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Data Storage

+ - 254 Everspin launches non-volatile MRAM that's 500 times faster than NAND->

Submitted by
MrSeb
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."
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Science

+ - 164 Why Gerald Crabtree's speculations about declining human intelligence are wrong->

Submitted by
grrlscientist
grrlscientist writes "A couple hot-off-the-press articles published in Trends in Genetics have been garnering more attention than they're worth. In them, molecular geneticist Jerry Crabtree puts forward an argument that human cognitive abilities are declining — people are getting stupider."
Link to Original Source

+ - 153 Firefox To Get Native Flash Support The Shumway Project->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) 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."
Link to Original Source
Transportation

+ - 176 Honda's "Micro Commuter" Features Swappable Bodies->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) 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."
Link to Original Source

+ - 211 Artificial Wombs in the near future?-> 3

Submitted by
DaemonDan
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?"

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Security

+ - 170 Skype Halts Password Resets as Massive Security Hole Discovered->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 172 Skype vulnerability allowing hijacking of any account-> 1

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) 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"

Link to Original Source

+ - 163 Former UK mining town hoping to crowdfund free WiFi service->

Submitted by Qedward
Qedward (2499046) 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 Spacehive.com, 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."

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Security

+ - 163 High security animal disease lab faces uncertain future->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) 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..."

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Science

+ - 143 Nature | News DNA sequencers stymie superbug spread->

Submitted by ewenc
ewenc (1385899) 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."
Link to Original Source
Advertising

+ - 278 AdTrap aims to block all internet advertising->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) 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."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 316 Vegetative state man "talks" by brain scan->

Submitted by c0lo
c0lo (1497653) writes "Severely brain-injured Scott Routley hasn’t spoken in 12 years. None of his physical assessments since then have shown any sign of awareness, or ability to communicate, thus being diagnosed as vegetative (vegetative patients emerge from a coma into a condition where they have periods awake, with their eyes open, but have no perception of themselves or the outside world).

Scott Routley was asked questions while having his brain activity scanned in an fMRI machine. British neuroscientist Prof Adrian Owen said Mr Routley was clearly not vegetative.
"Scott has been able to show he has a conscious, thinking mind. We have scanned him several times and his pattern of brain activity shows he is clearly choosing to answer our questions. We believe he knows who and where he is."

As a consequence, medical textbooks would need to be updated to include Prof Owen's techniques, because only observational assessments (as opposed to using mind-readers) of Mr Routley have continued to suggest he is vegetative.

The professor in an earlier interview functional MRI machines are expensive (up to $2 million), but it’s quite possible that a portable high-end EEG machine, costing about $75,000, can be used at a patient’s bedside.

Phillip K Dick's world is one step closer."

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Google

+ - 158 Motorola Wants 2.25% of Microsoft's Surface Revenue->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On the opening day of a patent trial between Microsoft and Google-owned Motorola Mobility, Motorola filed a brief (PDF) arguing that the WiFi tech central to the case is also critical to Microsoft's new Surface tablet. Motorola says royalties totaling 2.25% of all Surface revenues is a good starting point. They wrote, 'Microsoft’s new Surface tablet will use only 802.11, instead of cellular or wired connections, to connect to the internet. Without 802.11 capability, the Surface tablet would be unable to compete in the market, because consumers can readily select tablet devices other than the Surface that have 802.11 capability.' Microsoft, of course, says this figure is outrageous, given 'Motorola’s promise to standards bodies to offer access to the "standard essential" patents on fair and reasonable terms.'"
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - 182 Total Solar Eclipse Bedazzles Northern Australians-> 1

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Tuesday at 6.38am (2038 GMT Tuesday) thousands of Australians witnessed a solar eclipse in northern Queensland, where it was the first total eclipse in over 1000 years for the specific region. The most prominent view occurred in Cairns, while elsewhere in locations such as New Zealand, parts of Indonesia and Australia, partial eclipses were visible. Totality lasted approximately two minutes — a video (YouTube) can be seen here. Scientists are also taking the opportunity to study both land and aquatic wildlife in affected areas."
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