Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

+ - 181 Oops! Sorry, we got it all wrong, IMF says-> 1

Submitted by daem0n1x
daem0n1x (748565) writes "Ireland, Greece and Portugal have been under draconian austerity measures after they have been forced to ask financial rescue from the IMF, in the aftermath of the 2008 bank crash. The results of these austerity measures are well known: Recession, unemployment and general social and economic meltdown.
After all this pain and suffering, the IMF suddenly finds a gigantic flaw in the formulas used to calculate the economic effects of austerity.
Well, at least they stepped forward to recognise they screwed up. But is it in still time for European and global economies to recover?
How is it possible that worldwide economic policies be conducted by such flawed systems? Numerous economists have been warning about this for years, but they faced deaf ears. Sounds familiar? Yes, just like before the subprime bubble bust."

Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - 201 The half-life of DNA - seems that Jurassic Park was impossible->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Few researchers have given credence to claims that samples of dinosaur DNA have survived to the present day, but no one knew just how long it would take for genetic material to fall apart. Now, a study of fossils found in New Zealand is laying the matter to rest — and putting paid to hopes of cloning a Tyrannosaurus rex.

After cell death, enzymes start to break down the bonds between the nucleotides that form the backbone of DNA, and micro-organisms speed the decay. In the long run, however, reactions with water are thought to be responsible for most bond degradation. Groundwater is almost ubiquitous, so DNA in buried bone samples should, in theory, degrade at a set rate.

Determining that rate has been difficult because it is rare to find large sets of DNA-containing fossils with which to make meaningful comparisons. To make matters worse, variable environmental conditions such as temperature, degree of microbial attack and oxygenation alter the speed of the decay process.

By comparing the specimens' ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone; and so on."

Link to Original Source
Google

+ - 123 Google+ deletes WNBA champion team page, says "start over"->

Submitted by
__roo
__roo writes "Marketingland.com reports that on Sunday, the 2011 WNBA Champions Minnesota Lynx found that their page, along with their 30,000+ fans, disappeared from Google+ just after winning the Western Conference championship and advancing to the finals. According to the Bob Stanke, the team's Director of Interactive Services, Google+ told them to "start over," despite the fact that they were early Google+ adopters. An update to the article points out that the page seems to be back, but the followers may have been lost."
Link to Original Source
Cloud

+ - 127 The Cloud Will Expand Human Brain Capacity: Kurzweil->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Futurist and author Ray Kurzweil predicts the cloud will eventually do more than store our emails or feed us streaming movies on demand: it’s going to help expand our brain capacity beyond its current limits.

In a question-and-answer session following a speech to the DEMO technology conference in Santa Clara, California last week, Kurzweil described the human brain as impressive but limited in its capacity to hold information. “By the time we’re even 20, we’ve filled it up,” he said, adding that the only way to add information after that point is to “repurpose our neocortex to learn something new.” (Computerworld has posted up the full video of the talk.)

The solution to overcoming the brain’s limitations, he added, involves “basically expanding our brains into the cloud.”"

Link to Original Source
China

+ - 154 Apple Maps Accidentally Reveals Secret Military Base In Taiwan->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "After one Taiwanese newspaper snapped and printed a satellite photo of a top-secret military base from the new Maps application running on an iPhone 5, the defense ministry of Taiwan on Tuesday publicly requested Apple blur the sensitive images of the country’s classified military installations. The top-secret radar base, located in the northern county of Hsinchu, contains a highly-advanced ultra-high-frequency long-range radar that military officials say can detect missiles launched as far away as the city of Xinjiang, which is located in northwest China. The radar system was obtained via US-based defense group Raytheon in 2003, and is still being constructed with hopes to be completed by the end of this year. “Regarding images taken by commercial satellites, legally we can do nothing about it,” said David Lo, the spokesman of Taiwan's defense ministry, in a statement to reporters. “But we’ll ask Apple to lower the resolution of satellite images of some confidential military establishments the way we’ve asked Google in the past.”"
Link to Original Source
China

