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Has Apple Created the Perfect Board Game Platform?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 12:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's triple-word-score deptartment:
andylim writes "recombu.com is running an interesting piece about how Apple has created a 'Jumanji (board game) platform.' The 9.7-inch multi-touch screen is perfect for playing board games at home, and you could use Wi-Fi or 3G to play against other people when you're on your own. What would be really interesting is if you could pair the iPad with iPhones, 'Imagine a Scrabble iPad game that used iPhones as letter holders. You could hold up your iPhone so that no one else could see your letters and when you were ready to make a word on the Scrabble iPad board, you could slide them on to the board by flicking the word tiles off your iPhone.' Now that would be cool."

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x86 Assembler JWASM Hits Stable Release
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 12:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's need-more-assembler-nerds deptartment:
Odoital writes "January 2010 is an exciting month for x86 assembly language developers. Software developer Andreas Grech, better known to the x86 assembly language community and the rest of the world by his handle "japheth," has released another version of JWASM — a steadily growing fork of the Open Watcom (WASM) assembler. The main benefit of JWASM, arguably, is the nearly full support of Microsoft's Macro Assembler (MASM) syntax. As those in the assembly language community may already know, Microsoft's desire to continually support the development of MASM has been dwindling over the years — if only measurable by a decreasing lack of interest, updates and bug fixes — and thus the future of MASM remains uncertain. While Intel-style syntax x86 assemblers such as NASM have been around for a while, JWASM opens up a new possibility to those familiar with MASM-style syntax to develop in the domains (i.e. other than Windows) in which assemblers such as NASM currently thrive. JWASM is a welcomed tool that supplements the entire x86 assembly language community and will hopefully, in time, generate new low-level interests and solutions."

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Old Stems Cells Young Again — Via Vampirism
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 11:30 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's ecstatic-twilight-fans deptartment:
pdragon04 writes to tell us that in recent tests a Howard Hughes Medical Institute team has found that through exposure to "young" blood cells, bone marrow stem cells start to act young again as well. "The researchers have not yet isolated the blood-borne factors that can switch old stem cells back to a more youthful state, but their results are consistent with other recent studies that show stem-cell aging may be reversible. Together those results suggest that it might one day be possible to boost the practical lifespan of stem cells, and thereby increase the body’s resistance to disease and age-related degeneration."

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Joomla! 1.5 Development Cookbook
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it deptartment:
Sparky Anduril writes "In Joomla! 1.5 Development Cookbook James Kennard has written an accessible and easy-to-read book to help anyone who is writing (or plans to write) extensions for the popular open source content management system, Joomla! (specifically for version 1.5). It is available as a paperback or PDF eBook." Read on for the rest of Jonathan's review.

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Stargate Props Going Up For Auction
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 10:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's chevron-1-encoded deptartment:
will_die writes "After all the recent auctions for Propworx's Battlestar Galactica props, they are now selling off 15 years of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis props. Over the next couple of months minor items will be sold off on eBay and the major items will be sold off in two live auctions. eBay auctions will consist of smaller props, most costumes, drawing and even parts of Stargates. The live auctions will contain items such as the Thor puppet, The Ark of Truth, and the only fully working Stargate. (Multiple Stargates needed for travel)." My wife will be bidding on Daniel Jackson. I wouldn't mind a Zat gun, but at $3K–$4K, it's a bit rich for my blood... although if the neighbor's dog keeps getting out of his electric fence I might have no choice...

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AT&T Admits New York City iPhone Service Sucks
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 09:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's but-we-knew-that deptartment:
RevWaldo notes a post up at The Gothamist on AT&T's admission of its poor cell service in New York. "AT&T has realized that the first step towards recovery is admitting it has a problem. The phone giant has confessed that its New York City iPhone service is not up to par, according to a presentation slide published on Tom's Guide noting that the company's 3G Voice Composite Quality in the New York metro area — particularly in Manhattan — is below its performance objective. ... The slide does contain some good news for AT&T subscribers. Apparently, AT&T has had '[t]hree consecutive months of improvement'..."

