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NASA

+ - 253 The downside of warp drives: Annihilating whole star systems when you arrive->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "The dream of faster-than-light travel has been on the mind of humanity for generations. Until recently, though, it was restricted to the realm of pure science fiction. Theoretical mechanisms for warp drives have been posited by science, some of which actually jive quite nicely with what we know of physics. Of course, that doesn't mean they’re actually going to work, though. NASA researchers recently revisited the Alcubierre warp drive and concluded that its power requirements were not as impossible as once thought. However, a new analysis from the University of Sydney claims that using a warp drive of this design comes with a drawback. Specifically, it could cause cataclysmic explosions at your destination."
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Microsoft

+ - 206 German city says OpenOffice shortcomings are forcing it back to Microsoft->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""In the specific case of the use of OpenOffice, the hopes and expectations of the year 2007 are not fulfilled," the council wrote, adding that continuing use OpenOffice will lead to performance impairments and aggravation and frustration on the part of employees and external parties.

"Therefore, a new Microsoft Office license is essential for effective operations," they wrote. ...

"The divergence of the development community (LibreOffice on one hand Apache Office on the other) is crippling for the development for OpenOffice," the council wrote, adding that the development of Microsoft Office is far more stable. Looking at the options, a one-product strategy with Microsoft Office 2010 is the only viable one, according to the council."

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Education

+ - 141 Indian school textbook says meat-eaters lie and commit sex crimes->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Meat-eaters "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes", according to a controversial school textbook available in India.

New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, is printed by one of India's leading publishers.

"This is poisonous for children," Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi told the BBC. "The government has the power to take action, but they are washing their hands of it," she said.

"The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables," reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?

The chapter details the "benefits" of a vegetarian diet and goes on to list "some of the characteristics" found among non-vegetarians. "They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes," it says.

The chapter, full of factual inaccuracies, refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as "lazy, sluggish and short-lived", because they live on "a diet largely of meat". It adds: "The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.""

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Piracy

+ - 178 Verizon to choke pirates' browsing speeds->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "US net firm Verizon has declared war on illegal downloaders, or pirates, who use technologies such as BitTorrent to steal copyrighted material.

Verizon has said it will first warn repeat offenders by email and voicemail. Then it will restrict or "throttle" their internet connection speeds.

Time Warner Cable, another US internet service provider pledging to tackle piracy, says it will use pop-up warnings to deter repeat offenders. After that it will restrict subscribers' web browsing activities by redirecting them to a landing page.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which campaigns for digital freedom, is highly critical of the imminent campaign, saying: "Big media companies are launching a massive peer-to-peer surveillance scheme to snoop on subscribers." ISPs will be acting as "Hollywood's private enforcement arm", it added."

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Linux

+ - 200 Valve's Steam License Causes Linux Packaging Concerns-> 2

Submitted by skade88
skade88 (1750548) writes "With the Linux Steam beta giving Ubuntu and it's large user base all the love, other Linux gamers are understandably wanting to let in on the fun. For the beta, Valve has provided Steam as a Debian package. Many hungry Linux gamers have reported that they have have Steam running on their fav. distro, but that still leaves the legal debate. What is the legal threshold needed to get Steam in the repos of your fav. flavor of Linux? Will Valve's one-size-fits-every-OS license be flexible to work on Linux or will it kill/Delay the dream of a viable gaming world for Linux? We are so close to bridging the last major hurdle in finally realizing the year of the Linux desktop: Gaming. Lets hope the FOSS community and Valve can play together so we all win."
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Crime

+ - 162 Website Calls Out Authors of Racist Anti-Obama Posts->

Submitted by stevegee58
stevegee58 (1179505) writes "A tumblr blog entitled "hellothereracists" is publicly identifying other online posters who make racist/assassination comments about President Obama.
Beyond merely identifying online usernames, the blog's author is uncovering and publishing the real names and locations of offending posters.
It's an interesting mess of legal issues. The outed posters are at risk of a Secret Service visit, but the trouble may not end there. The hellothereracists blogger himself may have some problems publicly posters who are frequently underage teenagers."