+ - 151 Counterfeit Air Bag Racket Blows Up 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Joan Lowry reports that that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has alerted the auto repair industry that tens of thousands of car owners may be driving vehicles with counterfeit air bags that fail to inflate properly or don't inflate at all and although no deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, but it's unclear whether police accident investigators would be able to identify a counterfeit bag from a genuine one. The counterfeit bags typically have been made to look like air bags made by automakers and usually include a manufacturer's logo but government investigators believe many of the bags come from China. Auto dealerships that operate their own body shops are usually required by their franchise agreements to buy their parts, including air bags, directly from automakers and therefore are unlikely to have installed counterfeit bags but only 37 percent of auto dealers have their own body shops so many consumers whose vehicles have been damaged are referred by their insurance companies to auto body shops that aren't affiliated with an automaker. Safety officials will warn millions of Americans that the air bags in over 100 vehicle models could be dangerous counterfeits, telling them to have their cars and trucks inspected as soon as possible. Dai Zhensong, a Chinese citizen, had the counterfeit air bags manufactured by purchasing genuine auto air bags that were torn down and used to produce molds to manufacture the counterfeit bags. Trademark emblems were purchased through dealerships located in China and affixed to the counterfeit air bags which were then advertised on the Guangzhou Auto Parts website and sold for approximately $50 to $70 each, far below the value of an authentic air bag. The NHTSA has made a list of automobiles available that may be at risk for having counterfeit air bags."
Space

+ - 190 Investigation into solar storm sat-nav disruption->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Scientists in the Arctic have launched an urgent investigation into how solar storms can disrupt sat-nav.

Studies have revealed how space weather can cut the accuracy of GPS by tens of metres. Flares from the Sun interact with the upper atmosphere and can distort the signals from global positioning satellites.

The project is under way at a remote observatory on a windswept mountainside in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in the High Arctic. The site was chosen for its isolation from electronic pollution and for its position in relation to the Earth's magnetic field which flows from space down towards the far North."

Link to Original Source
Android

+ - 156 Smartphone companies are now entering a phase of Mutually Assured Destruction->

Submitted by Tryfen
Tryfen (216209) writes "As patent trials rage across the globe, it has become clear that smartphone companies are engaged in Mutually Assured Destruction. What's the endgame here? Do they all capitulate and cross-licence their patents? Are they forced to buy patents and pass the costs onto customers? Will companies withdraw — voluntarily or otherwise — from the smartphone space?"
Link to Original Source
GNU is Not Unix

+ - 97 MediaGoblin partners with FSF on fundraiser to decentralize media publishing->

Submitted by
paroneayea
paroneayea writes "MediaGoblin and the FSF team up to decentralize media publishing! MediaGoblin, a free software, decentralized alternative to web services like Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc, and has made a lot of progress, but needs more direct (financial) help to fully realize its dream. Read more on the mediagoblin blog or check out this excellent article by Bruce Byfield in Linux Pro Magazine."
Link to Original Source
Android

+ - 173 An iPhone user shows how to switch to Android->

Submitted by
GMGruman
GMGruman writes "In the last year, Android smartphones have significantly improved, while the iPhone's improvements have gotten incremental. So iPhone users may now seriously consider getting an Android device. This how-to shows how someone in the Apple ecosystem — Macs, iPads, Apple TV, etc. — can bring an Android smartphone into the mix. Surprisingly, it turns out that Android can work with much of the Apple ecosystem, such as iCloud, with a few apps and a little savvy."
Link to Original Source

+ - 191 Intelligence agencies turn to crowdsourcing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "IARPA — the sister agency to DARPA — is sponsoring researchers to examine crowdsourcing as a method to derive better intelligence predictions. The article says that this research will eventually be transitioned to the intelligence community to improve national intelligence estimates. Anyone can participate — even the general public. www.globalcrowd.com"
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 103 Microsoft CEO Ballmer: We're a Devices and Services Company-> 1

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "And according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's latest shareholder letter (not exactly a gripping read), Microsoft sees itself as a “devices and services company.” The subsequent 1,200-odd words hammer that point, mentioning software such as Office and Windows 8 largely in the context of tablets and other hardware—and while Ballmer acknowledges the “vast ecosystem of partners” building a “broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones,” he leaves the door wide open to Microsoft building its own toys in-house.

