea of why you can't.


Submission + - Fly Eyes Used for Solar Cells (

disco_tracy writes: Rsearchers took corneas from blow flies, fixed them on a glass substrate, added a polymer to protect the shape and then coated nine-eye arrays in nickel within a vacuum chamber. The result was a master template that retained those useful nanoscale features and can be used to make solar cells.

Submission + - What do we do about violators of CC licenses? 1

An anonymous reader writes: In the past, I've seen my pictures used by big commercial companies despite the Creative Commons license that clearly limits them to non-commercial use. I just let it slide because a friend who's a lawyer says that all I can do is sue. They've ignored emails and comments. Today, I saw two other examples that show that this is pretty rampant. These big commercial corporations are some of the tech savvy publications around but they just grabbed the image. One, BoingBoing, even reprinted the "non-commercial" clause warning others to stay away. But they've got their ads from Cheerios, HP and Mazda running along side. Does anyone care that we've gone to all this trouble to create new, more flexible licenses? Does it even matter when very smart people just flip the bird to the license? Is the only alternative to sue? I wouldn't mind asking for $150k and settling for $1 for each copy made, but that seems a bit crazy. I hate to type out DMCA notices but their attitude is that only uncool people complain about this and I should be happy about the publicity. Then they can be happy about not sharing their ad revenue artists or photographers. What can I do?

Submission + - Jolicloud 1.0, a Linux distro in progress (

JimLynch writes: Jolicloud 1.0 is a new edition of Linux aimed at non-technical netbook users, described this way by its makers: "[It] is not a traditional OS. It was built for netbook users to leverage the Cloud and make their life easier." Think of it as a variant on the Google ChromeOS approach: This Internet operating system, as the company calls it, is little more than a Web browser plus a few other supporting technologies. Does Jolicloud live up to its promises?

Submission + - Fake Firefox Update Page Pushes Malware

adeelarshad82 writes: It has recently been reported that people are seeing a fake Firefox "Just Updated" page which pushes you to install an update to Flash. The page is roughly a clone of the page you see in Firefox after you update versions. It uses a recent (but not the most recent) update version, and tells the user that they really should update their Flash version. Presumably you'd see this even in another browser. The download starts automatically. Save and run it and you get a rogue antivirus product named "SecurityTool" which starts finding threats which aren't there and demanding payment in order to remove them.

Submission + - MeeGo Chosen to Become Platform for In-Car Inforta (

An anonymous reader writes: GENIVI, the nonprofit industry alliance of car manufacturers and car makers announced that MeeGo would be the baseline platform for upcoming In-Vehicle Infotainment in major automobiles. The announcement marks a big step toward the proliferation of MeeGo and will begin implementation with GENIVI Apollo.

Submission + - OSS & Academia - how to forge a relationship?

thesandtiger writes: I work for a university doing research in a field that, to date, has not really made strong use of technology. My research program has developed some tools that have greatly increased our efficiency and ability to maintain methodological rigor for our projects, but the tools are ones that are basically thrown together with spit and bailing wire; we'd like to take these basic versions and turn them into something that is more robust and generally useful, so that other researchers can benefit.

What we would like to do is partner with a commercial OSS entity to apply for grants which could then be used to subsidize development and refinement of the tools, and their subsequent release, with the seemingly standard "free software and source if you want to DIY, but you pay for support and services" model being the eventual goal. Ideally this commercial OSS group would be local (in state at least) because that would open us up for many, many more grants.

We're doing our research into different projects and I have spoken to many people locally about their ideas, but I wanted to throw the question about how to find a partner and things to keep in mind out to Slashdotters to get some more.

How can we find an OSS group with a proven track record, that's local? What kind of things would that OSS group want from us? Has anyone engaged in these kinds of joint efforts before, and if so, what were your experiences?

Submission + - 3-D home video (

crimeandpunishment writes: If you're going to spend all that money for a 3-D TV, wouldn't it be nice if your home video was 3-D as well? It soon can be. Panasonic is winning the race to have 3-D technology in a home camcorder. Prices for the camcorder & lens setup will start at about $2,000. It hits stores in Japan August 20th, and overseas later this year. While the three-dimensional video isn't quite up there with Avatar, Panasonic says it will allow consumers to create "killer content" to watch at home.

Submission + - UK Courts rule Nintendo DS SD Card readers illegal (

CheShACat writes: The UK law court has today ruled that SD Card readers for Nintendo DS are illegal, finding 2 vendors guilty of selling "Game copiers". The ruling by Justice Floyd is quoted as saying "The economic effect on Nintendo of the trade in these devices is substantial as each accused device can store and play copies of many Nintendo DS games [...] The mere fact that the device can be used for a non-infringing purpose is not a defence."

No word in the article as to what law in particular they were found to have broken, nor of the penalty the vendors are facing, but this looks like bad news for all kinds of hardware mod, on any platform, that would enable homebrew users to bypass vendor locks.

Submission + - Mutant protein ‘huntingtin’ behavior i

JobEnding writes: Australian scientists have identified the behaviour of the mutant protein ‘huntingtin’ which leads to the fatal Huntington’s disease providing potential targets to treat the disease, a University of Melbourne study reveals.Huntington's disease is a genetic disease with no cure, characterized by a steady decline in motor control and the dysfunction and death of brain cells. The cause of the disease has long baffled scientists.

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