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Privacy

+ - 173 Anonymous Cowards, Deanonymized-> 1

Submitted by mbstone
mbstone (457308) writes "Arvind Narayanan writes: What if authors can be identified based on nothing but a comparison of the content they publish to other web content they have previously authored? Naryanan has a new paper to be presented at the 33rd IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy. Just as individual telegraphers could be identified by other telegraphers from their "fists," Naryanan posits that an author's habitual choices of words, such as, for example, the frequency with which the author uses "since" as opposed to "because," can be processed through an algorithm to identify the author's writing. Fortunately, and for now, manually altering one's writing style is effective as a countermeasure."
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Facebook

+ - 188 Facebook Also Bypasses Privacy Settings In IE

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Following the news that Google is tricking Apple’s Safari browser by including privacy-circumventing code in its ads, Microsoft is now saying that Google bypassed privacy settings in Internet Explorer as well. The story goes deeper than that. Google isn’t the only one bypassing Microsoft Internet Explorer’s privacy settings: Facebook does it too, as do thousands of other companies."

+ - 193 Hunters Shoot Down Drone of Animal Rights Group->

Submitted by Required Snark
Required Snark (1702878) writes "A remote control drone operated by an animal rights group was shot down in South Carolina by a group of thwarted hunters.
Steve Hindi, the group president said "his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying." After the shoot was halted, the drone was launched anyway, and at this point it was shot down. "Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter." "It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway," Hindi stated in the release."

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Patents

+ - 210 European Parliament to exclude free software with FRAND

Submitted by jan.van.gent
jan.van.gent (2578677) writes "The European Parliament is on the verge to adopt a directive about reform of standards, reform which would introduce FRAND patent licensing terms (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory), an undefined term which has been a direct attack on the fundamental principles of Free and Open source software. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has been very active before the European Commission proposed the text on trying to get FRAND terms inside the text."
Biotech

+ - 174 Russian Scientists Revive Plant From 30,000-Year-Old Seeds->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It was an Ice Age squirrel’s treasure chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. From the fruit tissues, a team of Russian scientists managed to resurrect an entire plant in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species. The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds. ... 'The squirrels dug the frozen ground to build their burrows, which are about the size of a soccer ball, putting in hay first and then animal fur for a perfect storage chamber,' said Stanislav Gubin, one of the authors of the study, who spent years rummaging through the area for squirrel burrows. 'It’s a natural cryobank.'"
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Crime

+ - 213 The Pirate Bay: Banned in the UK?->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Swedish filesharing website The Pirate Bay may soon be blocked in the UK after a London judge ruled that the site breaches copyright laws on a large scale, and that both the platform and its users illegally share copyrighted material like movies and music. In addition to finding legal fault with The Pirate Bay and its users, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) also wants all British Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to The Pirate Bay in the UK."
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Open Source

+ - 145 Hackers In Space: Hackerspace Global Grid Interview->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At the Chaos Communication Camp 2011 Jens Ohlig, Lars Weiler, and Nick Farr proposed a daunting task: to land a hacker on the Moon by 2034. The plan calls for three separate phases:

Establishing an open, free, and globally accessible satellite communication network
Put a human into orbit
Land on the Moon
Interestingly enough, there is already considerable work being done on the second phase of this plan by the Copenhagen Suborbitals, and Google’s own Lunar X Prize is trying to spur development of robotic missions to the Moon. But what about the first phase? Answering the call is the “shackspace”, a hackerspace from Stuttgart, Germany, who’ve begun work on an ambitious project they’re calling the “Hackerspace Global Grid“.

We recently caught up with one of the core team members, hadez, who took some time to talk with us a bit about the current state of the project and what we should expect going forward."

