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Operating Systems

+ - 118 Steve Jobs' Idea for an Ad-Supported OS->

Submitted by milbournosphere
milbournosphere (1273186) writes "It looks like Steve drew up an idea for an ad-supported OS. A patent was filed back in 2009 detailing how it was done. From the article:
Rather than charge the normal upgrade price, which in those days was $99, he was thinking of shipping a second version of Mac OS 9 that would be given away for free — but would be supported instead by advertising. The theory was that this would pull in a ton of people who didn't normally upgrade because of the price, but Apple would still generate income through the advertising. And any time an owner of the free version wanted to get rid of the advertising, he or she could simply pay for the ad-free version. Steve's team had worked out the preliminary numbers the concept seemed financially sound."

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Science

+ - 101 Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, sometimes->

Submitted by
PerlJedi
PerlJedi writes "Interesting article on sciencemag.com about a study set up to examine why and how people subconsciously imitating one another can in some cases create trust, while in others cause real discomfort.


Now a new study suggests that people who fail to appropriately imitate the mannerisms of others during social interactions can actually make their peers feel colder—like Bates, they send a literal chill down the spine.

"

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Space

+ - 204 On the trail of NASA's space potty->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Leave it to the Smithsonian to get every detail right when laying out new exhibits. First, as part of the Space Shuttle Discovery's exhibit at its new home in the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia will be the spacecraft's original space toilet or waste containment system as it is more technically known."
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+ - 152 Opus Dei to hunt down Vatican whistle-blowers->

Submitted by Aguazul2
Aguazul2 (2591049) writes "In a familiar story relocated into the bizarre world of the Vatican, a whistle-blower who brought to light excessive overpayments on contracts to friendly suppliers was sent to the USA as punishment, and further sources of leaks are now being hunted down by a crack team headed by an 82-year old Opus Dei cardinal. It's just like Wikileaks, only with parchment and quills — probably."
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Space

+ - 119 Want to mine asteroids? Planetary Resources is hiring-> 1

Submitted by halfEvilTech
halfEvilTech (1171369) writes "Planetary Resources is growing quickly and needs help from some amazing people. If you are amazing, please continue to read.

Here is why joining Planetary Resources will change your life:
  1.We are finding a new way to explore space beyond Earth orbit.
2.We are a growing business with incredible people who are dedicated to Planetary Resources’ long-term objectives.
3.Like all small businesses, we are a family. We love our team and what we do.
4.You will get your hands dirty. If you prefer your hands clean, go somewhere else.
5.We have a grill. We are not afraid to use it.
6.Seattle, Washington. Ok, so it rains. It’s gorgeous, and anyone who says otherwise is from California.
7.Bottom line – we build spaceships and explore asteroids. If you need any other motivation to apply, don’t bother."

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Privacy

+ - 118 The Automotive Black Box Data Dilemma-> 3

Submitted by E5Rebel
E5Rebel (1103761) writes "We all have a right to privacy, but automobile safety systems, which are networked throughout the body of your car, generate a blizzard of data (likely without your knowledge) and store it in a nondescript box the size of a deck of cards. Does the gadget, called an event data recorder (EDR) or Black Box, constitute a threat to privacy. Great article from the IEEE"
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The Internet

+ - 117 Tide Turning on the "Amazon Tax" in Illinois?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "But in Illinois yesterday, a Cook County Circuit judge ruled against the state of Illinois in it’s attempt to tax online sales from companies not in the state. Judge Robert Lopez Cepero ruled that affiliates do not create enough of a presence in the state to actually tax the out of state company."
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Censorship

+ - 97 The classified Iraq War short story the Pentagon is hiding->

Submitted by
v3rgEz
v3rgEz writes "In a reflective piece of fiction set after the War in Iraq concludes, then-Major General David A. Fastabend outlines a strategy for victory: He said the United States needed bold, decisive moves, a focus on local reconciliation and, perhaps most controversially, a willingness to cut deals with insurgent organizations.

Written in 2007 and set in 2009, it would become a piece of alternative history, a what-could-have-been. And after word of it was spread by Thomas E. Ricks' book, The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, its existence was first denied and then its text classified.

Fastabend's writing, dramatically titled How All This Ends: It’s Fourth and Long, Go Deep, has become a work of fiction not only hidden from the public but officially made a state secret. It is an alternative history of what could have been that the government is fighting to keep from the public."

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IBM

+ - 113 Will IBM Watson be your next mayor?-> 3

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "When we think of computer networks, we think of routers and servers and fiber optic cables and laptops and smartphones — we think of the internet. In actuality, though, the visible internet is just the tip of the iceberg. There are secret military networks, and ad hoc wireless networks, and utility companies have sprawling, cellular networks the track everything from the health of oil pipelines and uranium enrichment machines through to the remaining capacity of septic tanks — and much, much more. What if we connected all of these networks to the internet, to form an internet of things? What if we then put a massive computer at the middle of this internet of things and used this wealth of data to power smart cars, smart homes, smart supermarkets, and smart cities? Unsurprisnigly, IBM and Cisco are already working on such smart cities. For nearly two years, Rio de Janeiro’s utilities, traffic systems, and emergency services has been managed by a single “Ops Center,” a huge hub of technologies provided by both IBM and Cisco. With 300 LCD screens spread across 100 rooms, connected via 30,000 meters of fiber optic cable, Ops Center staff monitor live video from 450 cameras and three helicopters, and track the location of 10,000 buses and ambulances via GPS. Other screens output the current weather, and simulations of tomorrow’s weather up to 150 miles from the city — and yet more screens display heatmaps of disease outbreaks, and the probability of natural disasters like landslides. There’s even a Crisis Room, which links the Ops Center to Rio’s mayor and Civil Defense departments via a Cisco telepresence suite. This sounds awesome — but is it really a good idea to give a computer company (IBM is not an urban planner!) so much control over one of the world's biggest cities? What if the machine stops?"
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Books

+ - 312 Sources for firmware and hardware books?

