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+ - 206 Scientology's fraud conviction upheld in France->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "France's top appeals court has upheld a fraud conviction and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of euros against the Church of Scientology, for taking advantage of vulnerable followers.

France regards Scientology as a cult, not a religion, and had prosecuted individual Scientologists before, but the 2009 trial marked the first time the organisation as a whole had been convicted."

Link to Original Source

+ - 228 Give Your Child the Gift of an Alzheimer's Diagnosis 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""There's a lot you can do for your child with 99 dollars," explains Fast Company's Elizabeth Murphy, who opted to get her adopted 5-year-old daughter's genes tested by 23andMe, a startup founded by Anne Wojcicki that's been funded to the tune of $126 million by Google, Sergey Brin (Wojcicki's now-separated spouse), Yuri Milner, and others. So, how'd that work out? "My daughter," writes Murphy, "who is learning to read and tie her shoes, has two copies of the APOE-4 variant, the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's. According to her 23andMe results, she has a 55% chance of contracting the disease between the ages of 65 and 79." So, what is 23andMe's advice for the worried Mom? "You have this potential now to engage her in all kinds of activities," said Wojcicki. "Do you get her focused on her exercise and what she's eating, and doing brain games and more math?" Duke associate professor of public policy Don Taylor had more comforting advice for Murphy. "It's possible the best thing you can do is burn that damn report and never think of it again," he said. "I'm just talking now as a parent. Do not wreck yourself about your 5-year-old getting Alzheimer's. Worry more about the fact that when she's a teenager she might be driving around in cars with drunk boys.""

+ - 240 Tech's Highest-Paid Engineers ->

Submitted by Phoghat
Phoghat (1288088) writes "The guys at Glassdoor have compiled a list of the 25 tech companies with the best salaries for software engineers. Google and Facebook made the list, of course. So did Apple and Twitter. But the company at the very top is a bit of a surprise: networking gear maker Juniper Networks."
Link to Original Source

+ - 183 Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze in More Passengers

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "AP reports that US airlines are taking out old, bulky seats in favor of so-called slimline models that take up less space from front to back, allowing for five or six more seats on each plane giving airlines two of their favorite things: More paying passengers, and a smaller fuel bill because the seats are slightly lighter. Whether the new seats are really closer together depends on how you measure. By the usual measure, called "pitch," the new ones are generally an inch closer together from front to back as measured at the armrest. Southwest has put on nearly its entire fleet are 31 inches apart, about an inch less than before allowing them to to add an extra row of six seats to each plane. International passengers are feeling crowded, too. As recently as 2010, most airlines buying Boeing's big 777 opted for nine seats across. Now it's 10 across on 70 percent of newly-built 777s, Boeing says. American's newest 777s are set up 10-across in coach, with slightly narrower seats than on its older 777s. Airlines say you won't notice. And the new seats are designed to minimize this problem. Airplane seats from 30 years ago looked like your grandmother's BarcaLounger, says Jami Counter, senior director at SeatGuru.com, which tracks airline seats and amenities. "All that foam cushion and padding probably didn't add all that much comfort. All that's been taken out," he said. "You haven't really lost all that much if the airline does it right.""

+ - 288 Eureka! An Unexpected Ray Of Hope For Americans And Scientific Literacy!-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Politico reports, "A finding in a study on the relationship between science literacy and political ideology surprised the Yale professor behind it: Tea party members know more science than non-tea partiers. Yale law professor Dan Kahan posted on his blog this week that he analyzed the responses of more than 2,000 American adults recruited for another study and found that, on average, people who leaned liberal were more science literate than those who leaned conservative. However, those who identified as part of the tea party movement were actually better versed in science than those who didn’t, Kahan found. The findings met the conventional threshold of statistical significance, the professor said. Kahan wrote that not only did the findings surprise him, they embarrassed him. “I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote. “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party,” he continued." — More at the Independent Journal Review."
Link to Original Source

+ - 151 Should Google Get Aggressive About Monetizing Android?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Google's core search-advertising business is slowing down (despite an uptick in revenue and earnings for the most recent quarter) and a new report suggests that advertising ROI is much higher on iOS than Android. In light of that, it's worth asking whether Google, having dominated much of the mobile-device market with Android, will ever get around to more aggressively monetizing its mobile operating system, and what that could mean to the manufacturers that have been loading the software for free onto their hardware. If Google started charging licensing fees to manufacturers, and attempted to clamp down so that Google Play served as the only hub for Android apps (something that would definitely put it on a collision course with Amazon, which boasts its own Android app store), would it be shooting itself in the foot? Or would the rest of the ecosystem respond in a muted way, considering the sheer size of Google's power and presence?"
Link to Original Source

+ - 182 Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software->

Submitted by bricko
bricko (1052210) writes "Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software

The latest indication of the haphazard way in which Healthcare.gov was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.

