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Submission + - Nate Silver turns his eye to the American League (

Lasrick writes: Nate Silver is at it again. Here's a quote: "It might seem as if these statistics make Cabrera, the first triple crown winner in either league since 1967, a shoo-in for the M.V.P. But most statistically minded fans would prefer that it go to another player, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels."

Submission + - 'Rogue (wandering) planet' spotted 100 light-years away ( 1

Maow writes: "This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1,000 times the [area] of the full moon," said study co-author Etienne Artigau of the University of Montreal.

"We observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighbourhood."

This planet appears to be an astonishingly young 50-120 million years old.

The paper is published at

Here's hoping the Mayan End-of-World-2012 people don't seize upon this as some kind of impending rogue planet on a collision course with Earth, but one can expect it'll be bantered about on such forums.


Submission + - DARPA wants army of networked amateur astronomers to watch sky for space junk (

coondoggie writes: "There is really so much junk floating around in space the government needs help keeping track of it all. This week the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a program to utilize amateur astronomers to help watch space for any dangerous junk that maybe be threatening satellites or other spacecraft and even the Earth. If you have a telescope, great but the program will even install equipment if you are in a strategic area the government want to watch."

Submission + - Fukushima ocean radiation won't quit (

mdsolar writes: ""The Fukushima disaster caused by far the largest discharge of radioactivity into the ocean ever seen. A new model presented by scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts estimates that 16.2 petabecquerels (1015 becquerels) of radioactive caesium leaked from the plant — roughly the same amount that went into the atmosphere.

Most of that radioactivity dispersed across the Pacific Ocean, where it became diluted to extremely low levels. But in the region of the ocean near the plant, levels of caesium-137 have remained fixed at around 1,000 becquerels, a relatively high level compared to the natural background. Similarly, levels of radioactive caesium in bottom-dwelling fish remain pretty much unchanged more than 18 months after the accident."

The solution to pollution is not dilution...."

Data Storage

Submission + - Everspin launches non-volatile MRAM that's 500 times faster than NAND (

MrSeb writes: "Alternative memory standards have been kicking around for decades as researchers have struggled to find the hypothetical holy grail — a non-volatile, low-latency, low-cost product that could scale from hard drives to conventional RAM. NAND flash has become the high-speed, non-volatile darling of the storage industry, but if you follow the evolution of the standard, you’ll know that NAND is far from perfect. The total number of read/write cycles and data duration if the drive isn’t kept powered are both significant problems as process shrinks continue scaling downward. Thus far, this holy grail remains elusive, but a practical MRAM (Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory) solution took a step towards fruition this week. Everspin has announced that it’s shipping the first 64Mb ST-MRAM in a DDR3-compatible module. These modules transfer data at DDR3-1600 clock rates, but access latencies are much lower than flash RAM, promising an overall 500x performance increase over conventional NAND."

Submission + - NASA Security Breach (

Mephistophocles writes: If you work for NASA, you saw this memo sent to all agency employees yesterday afternoon:

"On October 31, 2012, a NASA laptop and official NASA documents issued to a Headquarters employee were stolen from the employee's locked vehicle. The laptop contained records of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) for a large number of NASA employees, contractors, and others. Although the laptop was password protected, it did not have whole disk encryption software, which means the information on the laptop could be accessible to unauthorized individuals. We are thoroughly assessing and investigating the incident, and taking every possible action to mitigate the risk of harm or inconvenience to affected employees."

Submission + - Firefox To Get Native Flash Support The Shumway Project (

sfcrazy writes: Mozilla has announced the Shunway project that aims to provide a free and open-source alternative to the Flash player. This project will enable Firefox users to view SWF files and other rich content in their browsers, even if Flash plugin isn't installed. The Shunway plugin is actually an HTML5 standalone module that renders flash.

Submission + - Customers Pressuring Software Vendors To Clean Up Their Apps (

ancientribe writes: Many large companies under regulatory pressures have been working on writing more secure code for their internal applications, but not all software vendors are doing the same. New data from Veracode and BSIMM shows that buyers are putting the squeeze on their software vendors to produce more secure applications. And guess what: the vendors are going along with it and having their apps vetted.

Submission + - Honda's "Micro Commuter" Features Swappable Bodies (

Zothecula writes: Further evidence of the coming fragmentation of personal transportation came today when Honda released details of the next iteration of its electric "Micro Commuter" prototype which we first saw at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The new version is close to production-ready, and concentrates the battery and functionality of the micro EV below the floor, enabling the vehicle's body to be easily changed to accommodate different functionality.

Submission + - Artificial Wombs in the near future? ( 3

DaemonDan writes: "The first successful pregnancy by IVF was accomplished over 50 years ago, essentially creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Many scientists are trying to take it one step farther with a 100% test tube baby brought to term in an artificial womb.

