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Education

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 30th Anniversary 212

Posted by timothy
from the quick-someone-write-a-treacly-pop-song dept.
It's not just the TRS-80; new submitter sebt writes "ZX Spectrum, the microcomputer launched in 1982 by Sinclair Research (Cambridge, UK) turns 30 today. The launch of the machine is seen by many today as the inspiration for a generation of eager young programmers, software and game designers in the UK. The events surrounding its launch, notably Sinclair's well-known rivalry with Acorn, later helped to inspire the design of the ARM architecture and most recently the Raspberry PI (based on ARM), in an effort to reboot the idea of enthusiastic kid programmers first captured by the Spectrum and Acorn's BBC micro. Happy birthday Spec!"
Movies

Ph.D Webcomic Gets Adapted Into Feature Film 126

Posted by timothy
from the grad-students-get-free-cheese dept.
Technically Inept writes with the lead paragraph from a report at Comics Alliance: "To the best of my knowledge, Jorge Cham's Piled Higher and Deeper (better known as PhD Comics) is the first webcomic to be adapted into a feature-length film. After months spent on a college campus screening tour, Piled Higher and Deeper: The Movie is finally available for purchase and streaming. And, like its comic inspiration, the PhD pokes fun at the frustrations of graduate students, those noble folks who enter academia with dreams of changing the world and inspiring young minds, only to be thwarted by indifferent professors, lazy undergrads and the ever-present fear that they'll never graduate." The short review linked makes this sound like a very watchable movie.
Privacy

TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication 190

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-bruce dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Last year, a Nigerian man boarded a plane from N.Y. to L.A. using an invalid ID and a boarding pass issued to another person. A week later he was caught again with 10 expired boarding passes. In response to this and similar events, the Transportation Security Administration has begun testing a new system at Washington's Dulles International Airport that verifies an air traveler's identity by matching photo IDs to boarding passes and ensures that boarding passes are authentic. The test will soon be expanded to Houston and Puerto Rico."
Space

First Full Observable-Universe Simulation 95

Posted by timothy
from the not-counting-the-big-blue-room dept.
First time accepted submitter slashmatteo writes "The goal of the DEUS project (Dark Energy Universe Simulation) is to investigate the imprints of dark energy on cosmic structure formation through high-performance numerical simulations. In order to do so, the project has conducted a simulation of the structuring of the entire observable universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. Thanks to the Curie super-computer, the simulation has made it possible to follow the evolution of 550 billion particles. Two other complementary runs are scheduled by the end of May. More details in the press release."
Piracy

French Elections Could Affect HADOPI, ACTA 153

Posted by timothy
from the strategic-surrender-in-order-sometimes dept.
bs0d3 writes "From having a position in the development and support of ACTA, to implementation of HADOPI, to imposing an internet tax to pay for music; France has been at the forefront of anti-piracy legislation. This week, it has been announced that current President and anti-piracy advocate Nicolas Sarkozy is unlikely to win the next election. His leading opponent is a man named Francois Hollande. Hollande has in the past opposed both ACTA and HADOPI (France's 3 strikes law). Hollande believes that ACTA, 'originally intended to combat counterfeiting trade[,] was gradually diverted from its objective, in the utmost discretion and without any democratic process.' At the same time, Hollande is also strongly against piracy. 'Piracy has been costly,' Hollande said, 'but I do not think that law enforcement alone is the answer to the problem.' Will internet issues be of concern to the voters in France? It certainly is to the rest of us internet users."
AI

The Artificial Life of the App Store 106

Posted by timothy
from the how-about-global-thermonuclear-war? dept.
mikejuk writes "How does the Apple App Store actually work? What is the best strategy to employ if you want to get some users and make some money? There are some pointers on how it all works from an unusual source — artificial life. A pair of researchers Soo Ling Lim and Peter Bentley from University College London, set up an artificial life simulation of the app store's ecosystem. They created app developers with strategies such as — innovate, copy other apps, create useless variations on a basic app or try and optimize the app you have. What they found, among other things, was that the CopyCat strategy was on average the best. When they allow the strategies to compete and developer agents to swap then the use of the CopyCat fell to only 10%. The reason — more than 10% CopyCats resulted in nothing new to copy!"
Classic Games (Games)

MIT Hack Turns the Green Building Into a Giant Game of Tetris 65

Posted by timothy
from the these-kids-never-go-to-class dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MIT hackers have turned the Green Building, the tallest building in Cambridge, into a giant, playable, full color game of Tetris. According to the IHTFP Hack Gallery, "MIT hackers have long considered 'Tetris on the Green Building' to be the Holy Grail of hacks.""
Microsoft

