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Submission + - Battlestar Galactica Community Mod "Diaspora" Has Arrived ( 1

funtapaz writes: Diaspora: Shattered Armistice, the Battlestar Galactica mod for FreeSpace Open has arrived! This cross-platform (Windows,Linux,Mac) release includes the ability to fly the MK VII Viper, the Raptor (or the new MK VIIe strike variant), multiplayer, an included mission editor, an original soundtrack, and full voice acting.

Submission + - The Optimum Attack Rate for SSH Bruteforce? 1 Per 10 Seconds ( writes: "Remember the glacially slow Hail Mary Cloud SSH bruteforcers? They're doing speedup tweaks and are preparing a comeback, some preliminary data reported by Peter Hansteen appear to indicate. The optimum rate of connections seems to be 1 per ten seconds, smack in the middle of the 'probably human' interval."

A High School Programming Curriculum For All Students? 214

jonboydev writes "I know there have been many postings on what kids should begin programming with, but I have a little different perspective: I am a software developer looking to help my brother, who is a high school teacher, develop a programming curriculum. The catch is that it is a class for all students to take, not just those interested in programming, and therefore will focus heavily on teaching problem solving. This class would follow after a class using Lego MindStorms, and we are planning on using Python. I'm sure many of you would agree that everyone can benefit from learning to program and any help would be greatly appreciated!"

New EVE Expansion Nears, Possible Mobile Plans 74

As the EVE Online creators ramp things up for the free Apocrypha expansion due out next week, lead designer Noah Ward sat down with MTV's Multiplayer blog to discuss the future of the game and what characteristics continue to keep players interested. Ward says they've considered branching out to consoles, but ended up deciding that the game doesn't really lend itself to console play. He left the door open to using smartphones for "augmenting" gameplay. Ward also mentioned that upcoming space MMOs Jumpgate: Evolution and Star Trek Online are so different from EVE that they're not really worried about direct competition; EVE thrives in part because of the player-generated drama and scandals, which few games pull off as well. Massively has gathered a variety of details about the Apocrypha expansion, which includes the game's first epic mission arc, and they've also posted some screenshots. CCP Games launched a website for the expansion containing concept art and interviews with some of the developers.

Submission + - Defendant must tell government his password ( 1

sohp writes: "Over at The Volokh Conspiracy, reports are out that the case of a man who invoked the 5th amendment when asked to supply the password to decrypt his hard drive to allow police to search for child pornography has a new development. A judge has overturned the original magistrate's decision allowing the defense and has ordered Sebastien Boucher to supply the prosecutors with a decrypted hard disk. Note that the order is not that he produce the key — just that he provide an unencrypted copy."

Submission + - The Deceptive Perfection of Auto-Tune

theodp writes: "In a medium in which mediocre singing has never been a bar to entry, a lot of pop vocals suddenly sound better than great — they're note- and pitch-perfect. It's all thanks to Auto-Tune, the brainchild of Andy Hildebrand, who realized that the wonders of autocorrelation — which he once used to map drilling sites for the oil industry — could also be used to bestow perfect pitch upon the Britney Spears of the world. While Auto-Tune was intended be used unnoticed, musicians are growing fond of adjusting the program's retune speed to eliminate the natural transition between notes, which yields jumpy and automated-sounding vocals. 'I never figured anyone in their right mind would want to do that,' says Hildebrand."

NFL's IT Chief Gears Up For His 25th Super Bowl 82

BobB-nw writes with this excerpt from NetworkWorld: "NFL IT guru David Port claims he doesn't have a favorite football team, but on Sunday he'll be working his 25th Super Bowl. As the league's vice president of information technology, Port and his IT staff are responsible for building a temporary network to support NFL staff and thousands of journalists during Super Bowl week. Port starts preparing for each Super Bowl two years in advance, working with the city and venues where IT operations and media professionals will be based. More intensive planning starts about 11 months before the big game. Port explained that the NFL essentially built a small data center with IBM blade servers at the temporary headquarters in a local Marriott near the Super Bowl site. 'We built out an infrastructure with approximately 300 computers, PCs and laptops, and wired and wireless networks that are used for NFL core operations, for game production and business operations. Much of it is also for media,' Port said." CNet is running a related story about the technology behind the Super Bowl, focusing on some of the visual effects viewers will see, as well as the hardware that makes everything happen.

