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UK Space Agency Launched 125

krou writes "Today saw the launch of the new UK Space Agency (UKSA), which will officially come into being on the 1st of April. Its stated goal is to lead to more coherency in space policy, and better decision making, by gradually assuming control over the various budgets and management functions of various government departments and science funding councils. Lord Drayson, the minister for science and innovation, said that 'People in the UK are not aware of just how good Britain is both at space research and in terms of our space industry; [a space agency] is going to make people more aware of that. But in practical terms, it's going to make the decision-making by government in all aspects of space policy much more joined up, better co-ordinated — a single point within government which has responsibility for making sure that we get everything in alignment such that the space research we do, the space industry that we're building, fulfils its true potential.' The government also announced that it is adding £24m to the £16m put up by business to create an International Space Innovation Centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire."
Classic Games (Games)

The Unsung Heroes of PC Gaming History 325

An anonymous reader writes "The history of PC gaming is littered with many well-known and highly regarded titles, but what about the titles you mightn't have heard of? This list of the top games in the history of the PC includes the usual suspects, such as Half-Life and Doom, but also some often overlooked PC games including such classics as Elite, the space trading RPG developed in 1984 by two college friends from Cambridge for the Acorn and BB Micro systems. The game used a truly elegant programming hack to create over 200 different worlds to explore while using 32kb of memory, all with 3D wireframes. Also in the list is Robot War, which required players to actually code the participants, and one of the first online multiplayer RPGs, Neverwinter Nights, which introduced many of the developer and user behaviors, such as custom guilds, that have made modern RPGs so popular." What's your favorite classic game that always gets overlooked in these kinds of lists? My vote goes for Star Control 2.

Submission + - Software Engineer Dive-bombs IRS Building in Texas (

Oxford_Comma_Lover writes: Joe Stack, a contract software engineer and musician from Austin, flew his single-engine Piper PA-28 into an office building in Austin that houses the local office of the IRS. He claims his taxes cost him tens of thousands of dollars and ten years of his life while allowing corrupt executives to walk away with millions. Two software companies he started in California in the mid nineties--Prowess Engineering Inc. in Corona and Software Systems Service, Inc. in Corona--were both suspended by the state tax board, and a recent tax audit by the IRS uncovered $10K plus of unreported income. "I know I'm hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand," Stack wrote, according to the AP. "But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure (sic) nothing will change."

His ISP has taken his statement off-line, in part due to bandwidth concerns, but links to a copy at the Smoking Gun.


Submission + - Replay attack allows e-passports to be tracked (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in the UK have found a replay attack against the RFID tag in e-passports that makes it possible to track the owner. The Register reports the store here. From the article: "Assuming that the target carried their passport on them, an attacker could place a device in a doorway that would detect when the target entered or left a building. ...This is a great example of why e-passports are a bad idea". e-Passports generate a new random ID every time they are powered up, but every e-passport has a unique MAC key. The researchers found that, by replaying a message, they could tell if a particular MAC key was being used. Technical details are given in a 16 page pdf.

Submission + -

yieryou writes: I Buzz Up

Submission + - Sourceforge bans 5 countries 1

An anonymous reader writes: SF added an entry to its TOS that reads "Users residing in countries on the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, may not post Content to, or access Content available through, " No open-source contributions from these countries anymore.

Comment Re:Why is OSS good? (Score 1) 131

Use OSS as you don't want to reinvent the Wheel.

Using existing pieces of code wherever possible would reduce your development cycle and earn you more money.
In addition, the piece of code is tried and tested(most of the times) and if there is a problem you have all the freedom to fix it.
Why not to use OSS should be the question.

Submission + - How much can Google search results be trusted?

jenningsthecat writes: Earlier this evening I did a Google search, using Firefox (aka Iceweasel), on my Debian box. I then performed an identical Google search on my Win2K computer, also using Firefox. Google preferences were set the same on both computers, and Personalized Search was disabled on both. Yet on the Linux computer there were only 20 results, whereas on the Windows computer there were 71! I cleared the cache on both, restarted the browsers, and re-entered the search criteria. Same results. I called a friend, who did the same search on his Windows and Linux boxes. Both of his computers came up with 152 results. Then a second friend did the same test, and also received 152 results. So thats 20 hits on one computer, 71 on another computer, and 158 on each of three other computers, all using identical search criteria and preferences. WTF?

A little Google searching, (oh, the irony!), turned up the following links (among many others):

I wouldn't have been too surprised at seeing some minor variations, and the first link above explains why this is to be expected. But a factor-of-three difference between two computers on the same Internet feed, and a factor-of-seven difference on two computers separated by only 40 miles, seems a bit much. I wonder how much I'm missing in my daily Google searches?

(Additional info for the curious: the search that got me started on this was ' firefox linux "missing font" tahoma ', and my Linux computer supplies a user-agent string that makes it look like a W2K machine, to get around Yahoo mail's insistence that their 'new' mail system 'has not been tested on my operating system')

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