AmiMoJo writes "Japan's nuclear regulator has ordered the operator of the Monju fast-breeder reactor to suspend preparation for its restart until measures are put in place for its proper maintenance and management. The regulators acted after finding the operator had missed checkups on about 10,000 pieces of equipment. They ordered that sufficient manpower and funds be allocated for maintenance and management. The reactor in Tsuruga City, central Japan, is at the center of the nation's nuclear-fuel recycling policy. But its operator has been hampered by a series of problems."
vinces99 writes "The pattern of brain responses to words in 2-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder predicted the youngsters' linguistic, cognitive and adaptive skills at ages 4 and 6, according to a new study from the University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. The findings are among the first to demonstrate that a brain marker can predict future abilities in children with autism."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Back in the ancient days of 2009, Motorola Mobility earned considerable buzz with its Droid smartphone. Marketed as an iPhone alternative, the device featured a sliding QWERTY keyboard and a chunky black body that seemed positively Schwarzenegger-esque in comparison to its svelte Apple rival. But Motorola failed to translate that buzz into sustained momentum in the smartphone space. Instead, Samsung became the dominant Android smartphone manufacturer, battling toe-to-toe with Apple for market-share and profits. Even Google acquiring Motorola for the princely sum of $12.1 billion didn't really seem to alter the equation very much. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside wants to change all that. In a May 29 talk at AllThingsD's D11 conference, he told the audience that Motorola has a 'hero phone' in the works, dubbed the Moto X—and that it's self-aware. 'It anticipates my needs,' he said, according to AllThingD's live blog of the event. But what does that actually mean? Thanks to embedded sensors, the phone knows when the user removes it from his or her pocket; in theory, that capability could serve broader applications, such as the phone recognizing where the user is located within a city and serving up content and applications accordingly. In fact, it sounds a bit like Google Now on steroids—or like the smartphone precursor to SkyNet, the supercomputer from the Terminator movies that's so intelligent, it decides that the world would be better off if it ruled over humanity."
Velcroman1 writes "On May 15, the Department of Homeland Security seized a digital bank account used by 'MtGox,' the world's largest exchange, where people buy and sell bitcoins. DHS alleged, and a judge agreed, that there is 'probable cause' that MtGox is an 'unlicensed money service business.' If proven, the penalty for operating such a business is a fine and up to 5 years in jail. FoxNews.com caught up with several bitcoin exchanges, including CampBX, MtGox, CoinLab and more, to ask them how they've navigated the regulatory waters — and how to go legit." In other shady bitcoin news, it appears the demise of Liberty Reserve has caused hackers to find a new alternative. twoheadedboy writes "Despite suggestions Bitcoin might be the ideal currency for dealers on the dark web, it appears Perfect Money, a Panama-based operation, is proving the most popular alternative to the now-defunct Liberty Reserve. A source working the underground forums told TechWeekEurope that, for now, fraudsters are rapidly migrating to Perfect Money. Many vendors have started accepting it, having previously primarily used Liberty Reserve, which was shut down following the arrest of its founder and four other members this past week. Internet fraudsters might be interested in Perfect Money as it has distanced itself from the U.S., cutting off all new American registrations. However, one forum user said he was turned down by Perfect Money as their 'type of activity is not welcome.' Other currencies may yet win out."
dublin writes "Electric car manufacturer Tesla is planning to triple its construction of "supercharger" rapid charging stations, with a trail of stations in place for L.A. to New York trips by the end of this year. In addition to the east & west coasts, islands in Colorado, Illinois, and Texas will grow together to cover nearly the entire continental US by 2015. The two biggest obstacles for electric cars are high cost and range problems. Cost is still a problem, but this move to blanket the US with supercharger stations could fix the range half of the e-car equation."
redletterdave writes "While the new 16 GB iPod Touch released Thursday features the same 4-inch Retina display and dual-core A5 processor as its other variants, the newest, cheapest iPod Touch lacks a rear camera and comes in just two colors black and silver. Apple is reportedly pursuing a similar strategy with the iPhone, as reports from the past several months have pointed to development of a 'low-cost iPhone' with basic features to be sold at a lower price point."
First time accepted submitter khb writes "It seems that the UN has started a debate on whether to place limits or bans on robots that can kill without manual supervision. It seems that bombs are viewed as 'kinder' than robots which might be programmed to achieve specific ends (e.g. destroy that bridge, kill anyone carrying a gun, etc.)."
An anonymous reader writes "Currently ranked 149th globally in terms of press freedom, alongside Iraq and Myanmar, the Singapore government has chosen to further tighten its grip on the media instead of letting up. The Media Development Authority (MDA) announced yesterday that 'online news sites' reporting regularly on issues relating to Singapore and have significant reach among readers here will require an individual license from the MDA. Under the regime, website operators have to comply within 24 hours with any directives from the MDA to take down content that breaches standards. These sites also have to put up a 'performance bond' of S$50,000. The Government also plans to amend the Broadcasting Act next year, to ensure that websites which are hosted overseas but report on Singapore news are brought under the licensing framework as well."
coolnumbr12 writes with this IBTimes excerpt: "The Justice Department may soon be forced to reveal a classified document that details unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens. The Justice Department has fought to keep the document secret for about a year, but a recent court order demands that they respond to a formal request filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation by next week, June 7, 2013."
