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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Space

+ - 105 Huge Spirals Found on Mars—Evidence of New Lava Type?->

Submitted by
fishmike
fishmike writes "Hundreds of large spirals have been discovered on Mars, and scientists think the coiled features are evidence of a type of lava flow never before seen on the red planet.

If so, the spirals would suggest that volcanoes—not ice floes, as other experts believe—shaped an unusual area near the red planet's equator."

Link to Original Source

+ - 176 Pandemic bird flu research published-> 1

Submitted by
daveschroeder
daveschroeder writes "After a marathon debate over a pair of studies that show how the avian H5N1 influenza virus could become transmissible in mammals, and an unprecedented recommendation by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication, and its subsequent reversal, a study by Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin–Madison was finally and fully published today in the journal Nature. The full journal article: Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets."
Link to Original Source
Sun Microsystems

+ - 187 Sun Cooling, Soon to Have Four Poles, Say Japanese Astrophysicists-> 1

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Officials of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Riken research foundation said on April 19 that the activity of sunspots appeared to resemble a 70-year period in the 17th century. Known as the Maunder Minimum, temperatures are estimated to have been about 2.5 degrees lower than in the second half of the 20th century. The researchers also found signs of unusual magnetic changes in the sun. Normally, the sun’s magnetic field flips about once every 11 years. The solar observation satellite Hinode found that the north pole of the sun had started flipping about a year earlier than expected, with no noticeable change in the south pole. It's possible the north pole could complete its flip in May 2012 but create a four-pole magnetic structure in the sun, with two new poles created in the vicinity of the equator of our closest star."
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - 116 Twitter Leaks Obama's Visit To Afghanistan->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "When you're the President of the United States, sometimes certain activities you're involved in can be hard to keep secret — and yesterday was no exception, after Twitter let it slip that Obama was secretly in Kabul. On Tuesday, the White House released a fabricated itinerary — consisting of all-day meetings in the Oval Office to cover up the fact that Obama was secretly flying to Afghanistan. Whilst only a few US journalists were aware of this event, by mid-morning, a lot more people were suddenly in on the revelation courtesy of Twitter. The first tweet to let the virtual cat out of the bag was Afghanistan news site TOLOnews which reported: "United States President Barack Obama has arrived in Kabul to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai." To the innocent public, it sounds like a great opportunity for the US President to become better acquainted with Afghanistan. To the not-so-innocent public? The perfect opportunity to launch a terrorist act."
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Programming

+ - 221 EU Court: Programming Languages Not Copyrightable->

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that the functionality of a computer program and the programming language it is written in cannot be protected by copyright. In its ruling on a a case brought by SAS Institute against World Programming Limited (WPL), the court said that 'the purchaser of a license for a program is entitled, as a rule, to observe, study or test its functioning so as to determine the ideas and principles which underlie that program.'"
Link to Original Source
Piracy

+ - 135 WTF is CISPA?->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "The United States House of Representatives voted last Thursday to pass a piece of legislation called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. The controversial bill now sits in the hands of the Senate and faces further modifications if it hopes to gain approval from the White House, which has already gone on record with a veto threat. Legions of Internet users expressed outrage when the bill was passed, and numerous protests are being staged. According to President Obama’s office, the bill would allow “broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information,” but what exactly is CISPA?"
Link to Original Source
Hardware

+ - 96 Open Compute Developing Wider Rack Standard->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Are you ready for wider servers? The Open Compute Project today shared details on Open Rack, a new standard for hyperscale data centers, which will feature 21-inch server slots, rather than the traditional 19 inches. "We are ditching the 19-inch rack standard," said Facebook's Frank Frankovsky, who said the wider design offered better heat removal and a unified approach to power, including a 12 volt busbar. The Open Compute Project, developed by Facebook to advance open source hardware design, believes an open approach can avoid the mistakes of blade server chassis design."
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - 112 Stompy is Coming->

Submitted by
schlesingerj
schlesingerj writes "The Artisans Asylum hackerspace in Somerville, MA is building a monster rideable hexapod named 'Stompy', with fully articulated legs (18 hydraulics actuators in total), powered by a humongous propane forklift engine. This is being built as a class, lead by a team of expert roboticists with an impressive background, including DEKA, Boston Dynamics and Barret Technologies and is expected to be finished by the end of the summer.

I for one welcome our new robot overlords."

Link to Original Source
Network

+ - 148 1Gbps wireless network made with red and green laser pointers->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Back in the olden days, when WiFi and Bluetooth were just a glimmer in the eye of IEEE, another short-range wireless communications technology ruled supreme: Infrared Data Association, or IrDA for short. IrDA was awful; early versions were only capable of kilobit-per-second speeds, and only over a distance of a few feet. Trying to get my laptop and mobile phone to link up via IrDA was, to date, one of the worst tech experiences I’ve ever had. There’s a lot to be said for light-based communications, though. For a start, visible (and invisible) light has a frequency of between 400 and 800THz (800 and 375nm), which is unlicensed spectrum worldwide. Second, in cases where you really don’t want radio interference, such as hospitals, airplanes, and other sensitive environments, visible light communication (VLC), or free-space optical communication, is really rather desirable. Now, I think for the first time ever, researchers at the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan have transmitted data using lasers — not high-powered, laboratory-dwelling lasers; handheld, AAA-battery laser pointers. A red and green laser pointer were used, each transmitting a stream of data at 500Mbps, which is then multiplexed at the receiver for a grand total of 1Gbps."
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Space

