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Submission + - One-Laptop-Per-Child application development

An anonymous reader writes: This OLPC (One-Laptop-Per-Child) tutorial teaches you how to develop Python activities for the XO laptop. It covers the ins and outs of Sugar (the XO user interface, or UI) and the details behind activity development. You will also learn about Python programming, Sugar application program interfaces (APIs) for Python, and platform emulation with QEMU. Learn OLPC application development and help the worlds children.

Submission + - GIMP 2.4 on the Home Stretch (

johnr writes: GIMP 2.4 is on the home stretch, and just today they made the first release candidate available. The new version sports a refreshed look with some eye-pleasing icons, advanced selection tools, fullscreen editing, and much more. They've also begun the process of creating a new site that has a Web 2.0 feel to it!

Submission + - Attosecond X-ray light pulses

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Before going further, do you know what is an attosecond? It's just a billionth of a billionth of a second. And German researchers have showed that a 'flash of light can be shorter than the time it takes the wave carrying the flash to perform a full oscillation.' They were able to generate flashes of laser light so intense that the atoms exposed to it emit an attosecond X-ray pulse 'whose wave components, if oscillating more slowly, would represent nearly all colors of visible light, all the way from blue through green and yellow to red.' Even if this discovery made the cover of the August 10 issue of Science, don't expect an immediate impact on us, but it sure will accelerate basic research on material properties. Read more for additional references and a schematic of the experimental setup used for attosecond-pulse generation."

Submission + - How to Reach 200 MPH on Hydrogen Fuel Cells (

the_manatee writes: Ford's 999 hydrogen-powered speedster is making waves for its upcoming speed record attempt in the Bonneville Salt Flats, but details on what's actually going on under the hood have been scarce. As it turns out, there are NASCAR-style brakes, steering, and suspension components, along with 16 Ballard Mk902 fuel cells that produce 350 kW of electricity. All that juice spins up a 770-hp motor and the rest is (hopefully) history. One final ingredient: 400 lbs of ice for cooling, which will melt in seconds once the car gets up to speed.

Police Data-Mining Done Right 321

enharmonix writes "Courtesy of Bruce Schneier, it's nice to hear something good about data mining for a change: predicting and stopping crime. For example, police in Redmond, VA, 'started overlaying crime reports with other data, such as weather, traffic, sports events and paydays for large employers. The data was analyzed three times a day and something interesting emerged: Robberies spiked on paydays near cheque cashing storefronts in specific neighbourhoods. Other clusters also became apparent, and pretty soon police were deploying resources in advance and predicting where crime was most likely to occur.'"

Only 25% of Firefox Downloaders Are 'Active Users' 294

bheer writes "The Guardian points out a page on the Mozilla wiki noting that 'only 50% of the people downloading Firefox actually try it out, and only a further half of those continue to use it actively.' ZDNet has some commentary on the browser's retention rate. While a 25% retention rate isn't necessarily bad, Mozilla is trying to improve these figures with a 12 point plan that includes more TV and media advertising, a better start page and several installation tweaks."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Uncle Orson gets Linux. (

auferstehung writes: Orson Scott Card is fed up with Vista (and AOL and McAfee) and says, "I'm getting Linux." The Free Software Foundation may even be able to recruit a fairly good copy writer as he waxes almost Stallman-esque, "At least no one will own my computer but me." I wonder if he has tried an Apple lately? Based on past comments, "So don't tell me how I should switch to Apple and all my problems will be solved," I doubt it.

Journal Journal: Ten Must Have Free Software Packages for 2007

Having worked for Microsoft Corporation for a portion of my career, with stats such as 95% of the world uses Microsoft. I was in for a real eye opener on the number of different software packages available in the Open Source world.I have put together a list of the top top ten free tools for any internet professional. The first five are devoted to your desktop and the next five are for you

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Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.