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Submission + - Listening to hurricanes with underwater mics (

sciencehabit writes: Rather than fly an aircraft into the eye of a storm to learn about the destructive power of an oncoming hurricane, Science is reporting that simply throwing a few microphones into the water does the same trick. Sensitive hydrophones left over from the Cold War record the tempest and can provide accurate info about its wind speeds, etc. There's a link to a cool sound file of an underwater recording of Hurricane Gert.
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Psystar back selling Leopard computers (

mytrip writes: "Psystar is back online selling "white box" Macs with a few subtle changes, and one employee has already played the monopoly card.

As you might recall, Psystar's Web site was overwhelmed Monday after it was found to be selling cheap computers with Mac OS X Leopard preinstalled. This caused quite the commotion, as Apple does not license its operating system to other hardware makers, and specifically prohibits (PDF) end users from installing Mac OS X on anything other than an "Apple labeled" computer.

The company is also now offering the "OpenPro Computer" in addition to the Open Computer, which might remind you of a certain desktop computer sold by a certain California company that uses a piece of fruit as a logo. That machine costs $999, can be upgraded to quad-core processors, and is available with Leopard preinstalled.

None of those changes will allow Psystar to escape the basic question about its business model: Apple doesn't permit the installation of its operating system on anything but its hardware. One Psystar employee told Information Week that this requirement means Apple is behaving like a monopoly. "What if Microsoft said you could only install Windows on Dell computers?" the employee told IW."

Social Networks

Submission + - MySpace Friend Request Violates Protection Order ( 3

longacre writes: "In what is believed to be the first ruling of its kind in the U.S., a 16-year old girl faces a year behind bars after submitting a MySpace friend request to a woman and her two daughters who had an order of protection against the girl. Staten Island (NY) Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. ruled that even though MySpace users can ignore, deny or block friend requests, "that request was still a contact, and no contact was allowed" by the temporary order of protection."

Submission + - Finnish police censors blacklist critisism

An anonymous reader writes: The recently deployed domain blacklists in Finland meant for censoring child porn are already being abused by the police. a Finnish website spreading information and heavily criticising the blacklist was recently added to the list of blacklisted websites. While no official reason has been given, this has been most likely due to the website releasing list of known blacklisted websites. The police has warned that distributing a list of blocked domains may lead to juridical action.

Submission + - SPAM: FBI warns of Valentines Day Storm Worm virus

coondoggie writes: "The FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center today said that with the Valentine's Day holiday approaching, users should be on the lookout for spam e-mails spreading Storm Worm malware. The Storm Worm virus has capitalized on various holidays in the last year by sending millions of e-mails advertising an e-card link within the text of the spam e-mail. Valentine's Day has been identified as the next target. Others note another nefarious malware attack known as the Mega-D botnet, which offers discounted sexual enhancement pills to users, delivers a unreal 30% more spam than Storm, is also out the waiting to be set free in malicious Valentines cards. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Extragalactic meteor observed over Russia ( 3

KentuckyFC writes: "On 28 July 2006, Russian astronomers recorded the spectrum of a faint meteor as it burned up in the Earth's atmosphere (abstract on the physics arXiv). It soon became clear that this was no ordinary meteor. It hit the atmosphere at 300 kilometres per second, an order of magnitude faster than other meteors and faster than the Earth's velocity relative to anything else in the Milky Way. For this and other reasons, the astronomers conclude that the meteor must have come from beyond our galaxy."

Submission + - UK homes to get fibre ( 3

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC is reporting that the startup H2O Networks is preparing to roll out fibre-to-the-home in either Bournemouth, Northampton or Dundee, offering 100Mbps connections. H2O are using the sewers to lay fibre to avoid having to dig up the roads.

Submission + - Excellent OC guide for the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB (

crazyeyes writes: "Did you celebrate Christmas with a new NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB graphics card? Or did Crysis put you down in the dumps with poor frame rates?

Let us show you how to "correct" that problem and achieve better frame rates by overclocking the GPU and memory bus . We will also show you how much performance advantage you can expect from overclocking the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB in games like Crysis, Company of Heroes, BioShock and Supreme Commander. Here's a quote from the guide :-

"However, we did not want this to be an example of extreme overclocking, where you would need to resort to third-party coolers. With that method, you can achieve an incredible degree of overclocking but it would come at a significant cost. We wanted this attempt to come at "no cost" to the user. That meant overclocking the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB using its standard cooler."


