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Open Source

The FreeBSD Foundation Is Soliciting Project Proposals 58

Professor_Quail writes "Following a successful 2012 fundraising campaign, the FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of project proposals for funded development grants. Proposals may be related to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system, and will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness. The proposal process is open to all developers (including non-FreeBSD committers), and the deadline for submitting a proposal is April 26th, 2013." The foundation is currently funding a few other projects, including UEFI booting support.

KDE 4.6 Beta 1 – a First Look 224

dmbkiwi writes "The first beta release of KDE SC 4.6 was released yesterday. OpenSUSE had packages up almost immediately, so being curious as to what's new, I've downloaded and upgraded to the new release. These are my impressions thus far."

ACM Awards 2009 Turing Prize To Alto Creator Charles Thacker 49

scumm writes "This year's Turing Prize has been awarded to Charles Thacker, whom they describe as (among other things) the 'creator of the first modern personal computer.' From the ACM's announcement: 'ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery today named Charles P. Thacker the winner of the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his pioneering design and realization of the Alto, the first modern personal computer, and the prototype for networked personal computers. Thacker's design, which he built while at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), reflected a new vision of a self-sufficient, networked computer on every desk, equipped with innovations that are standard in today's models. Thacker was also cited for his contributions to the Ethernet local area network, which enables multiple computers to communicate and share resources, as well as the first multiprocessor workstation, and the prototype for today's most used tablet PC, with its capabilities for direct user interaction.' For further reading, the Wall Street Journal has an article providing more background about Mr. Thacker and the Turing Prize. In the spirit of full disclosure, the submitter feels compelled to point out that this Mr. Thacker is his uncle, and that he thinks this is really cool."

Saturn Moon Could Be Hospitable To Life 153

shmG writes to share that recent imagery from Saturn's moon Enceladus indicate that it may be hospitable to life. "NASA said on Tuesday that a flyby of planet's Enceladus moon showed small jets of water spewing from the southern hemisphere, while infrared mapping of the surface revealed temperatures warmer than previously expected. 'The huge amount of heat pouring out of the tiger stripe fractures may be enough to melt the ice underground,' said John Spencer, a composite infrared spectrometer team member based at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. 'Results like this make Enceladus one of the most exciting places we've found in the solar system.'"

Cryptome in Hot Water Again 241

garg0yle writes to tell us that Cryptome appears to have stepped in it again with a recent leaked document concerning Microsoft's "Global Criminal Compliance Handbook." "Microsoft has demanded that Cryptome take down the guide — on the grounds that it constitutes a 'copyrighted [work] published by Microsoft.' Yesterday, at 5pm, Cryptome editor John Young received a notice from his site’s host, Network Solutions, bearing a stiff ultimatum: citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Network Solutions told him that unless he takes the 'copyrighted material' down, they will 'disable [his] website' on Thursday, February 25, 2010. So far, Young refuses to budge." In a gesture of goodwill, Wikileaks has offered to host Cryptome via their twitter feed.

"Tube Map" Created For the Milky Way Screenshot-sm 142

astroengine writes "Assuming you had an interstellar spaceship, how would you navigate around the galaxy? For starters, you'd probably need a map. But there's billions of stars out there — how complex would that map need to be? Actually, Samuel Arbesman, a research fellow from Harvard, has come up with a fun solution. He created the 'Milky Way Transit Authority (MWTA),' a simple transit system in the style of the iconic London Underground 'Tube Map.' (Travel Tip: Don't spend too much time loitering around the station at Carina, there's some demolition work underway.)"

Palm Pre and WebOS Get Native Gaming 49

rboatright writes "WebOS developers have been waiting, and with the 1.3.5 release, Palm's open source page suddenly listed SDL. Members of the WebOS internals team took that as a challenge and within 24 hours had a working port of Doom running in SDL on the Pre, in a webOS card. 48 hours later, they not only had Quake running, but had found in the latest LunaSysMgr the requirements to launch a native app from the webOS app launcher from an icon just like any other app. At the same time, the team demonstrated openGL apps running. With full native code support, with I/O available via SDL, developers now have a preview into Palm's future intent with regard to native code SDK's, and a hint of what's coming."

