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Space

No Naked Black Holes 317

Science News reports on a paper to be published in Physical Review Letters in which an international team of researchers describes their computer simulation of the most violent collision imaginable: two black holes colliding head-on at nearly light-speed. Even in this extreme scenario, Roger Penrose's weak cosmic censorship hypothesis seems to hold — the resulting black hole (after the gravitational waves have died down) retains its event horizon. "Mathematically, 'naked' singularities, or those without event horizons, can exist, but physicists wouldn't know what to make of them. All known mechanisms for the formation of singularities also create an event horizon, and Penrose conjectured that there must be some physical principle — a 'cosmic censor' — that forbids singularity nakedness ..."
PC Games (Games)

First Deus Ex 3 Details Emerge 157

Ostracus writes "Deus Ex 3, the third entry in the influential FPS/RPG series, was confirmed to be in development by Eidos Montreal nearly a year ago — and now the first solid details on the game have finally emerged. UK magazine PC Zone has a cover story on Deus Ex 3 for their 200th issue (which has reportedly just begun reaching subscribers), and CVG has relayed a number of interesting tidbits from the preview: '... this time around combat won't be influenced by stats, but will rely purely on your personal marksmanship skills. Instead stats will influence "a vast array of fully upgradeable and customisable weapons," and you'll be able to tailor your arsenal to your play style with mag upgrades, scopes and other add-ons. What's more, stealth will now rely on a cover system rather than shadows, and damage will be dealt with by a very Call of Duty-style auto-heal.'"
Transportation

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spawns Real-Life Car 93

Car Analogy Please writes to tell us that a new car unveiled at the Paris Auto Show was modeled after the Gran Turismo 5 Prologue car. GTbyCITROËN is the first car that has been designed in tandem with a video game to then spill out onto the actual pavement. "The GTbyCITROËN is the product of a partnership built up during the creation of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Takumi Yamamoto, from Citroen and Kazunori Yamauchi from Polyphony Digital Inc, the games developer were inspired by each others industries to design a concept car for the game that then flowed further into the real-world. The game version of the car mirrors the real-world performance of the concept."
Wireless Networking

Replacing Fiber With 10 Gigabit/Second Wireless 107

Chicken_dinner writes "Engineers at Battelle have come up with a way to send data through the air at 10 Gigabits per second using point-to-point millimeter-wave technology. They used standard optical networking equipment and essentially combined two lower bandwidth signals to produce a 10Gb signal from the interference. They say the technology could replace fiber optics around large campuses or companies or even deliver high-bandwidth streaming within the home."
Windows

MS Reportedly Adds 6 Months of Vista Downgrade 244

LiteralKa sends in a poorly sourced Reg story claiming that Microsoft has granted OEMs six more months to sell PCs using Windows Vista with the support to downgrade to Windows XP. OEMs can now offer such arrangements until July 31, 2009 — the previous deadline was January 31, 2009. The article claims as source "a Reg reader" without further details. Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up.
Operating Systems

Linux Rescues Battery Life On Vista Notebooks From Dell 200

nerdyH writes "Dell is preparing to ship two enterprise-oriented Windows Vista notebooks with an interesting feature — a built-in TI OMAP (smartphone) processor that can power instantly into Linux. The 'Latitude ON' feature is said to offer 'multi-day' battery life, while letting users access email, the web, contacts, calendar, and so on, using the notebook's full-size screen and keyboard. I wonder if someday we'll just be able to plug our phones into our laptops, switching to the phone's processor when we need to save battery life? Or, maybe x86 will just get a lot more power-efficient. Speaking at MontaVista's Vision event today, OLPC spokesperson and longtime kernel hacker Deepak Saxena said the project is aiming for 10-20 hours of battery life during active use, on existing hardware (AMD Geode LX800 clocked at 500MHz, with 1GB of Flash and 256MB of RAM)."
Biotech

Training Bacteria To Deliver Drugs? 29

Hugh Pickens writes "While it may seem unlikely that single-celled organisms could be trained to salivate like Pavlov's dog at the sound of a bell, researchers say that bacteria can 'learn' to associate one stimulus with another by employing molecular circuits. This raises the possibility that bioengineers could teach bacteria to act as sentinels for the human body, ready to spot and respond to signs of danger. As with Pavlov's dog, the bacteria in the model learn to build stronger associations between the two stimuli the more they occur together. Now called Hebbian learning, it's often expressed as a situation in which 'neurons that fire together wire together.'" (More below.)
Classic Games (Games)

