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Government

+ - 207 President Obama Calls For New 'Space Race' Funding->

Submitted by dmfinn
dmfinn (2840625) writes "While his union address covered a wide range of topics, President Obama made sure not to skip over the U.S.'s space program. The talking point was nearly identical to the one he gave in 2009, in which he called for space R&D spending to be increased past the levels seen during the the original cold war space race. Now, 4 years after that speach, it appears things have gone the opposite way. Since 2009 NASA has seen some serious cuts. Not only has the space-shuttle program been deactivated, but the agency was forced to endure harsh funding cuts during the presidents latter term. Despite an ominous history, it now seems that Obama is back on the space objective, pushing congress to increase non-defensive R&D spending to 3% of the U.S. GDP. It's important to keep in mind that not all of this money goes directly to space related programs, though under the proposed budget the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories will have their budgets doubled.There will also be an increase in tax credits towards companies and organizations working on these R&D projects.

Should the U.S. go back to its 'Let's put a man on the moon" ideology, or is the federal government fighting an uphill battle against newly emerging private space expeditions? Either way, the question remains whether or not Obama will act on any of the propositions."

Link to Original Source

+ - 132 Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout to Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage?

Submitted by Tooke
Tooke (1961582) writes "I've developed focal hand dystonia from playing clarinet. It affects my right pinky (and my ring finger, but to a lesser extent). My pinky isn't totally unusable when typing; however, it isn't nearly as agile as it used to be. When I must press a key with it, I tend to keep the whole finger rigid and move my entire hand instead. I also use my ring finger to press the P and semicolon keys (on QWERTY) which is a bit awkward but better than using the pinky. Thus my question: are there any keyboard layouts that are optimized to reduce right pinky/ring finger usage? I switched to Programmer Dvorak a few years ago, but Dvorak seems to make me use my right hand significantly more than my left. I'm considering mirroring the letter keys so my left hand would be used more. I also came across the Workman layout which looks interesting. I might try using that after switching the numbers and symbols around to be more like Programmer Dvorak. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What else could I do to make typing more comfortable? I've got a long career ahead of me as a programmer (I'm currently a high school senior) and I'd like to take care of my hands as much as possible."
Government

+ - 142 NIST issues a Request for Information concerning the Cybersecurity Framework->

Submitted by
Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace writes "NIST has issued a RIF for Cybersecurity Framework(PDF), which will soon be published in the Federal Register. The Information Technology Laboratory of NIST has created a web site for Cybersecurity Framework.

Clearly, much depends upon how this is implemented. I would encourage all those who are interested to participate in the process. Now is the time to speak out, before the Executive Order is implemented."

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Science

+ - 168 Australian Federal Court rules for patent over breast cancer gene->

Submitted by Bulldust
Bulldust (1248230) writes "Federal Court in Australia has ruled in favour of US biotechnology company Myriad Genetics enabling them to continue to hold the patent over the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1. The same patent is also being reconsidered by the US Supreme Court in the current session."
Link to Original Source

+ - 156 NY Times' Broder Responds to Tesla's Elon Musk->

Submitted by
DocJohn
DocJohn writes "NY Times' John Broder responded to Elon Musk's blog entry, responding to accusations with deft and reasonable replies. Accused of driving around a parking lot for no reason, for instance, Broder notes he was simply looking for the poorly marked charging station. Worse of all, much of Broder's behavior can be attributed directly to advice he received from Tesla representatives — something Musk fails to mention."
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Ubuntu

+ - 130 Steam For Linux Officially Released, Available In Ubuntu Software Center->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Valve has officially released Steam for Linux client. Valve is not shying away from using the word Linux on it's home page. With the launch of the official client the company is also offering heavy discounts on games for Linux — over 50 Linux titles are now 50-75% off until Thursday, February 21st at 10 AM PST."
Link to Original Source
Data Storage

