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Submission Summary: 1 pending, 11 declined, 14 accepted (26 total, 53.85% accepted)

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Submission + - International Space Station to Trial Aussie-designed Ion Thruster (abc.net.au)

theweatherelectric writes: Barney Porter from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation writes, "An Australian-designed rocket propulsion system is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) for a year-long experiment that ultimately could revolutionise space travel. The technology could be used to power a return trip to Mars without refuelling, and use recycled space junk for the fuel. Former University of Sydney student, Dr Paddy Neumann — now of Neumann Space — and two co-inventor professors from his alma mater have developed an ion thruster that could replace the current chemical-based rocket propulsion technology, which requires huge volumes of fuel to be loaded onto a spacecraft."

Submission + - F-35A Catches Fire at Mountain Home Air Force Base (defensenews.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Writing for Defense News, Valerie Insinna reports that another F-35 has caught fire during an exercise. She writes, "The incident took place at around noon and involved an F-35A aircraft from the 61st Fighter Squadron located at Luke Air Force Base, the service said in a statement. No serious injuries seem to have been sustained by the pilot or nearby crew.

'The pilot had to egress the aircraft during engine start due to a fire from the aft section of the aircraft,' Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said in an email. 'The fire was extinguished quickly. As a precautionary measure, four 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airmen, three Airmen from the 366th Maintenance Group and the 61st Fighter Squadron pilot were transported to the base medical center for standard evaluation.'"

Submission + - Moving Beyond Flash: The Yahoo HTML5 Video Player (streamingmedia.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Over on Streaming Media, Amit Jain from Yahoo has written a behind-the-scenes look at the development of Yahoo's HTML5 video player. He writes, "Adobe Flash, once the de-facto standard for media playback on the web, has lost favor in the industry due to increasing concerns over security and performance. At the same time, requiring a plugin for video playback in browsers is losing favor among users as well. As a result, the industry is moving toward HTML5 for video playback. [...] At Yahoo, our video player uses HTML5 across all modern browsers for video playback. In this post we will describe our journey to providing an industry-leading playback experience using HTML5, lay out some of the challenges we faced, and discuss opportunities we see going forward."

Submission + - ORBX.js: JavaScript-Based, Low Latency HD Video Codec (gigaom.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Mozilla and OTOY have announced a new video codec with a JavaScript-based decoder capable of delivering 1080p60 video with 25% better compression than H.264. Amanda Alvarez from Gigaom writes, 'Mozilla has teamed up with Hollywood rendering company OTOY to create a new codec to stream video and apps from the cloud directly to the browser. The JavaScript library ORBX can render apps, gaming platforms or an entire operating system in any HTML5-capable browser, including Chrome, Safari or Firefox, even on a mobile device. The announcement is another attempt at destabilizing the hegemony of the H.264 video-compression standard, famously advanced by Apple over Flash and present in all iOS devices, after the promotion of WebM by Matroska and Google. The impacts of the purely JavaScript-based system are multiple: for end users, the ability to run native PC apps on any device with an internet connection and to purchase and protect content without digital-rights management (DRM); for content creators, cheaper, faster rendering and the ability to distribute anywhere viewers can type in a URL; and for open web or cloud-computing advocates, a push away from proprietary or legacy plug-ins and an embrace of HTML5.' Mozilla's CTO Brendon Eich has some further discussion of ORBX.js on his blog.

