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Movies

How Watchmen Killed 'R'-rated Fantasy Movies 771

An anonymous reader writes "Of all the Hollywood properties consigned to development hell in the reductionist policy of the last 3-4 years of bad economy, the very last to have a prospect of a green light are expensive fantasy and SF projects that fall outside the 'family' remit. Not even the addition of James Cameron to David Fincher's Heavy Metal remake has stopped its begging-bowl passage from studio to studio; Robert Rodriguez's propriety of the Barbarella remake likewise toured the world in vain, apparently unmindful of the very unusual set of cultural and demographic circumstances that caused a major studio to back an 'erotic space opera' in 1968 — and to the fact that these circumstances are not likely to reoccur. David Fincher lamented in 2008 that the creation of dazzling artificial movie worlds is limited to family-friendly output — but in the long wake of the box-office disappointment of the 'R'-rated Watchmen movie, there seems no current prospect that the adults will ever get to play with the kids' toys again." The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.
NASA

How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble 185

An anonymous reader writes "In cleanrooms around the country NASA and its contractors are building the James Webb Space Telescope, a marvel of engineering scheduled to launch in 2014. This gallery shows the features that will allow Webb to take the universe's baby pictures in infrared — most notably an 18-segment mirror and a 5-layer sunshield. I can't wait until Webb settles into its Lagrangian point way out beyond the moon and gets to work."
NASA

Stardust Mission Makes First-Ever Return To Comet 47

RedEaredSlider writes "NASA's Stardust probe made its closest approach to comet Tempel-1 on Monday night, marking the first time a comet has ever been revisited by a spacecraft. The mission, formally called Stardust-NeXT, for New EXploration of Tempel-1, was launched on its way in 2006. On Monday night it came within 181 kilometers (112 miles) of the comet, taking pictures and measuring the amount and composition of dust in the comet's coma, the plume of gas that surrounds it. It approached the comet at about 10.6 kilometers (6.7 miles) per second, making it one of the fastest probes that has yet flown. Stardust made its closest approach at 11:39 p.m. Eastern and after that, swung around its high-gain antenna towards Earth to transmit its data. The comet and spacecraft are about 336 million kilometers (209 million miles) away, so signals take a full 18 minutes to get to Earth."
Android

Google To Merge Honeycomb and Gingerbread 158

eldavojohn writes "In Barcelona, Google's Eric Schmidt has been revealing future plans for Google, saying that the next release will merge smartphone and tablet versions of its mobile operating system Android. Aside from bragging about Android's growth, Schmidt tiptoed around a question of Google acquiring Twitter, instead offering the very nebulous statement that YouTube doubled its revenues last year."
Biotech

Cancer Cells Detected Using $400 Digital Camera 90

fergus07 writes "Researchers have detected oral cancer cells using a fiber-optic cable and an off-the-shelf Olympus E-330 camera worth $400. The work by Rice University biomedical engineers and researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center could improve access to diagnostic imaging tools in many parts of the world where these expensive resources are scarce. In the tests, a common fluorescent dye was used to make cell nuclei glow brightly and images were taken using the tip of the fiber-optic bundle attached to the camera. The distorted nuclei, which indicate cancerous and pre-cancerous cells, could then be distinguished on the camera's LCD monitor."
Education

Science Historian Deciphers Plato's Code 402

Reader eldavojohn tips the news of a researcher in the UK, Jay Kennedy, who has uncovered a hidden code in the writings of Plato. From the University of Manchester press release: "[Dr. Kennedy said] 'I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato. This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation.' ... The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea — the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. ... Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for pleasure — it was for his own safety. Plato's ideas were a dangerous threat to Greek religion. He said that mathematical laws and not the gods controlled the universe. Plato's own teacher [Socrates] had been executed for heresy. Secrecy was normal in ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge, but for Plato it was a matter of life and death." Here is the paper (PDF), which was published in the journal Apeiron: A Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Science.
Canada

Bionic-Eyed Man Wants To Stream Eye Video Online 115

An anonymous reader writes "According to this IEEE article, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence, who calls himself Eyeborg because he replaced his false right eye with a bionic one, is showing off his latest prototype. The new bionic eye contains a battery-powered, wireless video camera that can transmit a low-res feed to a nearby receiver. Now Spence plans to share his 'vision' online, literally. According to the IEEE article, 'soon people will be able to log on to his video feed and view the world through his right eye.'"
Image