+ - 108 Ultrasound Waves Used to Increase Data Storage Capacity of Magnetic Media->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Electrical engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) said today that they have found a technique to use high-frequency sound waves to improve magnetic data storage.The data write-technology breakthrough could allow greater amounts of data to be stored on both hard disk drives and NAND flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs), they said. Typically, when magnetic recording material is temporarily heated, even for an instant, it can become momentarily less stiff and more data can be stored at a particular spot. But, the technique has proven difficult to effectively increase capacity because heating tends to spread beyond where it is wanted and the technology involves complex integration of optics, electronics and magnetics, the researchers said. With the new technique, known as acoustic-assisted magnetic recording, ultrasound is directed at a highly specific location on the material while data is being stored, creating elasticity that allows "a tiny portion of the material to bend or stretch." After the ultrasound is turned off, the material immediately returns to its original shape, but the data stored during the process remains in a dense form."
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Python

+ - 149 UK company files for trademark on Python->

Submitted by sunzoomspark
sunzoomspark (1960660) writes "For anyone who works in a company that has an office in a EU Community member state, we need your help.

There is a company in the UK that is trying to trademark the use of the term "Python" for all software, services, servers... pretty much anything having to do with a computer. Specifically, it is the company that got a hold on the python.co.uk domain 13 years ago. At that time we weren't looking a lot at trademark issues, and so we didn't get that domain."

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Games

+ - 200 Valve officially launches Steam for Linux->

Submitted by sl4shd0rk
sl4shd0rk (755837) writes "Valve has finally released Steam for Linux. Although some of the 57 games listed on the Linux Steam site are previously released from the Humble Bundles, there are others which should provide adequate entertainment for anyone bored with the HB games. Among the games listed, many at deep discounts of 50%-75% off, are HalfLife, CounterStrke Source and Serious Sam 3. Hopefully Valve will keep the ports coming as rumor has it that Left 4 Dead had been ported at least for developers."
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Government

+ - 120 The data shows:The top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The largest single users of H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, many of which are based in India, or, if U.S. based, have most employees located overseas, according to government data obtained and analyzed by Computerworld. Most of the largest H-1B users easily account for more than 35,000 H-1B visas under the "initial" or new visas. The total visa cap is 85,000. The analysis comes as supporters of the skilled-worker visa program are trying to hike the H-1B cap to 300,000. Those visas are needed, says one of the bill sponsors, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), to address "the shortage of high-skilled labor we face in this country. This shortage has reached a crisis level.""
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Science

+ - 149 Source of High-Energy Cosmic Rays Nailed at Last->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "For the past century, physicists have puzzled over cosmic rays, particles (mostly protons) that hurtle through space at high speed and seem to come from all directions equally. What's the source of these galactic projectiles? And how do they come to be traveling so fast? Today, an international team announced a major step toward answering those questions: conclusive evidence that at least some of the cosmic rays come from supernova remnants—expanding shells of matter from exploded stars—that are acting as natural particle accelerators."
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Hardware

+ - 95 Data Centers Springing Up in Old Chip Fabs->

Submitted by miller60
miller60 (554835) writes "A growing number of former semiconductor fabs are becoming server farms. A data center company will convert a former fab near Dallas into a massive data center that will offer between 700,000 and 1.4 million square feet of server space. The company, QTS, followed a similar path with a huge former Qimonda facility in Richmond. In Silicon Valley, Facebook's servers live in an old Seagate plant converted by Fortune Data Centers. Up in Oregon, a former Hynix chip plant is becoming a data center. These facilities offer several attributes that make them good covnersion prospects: lots of existing power and cooling capacity, with raised floor already available in many faciltiies. Data center companies says this existing infrastructure saves them money, leaving less to retrofit."
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Facebook

+ - 97 Ginormous Data: The Story of Facebook's Analytics Back End->

Submitted by
waderoush
waderoush writes "Forget ‘big data’ — Facebook’s data challenges are ‘ginormous,’ to quote Jay Parikh, the company’s vice president of infrastructure engineering. Everybody knows that the social networking site is also the world’s largest photo sharing service, storing some 240 billion photos, with another 350 million uploaded every day (about 7 petabytes per month). But Facebook’s vast and detailed activity logs, which are spread across huge Hadoop clusters of 100 petabytes or more, have received far less attention. This Xconomy article takes an in-depth look at how Parikh’s team manages this back end, and more importantly, how Facebook product engineers use it track the tens of thousands of A/B tests running on the front end on any given day. ‘Our top priority, beyond keeping the site up and running and fast, is enabling our product teams to move at lightning speed,’ Parikh says."
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Software