The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data. DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement. A note at the bottom of the DataTables.net website says: "DataTables designed and created by SpryMedia © 2008-2013." The company explains the license for using the software on that website

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obamacare-website-violates-licensing-agreement-copyrighted-software_763666.html"

Link to Original Source

+ - 187 Healthcare.gov Website Violates Open Source Licensing Agreement->

Submitted by PoliTech
PoliTech (998983) writes "

The latest indication of the haphazard way in which Healthcare.gov was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.

The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data. DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement.

... a cursory comparison of the two scripts removes any doubt that the source for the script used at Healthcare.gov is indeed the SpryMedia script. The Healthcare.gov version even retained easily identifiable comments by the script's author ...

"

Link to Original Source

+ - 199 Why Bitcoin Boomed During the Government Shutdown->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Just two weeks after the Feds shuttered the Silk Road, the notorious online drug bazaar, bitcoin prices have touched a five-month high—with a single bitcoin fetching nearly $156 each on Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox. Bitcoin’s resiliency can no longer be denied, especially as the digital currency continued its ascendancy even against the backdrop of a US government in utter disarray. At the 11th hour of the crisis, President Obama signed a bill that ended the partial government shutdown and, more importantly, raised the debt ceiling, an arbitrary limit on the amount of money the country can borrow that would have been surpassed today. If Congress had failed to reach a deal and the US was unable to pay its bills, the results might have been catastrophic, eclipsing the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers five years ago, the domino that could trigger the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression."
Link to Original Source

+ - 269 New EU Rules To Curb Transfer Of European Data To The U.S.->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The Guardian reports: New European rules aimed at curbing questionable transfers of data from EU countries to the US are being finalised in Brussels in the first concrete reaction to the Edward Snowden disclosures on US and British mass surveillance of digital communications. Regulations on European data protection standards are expected to pass the European parliament committee stage on Monday after the various political groupings agreed on a new compromise draft following two years of gridlock on the issue. The draft would make it harder for the big US internet servers and social media providers to transfer European data to third countries, subject them to EU law rather than secret American court orders, and authorise swingeing fines possibly running into the billions for the first time for not complying with the new rules. 'As parliamentarians, as politicians, as governments we have lost control over our intelligence services. We have to get it back again,' said Jan Philipp Albrecht, the German Greens MEP who is steering the data protection regulation through the parliament. Data privacy in the EU is currently under the authority of national governments with standards varying enormously across the 28 countries, complicating efforts to arrive at satisfactory data transfer agreements with the US. The current rules are easily sidestepped by the big Silicon Valley companies, Brussels argues. The new rules, if agreed, would ban the transfer of data unless based on EU law or under a new transatlantic pact with the Americans complying with EU law. 'Without any concrete agreement there would be no data processing by telecommunications and internet companies allowed,' says a summary of the proposed new regime. Such bans were foreseen in initial wording two years ago but were dropped under the pressure of intense lobbying from Washington. The proposed ban has been revived directly as a result of the uproar over operations by the US's National Security Agency (NSA)."
Link to Original Source

+ - 189 Sleep is the Ultimate Brainwasher->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Every night since humans first evolved, we have made what might be considered a baffling, dangerous mistake. Despite the once-prevalent threat of being eaten by predators, and the loss of valuable time for gathering food, accumulating wealth, or having sex, we go to sleep. Scientists have long speculated and argued about why we devote roughly a third of our lives to sleep, but with little concrete data to support any particular theory. Now, new evidence has refreshed a long-held hypothesis: During sleep, the brain cleans itself."
Link to Original Source

