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First Room-Temperature Germanium Laser Completed 80

eldavojohn writes "MIT researchers have built and demonstrated the first room-temperature germanium laser that can produce light at wavelengths suited for communication. This achievement has two parts: '[U]nlike the materials typically used in lasers, germanium is easy to incorporate into existing processes for manufacturing silicon chips. So the result could prove an important step toward computers that move data — and maybe even perform calculations — using light instead of electricity. But more fundamentally, the researchers have shown that, contrary to prior belief, a class of materials called indirect-band-gap semiconductors can yield practical lasers.' While these are only the initial steps in what may become optical computing devices, the article paints it as very promising. The painful details will be published in the journal Optics Letters."

2 Displays and 2 Workspaces With Linux and X? 460

Borov writes "I'm planning to buy a second monitor in near future and I was searching for ways to configure it under Linux. It seems there are two main ways: 1) to have one 'big' desktop, which means I have single workspace — changing virtual desktop switches both monitors or 2) to have separate X sessions for each display — which means I have separate workspaces, but I can't move applications between them. I need something in the middle — a separate workspace for each screen, so that I can have independent virtual desktops on each screen, but still have the ability to move applications between monitors (no need to strech one app across both of them). I've read that some tiling window managers can do this kind of thing, but I'd rather go with 'classical' window managers, like Openbox/Gnome/KDE or similar."
Social Networks

How To Spread Word About My FOSS Project? 244

An anonymous reader writes "I'm in a bit of a bind with an open source web software project of mine. It's a very small project that I've been developing for over three years. By now it's got a promising feature set, but very few users and virtually no community around it. The problem is that people I have asked to try it refuse to do so because it doesn't have a thriving community. It's an infinite loop: without users, we won't have a community, and without a community, users aren't coming. So, Slashdot, my question is: how can I build a community and help get the word out about a project led by 2 people and with only 5-6 regulars on our forum and IRC?"

Google Switching To EXT4 Filesystem 348

An anonymous reader writes "Google is in the process of upgrading their existing EXT2 filesystem to the new and improved EXT4 filesystem. Google has benchmarked three different filesystems — XFS, EXT4 and JFS. In their benchmarking, EXT4 and XFS performed equally well. However, in view of the easier upgrade path from EXT2 to EXT4, Google has decided to go ahead with EXT4."

Forget LCDs and LEDs, Here Come LPDs 244

waderoush writes "It's not every day you hear about a brand new display technology, but San Jose, CA-based Prysm came out of stealth mode yesterday to talk about its plans for manufacturing laser phosphor displays, or LPDs. The new devices, which the company will show off at the Integrated Systems Europe trade show in Amsterdam next month, reportedly use 25 percent as much electricity as equivalently-sized LCD screens. And they should be easier to manufacture too, since they don't have a backplane of transistors like LCD screens: the image is generated by a laser beam that sweeps across phosphor stripes under the control of a scanning mirror. The venture-funded startup, which plans to build and sell LPD screens under its own brand, is promoting them as a low-cost, low-maintenance way to display information in lobbies, airports, broadcast studios, command centers, and the like."
Businesses Acquires EveryDNS 125

funfail writes in with the news that, five days ago, EveryDNS was sold to From the announcement and e-mail from EveryDNS's founder, David Ulevitch: "Since starting EveryDNS in June of 2001 while a freshman in college, my goal has always been to provide simple, reliable and secure DNS services to the Internet community. I'm proud to say that we've lived up to that mission and delivered robust DNS services to over 400,000 domains. Nearly 9 years later, it's now time to put the service in more capable hands and I'm happy to announce that I've found a great home for EveryDNS. I have sold the EveryDNS service to Dyn Inc., the operators of the immensely popular service." EveryDNS has been one of the most popular free (or one-time donation) DNS suppliers. From the FAQ at the link above: "Will the service remain free? While we don't 100% have the answer to that yet, we will not be making any changes to the service you are currently receiving for the foreseeable future. We will be discontinuing signups in the near future but existing accounts will remain active and fully functional."

