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Phoenix Mars Lander Declared Dead 154

SpuriousLogic sends in a sad note from the BBC: "NASA says its Phoenix lander on the surface of Mars has gone silent and is almost certainly dead. Engineers have not heard from the craft since Sunday 2 November when it made a brief communication with Earth. Phoenix, which landed on the planet's northern plains in May, had been struggling in the increasing cold and dark of an advancing winter. The US space agency says it will continue to try to contact the craft but does not expect to hear from it."

Al-Qaeda Web Sites Go Offline 284

thefickler writes "Four out of the five Al-Qaeda online forums have disappeared. The terrorist group used these forums to relay messages to its supporters. The four that have gone missing seem to have taken a hit back on September 10, the day before the annual video marking the 9/11 attacks was due to be disseminated. No one knows who is responsible for the sites' disappearance."
GNU is Not Unix

Stephen Fry Helps GNU Celebrate 25th Birthday 282

Virgil Tibbs writes "The GNU operating system is turning 25 this year, and the Free Software Foundation has kicked off its month-long celebration of the anniversary by releasing 'Happy Birthday to GNU,' a short film featuring the English humorist, actor, novelist and filmmaker Stephen Fry. In the five-minute film, Fry compares the free software operating system to 'good science' and contrasts it with the 'kind of tyranny' imposed by the proprietary software produced by companies like Microsoft and Apple that it replaces. He encourages people to use free GNU/Linux distributions like gNewSense and free software generally, for freedom's sake."

Slashdot Announces Idle Section 281

For the last few months we've been beta testing, our offtopic humor/meme/viral video/pictures section. Like many of you, we spend most of our waking hours on-line seeking stuff to entertain our brains, but most replicators out there pick so much content that it's incredibly boring filtering through the mediocrity to find the funny. We intend to fill our idle section with a very small collection of the very best the net has to offer, making it the most efficient way to waste your time. Some of this content will make it back to the Slashdot mainpage, but much of it will be new content that we wouldn't dare soil the precious Slashdot mainpage with. We are also using it as a test bed for new functionality on Slashdot — currently the page is a reasonably dynamic/interactive experience with various voting controls and filtering options. Finally you will see occasional original content, starting with a recurring special feature today where Samzenpus shares some real tech support email from some of our most intelligent readers. We hope you will enjoy wasting a slice of your day with us, and in addition will submit content through the usual channels, but put it into the 'Idle' section so we know not to take it seriously. Now go about your day — it's mid August, so I'm sure everything you do is urgent, exciting, and oh-so-interesting.

China Claims Score In Weather Manipulation 147

hackingbear writes "Despite prior skepticism over effectiveness, China claims successful application of weather intervention to ensure a stunning Olympic opening ceremony, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency: 'We fired a total of 1,104 rain dispersal rockets from 21 sites in the city between 4 p.m. and 11:39 p.m. on Friday, which successfully intercepted a stretch of rain belt from moving towards the stadium,' said Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau (BMB). While there wasn't a single drop of rain over the National Stadium — also known as the Bird's Nest — during the opening ceremony from 8:00pm-12:00am on August 8, the weather services said that Baoding City of Hebei Province, to the southwest of Beijing, received the biggest rainfall of 100 millimeters Friday night, and Beijing's Fangshan District recorded a rainfall of 25 millimeters."

Comment Phobos is intriguing (Score 5, Interesting) 119

Phobos never failed to intrigue me. From Wikipedia: Phobos's unusually close orbit around its parent planet produces some unusual effects. As seen from Phobos, Mars would appear 6,400 times larger and 2,500 times brighter than the full Moon appears from Earth, taking up a quarter of the width of a celestial hemisphere. Some nice pictures of Mars, including Phobos, can be found here:
Linux Business

Submission + - Wal-Mart's $200 Linux PC Sells Out (

hankmt writes: "About a week ago Wal-Mart began selling a $200 linux machine running on a 1.5 ghz Via C7 processor and 512 megs of RAM. While the specs are useless for vista, it works blazingly fast on Ubuntu with the Enlightenment Window Manager. The machine is now officially sold out of their online warehouses, and the product sales page at is full of glowing reviews from new and old linux users alike."

Submission + - KDE 4.0 Beta 1 Released (

An anonymous reader writes: August 2, 2007 (The INTERNET). The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the first Beta release for KDE 4.0. This release marks the beginning of the integration process which will bring the powerful new technologies included in the now frozen KDE 4 libraries to the applications. Almost two months after the foundations of KDE 4 have been laid with the first alpha, KDE enters the stage of a full freeze of the library interface. From now on, the applications will focus on integrating the new technology refined during the last months, and the library developers will try to fix all bugs found during this process. No new applications will enter the official KDE modules and usability and accessibility work is of course an ongoing process. In the following weeks KDE developers will be able to add features to their applications until the next beta is released and the application features will be frozen as well.
The Internet

Submission + - Pirate Bay earns 20,000 Euros a day ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: controverisal pro-piracy website the piratebay likes to portray itself as an innocent hobby site that provides a free index without censorship, but recent facts show that the site is earning up to 20,000 Euros per day from its advertising. Taking in money on this scale puts a different slant on the motives behind the Swedish filesharing site, and could open up the runners of the site to prosecution for profiting from copyright infringement.

Submission + - Top 5 Linux Myths Dispeled (

slashy writes: " publishes a list of Top 5 most common myths and dispels them once and for all. Matt Hartley comments, "Ah, this is one of my favorites. It seems that Linux users have long since been seen as cheap, despite the fact that so many of them in the States earn up to six figures. First, define cheap? Are we cheap because we choose not to buy brand new everything with every release of our selected OS? It certainly shines some light on why hardware manufactures have been less than excited to provide better driver support, doesn't it?"

Comment Re:Web sites are becoming bloated (Score 1) 653

On Linux, I spill over into virtual memory all the time. Linux also seems to be much worse at switching data in and out of virtual memory. I have no idea what's causing this, but I've definitely noticed it.
That would be because Linux is written to use your RAM as to the max. It will keep as much in your RAM as possible. Which is sort of good, considering you probably bought it to use it :-).

Submission + - Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 320GB Review

mrneutron2004 writes: Normally selling at a manufacturers retail price of $169, we ran across it in this week's OfficeMax circular with a $70 instant rebate. A $99 price tag made this device all the more appealing, especially considering it's a Seagate product with a 5 year limited warranty. -freeagent-desktop-320gb-review.html?Itemid=27

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