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Science

+ - 135 Study Boils Water Without Bubbles->

Submitted by
SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ writes "Scientists at Northwestern University have successfully found a way to boil water with the absence of bubbles. How they did it was use a 'specially engineered coated surface can create a stable vapor cushion between the surface and a hot liquid and eliminate the bubbles that are created during boiling'. The study was founded on the Leidenfrost effect ; which explains that when droplets of water are put onto a hot skillet, they will bounce and float on top of a slim vapor film layer. In the new experiment the researchers made the 'surface of tiny steel spheres very water-repellant. The spheres were sprayed with a commercially available hydrophobic coating. When the steel spheres were heated to 400 degrees Celsius and dropped into room temperature water, water vapors formed in the valleys of the textured surface, creating a stable Leidenfrost vapor film that did not collapse once the spheres cooled to the temperature of boiling water. In the experiments, researchers completely avoided the bubbly phase of boiling.' It is hoped that this new method of water heating will make industrial work safer and more efficient in the future. The study was publish in the journal Nature (linked here)."
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Music

+ - 94 Greatest hits: When space and music collide->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "It seems that space travel and music have been forever linked and a number of artists from the recent Will.i.am song from the Mars Curiosity rover to country legend Buck Owens on Apollo, many artists have written or performed specific music for many different NASA and other space agencies world-wide. Here we take a look and in some cases a listen to some of the greatest space-music collaborations."
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+ - 262 Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on Samsung patent verdict->

Submitted by dgharmon
dgharmon (2564621) writes "“I hate it,” Wozniak told Bloomberg in Shanghai today, referring to the patent battle. “I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it — very small things I don’t really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.”"
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Math

+ - 114 What Are the Odds of Another 9/11 Event?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Statisticians make predictions about all kinds of phenomena governed by power laws, everything from earthquakes, forest fires and avalanches to epidemics, the volume of email and even the spread of rumors. Now "This Week" reports that two statisticians — Aaron Clauset at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico and Ryan Woodward at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology — have put together a comprehensive global database including 13,274 terrorist events from 1968 to 2007 and created an algorithm to predict the odds of a large-scale terrorist attack with similar or greater consequences happening again. They estimated that the historical probability of an attack on 9/11's scale happening at anytime in the last 40 years was somewhere between 11 and 35 percent. "That's important," says Technology Review. "It means that 9/11 itself was not at all unlikely given the pattern of terrorist activity leading up to it." Assuming that the number of terrorists events per year remains roughly what it is now (2000 per year), the likelihood of another large-scale terrorist attack anywhere in the world (with a death toll greater than or equivalent to 9/11) is between 20 and 50 percent over the next decade (PDF). A 50-50 chance, the top of that range, means "a catastrophic attack is as likely as not.""
Piracy

+ - 179 French Court Levies First Fine Under 3-Strikes Piracy Law-> 1

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "In the first trial resulting from the controversial three-strikes copyright law, a French court on Thursday fined a man €150 for failing to secure his Internet connection. His negligence led to the illegal download of files, including 2 Rihanna songs that were downloaded by his wife."
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Iphone

+ - 110 Is iPhone Battery Usefulness On The Decline?->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Every time a company rolls out a new version of a product, it extols how much better it is than the previous version. Thus, Apple spent a part of its iPhone 5 rollout touting the staying power of the latest version of its battery. But have iPhone batteries really seen improvement since the original came out in '07? Kevin Purdy crunches the number and concludes that, whiile the 5's battery beats the 4S's, we still haven't returned to the capabilities of the original phone."
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Security

+ - 180 DHS Gets Public Comment Whether It Wants It Or Not-> 2

Submitted by OverTheGeicoE
OverTheGeicoE (1743174) writes "The motion to force DHS to start its public comment period is still working its way through the court (DHS: 'we're not stonewalling!', EPIC: 'yes you are!'). While we wait for the decision, Cato Institute's Jim Harper points out another way for the public to comment on body scanners, tsacomment.com. Even before this site existed, of course, the government was receiving public comment anyway in the form of passenger complaint letters, which they buried in their files. Even so, the public can get a chance to view those comments as the result of Freedom of Information Act requests. An FOIA request about pat-downs by governmentattic.org yielded hundreds of pages of letters to the government from 2010, including frequent reports of pat-down induced PTSD and sexual abuse trauma."
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Android

+ - 261 Google Threatened Acer with Banishment from Android-> 1

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating "if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer." Possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
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Data Storage

