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Math

+ - 204 Climate treaty negotiators are taking the wrong approach, says game theory->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Climate treaty negotiators would do well to have a little chat with some game theorists, according to this article. The fundamental approach they've been taking for the last several years is flawed, these researchers say, and they can prove it. They also have some better ideas about what to do."
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Google

+ - 144 Google open non-destructive book scanner; books and libraries rejoice->

Submitted by
leighklotz
leighklotz writes "Google released open hardware designs for a book scanner that "sucks" pages to turn them, using a vacuum cleaner. The Google Tech Talk Video starts with Jeff Breidenbach of the Google Books team, and moves on to Dany Qumsiyeh showing how simple his design is to build. Could it be that the Google Books team has had enough of destroying the library in order to save it? Or maybe the just want to up-stage the Internet Archive's Scanning Robot.

Disclaimer: I worked with Jeff when we were at Xerox (where he did the awesome hack Gnu Chess on your Scanner), but this is more awesome because it saves books."

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Software

+ - 216 US Air Force scraps ERP project after $1 billion spent->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Air Force has decided to scrap a major ERP (enterprise resource planning) software project after spending US$1 billion, concluding that finishing it would cost far too much more money for too little gain. Dubbed the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), the project has racked up $1.03 billion in costs since 2005, "and has not yielded any significant military capability," an Air Force spokesman said in a statement. "We estimate it would require an additional $1.1B for about a quarter of the original scope to continue and fielding would not be until 2020. The Air Force has concluded the ECSS program is no longer a viable option for meeting the FY17 Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) statutory requirement. Therefore, we are cancelling the program and moving forward with other options in order to meet both requirements.""
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 208 Volcano may have killed off new bioluminescent cockroach->

Submitted by terrancem
terrancem (1928624) writes "A newly discovered light-producing cockroach, Lucihormetica luckae, may have already been driven to extinction by a volcanic eruption in Ecuador. The species, only formally described by scientists this year, hasn't been spotted since the Tungurahua Volcano erupted in July 2010. The new species was notable because it represented the only known case of mimicry by bioluminescence in a land animal. Like a venomless king snake beating its tail to copy the unmistakable warning of a rattlesnake, Lucihormetica luckae's bioluminescent patterns are nearly identical to the poisonous click beetle, with which it shares (or shared) its habitat."
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Science

+ - 164 Entire Pig Genome Sequenced in Breakthrough That Could Combat Human Disease->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists announced Wednesday that they have mapped the entire genome of the domestic pig, revealing that besides providing tasty bacon and sausages, the animal may also be useful in fighting human diseases.
The study published in the journal Nature found that pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations that have previously been linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, according to US and European researchers.
Researchers said that because pigs share many of the same complex genetic diseases as humans, the animals would serve as excellent models for studying the underlying biology of human disease."

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Security

+ - 150 Hacker Grabs 150k Adobe User Accounts via SQL Injection->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "Adobe today confirmed that one of its databases has been breached by a hacker and that it had temporarily taken offline the affected Connectusers.com website. The hacker, who also goes by Adam Hima, told Dark Reading that the server he attacked was the Connectusers.com Web server, and that he exploited a SQL injection flaw to execute the attack. "It was an SQL Injection vulnerability, somehow I was able to dump the database in less requests than normal people do," he says. Users passwords for the Adobe Connectusers site were stored and hashed with MD5, he says, which made them "easy to crack" with freely available tools. And Adobe wasn't using WAFs on the servers, he notes. Tal Beery, a security researcher at Imperva, analyzed the data dump in the Connectusers Pastebin post and found that the list appears to be valid and that the hacked database was relatively old."
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Internet Explorer

