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Comment Re:Motorola did not invent the mobile phone! (Score 3, Informative) 176

Motorola invented the cellular "refinement" which enabled mobile telephony to be used by the general public. Prior to this, mobile phone capacity was less than 100 channels for a large metropolitan area, so they couldn't be used widely. On the old "car phone" system, which was actually just a conventional two way full duplex radio, prices for airtime and equipment were huge, and the transmit power was much larger than today's standard by a factor of 20 or more, and the prior systems had no automated coordination of channels/frequencies it was basically old Mabel at the switchboard connecting the other end of your jumbo mobile two-way radio (why the fuck didn't you bring up Marconi? Oh yeah he wasn't Swedish either) to the switched landline network. Motorola changed all that, with a shared network controlled through automation. This technology was invented by a team lead by Dr. Martin Cooper in the early 1970s, at Motorola. Motorola also invented the clam shell/flip phone form factor, with the microTac in 1989. Before this, hand held cellular mobile phones were "brick" devices such as the DynaTac, oh yeah, also invented by Motorola in 1983 (actually 1973, but FCC acceptance became final in 1983). Get your nationalistic head out of the sand and give credit where it's due. And no, I don't work for Motorola.

Submission + - Remix This Game (

An anonymous reader writes: REMIX THIS GAME is an experimental game design contest where participants can re-mix and re-cycle my free-software self-published PC game, XONG. XONG is available under permissive licenses allowing remixes and derivative works of the code, graphics, sound effects, and music—even for commercial use. The source code license is the GNU GPL Version 3, and the media is covered by the Creative Commons BY-SA license.

No special software or programming experience are needed—XONG has been packaged up so that you can just download the game and edit the graphics/code/music/sounds in place, and re-start the game to see your changes. Plus, it is available for Windows, Mac OSX, and GNU/Linux, so you can remix it on whichever OS you use, using whatever programs you like.

Submission + - A Few More Laps in the Fusion Race

tcgibian writes: In the fusion power race, the ITER tokamak and the NIF laser fusion projects still seem to be troubled with technical problems, huge costs, sparse results, and a time frame of decades. However, one of the other contenders, the Dense Plasma Focus device constructed in New Jersey by a team headed by Eric Lerner, seems to be making consistent progress.

This device differs from the others in that it works with natural forces rather than trying to counteract them. The machine, called Focus Fusion-1, uses natural plasma instabilities to focus the discharge of a bank of capacitors into a tiny, intensely hot point, called a plasmoid. This device has already achieved 1 MegAmp currents at 30KV with temperatures of up to 600 million degrees, and regularly fuses Deuterium fuel. The other, better known projects have yet to achieve this level of reliable performance.

Since first operation on October 15, 2009, this DPF machine has being refined and is being brought up to full power at 45KV, and when this is achieved, its next important hurdle will be the aneutronic fusion of Boron 11 and Hydrogen. This reaction promises the generation of electricity by direct means with negligible radioactivity in the process, fuel, or byproducts, unlike competing designs.

Whether or not this method can lead to cheap and safe fusion power should be demonstrated within a year or two. The output of of pB11 fusion, a flash of X-rays and a stream of high velocity Helium nuclei can both be harvested to generate electricity, and theory again points to a surplus above that needed to operate the device.

Although theory can be quenched in the cold bath of results, the Lerner team has been rather successful to date at validating their theories. Despite the sparse funding and lack of official attention, this project could turn into the little engine that could.
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Submission + - StarCraft II cost $100 million to develop (

UgLyPuNk writes: Video game production is in a slump, the world’s struggling with the tail-end of the Global Financial Crisis, and Activision Blizzard has spent more than US$100 million developing StarCraft II.

The sequel’s been 12 years coming, and expectations are understandably high, with analysts predicting several million units will be sold this year alone – comfortably padding Activision‘s wallet.

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