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+ - 160 New Analysis Casts Doubt On Intel's Smartphone Performance vs. ARM Devices->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "A few weeks ago, the analyst company ABI Research published a report claiming that Intel's new CloverTrail+ platform (dual-core Medfield) for smartphones was significantly faster and more power efficient than anything ARM's various partners were shipping. If you follow the smartphone market, that was a very surprising claim. Medfield was a decent midrange platform when it launched in 2012, but Intel made it clear that it's goal for Medfield was to compete with other platforms in its division — not seize the performance crown outright. Further investigation by other analysts has blown serious holes in the ABI Research report. Not only does it focus on a single, highly questionable benchmark (AnTuTu), the x86 version of that benchmark is running different code than the ARM flavors. Furthermore, the recently released Version 3.3 of the test is much faster on Intel hardware than on any of the other platforms. But even with those caveats in place, the ABI Research report is bad science. Single-source performance comparisons almost inevitably are."
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+ - 334 Is Postgres on par with Oracle? 1

Submitted by grahamsaa
grahamsaa (1287732) writes "I work at medium sized company that offers a number of products that rely fairly heavily on backend databases, some of which are hundreds of gigabytes and deal with hundreds or thousands of queries per second. Currently, we're using a mix of Postgres, Oracle, and MySQL, though we're working hard to move everything to Postgres. The products that are still on MySQL and Oracle were acquisitions, so we didn't get to choose the RDBMS at the time these products were designed.

So far, we've been very happy with Postgres, but I know next to nothing about Oracle. It's expensive and has a long history of use in large enterprises, but I'm curious about what it offers that Postgres might not — I'm not saying this because I think that sticking with Oracle would be a good idea (because in our case, it probably isn't), but I'm curious as to how some companies justify the cost — especially considering that EnterpriseDB makes transitioning from Oracle to Postgres feasible (though not painless) in most cases. For those that use Oracle — is it worth the money? What's keeping you from switching?"

+ - 189 Sculpting Flow

Submitted by aarondubrow
aarondubrow (1866212) writes "Researchers reported results in Nature Communications on a new way of sculpting tailor-made fluid flows by placing tiny pillars in microfluidic channels. The method could allow clinicians to better separate white blood cells in a sample, increase mixing in industrial applications, and more quickly perform lab-on-a-chip-type operation. Using the Ranger and Stampede supercomputers, the researchers ran more than 1,000 simulations representing combinations of speeds, thicknesses, heights or offsets that produce unique flows. This library of transformations will help the broader community design and use sculpted fluid flows."

+ - 154 Researchers now pulling out of DEF CON in response to anti-Fed position->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Earlier today it, /. had a story about DEF CON's position on not allowing U.S. Federal agents attend the annual hacking conference. We're now starting to see the backlash from the hacker community itself with at least two well respected hackers pulling out of the DEF CON speaking sessions so far.

The issue we are struggling with, and the basis of our decision, is that we feel strongly that DEF CON has always presented a neutral ground that encouraged open communication among the community, despite the industry background and diversity of motives to attend," Security research Kevin Johson wrote. "We believe the exclusion of the "feds" this year does the exact opposite at a critical time.

"

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+ - 149 Hands On With the Nokia Lumia 1020 1

Submitted by adeelarshad82
adeelarshad82 (1482093) writes "Nokia's new phone, Lumia 1020, feels very similar in the hand to Nokia's Lumia 900 and 920 with one exception, it has a camera bump. The 41-megapixel uber-camera projects out very slightly as a black disc on the back. In terms of functionality though, the camera provides for smooth zooming only a pinch away, however takes a noticeable amount of time to lock focus and save images. At one point during hands on the camera app crashed so hard that it required a phone reboot which is hopefully just a pre-release firmware issue. The phone itself carries a brightly colored polycarbonate body that rolls around the edges to cradle a 4.5-inch, 1,280-by-768 screen. Lumia 1020 is powered by dual-core, 1.5-GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 processor which plows through apps well. Speaking of apps, there's a ton of bloatware on here, as you'd expect from any AT&T device. AT&T adds four apps right at the top of the app list. Nokia Lumia is set to hit AT&T shelves on July 26th for $299."