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MSI Will Launch iPad Alternative
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 08:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's breaking-down-the-walls deptartment:
itwbennett writes "Underwhelmed by the iPad? Don't give up on tablets just yet, says blogger Peter Smith. MSI has a tablet coming in the second half of 2010 that measures up on price and size and addresses a lot of the iPad's most noted shortcomings. 'The iPad runs iPhone OS while the MSI runs Android,' writes Smith. 'That means the MSI will multitask of course, and Flash support in Android should be a given by launch time (though that isn't certain). It has a camera. It's running on an Nvidia Tegra2 chip which Ars Technica suggests puts it on par with the iPad's A4 as far as computing horsepower. And of course Android doesn't live in a walled garden.'" The post notes that the MSI device does not support multitouch in its built-in apps. Still, would an Android-powered iPad-alike tempt you?

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Denmark Chooses ODF Document Format
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 08:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's vote-to-empower deptartment:
Seahawk was one of several readers to write in with news of Denmark's decision to embrace ODF. "On Friday morning Denmark decided to choose ODF over Microsoft's OOXML. For now the decision is only effective for govermental institutions, but regions and municipalities will most likely follow some time in the future. The decision has unfolded over a period of four years, and many open source advocates were fearing the worst, but it looks like the minister finally caved in and listened to what a lot of people were saying." While in transition away from Microsoft Office formats, the Danes may find use for this new OpenOffice integration guide (sent in by reader AdeleWard).

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Grateful Dead Percussionist Makes Music From Supernovas
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 08:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's music-of-the-exploding-spheres deptartment:
At the "Cosmology At the Beach" conference earlier this month, Grammy-award winning percussionist Mickey Hart performed a composition inspired by the eruptions of supernovae. "Keith Jackson, a Berkeley Lab computer scientist who is also a musician, lent his talents to the project, starting with gathering data from astrophysicists like those at the Berkeley Lab’s Nearby Supernova Factory, which collects data from telescopes in space and on earth to quickly detect and analyze short-lived supernovas. 'If you think about it, it's all electromagnetic data — but with a very high frequency,' Jackson said of the raw data. "What we did is turn it into sound by slowing down the frequency and "stretching" it into an audio form. Both light and sound are all wave forms — just at different frequencies. Our goal was to turn the electromagnetic data into audio data while still preserving the science.'"

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Laser Fusion Passes Major Hurdle
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 07:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's twenty-years-out-and-always-will-be deptartment:
chill writes "The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has performed their first controlled fusion experiments using all 192 lasers. While still not ramped up to full power, the first experiments proved very fruitful. The lasers create a lot of plasma in the target container and researchers worried that the plasma would interfere with the ability of the target to absorb enough energy to ignite. These experiments show that not only does enough energy make it through, the plasma can be manipulated to increase the uniformity of compression. Ramping up of power is due to start in May." The project lead, Dr. Sigfried Glenzer, is "confident that with everything in place, ignition is on the horizon. He added, quite simply, 'It's going to happen this year.'"

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Russian Stealth Fighter Makes Its First Flight
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 06:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's can-you-see-me-now deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The long-awaited Russian stealth fighter, codenamed PAK FA or T-50, has had its first test flight today. This Google translation of a Russian article has a photo of the jet. Production is supposed to begin in 2015; the AP reports that India is helping with development. It's reportedly designed to compete with America's F-22 (first flight: 1997). Relatedly, according to Wikipedia, Japan is planning to fly its own stealth fighter, the ATD-X, which we have previously discussed, in 2011."

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Parallel Algorithm Leads To Crypto Breakthrough
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-about-cluster-some-ipads deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. Dobbs reports that a cracking algorithm using brute force methods can analyze the entire DES 56-bit keyspace with a throughput of over 280 billion keys per second, the highest-known benchmark speeds for 56-bit DES decryption and can accomplish a key recovery that would take years to perform on a PC, even with GPU acceleration, in less than three days using a single, hardware-accelerated server with a cluster of 176 FPGAs. The massively parallel algorithm iteratively decrypts fixed-size blocks of data to find keys that decrypt into ASCII numbers. Candidate keys that are found in this way can then be more thoroughly tested to determine which candidate key is correct."

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Reported Obama Plan Would Privatize Manned Launches
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 03:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's worth-it-at-any-price deptartment:
couchslug writes with this excerpt from the not-yet-paywalled New York Times: "President Obama will end NASA's return mission to the moon and turn to private companies to launch astronauts into space when he unveils his budget request to Congress next week, an administration official said Thursday.The shift would 'put NASA on a more sustainable and ambitious path to the future' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. But the changes have angered some members of Congress, particularly from Texas, the location of the Johnson Space Center, and Florida, the location of the Kennedy Space Center. 'My biggest fear is that this amounts to a slow death of our nation's human space flight program,' Representative Bill Posey, Republican of Florida, said in a statement." If true, this won't please the federal panel that recommended against just such privatization.

