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Hardware

+ - 182 Samsung may start making ARM server chips->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Samsung's recent licensing of 64-bit processor designs from ARM suggests that the chip maker may expand from smartphones and tablets into the server market, analysts believe. Samsung last week licensed ARM's first 64-bit Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors, a sign the chip maker is preparing the groundwork to develop 64-bit chips for low-power servers, analysts said. The faster 64-bit processors will appear in servers, high-end smartphones and tablets, and offer better performance-per-watt than ARM's current 32-bit processors, which haven't been able to expand beyond embedded and mobile devices. The first servers with 64-bit ARM processors are expected to become available in 2014."
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Space

+ - 180 Super-Earth Discovered in Stars' Habitable Zone->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "The family of planets circling a relatively close dwarf star has grown to six, including a potential rocky world at least seven times more massive than Earth that is properly located for liquid water to exist on its surface, a condition believed to be necessary for life. Scientists added three new planets to three discovered in 2008 orbiting an orange star called HD 40307, which is roughly three-quarters as massive as the sun and located about 42 light-years away in the constellation Pictor. Of particular interest is the outermost planet, which is believed to fly around its parent star over 320 days, a distance that places it within HD 40307's so-called "habitable zone.""
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Government

+ - 139 California Sex Offenders get Support from the EFF-> 2

Submitted by Bobfrankly1
Bobfrankly1 (1043848) writes "The EFF sued to block portions of the approved Prop 35 today. Prop 35 requires sex offenders (including indecent exposure and non-internet offenses) to provide all of their online aliases to law enforcement. This would include e-mail addresses, screen and user names, and other identifiers used on the internet.
The heart of the matter as the EFF sees it, would be not only the chilling effect it would have on free speech, but also the propensity of these kind of laws to be applied to other (non-sex offending) people as well."

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Science

+ - 164 Study: The universe has almost stopped making new stars->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "By Ian Steadman, Wired UK:
    Most of the stars that will ever exist have already been born, according to the most comprehensive survey of the age of the night sky.
    An international team of astronomers used three telescopes —the UK Infrared Telescope and the Subaru Telescope, both in Hawaii, and Chile’s Very Large Telescope — to study trends in star formation, from the earliest days of the universe. Extrapolating their findings has revealed that half of all the stars that have ever existed were created between 9 and 11 billion years ago, with the other half created in the years since. That means that rate at which new stars are born has dropped off massively, to the extent that (if this trend continues) 95 percent of all the stars that this universe will ever see have already been born. Several studies have looked at specific time “epochs”, but the different methods used by each study has restricted the ability to compare their findings and discern a fuller model of how stars have evolved over the course of the entire universe’s lifespan.
    We do know that many stars around today — including our own — likely formed out of the dust left over from earlier, bigger stars going supernova in the early years of the universe. The problem was figuring out exactly how many stars the universe used to give birth to relative to how many are born in later years, as it seemed that at some point there was a steep drop off in the creation of new stars.
The telescopes searched for alpha particles emitted by Hydrogen atoms (commonly found in star formation, appearing as a bright red light) throughout huge patches of sky. Snapshots were taken of the look of the universe at defined different points in time, when it was 2, 4, 6 and 9 billion years old — a sample that’s 10 times as large as any previous similar study.
    The results showed clearly that half of all the stars that have ever existed in the universe were created more than 9 billion years ago, with the remaining half coming into existence since then."

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Science

+ - 157 Nanoscale Device Makes Light Travel Infinitely Fast->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Physicists have developed a tiny device in which the index of refraction for visible light is zero—so that within it, visible light travels infinitely fast. The gizmo won't lead to instantaneous communication—the famous speed limit of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity remains in force—but it could have a variety of pretty cool uses, including serving as an element in a type of optical circuitry."
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Medicine

+ - 174 Do Recreational Drugs Help Programmers?-> 1

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Among the winners of last night's election: marijuana users. Voters in both Washington and Colorado approved referenda that legalized marijuana for recreational use, though the drug remains illegal under federal law. There's been a long-standing debate among programmers as to whether recreational drugs, including pot and hallucinagens like LSD, can actually help programmers code. Don't forget, there was a substantial overlap between the wave of computer professionals who came of age in the '60s and that era's counterculture."
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Businesses

+ - 138 Elon Musk Will Usher in the Era of Electric Cars ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "There’s a reason why Elon Musk is being called the next Steve Jobs. Like Jobs, he’s a visionary, a super successful serial entrepreneur, having made his initial fortune with a company he sold to Compaq before starting Paypal. Like Jobs, he saved his beloved baby Tesla Motors from the brink of oblivion. Like Jobs, he’s a genius generalist with “huge steel balls” (according to his ex-wife) and a knack for paradigm-shifting industry disruption. Which means he’s also demanding. “Like Jobs, Elon does not tolerate C or D players,” SpaceX board member and early Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson told BusinessWeek.

