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Science

+ - 149 Source of High-Energy Cosmic Rays Nailed at Last->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "For the past century, physicists have puzzled over cosmic rays, particles (mostly protons) that hurtle through space at high speed and seem to come from all directions equally. What's the source of these galactic projectiles? And how do they come to be traveling so fast? Today, an international team announced a major step toward answering those questions: conclusive evidence that at least some of the cosmic rays come from supernova remnants—expanding shells of matter from exploded stars—that are acting as natural particle accelerators."
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Hardware

+ - 95 Data Centers Springing Up in Old Chip Fabs->

Submitted by miller60
miller60 (554835) writes "A growing number of former semiconductor fabs are becoming server farms. A data center company will convert a former fab near Dallas into a massive data center that will offer between 700,000 and 1.4 million square feet of server space. The company, QTS, followed a similar path with a huge former Qimonda facility in Richmond. In Silicon Valley, Facebook's servers live in an old Seagate plant converted by Fortune Data Centers. Up in Oregon, a former Hynix chip plant is becoming a data center. These facilities offer several attributes that make them good covnersion prospects: lots of existing power and cooling capacity, with raised floor already available in many faciltiies. Data center companies says this existing infrastructure saves them money, leaving less to retrofit."
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Facebook

+ - 97 Ginormous Data: The Story of Facebook's Analytics Back End->

Submitted by
waderoush
waderoush writes "Forget ‘big data’ — Facebook’s data challenges are ‘ginormous,’ to quote Jay Parikh, the company’s vice president of infrastructure engineering. Everybody knows that the social networking site is also the world’s largest photo sharing service, storing some 240 billion photos, with another 350 million uploaded every day (about 7 petabytes per month). But Facebook’s vast and detailed activity logs, which are spread across huge Hadoop clusters of 100 petabytes or more, have received far less attention. This Xconomy article takes an in-depth look at how Parikh’s team manages this back end, and more importantly, how Facebook product engineers use it track the tens of thousands of A/B tests running on the front end on any given day. ‘Our top priority, beyond keeping the site up and running and fast, is enabling our product teams to move at lightning speed,’ Parikh says."
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Software

+ - 136 Game Closure "DevKit" for Mobile HTML5 Games is Open Source->

Submitted by
Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor writes "Silicon Valley startup Game Closure has open-sourced their HTML5 game development toolkit. The trailer video showcases some interesting new technology. It allows game developers to write code in JavaScript on Windows, Mac and Linux desktops to rapidly create and then deploy new games on the Internet, Android, and on iOS cellphones. The source code for the entire stack is available on GitHub, including the changes to Google V8 and Mozilla SpiderMonkey."
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Space

+ - 179 DragonEye: 3D Laser Space Camera->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While a DragonEye LIDAR sounds like a subplot to a James Bond movie, it is what the Dragon spacecraft uses to approach and position itself to dock with the International Space Station. Laser precision comes in handy when trying to attach the 1.3-meter hatch of the Dragon to the football-field-sized space station which travels at an astounding speed of 4.71 miles per second. Once the Dragon capsule passes the R-Bar, it has to preform a series of staggered maneuvers to gradually approach the ISS Keep out Zone, a 200-meter border around the ISS, and get ready for the Canada Arm to grab it at 10-meters out."
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Linux

+ - 288 Valve Releases Steam For Linux Client, Celebrates With Week-Long Sale

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Valve on Thursday announced the release of its Steam for Linux client. You can download the client now for free from the Ubuntu Software Center. In typical Steam fashion, the company is celebrating the big day with a sale: over 50 Linux titles are now 50 percent to 75 percent off until 10:00AM PST on Wednesday, February 21. This means you have just under a week to take advantage, and should be plenty of time for Valve to set a new record in Steam for Linux downloads."

+ - 110 Building a community-based GSM network in Mexico->

Submitted by
ciaby
ciaby writes "We are a small group of hackers, media makers and community organizers who's mission is to increase access to mobile telecommunications to the over 2 billion people without affordable coverage and the 700 million with none at all.
The network will be based on free/open source software (OpenBTS and OpenBSC for the GSM part), and we are currently trying to raise enough funds to get the initial equipment and begin the tests. There is a Indiegogo campaign where you can donate money. If you can't, at least spread it around!"

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Microsoft

+ - 181 IE standardization fading fast->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Just as Internet users in general have defected in huge numbers from Microsoft Internet Explorer over the past several years, the business world, as well, is becoming less dependent on the venerable browser. Companies that used to mandate the use of IE for access to web resources are beginning to embrace a far more heterodox attitude toward web browsers. While it hasn't gone away, the experience of having to use IE 6 to access some legacy in-house web app is becoming less common. "A lot of it has to do with the emergence of the modern web and the popularity of mobile. They have made it very different for companies to truly standardize on a browser," says Gartner Research analyst David Mitchell Smith."
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Wireless Networking

+ - 195 First bionic eye gets FDA blessing->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "The US Food and Drug Administration today approved what it says is the first bionic eye, or retinal prosthesis, that can partially restore the sight of blind individuals after surgical implantation. pecifically the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted artificial retina. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis."
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Transportation

+ - 151 Driver Trapped in Speeding Car at 125 mph

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Guardian reports that Frank Lecerf was driving his Renault Laguna in Northern France when the car's speed jammed at 60mph. Then each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there. While uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane as other cars swerved out of his way, he managed to call emergency services who immediately dispatched a platoon of police cars. Realizing Lecerf had no choice but to keep racing along until his fuel ran out, they escorted him at high speed across almost 125 miles of French motorway, past Calais and Dunkirk, and over the Belgian border. After about an hour, Lecerf's tank spluttered empty and he managed to swerve into a ditch in Alveringem in Belgium, about 125 miles from his home. "My life flashed before me," says Lecerf. "I just wanted it to stop." His lawyer says Lecerf will file a legal complaint over "endangerment of a person's life"."