+ - 136 Game Closure "DevKit" for Mobile HTML5 Games is Open Source->

Submitted by
Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor writes "Silicon Valley startup Game Closure has open-sourced their HTML5 game development toolkit. The trailer video showcases some interesting new technology. It allows game developers to write code in JavaScript on Windows, Mac and Linux desktops to rapidly create and then deploy new games on the Internet, Android, and on iOS cellphones. The source code for the entire stack is available on GitHub, including the changes to Google V8 and Mozilla SpiderMonkey."
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Space

+ - 179 DragonEye: 3D Laser Space Camera->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While a DragonEye LIDAR sounds like a subplot to a James Bond movie, it is what the Dragon spacecraft uses to approach and position itself to dock with the International Space Station. Laser precision comes in handy when trying to attach the 1.3-meter hatch of the Dragon to the football-field-sized space station which travels at an astounding speed of 4.71 miles per second. Once the Dragon capsule passes the R-Bar, it has to preform a series of staggered maneuvers to gradually approach the ISS Keep out Zone, a 200-meter border around the ISS, and get ready for the Canada Arm to grab it at 10-meters out."
Link to Original Source
Linux

+ - 288 Valve Releases Steam For Linux Client, Celebrates With Week-Long Sale

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Valve on Thursday announced the release of its Steam for Linux client. You can download the client now for free from the Ubuntu Software Center. In typical Steam fashion, the company is celebrating the big day with a sale: over 50 Linux titles are now 50 percent to 75 percent off until 10:00AM PST on Wednesday, February 21. This means you have just under a week to take advantage, and should be plenty of time for Valve to set a new record in Steam for Linux downloads."

+ - 110 Building a community-based GSM network in Mexico->

Submitted by
ciaby
ciaby writes "We are a small group of hackers, media makers and community organizers who's mission is to increase access to mobile telecommunications to the over 2 billion people without affordable coverage and the 700 million with none at all.
The network will be based on free/open source software (OpenBTS and OpenBSC for the GSM part), and we are currently trying to raise enough funds to get the initial equipment and begin the tests. There is a Indiegogo campaign where you can donate money. If you can't, at least spread it around!"

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 181 IE standardization fading fast->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Just as Internet users in general have defected in huge numbers from Microsoft Internet Explorer over the past several years, the business world, as well, is becoming less dependent on the venerable browser. Companies that used to mandate the use of IE for access to web resources are beginning to embrace a far more heterodox attitude toward web browsers. While it hasn't gone away, the experience of having to use IE 6 to access some legacy in-house web app is becoming less common. "A lot of it has to do with the emergence of the modern web and the popularity of mobile. They have made it very different for companies to truly standardize on a browser," says Gartner Research analyst David Mitchell Smith."
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Wireless Networking

+ - 195 First bionic eye gets FDA blessing->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "The US Food and Drug Administration today approved what it says is the first bionic eye, or retinal prosthesis, that can partially restore the sight of blind individuals after surgical implantation. pecifically the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted artificial retina. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis."
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Transportation

+ - 151 Driver Trapped in Speeding Car at 125 mph

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Guardian reports that Frank Lecerf was driving his Renault Laguna in Northern France when the car's speed jammed at 60mph. Then each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there. While uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane as other cars swerved out of his way, he managed to call emergency services who immediately dispatched a platoon of police cars. Realizing Lecerf had no choice but to keep racing along until his fuel ran out, they escorted him at high speed across almost 125 miles of French motorway, past Calais and Dunkirk, and over the Belgian border. After about an hour, Lecerf's tank spluttered empty and he managed to swerve into a ditch in Alveringem in Belgium, about 125 miles from his home. "My life flashed before me," says Lecerf. "I just wanted it to stop." His lawyer says Lecerf will file a legal complaint over "endangerment of a person's life"."