But while Jobs was slinging multi-colored music players and touchable smartphones, Musk is building rocket ships and electric-powered supercars. It’s why his friends describe him as not just Steve Jobs but also John D. Rockefeller and Howard Hughes all wrapped in one. His friend Jon Favreau used Musk as the real-life inspiration for the big screen version of Tony Stark. Elon Musk is a badass."

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Robotics

+ - 138 Dragonfly spy drone fits in a hand Georgia Tech->

Submitted by
garymortimer
garymortimer writes "The TechJect Robot Dragonfly is a multi-engineering design. It requires everything from aerodynamics, machine design, mechatronics, electronics, communication systems, flight control software, user-interfaces and much more. We’ve put in a lot of work to bring harmony to chaos and bring the dragonfly to life; however, getting something robust enough to endure the elements, strong enough to outlast crashes and accidents; smart enough so everyone can operate them easily; and finally cheap enough so everyone can afford one, we have to professionally manufacture the robot bugs; which is an expensive proposition."
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Businesses

+ - 149 Pixar Names Main Studio Building for Steve Jobs

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jordan Kahn reports that the main building on Pixar’s campus has been named in memory of Steve Jobs who actually played a big role in designing the building itself as CEO of Pixar. Pixar’s campus design originally separated different employee disciplines into different buildings – one for computer scientists, another for animators, and a third building for everybody else but according to Jobs’ recent biography, the headquarters was to be a place that “promoted encounters and unplanned collaborations.” Because Jobs was fanatic about unplanned collaborations, he envisioned a campus where these encounters could take place, and his design included a great atrium space that acts as a central hub for the campus. “Steve’s theory worked from day one,” says John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer. "I’ve never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one.”"

+ - 322 James Bond film 'Skyfall' inspired by Stuxnet virus->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "No smartphones. No exploding pens. No ejector seats. No rocket-powered submarines. “It’s a brave new world,” gadget-maker Q tells James Bond in the new film “Skyfall.” The new film, released on the 50th anniversary of the storied franchise, presents a gadget-free Bond fighting with both brains and brawn against a high-tech villain with computer prowess Bill Gates would be envious of. What inspired such a villain? "Stuxnet," producer Michael G. Wilson said. “There is a cyberwar that has been going on for some time, and we thought we’d bring that into the fore and let people see how it could be going on.""
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Canada

+ - 145 Canadian Copyright Reform In Force: Expanded User Rights Now the Law->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This morning, the majority of Bill C-11, Canada's copyright reform bill, took effect, marking the most significant changes to Canadian copyright law in decades. Michael Geist summarizes the changes, which include expanded fair dealing, new protection for creators of user generated content, consumer exceptions such as time shifting, format shifting, and backup copies, and a cap on liability for non-commercial infringement."
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Science

+ - 194 Researchers Create Working Laser the Size of a Virus Particle->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a laser the size of a virus particle that can operate at room temperature. The "nanolaser," which uses gold nanoparticles instead of mirrors, is claimed to be the first demonstration to make use of a so-called bowtie arrangement of metal nanoparticles, though nano-scale lasers have been previously demonstrated."
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Google

+ - 239 Ask Slashdot: How would you convince someone to give up an old system? 5

Submitted by Vanderhoth
Vanderhoth (1582661) writes "I’m currently serving as a new member of a board for a not for profit organization. The board currently has a few other members, and a couple of vacant positions. One of the issues I’ve noticed since joining the board is the method in which they conduct business is very out of date. The member that maintains our web presences (Bob) has developed a system over the last ten years to allow us to store documents, such as agendas and minutes on a website server.

