Shareable writes with word of the intriguing work of a Berkeley professor who has developed a "low-cost, low-power cell base station featuring easy, off-the grid deployment with solar or wind power; local services autonomous from national carriers; and an impressive portfolio of voice & data services (not just GSM). It's designed to connect rural areas in the developing world, but could have wider application like disaster recovery."
An anonymous reader writes "Following the announcement about its major privacy revamp this week, Facebook has announced it is killing two of its products. The company has axed Facebook Places, although it is still adding new location features at the same time. In addition, the social network has has axed Facebook Deals, although Check-in Deals will still be available."
jjp9999 writes "Markus 'Notch' Persson, the creator of Minecraft, showed off some features of the upcoming v1.8 at PAX, which includes the long-awaited adventure update. The video shows off villages, which Notch says can usually be found near the player's spawn point, as well as improved graphics and a few other gameplay tweaks. Notch says he and his team plan to release the update soon, but may release it in increments, since 'there's so much we need to clean up.' Regardless, the next version of Minecraft looks stunning, with some much-needed direction to the gameplay that could rekindle interest."
NotSanguine writes "Sexual relations between ancient humans and their evolutionary cousins were critical for our modern immune systems, researchers report (paper itself is subscription only) in the journal Science. Mating with Neanderthals and another ancient group called Denisovans introduced genes that help us cope with viruses to this day, they conclude."
First time accepted submitter hairyfish writes "Do we still need time zones? Time zones are a relic of the past, when different parts of the world were isolated, and 12 p.m. was whenever the sun was directly above your specific location. Now, in the Internet age, time is just an arbitrary number, and time zones are just unnecessary complexity. Why can't we scrap time zones altogether, and all just use UTC across the board? So here on the eastern seaboard of Australia, lunchtime will now be at 2 a.m., In New York it will be 4 p.m., and in Moscow it will be 8 a.m. There'll be some pain with the initial changeover, but from then on it's all good. Got a meeting with colleagues on the other side of the world? 4 a.m. means 4 a.m. for everyone. Got a flight landing at 3 p.m.? 3 p.m. now means 3 p.m. for everyone. For DST, you simply change your schedule rather than the clock (i.e. work and school starts an hour earlier during DST months). No confusion ever again. For someone whose work involves travel or communication across time zones, this is the best idea I've ever heard. So why aren't we doing it?"
An anonymous reader writes "To pay his tribute to Steve Jobs, Joseph Tame, a media producer and a marathon runner from Tokyo, ran 21 kms in 2 hours — starting from the western side of the Imperial Palace, across to Roppongi, through Omotesando, then up to Shinjuku. The leaf is in Kagurazaka, and the start/finish point just by the entrance to Yasukuni Shrine. The route, when mapped, shows the famous Apple logo in the center of Tokyo."
mikejuk writes "The latest version of FlightGear, 2.4, has just been released — and it has some significant improvements. Now it simulates weather so that you can ride the up draft from a range of hills and seek out thermals — but watch out for the simulated fog! For the future the implementation of an HLA interface means that you can build clusters of interacting simulators and perhaps even work with commercial flight simulators." The FlightGear website has gotten a long-deserved upgrade, too.
kdawson writes "A paper up on the ArXiv claims to disprove the gravity-from-entropy theory of Erik Verlinde, which we discussed soon after he introduced the idea in a symposium late in 2009. Archil Kobakhidze says that experiments measuring the effect of gravity on quantum particles (neutrons in this case) match results expected from classical Newtonian gravity, not Verlindian entropic gravity. Here is Kobakhidze's paper (PDF)."
An anonymous reader writes "The developers behind the Mesa 3D graphics library, which provides the default graphics driver support for most hardware on Linux (and BSD/Solaris), has ended their support for older hardware. Being removed from Mesa (and therefore versions of Linux distributions) is support for hardware like the 3Dfx Voodoo, Intel i810, ATI Rage, and S3 Savage graphics processors. Also drivers being dropped were for Matrox and VIA graphics. Mesa developers also decided it's time to end support for the BeOS operating system. Dropping this code lowered the developers' responsibility by some 100k L.O.C., so maybe we will see GL3 support and OpenCL in Linux a bit sooner."
According to the New York Post — among many others — Amazon is expected to launch its long-anticipated color tablet in late September or October, and the device is slated to sell for 'hundreds less' than the iPad, which implies a price of $300 or less. MSNBC says much the same, but adds some (their words) "generic looking mockups" to illustrate. I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet, but it's good to have options.
Trailrunner7 writes with the report that "The Apache Software Foundation plans to have a fix available in the next day or so [Note: that means today, now. --Ed.] for the denial-of-service problem in Apache that was publicized late last week. The bug, which in some forms has been under discussion for more than four years, involves the way that the Web server handles certain overlapping range headers. The vulnerability is a denial-of-service bug, but it is considered serious because a remote attacker can essentially take a targeted server offline with little effort and resources. The Apache Software Foundation, which maintains the popular open-source Web server, updated its advisory on the vulnerability, saying that it expects to have a full fix available for the vulnerability within the next 24 hours."
chill writes "Researchers at the department of geophysics of the Brazil National Observatory have showed evidence of the existence of an underground river that flows 13,000 feet beneath the Amazon. The newly-named Hamza is said to be 3,700 miles long, flowing 13,000 feet below the Amazon. Both rivers flow from west to east, but the Hamza flows at only a fraction of the speed of Amazon."
theodp writes "There are bonuses. And then there are bonuses. Apple's board, led by sadly frail-looking chairman Steve Jobs, signaled its long-term confidence in Tim Cook as the company's new leader, disclosing in a regulatory filing that it's awarding the new CEO one million restricted stock units that will vest over the next decade. Apple shares closed at $383.53 Friday. From the SEC filing: 'In connection with Mr. Cook's appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units. Fifty percent of the restricted stock units are scheduled to vest on each of August 24, 2016 and August 24, 2021, subject to Mr. Cook's continued employment with Apple through each such date.'"
hypnosec writes "Celebrities have moved swiftly to block their names from the .xxx domain, which is meant for websites that offer pornographic content. Thousands of celebrities have contacted ICM Registry to put their names on the permanently reserved list so that no one will be able to start offering porn under their name. The domain registration company, ICM Registry, failed to give out the list of domain names it had blocked nor it is willing to tell how long the list is. On a lighter note, OsamaBinLaden.xxx has been also blocked and we assume the Al Qaeda would have demanded to reserve the domain."