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+ - 168 GNOME 3 to support a "classic" mode

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "LWN.net is reporting that GNOME developer Matthias Clasen has announced that, with the upcoming demise of "fallback mode," the project will support a set of official GNOME Shell extensions to provide a more "classic" experience. "And while we certainly hope that many users will find the new ways comfortable and refreshing after a short learning phase, we should not fault people who prefer the old way. After all, these features were a selling point of GNOME 2 for ten years!""

+ - 100 Electric Cars DOA without Supercharged Batteries 1

Submitted by
greenjobsguru
greenjobsguru writes "This is the typical chicken and egg problem. No charging stations, no electric cars; no electric cars, no charging stations. Unless scientists deliver some serious breakthroughs in battery capacity and charge time in the next few years, we're going to need charging stations everywhere. Home, office, retail parking lots, shopping malls, airports, and yes, gas stations. The US has currently about 160,000 gas stations, but research outfit Frost and Sullivan estimate we'll have 4.1 million charging stations to keep our electric cars juiced up --yes, that's 25 times the number of gas stations! And preferably powered by renewable energy (bummer! we'll also need a smart grid for that...).
Then, we'll have a real clean transportation industry, with plenty of good paying green jobs. So, let's try and stay optimistic."
Security

+ - 186 US accused of hacking French president's office with Flame->

Submitted by
Bismillah
Bismillah writes "Today's ahem story: the French are accusing the US of hacking into the Elysée, the office of the president of France.

To make it better, the US is said to have used the Flame spyware.

The US is denying the attack took place, but the French are making a big thing about it."

Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - 169 Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many this week have declared Israel's American financed Iron Dome rocket defense system a success. Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagen's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system. Pundits have even gone so far to assume the system could be sold to other nations. However, the Iron Dome may not be the game changer many are making it out to be.

Taking out unsophisticated rockets is quite different than advanced missiles: "...the technical and strategic challenges of shooting down ballistic missiles differ considerably from those of shooting down unguided rockets. BMD shares with rocket defense some common technological ground; both require fast reaction time and impressive sensor capabilities, and the Iron Dome project has benefited from technical work on missile defense. However, ballistic missiles in flight behave differently from unguided, sub-atmospheric rockets.""

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 109 Scientists Reveal Single Gene Is the Difference Between Humans and Apes->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "What makes us human? Some say that it is the development of language, though others argue that animals have language as well. Some say that it is our ability to use tools, though many animals are able to use rocks and other objects as primitive tools. Some say that it is our ability to see death coming.
Now, researchers believe that they have found the definitive difference between humans and other primates, and they think that the difference all comes down to a single gene.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland attribute the split of humanity from apes to the gene miR-941. They say that the gene played an integral role in human development and contributed to humans' ability to use tools and learn languages."

Link to Original Source
Supercomputing

+ - 134 Supercomputers' growing resilience problems-> 2

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "As supercomputers grow more powerful, they'll also grow more vulnerable to failure, thanks to the increased amount of built-in componentry. Today's high-performance computing (HPC) systems can have 100,000 nodes or more — with each node built from multiple components of memory, processors, buses and other circuitry. Statistically speaking, all these components will fail at some point, and they halt operations when they do so, said David Fiala, a Ph.D student at the North Carolina State University, during a talk at SC12. Today's techniques for dealing with system failure may not scale very well, Fiala said."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - 167 UK to use "Risk-Profiling Software" to Screen all Airline Passengers and Cargo->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The BBC reports: 'The UK branch of an American company — SAS Software — has developed a hi-tech software programme it believes can help detect and prevent potentially dangerous passengers and cargo entering the UK using the technique known as "risk profiling". So, what exactly is risk profiling and can it really reduce the risk of international terrorism? Risk profiling is a controversial topic. It means identifying a person or group of people who are more likely to act in a certain way than the rest of the population, based on an analysis of their background and past behaviour — which of course requires the collection of certain data on people's background and behaviour to begin with. When it comes to airline security, some believe this makes perfect sense. Others, though, say this smacks of prejudice and would inevitably lead to unacceptable racial or religious profiling — singling out someone because, say, they happen to be Muslim, or born in Yemen. The company making the Risk-Profiling Software in question, of course, strongly denies that the software would single people out using factors like race, religion or country of origin. It says that the programme works by feeding in data about passengers or cargo, including the Advanced Passenger Information (API) that airlines heading to Britain are obliged to send to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) at "wheels up" — the exact moment the aircraft lifts off from the airport of departure. Additional information could include a combination of factors, like whether the passenger paid for their ticket in cash, or if they have ever been on a watch list or have recently spent time in a country with a known security problem. The data is then analysed to produce a schematic read-out for immigration officials that shows the risk profile for every single passenger on an incoming flight, seat by seat, high risk to low risk.'"
Link to Original Source
Chrome

