Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that the SABRE hybrid (part air-breathing jet, part rocket) that is intended to power the Skylon single-stage-to-orbit space plane has passed its final technical demonstration test, and is now looking for money (only £250m!) to prepare for manufacturing. If this goes ahead, travel into orbit from local airports (ideally, those close to the equator) will be possible. And quite cheaply. But might it have the same legal difficulties flying from U.S. airports as the Concorde did?"
Already available in third party repositories, the GNOME 2 fork MATE and GNOME 3 fork Cinnamon will now be included in Fedora 18. From the H: "After almost two months' delay, the Fedora Project has released the first and final beta of Fedora 18. The distribution, which is code-named 'Spherical Cow,' includes the MATE desktop – a continuation of the classic GNOME 2 interface – in its repositories for the first time. Fedora 18's default edition uses GNOME 3.6.2 as its interface and a separate KDE Spin provides the KDE Software Collection 4.9.3; Xfce 4.10 and version 1.6.7 of Linux Mint's Cinnamon are also available from the distribution's repositories."
MojoKid writes "Not many SSD controller manufacturers have been able to compete with the likes of SandForce and the myriad of SATA drives from various OEMs on the market that are based on their technology. However, OCZ took a different approach recently when they acquired SSD controller manufacturer Indilinx and PCI Express Switch maker PLX. Today the company took the wraps of their new Vector line of SSDs. The Vector is the first drive from OCZ to utilize only technologies developed by the unified Indilinx, PLX, and OCZ teams (except for the actual NAND flash), since the acquisitions. The Vector is based on the new INDILINK Barefoot 3 controller, which in terms of its features and specifications, looks competitive with some of the fastest drives on the market currently. In the benchmarks, the drive's IOMeter and CrystalDiskMark scores line up well and OCZ is offering a 5 year warranty on the product."
New submitter drkim writes "'Apple has reportedly fired the head of its mapping team following software glitches which annoyed customers and rained mockery on the company.' Mr. Williamson promptly left Apple headquarters in Antarctica, and walked to his home in Middelfart, Denmark." Nerval's Lobster adds: "Cue is also 'seeking advice from outside map-technology experts' as well as 'prodding maps provider TomTom to fix landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.'"
Richard Stallman (RMS) founded the GNU Project in 1984, the Free Software Foundation in 1985, and remains one of the most important and outspoken advocates for software freedom. RMS now spends much of his time fighting excessive extension of copyright laws, digital rights management, and software patents. He's agreed to answer your questions about GNU/Linux, free software, and anything else you like, but please limit yourself to one question per post.
An anonymous reader writes "Over the past couple of days, there have been reports about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada, with fears that thousands of Canadians could be targeted. While it is possible that many will receive demand letters, Michael Geist has posted a detailed primer on liability in Canada that notes that recent changes to Canadian copyright law limit liability in non-commercial cases to a maximum of $5,000 for all infringement claims. In fact, it is likely that a court would award far less — perhaps as little as $100 — if the case went to court as even the government's FAQ on the recent copyright reform bill provided assurances that Canadians 'will not face disproportionate penalties for minor infringements of copyright by distinguishing between commercial and non-commercial infringement.'"
porsche911 writes "A hacker group called 'Parastoo' have broken into an International Atomic Energy Agency computer and released details of more than 100 IAEA experts. They are asking the experts to criticize Israel's nuclear arsenal (English translation)." The IAEA confirms the breach happened, but that it was of a decommissioned server. The statement from Parastoo courtesy of Cryptome.
itwbennett writes "The ITworld article reads: 'Nokia has asked a California court to enforce an arbitration award that would prevent Research In Motion from selling products with wireless LAN capabilities until the companies can agree on patent royalty rates. Nokia and RIM both declined to comment on Nokia's request, a copy of which was obtained by IDG News Service, but such a filing is typically made after two parties settle a dispute through arbitration but one party does not follow through on the agreement.'" Also from the article: "The patents in question are U.S. patents 5,479,476, which covers user-adjustable modes for phones; 5,845,219, which covers call alert during silent mode; 6,049,796, which covers real-time search on a personal digital assistant; 6,055,439, which covers a cellphone user interface; 6,253,075, which covers call rejection; and 6,427,078, which covers a small, handheld workstation."
