By timothy from Slashdot's seasonal-ferry-across-the-river-crab department
writes with the news that China's satellite navigation system, called Beidou
, has been successfully activated
. "With ten satellites now, 16 in 2012, and 35 in 2020, China is making damn sure they are independent of the U.S. military's lock on GPS. According to the article, 'Beidou, or 'Big Dipper,' would cover most parts of the Asia Pacific by next year and then the world by 2020.'"
The BBC also has slightly more detailed coverage
.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's in-the-spring-we'd-play-jai-alai department
As new submitter kulnor writes, "Hexagon, a cold war secret project around spy satellites to monitor USSR was declassified last September." kulnor excerpts from the AP story as carried by Yahoo, outlining how more than 1,000 people in and around Danbury, CT kept mum about the nature of their employment
: "'For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets. They wore protective white jumpsuits, and had to walk through air-shower chambers before entering the sanitized 'cleanroom' where the equipment was stored. They spoke in code.' As more and more WWII and cold war secrets are declassified, we learn about amazing technological feats involving hundreds of people working in secrecy. I wonder what will emerge in a few decades around modern IT, the Internet, hacks, and the like."
Every time I visit Oak Ridge, TN
, I am amazed by the same phenomenon of successful large-scale secrecy.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bender-teaches-first-grade-english department
Attila Dimedici writes "I came across a an article this morning that suggests that the Nook and the Kindle have changed things in such a way that schools are becoming obsolete. His premise is that the ideal way to teach children is by a tutor ..., [and] the Nook and the Kindle have allowed large amounts of written material on many different subjects to become accessible enough that parents can tutor their children at a price that just about everyone can afford."
The author is a bit off-base on the nature of the public schooling,
but easy access to resources like Project Gutenberg
certainly removes some
barriers to self-study and the limitations of the 20+ child classroom.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's buyxee-buy department
DeviceGuru writes with excerpts from the article: "Boxee released [a beta of] version 1.5 of its free multimedia streaming software for Mac, Windows, and Linux desktops today, but simultaneously announced that it will cease offering the Boxee desktop software after January. Thereafter, the company will limit its focus to devices such as the D-Link Boxee Box, which faces stiff competition from multimedia streaming TV set-top-box products such as the Roku players, Google TV, and Apple TV. Hopefully, the XBMC project, on which Boxee's software is largely based, will carry the ball forward for desktop users. Speaking of which, the first preview release of XBMC 11.0 Eden was just released."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's that's-make-it-too-easy department
theodp writes "In the Sixties, we could put a man on the moon. Nowadays, laments jocastette, America's tech giants can't even put a BASIC on the phone. Woz managed to crank out a BASIC interpreter for the 6502 in the '70s. As did Bill Gates and Paul Allen. So, why — at a time when development has never been easier — can't Google, Apple, and Microsoft manage to support a free BASIC or other programming-for-the-masses development environment on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones?"
My limited experience with Android development showed using Java to be obtuse and downright obnoxious to do anything (at least without Eclipse, and even with it doing anything non-standard required digging through horrendous ant
buildfiles). And, of course, with a REPL
things were even more obnoxious. There is
project, but it doesn't provide particularly exhaustive
access to the platform.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's why-fight-the-media-when-you-can-fight-the-social department
An anonymous reader writes "China is increasingly operating an online parallel universe where social media clones 'mimic the functions of the most popular, internationally recognized social media applications, such as Facebook and Twitter. The replicas, however, come with a major catch: they systematically comply with the Chinese Communist Party’s strict censorship requirements.' They are satisfying the growing demand of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens for social media tools, reducing incentives for them to circumvent the 'Great Firewall,' Freedom House warns. Testing by researchers found that a search for the names of seven prominent Chinese lawyers, activists, and journalists on Sina Weibo returned no results, only an Orwellian notice that 'According to related laws and policy, some of the results are not shown here.'"Read Replies (0)