New submitter Lluc writes "MIT and Harvard have started a new online education partnership called edX, an 'open-source technology platform to deliver online courses.' They plan to offer classes starting in Fall 2012. Perhaps this nonprofit venture is a better method for online education than Udacity, the startup created by Stanford professors after their wildly successful free online course offerings." Fellow new submitter alexander_686 sent in a link to the edX FAQ, and adds: "Harvard and MIT are launching edX with 60 million dollars to offer 'low fee' online classes. No word yet on classes offered or who will be teaching. No college credit but certificates will be offered. ... I hope low cost means low cost. (Under $25). I have really enjoyed the Stanford University free online classes."
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Uwe Hermann today announced the availability of sigrok, one of the first Open Source logic analyzers. Tired of being tied to Windows and proprietary software with limited features, in late 2010 he began work on flosslogic, which, after discovering Bert Vermeulen was also working on similar software, became sigrok. From the article: "Thus, the goal was to write a portable, GPL'd, software that can talk to many different logic analyzers via modules/plugins, supports many input/output formats, and many different protocol decoders. ... Currently supported hardware includes: Saleae Logic, CWAV USBee SX, Openbench Logic Sniffer (OLS), ZEROPLUS Logic Cube LAP-C, ASIX Sigma/Sigma2, ChronoVu LA8, and others." Their wiki has a list of supported protocols as well. You can grab the source over at SourceForge.
sciencehabit writes "A team of researchers has zoomed in on two spots on the body of the Iceman, a mummified, 5300-year-old hunter found frozen in the Alps in 1991: a shoulder wound found with an embedded arrowhead and a hand lesion resembling a stab wound. The scientists used atomic force microscopy, a visualization method with resolution of less than a nanometer, to scan the wounds for blood residue. They discovered red blood cells — the oldest in the world to be found intact — as well as fibrin, a protein needed for blood to clot. The presence of fibrin indicates that the Iceman, nicknamed Ötzi, didn't die immediately after being wounded."
suraj.sun writes with more fallout from Comcast's bandwidth caps that give preference to their own video services. From the article: "An executive from Sony said Monday that concerns about Comcast's discriminatory data cap are giving the firm second thoughts about launching an Internet video service, that would compete with cable and satellite TV services. In March,Comcast announced that video streamed to the Xbox from Comcast's own video service would be exempted from the cable giant's 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap. 'These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth,' he said. 'If they start capping things, it gets difficult.' Sony isn't the first Comcast rival to complain about the bandwidth cap. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has also blasted Comcast's discriminatory bandwidth cap as a violation of network neutrality. Comcast controls more than 20 percent of the residential broadband market, which means that Comcast effectively controls access to one-fifth of any American Internet video service's potential customers."
Barence writes with an excerpt from PC Pro: "Dropbox's latest SDK has incurred the wrath of Apple, because users who don't have the Dropbox app installed on their iPhone/iPad are instead pushed to Dropbox's website via the Safari browser. Here, they can click a link to the desktop version of the service, which allows them to buy extra Dropbox storage without Apple taking its usual 30% cut." Reportedly, Dropbox is attempting to strike a deal to resolve the problem.
First time accepted submitter Celexi writes "In a surprising move, Motorola Mobility (which is to be taken over by Google), has won an injunction preventing the distribution of Windows 7 and the Xbox in Germany until Microsoft starts paying royalty fees for the patents Microsoft is said to be infringing (two patents used to display H.264 video). The ruling is suspended as of now because of a restraining order, the effect in the rest of the EU and U.S. if the ban is enforced if the restraining order is lifted, is unclear." This could go into effect as soon as May 7th, pending the result of the next U.S. case hearing.
