First time accepted submitter smazsyr writes "An international collaboration of scientists is reporting in landmark detail the decay process of a subatomic particle called a kaon – information that may help answer fundamental questions about how the universe began. The calculation in the study required 54 million processor hours on the IBM BlueGene/P supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory, the equivalent of 281 days of computing with 8,000 processors. 'This calculation brings us closer to answering fundamental questions about how matter formed in the early universe and why we, and everything else we observe today, are made of matter and not anti-matter,' says a co-author of the paper."
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New submitter Dega704 writes with an excerpt from El Reg: "Before Steve Jobs came up with the iPhone or even the Apple II, he designed paddles for ball-flipping games at Atari where the scruffy 19-year-old was employed to improve game design. Sotheby's New York will auction off a document dating from Jobs's time there: a 1974 report that Jobs wrote for his boss suggesting ways to improve arcade game World Cup. According to Jobs' biography, his Atari days are most notable for his clashes with colleagues, who he considered to be 'dumb shits'. He was made to work night shifts there partly because he was in a phase of refusing to wash and so he apparently smelt bad, causing complaints from his co-workers. But Jobs obviously did some work at Atari too, with the document laying out his ideas for improving player experience. The typed four-page document includes three circuit designs in pencil and additional designs for the paddles and alignment of players defending a soccer goal."
scibri writes, quoting Nature: "A loose coalition of eco-anarchist groups is increasingly launching violent attacks on scientists. A group calling itself the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation International Revolutionary Front has claimed responsibility for the non-fatal shooting of a nuclear-engineering executive on 7 May in Genoa. The same group sent a letter bomb to a Swiss pro-nuclear lobby group in 2011; attempted to bomb IBM's nanotechnology laboratory in Switzerland in 2010; and has ties with a group responsible for at least four bomb attacks on nanotechnology facilities in Mexico. Another branch of the group attacked railway signals in Bristol, UK, last week in an attempt to disrupt employees of nearby defense technology firms (no word on whether anyone noticed the difference between an anarchist attack and a normal Wednesday on the UK's railways). A report by Swiss intelligence says such loosely affiliated groups are increasingly working together."
theodp writes "Covered earlier on Slashdot, but lost in the buzz over the Google driverless car is Project Sartre (Safe Road Trains for the Environment), Europe's experiment with 'vehicle platooning,' which has successfully completed a 125 mile road test on a busy Spain motorway. Three Volvos drove themselves by automatically following a truck in the presence of other, normal road users. The Register reports that on-board cameras, radar and laser tracking allow each vehicle to monitor the one in front, and wirelessly streamed data from the lead vehicle tells each car when to accelerate, break and turn."
ericjones12398 writes "Just one decade ago, sequencing an entire human genome cost upwards of $10 million and took about three years to complete. Now, several companies are racing to provide technology that can sequence a complete human genome in one day for less than $1,000. 'A genome sequence for $1,000 was a pipe dream, just a few years ago,' said Dr. Richard Gibbs, director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, 'A $1,000 genome in less than one day was not even on the radar, but will transform the clinical applications of sequencing."
An anonymous reader writes "Wired is reporting on a massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation. Kaspersky Lab, the company that discovered the malware, has a FAQ with more details."
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times reports that Facebook has resumed its stealthy efforts to create a smartphone, apparently to assert its position in an Internet increasingly accessed via mobile devices, and to counter products and moves made by major competitors Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. The Times reports that Mark Zuckerberg has gotten personally involved in the project, which has recently landed several iPhone/iPad engineers from Apple. Wired ran a similar story a month ago, reporting that Facebook has ramped up its "Buffy" code-named collaboration with HTC on a phone which will probably be Android-based, support HTML5 and include a large touchscreen and high-quality camera (for Instagram). Facebook won't confirm or deny these reports."
Hugh Pickens writes "Information Age reports that the Cambridge University researchers have discovered that a microprocessor used by the US military but made in China contains secret remote access capability, a secret 'backdoor' that means it can be shut off or reprogrammed without the user knowing. The 'bug' is in the actual chip itself, rather than the firmware installed on the devices that use it. This means there is no way to fix it than to replace the chip altogether. 'The discovery of a backdoor in a military grade chip raises some serious questions about hardware assurance in the semiconductor industry,' writes Cambridge University researcher Sergei Skorobogatov. 'It also raises some searching questions about the integrity of manufacturers making claims about [the] security of their products without independent testing.' The unnamed chip, which the researchers claim is widely used in military and industrial applications, is 'wide open to intellectual property theft, fraud and reverse engineering of the design to allow the introduction of a backdoor or Trojan', Does this mean that the Chinese have control of our military information infrastructure asks Rupert Goodwins? 'No: it means that one particular chip has an undocumented feature. An unfortunate feature, to be sure, to find in a secure system — but secret ways in have been built into security systems for as long as such systems have existed.'" Even though this story has been blowing-up on Twitter, there are a few caveats. The backdoor doesn't seem to have been confirmed by anyone else, Skorobogatov is a little short on details, and he is trying to sell the scanning technology used to uncover the vulnerability.