+ - 147 Europe goes to Jupiter's moons (including Europa)->

Submitted by
gbrumfiel
gbrumfiel writes "The European Space Agency has announced its intent to send a new probe to explore the moons of Jupiter. The Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (unfortunately acronymized to 'JUICE') is set to launch in 2022 and will study the subsurface oceans of Ganymede and Europa. Both moons might harbour conditions that could support life, though that remains to be seen. NASA was originally supposed to fly its own probe to Europe, but that project has been sidelined by budget cuts. NASA scientists may spring for an instrument on JUICE just to get a piece of the action."
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Medicine

+ - 110 New study: Exercise and computer use combination may fight memory loss->

Submitted by
techfun89
techfun89 writes "A recent study has shown that among older adults, participants who used a computer and did moderate physical activity such as brisk walking were 64% less likely to have mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

In this study computer use and physical activity reduced the risk of memory loss, but just doing one activity or the other alone did not.

Dr. Yonas Geda, a physician scientist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona and his team surveyed 926 people ages 70 to 93 living in Olmsted County, Minnesota.
Among those that did not exercise or use a computer: 20.1% were cognitively normal, 37.6% had signs of MCI. Those who did exercise or use a computer 36% were cognitively normal and 18.3% showed signs of MCI.

Previous studies have found a link between exercise and a reduced risk of MCI, while other studies linked stimulating activities such as reading books or using a computer with the reduced risk of MCI. Until now no studies showed the combined effects of exercise and computer use."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 124 An Unusual Alliance Between Dolphins and Fishers->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Dolphins in Laguna, Brazil help local fishers trap schools of tasty fish, herding them toward the shore—a behavior not seen anywhere else in the world. Now, a new study explores the interactions between Laguna's dolphins, providing clues to how they've maintained their long-lasting collaboration with people."
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Android

+ - 110 BlackBerry 10, webOS and the platform predicament->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "During the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, a struggling smartphone company that had once helped shape the mobile industry unveiled its next-generation platform. It was gorgeous. The design was unique and appealing, the gesture-based controls were smart and intuitive, and the company’s new smartphone operating system offered a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by just two major players, Apple and Google. Will RIM's BlackBerry 10 suffer the same fate as Palm's webOS?"
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Red Hat Software

+ - 123 Is Red Hat Blocking Ubuntu Developers?->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Ubuntu founder Mark shuttleworth has again taken a jab at Red Hat, the world's most successful open source company. In a recent IRC when he was asked about the relationship between Ubuntu and Gnome teams Mark Shuttleworth replied: We felt blocked by Red Hat on specific parts they control.

Is it another Canonical gimmick to get mindshare or is Red Hat really playing dirty?"

Link to Original Source
GNOME

+ - 237 Tablet UIs on Laptops/Desktops: What's Slashdot's Readers' take?-> 1

Submitted by dcbrianw
dcbrianw (1154925) writes "I want to know the Slashdot's community's take on the new trend of desktop and laptop operating system developers moving towards tablet based UI's. Ubuntu has moved to Unity. Windows 8 will have such a UI. Even Gnome 3 looks tablet based. You can revert to Gnome classic, but it's very minimal in comparison Gnome 2.

If I'm not using a tablet, I don't want my computer to operate as though I am. I'm just not sold on this, and I want my old UI back (without having to use earlier, less advanced OS'). What are others' takes on this? Am I missing some of the pros associated with a tablet UI on non-tablet devices?"

Link to Original Source
Java

+ - 119 Cross-Platform Malware Exploits Java To Attack PCs And Macs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Security vendors have discovered a new piece of malware that attacks both PCs and Macs. It uses the same Java security vulnerability exploited by the Flashback malware that infected hundreds of thousands of Macs. While the attack vector is the same as in Flashback, this Java applet checks which OS it is running on and downloads suitable malware for it."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - 137 Sony: Internet video service on hold due to Comcast data cap->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "An executive from Sony said Monday that concerns about Comcast's discriminatory data cap are giving the firm second thoughts about launching an Internet video service, that would compete with cable and satellite TV services. In March, Comcast announced that video streamed to the Xbox from Comcast's own video service would be exempted from the cable giant's 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap. "These guys have the pipe and the bandwidth," he said. "If they start capping things, it gets difficult."

Sony isn't the first Comcast rival to complain about the bandwidth cap. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has also blasted Comcast's discriminatory bandwidth cap as a violation of network neutrality. Comcast controls more than 20 percent of the residential broadband market, which means that Comcast effectively controls access to one-fifth of any American Internet video service's potential customers."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 197 World's Oldest Blood Cells Found on Iceman->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A team of researchers has zoomed in on two spots on the body of the Iceman, a mummified, 5300-year-old hunter found frozen in the Alps in 1991: a shoulder wound found with an embedded arrowhead and a hand lesion resembling a stab wound. The scientists used atomic force microscopy, a visualization method with resolution of less than a nanometer, to scan the wounds for blood residue. They discovered red blood cells—the oldest in the world to be found intact—as well as fibrin, a protein needed for blood to clot. The presence of fibrin indicates that the Iceman, nicknamed Ötzi, didn't die immediately after being wounded."
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - 160 German Science Minister Faces Plagiarism Scandal

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Germany's minister for science and education, Annette Schavan, faces allegations that substantial parts of her PhD thesis have been copied (German, Google translation) without proper attribution. According to the Wordpress blog that brought up the accusations, 56 out of 325 pages of her thesis contain instances of plagiarism. Schavan is the same minister who called an earlier instance of plagiarism by the former German defense minister to be "embarassing"."