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Windows Phone 7 Hits Technical Preview Milestone
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's touch-me-there deptartment:
suraj.sun writes "Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system has today reached its biggest milestone yet, with a technical preview announced placing the OS on the "home stretch" to launch."We are certainly not done yet — but the craftsmen (and women) of our team have signed off that our software is now ready for the hands-on everyday use of a broad set of consumers around the world — and we're looking forward to their feedback in the coming weeks, so that we can finish the best Windows Phone release ever together," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Engineering, wrote tonight." There's coverage around the net including CNet, NeoWin and Engadget.

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Live a Month At the Museum of Science and Industry
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '10 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's be-careful-of-the-monkey deptartment:
theodp writes "Even usually snarky Gawker loves the idea of living in a science museum for a month. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is 'looking for someone to take on a once-in-a-lifetime assignment: spend a Month at the Museum, to live and breathe science 24/7 for 30 days. From October 20 to November 18, 2010, this person's mission will be to experience all the fun and education that fits in this historic 14-acre building, living here full-time and reporting your findings to the outside world.' Oh, and if you're The Chosen One, you'll also walk away with $10,000, a package of tech gadgets, and an honorary lifetime membership to MSI. Visit the Month at the Museum site for details and to apply — the deadline is August 11th."

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Top Secret America
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '10 at 05:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-have-a-scret deptartment:
mahiskali writes "The Washington Post published an immense interactive website today, detailing the companies and Government agencies currently doing Top Secret work in the United States. Everything from counter-IED operations to human intelligence is touched upon. Citing various interviews with "super users" and through exhaustive analysis of public records for over two years, this interactive site allows users to peer into the guarded world of top secret intelligence. With more than 854,000 people currently holding a TS clearance, has the Defense and Intelligence world grown too big, too fast? Or has this large growth served us well, exemplified by no successful terrorist acts on US soil since 9/11? How can we judge the success of these programs, when much of it will never be known by the general public?"

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Internet Access While Sailing? (Revisited)
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '10 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's might-be-some-holes-in-this-plan deptartment:
El Genio Malvado writes "10 years ago the question was asked, What is the best way to get Internet while at sea? After reading the responses — and after a decade of technological advancement — is there a better, more reliable method? For someone with the ability to telecommute 100% of the time, then the idea of sailing around the world with a paycheck direct deposited must be getting more and more tempting. What does the community at large have for modern resources for constant streaming internet at sea?"

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Rackspace Releases Cloud Stack As Open Source
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '10 at 01:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sounds-a-bit-diffuse deptartment:
zerocool^ writes "Techcrunch is reporting that Rackspace is open-sourcing their cloud computing technologies, under the name OpenStack. Rackspace has chosen to release under the Apache 2.0 license. The initial release encompasses the cloud object storage and cloud virtual server management suites. Along with this release, NASA is contributing technology from its Nebula Cloud Platform. Early partners include Intel, Dell, and Citrix."

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New Photos Show "Devastating" Ice Loss On Everest
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 10:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's heatin'-up-the-whole-outdoors deptartment:
Simmeh writes "The BBC reports on new photos of the Himalayas taken from exactly the same position as ones from 1929 and compares the ice coverage. The Asia Society, which did the groundwork, are quoted as saying 'If the present rate of melting continues, many of these glaciers will be severely diminished by the middle of this century.' I guess the previous claim wasn't too unrealistic."

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Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 06:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's non-death-by-a-thousand-cuts deptartment:
wog777 writes "Researchers led by Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute of Technology reported their research on microneedles in Sunday's edition of Nature Medicine. A microneedle contains needles so small you don't even feel them. Attached to a patch like a Band-Aid, the little needles barely penetrate the skin before they dissolve and release their vaccine."

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WSJ's Mossberg Calls For a Tougher Broadband Plan
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's top-down-dispensary deptartment:
GovTechGuy writes "Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg thinks the FCC's national broadband plan is long overdue, but he criticized it for being vague on the details and too focused on expanding access into rural areas. Mossberg pointed out that what passes for broadband in the US wouldn't even qualify as such in many other developed countries. He also noted that Americans pay more per unit of broadband speed than our competitors. He called on the government to devote time and resources to making sure Americans have the broadband access they need to stay competitive in the 21st century global economy."