Fluffeh writes "It looks like some Pakistanis are taking on 'the man.' With plans laid by the Pakistani Government that could sink up to fifty million websites that it isn't a fan of, Pakistanis took the matter to court — which ruled that such action by the government was unconstitutional. Reporters without Borders was however a little more skeptical 'The high court's ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system. While welcoming the ruling, which penalizes the lack of transparency in the PTA's past website blocking, Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions. '"
MrSeb writes with news about a production ready electric-hybrid airplane. From the article: "... The four-passenger carbon fiber aircraft isn't really an electric plane but more of a plug-in hybrid plane, much like the Chevrolet Volt. Whatever it is, the Volta Volare aeronautics company of Portland, Oregon says the plane can travel 300 miles on battery power, then a 1.5-liter gasoline engine engages and extends the plane's range to 1,000 miles. The company sees the plane being attractive for its low cost of operation and its environmental friendliness. Aviation gasoline is typically leaded fuel, which has been gone from motor vehicle fuel since the 1980s. On a 200-mile trip in a comparable four-passenger gas-engine private plane, you'd burn $80 worth of avgas, while the electricity to carry the GT4 200 miles would cost only $20 — nice savings, but perhaps a little inconsequential when the plane itself is expected to cost around $500,000. Testing begins this spring on the Volta Volare GT4."
An anonymous reader writes, quoting OS News: "In his usual man-of-a-few-words manner today, Jean-Manuel Croset, Mandriva COO, announced that enough funds have been secured to allow Mandriva to keep its doors open and continue development." From the announcement: "The strategy review started two weeks ago will now actively be finalized and the corresponding decisions taken mid of May."
Layzej writes "The New York Times reports: 'For decades, a small group of scientific dissenters has been trying to shoot holes in the prevailing science of climate change, offering one reason after another why the outlook simply must be wrong.' Initially they claimed that weather stations exaggerated the warming trend. This was disproven by satellite data which shows a similar warming trend. Next, solar activity was blamed for much of the warming. This looked like a promising theory until the '80s, when solar output started to diverge from global temperatures. Now, climate contrarians are convinced that changes in cloud cover will largely mitigate the warming caused by increased CO2. The New York Times examines how even this last bastion for dissenters is crumbling. Over the past few years, Several papers have shown that rather than being a mitigating factor, changes in cloud cover due to warming may actually enhance further warming."
New submitter drom writes "Google released a key part of their Street View pipeline as open source on Tuesday: Ceres Solver. It's a large-scale nonlinear least squares minimizer. What does that mean? It's a way to fit a model (like expected position of a car) to data (like GPS positions or accelerometers). The library is completely general and works for many problems. It offers state of the art performance for bundle adjustment problems typical in 3D reconstruction, among others."
MrSeb writes "When Intel launched Ivy Bridge last week, it didn't just release a new CPU — it set a new record. By launching 22nm parts at a time when its competitors (TSMC and GlobalFoundries) are still ramping their own 32/28nm designs, Intel gave notice that it's now running a full process node ahead of the rest of the semiconductor industry. That's an unprecedented gap and a fairly recent development; the company only began pulling away from the rest of the industry in 2006, when it launched 65nm. With the help of Mark Bohr, Senior Intel Fellow and the Director of Process Architecture and Integration, this article explains how Intel has managed to pull so far ahead."
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior has picked Google Apps to provide cloud-based email and collaboration applications to about 90,000 staffers, choosing Google's services over Microsoft's Office 365. Google had sued the U.S. agency in 2010, claiming its requirements for the contract tilted the scales unfairly toward Microsoft. Google eventually dropped its lawsuit last September."
New submitter wagdav writes " Open Research Computation, a peer-reviewed journal on software designed for use by researchers closes on 8th May 2012. It just started to accept manuscripts sometime last year, and had not actually launched yet. The journal was to be open access and tried to be different than others with very demanding pre-submission requirements such as: code availability, high quality documentation and testing, the availability of test input and output data, and reproducibility. Now it is planned to be launched as an ongoing series in Source Code for Biology and Medicine."
itwbennett writes "In a filing to the FCC, Bay Area Rapid Transit general manager Grace Crunican defended last August's mobile shutdown, saying that 'a temporary disruption of cell phone service, under extreme circumstances where harm and destruction are imminent, is a necessary tool to protect passengers.' Taking the opposing position, digital rights groups, including Public Knowledge, Free Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the FCC (PDF) that 'wireless interruption will necessarily prohibit the communications of completely innocent parties — precisely those parties closest to the site where the emergency is located or anticipated.'"