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BSD

+ - 190 Meanwhile: BSD at the Start of 2013->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "NetBSD developer Julian Djamil Fagir provides a nice briefing on what the big three BSD projects have been working on, and explains/reminds us of their cultural differences. Stick a fork in them? Yes, Djamil Fagir mentions a couple of those, too. The recent releases from FreeBSD and NetBSD were covered by Slashdot."
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Medicine

+ - 123 Proteins behind mad-cow disease help brain to develop->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Prions are best known as the infectious agents that cause ‘mad cow’ disease and the human versions of it, such as variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease. But as slashdot noted in 2010, the proteins also have at least one known useful function, in the cells that insulate nerves, and are suspected to have more. Now researchers have provided the first direct evidence that the proteins play an important role in neurons themselves.
The team reports that prions are involved in developmental plasticity, the process by which the structure and function of neurons in the growing brain is shaped by experience, and also crucial for learning and memory."

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+ - 146 CNN/Money Reporter Drives Tesla - Confirms Company's Claims->

Submitted by
karlnyberg
karlnyberg writes "Putting to rest the conflict between Tesla's Elon Musk and New York Times Reporter John Broder, CNN/Money's Peter Valdes-Dapena drives DC to Boston (primarily to test the SuperCharger network):

As he says in the money quote and byline of the article:

In the end, I made it — and it wasn't that hard.

As for the Supercharger network? Turns out that works, too."

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Education

+ - 167 17-year-old Rutvik Oza Solves an Unsolved Problem in Mathematics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An Indian teen has recently proposed a solution to an unsolved problem in mathematics. The 17-year-old young achiever, Rutvik Oza, a student of The H. B. Kapadia New High School, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat has now put a full stop to another open problem in the field of maths by providing a closed formula for the problem called Reve's Puzzle (also commonly known as the 4-peg Tower of Hanoi Problem).

When asked about how was he feeling, "Thrilled! I really didn't realize at first that the problem that I had solved was an open problem in mathematics. It was only later that I reckoned after doing some resourcing on the web, that it was an open problem," said Oza. Brought up in a middle class family, the teen dedicates his achievement to his father, Mahesh Oza, "It's all due to my father. He sowed the seeds of mathematics in me from my childhood. I dedicate this to him." he says. "It almost took me a week's time to get to the formula. It involved data analysis and pattern recognition," said Rutvik Oza.

When asked about his favorite maths giant, he said, "Newton, Ramanujan, Gauss and a long list of others to follow. There are many. It gives me goosebumps when I think about those greats.

"Mathematics interests me a lot. May it be any area of it — arithmetic, algebra or geometry. I love them all. It strengthens the faculties of originality, creativity and novelty in one's brain. Memorizing it won't help. That's the way it's taught in our schools here. I criticize that method of teaching fervently. Hardly any real mathematics is taught at the schools. I do not consider the schools responsible for it but yes, the entire system is definitely at fault," he added. When asked for a message that he wished to give his fellow teenagers, he said, "Do what you love! Follow your dreams. Expect for no support from anybody and overcome all obstacles that hinder you. No other mantra.""

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Science

+ - 114 Huge Meteor Blazes Across Sky Over Russia; Sonic Boom Shatters Windows-> 1

Submitted by dovf
dovf (811000) writes "The Bad Astronomer analyzes incoming reports about the aparent meteoric explosion over Russia: "Apparently, at about 09:30 local time, a very big meteor burned up over Chelyabinsk, a city in Russia just east of the Ural mountains, and about 1500 kilometers east of Moscow. The fireball was incredibly bright, rivaling the Sun! There was a pretty big sonic boom from the fireball, which set off car alarms and shattered windows. I’m seeing some reports of many people injured (by shattered glass blown out by the shock wave). I’m also seeing reports that some pieces have fallen to the ground, but again as I write this those are unconfirmed." This is the best summary I've found so far, and links to lots of videos and images. He also clarifies something I've been wondering about: "This is almost certainly unrelated to the asteroid 2012 DA14 that will pass on Friday. See below for details.""
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+ - 205 Webmail and online banks targeted by phishing proxies->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Netcraft confirms a recent increase in the number of malicious proxy auto-config (PAC) scripts being used to sneakily route webmail and online banking traffic through rogue proxy servers. The scripts are designed to only proxy traffic destined for certain websites, while all other traffic is allowed to go direct. If the proxy can force the user to keep using HTTP instead of HTTPS, the fraudsters running these attacks can steal usernames, passwords, session cookies and other sensitive information from online banking sessions."
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Python

+ - 117 Python trademark at risk in Europe

Submitted by mvar
mvar (1386987) writes "It seems that a company in the UK is trying to trademark the "Python" term for all-things-computing and the PSF (Python Software Foundation) is asking for help. According to the PSF, they contacted the company in order to settle the matter but "They blew us off and responded by filing the community trademark application claiming the exclusive right to use "Python" for software, servers, and web services — everywhere in Europe. ". They now seek help from the community in several ways: By sending a letter to the EU council if you happen to work on a company that uses the Python programming language, by providing EU-published material regarding the Python language (articles etc) and/or financially supporting the PSF in the upcoming legal battle."
Idle

+ - 214 Meteorite crashes in Russia

Submitted by mvar
mvar (1386987) writes "Details are sparse now, but apparently several meteorites crashed into Russia earlier today, setting off giant explosions and forcing nearby schools and office buildings to be evacuated. The meteorites, or whatever they were, reportedly landed in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, where witness said the explosions shattered the window of nearby buildings. The regional Emergency Ministry said the flashes and explosions were caused by a meteorite shower, but locals think it might be the result of a jet crash or a missile. There's even a cool video from a passing driver's dashcam."

+ - 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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