New submitter m.alessandrini writes "I've been using Debian for a long time, and I'm not a novice at all; I install system updates almost daily, I avoid risky behaviors on Internet, and like all Linux users I always felt safe. Yesterday my webcam suddenly turned on, and turned off after several minutes. I'm pretty sure it was nothing serious, but I started thinking about malware. At work I use noscript and other tools, but at home I have a more relaxed browser to be used by other family members, too. Here I'm not talking about rootkits or privilege escalation (I trust Debian), I think more of normal user compromise. For example, these days much malware come from malicious scripts in sites, even in advertising banners inside trusted sites, and this is more 'cross-platform' than normal viruses. So, what about non-root user malware? How much could this be real? And how can you diagnose it?"
Beardydog writes "From the ReactOS.org bulletin, 'The ReactOS project is proud to announce the release of version 0.3.15. A culmination of over a year of development, 0.3.15 incorporates several architectural enhancements to create a more compatible and conformant implementation of the NT architecture. Perhaps the most user visible enhancement is initial support for USB devices, both storage and input.'"
astroengine writes "A radiation sensor inside NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows that even under the best-case scenario and behind shielding currently being designed for NASA's new deep-space capsule, future travelers will face a huge amount of radiation. The results, based on Curiosity's 253-day, 348-million-mile cruise to Mars, indicate an astronaut most likely would exceed the current U.S. lifetime radiation exposure limit during one round trip mission. "Even for the shortest of missions we are perilously close to the radiation career and health limits that we've established for our astronauts," NASA's chief medical officer Richard Williams told a National Academy of Sciences' medical committee on Thursday."
Nintendo says, "With Wii Street U powered by Google, you can step into Google Street View with an immersive experience that feels like you’re actually there! View a 360-degree Google Maps Street View of locations all over the world using the Wii U GamePad motion controls. Use the GamePad touch screen to type in an address or location and explore, or instantly travel to over 70 fascinating, hand-picked locations around the globe." It all looks lovely, but can't we do most of this with Android phones? And couldn't a smart developer make the Google Street View Android phone experience even more immersive, so we wouldn't all need to buy a Wii U? Nintendo, we love you, but the Wii U still looks pretty dead unless it gets some major rethinking, and this Street View app doesn't seem to be it.
New submitter agizis writes "Alex from Connectify here. I wanted to say thanks to all of you who commented on the Slashdot story about our Kickstarter campaign It was super-educational discussing Switchboard with all of you: you wanted your own servers, and we weren't doing enough to communicate what was so special about Switchboard. Based in a large part on your feedback, we blew up our Kickstarter campaign, and changed almost everything. Thanks, Slashdot. This isn't reddit, but ask me anything."
Lucas123 writes "After striking out at getting private investors to fund a new prototype, Safe Gun Technology (SGTi) is hoping it can generate $50,000 through a crowdfunding effort to build an assault-style rifle with fingerprint biometrics technology. Handgun and shotgun prototypes would follow shortly thereafter, the company said. SGTi, which is using the Indiegogo crowdfunding site for its Fund Safe Guns campaign, has so far raised just over $1,600. Several companies are working on developing smart gun technology, which can identify an authorized user through fingerprint, handgrip or RFID recognition techniques. Last week, a Massachusetts congressman submitted a bill that would require all U.S. handgun manufacturers to include smart gun technology in their weapons." I'm looking forward to the best car analogy that anyone can come up with on this topic.
dargaud writes "Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu fame has closed the primal bug on Launchpad, standing since 2004 and titled 'Microsoft has a majority market share,' due to the 'changing realities' of tablets, smartphones, and wearable computing."
An anonymous reader writes "As a 27-year old minor league pitcher who had never made it to "The Show" (ballplayers' slang for the big leagues), Garrett Broshius was advised by a coach to develop an 'out pitch' by cheating (doctoring or scuffing the baseball while standing on the mound). It was an ethical crossroads faced by many players past and present, and Broshius ultimately decided to give up the game. While a student at the St. Louis University School of Law, he wrote a paper that attempted to apply the tenets of legal theorists to the rampant cheating in baseball and other sports (click the 'download' button, no registration required). While Broshius' paper isn't brilliant or novel, it tours the techniques and issues surrounding cheating in baseball better than most. Broshius concludes with recommendations for how baseball should handle two classes of cheating: 'traditional' cheating of the type he was advised to do by the coach, which has achieved acceptance in some quarters as part of the game; and 'new era' cheating involving performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids, which has become prominent in the last 25 years. Oh, and Brosius remarks that in almost every baseball game he watches these days, he notices something suspicious — usually from the pitcher."
ectoman writes "This week, advocates of open access to publicly funded research are keeping an eye on California's Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609), which could soon find its way to the California State Senate. The bill requires the final copy of any peer-reviewed research funded by California tax dollars to be made publicly accessible within 12 months of publication. If passed, the legislation would become the first state-level law mandating this kind of access. Opensource.com is featuring a collection of articles on open access publishing, which you can read while you await the verdict on AB 609."