+ - 160 An interesting robot painter ->

Submitted by lebijoutier
lebijoutier (2709461) writes "The robot, E-david uses "visual optimisation" to create the paintings so that it "watches itself while painting and decides independently where to add new strokes." After taking a picture of what it's going to copy it then processes it through its software so it can figure out where to add shade or light according to the image.
http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/a-painting-robot-that-can-even-sign-its-own-name-on-the-picture"

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+ - 202 First Drone Successfully Lands On Aircraft Carrier->

Submitted by redletterdave
redletterdave (2493036) writes "Salty Dog 502 flew from the Patuxent River Naval Station in Maryland to the USS George H.W. Bush operating off the Virginian coast, but unlike other drones, Salty Dog was piloted entirely by computer without a human operator. The unmanned operation is considered one of the most difficult operations due to navigating the air and a moving ship, and many have said itâ(TM)s a major milestone in the development of drone warfare. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus described the event as witnessing the future and compared it to the first manned aircraft landed on a carrier in 1911."
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+ - 156 Iris scans are the new school IDs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Winthrop University in South Carolina is testing out iris scanning technology during freshman orientation this summer. Students had their eyes scanned as they received their ID cards in June.

"Iris scanning has a very high level of accuracy, and you don't have to touch anything, said James Hammond, head of Winthrop University's Information Technology department. "It can be hands free security.""

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+ - 370 MS handing NSA access to encrypted chat & email->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal. The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail. The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide. Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases. Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio. Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport"."
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+ - 326 Math and Science Popular with College Students Until They Realize They're Hard

Submitted by HonorPoncaCityDotCom
HonorPoncaCityDotCom (2980655) writes "Khadeeja Safdar reports in the WSJ that researchers who surveyed 655 incoming college students found that while math and science majors drew the most interest initially, not many students finished with degrees in those subjects. Students who dropped out didn’t do so because they discovered an unexpected amount of the work and because they were dissatisfied with their grades. “Students knew science was hard to begin with, but for a lot of them it turned out to be much worse than what they expected,” says Todd R. Stinebrickner, one of the paper’s authors. “What they didn’t expect is that even if they work hard, they still won’t do well.” The authors add that the substantial overoptimism about completing a degree in science can be attributed largely to students beginning school with misperceptions about their ability to perform well academically in science. "“If more science graduates are desired, the findings suggest the importance of policies at younger ages that lead students to enter college better prepared (PDF) to study science.""

+ - 314 Electrical engineering labor pool shrinking ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The number of electrical engineers in the workforce has declined over the last decade. It's not a steady decline, and it moves up and down, but the overall trend is not positive. In 2002 the U.S. had 385,000 employed electrical engineers; in 2004, post dot.com bubble, it was at 343,000. It reached 382,000 in 2006, but has not risen above 350,000 since then, according to U.S. Labor Data. In 2012, there were 335,000 electrical engineers in the workforce. Of the situation, one unemployed electrical engineer said: "I am getting interviews but, they have numerous candidates to choose from. The employers are very fussy. They are really only interested in a perfect match to their needs. They don't want the cost to develop talent internally. They are even trying to combine positions to save money. I came across one employer trying to combine a mechanical and electrical engineer.""
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+ - 239 Discovering NSA code names->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior (537106) writes "Washington Post revealed some of the code names for various NSA surveillance programs, including NUCLEON, MARINA and MAINWAY. Chris Soghoian has pointed out that a quick LinkedIn search for profiles with codenames like MARINA and NUCLEON happen to turn up profiles like this one which appear to reveal more codenames:

Skilled in the use of several Intelligence tools and resources: ANCHORY, AMHS, NUCLEON, TRAFFICTHIEF, ARCMAP, SIGNAV, COASTLINE, DISHFIRE, FASTSCOPE, OCTAVE/CONTRAOCTAVE, PINWALE, UTT, WEBCANDID, MICHIGAN, PLUS, ASSOCIATION, MAINWAY, FASCIA, OCTSKYWARD, INTELINK, METRICS, BANYAN, MARINA

TRAFFICTHIEF, eh? WEBCANDID? Hmm... Apparently, NSA employees don't realize that information they post online can be revealed."

