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Science

+ - 124 Bacteria and global warming

Submitted by fustakrakich
fustakrakich (1673220) writes "Like we do, most bacteria respire, that is they convert carbon containing compounds, into carbon dioxide and water, and as an outcome of this process generate cellular energy. Unfortunately, for us there are far more bacteria on the planet that there are people and as a consequence bacteria produce rather a lot of carbon dioxide. In fact the microbes that break down plant matter in soil release 55 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, which represents around eight times the amount that humans are putting into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. As the temperature of our planet increases, we will inevitably alter the activity of planet’s microbes and through this fundamentally their impact on the Earth’s climate"

+ - 211 New Technology Produces Cheaper Tantalum and Titanium->

Submitted by Billy the Mountain
Billy the Mountain (225541) writes "A small UK company is bringing new technology online that could reduce the prices of tantalum and titanium ten-fold. According to this piece in The Economist: A tantalising prospect, the key is a technique similar to smelting aluminum with a new twist: The metallic oxides are not melted as with aluminum but blended in powder form with a molten salt that serves as a medium and electrolyte. This technology is known as the FFC Cambridge Process. Other metals include Neodymium, Tungsten and Vanadium"
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HP

+ - 125 HP Sells WebOS to LG Electronics, Inc.->

Submitted by kdryer39
kdryer39 (1210976) writes "LG has snatched up full rights to HP's webOS (which was last used in now-defunct Palm and TouchPad devices) and will integrate it into their line of "smart" TV's. WebOS was viewed as having a strong software foundation, but HP could not create a viable application ecosystem to keep up with Apple, Google, and Amazon. This poison arrow led to the dismal launch and failure of the TouchPad in 2010 and the resulting opening up of webOS last year.

While set-top implementations are a natural progression, I can only imagine where LG could take the failed OS with a little work and a face lift. Perhaps it can move us one step closer to the "Internet of Things," and have all LG-branded devices in the home sync with each other (and as a result, secretly plot the creation of SKYNET)."

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The Military

+ - 131 The military's medal for cyber-combat is a disservice to actual combat vets-> 2

Submitted by
Curseyoukhan
Curseyoukhan writes "The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to members of the military engaged in computer security and flying drones. It is the first new "combat-related" award since the Bronze Star was created in 1944.

A friend of mine was a Bronze Star recipient. He received the medal for leading troops in combat in Vietnam. He knew by heart the names of the dozen or so men who died under his command during that engagement. He eventually died from poisoning due to prolonged exposure to Agent Orange during his service.

The Pentagon says, "Another example [of a potential recipient] is that of a soldier at Fort Meade, Md., who detects and thwarts a cyberattack on a DOD computer system."

Other than carpal-tunnel syndrome what risk does our theoretical soldier face?

This stretches the term "combat-related" out of any recognizable shape."

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Android

+ - 108 Firefox 20 Beta for Android Gets Per-Tab Private Browsing

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 19 was released released less than a week ago, but already Mozilla has made a new Firefox for Android beta available. This new release adds per-tab private browsing, customizable home screen shortcuts, and support for 25 million more phones. Per-tab private browsing is of course the biggest new feature. It allows you to switch between private and standard tabs within the same browsing session, meaning you don’t have to relaunch the Firefox app every time."
China

+ - 156 Data espionage sleuths aim to put Chinese companies in court->

Submitted by
holy_calamity
holy_calamity writes "Accusations that China is stealing corporate secrets have become commonplace, now a startup called CrowdStrike says it can gather firm enough evidence for victims to take legal action against those being fed information copied from their networks. Led by veterans of the FBI and McAfee, the company uses techniques such as planting fake data and embedding "beacons" into documents that send back traces of where they end up. Most infiltration of U.S. firms is by the Chinese military, which passes along what it finds to state-owned and allied industries, cofounder Dmitri Alperovitch told Technology Review. "You can’t do a lot against the PLA, but you can do a lot against that company," he says. Alperovitch says the some clients are already considering launching legal action or asking for government sanctions based on evidence provided by Crowdstrike."
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Moon

