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Submission + - Ask Slashdot

An anonymous reader writes: I've been on the hunt for a decent ADSL router that is also open and hackable. For some reason, it seems that such thing might not exist. Sure I've looked at all the OpenWRT and its variants but in the long list of hardware compatibility, I'm unable to find one platform that would work both WiFi and ADSL in a reliable way. I suspect that the reason is the ADSL chip manufacturers holding away the drivers. But still, why can't there be one manufacturer that would just sell an open platform for tweaking and customization by OEMs?
Note that large-scale vendors would indeed be open to adding a tweak or two if you order bulk but won't allow you to do your thing.
The Military

Submission + - Ukrainian Attack Dolphins Are on the Loose

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Ukrainian Navy has a small problem on their hands as the Atlantic reports that after rebooting the Soviet Union's marine mammal program last year with the goal of teaching dolphins to find underwater mines and kill enemy divers, three of the Ukrainian military's new recruits have gone AWOL. Apparently they swam away from their trainers ostensibly in search of a "mate" out in open waters. It might not be such a big deal except that these dolphins have been trained to "attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads." Dolphins were trained at Sevastopol for the Soviet Navy as far back as 1973 to find military equipment such as sea mines on the seabed as well as attacking divers and even carrying explosives on their heads to plant on enemy ships. The US has its own dolphin program in San Diego with 40 trained dolphins and sea lions and another 50 in training. US Navy dolphins were deployed in Bahrain in 1987 during a period when Iran was laying down mines in the Persian Gulf to disrupt oil shipments. No word yet on whether "sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached” have been added to the US arsenal."
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - World's Youngest Apple Mac Genius (

An anonymous reader writes: While most 6 year old boys are playing with Disney and Nintendo toys, this kid can rattle off the difference between vintage and newer processors, OS versions, RAM, virtualization (is that a custom Rainmaker desktop in Windows 7 running on a MacBook Pro?), video editing. Add the Herman Miller chair and a HDV deck, and I wonder what his parents do? Check out the video here:

Submission + - Red Bull literally does give you wings (

An anonymous reader writes: Red Bull’s collaboration with science sends social media world into space
Just last week on the 14th of October Feilx Baumgartner set a new world record for skydiving an approximate 24 miles, reaching speeds up to 834 mph in the process. An impressive achievement for science and mankind alike, but also a massive achievement for Red Bull.
This 10 minute jump from the stratosphere over New Mexico was broadcasted to millions around the world resulting in arguably one of the biggest moments of 2012. It also made internet video history, as over 7 million people tuned in to watch the event live on YouTube.
And who was at the forefront of it all (except Felix Baumgartner of course)? The answer is Red Bull.
Diving from the edge of space in his Red Bull branded suit, Felix reached the speed of sound at 98,000 feet and then subsequently deployed his Red Bull parachute at 8,000 feet landing moments later sending the world into admiration.
Now if this mission had failed in any way i.e. the parachute didn’t open resulting in Felix’s death, or if the jump got delayed even more (the original scheduled launch was on the 9th of October, and then again on the 11th) then Red Bull really would have looked like idiots. But this was a risk they were willing to take. That is the key here: Risk, and it paid off big time.
In the days leading up to this event social media channels went into overdrive. The ‘Red Bull Stratos’ campaign — as the project was named — trended worldwide on Twitter. And the story was similar on Facebook as it surpassed 500,000 ‘likes’ before the event. At the time of writing it is currently on 730,605 ‘likes’ and reports that 1,367,366 people are talking about it on Facebook. Talk about embracing the power of social media with content worth talking about just like right now!
This is just an example in the long list of extreme sporting events that Red Bull have sponsored around the world. By creating these events Red Bull are able to create a spectacle worth talking about, and more importantly put themselves, and them alone on TV screens around the world. A strategy that is proving a massive success for the energy drink manufacturer.
What are the essentials here then? Build a story worth talking about; Capture the critical moments of the story on camera/video; Allow for free PR using social media for the story to be repeated.
It has been estimated that this space dive alone could be worth around £10m in the UK and a massive £100m worldwide for Red Bull.


Submission + - Nintendo's WiiU console susceptible to old Wii Homebrew Hacks (

EGSonikku writes: "While not a hack of the WiiU directly, it is possible to use original Wii homebrew on the WiiU by booting into "Wii Mode" and using Comex's "Stack Smash" exploit. It is surprising that Nintendo didn't patch this "ancient" exploit, but WiiU owners may appreciate being able to use all their old homebrew and emulators on their new WiiU console."