If one takes Ballmer’s words at face value, it seems that Surface, the tablet Microsoft’s building in-house and promoting as a “flagship” Windows 8 device, isn’t so much a lark but the harbinger of the company’s future direction. Whether Microsoft’s decision to build its own devices affects its long-term relationship with Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other manufacturing titans remains to be seen. Perhaps Ballmer can take some comfort from Apple, which profited enormously by pursuing the “we build everything in-house” route. But it’s indisputable that a devices-centric approach is new ground for Microsoft."

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - 280 Confirmed: Germany Monitors Skype, Google Mail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook chat->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "German Government has went a bit too far trying to be transparent and has inadvertently revealed that German police monitors Skype, Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and Facebook chat as and when necessary. The revelations come as the German Government let out figures of expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of the Interior following a parliamentary inquiry, which were spotted by the annalist blog. The pages contain a whole lot of tables and as many would find those boring, some pages reveal something very startling. On page 34 and page 37 of the report line item 486 and 265 respectively, represent decoding software for Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, Yahoo Mail for prevention and investigation."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - 196 Government Censors Draft Snooping Laws->

Submitted by coolstoryhansel
coolstoryhansel (1827480) writes "Stating that release of the draft legislation is not in the public interest [PDF] because it would prejudice decision making processes already in train, the Attorney General's Department has denied the release of the draft laws that would see wide-scale dragnet surveillance implemented along with an expansion of law enforcement powers for the purposes of 'national security'.

Serkowski, speaking for the Pirate Party who lodged the FOI request labelled the Department response as "disgraceful and troubling" saying the decision is "completely trashing any semblance or notion of transparency or participative democratic process of policy development.""

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 107 Ballmer sees Microsoft becoming more like Apple->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "This from Reuters

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has signaled a new direction for the world's largest software company, pointing to hardware and online services as its future, taking a page from long-time rival Apple Inc.

Ballmer's comments in his annual letter to shareholders published on Tuesday suggested that Microsoft may eventually make its own phones to build on its forthcoming own-brand Surface tablet PC and market-leading Xbox gaming console.

"There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface," wrote Ballmer.

The new approach mimics Apple Inc, whose massively successful iPhone and iPad demonstrated tight integration of high-quality software and hardware and made Windows devices feel clunky in comparison."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 152 Geneticists to economists: You're racist!->

Submitted by scibri
scibri (2544842) writes "One side is accused of supporting ethnic cleansing; the other of being intellectually naive. Geneticists and economists are struggling to collaborate on research that explores how our genes influence and interact with economic behaviour.

Top economists are publishing a paper that claims a country’s genetic diversity can predict the success of its economy. To critics, the economists’ paper seems to suggest that a country’s poverty could be the result of its citizens’ genetic make-up, and the paper is attracting charges of genetic determinism, and even racism. But the economists say that they have been misunderstood, and are merely using genetics as a proxy for other factors that can drive an economy, such as history and culture."

Link to Original Source
ISS

+ - 140 Dragon captured: SpaceX's first ISS supply mission is a success->

Submitted by puddingebola
puddingebola (2036796) writes "From the aricle, "The SpaceX Dragon capsule has been successfully grabbed by the International Space Station, marking the first time a private American space flight has run a supply mission to the orbiting platform. The crew of the ISS snatched Dragon out of orbit ahead of schedule, using the space station’s robotic arm to guide the capsule in after its careful approach."

NASA has also posted video of the docking."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 95 RSA splits passwords in two to foil hackers' attacks->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "A product that scrambles and then splits users' passwords in two before storing them on different computer servers has been unveiled by RSA.

The security firm says the facility offers better protection against hackers, who would only gain access to half a "randomised" password in the case of a successful attack.

The firm said the idea had been discussed by academics for some time.

However, one expert said it would only prevent a minority of attacks.

RSA's distributed credential protection (DCP) facility was announced at the company's annual European Conference in London. "DCP scrambles, randomises and splits sensitive credentials, passwords and Pins and the answers to life or challenge questions into two locations," said the firm's marketing mamanger Liz Robinson."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 165 The LED is 50 years old->

Submitted by
BoxRec
BoxRec writes "The light-emitting diode has brightened our lives for half a century — from lighting up the city streets at night, to decorating Christmas trees each December.
The LED started life in October 1962, as a single red illumination in a General Electric research lab in New York state.
Prof Nick Holonyak Jr from the University of Illinois, takes a look back at how it all began with his invention of the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode."

Link to Original Source

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

Working...