Some of the big issues are:
  • The system is very disorganized, there are documents from the late 90’s that aren’t relevant, but have to be sifted through to find more current stuff.
  • Often documents are not where they should be and are difficult to find.
  • No one except Bob really knows how the system works, and
  • No one really wants to use the system because of the monster it’s become.

My concern is if Bob decided to leave the organization no one would be able to maintain the existing system and we would be scrambling to put something new in place. I feel, for what we want to do, Google Docs would be an excellent platform for collaborating and sharing documents. The other board members, except Bob, have agreed with me, but are worried that bringing the issues with the existing system may cause offense and ultimately cause Bob to leave. Other than being overly vested in a system he developed, Bob is an important part of our board and a very valuable member.

We’re already having a difficult time finding members to serve on the board so it’s very important that we don’t lose any existing board members. I’m hoping that I can convince the Bob to start supporting some Google docs objects on the site and try to wean him off his existing system to something a bit more manageable and collaborative that can be passed on to new members and maintained easily.

I don’t want this to turn into old dogs and new tricks. I’m not that far behind Bob in years and can appreciate the difficulty of being told it’s time to give in to something more modern. I’m wondering how the situation could be approached tactfully so maybe Bob will see how much easier a new system could be for everyone, including him."

Security

+ - 149 The Web Won't Be Safe or Secure until We Break It

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "Jeremiah Grossman of Whitehat Security has an article at the ACM in which he outlines the current state of browser security, specifically drive-by downloads.

"These attacks are primarily written with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so they are not identifiable as malware by antivirus software in the classic sense. They take advantage of the flawed way in which the Internet was designed to work."

Grossman's proposed solution is to make the desktop browser more like its mobile cousins.

"By adopting a similar application model on the desktop using custom-configured Web browsers (let's call them DesktopApps), we could address the Internet's inherent security flaws. These DesktopApps could be branded appropriately and designed to launch automatically to Bank of America's or Facebook's Web site, for example, and go no further. Like their mobile application cousins, these DesktopApps would not present an URL bar or anything else making them look like the Web browsers they are on the surface, and of course they would be isolated from one another.""

+ - 157 Me.ga Suspended, Dotcom Says "We Have Alternative Domain"->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Kim Dotcom’s plan of launching a “bigger, better, faster, stronger, safer” Megaupload successor, Mega, is already in peril as Gabon's government has suspended the domain www.me.ga. Announcing his decision, Gabon’s Communication Minister Blaise Louembe said "I have instructed my departments... to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga" in a bid to "protect intellectual property rights" and "fight cyber crime effectively." Dotcom has revealed through a tweet that he is in possession on an alternative domain name and that the recent suspension “demonstrates the bad faith witch hunt the US government is on.”"
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Education

+ - 150 Tuition Should be Lower for Science Majors Says Florida Task Force

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jordan Weissmann writes that a task force commissioned by Florida Governor Rick Scott is putting the finishing touches on a proposal that would allow the state's public universities to charge lower tuition for studying topics thought to be in high demand among Florida employers including science, technology, engineering, and math. The hope is that by keeping certain degrees cheaper than others, Florida can encourage students into fields where it needs more talent. For some, it might seem inherently unfair to send dance majors deeper into debt just to keep tuition low for engineers, who are already poised to earn more once they graduate but task force chair Dale Brill says tax dollars are scarce, and the public deserves the best possible return from its investment in education and that means spending more generously on the students who are most likely to help grow Florida's economy once they graduate. Brill also argues that too few young people consider their career prospects carefully when picking a major. “We’re trying to introduce some semblance of a market dynamic information in an environment where there is none,” Brill says. “Most students couldn’t tell you what they pay in tuition. In economics, pricing is all we have to determine and work out supply and demand. So, when the consumer is completely separated from the cost of a product, then the cost rises.”"
AT&T

+ - 150 AT&T To Pay $700,000 For Overcharging Consumers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "CNet reports on an agreement between AT&T and the FCC which will require the telecom company to pay $700,000 to the federal government. AT&T will also refund charges to customers who were switched from pay-as-you-go data plans to monthly plans after AT&T said they could keep the old plans. 'AT&T has also agreed to an extensive compliance plan (PDF), which includes: consumer notification, training of customer care representatives, and periodic compliance reports to the FCC. AT&T must also conduct additional searches of its records to identify improperly switched consumers and ensure appropriate refunds.'"
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