mikejuk writes: You may have heard about the swash buckling adventures to be undertaken by Virgin Oceanic — visits to the bottom of the deepest parts of the oceans of the world. What you might not have noticed is that in the future we can all join in. The data from video cameras taken down on the five planned dives will be fed back to Google Earth. As Sir Richard Branson said at the launch of Virgin Oceanic, more men have been to the moon than have ventured further down than 20,000 feet. As long as everything goes according to plan, the entire population should be able to experience a trip to the bottom of the oceans — if only virtually courtesy of Google Earth.
palegray.net writes: "A web hosting provider called Appnor has recently moved the network diagnostics utility WinMTR off of SourceForge, and is now claiming the program to be a closed source, commercial application (it was previously made available under the GPL). I emailed the current maintainer of the original mtr utility about this, and have been informed that this event most likely constitutes an overt GPL violation, as it is presumed that WinMTR contains mtr code. Appnor claims that they have the right to do this, as there have been no external contributions to WinMTR in over ten years. I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think copyright law works that way."
eldavojohn writes: Over a hundred years after the death of its author, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be released in a censored format removing two derogatory racial slurs: "injun" and "nigger." The former appears some 219 times in the original novel but both will be replaced by the word "slave." An Alabama publisher named NewSouth Books will be editing and censoring the book so that schools and parents might provide their children the ability to study the classic without fear of properly addressing the torturous history of racism and slavery in The United States of America. The Forbes Blog speculates that e-readers could provide us this service automatically. Salon admirably provides point versus counterpoint while the internet at large is in an uproar over this seemingly large acceptance of censorship as necessary even on books a hundred years old. The legendary Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself once wrote "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter" and now his own writing shall test the truth in that today.
mcpublic writes: The MOS 6502 microprocessor is famous among the vintage computing and classic gaming crowds. It was used inside the Apple II, the Commodore 64, the Atari 2600, and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Need I say more? In 2010, the chip's 35th anniversary year, reverse engineers came out in droves and published more details about the 6502 than ever before—yes, really! For the assembly language crowd there is Michael Steil's excellent 50 minute talk on the 6502's architecture and instruction set delivered at 27C3, the video posted just yesterday. Or maybe you just want a quick read on 6502 history and some awesome reverse engineering efforts? Check out Russ Cox's blog. But if you are looking for the original 6502 netlist, accurate down to the last undocumented instruction, or want to run an animated 6502 chip simulation in your browser, you'll definitely want to visit Greg James, Barry and Brian Silverman's visual6502.org web site. These pied pipers have attracted an enthusiastic following of like-minded engineers who are now photographing and disecting even more classic chips.
YokimaSun writes: Over at Superufo.com the official site of Blazepro (who are well known for making their own controllers and accessories for every console released in recent years), have today released the first Unofficial PSOne handheld, it claims to Play all PS1 Games ( roms not actual CDs), Support RM,RMVB,AVI,FLV Videos, HDMI Out, Support up to 32G MicroSD. Sadly no other details, although it looks very PSP Like in design, lets hope it truly does play PS1 Games perfectly, HDMI support could make it very interesting.
astroengine writes: "In the 1970's, NASA's Viking Mars landers carried out experiments on the Martian soil to search for organic compounds. For 30 years the results of these experiments have been hotly contested. Long assumed to be contamination from Earth that gave a false positive in one of the key experiments, findings from the 2008 Mars Phoenix lander and recent tests on perchlorate-laced material from the Atacama desert have prompted NASA scientists to believe Viking really did discover organics 30 years ago."
schwit1 writes: From 'The Ends Justify the Means' department...
With New Year's Eve only days away, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects this to be one of the deadliest weeks of the year on the roads. But now a new weapon is being used in the fight against drunk driving.
Florida is among several states now holding what are called "no refusal" checkpoints. It means if you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop, a judge is on site, and issues a warrant that allows police to perform a mandatory blood test.
MADD won't be satisfied until suspected drunk drivers can be shot on the side of the road.
hether writes: The mystery of the disappearing bees has been baffling scientists for years and now we get another big piece in the puzzle. From Fast Company — "A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined--electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists." Now environmentalists and bee keepers are calling for an immediate ban of pesticide clothianidin, sold by Bayer Crop Science under the brand name Poncho.
psoriac writes: From Level 3's press release: "On November 19, 2010, Comcast informed Level 3 that, for the first time, it will demand a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’s customers who request such content. By taking this action, Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable TV and Xfinity delivered content. This action by Comcast threatens the open Internet and is a clear abuse of the dominant control that Comcast exerts in broadband access markets as the nation’s largest cable provider."
RareButSeriousSideEf writes: An interesting wrinkle today in the debate over net neutrality and broadband content accesss: Level 3 Communications (LVLT), which operates thousands of miles of fiber optic networks throughout North America, said this afternoon it was asked on November 19th by Comcast (CMCSA), the nation’s biggest cable operator, to pay a recurring fee to Comcast every time one of Comcast’s subscribers requests content, such as movies, that are transmitted to Comcast’s network over the Internet via Level 3’s facilities.
Level 3 agreed to the fee in protest [...more at TFA]
lothos writes: Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) asked the Obama administration yesterday to “determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization.” If the State Department adds WikiLeaks to the terror list, one effect would be to prohibit U.S. banks from processing payments to the group. It would also make it a felony to provide donations, material support or resources.
ameline writes: "A number of respected scientists (expert in relevant fields of study) call into question the safety of the new back-scatter screening machines. Their concerns are well outlined in their letter to the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Dr John P. Holdren. The areas they specifically highlight are the uneven absorbtion of radiation from these machines, and the potential for mechanical or other failures to deliver even more concentrated doses than were intended. Given the cumulative nature of the risk presented by exposure to ionizing radiation, is it really wise to acquiesce to these new security requirements?
eldavojohn writes: As anyone in the industry will tell you, a lot of money went into developing web applications specific to IE6. And corporations can't leave Windows XP for Windows 7 until IE6 runs (in some way) on Windows 7. Microsoft wants to leave that non-standard browser mess behind them but as the article notes, 'Organizations running IE6 have told Gartner that 40% of their custom-built browser-dependent applications won't run on IE8, the version packaged with Windows 7. Thus many companies face a tough decision: Either spend time and money to upgrade those applications so that they work in newer browsers, or stick with Windows XP.' Support for XP is going to end in April 2014 and in order to deal with this, companies are looking at virtualizing IE6 only (instead of a full operating system) so that it can run on Windows 7 — even though Microsoft says this violates licensing agreements. IE6 is estimated to be at 15% of browser market share yet and due to mistakes in the past it may never truly die.
freakxx writes: Times of India reports that WikiLeak's chief Julian Assange is now on run after the release of the Iraq's War Diary on his website. He is reported to be moving from one place to another (Stockholm, Berlin, London), paying money in cash that is mostly borrowed from his friends, changing hair color, and sleeping on sofa or on the floor, mostly due to the possibility of getting arrested or more likely to be extradited to the USA. In his own words: "being determined to be on this path, and not to compromise, I've wound up in an extraordinary situation".
As the documents are ultimately going to be good for us, the public, and he now seems to be in a deep trouble due to revealing the ugliness of the war, do we, as the public, also have some responsibility to help him out during this bad time, and set a good example for other such people in future? If so, what are the ways we can possibly do it, other than donating money on the WikiLeaks website?