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Open Source

Submission + - Canonical puts Ubuntu on Android smartphones (pcpro.co.uk) 1

nk497 writes: "Canonical has revealed Ubuntu running on a smartphone — but the open source developer hasn't squashed the full desktop onto a tiny screen. Instead, the Ubuntu for Android system runs both OSes side by side, picking which to surface depending on the form factor. When a device — in the demo, it was a Motorola Atrix — is being used as a smartphone, it uses Android. When it's docked into a laptop or desktop setup, the full version of Ubuntu is used. Files, apps and other functionality such as voice calls and texting are shared between the two — for example, if a text message is sent to the phone when it's docked, the SMS pops up in Ubuntu, while calls can be received or made from the desktop."
Space

Submission + - Electric Rockets Are Set to Transform Space Flight (txchnologist.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The spectacle of a booster rocket lifting off a launch pad atop a mass of brilliant flames and billowing smoke is an iconic image of the Space Age. Such powerful chemical rockets are needed to break the bonds of Earth’s gravity and send spacecraft into orbit. But once a vehicle has progressed beyond low-earth orbit (LEO) chemical rockets are not necessarily the best way to get around outer space. That’s because chemical propulsion systems require such large quantities of fuel to generate high speeds, there is little room for payload.

As a result rocket scientists are increasingly turning to electric rockets, which accelerate propellants out the back end using solar-powered electromagnetic fields rather than chemical reactions. The electric rockets use so much less propellant that the entire spacecraft can be much more compact, which enables them to scale down the original launch boosters.

Crime

Submission + - EU Carbon Permits stolen from computer exchanges (wsj.com)

yuna49 writes: The European Union has halted trading of the carbon permits that underpins its new system to combat global warming. While creating a virtual marketplace to exchange pollution credits may make theoretical sense, its implementation may be straining the abilities of the EU's member governments. The system delegates the tracking of permits to the individual member countries rather than centralizing them under the purview of Brussels. Thieves exploited vulnerabilities in the systems operated by the Czech Republic and Austria. In the Czech case, a bomb threat emptied the building housing the exchange and enabled hackers to break into the system and conduct illegal trades.

Submission + - ABC no longer streaming V

paintballer1087 writes: "ABC has apparently pulled the rights for all online streaming sources for their remake of "V". The show is not available for streaming on Hulu or ABC.com. Paid sources such as iTunes or Amazon Video On Demand are also affected by this. ABC has issued a short note saying "We truly wish full episodes were playing here. But we also hope our detailed recaps will keep you informed and entertained should you ever miss an episode." Commenters on ABC.com and V's Facebook page are outraged. As viewership moves more and more towards the convenience of online streaming and away from traditional television timeslots, this may be only the beginning of the removal of streaming rights by networks refusing to make a shift away from the old system of TV ratings."
Microsoft

Submission + - MS confirms Windows Phone 7 'phantom data' issue (bbc.co.uk)

qmaqdk writes: As reported earlier on /. Microsoft has been investigating the 'phantom data' issue with Windows Phone 7, where users could experience 3G data transfers of up to 50MB per day. Now Microsoft has confirmed the issue, and is blaming it on "an unnamed third party service". Another article indicates that the fix is external and there will be "no need for a system software update."

Submission + - Motorola sticks to guns on locking down Android (androidcentral.com)

jeffmeden writes: "These aren't the droids you're looking for" proclaims Motorola, maker of the popular Android smartphones such as the Droid 2 and Droid X. At least, not if you have any intention of loading a customized operating system, according to Motorola's own Youtube channel used to show off upcoming products. Motorola:"@tdcrooks if you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we'll continue with our strategy that is working thanks." The strategy they are referring to is a feature Motorola pioneered called "e-fuse", the ability for the phone's CPU to stop working if it detects unauthorized software running. More information available via a story at Android blog site AndroidCentral
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Accused PS3 Hacker Geohot Vows to Fight Back (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: George Hotz, one of the hackers sued this week by Sony in connection with the jailbreaking of the PlayStation 3, has hired a pair of attorneys who say they plan "vigorously defend the baseless accusations asserted by Sony." In a statement sent to reporters Friday, two attorneys hired by Hotz say that Sony has no grounds for its legal action and is asking for unreasonable relief in the case, including the seizure of Hotz's computers.
In their response to Sony's suit and motion for a temporary restraining order against Hotz, his attorneys say that the order would do no good at this point, as the code is already public.