+ - 97 Ask Slashdot: Best storage solution for a modern media server? 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm building a media server for ripping my excessive collection of audio CDs, but I'm having trouble deciding how I should set up my storage. I want some kind of nominal protection against a drive death to save me the hassle of re-ripping in the event of a failure, but I feel like all the usual suspects (raid 5, unraid, flexraid, etc) take almost as long to rebuild as it would take me to just re-rip. Are there better solutions these days, or should I just say screw it and go JBOD?"
Government

+ - 192 The TPP, it is as bad as you think it is->

Submitted by
Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace writes "The TPP is not just another horrible trade agreement. According this this article by Laurel Sutherlin it is a huge corporate power grab: Meet the TPP: A Worldwide Corporate Power Grab of Enormous Proportions

The TPP is called a "trade agreement,' but in actuality it is a long-dreamed-of template for implementing a binding system of global corporate governance as bold as anything the world's wealthiest elite has attempted before. Of the 26 chapters under negotiation, only a few have to do directly with trade. The other chapters enshrine new rights and privileges for major corporations while weakening the power of nation states to oppose them. The TPP essentially proposes to establish a parallel system of justice where companies can sue countries in a tribunal of judges composed of unaccountable international trade lawyers with little to no process for appeal.

Say goodbye to due process of law. Draft texts of the proposal have appeared on Wikileaks and the website of Citizen's Trade Campaign. The EFF has an overview of the TPP."
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Canada

+ - 143 Canadian musician fined $1200 for pennies on album cover->

Submitted by silentbrad
silentbrad (1488951) writes "The National Post reports: "The [Royal Canadian] Mint recently issued a warning to Halifax-based folk music singer Dave Gunning — whose upcoming album depicts pennies on both the front and back cover — that he has violated the government’s copyright on the currency. Most of us have probably never thought of inspecting our money in great detail, but Canadian bills do indeed contain a copyright notice in the lower right corner, and coins are covered under the same provisions. The album, entitled No More Pennies, includes lyrics about the coin and features a man sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of pennies strewn across the counter on its front cover. On the back is a picture of a giant penny falling below the horizon like a sunset. The Mint says it will not charge Mr. Gunning a fee for the first 2,000 albums he produces, but will levy a charge of $1,200 for the next 2,000 copies — a cost this struggling artist says he cannot afford. According to one government bureaucrat, however, the Mint is helping 'this guy out by giving him a break.' ... 'It is pennies to them but is pretty substantial for me,' said Mr. Gunning, who has launched a 'Penny Drive' to try and raise the money to pay this unexpected tax. ... The Canadian dollar is not the only major currency protected by copyright — the British Pound and the Euro also feature copyright notices. But the idea that the government can own the copyright on its works is a concept that’s completely foreign to Americans and citizens of many other countries. Under this country’s Copyright Act, all government works 'belong to Her Majesty' and remain copyrighted 'for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.' This is known as 'Crown Copyright,' which is different from how public works are handled in countries such as the United States, where government documents are automatically put into the public domain.""
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+ - 183 Law Allowing Indefinite Military Detention of Citizens Ruled Unconstitutional->

Submitted by cathector
cathector (972646) writes "The offending section of the NDAA, signed by Obama on New Year's Eve last year, grants the government the power to put citizens in military detention indefinitely and without the usual recourse to civil courts. ...
Judge Katherine Forrest, a recent Obama appointee to the federal bench, ... granted a preliminary injunction of the offending sections of the law."

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KDE

+ - 183 NVIDIA Graphics With KDE-Ubuntu Compete With Windows, Not Unity->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The NVIDIA Linux driver across multiple GeForce graphics cards can compete with Microsoft Windows 7 on Ubuntu, but only when using the KDE desktop and not the default Unity/Compiz. It turns out based upon recent desktop environment benchmarking, Ubuntu's Unity desktop is now noticeably slower than GNOME/KDE/Xfce/LXDE with multiple GPUs/drivers. Sam Spilsbury of Canonical/Compiz acknowledges the problem but it may take longer than one Ubuntu cycle to correct."
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Science