+ - 128 Researcher claims to have Chrome 0day, Google says 'prove it'->

Submitted by
chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes "Google's been known to pay $60,000 for information on remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in its Chrome web browser. So, when a researcher says that he has one, but isn't interested in selling it, eyebrows get raised. And that's just what's happening this week, with Google saying it will wait and see what Georgian researcher Ucha Gobejishvili has up his sleeve in a presentation on Saturday at the Malcon conference in New Delhi. Gobejishvili has claimed that he will demonstrate a remotely exploitable hole in the Chrome web browser at Malcon. He described the security hole in Chrome as a “critical vulnerability” in a Chrome DLL. “It has silent and automatically (sp) download functionand it works on all Windows systems” he told Security Ledger.
However, more than a few questions hang over Gobejishvili’s talk. The researcher said he discovered the hole in July, but hasn't bothered to contact Google. He will demonstrate the exploit at MalCon, and have a “general discussion” about it, but won’t release source code for it. “I know this is a very dangerous issuethat’s why I am not publishing more details about this vulnerability,” he wrote. Google said that, with no information on the hole, it can only wait to hear the researcher's Malcon presentation before it can assess the threat to Chrome users."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 135 Microsoft reportedly plotting set-top box alongside next-gen Xbox-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Slashgear: Posted by Eric Abent on November 21, 2012. It’s pretty obvious that Microsoft and Sony have started work on their next generation gaming consoles, but Microsoft might have more than just the next Xbox up its sleeve. According to a new report from The Verge, Microsoft is planning to launch a set-top box of its own at some point next year. By making such a device and launching some kind of Xbox TV service alongside its next-gen console, it could potentially allow Microsoft to get its products in more living rooms than ever before, so it’s pretty easy to see the appeal of such a strategy.
    This set-top box would obviously be a media streaming device meant to challenge the likes of Apple TV and Roku, but Microsoft is also developing this box with gaming in mind. You won’t be able to play full blown console games on it of course, but The Verge’s sources say that Microsoft is looking to have casual games on its box. Perhaps we’ll see the company launch something like Xbox Live made specifically for this device?
  The box will also be running Windows 8, and will make use of a chipset that allows it to boot up and a resume from sleep quickly. Given the fact that Microsoft has been trying to turn the Xbox 360 into a media hub rather than a simple games console, the jump to a set-top box isn’t that hard to make. Things get even more interesting, though, when we hear the claim that Microsoft may also be planning to introduce a phone that’s capable of full Xbox Live functionality."

Link to Original Source

+ - 133 Ask Slashdot: Geekiest way to cook a turkey?->

Submitted by almostadnsguy
almostadnsguy (2009458) writes "There seem to be a lot of ways to cook a turkey the geekiest ones are probably out of the realm of possibility for normal geeks. However, Within the limits of normal society (or outside if you wish) what is the geekiest way to do it. The link included is to the web site of my favorite geek celebre-chef (Alton Brown)."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 224 Mysterious substance found in human brain

Submitted by
Velcroman1
Velcroman1 writes "A mysterious molecule that turns people into modern-day Rip Van Winkles has been discovered in the brain, and it may be responsible for a rare disorder that has some sufferers sleeping more than 70 hours a week. The strange molecule, called a "somnogen," is believed to be at the root of the sleeping disorder, which in some cases also makes it difficult for people to wake up from their marathon sleep sessions. The somongen is made up of amino acids, just like a protein, and may keep sufferers bedridden for years, said David Rye, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and director of research for Emory Healthcare’s Sleep Center Clinic. “They feel as if they’re walking around in a fog – physically, but not mentally awake,” Rye said."
Medicine