Did Microsoft Simply Run Out of Time On Windows RT? 305

Posted by timothy
from the time-is-always-limited dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft may have simply run out of time with Windows RT, Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry said on Friday. Windows RT, the name Microsoft slapped on the OS earlier this week after calling it 'Windows on ARM,' or WOA, for months, is the forked version of Windows 8 designed to run on devices powered by ARM SoCs, or system-on-a-chip. Cherry was referring to gaps in Windows RT's feature set, particularly the lack of 'domain joining,' the ability to connect to a corporate Windows network and the lack of support for Group Policies, one of the ways IT administrators use to manage Windows devices. 'This is pure speculation on my part, but it seems like they had to make a trade-off with Windows RT,' Cherry said. 'What we're hearing now about Windows RT is a function of time and how they wanted the thing to behave. It seems to me that the a key goal was to get battery life decent and keep the weight [of devices] down.' His analysis on RT's chance of success: 'I think you can take Windows RT off the table for enterprises,' he said."
The Military

US Journalists Targeted By Pentagon Propaganda Contractors 232

Posted by timothy
from the hey-this-feels-creepy dept.
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort. Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. 'I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility,' Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption."
Government

Iranian Military Says It's Copying US Drone 350

Posted by timothy
from the so-it's-sort-of-a-buzzing-noise dept.
New submitter skipkent writes "Iran's military has started to build a copy of a U.S. surveillance drone captured last year after breaking the software encryption, Iranian media reported on Sunday. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, said engineers were in the final stages of decoding data from the Sentinel aircraft, which came down in December near the Afghan border, Mehr news agency reported."
Google

Apple and Google Face Salary-Fixing Lawsuit 402

Posted by timothy
from the only-legal-when-the-government-does-it dept.
beaverdownunder writes "Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel have been accused of maintaining an agreement not to poach each other's staff, thus restricting increases in salary and restricting career development. California District Judge Lucy Koh has found that the plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated antitrust injury. Sparked by a request from the late Steve Jobs, from 2005 to 2007 the defendants had a 'no cold-call' policy of staff recruitment amongst themselves. Jobs is also alleged to have threatened Palm with litigation for not entering into a 'no cold-call' agreement with Apple." Besides the companies named above, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are also involved.
PlayStation (Games)

Most Game Console Power Draw Comes From Time Spent Idling 249

Posted by timothy
from the sittin'-on-the-dock-of-the-bay dept.
hypnosec writes "Springer Science and Business Media has discovered that during 2010, almost 70 per cent of the overall power draw of the world's consoles was thanks to idling. This total came to over 10.8 TWh of energy, equating to well over a billion dollars in wasted power. The biggest culprit for the trio of main consoles of this generation was the PlayStation 3, with its first edition having an active power draw of 180 watts and an idling draw of 167. As the report states, the Xbox 360 wasn't much better however, with active/idle draws of 172/162w respectively. Both of those consoles have got far better with their hardware revisions, more than halving the idle power consumption, but the Wii has been ahead of the curve the whole time. Its active/idle power draws were as low as 16/11w. The only real difference with the Nintendo console was whether its WC24 was enabled or not. With it on, standby power jumped from 2w to 9w."
Privacy

Anonymous, People's Liberation Front Build Anonymous Data-Sharing Site 137

Posted by timothy
from the for-all-your-library-science-needs dept.
suraj.sun writes with these snippets from an article at Ars Technica: "Hacker group Anonymous and the People's Liberation Front have created a data-sharing site called AnonPaste.tk, meant to host pastes of code and other messages without any moderation or censorship of the information posted. The new site, which uses a free .tk web address, allows users to set a time for the paste to expire. It claims that data is encrypted and decrypted in the browser using 256 bit AES, so the server doesn't see any of the information included in the paste.The site says it's taking donations in the form of WePay or BitCoins. ... AnonPaste is built using open-source software called ZeroBin, created by French developer Sebastien Sauvage. According to Infoweek Sauvage has experience in creating online authentication systems for French banks, suggesting the creator knows a thing or two about encryption of data. Still, on the software's information page, Sauvage reminds potential users that ZeroBin software can not protect against potential Javascript attacks. 'Users still have to trust the server regarding the respect of their privacy,' he says. 'ZeroBin won't protect the users against malicious servers.'"
Software

Open Source Project Licenses Trending Toward Open Rather than Free 369

Posted by timothy
from the for-some-values-of-open-or-free dept.
bonch writes "An analysis of software licenses shows usage of GPL and other copyleft licenses declining at an accelerating rate. In their place, developers are choosing permissive licenses such as BSD, MIT, and ASL. One theory for the decline is that GPL usage was primarily driven by vendor-led projects, and with the shift to community-led projects, permissive licenses are becoming more common."
Earth

Eating Meat Helped Early Humans Reproduce 487

Posted by timothy
from the dinner-and-a-movie dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "If early humans had been vegans we might all still be living in caves, Swedish researchers suggested in an article Thursday. When a mother eats meat, her breast-fed child's brain grows faster and she is able to wean the child at an earlier age, allowing her to have more children faster, the article explains. 'Eating meat enabled the breast-feeding periods and thereby the time between births to be shortened,' said psychologist Elia Psouni of Lund University in Sweden. 'This must have had a crucial impact on human evolution.' She notes, however, that the results say nothing about what humans today should or should not eat."

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