+ - 95 CERN's LHC Powers Down for Two Years: Higgs Boson Hunt Halts

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Excitement and the media surrounded the Higgs boson particle, also known as the "God Particle," for weeks when it was discovered in part by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). But now, the collider that makes its home with CERN, the famed international organizational that operates the world's largest particle physics laboratory, is powering down. The Higgs boson particle was first discovered by the LHC in 2012. The particle, essentially, interacts with everything that has mass as the objects interact with the all-powerful Higgs field, a concept which, in theory, occupies the entire universe."
Blackberry

+ - 152 BlackBerry founder abandons ship->

Submitted by drdread66
drdread66 (1063396) writes "Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie confirms what Slashdotters have suspected for quite some time: RIM (now BlackBerry) is doomed. Reuters reports today that Balsillie dumped his entire stake in BlackBerry at the end of 2012. While it's common to see high-level executives sell some of their shares to gain some liquidity, it's unusual to see them exit their positions completely. This has to be seen as a massive vote of "no confidence" from someone who was on the inside long enough to know what's going on in the company."
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Medicine

+ - 144 Carbon Nanotubes Help Grow Beating Heart Tissue->

Submitted by
MTorrice
MTorrice writes "Heart attacks kill muscle cells called cardiomyocytes, leaving behind irreparable tissue damage. If scientists could grow cardiac tissue in the lab, they could perhaps graft patches of healthy tissue onto a patient’s damaged heart. A new carbon nanotube-studded hydrogel mimics heart tissue’s electrical and mechanical properties and serves as a scaffold for lab-grown cardiac tissue that beats spontaneously. Short video of beating tissue included."
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Earth

+ - 236 New York City to cut emissions 90% by 2050?->

Submitted by jscheib
jscheib (267420) writes "According to Will Oremus in Slate, a study released today finds that "New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget." The key elements are insulating buildings to cut energy needs, converting to (mostly) electric equipment, and then using carbon-free electricity to supply the small amount of energy still needed. Oremus notes that including energy savings "would reduce the net price tag to something more like $20 billion. The cleanup from Hurricane Sandy, meanwhile, is estimated to cost $50 billion.

The full report is here."

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Censorship

+ - 208 Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban->

Submitted by Onymous Hero
Onymous Hero (910664) writes "With the printing and distribution of pornography already banned in Iceland, further measures to stop internet porn are being considered by Iceland's Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson. From the article: "Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried," said Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University. "It is looking a pornography from a new position — from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights.""
Link to Original Source

+ - 214 Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That New York Times Tesla Model S Test Drive Was-> 1

Submitted by
mykepredko
mykepredko writes "Tesla Motors CEO and founder Elon Musk definitely isn’t the best guy to try to pull a fast one on. The visionary entrepreneur set Twitter a titter when he claimed earlier this week that New York Times writer John Broder had fudged details about the Tesla Models S car’s range in cold weather, resulting in what he termed a “fake” article. Musk promised evidence, and now he has delivered, via the official Tesla blog."
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - 122 Google 'flaw' puts users' details on display->

Submitted by Strudelkugel
Strudelkugel (594414) writes "EVERY time you purchase an app on Google Play, your name, address and email is passed on to the developer, it has been revealed today. The "flaw" — which appears to be by design — was discovered this morning by Sydney app developer, Dan Nolan who told news.com.au that he was uncomfortable being the custodian of this information and that there was no reason for any developer to have this information at their finger tips."
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Mars

+ - 119 Laser Device Designed for Mars Unmasks Counterfeit Honey->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "When someone mentions counterfeiting, it brings up images of money, watches or DVDs. It certainly doesn't make honey spring to mind, yet honey smuggling and counterfeiting is an international problem involving hundreds of millions of dollars. In an effort to combat this, the European Space Agency (ESA) is funding a demonstration project to adopt lasers designed to study the Martian atmosphere, to detect fake honey."
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Open Source

+ - 141 Lua Scripting Language Support Coming To NetBSD Kernel->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With the release of NetBSD 7, it will be possible to extend kernel sub-systems and write device drivers in the Lua scripting language. A Lua interpreter is being added to the NetBSD kernel, a proper programming kernel interface, and a user-space interface for loading Lua scripts into the NetBSD kernel in real-time. Reasons expressed for adding Lua support to the NetBSD kernel is "modifying software written in C is hard for users", providing a rapid application development approach to drivers and the kernel, and better configuring of kernel sub-systems. Python and Java script support was looked at too, but they ended up settling for Lua. Lua scripting support for the kernel has been worked on since 2010."
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Idle