"Universal Jigsaw Puzzle" Hits Stores In Japan 241

Riktov writes "I came across this at a Tokyo toy store last week, and it's one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. Jigazo Puzzle is a jigsaw puzzle, but you can make anything with it. It has just 300 pieces which are all just varying shades of a single color, though a few have gradations across the piece; i.e., each piece is a generic pixel. Out of the box, you can make Mona Lisa, JFK, etc, arranging it according to symbols printed on the reverse side. But here's the amazing thing: take a photo (for example, of yourself) with a cell-phone, e-mail it to the company, and they will send you back a pattern that will recreate that photo. This article is in Japanese, but as they say, a few pictures are worth a million words. And 300 pixels are worth an infinite number of pictures."

Comcast to Buy 51% of NBC, GE Goes After 49% 258

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Comcast and General Electric announced a joint venture yesterday to control NBC Universal, with Comcast coming out with the controlling interest. Comcast's hopes seem to be on succeeding in a marriage of distribution and content, where Time Warner failed. "The deal was approved by the companies' boards, and is subject to regulatory approval. GE said it expects the deal to go through in the third quarter of 2010. Congress has already said it will hold a hearing to investigate whether Comcast will gain 'undue advantages' from the deal that gives it access to programming."
Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."

Musical Tesla Coils Perform Zelda Screenshot-sm 82

heychris writes "You've gotta love the Chicago Tribune's story on Tesla Coil hobbyists from the first sentence. 'Under a starry Saturday sky behind a Lake Zurich warehouse, three men unload a small flamethrower, electric cabling, neon-tube "light sabers," about 80 pounds of chain mail and two 7-foot devices that look like monster-movie props.' So what does one do with 1.6 million volts and a Tesla coil or two? Play 110dB music, of course."

New Aluminum-Ice Rocket Propellant Tested 130

eldavojohn writes "With the problem of moving conventional rocket fuel to the Moon and Mars on their minds, researchers from Purdue and Penn State successfully tested and demonstrated the use of aluminum-ice (ALICE) as fuel. In a paper from last August they outlined how it would work (PDF), and now they know it does. also has more information on the paper and how nano-scale aluminum functions as a fuel."

Platform Independent C++ OS Library? 310

quench writes "Hello! I have been away from Windows and Linux application software for 5 years or so, doing mainly C-like embedded C++ programming. Now, I am about to start a project emulating embedded hardware on Windows. Been there, doing #ifdef WIN32 and #ifdef LINUX stuff, don't really want to go there any more. What I actually need is a platform independent lib covering Windows and Linux variants to handle sockets, IPC and threads abstractions. And a rock solid but simple embedded database to emulate flash memory. My reflex said, go for ACE and Berkeley-DB. Tell me, am I out of time? Am I missing something new and trendy, easier to use and better? Did time stand still?"

"Overwhelming" Evidence For Magnetic Monopoles 256 sends along big physics news: magnetic monopoles have been detected at low temperatures in "Dirac strings" within a single crystal of Dysprosium Titanate. Two papers are being published today in the journal Science and two more on, as yet unpublished, provide further evidence. "Theoretical work had shown that monopoles probably exist, and they have been measured indirectly. But the Science papers are the first direct experiments to record the monopole's effects on the spin-ice material. The papers use neutrons to detect atoms in the crystal aligned into long daisy chains. These daisy chains tie each north and south monopole together. Known as 'Dirac strings,' the chains, as well as the existence of monopoles, were predicted in the 1930s by the British theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. Heat measurements in one paper also support the monopole argument. The two, as yet unpublished, papers on arXiv add to the evidence. The first provides additional observations, and the second uses a new technique to determine the magnetic charge of each monopole to be 4.6x10-13 joules per tesla metre. All together, the evidence for magnetic monopoles 'is now overwhelming,' says Steve Bramwell, a materials scientist at University College London and author on one of the Science papers and one of the arXiv papers."

Tiniest Lamp Spans Quantum, Classical Physics 59

Urchin writes "Physicists in California have made the smallest ever incandescent lamp using a carbon nanotube as the filament. The nanotube is so small it behaves as a quantum mechanical system but it's just large enough that the classical physics rules of thermodynamics should apply. Analyzing the light emitted from the tiny light will give the team a better picture of what happens in the twilight zone between the quantum and classical worlds." The New Scientist article doesn't mention the researchers' surprise, as the abstract does: "Remarkably, the heat equation and Planck's law together give a precise, quantitative description of the light intensity as a function of input power, even though the nanotube's small size places it outside the thermodynamic limit."

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