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United States

+ - 136 Obama Administration Silences IT Layoff Notices 4

Submitted by CubicleZombie
CubicleZombie (2590497) writes "As part of last year's U.S. federal debt increase deal, the Department of Defense will take a $55 billion budget cut on January 2nd. That's a lot of IT jobs. By law, companies are required to give 60 days notice before mass layoffs. Only this time, they're not, because the Obama administration has directed companies to ignore the law and has pledged tax dollars to cover their legal defense. These notices would have come out days before the November election."
Biotech

+ - 137 ROSALIND: an addictive bioinformatics learning site->

Submitted by Shipud
Shipud (685171) writes "Bioinformatics science which deals with the study of methods for storing, retrieving and analyzing molecular biology data. Byte Size Biology writes about ROSALIND, a cool concept in learning bioinformatics, similar to Project Euler. You are given problems of increasing difficulty to solve. Start with nucleotide counting (trivial) and end with genome assembly (putting it mildly, not so trivial). To solve a problem, you download a sample data set, write your code and debug it. Once you think you are ready, you have a time limit to solve and provide an answer for the actual problem dataset. If you mess up, there is a timed new dataset to download. This thing is coder-addictive. Currently in Beta, but a lot of fun and seems stable."
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Microsoft

+ - 172 Give Your Computer Interface the Finger, Literally->

Submitted by moon_unit2
moon_unit2 (2573409) writes "Tech Review has a story about a startup that's developed software capable of tracking not just hand movements but precise finger gestures. The setupm from 3Gear, requires two depth-sensing cameras (aka Kinects) at the top corners of your display. Then simply give your computer thumbs up — or whatever other gesture you might feel like — and it'll know what you're doing. The software is available for free while the product is in beta testing, if you want to give it a try. The story also includes a cool video."
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Earth

+ - 138 Climate Change May Shrink Fish

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that researchers have modeled the impact of rising temperatures on more than 600 species between 2001 and 2050 and concluded that fish body size may shrink in size by up to 24% because of global warming. The researchers built a model to see how fish would react to relatively small changes in temperatures at the bottom of the oceans using data from one of the higher emissions scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and found the resulting impacts on fish body size are unexpectedly large. "Rising temperatures directly increase the metabolic rate of the fish's body function," says lead author, Dr. William Cheung, from the University of British Columbia. "This leads to an increase in oxygen demand for normal body activities. So the fish will run out of oxygen for growth at a smaller body size." About half of this shrinkage is due to change in distribution and abundance, the remainder to changes in physiology and the tropical and intermediate latitudinal areas will be heavily impacted, with an average reduction of more than 20%. Dr Alan Baudron, from the University of Aberdeen, UK, has studied changes in the growth of haddock in the North Sea and believes rising temperatures could have negative implications for the yields of fisheries and could also seriously impact the ability of fish to reproduce, "Smaller individuals produce fewer and smaller eggs which could affect the reproductive potential of fish stocks and could potentially reduce their resilience to other factors such as fishing pressure and pollution.""
NASA

+ - 170 Warp Drive Looks More Promising Than Ever in Recent NASA Studies->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The first steps towards interstellar travel have been taken, but the stars are very far away. Voyager 1 is about 17 light-hours distant from Earth and is traveling with a velocity of 0.006 percent of light speed, meaning it will take about 17,000 years to travel one light-year. Fortunately, the elusive "warp drive" now appears to be evolving past difficulties with new theoretical advances and a NASA test rig under development to measure artificially generated warping of space-time."
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Data Storage

+ - 165 Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope Of Alien Retrieval-> 1

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "The problem: What do you leave behind that billions of years from now, and without context, would give aliens an some kind of accurate depiction of mankind. The answer: A gold-plated silicon disc with just 100 photos. That's the idea behind The Last Pictures project, which is scheduled to blast off in the next few months from Kazakhstan and orbit the earth for 5 billion years. The photos, etched into the silicon using a bitmap format, were chosen over a five-year process that involved interviews with artists, philosophers, and MIT scientists, who included biologists, physicists, and astronomers. To each, was posed a single question: What photos would you choose to send into outer space? The answer became an eclectic mix of images from pre-historic cave paintings to a photo of a group of people taken by a predator drone."
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Government

+ - 141 Senate report: post-9/11 intelligence out of control->

Submitted by wdef
wdef (1050680) writes "A US Senate report has concluded that a multibillion-dollar intelligence program — set up by the Dept of Homeland Security in the wake of 9/11 — targeted innocent civillians, produced very little useful data and has ballooned out of all control. This is despite predictable feeding-frenzy spending on big screens, data mining software and Chevrolet Tahoes. Why build one when you can have two at twice the price? Note the US Senate decides to look at this across the safe political interval of 10 years."
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Government

+ - 126 French science dodges austerity->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Bucking a trend of cutting science seen elsewhere, the French government has committed to increasing spending on research and development in its draft austerity budget for 2013. France's education and research ministry gets a 2.2% boost under the proposed budget, giving it a budget of just under €23 billion (US$29 billion). Most other ministeries get a cut. The upshot of the cash increase is that 1,000 new university posts will be created, no publicly funded research jobs will be cut and funding for research grants will rise (albeit less than inflation) by 1.2% to €7.86 billion.
The move to spend on science during a recession is notable and means that French politicians understand that a sustainable commitment to public spending on science is vital for long-term economic growth.
The situation is in stark contrast to that in the US and in the UK, where a recent policy to boost hi-tech industries, unveiled with much fanfare, failed to do much for science. Meanwhile, in Australia, there's alarm over proposals to freeze research grants— a step that could jeopardise 1700 jobs."

