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Submission + - Web Browser Grand Prix 9: Chrome 17, Firefox 10, And Ubuntu (

An anonymous reader writes: The latest Web browser benchmarks from Tom's Hardware are out. Last month TH ran these tests in OS X on a MacBook, this time they ran the top five Windows 7 browsers against the top three for Linux (on Ubuntu 11.10). Testing includes page load time, start time, memory, reliability, JavaScript, CSS, DOM, Flash, HTML5, hardware acceleration, WebGL, Java, and standards conformance. The Windows 7 standings are pretty much the same as last month, but now have IE9 solidly in last place, and Chrome almost stealing first. Chrome did manage to steal the show on Ubuntu, while Firefox actually performs the worst of the three Linux browsers. In contrast to a recent cross-platform benchmarks of Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7 (where Ubuntu actually wins a majority of the tests), the Linux browsers just didn't stand up to their Windows versions. The author calls the combo "a meaningless victory and a defeat" for Linux.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - Judge orders man to apologize to wife on Facebook (

Marillion writes: "Photographer Mark Byron was so bothered by his pending divorce and child visitation issues that he blasted his soon-to-be ex-wife on his personal Facebook page. That touched off a battle that resulted in a Hamilton County judge ordering Byron jailed for his Facebook rant – and to post on his page an apology to his wife and all of his Facebook friends, something free speech experts found troubling."

Submission + - Obayashi to Build Space Elevator by 2050 ( 3

mattr writes: "Japan's Obayashi Construction announced plans to build a space elevator by 2050. They are famous for wrecking skylines with the stupidly too big bullet train station in Kyoto, world's tallest self-supporting tower Tokyo Sky Tree and just starting now, Taipei Dome. It will take a week at 200 kph for your party of 30 to reach the 36 km high terminal station, while the counterweight sails by at 96 km, a quarter of the way to the Moon."

Submission + - Privacy-Centric Search Engine Scroogle Shuts Down (

An anonymous reader writes: Daniel Brandt started his 'Scroogle' search engine because he wanted to provide privacy to people who searched online through Google. Unfortunately, while Google tolerated this for a while, they began throttling Scroogle queries. This, in combination with extensive DDoS attacks on Brandt's servers, has caused him to take Scroogle offline, along with his other domains. He said, 'I no longer have any domains online. I also took all my domains out of DNS because I want to signal to the criminal element that I have no more servers to trash. This hopefully will ward off further attacks on my previous providers. is gone forever. Even if all my DDoS problems had never started in December, Scroogle was already getting squeezed from Google’s throttling, and was already dying. It might have lasted another six months if I hadn’t lost seven servers from DDoS, but that’s about all.' Internet users who made use of the services will now need to investigate other options.

Submission + - Google heads up display (

kodiaktau writes: Google working to deliver a heads up display allowing users access to email, maps and other tools through a wearable interface.

Submission + - NRC releases audio of Fukushima disaster (

mdsolar writes: ""The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today released transcripts and audio recordings made at the NRC Operations Center during last year’s meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. The release of these audio recordings comes at the request of the public radio program "BURN: An Energy Journal," and its host Alex Chadwick.

The recordings show the inside workings of the U.S. government’s highest level efforts to understand and deal with the unfolding nuclear crisis as the reactors meltdown. In the course of a week, the NRC is repeatedly alarmed that the situation may turn even more catastrophic. The NRC emergency staff discusses what to do — and what the consequences may be — as it learns that reactor containment safeguards are failing, and that spent fuel pools are boiling away their cooling water, and in one case perhaps catching fire.""

Open Source

Submission + - Please Steal These webOS Features ( 1

egparedes writes: webOS isn’t quite dead yet. It’s just being open-sourced, which, when it happens to commercial software, often turns out to be the digital equivalent of being reanimated as a walking corpse in a George Romero movie. You’re still shuffling around a bit, and occasionally making some (mostly incomprehensible) noises, but you probably won’t make it too far anymore.

Of course, it’s not assured that this is the end of webOS. Maybe open-sourcing it will be the best thing that ever happened to webOS. But maybe it just means that HP doesn’t care anymore, and that webOS won’t receive much attention anymore. This would be unfortunate, because webOS is one of the few current mobile operating systems that are actually a joy to use. It’s been hurt by HP’s incompetent management, rather than any egregious faults of its own.

The least we can do now is to keep its best ideas alive, even if webOS itself won’t make it.


Submission + - Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct? 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "AP reports that global competition is squeezing lemons out of the market and forcing automakers to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles so with few exceptions, cars are so close on reliability that it's getting harder for companies to charge a premium. "We don't have total clunkers like we used to," says Dave Sargent, automotive vice president with J.D. Power. In 1998, J.D. Power and Associates found an industry average of 278 problems per 100 vehicles but this year, the number fell to 132. In 1998, the most reliable car had 92 problems per 100 vehicles, while the least reliable had 517, a gap of 425 but this year the gap closed to 284 problems. It wasn't always like this. In the 1990s, Honda and Toyota dominated in quality, especially in the key American market for small and midsize cars. Around 2006, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler were heading into financial trouble and shifted research dollars from trucks to cars after years of neglect and spent more on engineering and parts to close the gap. Meanwhile Toyota's reputation was tarnished by a series of safety recalls, and Honda played conservative with new models that looked similar to the old ones. Now it's "very hard to find products that aren't good anymore," says Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the automotive website. "In safety, performance and quality, the differences just don't have material impact.""

