New submitter schirra writes "Researchers at MIT Game Lab have created a free video game that accurately simulates the effects of Einstein's relativity. 'A Slower Speed of Light' challenges players to collect objects strewn throughout a level to artificially lower the speed of light. As light speed slows to walking pace, it makes visible the unusual effects one encounters when traveling close to the speed of light, such as the Doppler effect, searchlight effect and Lorentz transformation. The effects are, in a word, trippy. The team plans to release an open-source Unity3D toolkit called OpenRelativity to allow others to include the same relativistic effects in other games." They also plan to release the source code sometime next year (despite reports that it is open source already).
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Zothecula writes "Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a laser the size of a virus particle that can operate at room temperature. The 'nanolaser,' which uses gold nanoparticles instead of mirrors, is claimed to be the first demonstration to make use of a so-called bowtie arrangement of metal nanoparticles, though nano-scale lasers have been previously demonstrated." Original paper (paywalled, unfortunately).
An anonymous reader writes "This morning, the majority of Bill C-11, Canada's copyright reform bill, took effect, marking the most significant changes to Canadian copyright law in decades. Michael Geist summarizes the changes, which include expanded fair dealing, new protection for creators of user generated content, consumer exceptions such as time shifting, format shifting, and backup copies, and a cap on liability for non-commercial infringement."
An anonymous reader writes "Brooks Davis has announced that the FreeBSD Project has now officially switched to Clang/LLVM as C/C++ compiler. This follows several years of preparation, feeding back improvements to the Clang and LLVM source code bases, and nightly builds of FreeBSD using LLVM over two years. Future snapshots and all major FreeBSD releases will ship compiled with LLVM by default!"
New submitter HalWasRight writes "After years of struggle, MIPS Technologies — the original RISC processor company — is being sold to Imagination Technologies, best known for its popular mobile GPUs. Part of the deal included MIPS divesting much of its non-processor related patents to a group that includes ARM. This deal could change the landscape in the battle for mobile sockets." MIPS press release, Imagination press release.
Hugh Pickens writes "Jordan Weissmann writes that a task force commissioned by Florida Governor Rick Scott is putting the finishing touches on a proposal that would allow the state's public universities to charge lower tuition for studying topics thought to be in high demand among Florida employers including science, technology, engineering, and math. The hope is that by keeping certain degrees cheaper than others, Florida can encourage students into fields where it needs more talent. For some, it might seem inherently unfair to send dance majors deeper into debt just to keep tuition low for engineers, who are already poised to earn more once they graduate, but task force chair Dale Brill says tax dollars are scarce, and the public deserves the best possible return from its investment in education and that means spending more generously on the students who are most likely to help grow Florida's economy once they graduate. Brill also argues that too few young people consider their career prospects carefully when picking a major. 'We're trying to introduce some semblance of a market dynamic information in an environment where there is none,' Brill says. 'Most students couldn't tell you what they pay in tuition. In economics, pricing is all we have to determine and work out supply and demand. So, when the consumer is completely separated from the cost of a product, then the cost rises.'" Remember when everyone was supposed to become an aerospace engineer and then the industry collapsed in the early 90s?
hypnosec writes "Kim Dotcom's plan to launch a 'bigger, better, faster, stronger, safer' Megaupload successor, Mega, is already in peril as Gabon's government has suspended the domain me.ga . Announcing his decision, Gabon's Communication Minister Blaise Louembe said 'I have instructed my departments... to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga' in a bid to 'protect intellectual property rights' and 'fight cyber crime effectively.' Dotcom revealed through a tweet that he is in possession of an alternative domain name and that the recent suspension 'demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the U.S. government is on.'"
An anonymous reader writes "CNet reports on an agreement between AT&T and the FCC which will require the telecom company to pay $700,000 to the federal government to resolve overcharging complaints. AT&T will also refund charges to customers who were switched from pay-as-you-go data plans to monthly plans after AT&T said they could keep the old plans. 'AT&T has also agreed to an extensive compliance plan (PDF), which includes: consumer notification, training of customer care representatives, and periodic compliance reports to the FCC. AT&T must also conduct additional searches of its records to identify improperly switched consumers and ensure appropriate refunds.'"
hawkeyeMI writes "I live in a small, rural town nestled in some low hills. Our town has access to only one DSL provider, and it's pretty terrible. However, a regional fiber project is just being completed, and some of the fiber is in fact running directly past my house. Currently, there are no last-mile providers in my area, and the regional project only considers itself a middle-mile provider, and will only provide service to last-mile providers. Assuming this will not be my day job, that the local populace is rather poor, and that because of the hills, line-of-sight service will be difficult, how could I set myself up as an ISP? I have considered WiFi mesh networking, and even running wires on the power/telephone polls, but the required licensing and other issues are foreign to me. What would you do?"
