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Comment Re:Why not C (Score 2) 38

A few notes on this. We're using Emscripten to compile interpreters written in C to LLVM bytecode then to JavaScript. Emscripten supports both static and dynamic library loading by compiling the libraries to JavaScript. The Python standard library on, for example, loads dynamic libraries, so it's definitely doable. Performance is of course not amazing, but for a REPL, it's certainly good enough.

Submission + - A client-side web REPL for 15+ languages (

MaxShaw writes: " is an online REPL that supports running code in 15+ languages, from Ruby to Scheme, to QBasic, in the browser. It is intended as a tool for learning new languages and experimenting with code on the go. All the code is open sourced under the MIT license and available from GitHub ("

Submission + - Bing Is Cheating, Copying Google Search Results (

An anonymous reader writes: Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.

Submission + - Google Launches Voice-Tweet Service For Egyptians (

An anonymous reader writes: A new service allows Egyptians to circumvent Internet blocks and tweet by telephone

Google has launched a service aimed at allowing Egyptians to post Twitter messages without the use of an Internet connection.

The move follows the blackout of Internet services in Egypt, amid protests demanding the ousting of the country’s president, Hosni Mubarak.

Voice messages
The service allows users to dial into any of three international telephone numbers and leave a voice message. The messages are instantly translated into text and posted on Twitter using the hashtag #egypt, according to Google.

Users can listen to the voice messages by dialling into the same numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) or going to

The voice-tweet service was devised by a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company Google acquired last week.

“Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground,” wrote Google product manager AbdelKarim Mardini and SayNow co-founder Ujjwal Singh on the official Google blog. “Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service — the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.”


Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."
The Internet

Submission + - My Second Day of Gmail Outage

Tom DBA writes: This is my second day of Gmail outage. Cnet has a report on yesterday's outage at . Previously I've had a few minutes outage, max. This forces me to rethink my using Gmail, assuming Google makes that possible again. It's not email if it's Error 502. Clouds of fault tolerant, failing over servers which pick up where other drop off, eh? I had avoided signing up for Google Voice because I didn't want Google to accumulate even more data on me. Now I think what life would be like if for a couple of days people knew how to get me using my Google Voice number and Google Voice was as reliable is Gmail is showing itself to be. I don't quite see how I am a member of a small subset of subscribers suffering a loss of availability in Silicon valley as the Cnet article describes. I'm in Austin.

Submission + - Obama Proposes Spy Training Corps for Colleges

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration has proposed the creation of an intelligence officer training program in colleges and universities that would function much like the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) run by the military services creating a stream "of first- and second-generation Americans, who already have critical language and cultural knowledge, and prepare them for careers in the intelligence agencies." Students attending participating colleges and universities who agree to take the specialized courses would apply to the national intelligence director for admittance to the program, whose administrators would select individuals "competitively" for financial assistance. The students' participation in the program would probably be kept secret to prevent them from being identified by foreign intelligence services, according to an official familiar with the proposal. The intelligence officer training program would build on previous pilot programs including the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRIST) that provides monetary incentive to college students who pursue studies in critical language specialties, area studies, and technical and scientific specialties. Applicants to the PRIST are cautioned that they "must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last 12 months" and that although "friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an applicant for or an employee of the CIA," their interest, "may not be benign or in your best interest.""

Submission + - Windows 7 sets direction of low power CPU market ( 1

Vigile writes: News is circulating today about Microsoft setting hardware limits for the Windows 7 Starter Edition rather than sticking to the 3 application limit. With just a few simple specifications Microsoft has set the tech world spinning though — not only is Microsoft deciding that a netbook is now defined as having a 10.2 inch or smaller screen but by setting a 15 watt limit to CPU thermal dissipation they may have inadvertently set the direction of CPU technology for years to come. If Microsoft sticks to that licensing spec, AMD, Intel, VIA and maybe even NVIDIA (who might be building an x86 CPU) will no doubt put a new focus on power efficiency in order to cash in on the lucrative netbook market.

