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Comment Re:"Edge of Space" is 100 km (Score 4, Informative) 205

100Km is about 328,000 feet. That's why Space Ship One had a tail number of N328KF.

Also, the North Texas Balloon Team and the South Texas Balloon Project routinely (with launches approximately annually) send balloons with video cameras to altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. Those are just the two balloon projects I'm familiar with. I am sure there are others because it's not particularly hard to do.

So, this is pure ho-hum to me. Let me know when they've done it a couple of dozen times.

Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Computer Scientists Grow a Better Virtual Tree

Reservoir Hill writes: "Stanford computer scientist Vladlen Koltun says the inability of casual computer users to build 3-D objects — you practically have to be a sculptor — is an anchor holding back the promise of virtual worlds and games. "There is a very, very tiny community of people around the world who are skilled at creating three-dimensional objects," Koltun said. "And they are the ones who do it all." Koltun and his team set out to prove that object construction can be sophisticated without being difficult, beginning with trees. Botanists have already cataloged and categorized the trees of the real world in great detail. Koltun's group has incorporated that data into a powerful mathematical engine that creates trees using about 100 different tree attributes, all of them almost infinitely variable. How thick is the trunk? How big the leaves? How are the limbs spaced? The result is a new, intuitive way for individual users to create unique trees by simply using a mouse to seamlessly navigate through the entire "space of trees," changing appearances by changing direction. A gallery of trees and the software to create your own is available for free download."

Submission + - Digital TV Burnout

mpthompson writes: According to beyond the robust growth, glitzy new high-end displays and marketing frenzy lurks the dirty little secret of HDTV: An unsettling number of sets are returned to the retail outlets where they are purchased. Consumers are often wowed by the performance of HDTVs displaying slow-moving, brightly colored video on the showroom floor, but are disappointed by the performance of the set when they get it home. There are many factors at play, but consumer confusion over jargon laden HDTV technology seems to be the major culprit. Manufacturers also blame the compression technologies used by cable and satellite providers to jam as many channels into their bandwidth as possible for consumer dissatisfaction. Is Joe Six-Pack really ready for digital TV?

Submission + - Amiga OS 4.0 to run on BlueGene processors 2

Amigan writes: "Recent announcements by Hyperion Entertainment concerning Amiga OS 4.0 seem to show promise that the OS will finally see the light of day. Included in the announcement is the ability to run the new OS on classic Amigas with a PowerPC add-on board. Also, a new hardware partner, A-Cube Systems has been introduced. This company is producing new hardware based on the ppc440 — the same processor used in IBM's top500 Blue Gene/L."
United States

Submission + - Minority climate change opponents not so minor?

Sedennial writes: Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

Minority Climate Change Report

Submission + - Social engineering: Are your ID badges showing? (

SarahS writes: "Johnny Long (of Google Hacking fame, interviewed here) claims that the easiest way to "hack" into a company isn't with a computer — it's by putting on a fake ID badge and walking in the door like you mean it. If no one at your company is actually verifying badges, then too bad for you, the social engineer just got inside. In this excerpt on from Long's book, No Tech Hacking, the author explains — with photo proof — why it's so easy for social engineers to create fake ID cards. "Traveling in tech circles, I've seen my share of lanyard clutter, but this nice lady took the prize for most neck-flair toted by a female. As I drew closer, I realized that her badge was decidedly governmental in appearance. ... As she continued chatting into the phone, I swung around to the other side of her and stepped in as close as I could without triggering her (admittedly impaired) stalker detection system. Less than a foot away from her, I snapped the photo below. This particular badge is issued to government employees stationed at the Pentagon. The Post-It note reminds her to "bring a copy of yesterday's all hands to DSS H.Q.'""

Submission + - Is it Time to Start Ignoring Microsoft? ( 3

jammag writes: "It's time for GNU/Linux advocates to quit casting Microsoft as the Great Satan, opines Bruce Byfield, a leading GNU/Linux pundit. "Things were different ten years ago...Back then, the community was fragile," he writes. But now, FOSS thrives in data centers everywhere. However, "over the years, we've developed a culture of hate, where bashing Microsoft proves our membership in the club. We've come to count on this opposition as a central part of our identity." Give it up, Byfield writes: "If you value FOSS, there are aspects you should be promoting — not the taunts more suitable to a high school locker room.""

Submission + - Ham Radio Operator Finds Cure For Cancer ( 5

CirReal writes: "John Kanzius, K3TUP, himself suffering from cancer with nine months to live, used nanotechnology and a radio transmitter to kill cancer cells. "Kanzius did not have a medical background, not even a bachelor's degree, but he knew radios. He had built and fixed them since he was a child, collecting transmitters, transceivers, antennas and amplifiers, earning an amateur radio operator license. Kanzius knew how to send radio wave signals around the world. If he could transmit them into cancer cells, he wondered, could he then direct the radio waves to destroy tumors, while leaving healthy cells intact?" Reseachers "recently killed 100% of cancer cells grown in the livers of rabbits, using Kanzius' method.""

Submission + - High-Tech Hobbies For Geeks 3

MotorMachineMercenar writes: I'm a thirty-something geek who works in finance, plays computer games and wastes time on the internet — ie. I spend pretty much all my time in front of a screen. Lately I've started looking for a hobby, something outside the slouching-in-front-of-the-computer realm, and hopefully something to do with my hands with concrete stuff. I'm not talking about the gym, martial arts, photography or books (do that already), but something novel, high-tech and creative. The potential to actually make new discoveries applicable in the real world would be a huge benefit. The most appealing choice I've found thus far is BEAM robotics, although I'm quite skeptical of the potential for new discoveries. So perhaps a robosoccer challenge would be a better option. Amateur rocketry sounds like fun, but I'd like to keep traveling without being subjected to a "routine" cavity search.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - RIPE 55 meeting ending in surprise

dysfunct writes: The closing plenary of the RIPE 55 meeting in Amsterdam held a big surprise for the participants: A secret working group had formed to perform a very emotional parody of the song "American Pie" about the future of IPv4 and IPv6. A video of the performance is available on and currently making its rounds through mailboxes.

Submission + - Firefly Serenity sequel a possibility? (

bowman9991 writes: "Sequel to Serenity finally happening? Fantastic if true. Reports suggest there is a chance of a direct to DVD sequel to Serenity, the film that followed on from where the television show Firefly left off. Alan Tudyk, the actor who played the the ship's pilot, Hoban Washburne, said that the newly released "Serenity: Special Edition" DVD has been selling so well Universal is talking about doing another movie. Hopefully this time for real!"

Submission + - Kaleidoscope: Implementing a Language with LLVM (

sabre writes: "The LLVM Compiler System is being used for all sorts of interesting things these days. It basically provides an extremely modular and easy to use set of open source (BSD-licensed) compiler libraries that can be used to build various applications from. Despite this, many people don't really understand it, and are scared away by the breadth of the project or by compilers in general.

The Kaleidoscope tutorial starts out from scratch and slowly builds up a simple language to show how LLVM can help out with this. We end up with a JIT compiler for a fairly interesting little language with less than 700 lines of code. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, once you start with LLVM, there are all sorts of things you can do."

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