"On the face of Sony’s Motion, a TRO serves no purpose in the present matter. The code necessary to 'jailbreak' the Sony Playstation computer is on the internet. That cat is not going back in the bag. Indeed, Sony’s own pleadings admit that the code necessary to jailbreak th eSony Playstation computer is on the internet. Sony speaks of "closing the door", but the simple fact is that there is no door to close. The code sought to be restrained will always be a Google search away," the response says.

AMD

Submission + - Details Emerge On AMD's CEO Dismissal (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "It's been two days since AMD's Board of Directors announced it was firing then-CEO Dirk Meyer and new information on the board's reasoning has begun to appear. As suspected, it was Meyer's decision not to focus on a new ultra-mobile processor that incurred the board's wrath. The particular incident in question is believed to be the decision to sell AMD's Imageon technology to Qualcomm in January of 2009 for $65 million. Qualcomm took the ARM-based Imageon core, integrated it with the company's own Snapdragon SoC, and has produced a line of profitable handsets. This, apparently, cheesed the BoD at Sunnyvale right the heck off. When Dirk Meyer took over, AMD's continued existence was factually at risk. Their 45nm Shanghai processor was still six months away and the GlobalFoundries spinoff hadn't been finalized yet. Financially, the company was a wreck. It had just written off $2.2 billion in assets, had no cash reserves to leverage, and virtually no room to maneuver. The only thing Meyer had to peddle was his promise that Shanghai would deliver. Meyer slashed costs, sold non-core assets, and turned the company around. The great irony of this story is that Dirk was canned for his solutions to problems his predecessor, Hector Ruiz caused."
Input Devices

Hacked iRobot Uses XBox Kinect To See World 124

kkleiner writes "A student at MIT's Personal Robotics Group is going to put Microsoft's Kinect to a good use: controlling robots. Philipp Robbel has hacked together the Kinect 3D sensor with an iRobot Create platform and assembled a battery-powered bot that can see its environment and obey your gestured commands. Tentatively named KinectBot, Robbel's creation can generate some beautifully detailed 3D maps of its surroundings and wirelessly send them to a host computer. KinectBot can also detect nearby humans and track their movements to understand where they want it to go." In related but less agreeable news, "Dennis Durkin, who is both COO and CFO for Microsoft's Xbox group, told investors this week that Kinect can also be used by advertisers to see how many people are in a room when an ad is on screen, and to custom-tailor content based on the people it recognizes."
The Almighty Buck

Letting Customers Decide Pricing On Game DLC 156

An anonymous reader writes "How much should game developers be charging for DLC? It seems that one indie dev has decided to carry out a unique experiment. The latest expansion pack for Gratuitous Space Battles is priced at $5.99 — or is it? It turns out there is both a standard ($5.99) version and a discount version ($2.99). And the difference between them is... nothing. The buyers have been left to make their own decisions on whether or not they should pay full price, and send more money to the developer, or treat themselves to a deserved discount. The buy page even lists comparisons of national incomes, average salaries and even the price of sausages to help buyers make up their minds. Will this catch on? Will Microsoft start asking us whether or not we should get a discount and trust us to answer honestly?"
Google

Submission + - Google Unveils Instant Search (blogspot.com)

Kilrah_il writes: As was hinted earlier, Google unveiled today Google Instant — a search-as-you-type (or as Google calls it search-before-you-type) interface for their flagship program. "Google Instant is search-before-you-type. Instant takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions—yielding a smarter and faster search that is interactive, predictive and powerful."
Google Instant works only in IE 8, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. For now it is available only in a handful of languages, but it should roll out to all geographies in the next few weeks.

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