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Earth

MIT Unveils Portable, Solar-Powered Water Desalination System 117

An anonymous reader writes "A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Field and Space Robotic Laboratory has designed a new solar-powered water desalination system to provide drinking water to disaster zones and disadvantaged parts of the planet. Desalination systems often require a lot of energy and a large infrastructure to support them, but MIT's compact system is able to cope due to its ingenious design. The system's photovoltaic panel is able to generate power for the pump, which in turn pushes undrinkable seawater through a permeable membrane. MIT's prototype can reportedly produce 80 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions."

Submission + - To Open Source or not 1

An anonymous reader writes: I am interested to possibly opensourcing a project that we have been working on for a while. The product is an online Service for the Paramedical Industry, but I have misgivings about whether this will work.
Reasons for Open Sourcing:
1. We are working with medical data and I believe open code will provide a better security implementations than closed code.
2. Our business model is to charge our clients for a service we provide based on the number of clients they have. So, clients who have the desire to get to grips with the product and run it themselves can just do it, but if they want to make use of our service, the cost is marginal and reasonable. I feel confident that we justify our revenue.
But I am concerned:
1. Firstly, we don't want our competitors to take our code and run an online service with it.
2. I also don't know how good our legal protection is in the Netherlands where we developed the product. How much will it cost us to enforce an OSS licensing agreement such as the GPL?
3. Lastly, should we consider a new or modified licensing agreement that will effectively opensource the product for our direct clients but stop our competitors from running a service with it (sadly, the better our code, the more dangerous this option becomes).

What are our options? We want to do the right thing.
Debian

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
Windows

Submission + - Win7 June Release, Leaked Memo Suggests

nandemoari writes: "There's word that Best Buy might actually make Win 7 available as early as this very month. A report from tech insiders Engadget suggests that a leaked memo from big box retailer Best Buy indicates a special two-week "presale" that would make the Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade available from June 26 until July 11. The rumored prices are $49.99 for the Premium Upgrade, and $99.99 for the Professional Upgrade. It seems that Best Buy will also begin offering free upgrades to Windows 7 on any new PCs purchased after June 26."
Games

The Best Games of 2008 109

As the year comes to an end, most game sites are putting up lists highlighting their favorite games of 2008. Gamasutra is no exception, but they've nicely consolidated a variety of lists, and included some of their reasons and commentary to go with them. The topics range from the best overlooked games (Soul Bubbles and Pure) to the best new gameplay mechanics (first-person parkour in Mirror's Edge and Spore's procedural content generation) to the best overall games of the year (Fallout 3, World of Goo, and LittleBigPlanet). What were your top games of 2008?
Role Playing (Games)

How Gamers View Their MMOs 132

GamerDNA is trying out what they call their Discovery Engine, a system that uses metadata from users to classify games and identify which have similar traits. Massively describes it thus: "Once the gamerDNA community continues to contribute to something like this, it builds up an enormous database of terminology based on actual player knowledge, not just shiny PR words thrown together to promote a game. These search terms can end up being unique to a specific genre, and ultimately lead gamers to exactly the types of games they're looking for." GamerDNA tested the system out on some of the popular MMOs, and they've posted the results. They look at how MMO players identify themselves within the game, how they describe the setting, and what basic descriptive phrases they use in reference to the games.
Role Playing (Games)

Age of Conan Servers To Merge, Funcom Sees Layoffs 109

Two ominous signs have come recently for Age of Conan fans; developer Funcom went through a round of layoffs, and they announced plans to merge some of the game's servers in order to maintain a "healthy" population. Despite this, Funcom has maintained that development will continue for both the PC version and the upcoming Xbox 360 version of the game, confident that Age of Conan won't follow Tabula Rasa into oblivion. A writer at Vox ex Machina doesn't share that view, pointing to several of the game's flaws as reasons why it didn't maintain the popularity it enjoyed at launch.

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