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Submission + - Natural Disaster to be Declared in France Due To Flooding

jones_supa writes: BBC reports that because of heavy rains across Europe, some towns in central France are suffering their severest floods in decades. In Paris the river Seine continues to rise, prompting the closure of a metro line running through the city centre. Rail operator SNCF announced the closure of the RER C line, which runs alongside the river in central Paris. Emergency barriers are being put up along Seine, which burst its banks in places. Louvre, the most-visited museum in the world, is closing on Friday as a precaution. Another major attraction, the Musee d'Orsay, is also shutting its doors early on Thursday. About 25,000 people are without power in Paris and central France. In Nemours, 3,000 people have been evacuated from the town centre. The Loing river, a tributary of the Seine, now has levels not seen since the devastating floods of 1910. The list of disastrous events goes on. Baltimore Sun has a photo collection of the situation.
Math

Submission + - Open Source Mathematical Software

An anonymous reader writes: The American Mathematical society has an opinion piece about open source software vs propietary software used in mathematics. From the article : "Increasingly, proprietary software and the algorithms used are an essential part of mathematical proofs. To quote J. Neubüser, 'with this situation two of the most basic rules of conduct in mathematics are violated: In mathematics information is passed on free of charge and everything is laid open for checking.'"
User Journal

Journal SPAM: Does the iPhone have a built-in spyware module? 2

The underground hacker team "web-Hack" from Russia released a whitepaper with results of iPhone firmware research where they reverse-engineered embedded functions. They claim discovery of a built-in function which sends all data from an iPhone to a specified web-server. Contacts from a phonebook, SMS, recent calls, history of Safari browser - all your personal information - can be stolen. Researchers as

Power

Submission + - BP permitted by Indiana to pollute Lake Michigan (chicagotribune.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil. They justified the move in part by noting the project will create 80 new jobs. ...
The company will now be allowed to dump an average of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of sludge into Lake Michigan every day.

Privacy

Submission + - The Pirate Bay are working on a more secure bittor

eZtaR writes: A recent interview with the main coder of The Pirate Bay, unveils that they are working on a more secure version of the bittorrent protocol (Around 5:10). He states that it will, in fact, be open source. But they want to rely on other people for making the client software, hoping that the major bittorrent-clients will adapt to the new protocol.
The Internet

Submission + - Is it time to abandon traditional domain names? 2

jadin writes: "We started with .com .net .org .gov .edu etc which worked as a good way to remember URLs, as well as to a limited degree identify the type of website. Things have since expanded to include countless others. We've more or less abandoned a general identifying system. In addition many of the best website names are registered, not by people making websites, but by people looking to make a future profit. So is there any reason we can't abandon it completely to allow unlimited domain name types? This would provide endless possibilities for unique and interesting domain names. This could encourage a lot more creativity in thinking up the perfect domain name. While unlimited domains won't eliminate squatters, it would definitely open up a lot more opportunities to people actually producing websites, and make it a lot harder to monopolize .coms etc. Some random examples: http://micro.soft/ http://google.search/ http://campbells.soup/ http://slashdot.dot/ Is there any reason why this wouldn't work? Technical or otherwise?"
Programming

Submission + - AjaxLife, Second Life-via-Web hack, goes BSD (blogs.com)

wjamesau writes: "Last week, a 15 year old British girl named Katharine Berry created AjaxLife, a groundbreaking hack that lets you access some functions of Second Life via the Web. (This is possible because Linden Lab open sourced their client viewer in January.) This week, she's released the source code under a limited BSD license. Up to now, accessing SL requires a separate client download and a powerful graphics card; now, things are likely to get very interesting very fast."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Way We Were (ricketyclick.com)

djmoore writes: "James Fallows at The Atlantic has abandoned his typewriter for an interesting new technology: computers suitable for home use and costing less than $5000. Fallows uses an already obsolete SOL-20, but Apple and Radio Shack's offerings are popular, and IBM recently introduced a more efficient model that works on sixteen "bits" at a time rather than the usual eight.

Best hardware advice: avoid slow, unreliable tape recorder storage. "I think you're cheating yourself if you get anything less than two double-density 5-1/4" drives, which together should be able to store 400K or more of data....The top of the line among storage systems is the hard disk...each one stores a prodigious amount of data, from two or three on up to several dozen megabytes."

Best software advice: "A DOS called CP/M (for Control Program for Microcomputers)...has become the industry standard....you should be wary of any machine or any program that won't run CP/M.""

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