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Submission + - Pixar to give away 3D RenderMan software (

nairnr writes: The 3D rendering software behind films such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Harry Potter is to be given away free for non-commercial use.
RenderMan, which is developed by Pixar, has faced increased competition from rival animation rendering programmes such as VRay and Arnold.

Although Pixar, which is owned by Disney, produces its own films, it licenses RenderMan to rival studios.
In a statement, the firm said it would release a free version of RenderMan "without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions".

"Non-commercial RenderMan will be freely available for students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use," it added.

Ian Dean, editor of computer graphics magazine 3D World, told the BBC the move "could be seen as a reaction to the rise of alternatives such as Arnold," but that Disney/Pixar are also looking to "build a community".

He added that RenderMan, which has been around for more than 25 years, was "very important at the higher end of the entertainment, animation and visual effects industries".

Submission + - International Space Station switching to Linux ( 1

nairnr writes: Computers aboard the International Space Station have switched from the Windows operating system in favour of Linux.

The United Space Alliance – the company responsible for managing the computer systems aboard the station – has switched “dozens of laptops” that were previously running Windows XP to Debian 6 OS.

In a blow to Windows, Keith Chuvala of the United Space Alliance noted that the switch was made in order to ensure improved reliability.

“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable,” said Chuvala in a release from Linux Foundation.

Submission + - Rockmelt shutting down desktop browser

nairnr writes: According to Techcrunch “Distributing a desktop browser is hard and expensive (especially if you don’t have an operating system or the world’s most trafficked website to promote it)” says Rockmelt, so today it announced it will soon stop supporting its social browser. Rockmelt concedes it was using up to 50% of its time trying to keep up with the changes to Chromium, the browser it is based on. They will continue to develop a new web portal, as well as mobile apps to enhance the browsing experience

Submission + - Boeing, Boeing ... Gone? 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Seattle Times reports that as Boeing prepares to announce yet another delay for the 787 Dreamliner — at least three months, possibly six or more — the crucial jet program is in even worse shape than it appears with problems go well beyond the latest setback, an in-flight electrical fire last month that has grounded the test planes. Meanwhile, on the production side, one veteran employee on the 787 said he's witnessing "the perfect storm of manufacturing hell." The global supply chain is at a standstill, and outside the Everett factory the rows of partly finished jets will take many months to complete. "The purpose of flight tests is to find out what you did wrong," says a senior engineer who expects the 787 will ultimately prove successful. "But the amount of stuff we are finding is horrible. We shouldn't be dealing with this many issues this late in the program." Jon Talton writes that Boeing has bet the company on the Dreamliner and now faces cost overruns of $12 billion or more. "The experience of doing the 787 on the cheap with a globalized supply chain should shake the foundations of "Welchism," the brutal management style, intimidating anti-employee bias and mania for quick results of retired General Electric chief executive Jack Welch," writes Talton. "Boeing is running out of time to ensure its "game changer" doesn't change the game permanently in favor of Airbus and new competitors.""

3 Drinks a Day Keeps the Doctor Away Screenshot-sm 470

Nzimmer911 writes "Heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers according to a 20 years study following 1,824 people. From the article: 'But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that - for reasons that aren't entirely clear - abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.'"
Social Networks

Submission + - SPAM: Spammer ordered to pay Facebook $711 million

alphadogg writes: Facebook was awarded $711 million in damages from a convicted spammer on Thursday, but the social networking site is hoping a separate criminal action will eventually send him to jail.
Sanford Wallace was sued by Facebook in February along with Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw for allegedly obtaining the login credentials for accounts. The accounts were then used to send spam to those users' friends starting around November 2008. The spam either linked to other phishing sites that sought to collect more Facebook account credentials or linked to other commercial Web sites that paid spammers for referrals.

Facebook "doesn't expect to receive the vast majority of the award," according to a company blog.[spam URL stripped]

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