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LHC Shut Down By Transformer Malfunction 293

Ortega-Starfire writes "A 30-ton transformer in the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned, requiring complete replacement on the day the LHC came online. No one at CERN reported any problems, and they only released this data once the Associated Press sent people to investigate rumors of problems. I guess it's hard to just sweep a 30-ton transformer breaking under the rug."

Comment Re:Zonk at Massively? (Score 5, Informative) 96

Aprils 17th was actually my last day with the site.

I'm just another Slashdot user now. :)

My primary gig is over at Massively, but I'm also writing at places like Wired, Gamasutra, and 1up.

As for stability, unfortunately I can't really speak to that. They're still very much in a Beta phase. It was a lot less glitchy than I've seen some games at that stage, but it was (of course) a setup specifically designed to give me the best impression of the game possible.
Role Playing (Games)

D&D 4th Edition Game System License Announced 131

Wizards of the Coast has announced plans for a brand-new system license for the fourth edition of Dungeons and Dragons . As with the d20 STL for Third Edition, this is a royalty-free license that will allow third parties to publish products using the rules developed by WotC. The new system reference document will be made available early in June (just after the release of the new edition). That license only covers fantasy gaming, but a second license (the d20 GSL) will be released allowing for any type of gaming product to be developed. For analysis and follow-up on the announcement, the ENWorld boards have full details.

Storm Dismantled at USENIX LEET Workshop 58

An anonymous reader writes "The USENIX LEET workshop held earlier this week in San Francisco offered neat insights into the Storm botnet, including two papers showing the difficulty of accurately measuring the botnet's size, and one on the way it conducts its spamming campaigns (down to the template language used). There was a bunch of other cool work too, so check out the papers."

AU Government Demands Universal Wiretapping 236

StonyandCher writes "The Australian government is pushing a bill to force all telecommunications providers to facilitate lawful data interception across fixed and mobile telephone systems, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Instant Messaging (IM) and chat room discussions. Sweeping reforms will make it easier than ever for law enforcement to intercept communications if amendments to the Telecommunications (Interceptions) Act are agreed upon by a Senate standing committee. This follows from a story earlier this week where the Australian government is legislating to allow employers to snoop on employees' email and IM conversations."

Thinkpad X300 With SSD Performance Evaluation 133

Ninjakicks writes "Hard drives are typically one of the more significant performance bottlenecks in any system today. An evaluation of Lenovo's new ultra portable Thinkpad X300 notebook shows a fast solid state hard drive can substantially improve the performance of a system. This is especially true of a low-end, low power processor and integrated graphics, in addition to reducing overall power consumption. Despite its 1.2GHz CPU the Thinkpad X300 is actually able to outperform some desktop replacement notebooks equipped with dual 7200RPM hard drives in RAID 0 in productivity benchmarks, and in data transfers. Interesting results, especially considering the X300's ultra portable form factor."

Google Earth 4.3 Offers a Number of New Features 133

GoogleWatch writes "Google's all excited for Earth day, and just in time there's a new version of Google Earth available. 4.3 offers up revamped navigation controls, 3-D photo-realistic buildings in major cities, and time-lapse views of sunsets and sunrises. Also new in Google Earth 4.3 is access to the street view movies found in Google Maps. Just click any of the camera icons and the familiar street view window will pop up. The sunrise and sunset movies are also quite impressive. Fly to a location you'd like to see and click the "sun" button in the toolbar. That will bring up a small timeline graphic and you can either hit play or drag the timeline slider to watch the day unfold."
The Internet

Do the Blind Deserve More Effort on the Web? 663

dratcw writes "An article was posted this week to ComputerWorld, detailing the frustrations faced by blind people struggling to use the Web. The piece shows how little progress has been made and the inadequacy of solutions such as Microsoft's Narrator screen reader. While the article generated many positive comments, one reader said the disabled should 'get a grip' and maintained they 'have no more right to demand that others provide for their needs than I, as a diabetic, have a right to demand that sugar no longer be used.' Should Web sites and software makers do more, or does the reality of today's economics dictate that the blind/disabled will continue to struggle and learn to live with it?"

Japan's Cyborg Research Enters the Skull 120

RemyBR writes "Researchers at Osaka University are stepping up efforts to develop robotic body parts controlled by thought, by placing electrode sheets directly on the surface of the brain. The research marks Japan's first foray into invasive (i.e. requiring open-skull surgery) brain-machine interface research on human test subjects. The aim of the research is to develop real-time mind-controlled robotic limbs for the disabled. 'To date, the researchers have worked with four test subjects to record brain wave activity generated as they move their arms, elbows and fingers. Working with Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), the researchers have developed a method for analyzing the brain waves to determine the subject's intended activity to an accuracy of greater than 80%.'"
The Internet

Darwin's Private Papers Get Released To The Internet 237

bibekpaudel writes "ScienceDaily reports that a wealth of papers belonging to Charles Darwin have been published on the internet, some for the first time. Some 20,000 items and 90,000 images were posted today to The new site is the largest collection of Darwin's work in history, according to organizers from Cambridge University Library 'This release makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments, and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free,' said John van Wyhe, director of the project. The collection includes thousands of notes and drafts of his scientific writings, notes from the voyage of the Beagle when he began to formulate his controversial theory of evolution, and his first recorded doubts about the permanence of species."

Why AMD Could Win The Coming Visual Computing Battle 161

Vigile writes "The past week has been rampant with discussion on the new war that is brewing between NVIDIA and Intel, but there was one big player left out of the story: AMD. It would seem that both sides have written this competitor off, but PC Perspective thinks quite the opposite. The company is having financial difficulties, but AMD already has the technologies that both NVIDIA and Intel are striving to build or acquire: mainstream CPU, competitive GPU, high quality IGP solutions and technology for hybrid processing. This article postulates that both Intel and NVIDIA are overlooking a still-competitive opponent, which could turn out to be a drastic mistake."

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