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Submission + - Space Ventures Look to Suborbital Point-to-Point Travel (

ambermichelle writes: Our dreams of commercial space travel are suffused with a sense of wonder: we’re willing to pay hundreds of thousands to visit suborbital space long enough to see the curvature of the Earth and enjoy weightlessness before returning to our origin. But for private space ventures, the ability to take passengers to the edge of space opens up a more conventional, and lucrative, possibility: a 6,800-mile New York-to-Tokyo flight that lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours instead of the 12-14 hours that it takes on today’s long-haul aircraft.

Submission + - How Online Communication Connects Generations (

Orome1 writes: "AARP and Microsoft released “Connecting Generations,” a research report that examines how people of all ages are using online communication and social networking to enhance their family relationships. 30 percent of grandparents of teens/young adults agree that connecting online has helped them better understand their teen/young adult grandchildren, and 29 percent of teens/young adults say the same about their grandparents. While most respondents wish they knew more about how to keep personal information private, and how to safeguard their devices, the younger generation wants more information than older respondents about using social networks more safely."

Submission + - Facebook teams up with Bango for mobile payments (

sweetpea86 writes: UK-based mobile billing and analytics company Bango has signed an agreement to provide payment services to the world's biggest social network, Facebook. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

It is thought that the Facebook deal could indicate a new push by the social network into mobile commerce – a market that is expected to be worth $37 billion (£23bn) by 2016.

Facebook is under pressure from shareholders to monetise its 425 million active mobile users, after the company's recent IPO filing exposed its weakness in this area.


Submission + - The Dark Side of Apple's Mobile Dominance (

GMGruman writes: "Although it sold just 9 percent of mobile phones globally last quarter, Apple made 75 percent of all the mobile phone profits. Android sales stalled, allowing the iPhone 4S to outsell all Android phone sales in the same period. And each iPhone sale costs the carriers more due to higher iPhone subsidies, hurting their bottom lines. It's a nightmare scenario for many not he mobile industry: Apple is sucking the money out of the market, much as we saw with iTunes and iPods. Apple's success is due to its own innovations, as well as to the continual stumbles of others, but the result is nonetheless a discomforting dominance by a company users love but that has a dark side tendency to control and obstinance. The joke "It's Steve Jobs' world and we just live in it" may not turn out to be so funny."

Submission + - TomTom satnavs to set insurance prices ( 1

nk497 writes: "TomTom has signed a deal with an insurance firm that will see its satnavs used to monitor drivers. Fair Pay Insurance, part of Motaquote, will use monitoring systems built into the TomTom PRO 3100 to watch for sharp braking and badly managed turns, rewarding "good" drivers with lower premiums and warning less skilled motorists when they aren't driving as they should. "We've dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you're a good driver, we'll believe you and we'll even give you the benefit up front," said Nigel Lombard of Fair Pay Insurance."

Submission + - Project Management for IT Departments

spectre_240sx writes: I'm looking for success stories regarding project management in IT. There's a lot of talk about project management, but it all seems to be geared towards developers. I'm looking for methods and potentially software that would help in rolling out upgrades to our environment as well as implementation of new applications and expansion of infrastructure. What's the IT world's answer to Agile, Scrum and all of these other buzzwords I keep hearing about?

Submission + - Uproar as MW2's IW announces No Dedicated Servers

An anonymous reader writes: Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling (aka fourzerotwo), in an interview with on October 17th has announced that one of the mainstays of PC multiplayer gaming, dedicated servers, won't be in IW's upcoming sequel to Call of Duty 4. Instead, players will use the unknown "IW Net" for matchmaking purposes. No dedicated servers means no player mods, no player maps, no organized competitive play, no clan servers, etc and strips away from what makes PC gaming unique from console gaming. Many vocal gamers have cancelled their preorders. IW has deleted most of the threads and petitions on IW's forums, however one petition lives on. As of the time of this writing, there are over 76,000 signatures and counting.

Submission + - Ted Dziuba: I Don't Code in my Free Time 1

theodp writes: When he gets some free time away from his gigs at startup Milo and The Register, you won't catch Ted Dziuba doing any recreational programming. And he wouldn't want to work for a company that doesn't hire those who don't code in their spare time. 'You know what's more awesome than spending my Saturday afternoon learning Haskell by hacking away at a few Project Euler problems?' asks Dziuba. 'F***, ANYTHING.'

Submission + - Tim Cain on Carbine's Mystery Project, and a Lifet (

Kheldon writes: Timothy Cain is no stranger to the gaming industry.