+ - 226 How Science Goes Wrong->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The Economist reports: A SIMPLE idea underpins science: 'trust, but verify'. Results should always be subject to challenge from experiment. That simple but powerful idea has generated a vast body of knowledge. Since its birth in the 17th century, modern science has changed the world beyond recognition, and overwhelmingly for the better. But success can breed complacency. Modern scientists are doing too much trusting and not enough verifying—to the detriment of the whole of science, and of humanity. Too many of the findings that fill the academic ether are the result of shoddy experiments or poor analysis (see article). A rule of thumb among biotechnology venture-capitalists is that half of published research cannot be replicated. Even that may be optimistic. Last year researchers at one biotech firm, Amgen, found they could reproduce just six of 53 'landmark' studies in cancer research. Earlier, a group at Bayer, a drug company, managed to repeat just a quarter of 67 similarly important papers. A leading computer scientist frets that three-quarters of papers in his subfield are bunk. In 2000-10 roughly 80,000 patients took part in clinical trials based on research that was later retracted because of mistakes or improprieties. Even when flawed research does not put people’s lives at risk—and much of it is too far from the market to do so—it squanders money and the efforts of some of the world’s best minds. The opportunity costs of stymied progress are hard to quantify, but they are likely to be vast. And they could be rising."
Link to Original Source

+ - 219 New Standard for Website Authentication Proposed: SQRL (Secure QR Login)->

Submitted by fsagx
fsagx (1936954) writes "Steve Gibson, from the Security Now podcast, has proposed a new standard method for website authentication. The SQRL system (pronounced “squirrel”) eliminates problems inherent in traditional login techniques.The website's login presents a QR code containing the URL of its authentication service, plus a nonce. The user's smartphone signs the login URL using a private key derived from its master secret and the URL's domain name. The Smartphone sends the matching public key to identify the user, and the signature to authenticate it. It may be used alongside of traditional username/password to ease adoption."
Link to Original Source

+ - 166 Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion 2

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Time Magazine reports that according to an estimate from Standard & Poor’s, the government shutdown, which ended with a deal late Wednesday night after 16 days, took $24 billion out of the US economy and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. The breakdown includes about $3.1 billion in lost government services, $152 million per day in lost travel spending, $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down, and $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area alone. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers bore the economic brunt of the shutdown but small businesses also suffered from frozen government contracts and stalled business loans. With the deal only guaranteeing government funding through January 15, the situation could grow worse. "This is a real corrosion on the economy," says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. "If we have to go down a similar road in the near future, the costs are going to continue to add up.""

+ - 629 How Many Tiny Chelyabinsk-Class Asteroids Buzz Earth?->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "The meteor that exploded over the Urals region of Russia in February was a violent reminder that our planet exists in a cosmic shooting gallery. Now, astronomers are focusing on these mysterious small and possibly dangerous objects in the hope of understanding what they are made of and what kind of threat they pose in the future. However, a recent paper [arXiv] accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal has identified a possible "Achilles Heel" of visible light surveys. Using data from NEOWISE (the near-Earth object-hunting component of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission), there appears to be a bias in visible light asteroid surveys against finding small (100 meters) dark space rocks. “With our previous NEOWISE studies, we found that about a third of NEOs larger than 100 meters are dark. It’s possible that a population of smaller dark asteroids exists, but we don’t have the right sample to test that theory with what we’ve done so far (in this research),” NASA JPL scientist and NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer told Discovery News. “In my opinion it is probable that a similar fraction of small NEOs are dark, but the visible surveys are biased against finding them. They do find some but not many.” On considering the impact of the small Chelyabinsk object earlier this year, it is perhaps sobering to realize that while around 90 percent of NEOs with diameters larger than 1 kilometer are thought to have been discovered, less than one percent of asteroids the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor (17-20 meters in diameter) have been detected."
Link to Original Source

+ - 280 Grand unifying theory of high-temp superconducting materials proposed.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Years of experiments on various types of high-temperature (high-Tc) superconductors—materials that offer hope for energy-saving applications such as zero-loss electrical power lines—have turned up an amazing array of complex behaviors among the electrons that in some instances pair up to carry current with no resistance, and in others stop the flow of current in its tracks. The variety of these exotic electronic phenomena is a key reason it has been so hard to identify unifying concepts to explain why high-Tc superconductivity occurs in these promising materials.

Now Séamus Davis, a physicist who's conducted experiments on many of these materials at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cornell University, and Dung-Hai Lee, a theorist at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, postulate a set of key principles for understanding the superconductivity and the variety of "intertwined" electronic phenomena that applies to all the families of high-Tc superconductors.

