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Feed The Register: Upgrade drags Stealth Bomber IT systems into the 90s (

Pentium, code written in C - cutting edge stuff

US aerospace heavyweight Northrop Grumman has revealed some details of a planned upgrade to the computing system of the famous B-2 Stealth Bomber, one of the most expensive and unusual aircraft in the world. According to reports, the well-known but seldom seen ghost bomber will be finally moving up to Pentium processors and code written in C. The B-2 will also get a new disk drive.


Submission + - New Solar Energy Technology

qazsedcft writes: The BBC is reporting:

A new way capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. The new technique involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect light to photovoltaic cells in the frame. The technology, outlined in the journal Science, could be used to convert glass buildings into vast energy plants. The technology could be in production within three years, the team said.

The Internet

Submission + - The Culture of Startup Mediocrity (

Frank Spinetti writes: "Back in early June, TechCrunch launched its 'Elevator Pitches', a key component in the popularization of the venture capitalist funding process. Securing funds for a startup is less and less the stuff of closed door meetings, suits and briefcases, it's fast becoming the everyman game. How far do sites like Elevator Pitches go in contributing to a culture of startup mediocrity? To what extent are web entrepreneurs hoodwinked by the prospect of 6-7 figure VC seed money? Have startups become a form of speculative Web currency?
This article takes TechCrunch Elevator Pitches as an example to explore some of these themes."


Submission + - Riemann Hypothesis -- The Other Sabot Drops

jim.shilliday writes: A recent Slashdot article ( ) notes the publication of a preprint by Xian-Jin Li of Brigham Young University claiming to prove the Riemann Hypothesis. The proof cites and appears to be based in part on the work of the leading French theorist Alain Connes. A few hours ago, Connes posted a comment on his blog stating that the purported proof is so badly flawed that he stopped reading it: Connes is one of a relatively few people qualified to express an authoritative opinion. Li will have to respond.
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA expert debunked by Prof. Pouwelse (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Last year the Slashdot community "went medieval" on the testimony of the RIAA's "expert witness", Dr. Doug Jacobson, in UMG v. Lindor. Our friends at Groklaw did likewise. Now you can compare notes with a formally retained expert witness, Prof. Johan Pouwelse of Delft University — one of the world's foremost experts on the science of P2P file sharing and the very same Prof. Pouwelse who stopped the RIAA's Netherlands clone in its tracks back in 2005 — who has weighed in with his expert witness report characterizing Dr. Jacobson's work as "borderline incompetence". p2pnet calls the report a devastating blow to the RIAA's expert. (And in the shameless-plug department, if you enjoyed reading Prof. Pouwelse's report, and want to continue helping to get the truth out to judges and juries about the technology and science of the internet, please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the Expert Witness Defense Fund maintained by the Free Software Foundation, which provides funding for expert witnesses and other technical consultants who are assisting defendants in the RIAA cases)."

Submission + - SPAM: Study derides feds telework efforts: $13.9B hole

coondoggie writes: "If all the government's eligible teleworkers worked from home, the Federal government could save $13.9 billion in commuting costs annually and eliminate 21.5 billion pounds of pollutants from the environment each year. The "Telework Eligibility Profile: Feds Fit the Bill" study is based on a survey of 664 Federal employees found that of those respondents, 96% of them should be teleworking, yet only 20% do. In fact, the Federal government telework deficit is equivalent to the gross domestic product of Jamaica, the study said. To offset the amount of CO2 emissions Feds disperse in the environment by commuting, we would need to plant 32 million trees a year... [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The List of Obsolete Technical Skills 3

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Robert Scoble had an interesting post on his blog a few days ago on obsolete technical skills — "things we used to know that no longer are very useful to us." Scoble's initial list included dialing a rotary phone, using carbon paper to make copies, and changing the gas mixture on your car's carburetor. The list has now been expanded into a wiki with a much larger list of these obsolete skills that includes resolving IRQ conflicts on a mother board, assembly language programming, and stacking a quarter on an arcade game to indicate you have next. "Feel free to contribute more if you can, and if you have the time, please make a page with a short description of the skill," writes Brad Kellett."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Porn site hacks Facebook (

wraithguard01 writes: "Apparently a Canadian porn site has hacked Facebook and stolen 200,000 pages worth of proprietary information. Facebook is now suing them.
From the article:

This complaint goes on to allege that "the defendants knowingly and without permission took, copied, or made use of, data from Facebook's proprietary computers and computer network" with the intention of spamming its users.

