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Communications

Submission + - DirecTV to Offer Internet Over Power Lines (seekingalpha.com)

sonsonete writes: "Satellite-television provider DirecTV has plans to offer high-speed Internet service carried over electric power lines.

According to the Wall Street Journal under the agreement, which is expected to be signed today, DirecTV will market a bundled package of Current's broadband and VOIP services under the DirecTV brand.... According to the report, DirecTV has yet to determine pricing, but says TV, Internet and phone services packages will be competitive with those offered by phone companies.
"

Google

Submission + - Google, Sun to finally take on Microsoft?

Trion writes: Nearly two years after they were expected to announce a Microsoft Office killer (or is it even likely?), Sun Microsystems and Google may finally be planning to do it. Or not. Mary Jo Foley, in her ZDNet blog, has reported that she got confirmation from a Sun representative that the company plans to make a StarOffice-related announcement on Wednesday that will have a "significant impact in the industry about the adoption of Open Document Format and availability of free MS Office-compatible comprehensive office suite". Google had also secretly added Sun's StarOffice software suite to its Google Pack of recommended applications. StarOffice is integrated with Google Search and Google Desktop.
Displays

Submission + - 3D Animations in Mid-Air Using Plasma Balls (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Japanese boffins are now making animations by creating small plasma balls in mid-air. The technology doesn't use vapor or strange gases, just lasers to heat up oxygen and nitrogen molecules: up to 1,000 brilliant dots per second, which makes smooth motion possible. They could be used as street signs, advertising or to create giant plasma monsters to destroy entire cities. Maybe.
Programming

Submission + - Red Hat Developer Studio first contact (blogspot.com)

juanignaciosl writes: "First beta of Red Hat Developer Studio has just been published. This IDE is a bunch of Eclipse plugins which comes out from JBoss IDE and Exadel Studio fusion. The main advantages it offers are: JSF development improved, specially integrating RichFaces and Ajax4JSF libraries; Seam (next J2EE middleware standard?) integration; it also includes plugins for JBoss, Hibernate...

RHDS seems promising. Is finally the time Java development meets Visual Whatever integration?

If anybody wants to read on first impressions you can check my software engineering blog post on Red Hat Developer Studio installation."

Biotech

Journal Journal: Team finds way to create cancer stem cells 124

MIT scientists and colleagues have found a way to create in the lab large amounts of cancer stem cells, or cells that can initiate tumors. The work, reported in the August 13 issue of Cancer Cell, could be a boon to researchers who study these elusive cells. Labs could easily grow them for use in experiments.
Operating Systems

Submission + - The $2,500 Question - A New Computer 2

mdrebelx writes: For the first time in almost 30 years of computer use I am completely stymied about my next computer purchase. This will be a personal home computer and I am prepared to spend around $2,500 for my rig. Right now I am currently using a dual-boot computer with Windows XP and Kubuntu Linux. I use the computer to Web surf, listen to music, photo-editing, create music, some light word processing and spreadsheets, finances, taxes, and playing World of Warcraft or Half-Life 2 mods. Were it not for the games my decision would be so much easier. So my choices as I see it are: Kubuntu only, using Wine for the games. I got the games to run on my current system but the load times were excessive (2-3 minutes) and my framerates were pitiful. I am hoping this is only a limitation of my current computer but I have to say the games run well when I boot XP. Kubuntu/XP dual booting. I already have that and it gets bothersome to switch back and forth. Microsoft XP only. Yes it works and has the fewest hassles but I was hoping for an experience that says this is 2007. Also this OS has been marked for elimination and that just doesn't seem like a good place to start. Microsoft Vita. Everything tells me this would be a bad choice. Mac OS X. This is the system I know the least about but I am the most intrigued by. Mac has a positive spin. It is sleek and sexy and the recent Unix certification gives it a good pedigree. But will I be satisfied, because this choice has the largest degree of lock-in or commitment as it costs the most and it seems silly to wipe the drive for another OS if I'm unsatisfied. If someone would just make a virtual machine that could be allowed full access to the video card this would be a no-brainer. Opinions? Suggestions? Alternatives I might have missed?
Education

Journal Journal: Teaching Programming to Kids? 2

I'm an undergrad Math/CS student. One of my cousins, an exceptionally bright 11-year-old, is interested in learning to program. I'd like to give him some kind of direction; at least, more than I got: to teach him to avoid bad habits, use design patterns (OO vs procedural, especially) properly, and make sure that he stays interested. I'd like to see what Slashdot thinks: what are appropriate resources to use? Which language should I try to teach him? Are there any good books out there?
Windows

Submission + - Windows Vista fixes leaked to net

warpwhistle writes: Microsoft's upcoming Performance and Compatibility packs for Windows Vista have been leaked to the Internet two weeks before their expected release. While it isn't the Service Pack 1 release that Vista users were hoping for, it does take some steps to correct some of the mass-reported performance issues, and adds some extra functionality as well. According to AeroXperience, the service packs fix the serious file transfer slowdowns that occurred in previous revisions of Vista. The site claims that the new fixes improve transfer times by 120%.

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