Submitted by
cos(0)
cos(0) writes "Between O'Reilly, Wrox, Addison-Wesley, The Pragmatic Bookshelf, and many others, software developers have a wide variety of literature about languages, patterns, practices, and tools. Many publishers even offer subscriptions to online reading of the whole collection, exposing you to things you didn't even know you don't know — and many of us learn more from these publishers than from a Comp Sci curriculum. But what about publishers and books specializing in tech underneath software like VHDL, Verilog, design tools, and wire protocols? In particular, best practices, modeling techniques, and other skills that separate a novice from an expert?"
Displays

+ - 208 MIT Researchers Invent 'Super Glass'-> 1

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "On Thursday, researchers at MIT announced a breakthrough in glass-making technology, which basically involves a new way to create surface textures on glass to eliminate all of the drawbacks of glass, including unwanted reflections and glare. The research team wanted to build glass that could be adaptable to any environment: Their "multifunctional" glass is not only crystal clear, but it also causes water droplets to bounce right off its surface, "like tiny rubber balls." The glass is self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and superhydrophobic. The invention has countless applications, including TV screens, as well as smartphone and tablet displays that benefit from the self-cleaning ability of the glass by resisting moisture and contamination by sweat."
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Facebook

+ - 99 The EFF reports on Facebook Phishing Targeting Opposition in Syria->

Submitted by headhntr
headhntr (2612991) writes "Recent digital attacks in Syria have escalated culminating in recent phishing attempts using the Facebook page of Burhan Ghalioun, Chairman of the Syrian Opposition Transitional Council. As the EFF reports:

"The campaign of attacks targeting Syrian opposition activists on the Internet continues to intensify. Since the beginning of the year, Syrian opposition activists have been targeted using several Trojans, which covertly install spying software onto the infected computer, as well as phishing attacks which steal YouTube and Facebook login credentials

Since April 9th, EFF has seen at least five new phishing attacks, the aim of which is to steal Facebook logins and passwords; some attacks also involve a component that covertly installs surveillance malware onto the targeted computer. One of these attacks was seeded through links in comments left on the Facebook pages of prominent members of the Syrian opposition, including Burhan Ghalioun, Chairman of the Syrian Opposition Transitional Council. Ghalioun has been the target of numerous hacking attempts. Last week, members of the Syrian Electronic Army leaked emails purporting to demonstrate collaboration between Ghalioun and officials in the United States and Saudi Arabia. Ghalioun's email account was reportedly targeted in retaliation for the Syrian opposition's leak of emails allegedly allegedly belonging to Syrian president Bashar Assad and his wife.""

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Ubuntu

+ - 205 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS out - Unity gets a second chance ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "So how does Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04) fare ? I will say exceptionally well. Unity is not the same ugly duckling it was made out to be. In Ubuntu 12.04, it has transformed into a beautiful swan. As Ubuntu 12.04 is a long term release, the Ubuntu team has pulled all stops to make sure the user experience is positive.

Ubuntu 12.04 aka Precise Pangolin is definitely worthy of running on your machine."

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Android

+ - 162 Cybercriminals exploit Björk's Biophilia app to compromise Androids->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The crocked Russians who put out fake versions of Angry Bird Space and Instagram for Android last week have competition. Bipphilia, an musical experiment by Bjork into the world of apps has been ported to Android as a Trojan. To make things worst, last year at the launch of the app, Bjork was quoted in an interviewing inviting pirates/hackers to attempt to port her code over from iPhone to other platforms."
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Science

+ - 203 Organics can't match conventional farm yields->

Submitted by scibri
scibri (2544842) writes "A comprehensive analysis published in Nature (abstract) suggests that organic farming could supply needs in some circumstances. But yields are lower than in conventional farming, so producing the bulk of the globe’s diet will still require chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The meta-analysis reviewed 66 studies comparing the yields of 34 different crop species in organic and conventional farming systems. The researchers included only studies that assessed the total land area used, allowing them to compare crop yields per unit area. Many previous studies that have showed large yields for organic farming ignore the size of the area planted — which is often bigger than in conventional farming.

Crop yields from organic farming are as much as 34% lower than those from comparable conventional farming practices, though in some cases, notably with strawberries and soybeans, the gap is as small as 3%."

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Security

+ - 146 Backdoor found in Arcadyan-based Wi-Fi Routers

Submitted by Mojo66
Mojo66 (1131579) writes "A recently reported flaw that allowed an attacker to drastically reduce the number of attempts needed to guess the WPS PIN of a wireless router isn't necessary for some Arcadyan based routers anymore. According to german computer publisher heise (google translation, original here), some 100,000 routers of type Speedport W921V, W504V and W723V are affected in Germany alone. What makes things worse is the fact that in order to exploit the backdoor, no button has to be pushed on the device itself and on some of the affected routers, the backdoor PIN ("12345670") is still working even after WPS has been disabled by the user. The only currently known remedy for those models is to disable Wi-Fi altogether.

Since all Arcadyan routers share the same software platform, more models might be affected."
Android

+ - 122 Verizon's Summer / Fall 2012 smartphone roadmap->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "While Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has been the star of the rumor show for the past few months — with BGR leading the pack — we now have a clear picture of the smartphone landscape for late summer and early fall this year. BGR has exclusively learned details about most, if not all of Verizon Wireless’s flagship smartphone launches for the remainder of 2012, and things are definitely looking good for Verizon subscribers in 2012..."
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