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How False Color Astronomy Works 28

StartsWithABang writes: When you look out at the nebulae in the night sky — especially if you're seeing them with your eye through a telescope for the first time — you might be in for a big surprise. These faint, fuzzy, extended objects are far dimmer, sparser and more cloud-like than almost anyone expects. Yet thanks to some incredible image processing, assigning colors to different wavelengths and adjusting the contrast, we can make out detailed structures beyond what even your aided eye could ever hope to perceive. Here's how the magic happens, and what it teaches us.

UK Authorities Threaten To Storm Ecuadorian Embassy To Arrest Julian Assange 1065

paulmac84 writes "According to the BBC, the UK have issued a threat to storm the Ecuadorian Embassy to arrest Julian Assange. Under the terms of the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 the UK has the right to revoke the diplomatic immunity of any embassy on UK soil. Ecuador are due to announce their decision on Assange's asylum request on Thursday morning."

Machine Learning Allows Actors To Create Games That Understand Body Language 30

ptresset writes "Goldsmiths college is developing technology with natural responses to human interaction. The technology enables video games characters to move in a more natural way, responding to the player's own body language rather than mathematical rules. The hypothesis is that the actors' artistic understanding of human behavior will bring an individuality, subtlety and nuance to the character that it would be difficult to create in hand-authored models."

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 291

I have no problem with Bell slowing down my P2P transfers when there's congestion. However, from experience, Bell throttles based on time and not bandwidth/congestion.
As soon as the throttling times are over, the P2P downloads speed up considerably, so it's obviously not throttled based on congestion on the network.
As for downloading when it's not affecting others. It would only affect you if they were experiencing congestion, not based on time of day; which is what they have implemented.

Bell is artificially slowing down their customers during certain hours of the day because they are unable to implement a correct solution to handle congestion.

Comment Re:Oh, sure. (Score 1) 195

wrt airplane fuel:
Actually there are some companies out there that do payload and fuel optimization with knowledge of fuel prices, payload weights, aircraft performance, forecast wind patterns.
There is also a cost in flying with more fuel than you need, as it takes fuel to transport fuel to your destination.
The algorithms for figuring out how much fuel to put on board aren't particularly difficult (at least when I was working on it) it's just _really_ computationally expensive, and also estimations upon estimations, upon estimations, upon predictions.
Another thing to be considered: the way the plane is packed will also adjust the amount of fuel they use. So when you're packing a plane, you've got to deal with weights side to side, and front to back too.


US Corps Want $1B From Gov't For Battery Factory 394

tristanreid writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that a consortium of 14 US technology companies will ask the Federal Government for up to $1 billion for a plant to make advanced battery technology, as a part of the broad fiscal stimulus package that Pres. Elect Obama is planning. The story quotes a report by Ralph Brodd, which suggests that while existing battery technology was developed in the US, the lead in development is now held in Asia. From the WSJ story: 'More than four dozen advanced battery factories are being built in China but none, currently, in the US.'"

1.4 Billion Pixel Camera To Watch For Asteroids 138

SpaceSlug writes "The world's largest digital camera is to be used to keep an eye out for asteroids heading towards Earth. The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) has been built by researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab. At its heart is a 1.4 billion pixel (or 1400 megapixel) camera that will scan the night sky looking for rogue near-Earth objects from atop Mount Haleakala in Maui Island, Hawaii. The system uses something called an orthogonal transfer CCD to remove atmospheric blur from images."
Portables (Apple)

Apple Announces New MacBook, Pro, Air 774

Steve Jobs just got through announcing new MacBook lines in Cupertino. The MacBook, the Pro, and the Air all got revved. The old line of plastic-body MacBooks drops in price by $100, to $999. The new MacBooks have a metal body and multi-touch trackpad, just like the new Pros. The Pro features two NVidia graphics chips. Quoting Jobs: "With the 9400M, you get 5 hours of battery life, with the 9600M GT you get four hours of battery life. You choose." In summary: "We're building both [MacBook and Pro] in a whole new way. From a slab of aluminum to a notebook. New graphics. New trackpad, the best we've ever built. And LED-backlit displays that are far brighter, instant on, far more environmentally responsible." They are shipping today and should be in stores tomorrow. Oh, and one more thing: Steve's blood pressure is 110/70.