"Cornell University's Dr. Hung-Ching Liu has engineered endometrial tissues by prompting cells to grow in an artificial uterus. When Liu introduced a mouse embryo into the lab-created uterine lining, "It successfully implanted and grew healthy," she said in this New Atlantis Magazine article. Scientists predict the research could produce an animal womb by 2020, and a human model by early 2030s."

The author of the article seems to believe that birth via artificial wombs could become the new norm, but is it really feasible, desirable or even affordable for the majority of Earth's population?"


Submission + - Nokia to offer free maps app and service for rival handsets (

another random user writes: Nokia has unveiled plans to offer a free maps app on rivals' devices.

Here Maps will initially be released on Apple iOS devices offering downloadable street plans for offline use, and audio-based directions for pedestrians.

Nokia is also developing a version for Mozilla's forthcoming Firefox operating system, and will release software tools to allow third parties to make use of its data on Android devices.

The move is designed to help the firm compete against Google's rival product.


Submission + - Skype Halts Password Resets as Massive Security Hole Discovered (

An anonymous reader writes: A massive security hole has been found in Microsoft's Skype application, where it is possible to gain access to a user's account by knowing nothing more than their email address.

It is then possible to gain access to the target's account, change their password and associated email address, and lock them out for good, as any password reset requests by them will be sent to the new email address, not theirs.

UPDATE: Skype has since shut down its password reset tool while it investigates the issue. The company told IBTimes UK: "We have had reports of a new security vulnerability issue.


Submission + - Skype vulnerability allowing hijacking of any account ( 1

another random user writes: Skype vulnerability allowing hijacking of any account if you know just the email address.

All you need to do is register a new account using that email address, and even though that address is already used (and the registration process does tell you this) you can still complete the new account process and then sign in using that account.

Apologies in advance for the following reddit link, but it may be easier for some to read than the original Russian page.

Info about this on reddit, original post in Russian

Submission + - Former UK mining town hoping to crowdfund free WiFi service (

Qedward writes: Mansfield in Nottinghamshire could become the first UK town to crowdfund its own free Wi-Fi service.

The former mining town’s business improvement district (BID) hopes to use crowdfunding to create a Wi-Fi hotspot that spans its entire town centre.

Using, a web platform devoted to civic improvement, BID hopes to persuade local businesses to crowdfund £38,000 for the digital overhaul.

This money will allow Mansfield District Council to install free Wi-Fi transmitters on lamp posts across the town. Public spaces will also be adorned with QR codes, providing information on the latest shopping, offers, events and attractions, when scanned using a smartphone.

Sarah Nelson, manager of Mansfield BID, added that embracing the internet could help drive up footfall and encourage more growth in local enterprise. This is in line with the government's aim to improve digital inclusion throughout the UK.

Mansfield has until 1 May 2013 to meet its target of £38,000. If the target is not met by that time, no money will exchange hands. At the time of writing, a total of £5,501 had been pledged by 21 funders.


Submission + - High security animal disease lab faces uncertain future (

Dupple writes: Plans to build one of the world's most secure laboratories in the heart of rural America have run into difficulties.

The National Bio and Agro defence facility (NBAF) would be the first US lab able to research diseases like foot and mouth in large animals.

But reviews have raised worries about virus escapes in the middle of cattle country.

For over fifty years the United States has carried out research on dangerous animal diseases at Plum Island, just off the coast of New York. However after 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security raised concerns about the suitability of the location and its vulnerability to terrorist attack.

They don't know any more about technology than a tomcat knows about baking gingerbread...


Submission + - Nature | News DNA sequencers stymie superbug spread (

ewenc writes: A superbug outbreak that plagued a special-care neonatal unit in Cambridge, UK, for several months was brought to an end by insights gained from genome sequencing. The case, reported today in Lancet Infectious Disease, marks the first time that scientists have sequenced pathogen genomes to actively control an ongoing outbreak. Sharon Peacock, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Cambridge, and her team became involved in the outbreak after three infants at nearby Rosie Hospital’s 24-cot special-care baby unit tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within a couple days of each other.

Submission + - AdTrap aims to block all internet advertising (

cylonlover writes: AdTrap is a new low-power, zero configuration device which promises to banish adverts from computers, tablets, and anything else connected to the local network. AdTrap’s creators point out that their device works not only with full-sized PCs, but everything else connected to your home internet, such as Apple devices running iOS 6 – and without the need of third-party apps or jailbreaking. In addition to blocking web browser ads, AdTrap is also reported to remove ads from streaming devices like Apple TV and Google TV. A configurable “whitelist” is offered too, so that users can allow adverts on websites of their choice.