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+ - 273 Aerovelo's Human-Powered Helicopter Wins Elusive $250,000 Sikorsky Prize

Submitted by oritonic1
oritonic1 (2823779) writes "Since 1980, several teams have tried (and failed) to build a human-powered helicopter that could win the elusive $250,000 Sikorsky prize. But a Canadian start-up, Aerovelo, has finally taken the crown with Atlas, a human-powered craft that managed to stay at least 10 feet in the air, for 60 seconds, within a 30'x30' area."

+ - 235 The Pope criminalizes leaks-> 1

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City State on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.

But without the leaks, how would we find out about those crimes against children?

Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state's legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Others were necessary to comply with international norms to fight money-laundering, part of the Vatican's push toward financial transparency.

One new crime stands out, though, as an obvious response to the leaks of papal documents last year that represented one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times. Paolo Gabriele, the butler for then-Pope Benedict XVI, was tried and convicted by a Vatican court of stealing Benedict's personal papers and giving them to an Italian journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi. Using the documents, Nuzzi published a blockbuster book on the petty turf wars, bureaucratic dysfunction and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons that afflict the highest levels of Catholic Church governance. Gabriele, who said he wanted to expose the "evil and corruption" that plagued the Holy See, was convicted of aggravated theft and sentenced to 18 months in the Vatican's police barracks.

Oh, well. I guess plugging leaks won't stop all those shenanigans, but we just won't hear about it any more. This actually makes me feel like leaking something. If the Pope says it is dirty, and a sin, it must be a whole lot of fun doing it . . ."

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+ - 240 What the government pays to snoop on you-> 1

Submitted by transporter_ii
transporter_ii (986545) writes "So what does it cost the government to snoop on us? Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, and with little scrutiny, surveillance fees charged by phone companies can vary wildly.

For example, AT&T, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that, according to industry disclosures made last year to Congressman Edward Markey."

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+ - 183 Kenyans Will Soon Be Able To Send Bitcoin By Phone-> 1

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "M-Pesa is a wildly popular mobile payment system in Kenya, which allows citizens of a country with a poor banking infrastructure to easily transfer money to each other using ubiquitous dumbphones. Currently the system only works in the local currency, but there are plans afoot to allow users to transfer Bitcoin — which would help Kenyans working abroad send money back home without paying high international bank transfer fees."
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+ - 214 E-voting source code made public in Estonia 1

Submitted by paavo512
paavo512 (2866903) writes "Server-side source code used for electronic voting was made fully public by Estonian officials on July 11. The aim is to encourage more specialists to get involved in the technical analysis of the software. It is hoped that public overview will help to ensure the security of the system.

E-voting has been successfully used 5 times in Estonia since 2007. It facilitates national ID cards which are obligatory for all citizens. In the next municipal elections later this year it is planned to test an experimental feature where the voter can check via a physically separate channel (smart phone) if his or her vote has been registered correctly.

The original in Estonian: http://www.postimees.ee/1297368/e-haaletamise-tarkvara-lahtekood-sai-avalikuks

The publicized source code: https://github.com/vvk-ehk/evalimine"

+ - 207 First exoplanet to be seen in colour is blue->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "A navy-blue world orbiting a faraway star is the first exoplanet to have its colour measured.
Discovered in 2005, HD 189733 b is one of the best-studied planets outside the Solar System, orbiting a star about 19 parsecs away in the Vulpecula, or Fox, constellation. Previous efforts to observe the planet focused on the infrared light it emits — invisible to the human eye.
Astronomers have now used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the planet and its host star. Hubble's optical resolution is not high enough to actually 'see' the planet as a dot of light separate from its star, so instead, the telescope receives light from both objects that mix into a single point source. To isolate the light contribution of the planet, the researchers waited for the planet to move behind the star during its orbit, so that its light would be blocked, and looked for changes in light colour. During the eclipse, the amount of observed blue light decreased, whereas other colours remained unaffected. This indicated that the light reflected by the planet's atmosphere, blocked by the star in the eclipse, is blue."