Submission + - Some Planets Are Alien Invaders (

sciencehabit writes: A new study says billions of stars in our galaxy likely grabbed planets from the depths of space. The finding may explain the puzzling presence of worlds located far from their suns and even suggests that our solar system could harbor a planet that lurks unseen well beyond Pluto.
Data Storage

Submission + - NAND Flash Memory - A Future Not So Bleak After All (

Vigile writes: "A recent story that foretold the death of the solid state drive market by 2024 has been making the rounds and the hardware community has been discussing its ramifications. The basic claim was latency increases and error rates would cause its demise but an editorial over at PC Perspective counters that the researchers are ignoring simple improvements in SSD design including write combining, wear leveling, data compression and even bit drift compensation. Latency increases can even be countered by the increased parallelism of additional dies though the paper in question artificially creates a fixed die count for its research. While there are still hurdles for SSDs going forward there have always been those that claim in the end is near — just ask Moore's Law."

Submission + - Astronomers confirm a hot and steamy exoplanet (

The Bad Astronomer writes: "The extrasolar planet GJ 1214b was discovered in 2009 orbiting a nearby (40 light year distant) red dwarf star. The planet was quickly found to have a thick atmosphere, but it wasn't known at the time if the composition was water vapor or a hazy shroud of particulates. New Hubble observations confirm the atmosphere of the exoplanet is rich in water, comprising up to 50% of the atmosphere's mass. At 230 degrees Celsius, this means the planet is shrouded in steam."

Submission + - FDA to review Inhalable Caffeine (

RenderSeven writes: Manufacturing .NET reports that U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and if its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement. AeroShot went on the market late last month in Massachusetts and New York, and it's also available in France. Consumers put one end of the canister in their mouths and breathe in, releasing a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly.

Submission + - Why Corporate Cloud Storage Doesn't Add Up (

snydeq writes: "Deep End's Paul Venezia sees few business IT situations that could make good use of full cloud storage services, outside of startups. 'As IT continues in a zigzag path of figuring out what to do with this "cloud" stuff, it seems that some companies are getting ahead of themselves. In particular, the concept of outsourcing storage to a cloud provider puzzles me. I can see some benefits in other cloud services (though I still find the trust aspect difficult to reconcile), but full-on cloud storage offerings don't make sense outside of some rare circumstances.'"

Submission + - DHS Budget Includes No New Airport Body Scanners (

OverTheGeicoE writes: The Electronic Privacy Information Center has been examining the White House's proposed budget for Department of Homeland Security for 2013, and they point out that it doesn't include any money for additional airport body scanners for TSA. Did the recent scandal involving TSA workers targeting women for scans make the White House realize that TSA is a national embarrassment? Does the executive branch finally understand the questionable safety and effectiveness of these devices? Or does DHS just think it has enough scanners once TSA installs the 250 new scanners in this year's budget?

Submission + - Pico Projector That Adapts to Surface, Can Use Random Objects as Input Devices (

jpwilliams writes: This tiny projector can use random surfaces to project an image. Using a webcam, it adapts to the surface, not just by adjusting keystone, but also following that surface and displaying different amounts of information (in certain cases). The guy in the video also uses a coffee mug as an app changer.

Submission + - Heartland Institute document leaker comes forward, maintains documents are real (

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Last week, an anonymous source leaked several internal documents from the Heartland Institute, a non-profit think tank known for anti-global-warming rhetoric. The leaker has come forward: Peter Gleick, scientist and journalist. In his admission, he cites his own breach of ethics, but also maintains that all the documents are real. This includes the potentially embarrassing "2012 Climate Strategy" document stating that Heartland wants to "dissuade teachers from teaching science." Heartland still claims this document is a forgery, but there is no solid evidence either way."

Submission + - How Google is Remapping Public Transportation (

waderoush writes: "Google wants to "organize the world's information," but there isn't a marketplace or a category of knowledge it can organize without remaking it in the process. A case in point: public transportation. Largely outside the media spotlight, Google has wrought a quiet revolution over the last five years in the way commuters get schedule information for local buses and trains and the way public transit agencies communicate with their riders. GTFS and GTFS-realtime, which Google invented, have become the de facto world standards for sharing transit data, and have opened up space for a whole ecosystem of third-party transit app developers. This in-depth article looks at the history of GTFS and Google's efforts to give people information (largely via their smartphones) that can help them plan their commutes on public transportation — and, not incidentally, drive a lot less."

Submission + - NoSQL 2.0: Expanded Interface, Higher Performance ( 2

rescrv writes: A new key-value store from Cornell University is set to begin a new era of NoSQL storage. The system, called HyperDex, enables efficient searches over the stored values, while retaining the traditional get/put interface of a key-value store. HyperDex provides significant performance advantages over Cassandra and MongoDB for both traditional key-value operations, and for search.
Open Source

Submission + - Canonical puts Ubuntu on Android smartphones ( 1

nk497 writes: "Canonical has revealed Ubuntu running on a smartphone — but the open source developer hasn't squashed the full desktop onto a tiny screen. Instead, the Ubuntu for Android system runs both OSes side by side, picking which to surface depending on the form factor. When a device — in the demo, it was a Motorola Atrix — is being used as a smartphone, it uses Android. When it's docked into a laptop or desktop setup, the full version of Ubuntu is used. Files, apps and other functionality such as voice calls and texting are shared between the two — for example, if a text message is sent to the phone when it's docked, the SMS pops up in Ubuntu, while calls can be received or made from the desktop."