Submission + - Epic Games Releases HTML5 Epic Citadel Demo (unrealengine.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Epic Games has made the HTML5 Epic Citadel demo available for testing with Firefox 23 Nightly. Epic Games writes in their press release, 'Epic Games and Mozilla have continued a close collaboration first revealed during last month’s Game Developers Conference to release “Epic Citadel” on the Web running in HTML5. No plug-ins or added components are needed to experience the free app. “Epic Citadel” is built using standards-based technologies like HTML5, WebGL and JavaScript, and should work in any standards-based browser implementing those features. For optimal performance, Epic recommends loading “Epic Citadel” at http://www.unrealengine.com/html5 using Firefox Nightly version 23 or above, which includes optimizations for asm.js, a highly-optimizable subset of JavaScript pioneered by Mozilla, whose performance can rival native code.' Mozilla's Vladimir Vukicevic has posted some further details and presentation slides about the HTML5 port of Unreal Engine 3 on his blog and Epic Games has published an Epic Citadel HTML5 FAQ.
Firefox

Submission + - WebRTC Makes Firefox's Social API Even More Social (mozilla.org)

theweatherelectric writes: Mozilla has put together a demo which combines WebRTC with Firefox's Social API. Over on Mozilla's Future Releases blog, Maire Reavy writes, 'WebRTC is a powerful new tool that enables web app developers to include real-time video calling and data sharing capabilities in their products. While many of us are excited about WebRTC because it will enable several cool gaming applications and improve the performance and availability of video conferencing apps, WebRTC is proving to be a great tool for social apps. Sometimes when you’re chatting with a friend, you just want to click on their name and see and talk with them in real-time. Imagine being able to do that without any glitches or hassles, and then while talking with them, easily share almost anything on your computer or device: vacation photos, memorable videos – or even just a link to a news story you thought they might be interested in – simply by dragging the item into your video chat window.'
Firefox

Submission + - The Shumway Open SWF Runtime Project (mozilla.org)

theweatherelectric writes: Mozilla is looking for contributors interested in working on Shumway. Mozilla's Jet Villegas writes, 'Shumway is an experimental web-native runtime implementation of the SWF file format. It is developed as a free and open source project sponsored by Mozilla Research. The project has two main goals: 1. Advance the open web platform to securely process rich media formats that were previously only available in closed and proprietary implementations. 2. Offer a runtime processor for SWF and other rich media formats on platforms for which runtime implementations are not available.'
Medicine

Submission + - Formula 1 ECU Adapted for Use in Hospitals (jamesallenonf1.com)

theweatherelectric writes: The electronic control unit used in Formula 1 cars has been adapted for use in hospitals. James Allen writes, "As a result of a chance conversation between a McLaren engineer and a paediatrician, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has been trialling the ECU in a children’s intensive care ward; the idea is that the F1-derived unit can measure all the key signs from the child, sense trends and detect developing problems earlier than the electronics previously used by the NHS. The unit normally measures oil pressures, brake temperatures and the like. Here, a lightly adapted version of the F1 ECU is being used to measure things like heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure in an ill child. And, inevitably, it is far more capable than the units currently used in hospitals; it can take a heart cardiogram 125 times a minute, instead of once an hour, for example." Birmingham Children’s Hospital is seeking a further £2 million to continue the trial and extend it across the hospital.
Australia

Submission + - CSIRO Develops 10 Gbps Microwave Backhaul (itnews.com.au)

theweatherelectric writes: James Hutchinson of iTnews writes, 'CSIRO has begun talks with global manufacturers to commercialise microwave technology it says can provide at least 10 Gbps symmetric backhaul services to mobile towers. The project, funded out of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund and a year in planning, could provide a ten-fold increase in the speed of point-to-point microwave transmission systems within two years, according to project manager, Dr Jay Guo. Microwave transmission is used to link mobile towers back to a carrier’s network where it is physically difficult or economically unviable to run fibre to the tower. Where current technology has an upper limit of a gigabit per second to multiple towers over backhaul, the government organisation said it could provide the 10 Gbps symmetric speeds over ranges of up to 50 kilometres.'
Advertising

Submission + - Misleading Ads: ACCC Wins Appeal Against Google (delimiter.com.au)

theweatherelectric writes: As previously noted on Slashdot, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been involved in a long-running legal battle with Google. Vijith Vazhayil of Delimiter writes, 'The Full Federal Court of Australia has ruled that Google breached the law by displaying misleading or deceptive advertisements on its search results pages. The decision follows an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following an earlier decision in favour of Google. The ACCC had first filed the case in July 2007 in the Federal Court alleging that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing eleven advertisements on Google’s search results page. The headline of each of the advertisements in question comprised a business name, product name or web address of a competitor’s business not sponsored, affiliated or associated with the particular advertiser.'