An anonymous reader writes "The Internet's addressing authority (IANA) ran out of IPv4 Internet addresses in early 2011. The IPv6 protocol (now 15 years old) was designed exactly for this scenario, as it provides many more addresses than our foreseeable addressing needs. However, IPv6 deployment has so far been dismal, accounting for 1% of total traffic (the high-end of estimates). A recent paper by researchers at the Cooperative Association for Internet Data analysis (CAIDA) indicates that IPv6 deployment may be picking up at last. The paper, published at the Internet Measurement Conference (IMC) shows that the IPv6 network shows signs of maturing, with its properties starting to resemble the deployed IPv4 network. Deployment appears to be non-uniform, however; while the 'core' of the network appears to be ready, networks at the 'edges' are lacking. There are geographical differences too — Europe and the Asia Pacific region are ahead of North America."
another random user writes with news that the founder of TVShack probably won't be thrown into a U.S. prison for life. From the article: "Richard O'Dwyer, from Sheffield, is accused of breaking copyright laws. The US authorities claimed the 24-year-old's TVShack website hosted links to pirated films and TV programs. The High Court was told Mr O'Dwyer had signed a 'deferred prosecution' agreement which would require him paying a small sum of compensation. Mr O'Dwyer will travel to the US voluntarily in the next few weeks for the deal to be formally ratified, it is understood." Looks like Jimbo going to bat for him generated a bit of bad press. As usual, the MPAA is not enthused. Different articles are reporting that his mother is the one traveling to the U.S. to finalize the deal.
SchrodingerZ writes "Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from California, has drafted a bill for the internet. The bill, aptly named the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), is, 'a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet.' In short it hopes to deny any new government bills related to lawmaking on the internet for the next two years. The bill was first made public on the website Reddit, and is currently on the front page of Keepthewebopen.com, a website advocating internet rights. 'Together we can make Washington take a break from messing w/ the Internet,' Issa writes on his Reddit post. The initial response to the bill has been mixed. Users of Reddit are skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility. As of now, the bill is just a discussion draft, whether it will gain footing in the future is up in the air."
An anonymous reader writes with this AP report: "Workers have raised the first section of a colossal arch-shaped structure that eventually will cover the exploded nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power station. Project officials on Tuesday hailed the raising as a significant step in a complex effort to clean up the consequences of the 1986 explosion, the world's worst nuclear accident. Upon completion, the shelter will be moved on tracks over the building containing the destroyed reactor, allowing work to begin on dismantling the reactor and disposing of radioactive waste.'"
New submitter zenyu writes "IPCC's 2mm per year estimate for sea level rise at current CO2 levels has proven too optimistic. Sea levels have been rising 3.2mm per year in the last two decades. The IPCC's 50 cm — 100 cm projection for the next century may prove equally optimistic."
theodp writes "President Obama and his daughters headed to an indie bookstore last Saturday to promote shopping local. The White House did not disclose which books were bought, but author Lauren Oliver tweeted her delight after a White House photo showed her books Delirium and Pandemonium were among the 15 children's books purchased by the Obama family for Christmas gift-giving. While it made for a nice Small Business Saturday photo op, do you suppose the President paid much more for the books at the small indie bookshop than he might have at an online retailer like Amazon, where the hardcopy edition of Pandemonium is $10.15 (44% off the $17.99 list price) and the hardcopy edition of Delirium can be had for $10.47 (42% off the $17.99 list price)? Kindle Editions of the books are also available for $7.99. And with both titles eligible for free Amazon Prime shipping, the President could've saved on gasoline and Secret Service costs, too! So, will you be following the President's lead and shop local this holiday season, or is the siren song of online shopping convenience and savings too hard to resist?"
sighted writes "Today the robotic spacecraft Cassini returned some jaw-dropping images of the odd hexagon in the planet's north polar region. The hexagon has been seen before, but the change of season has more fully revealed the feature in visible light. Cassini also zoomed in on the churning vortex at the north pole itself. The south pole features a similar maelstrom."