+ - 204 IE 10 almost finished for Windows 7 with final preview-> 1

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "IE 10 just hit the final preview yesterday for Windows 7. Windows XP and Windows Vista support has been dropped. Most slashdotters have a complex relationship with Internet Explorer. Many of us are hating it, while some of us are writting websites for it, or supporting it in an office setting. Microsoft has tried last year to make IE good again with release IE 9 which had some fanfare on slashdot, such as hardware acceleration and better standards compliancy, while MS even launched a full campaign to get us to switch.. IE 10 is supposed to continue the new process and promises to be much faster and support much more HTML 5 and CSS 3 and W3C HTML 5.1 and CSS 3.1 with a score of 320 on HTML5test. As a comparison, last years IE 9 only scored 138. The download is available here. Perhaps a few webdevelopers could care to comment if MS is really changing up its game since IE 6? It also appears that MS is rapidly releasing its browser on an annual schedule as well. What are the reactions of IT departments since IE 9 is now going to be an obsolete browser already?"
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Moon

+ - 230 Google Lunar X Prize teams now in a race with China as well as each other->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "The Google Lunar X Prize rules of competition has a clause that reduces the $20 million grand prize to $15 million for the first private group to land a rover on the lunar surface should a government funded rover land first. The first scheduled government funded rover to land on the moon is the Chinese Chang’e 3. It is slated for a 2013 landing."
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Android

+ - 194 CyanogenMod Domain Stolen->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The team behind CyanogenMod, one of the most popular community-driven, Android-based operating systems for phones and tablets, has announced that they're moving to Cyanogenmod.org after their .com domain was held ransom by a community member. He had been in control of the .com domain name for some time, but the team found out he was impersonating Cyanogen to make deals with community sites. When they removed his access to other parts of the CM infrastructure, he demanded $10,000 to relinquish control of the domain and threatened to change the DNS entries. When they refused to pay, he went through with it. The team is now disputing control of the domain with ICANN. They said, 'We will continue to be open about the what, when, how, but unfortunately, we may never know the "why" – though greed comes to mind. The team itself has not made a profit off of CM and that is not our goal. But to have one of our own betray the community like this is beyond our comprehension.'"
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Red Hat Software

+ - 247 Red Hat Developer Demands Competitor's Source Code->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "A very serious argument erupted on the Linux kernel mailing list when Andy Grover, a Red Hat SCSI target engineer, requested that Nicholas A. Bellinger, the Linux SCSI target maintainer, provide proof of non-infringment of the GPL. Nick is developer at Rising Tide Systems, a Red Hat competitor, and a maker of advanced SCSI storage systems. Nick's company recently produced a groundbreaking technology involving advanced SCSI commands which will give Rising Tide Systems a lead in producing SCSI storage systems. Now, RTS is blocking Red Hat for getting access to that code as its proprietary. What's uncertain is whether RTS' code is covered by GPL or not — if it is then Red Hat has all the rights to get access to it and it's a serious GPL violation."
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Microsoft

+ - 249 The Empire In Decline?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Pundits continue to weigh in on Steve Sinofsky's sudden exit from Microsoft (as executive head of Windows Division, he oversaw the development and release of Windows 7 and 8). SemiAccurate's Charlie Demerjian sees Microsoft headed for a steep decline, with their habit of creating walled gardens deliberately incompatible with competitors' platforms finally catching up to them. Few PC users are upgrading to Windows 8 with its unwanted Touch UI, sales of the Surface tablet are disappointing, and few are buying Windows Phones. On the Sinofsky front, Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley is willing to take the Redmond insiders' word that the departure was more about Sinofsky's communication style and deficiencies as a team player than on unfavorable market prospects for Windows 8 and Surface. Meanwhile, anonymous blogger Mini-Microsoft had suspiciously little to say."

+ - 174 Salt Lake City Police to wear cameras.->

Submitted by
Psychotic_Wrath
Psychotic_Wrath writes "Salt Lake Police department will be much more transparent with their law enforcement. A program is being rolled out to require officers wear glasses equipped with a camera to record what they see. Of course there are several officers that oppose this idea, and will resist the change. One of the biggest shockers to me is that the police chief is in strong support of this measure.

If Chief Burbank gets his way, these tiny, weightless cameras will soon be on every police officer in the state.

