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Comment Mobinet (Score 2, Informative) 145

Mobinet is an open-source platform for mobile objects programming (simulation, games, graphics, maths-physics, ...). It is developed by INRIA Grenoble in France and used to initiate students (from high school to university) to games programming, or more generally to provide them with a concrete intuitive and fun version of the notions seen in math and physics course.

Submission + - The Real Function of the Appendix (

eldavojohn writes: "PhysOrg has an interesting article on research currently up for review concerning the appendix. Long considered an evolutionary oddity in the human body or at most a nuisance that needs to be removed, it now seems that the medical community is hypothesizing that in the past it acted as a "safe house" for the good germs that populate our digestive tracts. In the past, this would have been necessary had something destroyed the germs in someone's digestive system although today you can reclaim these germs just by interacting with other people. The article also notes that appendicitis occurs at a lower rate in underdeveloped countries and adds to the theory that appendicitis may be another case of an overly hygienic society triggering an overreaction by the body's immune system. It's long been theorized that asthma, allergies & polio are diseases or conditions that increase when we are not exposed to the pathogens at a young age. Could appendicitis be another case where our increasing sanitation reduces our exposure to things that kill our digestive germs thus, in turn, causing us to over react when we finally are exposed to them? This research certainly raises some interesting questions."

Submission + - Inserting your virtual copy in a game

Roland Piquepaille writes: "French researchers have developed a new system to enable users to insert virtual copies of themselves into video games or on the Web. This system combines high performance video acquisition, computation and graphics rendering. It was introduced last week at SIGGRAPH 2007. This system is called GrImage (for 'grid' and 'image') — a French word which also means 'make-up' for actors — a pretty bad choice in my opinion. Anyway, it could be used to control your realistic avatars not only in games, but also in video conferences. But read more for additional references and a picture showing how GrImage captures your image."

Submission + - SciTalks - The YouTube for Science Geeks (

Jared writes: "Billed as the "YouTube for Geeks," the YouTube-style site offers streaming science lectures. Segments range from a series of hour-long lectures by the late Richard Feynman, to a short, hilarious Ali G interview with Noam Chomsky, and a fascinating talk on designing a semiconductor-based brain, by up-and-coming Stanford researcher Kwabena Boahen. Users can also submit links to additional lectures to be listed on the site, search for upcoming science conferences, and even upload their own video content. "It's like crack for science geeks," says founder Lee Vodra. s+-+'SciTalks'+launches%2C+offers+streaming+scienc e+lectures"


Submission + - Volunteer to be a Space Pioneer for ESA experiment (

number6x writes: "The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for volunteers for a simulated trip to Mars. The simulation will put a crew of six in isolation for 17 months. The crew will be made up of 4 Russians and 2 Europeans. In all the ESA will need 12 volunteers for back up purposes.

Seventeen months was chosen to simulate the time needed for the journey to Mars and back, as well as a 30 period spent doing experiments on the red planet."


Submission + - Faster integer multiplication

origins writes: On the STOC 2007,thesis about faster integer multiplication was submitted. According to the thesis,multiplication can be calculated faster than ever. Schönhage&Strassen algorithm was known as fastest(O(n log n log log n)) but now Martin Fürer algorithm was((n log n 2^O(log* n)). improvement of multiplication algorithm after decades is quite interesting.
Martin Fürer's homepage
The thesis

Submission + - Solar Panels to get Real Cheap Real Fast (

hankmt writes: "A worldwide shortage of silicon has kept prices of solar panels high. But as new technology comes to market and new silicon manufacturing plants go online all over the world, the market will have surplus of silicon and the price of solar panels will likely drop by over 40% in the next three years!"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Viking Age Mickey Mouse (

janap writes: From the (Swedish) article: "An 1100 year old Mickey Mouse has been unearthed at Sweden's largest excavation of an Iron Age village. The find was made at the town of Uppakra, just south of the city of Lund." At the site, although less than two percent of the area has been excavated, more than 20,000 objects have been found to date. The finds are on display at the Historical Museum in Lund, where the Mickey Mouse figurine enjoys its own shelf. Upon the question of whether copyright issues with the Disney Corporation now will ensue, the curator Jerry Rosengren laughs and offers; "No, we were clearly first!"