16th World Computer Chess Championship In Progress 183

vmartell writes "The 16th World Computer Chess Championship is now in progress in Beijing, as part of the Computer Games Championship. Currently in the lead are Rybka 3.0, recognized as the world's strongest chess engine and Hiarcs, another commercial engine. Another curiosity is a Java ME based engine running on a Nokia phone, which is currently being trounced by the other engines. A very interesting sideline: before the computer tournament, a Women's Grandmaster played two games against Rybka. The result? Rybka won both games!"
The Almighty Buck

South Korea's Free Computer Game Business Model Hits the US 159

Anti-Globalism writes with this excerpt from AFP via Yahoo! News: "Seoul-based 'free-to-play' computer game titan Nexon on Wednesday blasted into the US videogame arena with a 'Combat Arms' online first-person shooter title that makes its cash from optional 'micro-transactions' by players. The game makes its money from players that buy animated helmets, outfits, emblems or other virtual items to customize in-game characters. To keep the battlefield even, players earn experience or advanced weaponry by skill so people essentially can't pay for power. ... Startups and established game makers including Japanese goliath Sony are venturing into the free computer game market, according to DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole. 'It looks like it could be very big,' Cole told AFP. 'It's one of the things everybody seems to be looking at. The challenge is it is a very new model and it remains to be seen whether customers used to a free model will be tight when it comes to actually spending money on it.'"
Upgrades

Cell Chip Coming To the PC Via a PCI Express Card 164

arcticstoat writes with an excerpt from Custom PC: "After developing a brand new CPU architecture from the ground-up, you'd expect that Toshiba, Sony and IBM would have more uses for the Cell architecture than the PlayStation 3, and Toshiba has been quick to make use of the architecture's HD video transcoding abilities in its new Qosimo laptops. However, Leadtek is now taking Toshiba's efforts a step further by putting the chip onto a PCI-E card for desktop PCs. The WinFast PxVC1100 is based on Toshiba's SpursEngine SE1000 processor, which is a cut-down version of the Cell chip. The SpursEngine chip features four SPEs (synergistic processing elements) based on 128-bit RISC cores, along with H.264 and MPEG-2 codecs, but it doesn't contain its own CPU as the chip in the PS3 does. The chip is capable of encoding and decoding H.264, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video streams in hardware."
Transportation

Plug-in Hybrids May Not Go Mainstream, Toyota Says 519

mattnyc99 writes "Honda's challenger to the Prius — the Insight hybrid that we discussed so lividly a month ago — got its official unveiling today at the Paris auto show, with insiders confirming it would be cheaper than the world's most popular 'green' car while still hitting the same fuel-efficiency range. But the hybrid-electric showdown comes in the midst of a sudden rethink by Toyota about plug-in hybrids. Apparently all the recent hype — over the production version of the Chevy Volt, plus Chrysler's new electric trio and even the cool new Pininfarina EV also unveiled today — has execs from the world's number one automaker, and alt-fuel experts, questioning how many people will really buy electric cars, whether people will really charge them at night to keep the grid clear, whether batteries will make them too expensive and more. "
Operating Systems

How Kernel Hackers Boosted the Speed of Desktop Linux 380

chromatic writes "Kernel hackers Arjan van de Ven and Auke Kok showed off Linux booting in five seconds at last month's Linux Plumbers Conference. Arjan and other hackers have already improved the Linux user experience by reducing power consumption and latency. O'Reilly News interviewed him about his work on improving the Linux experience with PowerTOP, LatencyTOP, and Five-Second Boot."
Portables

Researchers Re-Examine Second Law of Thermodynamics 125

Many readers have written to tell us that researchers are examining the possibility of using Brownian ratchets to help combat the problem of heat dissipation in miniaturized electronics. "Currently, devices are engineered to operate near thermal equilibrium, in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that heat tends to transfer from a hotter unit to a cooler one. However, using the concept of Brownian ratchets, which are systems that convert non-equilibrium energy to do useful work, the researchers hope to allow computers to operate at low power levels, and harness power dissipated by other functions. 'The main quest we have is to see if by departing from near-equilibrium operation, we can perform computation more efficiently,' Ghosh told iTnews. 'We aren't breaking the Second Law — that's not what we are claiming,' he said. 'We are simply re-examining its implications, as much of the established understanding of power dissipation is based on near-equilibrium operation.'"

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