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Remix This Game — a Free Software Experiment
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's good-use-for-ex-girlfriend-pictures deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "REMIX THIS GAME is an experimental game design contest where participants can re-mix and re-cycle my free-software self-published PC game, XONG. XONG is available under permissive licenses allowing remixes and derivative works of the code, graphics, sound effects, and music—even for commercial use. The source code license is the GNU GPL Version 3, and the media is covered by the Creative Commons BY-SA license. No special software or programming experience are needed—XONG has been packaged up so that you can just download the game and edit the graphics/code/music/sounds in place, and re-start the game to see your changes. Plus, it is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux, so you can remix it on whichever OS you use, using whatever programs you like."

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IEEE Looks At Kevin Costner's Oil Cleanup Machines
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's bright-guy-just-picks-bad-scripts deptartment:
richardkelleher writes "IEEE Spectrum takes a look at the machines developed by a company funded by Kevin Costner that are supposed to extract the oil from the Gulf waters. Is it possible that in the years since the Exxon Valdez, that Kevin Costner is the only one who has invested money into the technology of oil spill cleanup?"

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Microsoft Has No Plans To Patch New Flaw
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's who-uses-usb-drives-anyhow deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "Microsoft has acknowledged the vulnerability that the new malware Stuxnet uses to launch itself with .lnk files, but said it has no plans to patch the flaw right now. The company said the flaw affects most current versions of Windows, including Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7 32- and 64-bit. Meanwhile, the digital certificate that belonging to Realtek Semiconductor that was used to sign a pair of drivers for the new Stuxnet rootkit has been revoked by VeriSign. The certificate was revoked Friday, several days after news broke about the existence of the new malware and the troubling existence of the signed drivers."

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Airlines Get Billions From Unbundled Services
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's jet-set-crowd-with-pitchforks deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "In hearings before Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that airlines reported revenue of $7.9 billion from baggage fees and reservation change and cancellation fees in calendar years 2008 and 2009 — fees on unbundled services that once were considered part of the ticket price. 'We believe that the proliferation of these fees and the manner in which they are presented to the traveling public can be confusing and in some cases misleading,' says Robert Rivkin, the Department of Transportation's general counsel. Published fares used by consumers to choose flights don't 'clearly represent the cost of travel when these services are added.' However, Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ben Baldanza defended the practice of unbundling, saying it allows his airline to charge lower fares (PDF) and allows the customers the choice to purchase the services or not."

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Cool, Science-y Masters Programs For Software Devs?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's build-me-a-wormhole-out-of-infinite-loops deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "I'm an early-30s software engineer with 10 years of development experience, and a BA in computer science from a top university. I've been working for several years at a national lab in bioinformatics, but I'm starting to wonder what other interesting directions there are to go for people in my boat: computer science majors with software development experience. The goal would be to find a position that could leverage my development skills, but also include a strong research component, without the need for a Ph.D. (I would be happy to get a masters for the right job.) I'm actually getting some of those things in my current job, but I'm ready to move on to new or different areas of research. Possible fields that seem interesting so far: neuroscience, economics/sociology, and AI. I'm happy to work in a team in support of Ph.D.s, but would like an active part in the research end of things as well as the tool-making end."

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StarCraft II Cost $100 Million To Develop
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's did-they-have-to-send-a-space-shuttle-to-pick-up-kerrigan deptartment:
UgLyPuNk writes with news of a report that Blizzard has spent over $100 million developing StarCraft II. Initial development on the game began in 2003, and it's due to be released on July 27th. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick "described StarCraft as one of the company’s seven 'pillars of opportunity' (where each pillar has the potential to deliver operating profit between $500 million and $1 billion over its life span)." The finalized system requirements for the game have been released, and players planning to buy the digitally distributed version can download it now, though it won't be playable until the 27th.

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UK Delays National Broadband For Three Years
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mailing-out-all-those-free-aol-cds-didn't-do-the-trick deptartment:
DMandPenfold writes "The British government has said that it will not be able to complete the rollout of broadband across the UK until 2015, blaming a lack of funds. 'Under the previous Labour government's original plans, everyone in the UK would have had access to 2 megabits per second broadband by 2012.' On Thursday, UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt organized a meeting for major broadband providers 'to identify the current barriers to providing basic level broadband in rural areas as well as suggesting ways to make more use of publicly-owned networks, such as those connecting schools and hospitals.' BT, the country's biggest telco, estimates that the necessary government funding for the project will be as much as £2 billion."