A link to the full pdf can be found here (pnas.org)"

+ - 274 British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Coinciding with challenges in the rollout of the US Affordable Care Act are challenges for NHS. The Independent reports, "A National Health Service free at the point of use will soon be "unsustainable", if the political parties do not come forward with radical plans for change before the 2015 election, top health officials have warned. Stagnant health spending combined with ever rising costs and demand mean the NHS is facing "the most challenging period in its 65-year existence", the NHS Confederation said ... In a frank assessment of the dangers faced by the health service, senior officials at the confederation say that the two years following the next general election will be pivotal in deciding whether the NHS can continue to provide free health care for all patients. "Treasury funding for the service will be at best level in real terms," they write. "Given that demand continues to rise, drugs cost more, and NHS inflation is higher than general inflation, the NHS is facing a funding gap estimated at up to £30bn by 2020."" — From The Guardian: "Our rose-tinted view of the NHS has to change". More at the Independent, Mirror, and Telegraph."
Link to Original Source

+ - 191 Capturing The Flag, SQLi-Style->

Submitted by CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot (671517) writes "Penetration tester and long-time security professional Sumit "Sid" Siddharth has developed a real-world SQL injection sandbox simulator, and invites the public for a capture the flag event later this month. "The only way you can understand the true impact of vulnerabilities is by practicing exploitation. Even vulnerability identification goes hand-in-hand with exploitation," says Siddharth. "Sometimes identifying the vulnerability is really difficult, and it's only when you know advanced exploitation techniques that you can do so. "We've also put together some really nice examples where identifying the vulnerability is really difficult, and we've asked people to find the needle in the haystack because that's how websites get compromised at the end of the day,""
Link to Original Source

+ - 145 Researchers Show Apple Can Read iMessages

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "The Apple iMessage protocol has been shrouded in secrecy for years now, but a pair of security researchers have reverse-engineered the protocol and found that Apple controls the encryption key infrastructure for the system and therefore has the ability to read users’ text messages–or decrypt them and hand them over at the order of a government agency.

The iMessage system is Apple’s proprietary text system, which works only among iOS devices. It uses a series of servers owned by Apple that receive and forward messages. Those messages are sent via Apple’s PUSH notification service, which keeps an IP connection open all the time to check for new notifications and display messages. Each iPhone, iPod or other iOS device serves as a PUSH client, and they communicate with Apple’s servers over SSL. The researchers found that while that basic framework makes sense from a security point of view, there are a number of issues with the iMessage system.

One major issue is that Apple itself controls the encryption key infrastructure use for iMessage, and has the keys for each individual user. The upshot of this is that Apple has the ability to read users’ messages if it so chooses. The researchers who looked at iMessage, known as Pod2g and GG, said that there is no evidence that Apple is in fact reading users’ iMessages, but it’s possible that the company could. Users’ AppleID passwords also are sent in clear text to the Apple servers."

+ - 194 Myst Creators announce Obduction

Submitted by vivIsel
vivIsel (450550) writes "Cyan, the company behind Myst, is taking another shot at an game in that vein — this time in a new game universe, with the Unreal 4 engine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they haven't gotten a lot of traction with traditional game publishers, so they are turning to Kickstarter with a $1m total ask. The Kickstarter video also has some neat shots of the Cyan headquarters — which looks a bit like one of the buildings on Myst island itself."

+ - 612 Volvo Developing Nano-Battery Tech Built into Car Body Panels->

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Electric vehicle batteries have three problems — they're big, heavy, and expensive. But what if you could shift EV batteries away from being big blocks under the car and engineer them into the car itself? Research groups at Imperial College London working with Volvo have spent three years developing a way to do exactly that. The researchers are storing energy in nano structure batteries woven into carbon fiber--which can then be formed into car body panels. These panel-style batteries charge and store energy faster than normal EV batteries, and they are also lighter and more eco-friendly. The research team has built a Volvo S80 prototype featuring the panels where the battery panel material has been used for the trunk lid. With the materials used on the doors, roof and hood, estimated range for a mid-size electric car is around 80 miles."
Link to Original Source

+ - 256 Carbyne Predicted To Be Strongest Known Material->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice (2611475) writes "According to theoretical calculations, one-dimensional strings of carbon atoms called carbyne should be stronger than any known material—if experimentalists can figure out how to make it in bulk. Its tensile stiffness, for example, should be twice that of graphene and carbon nanotubes. The researchers predict that the carbon allotrope also could have novel electrical and magnetic properties that would be useful in computing systems."
Link to Original Source