Facebook claims that its website suffered substantial damages in excess of $5,000. It is suing for an undisclosed sum.

Since when have the porn companies tried drumming up business from underage people?"

Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Gen Con Files for Chapter 11 (

Heartless Gamer writes: "Gen Con LLC announced today that it has filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the State of Washington. This action became necessary as a result of significant unforeseen expenses associated with attempts to expand its core business to encompass externally licensed events. Gen Con's flagship show, Gen Con Indy, remains a vibrant, profitable event. Gen Con Indy will take place as scheduled August 14-17, 2008, in Indianapolis, Indiana."
The Media

Submission + - Is Copyrigtht Infringement Stealing? 1

gooman writes: An interesting opinion piece in the L.A. Times today regarding file sharing semantics. It also happens to be one of the Times rare opportunities to "Discuss" the topic, so don't forget to share your thoughts with them. It seems to me that the major media outlets have a lot of catching up to do on this subject.
United States

Submission + - China Plans to Leapfrog US with Nano Investments (

SoyChemist writes: Sociologists at the AAAS annual meeting have reported that China is making major investments in nanotechnology. Their aim is to 'Leapfrog' past the United States in technological development by focusing on long-ranging scientific goals. So far, the Chinese government has poured about $400 million into the hot field of research. Considering the low cost of equipment and labor over there, that is a very large sum of money. Singapore and Russia have similar programs.

Feed Engadget: Robot chef whips up delicacies we wouldn't dare touch (

Filed under: Robots

Nonhuman chefs are far from extraordinary, but the latest culinary guru crafted in Japan has a taste for the extreme. Reportedly, the EZ Order Robot was spotted in Osaka whipping up octopus balls (of all things), but apparently, the creature was able to concoct the dish totally from scratch. Interestingly, the demonstration wasn't really established to showcase its kitchen prowess, but rather to highlight other capabilities such as speech recognition and the ability to perform routine tasks without human intervention. Click here for the video, but remember, we're not responsible for ruining your appetite.

[Via Live Science]

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Submission + - Natural Selection Can Act on Human Culture 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "Scientists at Stanford University have shown for the first time that the process of natural selection can act on human cultures as well as on genes. The team studied reports of canoe designs from 11 Oceanic island cultures evaluating 96 functional features that could contribute to the seaworthiness of the canoes and thus have a bearing on fishing success or survival during migration or warfare. Statistical test results showed clearly that the functional canoe design elements changed more slowly over time, indicating that natural selection could be weeding out inferior new designs. Authors of the study said their results speak directly to urgent social and environmental problems. "People have learned how to avoid natural selection in the short term through unsustainable approaches such as inequity and excess consumption. But this is not going to work in the long term," said Deborah S. Rogers, a research fellow at Stanford. "We need to begin aligning our culture with the powerful forces of nature and natural selection instead of against them. If the leadership necessary to undertake critically needed cultural evolution in these areas can't be found, our civilization may find itself weeded out by natural selection, just like a bad canoe design.""
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Interview with Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee

An anonymous reader writes: He's quickly become an Internet sensation and a celebrity in the gaming world, known as much for his spitfire sardonic delivery as for his blunt, biting reviews. was fortunate enough to interview Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, the man famous for Zero Punctuation reviews on The Escapist. These are the fastest, funniest, more pointed videogame reviews you've ever seen.
The Internet

Submission + - Fine print on Starbucks' free Wi-Fi deal (

ericatcw writes: Reacting to a comment by a clever reader here on Slashdot, I pinged Starbucks' PR to see if there was any fine print was on Starbucks' 2-hours-free-Wi-Fi deal. Turns out Starbucks two hours Wi-Fi deal isn't that free — to maintain your AT&T Wi-Fi account, users will need to use their Starbucks Card once a month by either buying something with the card or adding money to it. To prevent users from gaming the system by creating multiple free accounts, AT&T will track users' PCs — probably via MAC address — to limit any computer to a single 2-hour session a day. So, anyone up for spoofing Mac addresses or bringing in two shiny new Everex CloudBooks?

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They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.