Submission + - NY Times Trashes Open Source

An anonymous reader writes: From siness/20hack.html?pagewanted=2&ref=smallbusiness
In a NY Times article about small businesses and network security : "Many use open-source software, which is free on the Internet...Some of that software, because it is written by relatively unskilled programmers, has a poor security record." It goes on to discuss the 'threat' of PHP and Ajax.

Submission + - the largest non-commercial rocket launch in Europe

jaweekes writes: The TV program "Top Gear" recently launched the "largest non-commercial rocket launch in European history" in the form of a rocket-propelled Reliant Robin. From the article /shuttle.shtml "What could possibly be so difficult about building a space shuttle? Quite a lot, as it turns out. This was easily Top Gear's most ambitious film and, while everything didn't go quite according to plan, we're still very proud of the results. Here are just a few of the things that happened when we tried to put an ageing three-wheeler into space."

Submission + - OLPC has kill-switch as theft deterrent

Sid writes: Ars reports that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO has an anti-thieft daemon in the OS that can be used to remotely disable machines, much like WGA. The Project added the kill switch at the behest of a few countries concerned laptop theft. From the report, "OLPC has responded to such concerns by developing an anti-theft daemon that the project claims cannot be disabled, even by a user with root access. Participating countries can then provide identifying information such as a serial number to a given country's OLPC program oversight entity, which can then disable the devices in certain scenarios."

Submission + - Regrowing lost body parts coming in the future

[TheBORG] writes: "There are two stories on Yahoo! News about regrowing lost body parts. One is about regrowing lost fingers & limbs and the other one is about regrowing teeth. The story about regrowing lost fingers and limbs talks about the experimental use of powdered pig bladder to regrow fingers and eventually lost limbs for soldiers and others in need from information that Pentagon-funded scientists hopefully learn from studying the salamander. The story about regrowing teeth talks about how Japanese scientists used primitive cells (not quite as early as stem cells) and injected them into a framework of collagen (the material that holds the body together). Once grown to a certain point, scientists implanted the growths into mice where the teeth developed normally."

Submission + - CompUSA Gives Customer 4+ Month Run-around

Andy writes: "I've had an ongoing...adventure...with CompUSA's repair and customer service departments for the last four months, the short version of which is that — two years in a row — they damaged my laptop while repairing it (this second time more than once!) and are dragging their feet in responding to me and replacing the computer their service center damaged. I've tried to handle it privately for four months, but at this point, I'm running out of options and hope that Slashdot can help bring some attention to my troubles and turn the heat up on CompUSA a bit so they'll do the right thing!

In October 2005 I brought my Sony laptop to them for service, and it came back with all the case screws in the wrong places, causing physical damage to the case and a big loose gap in the front edge. Then, a year later, they again returned my laptop to me with incorrect screws, and with a wad of tape wedged between the keyboard and the cooling fan!

That started a saga, still ongoing, with more missing screws, a heat-related video problem, a damaged hinge cover, missing protective covers for the LCD's screws, and four months of broken promises, abysmal customer disservice, and lack of returned calls on all levels from the local store's tech services manager, operations manager, and GM up to the corporate manager of customer service and chief of escalation.

I've posted my story on my blog at (posts are in reverse order, since it's a blog!)

Please help me spread my story, and hold CompUSA responsible for mistreating their customers like this!

— Andy

P.S.-For futher episodes of CompUSA being involved in grossly mishandling repairs, see 5"

Submission + - Year of the pig Google Logo censured

Staalorm writes: Using anon proxy you can see that many countries don't display the Chinese "year of the pig" logo from Google. USA has it and China too, but many European countries don't. What is the criteria Google uses not to display the piglet-logo? In previous years all countries could view the "year of the monkey" and the "year of the dog". Are Google afraid of an Islamic equivalent of the Danish cartoon-row?

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