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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Math

+ - 172 Your Unconscious Brain Can Do Math, Process Language->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "It's hard to determine what the unconscious brain is doing since, after all, we're not aware of it. But in a neat set of experiments, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's consciousness lab found evidence that the unconscious brain can parse language and perform simple arithmetic. The researchers flashed colorful patterns at test subjects that took up all their attention and allowed for the subliminal presentation of sentences or equations. In the language processing experiment, researchers found that subjects became consciously aware of a sentence sooner if it was jarring and nonsensical (like, for example, the sentence "I ironed coffee")."
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Education

+ - 182 "Clandestine" UK Database keeps Records on 8 Million School Children->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Russia Today reports: 'A newly uncovered clandestine computer network, known as the ‘One System,’ can reportedly share children’s personal details across different UK agencies, including age, sex, address and their school behavior records – all without parents ever knowing. One of Britain’s biggest government contractors has created a database containing the personal details of 8 million children, the Sunday Times revealed. The database was created by Capita – a company specializing in IT systems – and includes information on a child’s sex, age, exam results, if they have special needs, bad behavior like absenteeism and how many minutes late they are to lessons. This information can then be shared with numerous agencies, including the police, the NHS and child protection units and charities, all without parental consent. Teachers collect data on all children, not just ones deemed to be at risk. This includes recording how many minutes late they are for class. The One System is already employed by about 100 local authorities, and was created two years after Contact Point – a similar database which was set up by the then-Labour government, but scrapped by the current coalition because of security concerns. Documents obtained by the Sunday Times revealed that classroom information is gathered by teachers and submitted to the One System up to six times a day to provide a “golden thread of data” that can be accessed by anyone working with children. In an Orwellian twist, the firm hires photographers to take pictures of schoolchildren, which they then offer for sale to their parents before uploading them onto the database.'"
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Businesses

+ - 140 Amazon Donates 2,000 Kindles to Wounded Veterans->

Submitted by
destinyland
destinyland writes "Amazon's just announced that they're donating 2,000 Kindles to a charity for wounded soldiers and their families. And they're also promising to hire at least 1,200 more veterans within the next year at fulfillment centers around the country through Amazon's
Military Talent Program. As the U.S. prepares to celebrate Veterans Day, Amazon's press release notes that they've been named one of the top military-friendly employers for two years in a row, by U.S. Veterans magazine, and one Kindle blog also notes that Amazon has even quietly created a special program which allows some customer service employees to work from home, for which Amazon has actively recruited military spouses for the program, as well as wounded veterans"

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Linux

+ - 170 Fully Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Computer ->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Via LXer, an article from PCWorld describes the A13-OLinuXino, produced by OLIMEX. Similar, but distinct from the Raspberry Pi, the Linux-powered OLinuXino is touted as "fully open", with all CAD files and source-code freely available for both personal and commercial reuse. Its specs include an Allwinner A13 Cortex A8 1GHz processor, 3D Maili400 GPU, 512MB RAM, all packed into a nano-ITX form and fit for operation in industrial environments between -25C and 85C. The device comes with Android 4.0, but is capable of running other Linux distros, e.g., ArchlinuxARM."
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Science

+ - 151 Artificial self-healing skin can sense touch->

Submitted by thomst
thomst (1640045) writes "Science Magazines's Tim Wogan reports that chemical engineer Zhenan Bao of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and her team have increased the conductivity of a self-healing polymer by incorporating nickel atoms. The polymer they have produced is sensitive to applied forces like pressure and torsion (twisting) because such forces alter the distance between the nickel atoms, changing the electrical resistance of the polymer. Their work is published online in the November 1 issue of Nature Nanotechnology (abstract here, full article paywalled). Now Bao and her team are working on making the polymer more flexible."
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Crime

+ - 318 John McAfee accused of murder, wanted by Belize police-> 1

Submitted by
thn
thn writes "John McAfee, who started the antivirus software giant named after him, has been accused of murder in Belize and wanted. McAfee had taken to "posting on a drug-focused Russian message board...about his attempts to purify the psychoactive compounds colloquially known as 'bath salts,'" Gizmodo wrote. The scariest aspect of this story may be the fact that an entire lab was constructed for John McAfee’s research purposes. Because of his efforts to extract chemicals from natural chemical plans McAfee was able to justify his experiments in a country that is largely unregulated."
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Graphics