+ - 97 The Science of Thanks Giving

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "This is Americans’ big week to give thanks. Now Russell McLendon writes that giving thanks can do wonders for the human brain according to researchers at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center where scientists have developed an easy way for people to do just that and, at the same time, contribute to a national research project and maybe also improve their lives. The project is part of a $5.6 million, three-year national effort called “Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude,” funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The center has gone live with Thnx4.org, an interactive, shareable gratitude journal and has invited people in the campus community to take part in the Cal Gratitude Challenge by keeping a two-week online “gratitude journal” and, if they choose, sharing their posts with others. Early research into the power of gratitude journals ended up proving that students who wrote down everything they were grateful for strengthened their overall resilience and became less vulnerable to everyday stresses and complaints like rashes and headaches, says Emiliana Simon-Thomas. “Thnx4.org wanted to make this spiral notebook very accessible, and to make the research a little more specific than it has been historically,” says Simon-Thomas. Online, anyone can take part — and potentially reap the benefits. The Cal Gratitude Challenge opened November 1 and will remain open throughout November but the project has a three-year grant and participants will be able to maintain their journals for the duration and first results from the data are expected in January. "We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received," writes Robert Emmons as part of the project. "This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.""
Google

+ - 199 Google attacks UN net conference->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Google has warned that a forthcoming UN-organised conference threatens the "free and open internet". Government representatives are set to agree a new information and communications treaty in December.

It has been claimed some countries will try to wrest oversight of the net's technical specifications and domain name system from US bodies to an international organisation.

However, the UN has said there would be consensus before any change was agreed."

Link to Original Source
Earth

+ - 164 Thousands of Natural Gas Leaks Found in Boston

Submitted by poofmeisterp
poofmeisterp (650750) writes "Due to old cast iron underground pipelines, natural gas leaks run amok in Boson, MA.

"While our study was not intended to assess explosion risks, we came across six locations in Boston where gas concentrations exceeded the threshold above which explosions can occur," Nathan Phillips, associate professor at BU, said in a statement.

With "a device to measure methane" in a vehicle equipped with GPS, Duke and Boston University researchers created a nice little map showing the methane levels in parts per million at different points in the city.

"Repairing these leaks will improve air quality, increase consumer health and safety, and save money," study researcher Robert B. Jackson, of Duke, said in a statement. "We just have to put the right financial incentives into place."

It looks like money is an issue (imagine that)..."

+ - 216 Should hosting companies have change freezes?

Submitted by AngryDad
AngryDad (947591) writes "Today I received a baffling email from my hosting provider that said "We have a company-wide patching freeze and we will not be releasing patches to our customers who utilize the patching portal for the months of November and December". This means that myself and all other customers of theirs who run Windows servers will have to live with several critical holes for at least two months. Is this common practice with mid-tier hosting providers? If so, may I ask Eastern-EU folks to please refrain from hacking my servers during the holiday season?"
Government

+ - 140 Hardware vendors sue Dutch government over copyright levies->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying.

"The companies now hold the State liable for all damages caused by the levies," the hardware vendors said in a joint news release on Wednesday. Trade association FIAR Consumer Electronics, which has as members companies such as Samsung, Sharp, Sony and LG, is also a party to the litigation. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the District Court of The Hague."

Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - 240 Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook posts->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "As India's financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were "due to fear, not due to respect." A friend of hers hit the "like" button.

For that, both women were arrested.

Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday."

Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - 185 Judge Demands Email And Facebook Passwords From Women In Sexual Harassment Case

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Back in September, a US judge ruled that a school district violated the First Amendment (freedom of speech) and Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) rights of a 12-year-old student by forcing her to hand over her Facebook password to school officials who in turn used it to search for messages they deemed inappropriate. This month, another US judge has ordered that women suing their employer for sexual harassment must hand over cell phones, passwords to their email accounts, blogs, as well as to Facebook and other social networks."

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