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+ - 223 Steve Ballmer Reorganizing Microsoft->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Microsoft’s big reorganization has begun. Rumors had persisted for weeks that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was planning a massive, once-in-a-lifetime reorganization of the company he’s been running for quite some time. Now the plan is out in the open, and things are going to change in huge ways. Microsoft will coalesce around “a single strategy as one company,” CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in a really lengthy memo posted on Microsoft's Website, “not a collection of division strategies.” The company’s product portfolio—from Windows and Xbox to enterprise applications—will be regarded and operated upon in a holistic manner. Ballmer wants this “one company” approach to extend how Microsoft handles its advertising, marketing and consumer-service operations. Ballmer also wants to knock down the walls that have slowly grown between Microsoft’s various divisions, at least as far as engineering’s concerned. The new “engineering culture” will apparently facilitate collaboration “across the company,” with an emphasis on cross-group contributions (and maintaining secrecy, of course, for the giant projects). Read on for much more on how Microsoft is reorganizing all its internal groups, as well as a rundown of who's in and who's out on the executive level. What does all this internal drama mean for you, if anything?"
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+ - 156 Chrome 28 Hits Android With Built-In Google Translate

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Just a day after releasing Chrome 28 on the desktop, Google announced the release of Chrome 28 for Android, adding Google Translate support out-of-the-box and fullscreen support on tablets. You can download the latest version now directly from Google Play. For those that use Chrome on the desktop, this is the same built-in translation bar you’re already used to for quickly skimming a Web page you otherwise wouldn’t be able to understand. Now you can use it while you’re on the go as well."

+ - 218 FCC Subsidizing Rural Phones At $3,000 Per Line->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "The FCC's Universal Service Fund has a noble goal: using a small fee on all U.S. landlines to subsidize universal phone coverage throughout the country. But a recent report reveals that this early 20th century program's design is wildly at odds with 21st centur realities: Its main effect now is that poor people living in urban areas are subsidizing rich people living in the country. The FCC says that it's already enacted reforms to combat some of the worst abuses in the report — like subsidies to rural areas that add up to $24,000 per line — but even the $3,000 per line cap now in place seems absurd."
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+ - 146 Mount Fuji gets 4G wireless->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Japan's most famous mountain now has 4G coverage. An LTE network on Mount Fuji went live Thursday, providing download speeds of up to 75Mbps on its peak, mountain trails, and rest huts. NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile operator, will provide access to its subscribers as part of its "Xi" service. DoCoMo said it will provide the service from Thursday through the end of August, to correspond with the mountain's busy climbing season. Tourists are expected to turn out in record numbers this year because Mount Fuji has been named a World Heritage site by Unesco."
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+ - 158 Russian Federal Guard Service (FSO) "upgrades" to electric typewriters->

Submitted by Razgorov Prikazka
Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) writes "The Russian Federal Guard Service (FSO), who are in charge of protecting high level politicians like president Putin (amongst others), are "upgrading" to electric typewriters for writing sensitive documents with. They have found out that computers pose a security risk and this is their answer to it.
On first sight this seems like a very pragmatic and cost-efficient thing to do. However, the FSO has its roots in the KGB and those were the one's who placed keystroke loggers on the popular IBM Selectric electric typewriter 40 years ago! (http://www.qccglobal.com/news/first-keystroke-logger.php)
So how much safer does this make them?"

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+ - 153 PC Sales see 'longest Decline' in History->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "Global personal computer (PC) sales have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the "longest duration of decline" in history. Worldwide PC shipments totalled 76 million units in the second quarter, a 10.9% drop from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner. PC sales have been hurt in recent years by the growing popularity of tablets. Gartner said the introduction of low-cost tablets had further hurt PC sales, especially in emerging economies. "In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement."
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+ - 199 Chatbot hunts for pedophiles->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "For a number of years now, police forces around the world have enlisted officers to pose as kids in online chat rooms, in an attempt to draw out pedophiles and track them down. Researchers at Spain’s University of Deusto are now hoping to free those cops up for other duties, and to catch more offenders, via a chatbot that they’ve created. Its name is Negobot, and it plays the part of a 14 year-old girl."
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+ - 226 PCWorld magazine is no more->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "After slightly more than 30 years, PCWorld — one of the most successful computer magazines of all time — is discontinuing print publication. It was the last general-interest magazine for PC users, so it really is the end of an era. Over at TIME, I paused to reflect upon the end of the once-booming category, in part as a former editor at PCWorld, but mostly as a guy who really, really loved to read computer magazines."
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