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A Look At CERN's LHC Grid-Computing Architecture
Posted by News Fetcher on May 15 '10 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's going-for-the-gusto deptartment:
blair1q writes "Using a 4-tiered architecture (from CERN's central computer at Tier 0 to individual scientists' desk/lap/palmtops at Tier 3), CERN is distributing LHC data and computations across resources worldwide to achieve aggregate computational power unprecedented in high-energy physics research. As an example, 'researchers can sit at their laptops, write small programs or macros, submit the programs through the AliEn system, find the necessary ALICE data on AliEn servers and then run their jobs' on upper-tier systems. The full grid is comprised of small computers, supercomputers, computer clusters, and mass-storage data centers. This system allows 1,000 researchers at 130 organizations in 34 countries to crunch the data, which are disgorged at a rate of 1.25 GB per second from the LHC's detectors."

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Senators Demand NASA Continue Spending On Ares
Posted by News Fetcher on May 15 '10 at 05:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's needs-new-rims-for-his-chariot deptartment:
FleaPlus writes "Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL and ranking member of the appropriations subcommittee handling NASA funding) and Robert Bennett (R-UT) have added an amendment onto an emergency spending bill for military operations in Afghanistan, reiterating that NASA must continue spending its funds on the Constellation program, particularly the medium-lift Ares I rocket. Alabama and Utah have strong ties to Ares/Constellation contractors, and both senators are opposed to the new direction for NASA, with Shelby describing it as a 'death march' for US spaceflight and criticizing the emphasis on commercial rockets."

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Google Voice Now Gives Priority to Students
Posted by News Fetcher on May 15 '10 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hang-onto-your-alumni-vanity-address deptartment:
theodp writes "Holy Logan's Run, Batman! Google on Friday began giving students priority access to its Google Voice service, which has remained in a closed beta since its transition from GrandCentral in March of last year. Typically, invites for the service can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to arrive after a user signs up. But Google is now promising students who cough up an .edu e-mail address access to the service within 24 hours. Good thing CMU closes e-mail accounts after graduation, or old fuddy-duddy alums like Brian Reid might try to sneak in!"

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In UK, First "Anarchist's Cookbook" Downloaders' Convictions
Posted by News Fetcher on May 15 '10 at 01:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-are-you-following-this deptartment:
analysethis writes "In the UK last month the author/compiler of the well-known-in-internet-circles 'terrorist handbook' pleaded guilty to seven counts of collecting information that could have been used to prepare or commit acts of terrorism, with a maximum jail term of 10 years. Today the first people caught with downloaded copies have been put behind bars — a white-supremacist father and son pairing getting 10 & 2 years respectively, convicted of three counts of possessing material useful for acts of terror. How many will be emptying their recycle bins after this conviction? As of writing, the book is still freely available on Amazon.com to buy." Note: it seems that there's some overlapping nomenclature at play. Terrance Brown, the man who pleaded guilty to terror charges last month, is said to have been distributing a CD set including among other things extracts from Al Quaeda manuals. His "cookbook" differs then from William Powell's 1971 book by a similar title, though (confusingly enough) the linked Wikipedia article implies that the father-and-son pair arrested possessed a copy of the Powell book as well; its text may well have been among the materials that Brown distributed.

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Avatars Used For Australian Online Sex Appeal Study
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 10:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-that's-a-research-job deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Australian scientists are seeking volunteers online to help them better understand sexual attraction. At a specially created website — www.bodylab.biz — users can go online and make their own ratings of computer-generated avatar images of men and women of greatly varying shapes, sizes and proportions. The bodyLab team will analyse and compile the results and each month will cull about half of the images — those that are least popular — and virtually 'breed' new body shapes from parent avatars with features rated as most attractive by people taking part in the experiment. Over time, the scientists hope thousands of users will help them work through six or more generations of avatars to narrow down the special combinations of features that make up the 'ideal' body — although they're keeping an open mind about whether several combinations will emerge."

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Chemical Cocktail Can Keep a Heart Viable 10 Days, Outside the Body
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 08:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's with-very-few-exceptions-not-a-worm deptartment:
nj_peeps writes "Science fiction is fraught with mad scientists who discover strange chemicals that can empower the human body or even reanimate the dead. Well, Harvard has come about as close to that scenario as anyone would want them to. Prof. Hemant Thatte has developed a cocktail of 21 chemical compounds that he calls Somah, derived from the Sanskrit for 'ambrosia of rejuvenation.' Using Somah, Thatte and his team have accomplished some amazing feats with pig hearts. They can keep the organ viable for transplant up to 10 days after harvest – that's incredibly longer than the 4-hour limit seen in hospitals today. Not only that, but using low temperatures and Somah, they were able to take a pig heart that was removed post mortem and get it to beat 24 hours later in the lab."