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Hardware

+ - 177 MinION $900 USB-Powered DNA Sequencer on Sale This Year->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Oxford Nanopore (ON) has been developing a disruptive nanopore-based technology for sequencing DNA, RNA, proteins, and other long-chain molecules since its birth in 2005. The company has just announced that within the next 6-9 months it will bring to market a fast, portable, and disposable protein sequencer that will democratize sequencing by eliminating large capital costs associated with equipment required to enter the field."
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Cloud

+ - 186 Is it time for NoSQL 2.0? 1

Submitted by rescrv
rescrv (2575031) writes "Key-value stores (like Cassandra, Redis and DynamoDB) have been replacing traditional databases in many demanding web applications (e.g. Twitter, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and others). But for the most part, the differences between existing NoSQL systems come down to the choice of well-studied implementation techniques; in particular, they all provide a similar API that achieves high performance and scalability by limiting applications to simple operations like GET and PUT. HyperDex, a new key-value store developed at Cornell, stands out in the NoSQL spectrum with its unique design. HyperDex employs a unique multi-dimensional hash function to enable efficient search operations — that is, objects may be retrieved without using the key under which they are stored. Other systems employ indexing techniques to enable search, or enumerate all objects in the system. In contrast, HyperDex's design enables applications to retrieve search results directly from servers in the system. The results are impressive. Preliminary benchmark results on the project website show that HyperDex provides significant performance improvements over Cassandra and MongoDB. With its unique design, and impressive performance, it seems fittng to ask: Is HyperDex the start of NoSQL 2.0?"

+ - 173 Best language for experimental GUI demo projects 1

Submitted by
GrantRobertson
GrantRobertson writes "I am not a professional software developer and never have any aspirations to become one. I've been through a generic university computer science degree-program and I can tolerate C++ begrudgingly. I do OK with Java and prefer it, though I still have to look up every API before I use it. Most of the code I want to write will be not much more than prototypes or proof of concept stuff for the research I will be doing, rather than full-on applications ready for distribution and use. I can learn any language out there, if need be, but these days it is more about the ecosystem than the core language. IDEs, libraries, cross-platform compatibility, user support, open source licensing.

My research/tinkering will be along two main lines:
1) Devising entirely new graphical user interface elements, mostly in 2-D, though often in a true or simulated 3-D space. I am working on ways to visualize, navigate, and manipulate very, VERY large data-sets of academic research information.
2) Computer based education software, though of a type never seen before. This will combine some of the GUI elements invented in (1) as well as displaying standard HTML or HTML5 content via a browser engine.

My requirements are:
A) A decent IDE ecosystem.
B) A decent set of libraries, but ones that don't lock me in to a particular mind-set like Swing does in Java. (Boxes in boxes in boxes, Oh My!)
C) An ability to easily draw what I want, where I want and make any surface of that 3-D object become a source for capturing events.
D) Ease of cross-platform use. (So others can easily look at my examples and run with them.)
E) No impediments to open-source licensing my code or for others to go commercial with it either (as I have seen when I looked into Qt).

So, should I just stick with Java and start looking outside the box for GUI toolkits? Or is there something else out there I should be looking at?"

+ - 184 Adobe employee speaks out on bloatware->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This controversial post by Adobe's Kas Thomas asks if splash screens are just a sign of program bloat and callous disregard for users. It suggests that big programs should launch instantly (or appear to), perhaps by running against an instance in the cloud while the local instance finishes loading. Users of cell phones and tablets are accustomed to apps being instantly available. This is the new standard for performance, the author argues. Nothing short of it will do, any more."
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Businesses

+ - 233 Samsung Spins Off Its Display Business->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Samsung Electronics announced Monday that it will spin off its LCD business division to launch a new entity, provisionally called Samsung Display Co., set to go live on April 1, 2012. The new business will launch with about $668 million in capital, but Samsung plans to invest about $5.8 billion in 2012 to develop better displays. The move, which now awaits shareholder approval, has been rumored for months since Samsung's LCD business announced operating losses of $666 million in 2011, citing sluggish TV sales. The company's spin-off display business may eventually merge with Samsung Mobile Display, which makes the company's organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels that are currently in high demand. Nam Ki Yung, a spokesman for Samsung, said the company is reviewing a merger of its LCD and OLED operations."
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Security