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Chrome Apes IE8, Adds Clickjacking, XSS Defenses
Posted by News Fetcher on January 29 '10 at 12:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's damn-dirty-apes deptartment:
CWmike writes "Google has announced that it added several new security features to Chrome 4, including two security measures first popularized (some later shot down as having 'zero impact') by rival Microsoft's IE8 last year. The newest 'stable' build of Chrome includes five security additions that target Web developers who want to build more secure sites, said Adam Barth, a software engineer on the Chrome team. The two aped from IE include 'X-Frame-Options'" a security feature that helps sites defend against 'clickjacking' attacks, and cross-site scripting protection.'"In Google Chrome 4, we've added an experimental feature to help mitigate one form of XSS [cross-site scripting], reflective XSS,' Barth said. 'The XSS filter checks whether a script that's about to run on a Web page is also present in the request that fetched that Web page. If the script is present in the request, that's a strong indication that the Web server might have been tricked into reflecting the script.'"

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Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '10 at 09:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-that-there-is-anything-wrong-with-that deptartment:
e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."

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Freeciv As Benchmark of HTML5 Canvas Javascript Performance
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '10 at 09:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's tell-your-boss-this-is-important-research deptartment:
Andreas(R) writes "The Freeciv.net crew has benchmarked their web client, which is a rich web application using the HTML5 canvas element. This shows how fast Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer perform using the latest HTML5 web standards."

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RIAA Confusion In Tenenbaum & Thomas Cases?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '10 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's well-there-are-a-lot-of-names-yerhonor deptartment:
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "There seems to be a bit of confusion in RIAA-land these days, caused by the only 2 cases that ever went to trial, Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset in Minnesota, and SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, in Boston. In both cases, the RIAA has recently asked for extensions of time. In Thomas-Rasset, they've asked for more time to make up their mind as to whether to accept the reduced verdict of $54,000 the judge has offered them, and in Tenenbaum they've twice asked for more time to prepare their papers opposing Tenenbaum's motion for remittitur. What is more, it has been reported that after the reduction of the verdict, the RIAA offered to settle with Ms. Thomas-Rasset for $25,000, but she turned them down."

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Monitor Your Health 24x7 With the WIN Human Recorder
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '10 at 06:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's paranoia-count-high deptartment:
kkleiner writes "Japanese venture firm WIN Human Recorder Ltd is set to bring a health monitor patch to market that is capable of keeping tabs on all your vitals. The HRS-I is a small (30mm x 30mm x 5mm) lightweight (7g) device that adheres to your chest and relays the data it collects to a computer or mobile phone via wireless connection. While the HRS-I only directly monitors electrocardiograph information, body surface temperature, and movement (via accelerometers), it can connect to sensors for heart rate, brain waves, respiration and many other important health indicators. WIN is selling the HRS-I for around ¥30,000 (~$330) and providing monitoring software for around ¥10,000 (~$110)."

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80% of Cell Phone Encryption Solutions Insecure
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '10 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's nsa-working-on-the-rest deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Mobile Magazine writes about a blogger named Notrax who has tested 15 methods of secure encryption for mobile phones; out of those he found only 3 could not be cracked at some level. '12 of them were "worthless." It's easy to take the software at face value when it "tells you" that the call is secured. But how does someone actually go about being sure that it is secured? Notrax did some digging and discovered he could break in to almost all of them in under 30 minutes.'" (Above link is to a slightly older description of Notrax's approach; then, it was 9 out of 10 products that were worthless, instead of 12 out of 15.)

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NSF Tags $30M For Game-Changing Internet Research
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '10 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's does-moving-the-goalposts-count? deptartment:
coondoggie writes "So you want to build a better Internet? The National Science Foundation today said it would spread $30 million over 2-4 projects that radically transform the Internet 'through new security, reliability and collaborative applications. The NSF said its Future Internet Architectures (FIA) program wants: "Technological innovations and the requirements of emerging and yet to be discovered applications, the Internet of the future is likely to be different from that of today. Proposals should not focus on making the existing Internet better through incremental changes, but rather should focus on designing comprehensive architectures that can meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century."'"

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