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Taiwanese Researchers Plug RFIDs As Disaster-Recovery Tools
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-way-to-look-at-things deptartment:
Velcroman1 writes "Scientists tag animals to monitor their behavior and keep track of endangered species. Now some are asking whether all of mankind should be tagged too. Looking for a loved one? Just Google his microchip. Taiwanese researchers postulate that the tags could help save lives in the aftermath of a major earthquake. And IBM advocated chips for humans in a speech earlier this week. The ACLU disagrees. 'Many people find the idea creepy,' spokesman Jay Stanley told FoxNews.com."

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Amiga Demonstration Helps Win Against Patent Troll
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 05:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-million-billygoats-gruff deptartment:
Amigan writes "Over on Groklaw, PJ is reporting that an actual demonstration of the Amiga OS (circa 1988) on an Amiga A1000 may have been the turning point in the lawsuit of IP Innovation v. Red Hat/Novell."

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Best Solutions For Massive Home Hard Drive Storage?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's watch-and-release deptartment:
i_ate_god writes "I download a lot of 720/1080p videos, and I also produce a lot of raw uncompressed video. I have run out of slots to put in hard drives across two computers. I need (read: want) access to my files at all times (over a network is fine), especially since I maintain a library of what I've got on the TV computer. I don't want to have swappable USB drives, I want all hard drives available all the time on my network. I'm assuming that, since it's on a network, I won't need 16,000 RPM drives and thus I'm hoping a solution exists that can be moderately quiet and/or hidden away somewhere and still keep somewhat cool. So Slashdot, what have you done?"

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Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Wi-Fi Data While Mapping
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-accidentally-of-course deptartment:
Even if Google says there's nothing to worry about, newviewmedia.com writes, the company "said it would stop collecting Wi-Fi network data from its StreetView cars, after an internal investigation it conducted found it was accidentally collecting data about websites people were visiting over the hotspots. From the WSJ article: 'It's now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open [i.e. non-password-protected] Wi-Fi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.'"

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Judge Orders Gizmodo Search Warrant Unsealed
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's plot-thickens deptartment:
gyrogeerloose writes "The same judge who issued the warrant to search Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's apartment has now ordered it unsealed, ruling against the San Mateo County district attorney's office which had argued that unsealing the documents may compromise the investigation." You can read the entire affidavit here (PDF). It has a detailed description of the police investigation that led to the seizure of Chen's computers. It turns out Steve Jobs personally requested that the phone be returned, prompting Gizmodo's Brian Lam to try negotiating for a public acknowledgment that the phone was real. Apple was tipped off to the man who found/stole the prototype by his roommate.

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'Cyber-Roach' Forces Rethink On Animal Movement
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's living-under-your-cyber-fridge deptartment:
Lanxon writes "A team of researchers at the Royal Veterinary College in London has built a 'cyber-cockroach' (a cockroach wearing an accelerometer in a tiny backpack) to try and better understand the movements of many-legged animals. They found that unlike bipedal creatures, animals with more than two legs don't adjust their movements when walking over a softer surface." The academic paper is available from the Journal of Experimental Biology. This research will be helpful in finding better ways for multi-legged robots to navigate difficult terrain.

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Btrfs Could Be the Default File System In Ubuntu Meerkat
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shake-things-up deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The EXT family of file systems (ext2, ext3, ext4) have ruled many Linux distributions for a long time, and Ubuntu has been no exception. But things may no longer be the same for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Scott James Remnant of the Ubuntu Foundations team said in a blog post that plans are on for doing work to have btrfs as an installation option, and that the possibility of making it the default file system in Ubuntu 10.10 has not been ruled out."

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The Futurama of Physics
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-news-everyone deptartment:
MasaMuneCyrus writes "I was surprised to notice an article about Futurama in my latest American Physical Society news. Titled, 'Profiles in Versatility: The Futurama of Physics with David X. Cohen,' Cohen talks a little bit about his life and his love for physics, and he goes on to describe how he regularly injects graduate-level physics jokes into the script of Futurama. He also talks a little bit about the upcoming season of Futurama: 'in the 10th episode of the upcoming season, tentatively entitled "The Prisoner of Benda," a theorem based on group theory was specifically written (and proven!) by staffer/PhD mathematician Ken Keeler to explain a plot twist.'"