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China

+ - 137 Housewives on trial in China for smuggling in iPhones->

Submitted by
Quillem
Quillem writes "Last year, Hong Kong residents were finding it hard to get their hands on the latest Apple iGadget even though supply was plentiful. An investigation revealed that most of the iPhones and iPads that made it into HK were being smuggled sans import duties into mainland China—where the devices were yet to be released—by housewives who were paid around USD 6 per smuggled gadget. Earlier this week, 25 of the suspected smugglers went on trial in Shenzhen city."
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+ - 109 Hostess to Close, No More Twinkies

Submitted by RenderSeven
RenderSeven (938535) writes "In a press release issued today, baker Hostess Brands asked a bankruptcy court for permission to close all of its plants and sell off their assets, immediately laying off 18,500 workers. Citing high labor and rising health care costs, increasing competition and growing consumer awareness of healthy foods, Hostess says it can no longer operate without union concessions. A crippling strike has already shut down operations at all facilities, and while the Teamsters Union has ratified a new contract to keep Hostess in business, the Bakers Union has refused saying they would rather see the company closed than accept pension cuts. The Teamsters union is urging the bakers union to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking; citing its financial experts who had access to the company's books, the Teamsters say that Hostess' warning of liquidation is "not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic" but a certain outcome if workers keep striking. If your late-night programming is fueled by Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Zingers, better stock up now."
Science

+ - 153 Dutch Artist 3D Prints CT Scan of His Own Skeleton->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "In what could be described as the ultimate memento mori – a genre of art that reminds us of our own mortality – Dutch sculpture Caspar Berger has reproduced an exact copy of his own skeleton. He underwent a CT scan, which provided detailed anatomical data, which was then output on a 3D printer."
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+ - 126 What if the famous MIT balloon hack happened today?->

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "When the Harvard and Yale football teams kick off at noontime tomorrow in Cambridge, it will have been 30 years since The Game was interrupted – to the astonishment of onlookers — by an inflating weather balloon that an MIT fraternity had planted under the field. The balloon popped, sending a plume of smoke across the gridiron, and triggering a wave of national media coverage that saw the pranksters holding their own news conference. Now imagine such a stunt happening tomorrow and what the reaction might be here in 2012? Here’s one vision of what might transpire."
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Security

+ - 117 Will it Take a 'Cyber Pearl Harbor' to Break Congressional Deadlock?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "For years lawmakers had heard warnings about holes in corporate and government systems that imperil US economic and national security. Now Ward Carroll writes that in the face of what most experts label as a potential “Cyber Pearl Harbor” threat, Republicans have stalled the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 with a Senate vote of 51–47 against the legislation drawing a quick response from the staff of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: “The U.S. defense strategy calls for greater investments in cybersecurity measures, and we will continue to explore ways to defend the nation against cyber threats,” says DoD spokesman George Little. “If the Congress neglects to address this security problem urgently, the consequences could be devastating.” Many Senate Republicans took their cues from the US Chamber of Commerce and businesses that framed the debate not as a matter of national security, but rather as a battle between free enterprise and an overreaching government wanting to leave companies to determine whether it would be more cost effective – absent liability laws around cyber attacks — to invest in the hardware, software, and manpower required to effectively prevent cyber attack or to simply weather attacks and fix what breaks afterwards. “Until someone can argue both the national security and the economic parts of it, you’re going to have these dividing forces,” says Melissa Hathaway, a White House cyber official in the Bush and Obama administrations. “Most likely, big industry is going to win because at the end of the day our economy is still in trouble.”"
The Courts

+ - 159 Parents not liable for their son's illegal music sharing, German court rules->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The ruling of the Federal Court of Justice reversed a ruling of the higher regional court of Cologne, which found the parents were liable for the illegal filesharing because they failed to fulfill their parental supervision. That court said the parents could have installed a firewall on their son's computer as well as a security program that would have made it possible to only allow the child to install software with the consent of his parents.

Besides that, the parents could have checked their son's PC once a month, and then the parents would have spotted the Bearshare icon on the computers' desktop, according to the Cologne court. "The Federal Court overturned the decision of the Appeal Court and dismissed it," the court said."