Apache May Stop 1.3, 2.0 Series Releases 77

Dan Jones writes "The Apache Software Foundation may stop releasing new versions of the older 1.3 and 2.0 series of its flagship Web server product with most development now focused on the 2.2 series. Nothing is final yet, but messages to the Apache httpd developer mailing list recommend the formal deprecation of the 1.3.x branch, with most citing a lack of development activity. The Apache HTTP server project is one of the most successful and popular open source projects and has become an integral part of the technology stack for thousands of Web and SaaS applications. The first generation of Apache was released in 1995, and the 2.0 series began in 2002. Apache httpd 2.2 began in 2005, with the latest release (October 2009) being 2.2.14. However, the most recent releases of the 1.3 and 2.0 series servers were back in January 2008. With the combined total of active 1.3 and 2.0 series Apache Web servers well into the millions, any decision to end-of-life either product will be watched closely."

Neural Nets Make Art While High 165

brilanon writes "Telepathic-critterdrug is a controversial fork of the open source artificial-life sim Critterding, a physics sandbox where blocky creatures evolve neural nets in a survival contest. What we've done is to give these animals an extra retina which is shared with the whole population. It's extended through time like a movie and they can write to it for communication or pleasure. Since this introduces the possibility of the creation of art, we decided to give them a selection of narcotics, stimulants and psychedelics. This is not in Critterding. The end result is a high-color cellular automaton running on a substrate that thinks and evolves, and may actually produce hallucinations in the user."

Tech Tools Fostering "Mini Generation Gaps" 322

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an interesting report on the iGeneration, born in the '90s and this decade, comparing them to the Net Generation, born in the 1980s. The Net Generation spend two hours a day talking on the phone and still use e-mail frequently while the iGeneration — conceivably their younger siblings — spends considerably more time texting than talking on the phone, pays less attention to television than the older group, and tends to communicate more over instant-messenger networks. 'People two, three or four years apart are having completely different experiences with technology,' says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. 'College students scratch their heads at what their high school siblings are doing, and they scratch their heads at their younger siblings. It has sped up generational differences.' Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, says that the iGeneration, unlike their older peers, expect an instant response from everyone they communicate with, and don't have the patience for anything less. 'They'll want their teachers and professors to respond to them immediately, and they will expect instantaneous access to everyone, because after all, that is the experience they have growing up,' says Rosen." Read below for another intra-generational wrinkle.

Gallery of Past Tech (and Other) Advertising 55

theodp writes "The Vintage Ad Browser takes you back to the days when Google conjured up images of Barney Google (1948). When the hip music player was a Walkman (1982). When Osborne meant state-of-the-art in computing (1982). When Big Picture TV meant 12" (1948). When compact camera referred to a Pocket Instamatic (1972). And when wireless meant getting phone calls 300 feet from the house (1982)."

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."

World's Tallest Building To Open Monday 360

dtmos writes "The Burj Dubai ('Dubai Tower' in Arabic) is scheduled to open to the public on Monday. Its height, claimed to be 824.55m (2,705.2 feet), but believed to be 818m (2,684 feet) — either way, more than half a mile — makes it far taller than Taiwan's Taipei 101, which had been the world's tallest skyscraper at 509m (1,670 feet)."

Building Complex Circuits With Carbon Nanotubes 42

Lorien_the_first_one writes "MIT's Technology Review reports that carbon nanotubes are being used to fabricate complex circuits. From the article, 'The first three-dimensional carbon nanotube circuits, made by researchers at Stanford University, could be an important step in making nanotube computers that could be faster and use less power than today's silicon chips. Such a computer is still at least 10 years off, but the Stanford work shows it is possible to make stacked circuits using carbon nanotubes. Stacked circuits cram more processing power in a given area, and also do a better job dissipating waste heat.'"
The Military

Fraudulent Anti-Terrorist Software Led US To Ground Planes 147

The Register, citing this Playboy article, reports that a Nevada man named Dennis Montgomery was able in 2003 to connive his way into a position of respectability at the CIA on the basis of his company's claimed ability, using software, to "detect and decrypt 'barcodes' in broadcasts by Al Jazeera, the Qatari news station." Montgomery was CTO of Reno-based eTreppid Technologies, which produced bucketloads of data purported to represent "geographic coordinates and flight numbers" hidden in these broadcasts. All of which, it seems, was hokum, finally debunked in cooperation with a branch of the French intelligence service — but not, says the article, before the fabricated information, chalked up to "credible sources," was used as justification to ground some international flights, and even evacuate New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."

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