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+ - 195 WebKit as broken as older IE versions?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It's not everyday that we get to hear about the potential downsides of using WebKit, but that's just what has happened as Dave Methvin, president of the jQuery foundation and a member of the core programming team that builds the widely used Web programming tool, lamented in a blog post yesterday. While most are happy to cheer for IE's demise, perhaps having 3 main browser engines is still a good thing. For those that work in the space, does the story ring true? Are we perhaps swearing at the wrong browser when implementing "workarounds" for Firefox or IE?"
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Government

+ - 207 President Obama Calls For New 'Space Race' Funding->

Submitted by dmfinn
dmfinn (2840625) writes "While his union address covered a wide range of topics, President Obama made sure not to skip over the U.S.'s space program. The talking point was nearly identical to the one he gave in 2009, in which he called for space R&D spending to be increased past the levels seen during the the original cold war space race. Now, 4 years after that speach, it appears things have gone the opposite way. Since 2009 NASA has seen some serious cuts. Not only has the space-shuttle program been deactivated, but the agency was forced to endure harsh funding cuts during the presidents latter term. Despite an ominous history, it now seems that Obama is back on the space objective, pushing congress to increase non-defensive R&D spending to 3% of the U.S. GDP. It's important to keep in mind that not all of this money goes directly to space related programs, though under the proposed budget the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories will have their budgets doubled.There will also be an increase in tax credits towards companies and organizations working on these R&D projects.

Should the U.S. go back to its 'Let's put a man on the moon" ideology, or is the federal government fighting an uphill battle against newly emerging private space expeditions? Either way, the question remains whether or not Obama will act on any of the propositions."

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+ - 132 Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout to Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage?

Submitted by Tooke
Tooke (1961582) writes "I've developed focal hand dystonia from playing clarinet. It affects my right pinky (and my ring finger, but to a lesser extent). My pinky isn't totally unusable when typing; however, it isn't nearly as agile as it used to be. When I must press a key with it, I tend to keep the whole finger rigid and move my entire hand instead. I also use my ring finger to press the P and semicolon keys (on QWERTY) which is a bit awkward but better than using the pinky. Thus my question: are there any keyboard layouts that are optimized to reduce right pinky/ring finger usage? I switched to Programmer Dvorak a few years ago, but Dvorak seems to make me use my right hand significantly more than my left. I'm considering mirroring the letter keys so my left hand would be used more. I also came across the Workman layout which looks interesting. I might try using that after switching the numbers and symbols around to be more like Programmer Dvorak. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What else could I do to make typing more comfortable? I've got a long career ahead of me as a programmer (I'm currently a high school senior) and I'd like to take care of my hands as much as possible."
Government

+ - 142 NIST issues a Request for Information concerning the Cybersecurity Framework->

Submitted by
Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace writes "NIST has issued a RIF for Cybersecurity Framework(PDF), which will soon be published in the Federal Register. The Information Technology Laboratory of NIST has created a web site for Cybersecurity Framework.

Clearly, much depends upon how this is implemented. I would encourage all those who are interested to participate in the process. Now is the time to speak out, before the Executive Order is implemented."

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Science

+ - 168 Australian Federal Court rules for patent over breast cancer gene->

Submitted by Bulldust
Bulldust (1248230) writes "Federal Court in Australia has ruled in favour of US biotechnology company Myriad Genetics enabling them to continue to hold the patent over the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1. The same patent is also being reconsidered by the US Supreme Court in the current session."
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+ - 156 NY Times' Broder Responds to Tesla's Elon Musk->

Submitted by
DocJohn
DocJohn writes "NY Times' John Broder responded to Elon Musk's blog entry, responding to accusations with deft and reasonable replies. Accused of driving around a parking lot for no reason, for instance, Broder notes he was simply looking for the poorly marked charging station. Worse of all, much of Broder's behavior can be attributed directly to advice he received from Tesla representatives — something Musk fails to mention."
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Ubuntu

+ - 130 Steam For Linux Officially Released, Available In Ubuntu Software Center->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Valve has officially released Steam for Linux client. Valve is not shying away from using the word Linux on it's home page. With the launch of the official client the company is also offering heavy discounts on games for Linux — over 50 Linux titles are now 50-75% off until Thursday, February 21st at 10 AM PST."
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Data Storage

+ - 108 Ultrasound Waves Used to Increase Data Storage Capacity of Magnetic Media->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Electrical engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) said today that they have found a technique to use high-frequency sound waves to improve magnetic data storage.The data write-technology breakthrough could allow greater amounts of data to be stored on both hard disk drives and NAND flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs), they said. Typically, when magnetic recording material is temporarily heated, even for an instant, it can become momentarily less stiff and more data can be stored at a particular spot. But, the technique has proven difficult to effectively increase capacity because heating tends to spread beyond where it is wanted and the technology involves complex integration of optics, electronics and magnetics, the researchers said. With the new technique, known as acoustic-assisted magnetic recording, ultrasound is directed at a highly specific location on the material while data is being stored, creating elasticity that allows "a tiny portion of the material to bend or stretch." After the ultrasound is turned off, the material immediately returns to its original shape, but the data stored during the process remains in a dense form."
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Python

+ - 149 UK company files for trademark on Python->

Submitted by sunzoomspark
sunzoomspark (1960660) writes "For anyone who works in a company that has an office in a EU Community member state, we need your help.

There is a company in the UK that is trying to trademark the use of the term "Python" for all software, services, servers... pretty much anything having to do with a computer. Specifically, it is the company that got a hold on the python.co.uk domain 13 years ago. At that time we weren't looking a lot at trademark issues, and so we didn't get that domain."

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Games

+ - 200 Valve officially launches Steam for Linux->

Submitted by sl4shd0rk
sl4shd0rk (755837) writes "Valve has finally released Steam for Linux. Although some of the 57 games listed on the Linux Steam site are previously released from the Humble Bundles, there are others which should provide adequate entertainment for anyone bored with the HB games. Among the games listed, many at deep discounts of 50%-75% off, are HalfLife, CounterStrke Source and Serious Sam 3. Hopefully Valve will keep the ports coming as rumor has it that Left 4 Dead had been ported at least for developers."
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Government

+ - 120 The data shows:The top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The largest single users of H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, many of which are based in India, or, if U.S. based, have most employees located overseas, according to government data obtained and analyzed by Computerworld. Most of the largest H-1B users easily account for more than 35,000 H-1B visas under the "initial" or new visas. The total visa cap is 85,000. The analysis comes as supporters of the skilled-worker visa program are trying to hike the H-1B cap to 300,000. Those visas are needed, says one of the bill sponsors, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), to address "the shortage of high-skilled labor we face in this country. This shortage has reached a crisis level.""
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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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