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Science

+ - 210 Exploring Einstein's brain->

Submitted by scibri
scibri (2544842) writes "Photographs of Einstein's brain taken shortly after his death, but never before analysed in detail, have now revealed that it had several unusual features, providing tantalizing clues about the neural basis of his extraordinary mental abilities.

The most striking observation was “the complexity and pattern of convolutions on certain parts of Einstein's cerebral cortex”, especially in the prefrontal cortex, and also parietal lobes and visual cortex.

The prefrontal cortex is important for the kind of abstract thinking that Einstein would have needed for his famous thought experiments on the nature of space and time, such as imagining riding alongside a beam of light. The unusually complex pattern of convolutions there probably gave the region a larger-than-normal surface area, which may have contributed to his remarkable abilities."

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Windows

+ - 114 Lenovo UEFI Code Allows Booting in Windows, RHEL only->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Lenovo’s UEFI implementation is only allowing Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to boot by explicitly checking for these two operating systems while refusing to boot all other UEFI-installed systems, it has been revealed. Matthew Garrett, in a blog post, disclosed his findings stating that when an operating system with UEFI support such a Fedora Linux is installed, the ThinkCentre M92p desktop from Lenovo checks for presence of firmware descriptive strings — "Windows Boot Manager" and "Red Hat Enterprise Linux". According to Garrett, if the system that is being loaded doesn’t match either of the above mentioned descriptive strings, the UEFI neither shows the operating system in the boot menu nor would it let the system boot."
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Music

+ - 149 Brain scans of rappers and jazz musicians shed light on creativity->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Rappers making up rhymes on the fly while in a brain scanner have provided an insight into the creative process.
Freestyle rapping — in which a performer improvises a song by stringing together unrehearsed lyrics — is a highly prized skill in hip hop. But instead of watching a performance in a club, Siyuan Liu and Allen Braun, neuroscientists at the US National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Maryland, and their colleagues had 12 rappers freestyle in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine.
The artists also recited a set of memorized lyrics chosen by the researchers. By comparing the brain scans from rappers taken during freestyling to those taken during the rote recitation, they were able to see which areas of the brain are used during improvisation.
The rappers showed lower activity in part of their frontal lobes called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during improvisation, and increased activity in another area, called the medial prefrontal cortex. The areas that were found to be ‘deactivated’ are associated with regulating other brain functions. The results echo an earlier study of jazz musicians.
The findings also suggest an explanation for why new music might seem to the artist to be created of its own accord. With less involvement by the lateral prefrontal regions of the brain, the performance could seem to its creator to have “occurred outside of conscious awareness”, the authors write in the paper."

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+ - 186 German police stop man with mobile office in car->

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Forget texting while driving. German police say they nabbed a driver who had wired his Ford station wagon with an entire mobile office.Saarland state police said Friday the 35-year-old man was pulled over for doing 130 kph (80 mph) in a 100 kph zone while passing a truck Monday.

Built on a wooden frame on his passenger seat they found a laptop on a docking station tilted for easy driver access, a printer, router, wireless internet stick, WLAN antenna, and an inverter to power it all.

Since there was no evidence he used the office while moving, he got away with a €120 ($153) speeding ticket and a possible fine for having unsecured items in his car."

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Linux

+ - 177 Lenovo Thinkcentre M92p only like Winows and RHEL->

Submitted by
Nagilum23
Nagilum23 writes "It looks like Lenovo only knows of Windows8 and RHEL when it comes to Secure Boot. While investigating UEFI boot issues Matthew Garrett found that the Thinkcentre M92p BIOS actually checks the descriptive string:
"there is a function that compares the descriptive string against "Windows Boot Manager" and appears to return an error if it doesn't match. What's stranger is that it also checks for "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" and lets that one work as well."
Phoronix is also running the story: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIyOTg ."

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Movies

+ - 232 Netflix can now run on Linux->

Submitted by
ndogg
ndogg writes "Netflix has been released on Linux...sort of. The folks at iheartubuntu have figured out a way to get Netflix to run on the Windows version of Firefox using Wine (with a number of custom patches) and Silverlight. They plan on releasing packages for it all soon. Currently, it seems they have only had success with 32 bit while compiling for 64 bit is tricky."
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