Submission + - Microsoft blocks Messenger Live in Five Countries

Spooky McSpookster writes: Microsoft has turned off its Windows Live Messenger service for five countries: Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. Users in these countries trying to log in get the following error: "810003c1: We were unable to sign you in to the .NET Messenger Service." Why now, since this flies in the face of the Obama administration's softening on Cuba? This isn't the first time the US Trade Embargo has had questionable outcomes. US-based Syrian political activist George Ajjan created a web site promoting democracy in Syria, only to find GoDaddy blocked anyone inside Syria from seeing it.

ArsTechnica argues "Messenger is a medium for communication, and the citizens of these countries should not be punished from such a basic tool because the US has problems with their governments policies." What does this say for the wisdom of non-US citizens relying on US companies for their business or communication? What about Microsoft's Product Validation or "Genuine DisAdvantage"?

Submission + - Do cells use light to communicate? (

SilverLobe writes: The hypothesis that living cells may use photons for communications has been on the fringes of cell biology for a while. No proof positive exists, but there is some strong circumstantial evidence. Byte Size Biology reports of a simple experiment that shows how the unicellular protozoan Paramecium may use so called "biophotons" to signal for growth and feeding. The original article in PLoS ONE concludes: "...not all cellular processes are necessarily based on a molecule-receptor recognition. The non-molecular signals are most probably photons. If so, cells use more than one frequency for information transfer and mutual influence."

Submission + - College Papers Won't Rewrite History for Alumni

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that as college papers have begun digitizing their back issues, their Web sites have become the latest front in the battle over online identities. Youthful activities like underage drinking that once would have disappeared into the recesses of a campus library are now preserved on the public record and alumni are contacting newspapers with requests for redaction because unlike Facebook profiles — that other notable source of young-adult embarrassment — the ability to remove or edit questionable content in these cases is out of the author's hands. In 2007, Cornell University alumnus Kevin G. Vanginderen sued the Cornell Chronicle over a newly digitized article from 1983 that reported he had been charged with burglary while a student at Cornell. Vanginderen found the article after Googling his name and claimed that its new presence online was causing him "mental anguish" and "loss of reputation" but a California judge threw out the case after determining the report to be accurate. Some student papers, like The University Daily Kansan, have found a middle ground by adding the noindex meta tag so that the documents stay online, but search engines such as Google do not index it. "I thought that would be better than kind of like sticking it to [the alum] and saying the paper is always right and we can publish anything on the Web we want," says the paper's editor, Brenna Hawley. "There's no reason to ... when we have a way to make it so we please both parties.""

Submission + - Circuit City is baaaack.

An anonymous reader writes: Systemax Inc., a leading multi-channel retailer of computers, electronics, and industrial products, has purchased the Circuit City brand, trademark, website and other assets. The purchased assets include the customer records of the original Circuit City. As part of our "Customer First" initiative, and respect for your privacy, you can opt-out of having your personally identifiable information transferred to the new Circuit City. Personally identifiable information may include name, address, email, phone, and purchase history. However, it DOES NOT include credit card data or other personal financial information; this information will not be transferred to us at all. If you opt-out prior to June 9th, your personal information will be purged and you will no longer receive email communications from Circuit City. If you wish to Opt-out of having your personal information transferred to the new, you can click here to opt-out now. If you have no objections, thank you. Stay tuned to discover the new and exciting world of the re-launched Lower Prices, Wider Selection, Faster Shipping, World Class Service! As part of the re-launch, the new has adopted a new Privacy Policy. The new Privacy Policy ensures that your personal information remains safe. We will not rent, sell or otherwise disclose your personal information to unrelated third parties except as stated in the Privacy Policy. (Click here to view the new Privacy Policy.) If you do not opt-out of the transfer of your customer information by June 9, 2009 the new Privacy Policy will be applicable to you. We encourage you to try out the new and know that we will always respect your privacy and honor your requests. Regards, Gilbert Fiorentino — Chief Executive Systemax Technology Group

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