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NASA

+ - 153 Scramjets - Boeing's X-51A rides the supersonic wave->

Submitted by tomkane
tomkane (2743499) writes "The Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, thought to be capable of speeds in excess of five-times the speed of sound and even spaceflight, has long been theorised as a potential engine for future aircraft. Boeing’s X-51A Waverider is beginning to prove that the use of scramjet engines can be more than just theoretical!"
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+ - 243 Intelligence effort named citizens, not terrorists->

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes.

The lengthy, bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism.

Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don't know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent. Despite that, Congress is unlikely to pull the plug. That's because, whether or not it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments."

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+ - 180 Our drugs are tested on Russians

Submitted by menno_h
menno_h (2670089) writes "According to BoingBoing it's so difficult to get access to modern health care in Russia that the country is becoming a haven for medical testing — there are more people there willing to be guinea pigs for more stuff simply because they have no other way to see a doctor. This is one of those fun dilemmas where medical testing is necessary, but hard to talk wealthy, healthy people into if they already have access to health care. The result: Drugs and treatments get tried out, voluntarily, on whoever is most desperate."
Apple

+ - 214 Samsung Seeks New Trial, Accuses Foreman Hogan Of Implied Bias->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Samsung is demanding new trial accusing foreman Hogan of not being truthful to the court. Hogan did not disclose about his court battle with Seagate, a company Samsung helped last year by purchasing its hard drive unit. Hogan was once sued by Seagate for not paying the sum he owed to the company. Hogan chose to file for personal bankruptcy instead of paying back to Seagate. Hogan seems to have genuine reasons to hate Samsung in addition to all the 'things' he did to mislead the jury. Samsung says in its filing that "Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning and that would have triggered a motion to strike for cause or a peremptory strike.""
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Piracy

+ - 182 Will 3D Printing be legislated out of existence?->

Submitted by
high_rolla
high_rolla writes "3D printing is starting to pick up pace. There's no doubt that once it improves to a certain level and reaches a certain price point it has the potential to change the world and impact on many different market segments. Just as the entertainment industry is fighting heavily to protect their outdated business model through legislation, do you reckon that manufacturers and many others that could be in danger from 3d printing will start to push for legislation to heavily restrict and control their usage? We've already seen the potential to print weapons such as guns. Will events like this really just play right into their hands? Or do you foresee a different future?"
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AMD

+ - 165 As AMD stuggles, Intel CPU prices stagnate->

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "Over the past few years, AMD's desktop processors have struggled to keep up with Intel's. AMD has slashed prices to make its chips more appealing, but Intel has largely held firm. Three years of historical data shows that Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena, and it's been great for Intel's gross margin. Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers."
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The Military

+ - 124 DARPA opens registrations for for first FANG challenge->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Earlier this year, DARPA revealed it was embracing the crowdsourcing model to develop a new amphibious infantry vehicle known as the FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle). Now designers and engineers with expertise in drivetrain and mobility systems who wouldn’t mind an extra US$1 million lining their pockets can express their interest with DARPA now opening registrations for the first of three planned challenges that will kick off in January 2013."
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Network

+ - 106 What to do about a remote port scan from an internal PC? 1

Submitted by aclockedtigersitup
aclockedtigersitup (2009106) writes "A recent firewall log revealed a computer on a network I maintain was performing and remote port scan. The IP of the destination of the scan was in a foreign country, and the port was in the "unknown" port range. A firewall policy was created that blocks all traffic in and out from the CIDR range of this country, and logging was turned on. Beyond that, what can I do and what should I be looking for?
Thanks"

+ - 171 The Day I Blundered Into The Nuclear Facility-> 1

Submitted by
Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens writes "I found myself alone in a room, in front of a deep square or rectangular pool of impressively clear, still water. There was a pile of material at the bottom of the pool, and a blue glow of Cherenkov radiation in the water around it. To this day, I can't explain how an unsupervised kid could ever have gotten in there."
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Apple

+ - 194 Samsung's Claims of Juror Misconduct Revealed in Unredacted Filings ->

Submitted by zaphod777
zaphod777 (1755922) writes "Samsung has now filed an unredacted version [PDF] of its motion for judgment as a matter of law, a new trial, and/or remittitur. That's the one that was originally filed with a redacted section we figured out was about the foreman, Velvin Hogan. The judge ordered it filed unsealed, and so now we get to read all about it.
It's pretty shocking to see the full story. I understand now why Samsung tried to seal it. They call Mr. Hogan untruthful in voir dire (and I gather in media interviews too), accuse him of "implied bias" and of tainting the process by introducing extraneous "evidence" of his own during jury deliberations, all of which calls, Samsung writes, for an evidentiary hearing and a new trial with an unbiased jury as the cure.

Were you wondering how Samsung found out about the lawsuit that Hogan failed to mention in voir dire, the litigation between Seagate and Hogan that Samsung dug up? Apple was, as I'll show you. You wouldn't believe it if it was in a movie script. The lawyer who sued Mr. Hogan on behalf of Seagate back in 1993 is now married to a partner at Quinn Emanuel, the lawyers for Samsung.

What are the odds?"

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