+ - 183 NVIDIA Shows Off Digital Ira Faceworks Demo Running On Next-Gen Logan SoC->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA is holding a tech event currently in Montreal to showcase a number of the tools and technologies the company has developed to foster state of the art in game development. NVIDIA's VP of Content and Technology, Tony Tomasi took a moment to show off Faceworks, and the “Digital Ira” face that they’ve demoed at various events over the last year or so. This particular demo was a little different, however, in that it was running on Logan test kit. If you're unfamiliar, Logan is the codename for one of NVIDIA’s next-gen mobile SoCs, which features a Kepler-based GPU, like current GeForce GTX 600 and 700 series parts. The demo ran perfectly smooth and the quality of imagery was as good as we’ve seen on any other platform to date, console, PC or mobile. Incidentally, the demo was running on an Ubuntu Linux OS."
Link to Original Source

+ - 213 Yeti Bears Up Under Scrutiny-> 1

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Bryan Sykes of Oxford University has discovered that hairs, ostensibly from the Yeti creature of the Himalayas, were "... genetically identical to polar bear." What the professor is suggesting is that a rare hybrid of brown and polar bear may be the actual, elusive creature of legend."
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+ - 232 Last Operating ICT 1301 Mainframe Computer Set to Run Again->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "What weighs 5 tons and has less computing power than your watch? A pioneering piece of computing history call "Flossie," the last operating ICT 1301 mainframe. The National Museum of Computing recently took delivery of the dismantled computer, which needed three moving vans to bring it to the museum’s storage facility in Milton Keynes, UK."
Link to Original Source

+ - 182 Saturn in all its glory

Submitted by The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer (563217) writes "On Oct. 10, 2013, the Cassini spacecraft took a series of wide-angle pictures of Saturn from well above the plane of the rings. Croatian software developer and amateur astronomical image processor Gordan Ugarkovic assembled them into a stunning mosaic (mirrored on Flickr), showing the planet from a high angle not usually seen. There's a lot to see in this image, including the rings (and the gaps therein), moons, and the planet itself, including the remnants of a monstrous northern hemisphere storm that kicked off in 2010. It's truly wondrous."

+ - 183 Has Flow-Based Programming's Time Arrived?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Flow-based programming keeps resurfacing lately. FBP claims to make it easier for non-programmers to build applications by stringing together transformations built by expert programmers. Many projects have already been using similar approaches for a long time, with less (or different?) hype. Is it time to take a closer look at flow-based programming?"

+ - 213 Ask Slashdot: Best Language to Learn for Scientific Computing? 3

Submitted by longhunt
longhunt (1641141) writes "I just started my second year of grad school and I am working on a project that involves a computationally intensive data mining problem. I initially coded all of my routines in VBA because it "was there". They work, but run way too slow. I need to port to a faster language. I have acquired an older Xeon-based server and would like to be able to make use of all four CPU cores. I can load it with either WIndows (XP) or Linux and am relatively comfortable with both.

I did a fair amount of C and Octave programming as an undergrad. I also messed around with Fortran77 and several flavors of BASIC. Unfortunately, I haven't done ANY programming in about 12 years, so it would almost be like starting from scratch. I need a language I can pick up in a few weeks so I can get back to my research. I am not a CS major, so I care more about the answer than the code itself.

What language suggestions or tips can you give me?"

+ - 273 Printable Smart Labels Tell You When The Milk's Gone Bad->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "Security Ledger brings news that the Norwegian firm, ThinFilm (http://www.thinfilm.no/) has successfully tested a printable electronics component that it claims is the first, fully-functional “smart” label. (http://www.thinfilm.no/news/stand-alone-system/) The company claims its disposable Smart Sensor Label can track the temperature of perishable goods and is a “complete closed system built from printed and organic electronics.”

Smart Sensor is being marketed to pharmaceutical makers as a way to keep temperature-sensitive drugs and to food wholesalers, which can track the temperature their product is kept at throughout the supply chain. When "critical temperature thresholds" are reached, the Smart Sensor label will change to indicate that using an integrated display driver. Such labels could make it possible to easily monitor the condition of large quantities of product, keeping it safe and effective and preventing perfectly useable products from being destroyed. But the possible applications of printable electronics are huge: they can be produced for a fraction of the cost of comparable technologies because they don’t need to be assembled. And, because they’re flexible and paper-like, they can be deployed pretty much anywhere you can stick a label — something ThinFilm's CEO says could provide an extensible platform for the much-ballyhooed "Internet of Things.""