Submission + - OpenMW (open source Morrowind) 0.17.0 Released (

An anonymous reader writes: Another month and plenty of work brings the OpenMW engine closer to playability. This release adds proper player control, a new shader library, and a new animation system which uses the Ogre3d rendering system. Check out the latest demonstration video to see some of these new features. Additionally, work has begun on a new game editor as well as a small standalone game. The game, which will be free of Bethesda owned art assets, will allow those who don't already own Morrowind to test out the engine. Visit the download page to give the engine a try:

Submission + - VMware Abandons VRAM-based Pricing Model (

hypnosec writes: VMware has announced a new pricing structure abandoning the VRAM based pricing model completely thus giving its customers the much needed relief. About a year ago, VMware came up with a pricing scheme under which it started charging customers based on the virtual infrastructure instead of physical infrastructure. The virtualization leader asked its customer to pay based on the VRAM thus, in a way, penalizing them for deploying more virtual machines on comparatively less physical servers. Today, VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger announced at VMworld conference that they are going to do away with the VRAM-based pricing model. “Today I am happy to say we are striking this word from the vocabulary,” he said. Pricing hasn't been announced yet but a file [PDF] present on VMware's site does give an indication about the new pricing.

Submission + - How Apple killed the Linux desktop (

An anonymous reader writes: Klint Finley discusses Miguel de Icaza's idea of how OSX killed Linux on the desktop due to splintered GUI programs on Linux, including the lack of backward compatibility. It also relates the lack of graphical toolkits available on Linux causing developers to use OSX as a desktop for server programming and because "development was shifting to the web"

Article also on


Submission + - Manipulating microbes to manage body weight is a new area of research

ACXNew writes: Vaccines and antibiotics may someday join caloric restriction or bariatric surgery as a way to regulate weight gain, according to a new study focused on the interactions between diet, the bacteria that live in the bowel, and the immune system.
Bacteria in the intestine play a crucial role in digestion. They provide enzymes necessary for the uptake of many nutrients, synthesize certain vitamins and boost absorption of energy from food. Fifty years ago, farmers learned that by tweaking the microbial mix in their livestock with low-dose oral antibiotics, they could accelerate weight gain. More recently, scientists found that mice raised in a germ-free environment, and thus lacking gut microbes, do not put on extra weight, even on a high-fat diet. A research team based at the University of Chicago was able to unravel some of the mechanisms that regulate this weight gain..

Submission + - Arctic sea ice drops to lowest in satellite era (

bigvibes writes: "The extent of the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean has shrunk. According to scientists from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo., the amount is the smallest size ever observed in the three decades since consistent satellite observations of the polar cap began.

The extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, as measured by the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager on the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft and analyzed by NASA and NSIDC scientists, was 1.58 million square miles (4.1 million square kilometers), or 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) below the Sept. 18, 2007, daily extent of 1.61 million square miles (4.17 million square kilometers)."


Submission + - Samsung files motion to lift ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1 ( 3

dsmalle writes: On Groklaw: The "Alice in Wonderland of juries" didn't find the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringing Apple's 'D889 patent. Samsung Moves to Quickly Lift Preliminary Injunction on Galaxy 10.1.
It wouldn't surprise anyone after reading more on the jury that Apple will get less out of Samsung than it imagined...


Submission + - Blame a dysfunctional patent system for Apple Samsung decision ( 1

SternisheFan writes: "Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times wrote A considerare article concerning the recent Apple/Samsung court decision...
        "Whether you think that Apple is already too big for its britches or that Samsung deserved to get slammed for $1 billion by a Silicon Valley jury last week for infringing on the iPhone design, there's no doubt where the blame for this corporate firefight lies. The guilty party is the U.S. Patent Office."
        "(There being good, viable reasons for 20 year patents on medical products), software, on the other hand, is cheaper to develop and easy to place on the market. Giving it 20 years of protection can only stifle creativity and competition. On those grounds, the Electronic Frontier Foundation proposes to cut software patents to five years; prevent damages from being based on the entire market value of a product when only a small piece of it infringes; and require much more detailed and narrow applications in software cases. That would be a start to rectifying a dysfunction in the patent system that has been developing for more than 20 years, and certainly to prevent absurd verdicts like the one handed down last week in San Jose."
        So is the patent system broken when it comes to software? Or will I forever have to cross the Canadian border in order to buy Samsung devices?"


Submission + - The Programmers Go Coding Two-by-Two, Hurrah? 1

theodp writes: The Wall Street Journal reports that pair programming is all the rage at tech darlings Facebook and Square. Its advocates speak in glowing terms of the power of pair programming, saying paired coders can catch costly software errors and are less likely to waste time surfing the Web. 'The communication becomes so deep that you don't even use behind anymore,' says Facebook programmer Kent Beck. 'You just grunt and point.' Such reverent tones prompted Atlassian to poke a little fun at the practice with Spooning, an instructional video in which a burly engineer sits on a colleague's lap, wraps his arms around his partner's waist and types along with him hand over hand.

Submission + - UK license-plate cameras have "gaps in coverage" (

Aguazul2 writes: UK police are sad that despite having the most comprehensive driver surveillance system of any developed country, there are still gaps in their coverage. From the article: The cameras automatically record plate/time/location information and send it to a central data store, which has complete nationwide records for 6 years. Also interesting is that a unspecified "particular driving style" can be used to evade detection by the cameras. It appears, however, that criminals are well aware of the cameras and take other routes. Big Brother technology, coming soon to a country near you!

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