+ - 270 Researchers Break Video CAPTCHAs->

Submitted by Orome1
Orome1 (1901578) writes "After creating the "Decaptcha" software to solve audio CAPTCHAs, Standford University's researchers modified it and turned it against text and, quite recently, video CAPTCHAs with considerable success. Video CAPTCHAs have been touted by its developer, NuCaptcha, as the best and most secure method of spotting bots trying to pass themselves off as human users. Unfortunately for the company, researchers have managed to prove that over 90 percent of the company's video CAPTCHAs can be decoded by using their Decaptcha software in conjunction with optical flow algorithms created by researchers in the computer vision field of study."
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+ - 317 Carbohydrate-Based Synthesis to Replace Petroleum Derived Hydrocarbons?

Submitted by someWebGeek
someWebGeek (2566673) writes "From PhysOrg's Taking biofuel from forest to highway, University of British Columbia biofuel expert, Jack Saddler, offers that:

we will become less dependent on fossil fuels and will become more dependent on fuels made from the sugars and chemicals found in plants.

Nothing too new there, i.e., the idea of biofuels eventually taking over from petroleum distillates. However, Saddler contends further that:

Similar to an oil refinery that processes crude oil to make thousands of supplementary products like plastics, dyes, paints, etc., the biorefinery would use leftover agricultural and forest material to make many of the same products, but from a sustainable and renewable resource.

I remember my organic chem instructor back in '81 telling us that eventually the textbooks would have to be rewritten. There would be no presumption of fractional distillation of thousands of basic compounds from petroleum, and the teaching emphasis would shift to synthesis from simple hydrocarbons. He noted that we'd all miss 'the good, ole days' when synthetic fibers, plastics, etc. were cheap...or even an economically viable option. I can live without rayon, but, dang, I'm gonna miss polyvinyl chloride!"

Google

+ - 147 Google Seeks to Plant Antenna Farm in Iowa->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Google is seeking permission to place satellite antennas on land near its data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The 4.5 meter antennas could be used to receive content feeds from broadcast networks that could be bundled with a high-speed fiber service. The FCC filings were made by Google Fiber, which is currently laying fiber for a high-speed network in Kansas City that will provide Internet connectivity "at speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today.""
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Biotech

+ - 155 Test-tube burger to be made this year

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "A burger made entirely from lab-grown meat is expected to be unveiled by October this year (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/19/test-tube-burger-meat-eating). But costing in excess of $250,000, it's not going to be flying off supermarket shelves quite yet. The lab meat is produced using adult stem cells, which are then grown on scaffolds in cell-culture media (background http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101208/full/468752a.html). Because such lab-assembled muscle is weak, it has to be 'bulked up' by exposing to electric shocks. The researchers, based in the Netherlands, had already grown goldfish fillets in 2002, then fried them in breadcrumbs before giving them to an 'odor and sight' panel to assess whether they seemed edible (the panel were prohibited from tasting them). An instructive graphic of the process here (http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101208/full/468752a/box/1.html)"
Space

+ - 265 What would REAL space combat look like? 13

Submitted by c0mpliant
c0mpliant (1516433) writes "Me and two friends of mine were up until the wee hours of the morning at the weekend debating what REAL space combat would look like. I've spent the days looking it up online from a few sources and there doesn't seem to be any general concensus. So I thought I'd ask a community of peers what they think it would look like. Give our current technology and potential future technology, what shape would any future space battlefield look like? Would capital ships rule the day, cruisers, fighters and bombers or would it be a mix of all?"
Government

+ - 154 UK Government Demands Info On All Calls, Emails and Tweets-> 1

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "the UK government is proposing a ,law that would require phone and Internet companies to store information on all communications, and hand it to the security services when required. The Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP) abandoned by the last government is back on the table, proposed as a means to increase security, and likely to be pushed throgh before the Olympics in London, according to reports."
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+ - 178 Sopa-II : H.R. 1981 "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act"-> 7

