An anonymous reader writes "If you're sick of playing Angry Birds, or don't like touchscreen controls, there is now an alternative if you don't mind some construction. mbed have posted full instructions and a parts list for creating your very own USB slingshot, adding a physical element to playing the game. You need a decent branch for the slingshot, a microcontroller, USB connector, accelerometer, and a rubber stretch sensor. The C++ code is provided, and as a weekend project I can see this being pretty satisfying to create."
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People who hear about the Seattle Pinball Museum tend to say things like, "Seems like a must-visit destination in Seattle," and, "Why did no one tell me about this place!??!" Timothy Lord, Slashdot Editor and Video Host, agrees. Watch the video to see a huge grin on Timothy's face. And if you ever get to the Seattle Pinball Museum yourself, you'll probably have a smile on your face, too.
miller60 writes "Despite the publicity around the U.S. Government's 'Cloud First' approach to IT, many agencies are reluctant to shift mission critical assets to third-party facilities. That's the analysis from Harris Corp., which has decided to get out of the cloud hosting business and sell a data center in Virginia, just two years after it spent $200 million to build and equip it. 'It's becoming clear that customers, both government and commercial, currently have a preference for on-premise versus off-premise solutions,' said Harris' CEO."
theodp writes "'Hate to see something happen to that multi-billion IPO of yours,' is essentially the IPO-threatening message Yahoo sent to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook investors on the eve of the social networking giant's IPO. Yahoo, unlike the Sopranos, is using IP as its muscle to collect its IPO-protection money: 'We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement [for 10-20 Yahoo-owned patents] or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights,' Yahoo explained in a statement alerting the NY Times to its demand. Yahoo issued a similar last-minute threat to Google on the eve of its 2004 IPO, prompting Google to pony up 2.7 million shares to settle Yahoo's patent lawsuit. BTW, should Facebook also be concerned that Amazon has been beefing up its PlanetAll social networking patents from the '90s, including the one issued Tuesday covering a Social Networking System Capable of Notifying Users of Profile Updates Made by Their Contacts?"
beaverdownunder writes with news from The Age that "Leaked e-mails from private U.S. intelligence agency Stratfor indicate that American prosecutors have had a sealed, secret indictment drawn up against Julian Assange as early as January, 2011." From the article: "The news that U.S. prosecutors drew up a secret indictment against Mr. Assange more than 12 months ago comes as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden to be questioned in relation to sexual assault allegations. Mr. Assange, who has not been charged with any offence in Sweden, fears extradition to Stockholm will open the way for his extradition to the U.S. on possible espionage or conspiracy charges over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked classified U.S. reports."
New submitter Kjellander writes "Randall, of xkcd fame, and inventor of Geohashing, has commented on the recent successful expedition of a Globalhash less than 1 km from the Amundsen-Scott research station by 5 brave scientists staying there over winter. The last continent has been conquered and many records broken."
judgecorp writes "We aren't sure what's the strangest thing about Nokia's new offering, the fact that it's got a 41 Megapixel camera or the fact that it runs Symbian. It has a very high resolution sensor and uses oversampling, apparently producing good results in low light. Users can either save a maximum of 38Mpixels, or else zoom and crop for normal resolution images. Observers expected a maximum of one more Symbian phone before Nokia shifts over to Windows Phone. This suggests either a longer life for Symbian — or maybe [that] Symbian was just an easier platform to make a show-stopping device that may turn out to be more of a concept phone."
Lucas123 writes "IBM today claimed to have been able to reduce error rates and retain the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits or qubits long enough to perform a gate operation, opening the door to new microfabrication techniques that allow engineers to begin designing a quantum computer. While still a long ways off, the creation of a quantum computer would mean data processing power would be exponentially increased over what is possible with today's silicon-based computing."
aesoteric writes "Facebook has embarked on a nationwide test of a new disaster message board for users across Japan. The feature allows users to mark themselves as being 'safe' in the event of a disaster. Doing so introduces a 'safe' insignia next to their name on their profile. The Facebook announcement appeared to be geoblocked."
pigrabbitbear writes with an interesting opinion on the "green" marketing surrounding The Lorax movie adaptation. From the article: "There may be all kinds of reasons to defend the Lorax — Dr. Seuss's wondrous children's fable that's also a seminal book about conservation — from the wrath of Lou Dobbs and Fox News and others to whom the children's book-turned-Disney film is little more than liberal propaganda. ... For adults dealing with the real world of compromise, the Lorax is loved and hated for being such a ridiculously staunch environmentalist. Dude refuses to give an inch, which isn’t realistic, but certainly makes him a compelling character. That character is now being used as a shill for the CX-5, a small SUV that’s being billed as fuel-efficient and eco-friendly. What has the poor Lorax become?"