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Inside Apple's Anechoic Testing Chambers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's pointy-walls deptartment:
As part of Apple's press conference on Friday, they mentioned their state-of-the-art testing facilities and released a brief video showing some of their anechoic chambers. They later invited journalists on a tour of the rooms and explained some of the experimentation process. Quoting: "There are four stages. The first is a passive test to study the form factor of the device they want to create. The second stage is what Caballero calls the 'junk in the trunk' stage. Apple puts the wireless components inside of the form factor and puts them in these chambers. The third part involves studying the device in one of these chambers but with human or dummy subjects. And the fourth part is a field test, done in vans that drive around various cities monitoring the device's signal the entire time (both with real people and with dummies). ... The most interesting of these rooms was one that Caballero called 'Stargate.' Why? Because, well, it looks like it belongs in the movie/TV series Stargate. Inside this room, there's a giant ring that a human sits on a raised chair in the center of. This chair slowly rotates around as signals are passed around the entire outer circle. This creates a 360 degree test area. I was told this room is completely safe for humans. And people typically spend 40 minutes in there at a time for testing. By comparison, devices can stay in the other anechoic chambers for up to 24 hours at a time. ... We then went into a room that contained fake heads."

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TI vs. Calculator Hobbyists, Again
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's p0wning-the-market's-not-enough deptartment:
Deep Thought writes "Texas Instruments, already infamous thanks to the signing key controversy last year, is trying a new trick to lock down its graphing calculators, this time directed toward its newest TI-Nspire line. The TI-Nspires were already the most controlled of TI's various calculator models, and no third-party development of any kind (except for its very limited form of TI-BASIC) was allowed until the release of the independent tool Ndless. Since its release, TI has been determined to prevent the large calculator programming community from using it. Its latest released operating system for the Nspire family (version 2.1) now prevents the calculators from downgrading to OS 1.1, needed to run Ndless. This is TI's second major attack on Ndless, as the company has already demanded that websites posting the required OS 1.1 remove it from public download [PDF, in French], obviously to prevent use of the tool. Once again, TI is preventing calculator hobbyists from running their own software on calculators they bought and paid for."

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Apps For Healthy Kids — Where PC Meets PCs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 18 '10 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what's-the-rda-on-sanctimony? deptartment:
theodp writes "Put the Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and Madden away, kids! Over at Apps for Healthy Kids, First Lady Michelle Obama has a whole new slate of games for you to play with! Voting on entries in the White House-backed game development competition has begun, and you'll find exciting titles like Balanced Meal (6 votes), Blubber Blaster (9 votes), Calorie Quest (10 votes), and Count Peas (7 votes) — and that's just for starters."

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Rat Lung Successfully Regenerated and Transplanted
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '10 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-I-want-is-some-hot-spares deptartment:
Dr. Eggman writes "Nature Medicine brings us news of the latest success in the regeneration of the gas exchanging tissues [abstract is free; the full paper requires subscription or payment] of the lungs of a rat. Led by Harald C. Ott, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston used decellularization to produce a cellular scaffolding to serve as the basis of the transplant lungs. You may recall the previous achievements in use of this cellular scaffolding technique by Yale University. This latest announcement comes with the excellent news that the rat's airway and respiratory muscles performed the necessary ventilation (as a normal rat's would,) and that they provided gas exchange for up to 6 hours after extubation, up from the previous 2 hours. They eventually failed due to capillary leakage resulting in the accumulation of fluids in the lungs. Although there's much work to be done, as not all the cell types found in the lung were regenerated, Ott and his team remain optimistic and estimated we might see regenerated organs for use in human patients within 5 to 10 years." PhysOrg has videos of the lungs doing their thing.

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WISE Discovers 95 New Near-Earth Asteroids
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '10 at 07:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's are-you-sure-you-want-to-know? deptartment:
astroengine writes "NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up 25,000 new asteroid discoveries, 95 of which are near-Earth objects (NEOs). This mission is as fascinating as it is frightening. Capable of spotting any cosmic object glowing in infrared wavelengths, WISE has become an expert asteroid hunter, seeing these interplanetary vagabonds, some of which get uncomfortably close to our planet."

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