Scientists "Teleport" Quantum Information One Meter 107

the4thdimension writes "While we may not be beaming up to the Enterprise anytime soon, a team of scientists from the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan have managed to teleport information between two atoms up to a meter apart. Until this point, only very tiny distances were able to be traveled. However, using a complicated system of photons, ions, lasers, and electromagnetics, scientists have managed to 'teleport' information contained on one atom to another atom that is in a separate sealed container. This can lead to a wide range of developments in computing and communications." Update: 01/29 22:29 GMT by T : Sorry, it's a dupe, but today's article in Time is better reading than the abstract anyhow.

Scripts and Scaling In Online Games 61

CowboyRobot writes "Jim Waldo of Sun Microsystems has written an article titled Scaling In Games & Virtual Worlds, saying that they 'should be perfect vehicles to show the performance gains possible with multicore chips and groups of cooperating servers. Games and virtual worlds are embarrassingly parallel, in that most of what goes on in them is independent of the other things that are happening. Of the hundreds of thousands of players who are active in World of Warcraft at any one time, only a very small number will be interacting with any particular player.' A group of researchers at Cornell wrote a related piece about improving game development and performance through better scripting."

One of HST's Cameras Is Back In Action 47

StupendousMan writes "One of the two big cameras aboard the Hubble Space Telescope is the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, or WFPC2 for short. As the most recent HST status report indicates, the camera was recently powered up again and sent commands to take some test images. Today (Sunday, Oct 26), I received E-mail from a colleague at STScI indicating that the calibration images were 'nominal.' That's NASA-speak for 'fine and dandy.' The E-mail goes on to say 'The data look nominal, indicating that Hubble optical imaging capabilities are in fine shape. (We can expect more glorious Hubble images in the near future.) ... Science with WFPC2 has resumed, and plans are underway to restore ACS/SBC to service this coming week.' Let's hope that the other big instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), also comes back to life successfully. We should find out in just a week or so."
Software V3.0 Sets Download Record, 80% Windows 451

thefickler writes "The newest version of OpenOffice, version 3.0, has set a download record in its first week of availability. Most surprising is the fact that over 80% of downloads were from Windows users. As one commentator noted, when it comes to a choice between almost identical software (e.g. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice), price is the determining factor."
Operating Systems

Best OS For Netbooks and Underpowered Tablets? 272

vigmeister writes "I hopped on the netbook bandwagon early this year in a rather odd fashion by picking up an outdated portable tablet (Fujitsu P1510) which just about matches the latest, greatest netbooks for their performance and portability features, while nipping them by managing to give me a better battery life. I've been happy using XP Tablet on this machine until recently, when I started thinking that by optimizing the OS for targeted use, I may be able to squeeze more out of the device. So, my questions are: What OS would you recommend for a netbook/outdated laptop? Usage is typically light — web surfing (with multimedia), email, word processing, spreadsheet and reading PDFs. Also, what OS would you recommend for a ultraportable tablet? Usage is similar to a netbook; there's a little more document editing going on, and good handwriting recognition and note-taking software would be great." Read on for further details about vigmeister's question.

Half of American Doctors Often Prescribe Placebos 238

damn_registrars writes "'Half of all American doctors responding to a nationwide survey say they regularly prescribe placebos to patients. The results trouble medical ethicists, who say more research is needed to determine whether doctors must deceive patients in order for placebos to work.' The study just quoted goes on to say that the drugs most often used as placebo are headache pills, vitamins, and antibiotics. Studies on doctors in Europe and New Zealand have found similar results."

White Space Debate Intensifies As Vote Approaches 94

Ars Technica reports that the debate between broadcasters and white space supporters has intensified after each side recently made inflammatory comments and suggested that science would vindicate their position. Several organizations are pushing to delay the upcoming white space vote, in part because it takes place on the same day as the US presidential election. We recently discussed Google's claim that a test of this system was rigged to fail. From Ars: "The broadcasters contend that adjacent channel interference would be significant even at the 40 mW level proposed by Kevin Martin. In fact, they claim that such a device would interfere with digital television signals when the viewer is 25 miles from the television tower and the whitespace device is 10m or less from the TV set. At 50 miles from the television tower, a whitespace device within 50m from a set could allegedly cause interference. The broadcasters also want several safeguard requirements put on the technology that go beyond the new, lower-power transmission levels."

Google Launches User-Driven Debate Site 68

Tyndmyr writes "In conjunction with the previously covered Knol system, Google has recently released Knol Debates, where users can vote for and discuss various topics. First up, presidential debates, representing topics from any party, and with some commentary being given by the libertarian Cato Institute. Unfortunately, patent law and technology questions are still rather poorly represented. Oddly enough, Knol Debates doesn't even appear to be in beta. The system makes use of Google Moderator to select questions."

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]