+ - 175 Can You Potty Train a Cow?->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Think potty training a child is hard? Try teaching a cow when and where to do its business. The bovines can defecate nine to 16 times daily, and pee seven to nine times, creating big hygiene problems on dairy and beef farms. So cueing the animals to go in the right place would be a big help for managing manure. But past techniques—including training cows to respond to mild electric shocks—have proven ineffective or impractical for wide use. To see if they could come up with a better potty prompt, the scientists tested a series of stimuli on a dozen Holstein cows. The milkers stood in or walked through a footbath filled with water, for example, or had air or water sprayed on their feet. Alas, "[n]one of our tests reliably stimulated defecation," the team reports. Maybe bovine diapers instead?"
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KDE

+ - 114 KDE Akademy and Qt Contributor Summit Join Forces->

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "In July 2013, Akademy — the KDE community summit — will host the Qt Contributor Summit (QtCS) in Bilbao, Spain. QtCS is THE gathering of the Qt Project contributor community. It will take place July 15th and 16th in the middle of the KDE Akademy conference week (13-19 July). By co-hosting, KDE and the Qt Project will increase their existing collaboration even further. Holding their annual conferences at the same time and the same place will foster interaction, knowledge transfer and technical progress.

More than 500 upstream and downstream developers will participate in this combined event. This includes key maintainers and top contributors of both projects. The conference will cover many areas of computing, ranging from core library functionality in Qt and KDE to popular user applications used by hundreds of millions of users, integrated with cloud services. All this takes place in a highly productive atmosphere where we combine forces, exchange knowledge, and meet new contributors."

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Google

+ - 201 When Google got flu wrong->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "When influenza hit early and hard in the United States this year, it quietly claimed an unacknowledged victim: one of the cutting-edge techniques being used to monitor the outbreak. A comparison with traditional surveillance data showed that Google Flu Trends, which estimates prevalence from flu-related Internet searches, had drastically overestimated peak flu levels. The glitch is no more than a temporary setback for a promising strategy, experts say, and Google is sure to refine its algorithms. But with flu-tracking techniques based on mining of web data and on social media taking off, Nature looks at how these potentially cheaper, faster methods measure up against traditional epidemiological surveillance networks."
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+ - 191 Evil, almost full Vim implementation in Emacs, reaches 1.0 version->

Submitted by karijes
karijes (977260) writes "Evil is a new Emacs major mode intended to implement full Vim emulation for Emacs editor and it reached first stable release. Evil implements many Vim features and has support for plugins, so there is port for rails.vim, NERDCommenter and mapleader among others. Details about this release you can find on mailing list."
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+ - 109 Spain busts 'ransomware' cybercrime gang->

Submitted by Kaneda2112
Kaneda2112 (871795) writes "MADRID—Spanish authorities on Wednesday announced the breakup of a cybercrime gang that used a “ransomware” virus to lock computers throughout Europe, display false messages claiming the action was taken by police and demand payment of $135 to unlock the computers.

The gang, operating from the Mediterranean resort cities of Benalmadena and Torremolinos, made at least $1.35 million annually, said Deputy Interior Minister Francisco Martinez. Their notices to victims were accompanied by false threats claiming they were under investigation for accessing child pornography or illegal file-sharing."

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+ - 128 Surface Pro virtually unrepairable->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Surface Pro is not a repair-friendly machine. In fact, itâ(TM)s one of the least repairable devices iFixit has seen: In a teardown of Microsoftâ(TM)s tablet-laptop hybrid, the company gave it a rock-bottom score of just one â" one! â" out of 10 for repairability, lower even than Appleâ(TM)s iPad and the Windows Surface RT."
Link to Original Source

+ - 154 Killing Your Sexual Desires for Academic and Intellectual Pursuits? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the past few months, I have been applying to a multitude of graduate schools. Recently, I was accepted into a Ph.D. in computer science program at a fairly prestigious and demanding institution. Like most Slashdot readers, I have always been an exceptional student throughout high school and my undergraduate studies. However, as a heterosexual male individual, there has always been a persistent desire to associate myself with females in an effort to find love, have sex, and to be in a relationship. I have learned the hard way that this is often a colossal distraction from one's schooling and I would like to train myself to become more apathetic to such desires in preparation for the difficult but intellectually awarding years of graduate school that lay ahead. So, fellow Slashdot users, I ask you a rather odd but serious question on none other than Valentine's Day: How do you kill your sexual desires to enable you to focus more on academic and intellectual goals?"
Privacy