Submitted by
TaoPhoenix
TaoPhoenix writes "Here we go! As many of you predicted, SOPA would be rebuilt worse than ever by switching the Copyright flavor to a "Protect the Kiddies" flavor. You were right. H.R. 1981, entitled "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act", has just been sponsored by Lamar Smith, the same lead proponent of SOPA. That was fast! Unfortunately it has a built in cheapo argument ready as a talking point. It also has some nasty and costly data retention clauses that weren't even in SOPA. Are we ready to do another Blackout Day? I don't think we have too many of those left before the fragile Internet coalition becomes exhausted. So, two questions: How do we stop this bill, and how do we win a victory permanent enough that we don't have to do this every single month?
Business Insider version: http://www.businessinsider.com/anonymous-and-internet-advocates-wheres-your-hr-1981-outrage-2012-2
David Seaman's Youtube videocast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBVqm2W56c8"

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+ - 146 E-prescription systems may reduce costly and dangerous medication-related errors->

Submitted by
shirleylopez1177
shirleylopez1177 writes "Approximately 50,000–100,000 people die in America because of preventable adverse events (PAE). These PAEs or medical errors are among the leading causes of death, ranking higher than breast cancer, AIDS and motor vehicle accidents in terms of the number of fatalities caused. As a response to the problem of medication errors, e-prescription systems have emerged. Few studies have looked at how e-prescribing systems compare to traditional systems in their potential to reduce medical errors. However, a study from Australia published two weeks ago in PLoS Medicine examined the impact of e-prescription systems on medication errors in the inpatient setting and demonstrated that these systems are indeed effective."
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Movies

+ - 154 MyndPlay reads your mind to pick the perfect movie ending->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Whether you're in the mood for a film with a happy ending or feeling more like a Machiavellian finale, the MyndPlay media player delivers what you want ... by reading your mind. The system consists of an electroencephalograph (EEG) headset and accompanying software that allows the scenes and narrative of a MyndPlay film to change depending on how the viewer reacts to the story."
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NASA

+ - 223 Unique Map Shows Height of Earth's Forests->

Submitted by Hkibtimes
Hkibtimes (1925918) writes "A group of scientists from NASA and the University of Maryland have created a unique map that shows the heights of the Earth's forests. The map, supposedly an accurate and high-resolution reading, has been created using 2.5 million carefully screened and globally distributed laser pulse measurements sent from space."
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The Military

+ - 167 Nuclear Truckers Haul Warheads Across US

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "As you weave through interstate traffic, you're unlikely to notice a plain-looking Peterbilt tractor-trailer and have no idea that inside the cab an armed federal agent operates a host of electronic countermeasures to keep outsiders from accessing his heavily armored cargo: a nuclear warhead. Adam Weinstein writes that the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) employs nearly 600 couriers to move bombs, weapon components, radioactive metals for research, and fuel for Navy ships and submarines between a variety of labs, reactors and military bases. Hiding nukes in plain sight, and rolling them through major metropolitan centers raises a slew of security and environmental concerns, from theft to terrorist attack to radioactive spills. "Any time you put nuclear weapons and materials on the highway, you create security risks," says Tom Clements, a nuclear security watchdog for Friends of the Earth. For security, cabs are fitted with custom composite armor and lightweight armored glass, a redundant communications systems that link the convoys to a monitoring center in Albuquerque, and the driver has the ability to disable the truck so it can't be moved or opened. The OST hires military veterans, particularly ex-special-operations forces (PDF), who are trained in close-quarters battle, tactical shooting, physical fitness, and shifting smoothly through the gears of a tractor-trailer. But accidents happen. In 1996, a driver flipped his trailer on a two-lane Nebraska hill road after a freak ice storm, sending authorities scrambling to secure its payload of two nuclear bombs and in 2003, two trucks operated by private contractors had rollover accidents in Montana and Tennessee while hauling uranium hexafluoride, a compound use to enrich reactor and bomb fuel."

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