+ - 158 The Physics of the 'Levitating' Slinky

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Robert Krulwich writes at NPR that there's a new science video making the rounds that has people saying "somebody doctored this footage. This can't be." In the video Derek Muller from the Australian science video website Veritasium takes a Slinky and holds it from the top with his hand then releases the lower part so it will slink down to its full extension, elongating, and come to a dangling rest. Now the professor will release the top of the slinky while they record run the footage at 300 frames a second (video). "Now comes the miracle. If you keep your eye on the bottom of the Slinky, on the last curl at the very end, you will notice that as the top of the Slinky starts to fall, the bottom doesn't drop. It just hangs in the air, levitating, as if it had its own magic carpet. It will stay there, hovering quietly, until a wave, or signal, passing through the Slinky finally reaches it," writes Krulwich. "Apparently, the bottom doesn't know it's supposed to fall, so it sits there, seeming to defy gravity, until the very end." According to a paper by physicists R. C. Cross and M. S. Wheatland the fall of the slinky illustrates the physics of a tension spring, and more generally wave propagation in a spring where because of tension in the spring, the bottom of the slinky cannot begin to fall until the top collides with it (PDF)."
News

+ - 126 New Humanlike Monkey Is Only Second New Primate in 28 Years

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "A new species of monkey has been described in the still-mysterious rainforests in the central of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Researchers said that it’s only the second new monkey species discovered in 28 years.

According to a paper published in PLoS One, the Lesula monkey (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) is a novel species of guenon monkeys, which are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. Lesulas are medium-sized, slim monkeys with long arms and legs, and are notable for their surprisingly blond facial hair and incredibly human-like faces.

Prior surveys have shown that the region is incredibly biodiverse with respect to primate, with “11 species or distinctive subspecies of anthropoid primates” in the region. The discovery that lesulas are themselves a distinct species adds credence to the fact that the region is a primate hotspot, and the study authors note that the region needs an appropriate conservation strategy to protect that biodiversity."

+ - 158 Prove your IT knowledge without expensive certificates?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm starting my phd in psychology this year and plan to finance this period with IT freelance work, mostly building websites with drupal and setting up linux networks, servers etc.. Now I have a little problem: Since I never studied ICT nor followed a course that resulted in a certificate I can only prove my knowledge by actually doing stuff or showing what I've done so far. Unfortunately that isn't always sufficient to convince potential customers. So I was wondering what other slashdotters do, are there any free or cheap alternatives to get certificates or other more convincing ways to prove your IT knowledge?

Thanks for any help in advance!"
Facebook

+ - 180 Eolas Sues Again - This Time, Facebook, Disney And Wal-Mart->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Eolas, which claims to have patented key aspects to web browsers, is suing again, this time targetting Facebook, Disney and Wal-Mart for infringing hypertext patents. Eolas settled with Microsoft and has sold licences to other players — but two of the four patents in this case have previously been delcared invalid."
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Data Storage

+ - 174 WD Builds Light, High Capacity, Helium-filled HDDs ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Western Digital subsidiary HGST today announced that after 10 years of development it is preparing to release 3.5-in data center-class HDDs that are hermetically sealed with helium inside. The helium reduces drag and wind turbulence created by the spinning platters, all but eliminating track misregistration that has become a major issue to increasing drive density in recent years. Because of that, HGST will be able to add two more platters along with increasing the tracks per inch, which results in a 40% capacity increase. The drives will also use 23% less power because of the reduction of friction on the spindle. HGST said the new seven-platter helium drives will weigh 29% less per terabyte of capacity that today's five-platter drives. In other words, a seven-platter helium disk will weigh 690 grams, the same as today's five-platter drives."
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Botnet

+ - 173 Microsoft Disrupts Nitol Botnet->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Having procured permission from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit managed to disrupt more than 500 different strains of malware in a bid to slow down the threats posed by the Nitol botnet. Microsoft, through an operation codenamed b70 [PDF], discovered that Chinese retailers were involved in selling of computers with pirated version of Windows loaded with malware. Microsoft believes that the malware could have entered the supply chain at any point for the simple reason that a computer travels among companies that transport and resell the computer. The Windows 8 maker carried out a study [PDF] which was focused on the Nitol botnet through which it found that nearly 20 per cent of the all the PCs that were purchased through unsecure Chinese supply chain were infected with malware."
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Crime

+ - 151 BMW Cars Vulnerable to Blank Key Attack->

Submitted by
Techmeology
Techmeology writes "Thieves have discovered how to steal BMW cars produced since 2006 by using the onboard computer that is able to program blank keys. The device used — originally intended for use by garages — is able to reprogram the key to start the engine in around three minutes. The blank keys, and reprogramming devices, have made their way onto the black market and are available for purchase over the Internet."
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