+ - 181 NVIDIA and AMD Launch New High-End Workstation, Virtualization and HPC GPUs->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Nvidia is taking the wraps off a new GPU targeted at HPC and as expected, it's a monster. The Nvidia K20, based on the GK110 GPU, weighs in at 7.1B transistors, double the previous gen GK104's 3.54B. The GK110 is capable of pairing double-precision operations with other instructions (Fermi and GK104 couldn't) and the number of registers each thread can access has been quadrupled, from 63 to 255. Threads within a warp are now capable of sharing data. K20 also supports a greater number of atomic operations and brings new features to the table including Dynamic Parallelism. Meanwhile, AMD has announced a new FirePro graphics card at SC12 today, and it's aimed at server workloads and data center deployment. Rumors of a dual-core Radeon 7990 have floated around since before the HD 7000 series debuted, but this is the first time we've seen such a card in the wild. On paper, AMD's new FirePro S10000 is a serious beast. Single and double-precision rates at 5.9 TFLOPS and 1.48 TFLOPS respectively are higher than anything from Intel or Nvidia, as is the card's memory bandwidth. The flip side to these figures, however, is the eye-popping power draw. At 375W, the S10000 needs a pair of eight-pin PSU connectors. The S10000 is aimed at the virtualization market with its dual-GPUs on a single-card offering a good way to improve GPU virtualization density inside a single server."
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+ - 139 Mega Finds New Home, Dotcom Says->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Kim Dotcom has revealed that Megaupload’s successor Mega, which is reportedly launching on January 20, 2012, will be operating through a new domain name Mega.co.nz. Through a tweet Dotcom announced that Mega has found a new home and that the new domain name is protected by the law and powered by legality. Dotcom also revealed that lobbyists won't be able to do anything about this as Judges are not influenced by politics in New Zealand. Recent announcements about Mega’s domain – Me.ga didn’t go as planned following a decision by Government of Gabon to suspend the domain name. Dotcom had announced at the time that despite the blockage, Mega will launch as planned and that they are in possession of an alternative domain name."
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Japan

+ - 163 World's First 3D Printing Photo Booth Set for Scan->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Ever wanted a life-like miniature of yourself or loved ones? Now's your chance, thanks to Omote 3D, which will soon be opening what's described as the world's first 3D printing photo booth in Harajuku, Japan. There, visitors will have their bodies scanned into a computer, a process which takes about 15 minutes. Then the company prints your statuette on their 3D color printer in one of three sizes."
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Science

+ - 314 Supersymmetry theory dealt a blow->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have detected one of the rarest particle decays seen in Nature.

The finding deals a significant blow to the theory of physics known as supersymmetry.

Many researchers had hoped the LHC would have confirmed this by now.

Supersymmetry, or SUSY, has gained popularity as a way to explain some of the inconsistencies in the traditional theory of subatomic physics known as the Standard Model.

The new observation, reported at the Hadron Collider Physics conference in Kyoto, is not consistent with many of the most likely models of SUSY.

Prof Chris Parke, who is the spokesperson for the UK Participation in the LHCb experiment, told BBC News: "Supersymmetry may not be dead but these latest results have certainly put it into hospital.""

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Facebook

+ - 140 Man arrested for photo of burning poppy on Facebook-> 1

Submitted by
Barence
Barence writes "A British man has been arrested for posting a picture of a burning poppy on Facebook. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance for those who died in war, and the arrest was made on Remembrance Sunday.

"A man from Aylesham has tonight been arrested on suspicion of malicious telecommunications," Kent police said in a statement after the arrest. "This follows a posting on a social network site of a burning poppy. He is currently in police custody awaiting interview."

The arrest has been criticised by legal experts. "What was the point of winning either World War if, in 2012, someone can be casually arrested by @kent_police for burning a poppy?" tweeted David Allen Green, who helped clear the British man who was prosecuted for a joke tweet threatening to blow up an airport."

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Australia

+ - 189 Google hit with $200,000 damages bill over Mokbel shots->

Submitted by niftydude
niftydude (1745144) writes "Should Google be held liable for images that appear in its search results? An Australian court has said yes.

A Melbourne man who won a defamation case against search engine giant Google has been awarded $200,000 in damages.

Milorad Trkulja, also known as Michael, sued the multinational over images of him alongside a well-known underworld figure that appeared in its search results.

A six-person Supreme Court jury found last month that Mr Trkulja had been defamed by the images, which he first contacted Google about removing in 2009."

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Encryption

+ - 248 Meet The Lawyer Suing Anyone Who Uses SSL->

Submitted by Sparrowvsrevolution
Sparrowvsrevolution (1926150) writes "Since 2008, Dallas, Texas attorney Erich Spangenberg and his company TQP have been launching suits against hundreds of firms, claiming that merely by using SSL, they've violated a patent TQP acquired in 2006. Nevermind that the patent was actually filed in 1989, long before the World Wide Web was even invented. So far Spangenberg’s targets have included Apple, Google, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, every major bank and credit card company, and scores of web startups and online retailers, practically anyone who encrypts pages of a web sites to protect users’ privacy. And while most of those lawsuits are ongoing, many companies have already settled with TQP rather than take the case to trial, including Apple, Amazon, Dell, and Exxon Mobil.

The patent has expired now, but Spangenberg can continue to sue users of SSL for six more years and seems determined to do so as much as possible. “When the government grants you the right to a patent, they grant you the right to exclude others from using it,” says Spangenberg. "I don’t understand why just because [SSL is] prevalent, it should be free.""

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Businesses

+ - 199 Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business in China

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The WSJ reports that widespread disruptions to Google in China over the weekend halting use of everything from Google's search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses.The source of the disruptions couldn't be determined but Internet experts pointed to China's Internet censorship efforts, which have been ratcheted up ahead of the 18th Party Congress. "There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access," says David Wolf, citing recent articles in foreign media about corruption and wealth in China spurred by the party congress and the fall of former party star Bo Xilai, "that's their primary concern, people getting news either through Google or through its services." Beijing risks a backlash if it were to block Google outright on a long-term basis, says Wolf and such a move could put Beijing in violation of its free-trade commitment under the World Trade Organization and make China a less-attractive place to do business. "If China insists in the medium and long term of creating another Great Firewall between the China cloud and the rest of the world, China will be an increasingly untenable place to do business.""

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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