After having worked on some of the most critically acclaimed titles of all time, including Fallout, Arcanum, and yes, Grand Slam Bridge, he is now bringing his experience to bear as the Design Director of Carbine Studios, and their unannounced next-generation MMO.

Read on for his thoughts on the genre, the industry, and his plans for future retirement as a corduroy jacket-wearing professor.

Submission + - Nanomedicine Raises Hope for New ED Cure

pickens writes: Hugh Pickens writes:

Christopher Mims reports in Discover Magazine that one of the first nanoparticle-based products to pass animal trials is a topical cream for erectile dysfunction (ED) which could potentially replace the tremendously popular ED drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. Joel Friedman, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and his team have created particles smaller than a virus that carry the drug payload — it could be anything researchers care to add — locked inside. The key ingredient put inside the nanoparticles to produce "erection cream" is nitric oxide, 1992's "molecule of the year," a gas that acts as a neurotransmitter, carrying the signal for an erection from nerves in the penis to muscles in the same organ. When mixed into a cream, the nitric oxide-bearing nanoparticles become the world's first reliable way to deliver a gas in the form of a cream. The researchers found that normally impotent rats had no trouble getting erections after they dabbed a tiny amount of the cream onto the penises of rodents who are too old to get erections naturally. Human trials could begin as early as spring of 2011. It is unknown whether the nanoparticle formulation eliminates the drug's most infamous side effect: "erections lasting longer than four hours."
Classic Games (Games)

What Made Those Old, 2D Platformers So Great? 249

TheManagement writes "Many current developers of web games seem to have a fondness for 2D platformers. However, their desire to capture what made Sonic and Mario games so great is rarely achieved. In an attempt to breach that gap, Significant Bits takes a look at three common design principles that made those classic titles so enjoyable. 'To start off, the interface needs to be quick and responsive. Input should have an immediate effect on the character in order to foster a sense of full control. Granularity and different control techniques, i.e., pressing, tapping and holding, are also important as they provide a level of precision to the movement. ... Now, as far as the environments themselves, it's not a coincidence that they're often filled with all sorts of slides, bridges, trampolines, ladders, etc. In a way, they're simply playgrounds for the player, both literally and figuratively. They're catered to the moveset, and they enhance the flow of the game.'"

Submission + - Elovivo launches wiktionary killer. (

teacher2.0 writes: Elovivo authorable multilingual dictionary and language learning community just launched this week. Users can add words, pronunciation, definitions, sample sentences and translations in multiple languages. All added content is ranked by the community to ensure the highest quality submissions are displayed first. Registered members of Elovivo can contribute to the dictionary, create and save favorite word lists, message friends and find language exchange partners. Killerstartups says Elovivo is "Simple and crystal-clear, this site is an interesting mixture of user generated content that is merged and organized in a very professional way." Should Wiktionary be scared?
The Internet

Submission + - 1.8M websites to disappear. ( 1

FAT-BOY88 writes: "The following has appeared on home page.
"After careful consideration, Yahoo! has decided to close GeoCities later this year. You can continue enjoying your GeoCities service until then — we just wanted you to let you know about the closure as soon as possible. We'll share more details this summer. For now, please visit the help center for more information."
No new accounts are accepted. Geocities has about 1.8 million users. It usually ranks between 100-110 on traffic. There are over 20,000,000 links to it according to several search engines."

Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu 9.04: Nothing Short of Amazing (

Jeremy LaCroix writes: "Ubuntu 9.04 (codenamed the "Jaunty Jackalope") was released this week after an extensive six months (or so) in development. It brings with it some of the most controversial features in the distribution's history, and the development versions of Jaunty have been fairly well received by just about all the blogs I have read. Is Ubuntu 9.04 worth the download? The answer is clear: DEFINITELY.
Read more..."


Submission + - One Bot-Infected PC = 600,000 Spam Emails A Day (

CWmike writes: "Some bot-infected PCs can crank out as many as 25,000 spam messages per hour, or 600,000 a day, says new research released Wednesday. Marshal8e6 deliberately infected machines in the lab of its research arm, TRACElabs, with the malware responsible for the world's nine biggest spam botnets, then observed the PCs' behavior, including each bot's top-end spam capacity. They concluded that Rustock and Xarvester, the latter perhaps linked to the down-and-out Srizbi botnet, are the most efficient spam spewers of the nine bots. The next most effective spam bot was found to be Mega-D, one of the bots that took advantage of the November 2008 takedown of McColo, a hosting company that harbored the command-and-control servers for several big botnets, including Srizbi and Rustock."

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