Submission + - Royalty-Free MPEG Video Proposals Announced (robglidden.com)

theweatherelectric writes: Rob Glidden notes on his blog that MPEG has recently 'announced it has received proposals for a royalty-free MPEG standard and has settled on a deliberation process to consider them.' There two tracks towards royalty-free video currently under consideration by MPEG. The first track is IVC, a new 'standard based on MPEG-1 technology which is believed a safe royalty-free baseline that can be enhanced by additional unencumbered technology described in MPEG-2, JPEG, research publications and innovative technologies which are promised to be subject to royalty-free licenses.' The second proposed track is WebVC, an attempt to get the constrained baseline profile of H.264 licensed under royalty-free terms. Rob Glidden offers an analysis of both proposals. Also of interest is Rob's short history of why royalty-free H.264 failed last time.
Canada

Submission + - One Millionth Tower High-Rise Documentary Takes Fo (wired.com)

theweatherelectric writes: One Millionth Tower is a documentary about the high-rise apartment residential areas of Toronto. The documentary is presented using an interesting combination of HTML5, WebGL, Popcorn.js, and three.js. From the article: 'The movie, which makes its online premiere above, was carefully crafted to be watched on the internet. It uses interactive tools to illustrate the Toronto residents’ ideas about how to improve the decaying high-rise in which they live. Powered entirely by HTML5 and open source JavaScript libraries, One Millionth Tower is loaded with photos and information from all over the web, and exists in an online environment that is about as close to three-dimensional as something on a flat screen can get.'
Firefox

Submission + - Tilt: Visualise Your Web Page in 3D (mozilla.org)

theweatherelectric writes: Mozilla Hacks has an article on Tilt, a Firefox extension which visualises the DOM tree of a Web page in 3D. They write, 'Tilt is a Firefox extension that lets you visualize any web page DOM tree in 3D. It is being developed by Victor Porof (3D developer responsible with the Firefox extension itself), along with Cedric Vivier (creating a WebGL optimized equivalent to the privileged canvas.drawWindow, see #653656) and Rob Campbell (who first thought about creating a 3D visualization of a webpage). Everything started initially as a Google Summer of Code project, but now, with an enthusiastic team behind it and so many new features and ideas, it has become an active Developer Tools project.' There's also a Tilt blog for development updates.
Firefox

Submission + - pdf.js Reaches First Milestone (mozilla.com)

theweatherelectric writes: The pdf.js project aims to implement a PDF viewer using standards-compliant Web technologies. The project has reached its first milestone: it renders the sample PDF (a paper on Mozilla's Tracemonkey JavaScript engine) perfectly. However, that perfection currently comes with some caveats: 'pdf.js produces different results on pretty much every element in the browser×OS matrix. We said above that pdf.js renders the Tracemonkey paper “perfectly” if you’re running a Firefox nightly. On a Windows 7 machine where Firefox can use Direct2D and DirectWrite. If you ignore what appears to be a bug in DirectWrite’s font hinting. The paper is rendered less well on other platforms and in older Firefoxen, and even worse in other browsers. But such is life on the bleeding edge of the web platform.' Still, the progress so far has been impressive and pdf.js will no doubt get better with time.
Google

Submission + - Google Announces WebM Community Cross Licensing (webm-ccl.org)

theweatherelectric writes: Google's WebM project has announced the formation of the WebM Community Cross-License Initiative. Members of the WebM-CCL agree to license patents they may hold that are essential to WebM technologies to other members under royalty-free terms. This initiative would seem to address some of Microsoft's concerns about WebM. Meanwhile, the MPEG LA appears to have remained silent after the submission period of its call for patents essential to WebM ended over a month ago.

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