Barence writes "An error in Outlook's public holidays calendar has incorrectly given Britons the day off work. Today was originally meant to be a Bank Holiday in Britain, but the holiday was postponed for a week to coincide with the Queen's diamond jubilee next week. However, Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live services are still reporting today as Britain's Spring Bank Holiday, potentially tricking Britons into believing they have the day off work."
A lot of us are going to be standing over a grill today cooking for friends and family. Here's an article that lists some of the best gadgets to help you grill like a geek. Whether you want some high-tech tongs, thermometers you can monitor from your phone, or a complete grilling station with wi-fi, there is bound to be a tool here that will make your day easier and a lot more fun.
ananyo writes "Chemists in the UK have made a five-ring polyaromatic hydrocarbon and dubbed it 'olympicene'. The molecule is just a couple of nanometers wide and can be regarded as a little fragment of graphene. Strictly speaking, of course, the molecule might constitute an 'unofficial use' of the motif and land the scientists in court for copyright infringement."
Hugh Pickens writes "As we move into Memorial Day and Americans remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, I wanted to share the story of my Uncle Donald Cress born in 1922 in Bath Township, Minnesota who served as a Radioman, Third Class on the USS Robalo, one of the US Navy's 'Fresh Water Submarines' because they were commissioned in the Great Lakes. On the western shore of Lake Michigan, about 80 miles north of Milwaukee, lies Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a city whose shipyards had built car ferries and ore boats since 1902. In 1939 war broke out in Europe and President Roosevelt declared a limited National Emergency and U.S. Navy shipbuilders were concerned that submarine building capacity was not sufficient to support a long war. The US Navy asked the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company to build submarines, a task far beyond their existing capabilities, but assured them that the Electric Boat Company, with the only shipyard in the country capable of building submarines, would provide plans and whatever assistance they would need. Manitowoc's shipyard grew from 500 employees to 7,000 employees at its peak working three shifts around the clock 365 days a year and by the end of the war had built 25 submarines in time to see action that together sank 132 Japanese ships. 'It appears from the results obtained at Manitowoc that given a set of good plans, competent engineers and skilled workman can follow them and build what is called for even though it might be very much more sophisticated than anything they have built before,' writes Rear Admiral William T. Nelson. But there was one more thing the shipyard had going for it. After Pearl Harbor the entire community was now engaged in vital and important war work, sacrifice was the order of the day, and each boat was their boat. 'With the entire community following the construction with such interest and spirit, success was inevitable.'"
Fluffeh writes "The British Gov might have more cameras up on street corners than just about anywhere else in the world, but it seems that the Gov doesn't want anyone else stepping on the privacy of their folks. In what the media have dubbed the 'Cookie Law' all operators of websites in Britain must notify users of the tracking that the website does. This doesn't only cover cookies, but all forms of tracking and analytics performed on visitors. While there are potential fines up up to 500,000 pounds (Over US$750,000) for websites not following these new rules, the BBC announced that very few websites are ready, even most of its own sites aren't up to speed — and amusingly even the governments own websites aren't ready."
angry tapir writes "A Japanese robotics lab has developed a new emergency response prototype that will soon be put to work at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northern Japan. The robot, called 'Rosemary,' is about the size of a lawn mower and has four extended treaded feet that swivel up and down to help it climb over obstacles."
CIStud writes "The IT industry is hurting for women. Currently only 11% of IT companies are owned by women. The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program requires 5% of all IT jobs to go to female-owned integration companies, but there must be at least 2 female bidders. There are so few female bidders that women-owned IT firms are ineligible for the contracts. From the article: 'Wendy Frank, founder of Accell Security Inc. in Birdsboro, Pa., wishes she had more competitors. It's not often you hear any integrator say that, but in Frank's case, she has good reason. The current Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes five percent of Federal prime and subcontracts to be set aside for WOSBs. While that might sound fair on the surface, in order to invoke the money set aside for this program, the contracting officer at an agency has to have a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs will submit offers for the job. “We could not participate in the government’s Women-Owned Small Business program unless there was another female competitor,” says Frank. “Procurement officers required that at least two women-owned small businesses compete for the contracts, even in the IT field, where women-owned businesses are underrepresented.”'"