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Sci-Fi

Submission + - Surviving in Space Without a Spacesuit (slate.com) 1

Geoffrey writes: "The recent movie Sunshine features a scene (echoing the famous scene in 2001: a Space Odyssey) in which two astronauts have to cross from one ship to another without spacesuits. But, can you survive in space without a spacesuit? Morgan Smith, writing in Slate, asks whether this is realistic, and concludes: "Yes, for a very short time.""
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Couple Bonding Through PC Building (extremetech.com)

mikemuch writes: "When his lovely girlfriend Glenda needed a new PC, Jason Cross, who spends much of the week assembling PCs with the latest gear to test for ExtremeTech, decided he would let her build it herself. She gave him her list of needs, he came up with a part list, and then watched, as she did all the screwdriving herself. Despite a DOA hard drive and some misconnected wires, everyone was smiling when it was all finished."
Graphics

Submission + - Instrumented GIMP to Identify Usability Flaws

Mike writes: New users of the GIMP often become frustrated at the application's unwieldy user interface. For this reason Prof. Michael Terry and a group of researchers at the University of Waterloo have created ingimp, an modified version of the GIMP that collects real-time usability data. Terry recently gave a lecture about ingimp and the data it collects. During each session, ingimp records events such as document creation, window manipulation, and tool use. A log of these events is sent to the ingimp server for analysis. The project hopes to answer questions such as "What is the typical monitor resolution of a GIMP user?" and "Is GIMP used primarily for photo editing or drawing?" Answers to these questions will help the GIMP developers find and fix GIMP's usability problems. For more information about ingimp, visit the project's web site.
Security

Submission + - iPhone Researchers Gain a Shell (beskerming.com)

SkiifGeek writes: "A team of researchers (#iphone @ irc.osx86.hu) dedicated to finding means to fully control and interact with the new Apple iPhone claim to have successfully gained an interactive shell on the device. In order to achieve this feat physical access to the phone is required, as it relies on some minor electronics to be created and connected to the phone's serial port.

It is believed that general control over the iPhone will be available to the enterprising researchers within a week (after all, it has only just been a week since the iPhone was released), with the promise of enough control to allow for self-propagating code not very far away."

Google

Submission + - Google Maps now does interactive re-routing (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Remember how cool it was the first time you used MapQuest or Google Maps or Google Earth? Once you try the new interactive dragging of routes on Google Maps, you'll find yourself wasting too much time again just playing with it and being amazed at how fast and scalable it is.
Biotech

Submission + - Create an Alien, Win a Prize!

destinyland writes: "A professor of bio-materials believes we're so close to creating artificial life, he's offering a $26,000 prize for the first non-DNA-based lifeform to "break the carbon barrier." He argues researchers are close to do the day when they molecularly engineer a synthetic lifeform — either unknowingly, or covertly — so you can also win a prize by simply identifying a synthetic lifeform created by someone else. ("We're scanning outer space for signs of intelligent life, but who's scanning inner space?") His ultimate goal is promoting safe nanotechnology research, which will only happen with a greater public awareness. The first alien lifeforms won't come from outer space; they'll come from our labs."
Databases

Submission + - Postgres Engine for MySQL Released

krow writes: "One of the unique qualities of the MySQL server is its ability to have multiple storage engine operate concurrently. Companies like Oracle and Solid have contributed their own storage engines to the open source project. With 5.1 MySQL has added the ability to now do this in a loadable fashion, allowing dynamic engines in the same manner as Apache with its modules.
Now PostgreSQL can add its self to the list of databases who have contributed a storage engine to MySQL. I'm releasing today a plugin so that you can now plugin the Postgres database engine into MySQL and have it work natively along side other engines."
Mozilla

Submission + - Firefox No Longer Alternative Enough

Kelson writes: "The Alternative Browser Alliance, which promotes the use of alternative browsers over Internet Explorer, has stopped promoting Firefox after nearly two years. According to the announcement, Firefox has sold out, gone mainstream, and "is no longer an alternative web browser."

Reportedly the site will throw its weight behind iCab, as it is guaranteed to remain alternative since it will never run on Windows Vista.""
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft set to announce Zune 360 and 180

Blueberry Bob writes: "Just in time for the iPhone June launch, Microsoft is planning to launch the Zune 360 and 180, the 360 will be a widescreen video and music player available in 40 and 80 GB models whereas the 180 will be a smaller device similar in size to the iPod nano. Oddly enough, only the 180 model will feature a cellphone — Microsoft believes that the combined cellphone/music player market is better served in compact players."
Movies

Submission + - Juliette Moore to play Dana Scully

An anonymous reader writes: Hot on the heels of the news from David Duchovny that FOX and Chris Carter are finally producing the long-awaited sequel to The X-Files: Fight the Future, actor Gillian Anderson has announced that she will not be returning as geek fav, the delectable Special Agent Dana Scully. Instead, Juliette Moore will be portraying the hot science babe G-woman. http://www.moviehole.net/news/20070401_moore_to_pl ay_scully_in_xfiles.html

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