LoLobey writes "Scott Adams has an entertaining entry on his Dilbert Blog about the perception of privacy. He writes, 'It has come to my attention that many of my readers in the United States believe they have the right to privacy because of something in the Constitution. That is an unsupportable view. A more accurate view is that the government divides the details of your life into two categories: 1. Stuff they don't care about. 2. Stuff they can find out if they have a reason.' His post is written in response to some reader comments on another entry about privacy guardians and how swell life would be if we voluntarily gave up certain personal info."
Fox News, NBC, and CNN have called the U.S. election for incumbent Barack Obama. Of the so-called 'battleground states,' Obama carried Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, which, along with all of the solidly Democrat-leaning states, was enough to push him beyond the 270 required for victory. You can check this chart to see the full list of states that have currently been called, and by which news networks. The NY Times has an excellent interactive map showing all election results updated in real time, as does CNN. It's currently projected that the Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
angry tapir writes "Google security engineer Tavis Ormandy discovered several flaws in Sophos antivirus and says the product should be kept away from high value information systems unless the company can avoid easy mistakes and issue patches faster. Ormandy has released a scathing 30-page analysis (PDF) 'Sophail: Applied attacks against Sophos Antivirus,' in which he details several flaws 'caused by poor development practices and coding standards,' topped off by the company's sluggishly response to the warning he had working exploits for those flaws. One of the exploits Ormandy details is for a flaw in Sophos' on-access scanner, which could be used to unleash a worm on a network simply by targeting a company receiving an attack email via Outlook. Although the example he provided was on a Mac, the 'wormable, pre-authentication, zero-interaction, remote root' affected all platforms running Sophos. (Ormandy released the paper as an independent researcher, not in his role as a Google employee.)"
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Western University in Canada: "The first human applied clinical study (SAV CT 01) using a genetically modified killed whole-virus vaccine (SAV001-H) to evaluate its safety and tolerability was initiated in March 2012. This study is a randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled study of killed whole HIV-1 vaccine (SAV001-H) following intramuscular (IM) administration. Infected men and women, 18-50 years of age, have been enrolled in this study and randomized into two treatment groups to administer killed whole HIV-1 vaccine (SAV001-H) or placebo. Sumagen announced today the patient enrollment has progressed smoothly and there have been no adverse effects observed including local reactions, signs/symptoms and laboratory toxicities after SAV001-H injection in all enrolled patients to date. With these interim results, the SAV001-H has proven safety and tolerability in humans and given Sumagen confidence for the next clinical trials to prove its immunogenicity and efficacy evaluation."
kmoser writes "Everybody's favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, makes an appearance in upcoming Superman #14, in which Superman visits the Hayden Planetarium to view his original planet. Meanwhile, back in reality, DC Comics explains that NdGT has used his 'astronomical' powers to select the red dwarf LHS 2520 as the most likely real-life red star to fit with Superman's back story."
Several readers have submitted news of the inevitable problems involved with trying to securely collect information from tens of millions of people on the same day. A video is making the rounds of a touchscreen voting machine registering a vote for Mitt Romney when Barack Obama was selected. A North Carolina newspaper is reporting that votes for Romney are being switched to Obama. Voters are being encouraged to check and double-check that their votes are recorded accurately. In Ohio, some recently-installed election software got a pass from a District Court Judge. In Galveston County, Texas, poll workers didn't start their computer systems early enough to be ready for the opening of the polls, which led to a court order requiring the stations to be open for an extra two hours at night. Yesterday we discussed how people in New Jersey who were displaced by the storm would be allowed to vote via email; not only are some of the emails bouncing, but voters are being directed to request ballots from a county clerk's personal Hotmail account. If only vote machines were as secure as slot machines. Of course, there's still the good, old fashioned analog problems; workers tampering with ballots, voters being told they can vote tomorrow, and people leaving after excessively long wait times.