With all the opposition of police officers being recorded by citizens that we are seeing throughout the country it is quite a surprise that they would make a move like this. The officers would wear them when they are investigating crime scenes, serving warrants, and during patrols. Suddenly Utah isn't looking like such a bad place to be. Now we just need to hope other states and departments would follow suite. It sure will be nice when there is video evidence to show the real story.

"

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Network

+ - 221 New WiFi protocol boosts congested wireless network throughput by 700%->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Engineers at NC State University (NCSU) have discovered a way of boosting the throughput of busy WiFi networks by up to 700%. Perhaps most importantly, the breakthrough is purely software-based, meaning it could be rolled out to existing WiFi networks relatively easily — instantly improving the throughput and latency of the network. As wireless networking becomes ever more prevalent, you may have noticed that your home network is much faster than the WiFi network at the airport or a busy conference center. The primary reason for this is that a WiFi access point, along with every device connected to it, operates on the same wireless channel. This single-channel problem is also compounded by the fact that it isn't just one-way; the access point also needs to send data back to every connected device. To solve this problem, NC State University has devised a scheme called WiFox. In essence, WiFox is some software that runs on a WiFi access point (i.e. it’s part of the firmware) and keeps track of the congestion level. If WiFox detects a backlog of data due to congestion, it kicks in and enables high-priority mode. In this mode, the access point gains complete control of the wireless network channel, allowing it to clear its backlog of data. Then, with the backlog clear, the network returns to normal. We don’t have the exact details of the WiFox scheme/protocol (it’s being presented at the ACM CoNEXT conference in December), but apparently it increased the throughput of a 45-device WiFi network by 700%, and reduced latency by 30-40%."
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Music

+ - 209 Band uses nuclear isotopes to make music->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Every second in your body, thousands of tiny isotopes are bursting with radioactive decay. And, all around you, imperceptible gamma rays explode in a brilliant but invisible lightshow. And they've just formed a live band. Yes, you read that correctly. But it's all for science: The Radioactive Orchestra 2.0 is part of a Swedish project to help us understand how low-energy radiation works, by showing the energy patterns of nuclear isotopes. Swedish musician Kristofer Hagbard conceived of the orchestra about a year ago and released an album last spring, but the new 2.0 version of "the band" allows him to perform live in front of an audience. “This can be looked at as a piano for high energy photons, so every detection gives us a note,” Hagbard said. “The musical instrument is as good as the gamma spectrometer we are using.”"
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Network

+ - 148 Battery-Powered Transmitter Could Crash UK's 4G Network->

Submitted by
DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 writes "With a £400 transmitter, a laptop and a little knowledge you could bring down an entire city's high-speed 4G network.

This information comes from research carried out in the US into the possibility of using LTE networks as the basis for a next-generation emergency response communications system.

Jeff Reed, director of the wireless research group at Virginia Tech, along with research assistant, Marc Lichtman, described the vulnerabilities to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which advises the White House on telecom and information policy.

"If LTE technology is to be used for the air interface of the public safety network, then we should consider the types of jamming attacks that could occur five or ten years from now. It is very possible for radio jamming to accompany a terrorist attack, for the purpose of preventing communications and increasing destruction," Reed said."

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Politics

+ - 197 Nate Silver turns his eye to the American League->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Nate Silver is at it again. Here's a quote: "It might seem as if these statistics make Cabrera, the first triple crown winner in either league since 1967, a shoo-in for the M.V.P. But most statistically minded fans would prefer that it go to another player, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.""
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+ - 157 'Rogue (wandering) planet' spotted 100 light-years away-> 1

Submitted by Maow
Maow (620678) writes ""This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1,000 times the [area] of the full moon," said study co-author Etienne Artigau of the University of Montreal.

"We observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighbourhood."

This planet appears to be an astonishingly young 50-120 million years old.

The paper is published at arxiv.org.

Here's hoping the Mayan End-of-World-2012 people don't seize upon this as some kind of impending rogue planet on a collision course with Earth, but one can expect it'll be bantered about on such forums."

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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."
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+ - 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."
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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."
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+ - 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."
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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.'"
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