MrSeb writes with this news from Extreme Tech: "In a move that will shock and disgust bleeding-edge technophiles everywhere, Asus has announced at Mobile World Congress 2012 that its new Transformer Pads — the high-end Infinity Series — will use the recently-announced dual-core Qualcomm S4 SoC. The critically acclaimed Transformer Prime, the Infinity Series' predecessor which was released at the end of 2011, used the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Why the sudden about-face? Well, the fact that quad-core processors don't really have a use case in mobile devices is one reason — but it doesn't hurt that the Krait cores in the S4 are significantly faster than the four Cortex-A9 cores in the Tegra 3, too. The S4 is also the first 28nm SoC, while Tegra 3 is still on 40nm, which means a smaller and cheaper package, and lower power consumption to boot. The S4 is also the first SoC with built-in LTE, which was probably a rather nice sweetener for Asus." The Snapdragon S4 "Krait" CPU is still a bit shrouded in mystery as far as hard specs (Qualcomm has never been one to release docs), but it appears to be similar to the Cortex-A15 in performance; how they stand up to Intel's new Medfield designs remains to be seen.
daria42 writes "Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies, but that doesn't mean the company is letting it all hang loose. Overnight the U.K. company which produces a speech recognition app called Evi, which mimics many of the functions of Apple's Siri, confirmed Apple had approached his company letting it know that Evi was being reviewed for possible breaches of Apple's App Store policies. The reason? A clause in the policy which bans apps too similar to Apple's existing software. It does appear to matter to Apple that Siri doesn't function that well in the U.K., because of a lack of good localisation." Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from The University of Nottingham have demonstrated how a species of flatworm overcomes the aging process to be potentially immortal. The discovery, published (abstract; full text PDF) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is part of a project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Medical Research Council and may shed light on the possibilities of alleviating aging and age-related characteristics in human cells." After finding the gene for telomerase synthesis in the worms, the researchers were able to observe that the worms "...dramatically increase the activity of this gene when they regenerate, allowing stem cells to maintain their telomeres as they divide to replace missing tissues."
suraj.sun writes with an excerpt from an article over at Ars Technica: "Los Alfaques, a bucolic campground near the Spanish town of Tarragona, isn't happy with Google. That's because searches for 'camping Alfaques' bring up horrific images of charred human flesh — not good for business when you're trying to sell people on the idea of relaxation. The campground believes it has the right to demand that Google stop showing 'negative' links, even though the links aren't mistakes at all. Are such lawsuits an aberration, or the future of Europe's Internet experience in the wake of its new 'right to be forgotten' proposals? Legal scholars like Jeffrey Rosen remain skeptical that such a right won't lead to all sorts of problems for free expression. But in Spain, the debate continues. Last week, Los Alfaques lost its case — but only because it needed to sue (U.S.-based) Google directly. Mario Gianni, the owner of Los Alfaques, is currently deciding whether such a suit is worth pursuing."
First time accepted submitter achbed writes "In conjunction with a friend of mine, I'm operating a small(ish) site that contains a large quantity of music (mp3/ogg) that we pay streaming licenses for. The site currently has about 35GB of files, and pulls down an average of about 3TB a month of bandwidth — and we're just getting started. We've been unable to find any hosting packages out there that are not of the 'unlimited' variety (meaning they can kick us at any time because we're using too much) that are not costing an insane amount of money. Our current 'main page' host charges about $0.50/GB/mo, which for this much data equates to $500 a month per TB. As we are expecting growth, this is quickly going to become a major problem, as were doing this out of our own pockets (that are not that deep). Does anyone have good leads on businesses that provide significant bandwidth (5-10TB/month) for inexpensive money? Or are we going to have to accept a price in the thousands per month to run this kind of site, with 'going viral' providing a significant risk to our pockets?" $500 for what works out to under 5Mbps (95th pecentile mojo) seems a bit steep. These guys want to enter the 20+Mbps realm; I've done some high bandwidth hosting before, but it seems like you enter a different world when you need more than 10Mbps.