Submission + - Getting smart about debugging linux

John Bethell writes: "UndoDB, the smart debugger for Linux gets smarter — Reversible debugger for Linux gets support for threads and signals FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Cambridge, UK — March 12, 2007. Jacob Rideout is a developer on the prestigious KDE project. After struggling for over a week with a particularly nasty bug, he turned to UndoDB: the reversible debugger for Linux applications. He says of the experience: "I found the idea of [the] product amazing and a boon to my productivity ... I already have been able to fix a deadlock that was driving me crazy for a week in only 10 minutes". UndoDB is different to most other debuggers because it is able to step a program back in time, showing the programmer exactly what their program has done, and so making even the most difficult bug trivial to uncover. Bugs are the bane of software developers' lives, and those of their managers. Yet until recently, the tools that are used to resolve them had hardly evolved in decades. Greg Law, co-founder and CEO of Undo Software (http://undo-software.com/) found the general lack of interest in debugging in the computer science community perplexing: Bugs are by far software's single biggest issue. It's always been so, and it's been getting steadily worse as software has become ever more complicated. Debugging may not be glamorous, but it totally dominates software development costs, schedule delays, and product quality. Even now a very small proportion of computer scientists are directly working on this problem. But things are beginning to change — Undo Software is one of a small but growing number of players in the industry who are giving this huge problem the attention it deserves. The US government estimate that bugs cost $60bn per year to the US economy alone [1]. This huge sum is partly due to productivity (the same report estimates programmers spend 80% of their time debugging), and also due to the cost of in-the-field bugs. Law goes on to say We have been truly delighted with the feedback and very positive response we received with the release of version 1 of UndoDB last year and we look forward to helping many more in the Linux community with the release of UndoDB v2 which is able to operate on programs that use threads and asynchronous signals. Traditional debuggers have been in widespread use for decades, allowing the developer to stop his program and peer inside. The program can then be started again, and may be inched forwards an instruction or more at a time. These tools have their uses, but they are unable to tell the programmer what their program has done previously. A new breed of debugger, reversible debuggers, allow the programmer to pause a running program and inspect its state not just at that moment, but at any point in the past. The program can be stepped back a single instruction, or a larger amount of time, giving the developer much more information to help diagnose the cause of the bug. A reversible debugger effectively records everything that the debuggee program does, down to the finest detail: every memory access, every computation, every call to the operating system and every input it receives. This colossal amount of data is then presented to the programmer using a very powerful metaphor: the ability to travel backwards in time (and forwards again) and inspect the program state. UndoDB does not need to store this huge amount of data though: its snapshot and replay technique allows it to store only non-deterministic inputs, making the space required for the log much smaller than would otherwise be the case. Reversible debugging is so useful because it gives the user control over time. To debug a program is to reason backwards from the point of failure to determine the cause of that failure. On the first page of their book, The Practice of Programming, Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike (two of the pioneers of modern computer programming) give the following advice to programmers when debugging: Reason back from the state of the crashed program to determine what could have caused this. Debugging involves backwards reasoning, like solving murder mysteries. Something impossible occurred, and the only solid information is that it really did occur. So we must think backwards from the result to discover the reasons. With this analogy, a programmer using a reversible debugger is like the detective finding detailed CCTV footage of a murder and everything leading up to it. UndoDB uniquely enables reversible debugging of arbitrary Linux binary programs, including those written in C or C++. UndoDB requires no recompilation or other modifications to the program being debugged, nor does it require any specialized hardware, kernel patches, or kernel modules. UndoDB uses the ubiquitous gdb as its front-end, so Linux developers will feel right at home, and be productive the moment they get started. gdb has been complemented with a few new commands which work just like gdb's existing commands, only they step the program backwards in time, rather than forwards. For example, whereas gdb's step command steps the program forwards one source line, UndoDB's bstep command steps the program back one source line. UndoDB also compliments gdb's next, until, finish, stepi and nexti commands with their respective counterparts: bnext, buntil, bfinish, bstepi and bnexti. UndoDB also adds some new commands which have no parallel in gdb, such as the bgoto and bgoton commands, which jump to an arbitrary point in the program's history. When the program is paused at any point in its history, the programmer can inspect the full state of their program using the usual gdb commands (e.g. print, backtrace and display). Although UndoDB is not open source, developers who don't get paid for their work can use UndoDB for free. For professional use, UndoDB costs between $195 and $495 per seat. There is also a free 30-day evaluation version. UndoDB is available now, from http://undo-software.com/. References [1] NIST — Software Errors Cost U.S. Economy $59.5 Billion Annually http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/n02-10 .htm. [2] Dr. Dobb's Journal, May 09, 2005 — Omniscient Debugging (RetroVue at Work) http://www.ddj.com/dept/debug/184406101?pgno=5. Notes to Editors Undo Ltd is a privately held software company based in Cambridge, UK. It was founded by Greg Law and Julian Smith in 2005. Both hold a Ph.D. and have worked in the computer industry for many years. The company was formed out of the founders' frustration with existing debugging tools. UndoDB is Undo Software's first product. Contact Details Email support@undo-software.com, visit http://undo-software.com/ or call Greg Law on +44 7712 588 091 for more"

Submission + - FTC sells national do not call list to spammers?

Anonymous Coward writes: "About three years ago I signed up for the national do not call list at https://www.donotcall.gov/ using a sneakemail.com address that was unique for that site and never given to any other site. (Note how the link on the registration page which states "Learn why your email address is required" is a broken link, yes, very nice.) But they have a privacy statement at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm which specifically states "We will not share your email address with telemarketers". However this morning I just got an e-mail from matchmaker.com that came in through that address. Does this not seem like the exact opposite of the purpose of a do not call list?"

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