Link to Original Source

+ - 163 Visual Studio 2013 Released

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Final releases of Visual Studio 2013, .NET 4.5.1, and Team Foundation Server 2013 are now available. As part of the new release, the C++ engine implements variadic templates, delegating constructors, non-static data member initializers, uniform initialization and 'using' aliases. The editor has seen new features, C++ improvements and performance optimizations. Support for Windows 8.1 has been enhanced and the new XAML UI Responsiveness tool and Profile Guided Optimization help to analyze responsiveness in Windows Store apps. Graphics debugging has been furthered to have better C++ AMP tools and a new remote debugger (x86, x64, ARM). As before, MSDN and DreamSpark subscribers can obtain the releases from the respective channels, and the Express edition is available free for all."

+ - 161 Elop Was Second Choice as Nokia CEO, Ex-Chairman Says->

Submitted by pbahra
pbahra (1889666) writes "Stephen Elop wasn’t Nokia Corp.'s first pick as chief executive three years ago, the man many credit with having fueled the company’s rise—only to later preside over its decline—says in a memoir.
Jorma Ollila, was Nokia chairman when Mr. Elop was snatched from Microsoft Corp.'s executive ranks to join the once-dominant handset maker.
In his book, Mr. Ollila—who as chairman in 2010 led the search for a new CEO—describes how he flew to the U.S. that year to interview five potential candidates with suitable backgrounds over the course of three days. After the interviews, Mr. Ollila’s primary choice “was the No. 2 man at a well-known American technology company.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - 179 Windows 8.1 Rolls Out Today->

Submitted by Kelerei
Kelerei (2619511) writes "TechCrunch is reporting that Windows 8.1 will start rolling out on Thursday at 4 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (that's 11:00 UTC). However, it won't be available to everyone at that time, as the article states: "However, as this is a staged rollout, not everyone will see the code at 4 am Pacific tomorrow. The new operating system will pop up as an update in the Windows Store at various times, depending on your location. All you have to do is have a fine sleep, and when you wake up, the operating system will either be ready for you to snag, or on the way." The upgrade is optional (and free) for existing Windows 8 users, though if one looks at the changes, it's hard to imagine why those already on it wouldn't upgrade."
Link to Original Source

+ - 185 VirtualBox 4.3 comes with New Multi-Touch Support, virtual cam and more

Submitted by donadony
donadony (1683298) writes "Oracle announced the release of VirtualBox 4.3, this is a major release that comes with important new features, devices support and improvements. According to the announcement, “Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 adds a unique virtual multi-touch interface to support touch-based operating systems, and other new virtual devices and utilities, including webcam devices and a session recording facility. This release also builds on previous releases with support for the latest Microsoft, Apple, Linux and Oracle Solaris operating systems, new virtual devices, and improved networking functionality."

+ - 172 Inventions of Thermoelectric Bracelet to maintain a comfortable body temperature

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Heating or cooling certain parts of your body — such as applying a warm towel to your forehead if you feel chilly — can help maintain your perceived thermal comfort.

Using that concept, four MIT engineering students developed a thermoelectric bracelet that monitors air and skin temperature, and sends tailored pulses of hot or cold waveforms to the wrist to help maintain thermal comfort.

The product is now a working prototype. And although people would use the device for personal comfort, the team says the ultimate aim is to reduce the energy consumption of buildings, by cooling and heating the individual — not the building.

The team estimates that if the device stops one building from adjusting its temperature by even just 1 degree Celsius, it will save roughly 100 kilowatt-hours per month."

+ - 204 Vaccine Could Protect Soldiers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, including soldiers and victims of crimes, accidents, or natural disasters. About 40 to 50 percent of patients recover within five years but the rest never get better. Now Discovery Magazine reports that medical researchers say they have discovered a possible “vaccine” for post-traumatic stress disorder that could protect soldiers serving in war by regulating ghrelin, a hormone produced during stressful situations, that primes the brain for PTSD. “You would get a shot, and for a year it would lower your ghrelin levels,” says Ki Gossens, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, and lead author of the paper in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. “When you were deployed and exposed to the stress of combat, your ghrelin levels would go up and the vaccine would combat that. That should reduce the incidence of PTSD." Gossens says that ghrelin operates alongside the brain’s other “fight or flight” neurochemical system, which is controlled by the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. That signaling route is known as the hypothalamus-pituatary-adrenal pathway, or HPA. “What we are suggesting is that the ghrelin pathway operates in parallel,” Gossens said. “We think the emotional disorders (such as PTSD) following trauma exposure are the result of elevated ghrelin rather than HPA." Gossens believes that since many ghrelin-related anti-obesity drugs have already passed federal human safety trials, it would give them a leg up on developing some kind of vaccine for PTSD."

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