Japanese Company Turns Diapers Into Energy Source Screenshot-sm 65

greenrainbow writes "A Japanese company called Super Faith has developed a new machine that turns used adult diapers into a clean fuel source in about 24 hours. You simply place the bag of dirty diapers in the machine, and once set it motion it pulverizes, sanitizes and dries the material in the diapers and then forms it into small pellets that contain 5000 kcal of heat per kilogram and are meant to be used in biomass heating and electricity systems. Super Faith has reportedly installed two SFD systems at a hospital in Tokyo's Machida area. Each is capable of turning 700 pounds of used diapers — and everything they hold — into fuel every day."
Games

More Evidence For Steam Games On Linux 256

SheeEttin writes "Back in November 2008, Phoronix reported that Linux libraries appeared in the Left 4 Dead demo, and then in March, Valve announced that Steam and the Source engine were coming to Mac OS X. Now, Phoronix reports that launcher scripts included with the (closed beta) Mac version of Steam include explicit support for launching a Linux version."

Submission + - Rumor: Palm ditching webOS for Android? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Jon Rubinstein, in an internal Palm memo that will be released in full shortly, is showing support for Android to replace the webOS on the Palm Pre Plus. Citing competition with the iPhone and exponential growth from the Android operating system (specifically mentioning the Motorola Droid), the leaked memo first came as a confidential internal email to certain members of the software development branch of the company.

The memo partially states: "While Palm is incredibly proud of our engineers who spent timeless work and effort to bring us this advanced operating system, consumers simply have not caught on. To provide a better future for ourselves and our customers, the only logical choice is to transition our hardware and software to the Android platform."

WebOS won't officially go away (the UI and notifications feature, which have been heavily praised by reviewers, are more than likely going to be integrated, a la Sense UI, into the Android platform), according to the memo.

Software engineers are to begin working on Palm's own builds of Android as soon as the device maker officially joins the Open Handset Alliance, which other executives at Palm say could be as soon as next week. An official statement from the company is expected as soon as the union is made.

Palm Inc.'s stock took a nosedive earlier this month when it was reported that its projections for revenue were down 50% than initially estimated. On Friday, the stock fell $1.65, or 29%, to $4.00. That value remained relatively unchanged during Monday's trading.

The full leaked memo will be posted on wikileaks.org around midnight Eastern.
Censorship

IOC Orders Blogger To Take Down Video 389

An anonymous reader writes "The International Olympic Committee has ordered a blogger to remove a video from his website showing the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. The IOC asserts that it owns all the rights to all images taken at the games, and only licensed broadcasters can use them. However, the blogger, Stephen Pate, points to a Canadian law that allows copyrighted images to be used in newsworthy cases."
Image

"Tube Map" Created For the Milky Way Screenshot-sm 142

astroengine writes "Assuming you had an interstellar spaceship, how would you navigate around the galaxy? For starters, you'd probably need a map. But there's billions of stars out there — how complex would that map need to be? Actually, Samuel Arbesman, a research fellow from Harvard, has come up with a fun solution. He created the 'Milky Way Transit Authority (MWTA),' a simple transit system in the style of the iconic London Underground 'Tube Map.' (Travel Tip: Don't spend too much time loitering around the station at Carina, there's some demolition work underway.)"
Java

Sun's Project Darkstar Game Server Platform No More 82

sproketboy writes "Project Darkstar, an open source software platform from Sun labs that simplifies the development of horizontally scalable servers for online games, is being discontinued as of the Oracle acquisition. This project, mentioned a couple of years back on Slashdot, was a unique concept for building an application server specific to on-line gaming. Sadly they were so close at version 0.9.11 (which is still very stable). Hopefully the open source community can get involved and help continue work on this project."
Piracy

App Store Piracy Losses Estimated At $459 Million 202

An anonymous reader passes along this quote from a report at 24/7 Wall St.: "There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers." A response posted at Mashable takes issue with some of the figures, particularly the 75% piracy rate. While such rates have been seen with game apps, it's unclear whether non-game apps suffer the same fate.
Wii

Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon 325

As high-definition graphics become more and more entrenched in this generation of game consoles, Nintendo has had to deal with constant speculation about a new version of the Wii that would increase its capabilities. Today, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime bluntly denied that a hardware revision was imminent, saying, "We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it." He added, "In terms of what the future holds, we've gone on record to say that the next step for Nintendo in home consoles will not be to simply make it HD, but to add more and more capability, and we'll do that when we've totally tapped out all of the experiences for the existing Wii. And we're nowhere near doing that yet."

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