Taco Cowboy writes "Here's yet another exciting project for DIY geeks. Modi-Corp, a Japanese company, has just unveiled a new electric car that you can actually build yourself. Not to be confused with the Toyota 'Prius,' the DIY electric car from Modi-Corp is called 'PIUS.' It's a single-seat electric car that will be released next spring in Japan. The company hopes that the PIUS kits can be used as educational tools, expecting to sell them to universities and mechanical schools with the opportunity to have customizable parts embedded in the EV for testing."
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An anonymous reader tips this news from IndieDB: "Alien Arena: Reloaded Edition has been released. This is a major release of this game, with many new features, and a veritable truckload of new high quality content. Every aspect of the game has been improved upon and expanded, from the engine, to the game code, weaponry, and overall gameplay. Some of the new features for this release include: Many new rendering features; Twelve new/rebuilt levels; Two new player characters, the Overlord and Warrior; Brand new 'super' weapon, the Minderaser; Improved antilag code; "Simple" items rendering option; Improved and expanded movement; Improved Bot AI, particularly with CTF; New music, and music 'shifts' in game situations; and a variety of bug fixes and code cleansing. Alien Arena is free to download, free to play, and the code is open sourced, and that will never change."
An anonymous reader writes "A former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has 'pervasive access' to about 80 percent of the world's communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation are reportedly to blame for the industrial espionage. 'Not only do Huawei and ZTE power telecom infrastructure all around the world, but they're still growing. The two firms are the main beneficiaries for telecommunication projects taking place in Malaysia with DiGi, Globe in the Philippines, Megafon in Russia, Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates, America Movil in a number of countries, Tele Norte in Brazil, and Reliance in India.'"
An anonymous reader writes "An article in the NY Times argues that the devices we call 'cell phones' should instead be called 'trackers.' It would help remind the average user that whole industries have sprung up around the mining and selling of their personal data — not to mention the huge amount of data requested by governments. Law professor Eben Moglen goes a step further, saying our cell phones are effectively robots that use us for mobility. 'They see everything, they're aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream around us.' It's interesting to see such a mainstream publication focus on privacy like this; the authors say that since an objects name influences how people think about the object, renaming 'cell phones' could be an simple way to raise privacy awareness."
An anonymous reader writes "Valve Software, in their Linux Steam / Source Engine effort, plus the rumored Steam Box, is continuing to hire top Linux developers. So far they have poached the lead developers of the DarkPlaces open-source engine used by Nexuiz/Xonotic, the founder of Battle for Wesnoth, and just yesterday they hired Sam latinga, creator of Simple DirectMedia Layer. According to Michael Larabel, they are still trying to hire more Linux kernel developers, driver experts, and other 'extremely talented Linux developers.'"
New submitter UtucXul points out that Richard Stallman has penned a lengthy response to NPR intern Emily White for her post on the organization's site about how she failed to pay for a significant amount of recorded music, acquiring it instead through Kazaa, friends, and CDs owned by the radio station at which she was employed. (We previously discussed musician David Lowery's response; quite different from RMS's, as you might expect.) Stallman wrote, "Copying and sharing recordings was not a mistake, let alone wrong, because sharing is good. It's good to share musical recordings with friends and family; it's good for a radio station to share recordings with the staff, and it's good when strangers share through peer-to-peer networks. The wrong is in the repressive laws that try to block or punish sharing. Sharing ought to be legalized; in the mean time, please do not act ashamed of having shared — that would validate those repressive laws that claim that it is wrong. You did make a mistake when you chose Kazaa as the method of sharing. Kazaa mistreated you (and all its users) by requiring you to run a non-free program on your computer. ... However, that was in the past. It's more important to consider what you're doing now, which includes other mistakes. You're not alone — many others make them too, and that adds up to a big problem for society. The root mistake is treating a marketing buzzword, 'the cloud,' as if it meant something concrete. That term refers to so many things (different ways of using the Internet) that it really has no meaning at all. Marketing uses that term to lead people's attention away from the important questions about any given use of the network, such as, 'What companies would I depend on if I did this, and how? What trouble could they cause me, if they wanted to shaft me, or simply thought that a change in policies would gain them more money?'"
wiredmikey writes "Following a shutdown of its 'NVIDIA Developer Zone,' earlier this week after the online community for developers had been hacked, the graphics chip maker on Friday also shut down its online store. The group of hackers behind the attack, going by the handle of 'The Apollo Project,' made mention of the claimed compromise in its original post exhibiting its successful attack against the NVIDIA Developer Zone site. While the company has shut down the online store, it has not acknowledged that a successful attack has taken place. 'NVIDIA has suspended operation of the NVIDIA Gear Store (store.nvidia.com) as a precaution, following confirmed attacks on several of our other sites,' read a statement posted on the site posted. The claimed attackers wrote, 'We aren't acting extremely maliciously, we've used this database to target disgusting corporations who deserve to be brought to justice.. and we are getting there, slowly but surely.'"
stoilis sends this quote from an article at Science: "Vaccines aren't supposed to cause disease. But that appears to be what's happening on Australian farms. Scientists have found that two virus strains used to vaccinate chickens there may have recombined to form a virus that is sickening and killing the animals 'This shows that recombination of such strains can happen and people need to think about it,' says Glenn Browning, a veterinary microbiologist at the University of Melbourne, Parkville, in Australia and one of the co-authors on the paper."