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Atlantis Blasts Off On Final Mission
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's to-boldly-go deptartment:
shuz writes "Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off today on its STS-132 mission to the International Space Station — the final flight for the venerable vehicle. The mission involves three spacewalks over 12 days (PDF), during which the team will replace six batteries on the port truss which store energy from solar panels on that truss, bolt on a spare space-to-ground Ku-band antenna, and attach a new tool platform to Canada's Dextre robotic arm." NASA has video of the historic launch and reader janek78 adds this quote from the mission summary: "Atlantis lifted off on its maiden voyage on Oct. 3, 1985, on mission 51-J. Later missions included the launch of the Magellan probe to Venus on STS-30 in May 1989, Galileo interplanetary probe to Jupiter on STS-34 in October 1989, the first shuttle docking to the Mir Space Station on STS-71 in June1995, and the final Hubble servicing mission on STS-125 in May 2009."

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Apple Is Nintendo's "Enemy of the Future"
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's blue-hedgehogs-are-old-hat deptartment:
Pickens writes "The San Francisco Chronicle reports that video game industry revenue fell by 26 percent in April, adding more concerns about the health of the industry in the worst year-over-year decline since July 2009. But the big news is that the decline in portable sales makes up 61 percent of the overall monthly decline, suggesting that the Nintendo DS platform is losing steam but also reflecting the growing clout of the iPhone platform as the iPhone and iPod Touch continue to draw in more casual gamers, the iPad offers a bigger screen experience, and Apple announces the 'Game Center' — a social gaming hub with console-like online gaming features. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata is understood to have told his senior executives recently to regard the battle with Sony as a victory already won and to treat Apple, and its iPhone and iPad devices, as the 'enemy of the future.' 'If Nintendo's future mobile platforms are to be any kind of success, the company will have to figure out how to take on the ease of use afforded by the App Store,' writes Nicholas Deleon. A large part of Nintendo's faith in reviving its efforts hinge on the 3DS, which may ship in the fall, the first truly major handheld introduction for Nintendo since the original DS in 2004. He adds, 'Maybe Nintendo should just release a phone?'"

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No HTML5 Hulu Anytime Soon
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's give-the-people-what-you-want deptartment:
99BottlesOfBeerInMyF writes "The Hulu website briefly commented the other day about why they would not be implementing HTML5 video for their service: 'We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs. Our player doesn't just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren't necessarily visible to the end user.' They plan to release a dedicated application for the iPad and iPhone instead, likely a paid subscription service. Perhaps this is a good sign for Web-based television, as it will move more users away from the single, locked down channel from the networks and to more diverse options less interested in extracting subscription fees (like YouTube)."

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Acer To Launch Chrome OS Netbook Next Month
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's what-a-short-strange-road-it's-been deptartment:
Barence writes "Acer is preparing to launch devices based on Google's Chrome OS at next month's Computex trade show, according to reports. Multiple sources have apparently told VentureBeat that the company will show off devices at the Taipei show at the beginning of June. It doesn't specify what the devices are, although given that Chrome OS is primarily designed for low-powered laptops and Acer's status as the world's second biggest PC maker, it seems inconceivable that the devices won't be netbooks. Meanwhile, Google is considering implementing a Coverflow interface into Chrome OS. One design adheres fairly closely to Apple's template, and allows users to flip through applications and web pages with 'hotkeys and swiping gestures.' Favicons will be displayed beneath the pages, allowing users to click these and head straight to the application."

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Ukrainian Arrested In India For TJX Data Theft
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 10:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's long-long-arm deptartment:
ComputerWorld reports "A Ukrainian national has been arrested in India in connection with the most notorious hacking incident in US history." "Sergey Valeryevich Storchark was one of 11 men charged in August 2008 with hacking into nine US retailers and selling tens of millions of credit card numbers. He was arrested in India earlier this week, according to a spokesman with India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In a statement, the CBI said they'd arrested Storchark in New Delhi on the night of May 8, as he deplaned from a flight from Goa, for layover before a flight to Turkey. US authorities had asked for his extradition via diplomatic channels. ... 'His extradition and prosecution would have been very unlikely had he reached his final destination of Ukraine,' the CBI said."

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Too Many College Graduates?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '10 at 09:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's expectation-inflation deptartment:
The AP reports on a growing sense among policy wonks that too many Americans are going to four-year colleges, to the detriment of society as a whole: "The more money states spend on higher education, the less the economy grows." "The notion that a four-year degree is essential for real success is being challenged by a growing number of economists, policy analysts, and academics. They say more Americans should consider other options, such as technical training or two-year schools, which have been embraced in Europe for decades. As evidence, experts cite rising student debt, stagnant graduation rates, and a struggling job market flooded with overqualified degree-holders. ... The average student debt load in 2008 was $23,200 — a nearly $5,000 increase over five years. Two-thirds of students graduating from four-year schools owe money on student loans. ... [A university economist said,] 'If people want to go out and get a master's degree in history and then cut down trees for a living, that's fine. But I don't think the public should be subsidizing it.'"

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