Rebecka writes: Just as the 2013 hurricane season is about to begin, one of the U.S.' main weather satellites failed this week. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, also known as GOES-13, reportedly ceased to operate as of Tuesday, making it impossible to predict weather patterns on the East Coast.
alancronin writes: Users of Android, Chrome OS, Linux, and iOS devices may not realize it, but FreeType open source software is used to render fonts on more than a billion such devices. Not only that, but the FreeType project this week got a significant update from none other than Adobe and Google. Specifically, Google and Adobe on Wednesday released into beta the Adobe CFF engine, an advanced Compact Font Format (CFF) rasterizer that “paves the way for FreeType-based platforms to provide users with richer and more beautiful reading experiences,” as Google put it in an online announcement on the Google Open Source Blog. The new rasterizer is now included in FreeType version 2.4.12. Though it's currently off by default, the technology is “vastly superior” to the old CFF engine and will replace it in the next FreeType release, the project says.
Hamburg writes: Frank Mittelbach, member of the LaTeX Project and LaTeX3 developer, reviews significant issues of TeX raised already 20 years ago. Today he evaluates which issues are solved, and which still remain open and why. Examples issues are managing consecutive hyphens, rivers of vertical spaces and identical words across lines, grid-based design, weighed hyphenation points, and overcoming the the mouth/stomach separation. Modern engines such as pdfTeX, XeTeX and LuaTeX are considered in regard to solutions of important problems in typesetting.
mdl4 writes: WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush. In a 45-page opinion, Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance,” the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.
ogaraf writes: Wired has a story about how the site Cryptome leaked the price lists for "lawful spying" activities of Yahoo and other companies, and subsequently received a DMCA takedown notice from Yahoo. The documents are however still online and in them you can learn for instance that IP logs last for one year, but the original IPs used to create accounts are kept since 1999. The contents of your Yahoo account are bought for $30 to $40 by law enforcement agencies.
dr-suess-fan writes: CTV reports on doctor's discovery. From the Article: "A group of doctors in Italy is investigating a fascinating new treatment for multiple sclerosis, based on a theory that, if proven true, could radically alter the lives of patients. An investigation by CTV's W5 reveals that this treatment appears to stop the disease from progressing. Patients seen in the documentary relate how, after the simple procedure, their MS symptoms suddenly stopped and, in some cases, they were able to resume normal lives."
Frosty Piss writes: Seattle mayor-elect Mike McGinn wants to chuck the Windows-based PCs out the window — to make room for the Mac. "We've asked the city IT folks about it [switcing to Macs] and they're looking into it for us," said transition spokesman Aaron Pickus. "They were talking about new computers for the mayor's office anyway, so right now we are looking to see if Mike and the mayor's staff can work on Macs." As well, the new mayor wants to ditch the city issued Blackberries for iPhones.
GringoChapin writes: Space.com reports that "One of the best annual meteor showers will peak in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, and for some skywatchers the show could be quite impressive. The best seats are in Asia, but North American observers should be treated to an above average performance of the Leonid meteor shower, weather permitting." Folks from the United States will want to start watching at 0100 Pacific, 0400 Eastern, and those in Europe from 0100 local time until dawn.
taoman1 writes: A group of states led by California said in a court filing Thursday that ending oversight of Microsoft's business practices in November would not allow enough time to consider the antitrust implications of Windows Vista.