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Amiga

+ - 135 AmigaOS 4 lead developer interview-> 2

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Some might be surprised, but AmigaOS still exists — and is being actively developed. Although though now it runs on PowerPC architecture instead of Motorola 68k chips, AmigaOS 4 is based directly off the 3.1 AmigaOS source code. AmigaOS 4 development is currently being run by Hyperion Entertainment, which is developing it on a commercial basis. I recently had a chance to chat to Steven Solie for a long interview about the system, how it has endured and what the future plans for the operating system are (including whether it will ever be open sourced)."
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Patents

+ - 143 Amazon Patents Electronic Gifting

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Simply giving your mother an e-book for her birthday could constitute patent infringement now that the USPTO's gone and awarded Amazon.com a patent on the 'Electronic Gifting' of items such as music, movies, television programs, games, or books. BusinessInsider speculates that the patent may be of concern to Facebook, which just dropped a reported $80 million on social gift-giving app maker Karma Science."
Science

+ - 227 NC Republicans Consider Outlawing Sealevel Rise Predictions-> 2

Submitted by
ideonexus
ideonexus writes "Republicans in North Carolina are floating a bill that would force planners to only consider past historical data in predicting the sea-level rise (SLR) for the state as opposed to considering projections that take Global Warming into account. NC-20, the pro-development lobbying group representing twenty counties along the NC coast, is behind the effort and asserts that the one-meter prediction would prohibit development on too much land as opposed to SLR predictions of 3.9 to 15.6 inches."
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Open Source

+ - 179 Open-Source Mini Sub Can be Made on the Cheap->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Eric Stackpole is a NASA engineer and avid outdoorsman. He is the chief designer of a cheap, portable underwater ROV that could change the way we explore our oceans. And he wants to make it so cheap and easy to build that anyone can do it.

The device in question is the OpenROV, a small, lasercut contraption powered by several C-cells, a small, cheap computer and a webcam.

Right now the price per vehicle is around $500-$600, As with all open source hardware projects, further development will likely drastically reduce the price. Or you can buy a kit for $750 and support the project, once the Kickstarter gets going..."

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Science

+ - 205 It's Official: Men Are the Dirtier Sex

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In a new study, researchers took swabs of a variety of office equipment in New York, San Francisco, and Tucson. They found more than 500 types of bacteria, most of which normally live on our skin or in our nasal, oral, and intestinal cavities. And while the offices of men and women had the same types of species, women's offices had on average 10% to 20% fewer of them. Differences in hygiene may be to blame, the team reports. Men are known to wash their hands and brush their teeth less frequently than women, the researchers write, and are generally "perceived to have a more slovenly nature.""
Idle

+ - 199 "Old Person Smell" May Have Evolutionary Origins-> 2

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Older folks give off a characteristic scent that's independent of race, creed, or diet. In a new study, researchers confirm--through some fairly unpleasant sniff testing--that there really is a smell people associate with the elderly. The ability to sniff out someone's age may have conferred an evolutionary advantage, the team reports. It's possible that those who lived longer were assumed to be stronger, healthier, or smarter and would have children who would be better equipped to survive. Thus they'd be seen—or smelled—as the most desirable mates."
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Space

+ - 267 Virgin Galactic's suborbital spacecraft gets FAA blessing->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Space tourism company Virgin Galactic today said its spacecraft developer has been granted an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin rocket-powered testing of its spaceships. With the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation permit, Scaled Composites and its SpaceShipTwo craft will be able to test the aerodynamic performance of the spacecraft with the full weight of the rocket motor system on board. Integration of key rocket motor components, already underway will continue into the autumn."
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Cloud

+ - 149 IT Desktop Support To Be Wiped Out Thanks To Cloud Computing-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Tech industry experts are saying that tech jobs with desktop support in the Information Technology department will be declining sharply thanks to cloud computing. Why is this happening? A large majority of companies and government agencies will rely on the cloud for more than half of their IT services by 2020, according to Gartner’s 2011 CIO Agenda Survey."
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Businesses

+ - 223 Do Headphones Help or Hurt Productivity?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Derek Thompson writes that there is an excellent chance that right now you are wearing, or within arm's reach of, a pair of headphones or earbuds. To visit a modern office place is to walk into a room with a dozen songs playing simultaneously but to hear none of them and in survey after survey, office workers report with confidence that music makes us happier, better at concentrating, and more productive. But science says we're full of it writes Thompson. "Listening to music hurts our ability to recall other stimuli, and any pop song — loud or soft — reduces overall performance for both extraverts and introverts." So if headphones are so bad for productivity, why do so many people at work have headphones? The answer is that personal music creates a shield both for listeners and for those walking around us says Thompson. "I am here, but I am separate. In a wreck of people and activity, two plastic pieces connected by a wire create an aura of privacy." We assume that people wearing them are busy or oblivious, so now people wear them to appear busy or oblivious — even without music. Wearing soundless headphones is now a common solution to productivity blocks. "If music evolved as a social glue for the species — as a way to make groups and keep them together — headphones allow music to be enjoyed friendlessly — as a way to savor our privacy, in heightened solitude," concludes Thompson. "In a crowded world, real estate is the ultimate scarce resource, and a headphone is a small invisible fence around our minds — making space, creating separation, helping us listen to ourselves.""
Biotech

+ - 145 DNA 'drawing' turns single strands into letters and emoticons->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Scientists have developed a way to carve shapes from DNA canvases, including all the letters of the Roman alphabet, emoticons and an eagle’s head. The shapes were made from single strands of DNA just 42 letters long.
Peng Yin of Harvard Medical School, the leader of the study (abstract), says that “any technological applications are highly speculative”. But he thinks he could create DNA tiles using L-DNA, a mirror-image form of the classic double helix that is not found in nature. Such structures might be useful for designing nano-scale devices for delivering drugs, especially because they would be less likely to be broken down by DNA-cutting enzymes or trigger an immune reaction.
The new technique represents a step forward from DNA origami, which uses much longer strands and smaller DNA staples to hold the strand in place."