+ - 95 CERN's LHC Powers Down for Two Years: Higgs Boson Hunt Halts

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Excitement and the media surrounded the Higgs boson particle, also known as the "God Particle," for weeks when it was discovered in part by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). But now, the collider that makes its home with CERN, the famed international organizational that operates the world's largest particle physics laboratory, is powering down. The Higgs boson particle was first discovered by the LHC in 2012. The particle, essentially, interacts with everything that has mass as the objects interact with the all-powerful Higgs field, a concept which, in theory, occupies the entire universe."
Blackberry

+ - 152 BlackBerry founder abandons ship->

Submitted by drdread66
drdread66 (1063396) writes "Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie confirms what Slashdotters have suspected for quite some time: RIM (now BlackBerry) is doomed. Reuters reports today that Balsillie dumped his entire stake in BlackBerry at the end of 2012. While it's common to see high-level executives sell some of their shares to gain some liquidity, it's unusual to see them exit their positions completely. This has to be seen as a massive vote of "no confidence" from someone who was on the inside long enough to know what's going on in the company."
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Medicine

+ - 144 Carbon Nanotubes Help Grow Beating Heart Tissue->

Submitted by
MTorrice
MTorrice writes "Heart attacks kill muscle cells called cardiomyocytes, leaving behind irreparable tissue damage. If scientists could grow cardiac tissue in the lab, they could perhaps graft patches of healthy tissue onto a patient’s damaged heart. A new carbon nanotube-studded hydrogel mimics heart tissue’s electrical and mechanical properties and serves as a scaffold for lab-grown cardiac tissue that beats spontaneously. Short video of beating tissue included."
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Earth

+ - 236 New York City to cut emissions 90% by 2050?->

Submitted by jscheib
jscheib (267420) writes "According to Will Oremus in Slate, a study released today finds that "New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget." The key elements are insulating buildings to cut energy needs, converting to (mostly) electric equipment, and then using carbon-free electricity to supply the small amount of energy still needed. Oremus notes that including energy savings "would reduce the net price tag to something more like $20 billion. The cleanup from Hurricane Sandy, meanwhile, is estimated to cost $50 billion.

The full report is here."

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Censorship

+ - 208 Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban->

Submitted by Onymous Hero
Onymous Hero (910664) writes "With the printing and distribution of pornography already banned in Iceland, further measures to stop internet porn are being considered by Iceland's Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson. From the article: "Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried," said Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University. "It is looking a pornography from a new position — from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights.""
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+ - 214 Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That New York Times Tesla Model S Test Drive Was-> 1

Submitted by
mykepredko
mykepredko writes "Tesla Motors CEO and founder Elon Musk definitely isn’t the best guy to try to pull a fast one on. The visionary entrepreneur set Twitter a titter when he claimed earlier this week that New York Times writer John Broder had fudged details about the Tesla Models S car’s range in cold weather, resulting in what he termed a “fake” article. Musk promised evidence, and now he has delivered, via the official Tesla blog."
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Google

+ - 122 Google 'flaw' puts users' details on display->

Submitted by Strudelkugel
Strudelkugel (594414) writes "EVERY time you purchase an app on Google Play, your name, address and email is passed on to the developer, it has been revealed today. The "flaw" — which appears to be by design — was discovered this morning by Sydney app developer, Dan Nolan who told news.com.au that he was uncomfortable being the custodian of this information and that there was no reason for any developer to have this information at their finger tips."
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Mars

+ - 119 Laser Device Designed for Mars Unmasks Counterfeit Honey->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "When someone mentions counterfeiting, it brings up images of money, watches or DVDs. It certainly doesn't make honey spring to mind, yet honey smuggling and counterfeiting is an international problem involving hundreds of millions of dollars. In an effort to combat this, the European Space Agency (ESA) is funding a demonstration project to adopt lasers designed to study the Martian atmosphere, to detect fake honey."
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Open Source

+ - 141 Lua Scripting Language Support Coming To NetBSD Kernel->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With the release of NetBSD 7, it will be possible to extend kernel sub-systems and write device drivers in the Lua scripting language. A Lua interpreter is being added to the NetBSD kernel, a proper programming kernel interface, and a user-space interface for loading Lua scripts into the NetBSD kernel in real-time. Reasons expressed for adding Lua support to the NetBSD kernel is "modifying software written in C is hard for users", providing a rapid application development approach to drivers and the kernel, and better configuring of kernel sub-systems. Python and Java script support was looked at too, but they ended up settling for Lua. Lua scripting support for the kernel has been worked on since 2010."
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Idle

+ - 175 Can You Potty Train a Cow?->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Think potty training a child is hard? Try teaching a cow when and where to do its business. The bovines can defecate nine to 16 times daily, and pee seven to nine times, creating big hygiene problems on dairy and beef farms. So cueing the animals to go in the right place would be a big help for managing manure. But past techniques—including training cows to respond to mild electric shocks—have proven ineffective or impractical for wide use. To see if they could come up with a better potty prompt, the scientists tested a series of stimuli on a dozen Holstein cows. The milkers stood in or walked through a footbath filled with water, for example, or had air or water sprayed on their feet. Alas, "[n]one of our tests reliably stimulated defecation," the team reports. Maybe bovine diapers instead?"
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