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Hardware

Submission + - NCSA and IBM part ways over Blue Waters (illinois.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: IBM has terminated its contract with NCSA for the petascale Blue Waters system that was expected to go online in the next year. The reason stated was that NCSA found IBM's technology "was more complex and required significantly increased financial and technical support by IBM beyond its original expectations." The IT community is now wondering if NCSA will be renting out space in the new data center that is being built to house Blue Waters or if they will go with another vendor.
Windows

Microsoft is Screwing Up Live on Vista 114

Joe The Dragon wrote with a link to an ExtremeTech article lambasting Microsoft for its confusing rollout of the Live service on the PC. While the vision of achievements, a gamerscore, a consistent friends list, and one sprawling multiplayer network is tantalizing, the reality falls somewhat short of that goal. "The biggest mistake Microsoft is making with Live on the PC is the way they're treating the PC as if it's a console platform they can control. They're trying to lock out the rest of the world and to charge for features that PC gamers have had for free for ages. It's a shortsighted, greedy scheme that could only come from a product manager or VP who simply doesn't "get" PC gaming. The free Silver level of Xbox Live lets you log in on the PC and earn Achievements just like you do on the 360--but only single-player Achievements. Multiplayer Achievements are only for those $50-a-year Gold members. Player matchmaking is for Gold members only. Voice in games is for Gold members only. Cross-platform play between 360 and PC is for Gold members only. In fact, the only thing silver members can really do is view a server list and hop onto a specific server." Article author Jason Cross warns Microsoft at the end of the piece that it is 'not too late' to turn things around. Vista is still a young platform, and once driver issues are ironed out and Vista becomes the standard there are still opportunities for success.
Biotech

Submission + - 3-D model of breast cancer in the lab

Roland Piquepaille writes: "According to BBC News, U.K. researchers have built a 3-D version of breast cancer in a test tube. Their model contains cells from normal and cancerous breast tissue. The researchers used a collagen gel to form 3-D structures to create structures similar to the ones find in a woman breast. So far, they focused on a common pre-cancerous condition known as 'ductal carcinoma in situ' (DCIS). With this model, they hope to reduce experiments done on animals such as mice. In fact, these experiments are not always useful because similarities can be poor between mice and humans. Now it remains to be seen if this model will be endorsed by the scientific community. But read more for additional details about this new 3-D model."
Space

Submission + - Remains of James Doohan lost after landing

caffiend666 writes: "According to a Space.com news article the cremated remains of 200 people were lost in mountains after trip to space. 'The search for the UP Aerospace payload of experiments and the cremated remains of some 200 people — including "Scotty" of Star Trek fame, as well as pioneeering NASA Mercury astronaut, Gordon Cooper — continues within rugged New Mexico mountain landscape.' Is it just me, or does it appropriate that they lost the landing party? He wasn't wearing a red shirt, was he? Here's to a safe recovery!"
HP

Submission + - HP Recruiting using Second Life

virtualJobsGetPaidVirtualMoney writes: A Computer Science student graduating with a bachelor's degree looking for a full-time position has been contacted by HP for an virtual interview.

Representatives from Hewlett Packard have released the following opportunity. HP will be interviewing in the virtual world for real-world jobs! This is a first for HP and encourage students to try it out, especially if they are already Second Life players.
Interviewing is already so subjective, would this method of interviewing truly yield a qualified candidate?
Privacy

Submission + - Chips on DVDs could prevent theft

Kiralan writes: New technology designed to thwart DVD theft makes discs unplayable until they're activated at the cash register. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070509/ap_on_hi_te/te chbit_dvd_theft From the story: "A chip smaller than the head of a pin is placed onto a DVD along with a thin coating that blocks a DVD player from reading critical information on the disc. At the register, the chip is activated and sends an electrical pulse through the coating, turning it clear and making the disc playable." This appears to be a decent use of security technology, but what is the potential of this being the new DIVX?
United States

Submission + - Anti-ID theft measures fought by credit industry

PetManimal writes: "Brian Krebs of the Washington Post has a very interesting article about the credit industry's fight against consumer rights measures that would force credit bureaus, credit card companies, retailers, banks and even private investigators to protect citizens from having their credit data accessed, by taking measures such as restricting access to credit reports and freezing new lines of credit. While several states have tried to enact consumer-friendly laws, the industry has lobbied hard on the state and national level to water down, eliminate, or reverse them and keep open access to easy credit.

'The banks, the insurance companies, credit bureaus and retailers really came out of the woodwork and fought hard against it,' [activist George Fitzgerald] said. 'I thought it was good for them and the banks. I thought with all the ID theft going on, people might even get to the point where they'd be afraid of using the [banking] system. I thought that since the credit bureaus were making a bundle of money off of trading consumers' information ... that they should offer a way to protect that information.'
The article says that the industry has backed down in some states and some credit-freeze laws have passed, but with conditions and business-friendly exceptions — for instance, Delaware had to eliminate a provision that included fines for merchants that failed to secure customer data, before the law could be passed."
Robotics

Submission + - Interview with the Inventor of Dragonfly Robot

Egadfly writes: "Sean Frawley has gone where many of us dream of going. He started inventing a robotic flying dragonfly in highschool, and today (at 22 years old!) he has refined his brainchild and taken it to market — and now works at the corporate headquarters of WowWee robots in Hong Kong, dreaming up his next creation. How did he do it? In this interview he describes the painstaking process of making his invention marketable — shaving plastic off the gears, finding his manufacturer, finding the right carbon fiber to make his toy both indestructable and light enough to fly. After reading this I thought: If he can do it, why not me, and you?"
Google

Submission + - Google Apps Problems

dawhippersnapper writes: "Google's DNS has had major failures today for their Google Apps, I have not seen a reply from Google yet.

http://groups.google.com/group/hosted-the-basics/b rowse_thread/thread/ba884d5bf12c1704

This shows a list of some people experiencing the problems.

The problem is the Custom URL option uses a CNAME to change their hosted apps to ghs.google.com, then Google's DNS server routes it to the proper page. I believe the latter function is broken."
Privacy

Submission + - RIAA Secretly Tries to Get ISP Subscriber Info

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA secretly went into federal district court in Denver, Colorado, the home town of its lawyers, and — in an attempt to change the rules of the game — made an ex parte application to a federal judge there, asking him to rule (pdf) that the federal Cable Communications Policy Act does not apply to the RIAA's attempts to get subscriber information from cable companies. ("Ex parte" means application was secret, no one else — neither the ISP nor the subscribers — were given notice that this was going on.). They were, in effect, asking the Court to rule that the RIAA does not need to get a court order to be able to force an ISP to disclose confidential subscriber information. The Magistrate Judge declined to rule on the issue (pdf), but did give them the ex parte discovery order they were looking for."
Biotech

Submission + - Nanolayers of water

Roland Piquepaille writes: "What happens when you compress water in a nano-sized space? According to Georgia Tech physicists, water starts to behave like a solid. "The confined water film behaves like a solid in the vertical direction by forming layers parallel to the confining surface, while maintaining it's liquidity in the horizontal direction where it can flow out," said one of the researchers. "Water is a wonderful lubricant, but it flows too easily for many applications. At the one nanometer scale, water is a viscous fluid and could be a much better lubricant," added another one. Read more for additional references."
Education

Journal Journal: Math whizzes ho! 5

I am not a math whiz. I can barely do differential algebra. However, to see why, at least, the Chinese are ahead of the U.S. and most other countries in the world when it comes to math, try out this example question from this BBC article to see how you compare.

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