Submission + - What is preventing FLOSS Nvidia 3D Drivers? 1

Slithe writes: What information is Nvidia not providing that would allow one to write FLOSS drivers for Nvidia cards? I am not an expert on this topic, so this is why I am asking Slashdot. A modern graphics card is basically a piece of hardware that can do matrix and vector operations very quickly, and modern graphics cards are programmable with shaders. I know that Nvidia graphics cards use the GPU assembly language, whose instructions are available and form the basis of writing shaders. I also know that X.Org has an open-source Nvidia driver for basic (i.e. not 2d or 3d accelerated) operation of the graphics card. Could someone take the Mesa OpenGL library and write a shader or set of shaders for every OpenGL function that the card should accelerate? What am I not seeing that would allow this to work?
Data Storage

Submission + - MegaUpload refuses payout - claims "fraud" 2

Farasha SilverSand writes: "Earlier this year, in October to be precise, LiveJournal user Cleolinda Jones updated her blog with an entry regarding a special campaign known as Project Download.

To make a long story short, Oregon resident Erin (LJ username redscorner) needed a series of brain surgeries that were both expensive and life-saving.

I suffer from two neurological disorders (Chiari malformation and cranial lesions) that will require a combined total of 2-4 brain surgeries. I'm unemployed and uninsured and the state I live in is so broke, they have strictly limited who qualifies for Medicaid. Because I have no children and am not pregnant, I don't qualify.

To Erin, MegaUpload's download reward program must have seemed like a godsend. For five million downloads, Erin would recieve $10,000, enough to pay for her brain surgeries.

The file to be downloaded was a small .txt file, basically thanking the downloader for participating and again explaining her situation.

In December, Erin reached her first milestone — 100,000 download points, listed on the reward page as paying out $100. Instead of waiting until the five million mark to cash in, Erin decided to claim her $100 reward, just to make sure MegaUpload really meant business.

Instead of her reward, Erin received an e-mail from MegaUpload stating that they would not pay her.

Dear Erin,

Our apologies for the late reply, our rewards staff was not in during Xmas.

We have decided not to pay you because of fraud. Your reward points were earned through small 2 KB txt files which were downloaded many times from the same IP's. This against our terms of service and reward rules.


Megaupload Abuse Department

Aside from being wholly unprofessional, the e-mail is not even consistent with MegaUpload's own Terms of Service regarding their rewards program, which state:

What is a qualifying download?

Up to one download per IP address per file per day will be counted. Downloads from certain countries or territories do not qualify. Click here for the current list of qualifying countries.

Absolutely no fraud

You will be disqualified and banned if you try to manipulate the results. Automated mass downloads are easily detected and strictly forbidden.

Only files up to 100 MB

Files larger than 100 MB do not qualify for the Rewards program.

The ToS do not state that files must meet a minimum requirement. They also do not state that multiple downloads from the same IP address on different dates are fraudulent and against the rules.

Erin is considering filing suit in small claims court, but since MegaUpload is allegedly based in Hong Kong, little to nothing might come from legal action.

MegaUpload's rewards program was more of a last-ditch effort than anything for Erin, and he whole situation should reiterate what most of us already know — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Submission + - Gmail accounts being deactivated. (

zratchet writes: "My Google account was disabled yesterday, and hundreds of other people have been seeing accounts randomly disabled since the beginning of December. See here, here, and here for the hundreds of people that have been frustrated by this issue. Thankfully Google is working on the issue, but my account is not re-enabled yet. Just getting the news out, and wondering if anyone else has had this happen. The last two URLs need a Google Account to log in."

Submission + - [Easy as Pie] Ajax Requests (

An anonymous reader writes: This article offers some good advice on forming XMLHttpRequests (AKA Ajax) in an easy-to-understand tutorial. The author gives two examples, a voting script and a 'shout box' which are run with Ajax and PHP. (The previous article is equally informative, [Easy as Pie] Unobtrusive JavaScript details the benefits of unobtrusive JavaScript and offers a function to do it very easily.)

Submission + - CIA analyst addresses public in Portsmouth, NH (

How To Get Your Ex Back writes: "The story was first reported in The Portsmouth Times Newspaper, a small town paper and not online. The article, Former CIA Analyst Says Evidence Abounds for Impeachment, has been relayed to online new sites. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, addressed a group of people in Portsmouth, NH, December 17th, with evidence relating directly to the non-evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the President's desire to invade and cover up the truth. "Don't let anyone tell you the President was deceived by false intelligence ... they knew," McGovern said. Mr. McGovern is also supported by Dennis Kucinich, a lagging but hopeful Democratic Presidential Candidate. "The argument for impeachment is overwhelming," Randy Kezar of Kingston said after the event. "Impeachment is constitutionally required.""

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