Trailrunner7 writes "Two security engineers for Google say the company will now support researchers publicizing details of critical vulnerabilities under active exploitation just seven days after they've alerted a company. That new grace period leaves vendors dramatically less time to create and test a patch than the previously recommended 60-day disclosure deadline for the most serious security flaws. The goal, write Chris Evans and Drew Hintz, is to prompt vendors to more quickly seal, or at least publicly react to, critical vulnerabilities and reduce the number of attacks that proliferate because of unprotected software."
Ars Technica has taken a look at Microsoft's newly released preview of Windows 8.1. As widely rumored, the point release features a clamored-for concession to Windows users who rankled at the loss of Windows' Start button in the taskbar. In addition to various tweaks to 8's search capabilities and icon presentation, says the article, "Some of Windows 8's obvious limitations are being lifted. In 8.1, Metro apps can be run on multiple monitors simultaneously. On any single monitor, more than two applications can be run simultaneously. Instead of Windows 8's fixed split, where one application gets 320 pixels and the other application gets the rest, the division between apps will be variable. It'll also be possible to have multiple windows from a single app so that, for example, two browser windows can be opened side-by-side." Similar reports on these changes at Wired, Engadget, and SlashCloud.
ananyo writes "Researchers have found that a 5,000-year-old Egyptian trinket is made from a meteorite (abstract). The result explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion. The tube-shaped bead is one of nine found in 1911 in a cemetery at Gerzeh, around 70 kilometers south of Cairo. The cache dates from about 3,300 BC, making the beads the oldest known iron artifacts from Egypt. But the first evidence for iron smelting in ancient Egypt only appears in the archaeological record in the sixth century BC. Using scanning electron microscopy and computed tomography to analyze one of the beads, researchers found that the nickel content of this original metal was high — as much as 30% — suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Backing up this result, the team observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming."
New submitter Eugriped3z writes with an article in the New York Times that "indicates that manufacturing defect rates for solar panels manufactured in China vary widely, anywhere from 5-22%. Secrecy in the terms of settlements negotiated by attorneys representing multi-million dollar installations perpetuate the problem by masking the identity of unscrupulous or incompetent actors. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that unit labor costs in Mexico are now lower than in China."
New submitter angelofdarkness writes "Jack Vance died Sunday evening. He was 96. Thank you for the stories and adventures and for influencing the games I still play after all these years. From the article: 'A science fiction Grand Master, Vance is probably best remembered for his four Dying Earth novels, which take place in a far-future Earth where the sun has dimmed and magic has been reestablished as a dominant force. They feature a brilliant picaresque adventure tone, including the unforgettable thief Cugel the Clever, and they were also celebrated in a recent anthology Songs of the Dying Earth, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. These books contain Vance's characteristic ironic, lightly humorous style, which has influenced generations of science fiction writers." Reader paai points to the official Jack Vance website, and this 2009 profile in the New York Times.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a formal objection to the inclusion of DRM in HTML5, saying that a draft proposal from the W3C could hurt innovation and block access to people around the world. From their press page: '"This proposal stands apart from all other aspects of HTML standardization: it defines a new 'black box' for the entertainment industry, fenced off from control by the browser and end-user," said EFF International Director Danny O'Brien. "While this plan might soothe Hollywood content providers who are scared of technological evolution, it could also create serious impediments to interoperability and access for all."'
doug141 writes "A scientist proposes the best way to deal with an asteroid on short notice is to hit it with an impactor, followed by a nuke in the crater. From the article: 'Bong Wie, director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University, described the system his team is developing to attendees at the International Space Development Conference in La Jolla, Calif., on May 23. The annual National Space Society gathering attracted hundreds from the space industry around the world. An anti-asteroid spacecraft would deliver a nuclear warhead to destroy an incoming threat before it could reach Earth, Wie said. The two-section spacecraft would consist of a kinetic energy impactor that would separate before arrival and blast a crater in the asteroid. The other half of the spacecraft would carry the nuclear weapon, which would then explode inside the crater after the vehicle impacted.'"
onehitwonder writes "Long Island's North Shore University Hospital is using sensors and video cameras to make sure employees wash their hands, according to an article in today's New York Times. Motion sensors detect when hospital staff enter an intensive care unit, and the sensors trigger a video camera. Feeds from the video camera are transmitted to India, where workers there check to make sure staff are washing their hands. The NYT article notes that hospital workers wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time that they interact with patients. The Big Brother like system is intended to reduce transmission of infections as well as the costs associated with treating them."