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Inside Factory China 135

blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."

Submission + - Filming nanotubes inside living animals

Roland Piquepaille writes: "A team of researchers at Rice University has filmed carbon nanotubes inside living animals. They've used a custom-built microscope and a technique called near-infrared fluorescent imaging to detect DNA-sized nanotubes inside living fruit flies. But more importantly, they've compared a group of fruit fly larvae fed with a yeast paste that contained carbon nanotubes with a control group fed normally. And they found no significant differences between the two groups. Does this mean that nanoparticles are innocuous, especially for humans? Only time will tell. In the mean time, read more for additional references and a picture showing the fluorescent glow of carbon nanotubes in live fruit fly."

Submission + - State of Minnesota seeking input on file formats (

Bc writes: The Minnesota State Legislature has mandated "that the Chief Information Officer, Gopal Khanna, undertake a study about the use and preservation of electronic documents." The study involves a survey for stakeholders, including Minnesota citizens. Some questions are of particular interest. Could they be well answered by ODF?
"What mechanisms and processes can the State of Minnesota establish for accessing and reading electronic records to encourage public access, interoperability and data sharing?"
"Are there mechanisms and processes the State of Minnesota can establish that are specific to the management of electronic records in its various life cycle stages (creation, maintenance, exchange, preservation and disposal)?"

Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Diary of a World of Warcrack addict: Part four

An anonymous reader writes: It looks like Nick Hide from CNET isn't a Warcrack addict after all. "I'm a complete fraud. I've been trying to convince you in parts one, two and three that I'm hopelessly addicted to World of Warcraft and my real life is going to pot because I have to spend every spare moment levelling up my Night Elf Druid. It turns out some people have many more spare moments than I do...Having a full-time job (even one where I can play WoW in my lunch hour) with a commute, and friends to see in real-world drinking establishments, and a girlfriend means I just don't have the time to be a true Warcrack addict. I play it more than any other game I've ever been addicted to, and I think about it whenever I'm walking around, or going to sleep, and yes, when I was ill a week ago I had bad dreams where everything in real life was a quest, but I do have a real life. Honest. So how much experience do I get for writing this?"

Submission + - Mandriva Linux 2007 for Home Users

squidsuk writes: "Released January 1st, now finalised

Mandriva Linux 2007 for Home Users
by Wim Coulier

FREE Download
Colour edition:
Black and white edition:

What might a Linux distribution such as Mandriva Linux 2007 be to a Windows user?

Is it a valuable alternative, or do you have to be a real computer nerd to risk the move? Why would an average PC user make the effort to change over to Linux? Admittedly, not necessarily everyone will benefit from such a move — but it could be a lot more interesting than you may suspect. Many discussions around this topic lead to considerable debate, and in this article we do not pretend to own the truth or to be complete. This article just sums up our own experiences after several years of use of both Microsoft Windows and Mandriva Linux.

We wrote with our Mandriva experiences in mind; however most modern Linux distributions offer similar benefits.

Complete with 30 illustration figures!

Publisher: John Barron
© 2007 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5"

Submission + - String theory put to the test

secretsather writes: " eory-of-everything-put-to-the-test/

String theory is arguably the most popular theory in theoretical physics; that is, it cannot be proven. The idea, is everything you see around you is made up of tiny strands of energy that vibrate at different frequencies. Until now, experimental verification has not been possible; but researchers at the University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, and The University of Texas are planning a definitive test with the future launch of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland that could disprove the current theory.

Similar to the well known U.S. particle collider at Fermi Lab, the Large Hadron Collider, scheduled for November 2007, is expected to be the largest, and highest energy particle accelerator in existence; it will use liquid helium cooled superconducting magnets to produce electric fields that will propel particles to near light speeds in a 16.7 mile circular tunnel. They then introduce a new particle into the accelerator, which collides with the existing ones, scattering many other mysterious subatomic particles about.

It is with this accelerator, that will allow researchers to begin observing the scattering of W bosons, an elementary particle that is one of the four fundamental interactions of nature and required in the proposed testing of the current string theory. I use "current" because string theory is just that, a theory; and it is constantly changing as more information becomes available.

"Our work shows that, in principle, string theory can be tested in a non-trivial way," said Ira Rothstein, co-author of the paper and professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon.

"The beauty of our test is the simplicity of its assumptions," said Benjamin Grinstein, a professor of physics at the University of California "The canonical forms of string theory include three mathematical assumptions — Lorentz invariance, analyticity and unitarity. Our test sets bounds on these assumptions."

Grinstein also noted that if their test does not substantiate what the theory predicts, one of the key mathematical assumptions about the current string theory would be incorrect."

Submission + - The Dangers of Trusting Software Vendors

twistymonkey writes: How can you really know that a program will secure your data as advertised? The problem is you can't — unless you are willing to take the program apart and check it yourself. did just that and explains how they bypassed protections in a program that advertises you can '...password protect your data from prying eyes' and that the data is '...always hidden regardless of settings'. They discovered that not only is the data easily accessible by anyone, but the password can also be decrypted thanks to a poor encryption scheme.

Submission + - Michigan county launches free WiFi network

hlovy writes: "Wireless Oakland is part of a longer-term plan to "close the digital divide" by first blanketing the county's 910 square miles with free Internet service, then providing "low-cost or no-cost" computers and training to the county's "underserved population groups." Story and video can be found here."

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