An anonymous reader writes "Reuters reports that beleaguered wireless device maker Research In Motion is on the losing end of a patent suit that will cost them $147.2 million. The jury arrived at that number by assigning an $8 royalty for every BlackBerry connected to RIM's enterprise server software. Unsurprisingly, RIM intends to appeal the decision. 'Mformation sued RIM in 2008, bringing claims on a patent for a process that remotely manages a wireless device over a wireless network, a court filing says. According to its web site, Mformation helps corporations manage their smart phone inventory. The company also says it helps telecoms operators, such as AT&T and Sprint, with remote fixes and upgrades for users' gadgets. RIM argued that Mformation's patent claims are invalid because the processes were already being used when Mformation filed its patent application.'"
An anonymous reader writes "An article at Time speculates that the recent hype surrounding 3-D display technology has finally peaked and begun to subside. As evidence, they point to comments from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who does not seem particularly enthusiastic about it, and concedes it won't be a major selling point if the company continues to have 3-D enabled products in the future. He said, 'So, now we've created the 3DS and 3DS XL and also have some games out there that are really using that 3D effect that we can see, from my point of view, that it's an important element. But as human beings are this kind of surprise effect wears off quickly, and just [having] this 3D stereoscopic effect isn't going to keep people excited.' Revenue from 3-D films is also dropping, and while 3-D television sales are rising, only 14 percent of potential buyers think 3-D is a 'must have' feature."
New submitter TheUni writes with news that XBMC has been announced for Android. Quoting: "Not a remote, not a thin client; the real deal. No root or jailbreak required. XBMC can be launched as an application on your set-top-box, tablet, phone, or wherever else Android may be found. The feature-set on Android is the same that you have come to expect from XBMC, no different from its cousin on the desktop. Running your favorite media-center software on small, cheap, embedded hardware is about to become a hassle-free reality. And as Android-based set-top-boxes are becoming more and more ubiquitous, it couldn't be a better time. ... We will begin releasing apks for interested beta testers in the coming weeks. But for those who are up to the task, as you would expect from XBMC, the source code is available. We have decided not to push to Google Play until we are satisfied that users with all kinds of devices get the same great XBMC experience."
msmoriarty writes "We recently got a copy of a new Voke analyst report on Agile, and the firm basically blasts the movement from top to bottom. Some highlights: 'The Agile movement is designed to sell services. ... Out of over 200 survey participants, we received only four detailed comments describing success with Agile.' 'Survey participants report that developers use the guise of Agile to avoid planning and to avoid creating documentation required for future maintenance. ... Be aware that the Agile movement might very well just be either a developer rebellion against unwanted tasks and schedules or just an opportunity to sell Agile services including certification and training.' So did the analysts just talk to the wrong 200 people?"
walterbyrd writes with news that Apple has been sending out letters to carriers and retailers who sell the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus, informing them of a court-mandated ban on sales and warning them against continuing to market the devices. The court order for the patent case on the Galaxy Tab says Samsung and "those acting in concert" with them are enjoined from selling the devices, and Apple has used the letters to point this out. Samsung, of course, disagrees: "Apple’s menacing letters greatly overreach, incorrectly claiming that third-party retailers are subject to the prohibitions of the preliminary injunction, which they clearly are not."
CIStud writes "A U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has ruled that iPod, iPad and iPhone speakers docks do not infringe on a patent owned by Bose Corp. for digital audio conversion. The ruling in the case of Bose vs. small dock speaker makers SDI, DPI, Imation and others reportedly was a test case that would have set precedent for potential patent infringement by other manufacturers... and even Apple... according to the defendant's legal team. At issue: Is an iPhone, iPad or iPod a 'computer.' The judge says they aren't."
Hugh Pickens writes "Megan Garber writes in the Atlantic that aesthetically, Wikipedia is remarkably unattractive. 'The gridded layout! The disregard for mind-calming images! The vaguely Geocities-esque environment! Whether it's ironic or fitting, it is undeniable: The Sum of All Human Knowledge, when actually summed up, is pretty ugly.' But Wikipedians consider the site's homeliness as a feature rather than a bug. 'Wikipedia has always been kind of a homely, awkward, handcrafted-looking site,' says Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, adding that the homeliness 'is part of its awkward charm.' Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr have built followings in part because of their exceedingly simple interfaces. Everything about their design says, 'Come on, guys. Participate. It's easy,' while Wikipedia, so far, has been pretty much the opposite of that. 'The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit' might more properly be nicknamed 'the free encyclopedia that any geek can edit.' This is particularly problematic because one of the Wikimedia Foundation's broad strategic goals is to expand its base of editors. While the editing interface is friendly to the site's super-users who tend to be so committed to Wikipedia's mission that they're willing to do a lot to contribute to it, if Wikipedia wants to make itself more attractive to users, a superficial makeover may be just the thing Wikipedia needs to begin growing in a more meaningful way."