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+ - 172 Sleeper: LG G2 One Of The Fastest Android Smartphones On The Market->

MojoKid writes: The LG G2 is the follow-up to LG's Optimus G Pro. It's also one of the few smartphones on the market right now powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 quad-core SoC. The G2 sports a 5.2-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of on board storage. However, the 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip on board also has Qualcomm's Adreno 330 GPU that even gives NVIDIA's Tegra 4 a run for its money in gaming and graphics performance. Though the G2 has a rather unothodox volume rocker and power button assembly on the back of the phone, once you get used to the location, it's actually a pretty comfortable control system. What's pretty impressive though is the G2's performance combined with its 3000mAh battery that offers a solid balance of horsepower and battery life and rivals flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple's iPhone 5S.
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+ - 190 Open Office/Libreoffice lose over 50% of their marketshare in organizations->

An anonymous reader writes: LibreOffice and OpenOffice remain very popular for users of Linux with many using it on Macs and Windows based PCs as well at home. Organizations are still as addicted as as ever with MS office formats. In 2011 13% of organizations had OpenOffice variants installed on some computers. Today that number has dipped to 5% according to Forrester Research. It is unknown if organizations are leaving due to angry users who do not like change or because of office compatibility issues or MS offering better pricing? The poll included is over 100% as many organizations have multiple versions of offices installed. Also surprising Office 2003 is alive kicking and screaming as almost 1/3 of companies and governments still use it even though EOL for Office 2003 ends with XP on the same date! The good news is online cloud based platforms are gaining traction with Google Docs and Office 365 which are not so tied to Windows on the client. Are we too focused on old school PC install based office suites or should more effort be taken to online and cloud based replacements?
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+ - 153 What Science Says About the Fireplace Delusion 1 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Sam Harris has an interesting essay with an example of secular intransigence that may give readers a sense of how religious people feel when their beliefs are criticized and it has to do with the phenomenon called “the fireplace delusion.” On a cold night, most people consider a well-tended fire to be one of the more wholesome pleasures that humanity has produced writes Harris. "A fire, burning safely within the confines of a fireplace or a woodstove, is a visible and tangible source of comfort to us. We love everything about it: the warmth, the beauty of its flames, and—unless one is allergic to smoke—the smell that it imparts to the surrounding air." But if you feel this way about a wood fire, you are not only wrong but dangerously misguided. Here is what we know from a scientific point of view: There is no amount of wood smoke that is good to breathe. It is at least as bad for you as cigarette smoke, and probably much worse. The smoke from an ordinary wood fire contains hundreds of compounds known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, and irritating to the respiratory system. Residential wood combustion emissions also contain sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and potentially carcinogenic compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, formaldehyde and dioxins (PDF). One study found it to be 30 times more potent a carcinogen. Children who live in homes with active fireplaces or woodstoves, or in areas where wood burning is common, suffer a higher incidence of asthma, cough, bronchitis, nocturnal awakening, and compromised lung function. Among adults, wood burning is associated with more-frequent emergency room visits and hospital admissions for respiratory illness, along with increased mortality from heart attacks. The case against burning wood is every bit as clear as the case against smoking cigarettes. "I have discovered that when I make this case, even to highly intelligent and health-conscious men and women, a psychological truth quickly becomes as visible as a pair of clenched fists: They do not want to believe any of it," writes Harris. "And yet, the reality of our situation is scientifically unambiguous: If you care about your family’s health and that of your neighbors, the sight of a glowing hearth should be about as comforting as the sight of a diesel engine idling in your living room." Of course, if you are anything like my friends, you will refuse to believe this concludes Harris. And that should give you some sense of what we are up against whenever we confront religion.

+ - 149 NFTables To Replace IPTables In The Linux Kernel->

An anonymous reader writes: NFTables is queued up for merging into the Linux 3.13 kernel. NFTables is a four-year-old project by the creators of Netfilter to write a new packet filtering / firewall engine for the Linux kernel to deprecate iptables (though it now an iptables compatibility layer too). NFTables is slated to be more powerful, simpler, reduce code complication, improve error reporting, and more efficient handling of packet filter rules. The code was merged into net-next for the Linux 3.13 kernel but still iptables will be present until NFTables is finished, but it is possible to now try it out. LWN also has a writeup on NFTables.
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+ - 179 Teachers Get 1 Week to Test Tech Giants' Hour of Code

theodp writes: In a move straight out of Healthcare.gov's playbook, teachers won't get to preview the final lessons they're being asked to roll out to 10 million U.S. students until a week before the Dec. 9th launch of the Hour of Code nation-wide learn-to-code initiative, according to a video explaining the project, which is backed by the nation's tech giants, including Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon. The Hour of Code tutorial page showcased to the press sports Lorem Ipsum pseudo-Latin text instead of real content, promised tutorial software is still being developed by Microsoft and Google, and celebrity tutorials by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are still a work-in-progress. With their vast resources and deep pockets, the companies involved can still probably pull something off, but why risk disaster for such a high-stakes effort with a last-minute rush? One possible explanation is that CS Education Week, a heretofore little-recognized event, is coming up soon. Then again, tech immigration reform is back on the front burner, an initiative that's also near-and-dear to many of same players behind Hour of Code, including Microsoft Chief Counsel Brad Smith who, during the Hour of Code kickoff press conference, boasted that Microsoft's more-high-tech-visas-for-US-kids-computer-science-education deal (video) found its way into the Senate Immigration Bill, but minutes later joined his fellow FWD.us panelists to dismiss a questioner's suggestion that Hour of Code might somehow be part of a larger self-serving tech industry interest.

+ - 264 Google Sparking Interest to Quantum Mechanics with Minecraft

jones_supa writes: If you want to find the computer geniuses of tomorrow, you could do worse than to check out which kids are playing Minecraft. In a Google+ post, the Google Quantum A.I. Lab Team says that they've released a mod called qCraft to enable kids (and adults) to play around with blocks that exhibit behaviors like quantum entanglement, superposition and observer dependency. qCraft isn’t obviously a perfect scientific simulation, but it’s a fun way for players to experience a few parts of quantum mechanics outside of thought experiments or dense textbook examples. The team doesn't know the full potential of what you can make with the mod, but they are excited to see what Minecraft’s players can discover.

+ - 339 Reprogrammed bacterium speaks new language of life->

wabrandsma writes: From NewScientist:
A bacterium has had its genome recoded so that the standard language of life no longer applies. Instead, one of its words has been freed up to impart a different meaning, allowing the addition of genetic elements that don't exist in nature.
The work has been described as the first step towards a new biology because the techniques used should open the door to reinventing the meaning of several genetic words simultaneously, potentially creating new types of biomaterials and drugs.

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+ - 310 Dick Cheney Had Implanted Defibrillator Altered To Prevent Terrorist Attack->

An anonymous reader writes: The Washington Post reports, "Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he once feared that terrorists could use the electrical device that had been implanted near his heart to kill him and had his doctor disable its wireless function. Cheney has a history of heart trouble, suffering the first of five heart attacks at age 37. ... In an interview with CBS’ ”60 Minutes,” Cheney says doctors replaced an implanted defibrillator near his heart in 2007. The device can detect irregular heartbeats and control them with electrical jolts. Cheney says that he and his doctor, cardiologist Jonathan Reiner, turned off the device’s wireless function in case a terrorist tried to send his heart a fatal shock." — More at CBS News.
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