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Submission + - Game Over for Older IBM Employees?

theodp writes: A 2007 IBM White Paper on The Future of IT Application Development (pdf) proposed a Logan's Run-like strategy for dealing with Baby Boomers — 'investing in global resources from geographies with a lower average age for IT workers, such as India or China.' And now comes word from the USPTO that to hasten such transitions, ten IBM 'inventors' came up with the idea of using immersive gaming environments to transfer expert knowledge held by employees 'aged 50 and older' to 18-25 year-old trainees who find manuals 'difficult to read and understand.' More details in IBM's just-published patent application for the 'Platform for Capturing Knowledge'. Non-IBMers shouldn't get too complacent — Big Blue discusses making the 'invention' available to other corporations in return for 'payment from the customer(s) under a subscription and/or fee agreement.'

Submission + - Making Babies in Space May Not Be Easy 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Studies of reproduction in space have previously been carried out with sea urchins, fish, amphibians and birds but Brandom Keim writes in Wired that Japanese biologists have discovered that although mammalian fertilization may take place normally in space, as mouse embryos develop in microgravity their cells have trouble dividing and maturing. The researchers artificially fertilized mouse eggs with sperm that had been stored inside a three-dimensional clinostat, a machine that mimics weightlessness by rotating objects in such a way that the effects of gravity are spread in every direction. Some embryos were ultimately implanted in female mice and survived to a healthy birth, but at lower numbers than a regular-gravity control group. Part of the difference could be the result of performing tricky procedures on sensitive cells, but the researchers suspect they also reflect the effect of a low-gravity environment on cellular processes that evolved for Earth-specific physics. "These results suggest for the first time that fertilization can occur normally under G environment in a mammal, but normal preimplantation embryo development might require 1G," concludes the report. "Sustaining life beyond Earth either on space stations or on other planets will require a clear understanding of how the space environment affects key phases of mammalian reproduction.""

Submission + - 2D Game Development Made Easy (

BlueMonk writes: "After 2 years of development and testing, version 2 of the Scrolling Game Development Kit, rewritten from the ground up in C#, has been released. The program is an IDE to assist newcomers and experienced developers to relatively easily create resources and assemble them into functional scrolling games based on DirectX. The new version is highly customizable in that almost all the runtime code is embedded in the project data file and can be edited and saved with the project. No runtime other than .NET and DirectX is required to play the compiled games."
Operating Systems

Submission + - My own private grid

giorgist writes: I have a lot of computers at work, and they sit idle for most of the time. Is it possible to muster them all together and get them cracking on some problem of our own choosing ? We have a cluster doing computations and time on it is limited. Maybe I can setup another were I can run packets on idle computers. People from work can join in and take "packets" home and run them on their computers at home while they work. G
The Internet

Submission + - Google Apps deciding less is no longer more (

ericatcw writes: Google tells Computerworld that Google Apps has "millions of active users", though only a small fraction of businesses and groups — "several thousand" according to Google Apps senior product manager Rajen Sheth — are paying the $50/user annual subscription today. While its collaboration features still trump Microsoft's in-beta Office Live Workspace, some analysts and paying users say Google Apps needs to add more features and apps to be a true Office-killer — features that Sheth hints are just around the corner.
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Submission + - The Secret to Winning at Rock, Paper, Scissors 1

Time Slows Down writes: "While most people are aware that rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper and paper covers stone, there is a psychological element to the game which many players may have missed. Recent research shows that rock is the most popular of the three possible moves in the game. That means that your opponent is likely to choose paper, because they will expect to you to start the game with stone so by going with scissors, you achieve an early victory. The scissors strategy has proven very successful in the past — in 2005 it secured auction house Christie's a £10 million deal. Rock, paper, scissors is also found in nature. A team of biologists described the curious mating strategies of a species of European lizard where some male lizards (call their type "rock") use force, invade the territory of fellow males to mate with females, others ("paper") favor deception, waiting until females are unguarded and sneaking in, and others ("scissors") work by cooperation, joining together to protect one another's females. Scientists speculate that such games may also describe human behavior in the corporate world, where strategies of force (takeovers), deception (fraud) and cooperation (mergers) also seem to supplant one another in an endless loop."

Submission + - Secure your PHP aps -- now (

juct writes: "In their yearly top 20 security risks the Internet Storm Center names web applications as top risk for servers: "Every week hundreds of vulnerabilities are reported in commercially available and open source web applications, and are actively exploited." The number one problem they list is "PHP Remote File Include". So why not spend a little time to secure your web server now. heise Security has a writeup on Basic PHP security with practical examples."

Submission + - Larger human brain led to larger penis ( 2

Anonymous Coward writes: "The human penis is comparatively larger than that of the other great apes because of our comparatively larger brains, gynecologist Edwin A. Bowman explains in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Through millions of years evolution the infant babies' skulls became larger in order to accommodate bigger brains, explained Dr. Bowman. This in turn led to a female pelvis become larger to allow women to give birth to children with larger brains, and this led to the female vagina also becoming less tight."

Submission + - What are Jackson's two new Hobbit movies about? (

bowman9991 writes: New Line and Peter Jackson have settled their differences over profits for The Fellowship of the Ring and Jackson has signed on for not one but two movies. So how closely will the new Hobbit films follow J.R.R. Tolkien's book? And why two rather than one? What characters are likely to return and how different will the two films be?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Application development for the OLPC laptop

IBM DeveloperWorks (registration required) has a tutorial on developing Python activities for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) computers. It covers the XO laptop architecture, internals, and talks about its application environment with the Sugar UI written in Python , accessible to everyone (including kids). Explore the APIs and learn how to develop and debug a graphical activity using Python, and
The Internet

Submission + - Facebook Maxes Out Its Data Center Space (

1sockchuck writes: "Facebook is adding 2 million new users a week, and recently maxed out the data center space at its California facilities. The load on the company's servers "continues to increase at a pretty astounding rate," says Facebook engineer Jason Sobel, who said the fast-growing social networking service has added a data center in Virginia, which is now serving 30 percent of its traffic. Sobel also discusses how Facebook sorts out which data gets stored on the East Coast and West Coast, which has meant some fine-tuning of its MySQL code to properly update Memcached."

Submission + - Application development for the OLPC laptop

desNotes writes: IBM DeveloperWorks (registration required) has a tutorial on developing Python activities for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) computers. It covers the XO laptop architecture, internals, and talks about its application environment with the Sugar UI written in Python , accessible to everyone (including kids). The tutorial explores the APIs and shows how to develop and debug a graphical activity using Python, and platform emulation with QEMU (for those /. ers who did not order their own). The G1G1 program is running through 31 December.

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