+ - 131 Portrait sculptures from genetic material

Submitted by rogue-girl
rogue-girl (2837165) writes "Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg showcases portrait sculptures from genetic material collected in public spaces. DNA extraction and processing are done in a DIYbio-compliant fashion at the DIYbio hackerspace Genspace in Brooklyn, the collected information is then given as input to a 3D printer. The software developed and used for this project is awkwardly dubbed 'friendware', that is it is neither open nor closed, but only available to friends. Reconstructing faces from DNA is not new: scientists already successfully reconstructed Neanderthal man's face from ancient DNA back in 2008. At first sight, the artist's project may seem fun and quite impressive as high-voltage science prooves once more feasible at home, but all the data one can have access to from totally banal samples leaves open worrying perspectives about how easy it is to use DNA collected in public spaces for "fingerprinting" people against their will and without their consent."

+ - 239 Collaborative LaTeX editor with Preview in your web browser-> 1

Submitted by Celarent Darii
Celarent Darii (1561999) writes "Slashdot readers have undoubtably heard of Google Docs and the many other online word processing solutions that run in the browser. However, as a long-time user of TeX and LaTeX, these solutions are not my favorite way of doing things. Wouldn't it be nice to TeX something in your browser? Well, look no further, there is now a Online collaborative LaTeX editor with integrated rapid preview. Some fantastic features: quasi-instant preview, automatic versioning of source, easy collaboration and you can even upload files and pictures. Download your project later when you get home. Are you a TeX guru with some masterpieces? Might I suggest uploading them? For the beginner: you can start here.

Full disclosure: I am not affiliated with the site in anyway, just a fan. Hope exposure on Slashdot gets the word out on this great resource, which is very useful while travelling!"

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - 98 Google's Touch-based Pixel Chromebook May Be Real->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "There was quite a lot of Hollywoodish (sans MPAA) drama around a 'secret' Google project called Chromebook Pixel. Some videos were leaked and the company in question said that their servers were hijaked. No one confirmed or rejected the story. Some called it a hoax. I think the device is in the making and I have some reasons to believe so. François Beaufort, who also shared the story about Chromebook Pixel on his Google+ has dropped another hint on 'touch friendly' new icons for Chromium."
Link to Original Source
Games

+ - 126 New tests developed for the addictive potential of computer games->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Leaving definitions aside for the moment, it's fair to say that an addictive computer game is likely to be a more successful product than a game that is merely fun to play. Games developers apply numerous techniques and tests in an attempt to evaluate which games will hit the right buttons. Now researchers at Academia Sinica and the National Taiwan University (ASNTU) have developed a direct test for the addictiveness of a computer game based on physiological responses of a group of new players."
Link to Original Source
Chrome

+ - 148 Inventing the Chromebook - First Version was Based on Firefox->

Submitted by Andy Prough
Andy Prough (2730467) writes "Former Google engineer Jeff Nelson has written a fascinating blog post about how he created "Google OS", the forerunner to Chrome OS. Last August, he finally received a patent for it, but his work began in 2006, and the first versions of the OS were built on Firefox and a "bare-bones Linux distribution" that could execute any Linux program. In fact, when he first started writing the OS, Chrome itself did not exist, and the whole purpose for his work was to create a system that loaded fully — and only — into system RAM. This purpose grew out of his frustration with wait times as he wrote webapps for Google, and found himself waiting 30-45 seconds just to restart a web browser. By moving the entire OS to RAM, he was able to cut the Firefox restart time from 45 seconds to 1 second, and found similar speed increases for other mundane tasks. He built himself a "Chromebook" and used it as his primary development box for over a year. The fact that his boss and Google management originally had no interest in his project makes this story all the better. This blog post is a very interesting read, as it discusses the beginnings of the range of Google webapps that were ultimately created to "replace any and all functionality normally found on a desktop"."
Link to Original Source
Cloud

+ - 110 Turbotax.com locks out Linux users->

Submitted by whtmarker
whtmarker (1060730) writes "Despite supporting kindle fire and chromebook http://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/online/system-requirements_thickbox.jsp, linux users are finding themselves locked out of the turbotax website. Even two weeks ago, there when was an option to continue into the website, despite using linux thus not meeting the minimum requirements for the site. Dozens of linux users are frustrated http://pastebin.com/JhTAnnxA but this illustrates a general problem of cloud services. You can be locked out of your data and denied service on a whim."
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