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Power

+ - 180 Is a 'Net Zero' Data Center Possible? ->

Submitted by miller60
miller60 (554835) writes "HP Labs is developing a concept for a "net zero" data center — a facility that combines on-site solar power, fresh air cooling and advanced workload scheduling to operate with no net energy from the utility grid. HP is testing its ideas in a small data center in Palo Alto with a 134kW solar array and four ProLiant servers. The proof-of-concept confronts challenges often seen in solar implementations, including the array’s modest capacity and a limited window of generation hours – namely, when the sun shines. HP's approach focuses on boosting server utilization, juggling critical and non-critical loads, and making the most of every hour of solar generation. Can this concept work at scale?"
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Programming

+ - 181 Can Machine Learning Replace Focus Groups?->

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "In a blog post, Steve Hanov explains how 20 lines of code can outperform A/B testing. Using an example from one of his own sites, Hanov reports a green button outperformed orange and white buttons. Why don't people use this method? Because most don't understand or trust machine learning algorithms, mainstream tools don't support it, and maybe because bad design will sometimes win."
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Botnet

+ - 133 White House Announces Initiative to Fight Botnets->

Submitted by
benfrog
benfrog writes "ISPs and financial-services companies would share data about computers made into botnets under a pilot program announced today by the Obama administration. From the article: "the voluntary principles include coordinating across sectors and addressing the problem globally." The White House is also backing a bill proposed by Joe Lieberman that would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of cybersecurity of vital systems such as power grids and transportation networks."
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+ - 160 Technicolor sets sites on Apple et al->

Submitted by Master Moose
Master Moose (1243274) writes "When Apple's next iPhone hits store shelves, Technicolor's engineers will rush to get the handset — not to make calls or play games, but to rip it apart.

Technicolor, an unprofitable French company that invented the process for colour movies used in The Wizard of Oz and countless other classics, plans to cash in on its 40,000 video, audio and optics patents to turn its fortunes around.

Although Technicolor signed its first licensing deal in the 1950s, de Russe (executive vice-president of intellectual property at Technicolor) said, "it feels like the rest of the world has just woken up to why patents are interesting".

Patent licensing is the most profitable business of the company."

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+ - 113 VA Governor Wants Military Drones for Police-> 1

Submitted by Screen404-O
Screen404-O (1174697) writes "During radio interview ( http://wtop.com/120/2882193/Gov-Drones-over-Va-great-cites-battlefield-success ) VA Governor suggest that "Police drones flying over Virginia would be "great" and "the right thing to do" for the same reasons they are so effective in a battlefield environment,..."

Is this the next step toward militarizing our law enforcement with the ever present "eye in the sky"? What are the privacy implications?"

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Google

+ - 187 Sergey Brin Demos Google Glasses Prototype->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Folks have been clamoring for more on Google's Project Glass and Sergey Brin--one of the co-founders of Google is now burying himself in the R&D department associated with its development. Recently Brin appeared on “The Gavin Newsom Show” on The Current with the prototype glasses perched on his face. The visit was actually a bit awkward as you can see in the video, as it’s a lot of Brin and Newsom describing what they’re seeing via the glasses with no visual for the audience. However, Brin dropped a bomb when he stated that he’d like to have the glasses out as early as next year."
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Microsoft

+ - 173 Microsoft's Office 365 for Government Heralds New Google Fight->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "In a bid to expand the reach of its cloud services, Microsoft has introduced Office 365 for Government, which features the same cloud-based productivity tools as Office 365 but stores data in a segregated community cloud. Google and Microsoft have been locked in vicious battle over the past few years to score cloud contracts for government agencies."
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Technology

+ - 156 The Poor Waste Their Time on Digital Entertainment-> 1

Submitted by polyphydont
polyphydont (2587221) writes "Children of parents with low social status are less able to resist the temptations of technological entertainment, a fact that impedes their education and adds to the obstacles such children face in obtaining financial comfort later in life. As explained in the article, poor parents and their children often waste both their time and money on heavily marketed entertainment systems. Such families often accumulate PC's, gaming consoles and smart phones, but use them only for nonconstructive activities."
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+ - 101 Cyber Security is Booming!->

Submitted by braindrainbahrain
braindrainbahrain (874202) writes "It must be great to be in cyber security! First, Lockheed Martin announces the win of a half billion dollar contract providing cyber security services to several government agencies. At the same time, a senior adviser for innovation at the State Department, has a piece of advice for students : "If any college student asked me what career would most assure 30 years of steady, well-paying employment...I would respond, cyber security.". The latter article goes on to discuss the shortage of cyber security professionals, how the government needs to hire at least 10,000 experts in the near future, and how the NSF is trying to promote an interest in computer science at the high school level.

So, for cyber security experts out there: Is this field really all roses? Do you get frequent calls from recruiters? Big raises? Retention bonuses? Or is this all a bunch of hooey?"

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Databases

+ - 140 Google's F1 - Scalable Alternative to MySQL ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Google has moved its advertising services from MySQL to a new database, created in-house, called F1. The new system combines the best of NoSQL and SQL approaches.
The store is dynamically sharded, supports replication across data centers while keeping transactions consistent, and can deal with data center outages without losing data. The downside of keeping the transactions consistent means F1 has higher write latencies compared to MySQL, so the team restructured the database schemas and redeveloped the applications so the effect of the increased latency is mainly hidden from external users. Because F1 is distributed, Google says it scales easily and can support much higher throughput for batch workloads than a traditional database."

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