+ - 212 Vulcan to Join Our Solar System (Maybe)-> 1

Submitted by jollyrgr3
jollyrgr3 (1025506) writes "If William Shatner gets his wish one of Pluto's two new moons will be named Vulcan. News.com.au reports that James T. Kirk (aka) William Shatner picked the names Vulcan and Cerberus. The names still have to be approved by the International Astronomical Union as they have the final say. Full link here:
http://www.news.com.au/world/capt-kirk-aka-william-shatner-names-plutos-two-new-moons/story-fndir2ev-1226585541984"

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The Internet

+ - 117 Internet providers officially start spying to stop P2P file-sharing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Starting this week, Internet Service Providers will throttle connection speeds for customers suspected to be pirating copyright-protected materials. Previously, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision Systems and other ISPs had signed onto the program, which was supposed to start in July 2012, but major protests against other restrictive Web policies left them to wait until the dust settled."
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Cellphones

+ - 115 Is Firefox OS 'Too Late' to Shake Up Mobile?->

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Analysts are skeptical that Mozilla's push into mobile with Firefox OS would be a game-changer, as Mozilla suggests it will be. 'The chances of Mozilla Firefox OS making good in mobile phones are about as good as WebOS making a comeback in smartphones,' said analyst Jack Gold, referring to the mobile operating system abandoned two years ago by Hewlett-Packard, sold on Monday to Korea's LG Electronics for use in smart TVs. 'They're just plain too late,' Gold added. 'If they had done this two, three years ago...maybe.' On Sunday, Mozilla — best known for its Firefox browser — previewed the first commercial build of Firefox OS and announced commitments from four handset makers and backing from 18 mobile carriers. Mozilla makes it clear it views Firefox OS as a kind of mobile 'Reset' button: On its Firefox OS website, Mozilla touts 'Greater participation in the value chain' and 'Ownership and control over relationships with customers' as two of the four benefits to carriers and other partners. At Mobile World Congress on Monday, carrier officials complained that mobile OS vendors — meaning Google and Apple — made fortunes on their backs, and that Firefox OS may inject enough competition to shake up the current business models. 'We need a more balanced relationship with the OS owners,' Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said at the conference. 'With more competition, the relationship will be more balanced, and eventually, the winners will be the ones who have the best products, the lowest prices, and the highest willingness to invest, with us, in the channels.'"
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Chrome

+ - 175 Google Chrome Getting Audio Indicators To Show You Noisy Tabs

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google is working on identifying Chrome tabs that are currently playing audio (or recording it). The feature is expected to show an audio animation if a tab is broadcasting or recording sound. François Beaufort first spotted the new feature, a part of which is already available in the latest Chromium build. For those who don't know, Chromium is the open source web browser project that shares much of the same code and features as Google Chrome, and new features are often added there first."
Security

+ - 97 U.K. and India Sign Cybersecurity Pact->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron last week signed a cybersecurity deal with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reassure Brits about protection of data held by outsourcers or cloud companies in India. Data sovereignty remains a big obstacle to British cloud usage, especially in the public sector, which has to follow compliance rules that require that organizations know precisely where, geographically, their data is physically located at any given time. For example, Saunders' own company reported late last year that 47% of the 250 IT decision-makers from a range of small and midsize businesses, enterprises and public sector organizations it had polled identified data sovereignty as a key security concern."
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Science

+ - 204 DARPA wants to build high-tech helicopters on steroids->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Engineering an aircraft that can go fast, carry usable amounts of equipment and people and hover has always been one of aviation's greatest challenges. Sure there are plenty of fast helicopters but they are usually limited in the amount of weight they can carry. And there have been a few successful vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jets — the AV-8 Harrier is the industry standard — and while it is fast, it can carry one person, the pilot. The future-looking folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like to change all that with a project they call the VTOL X-Plane program."
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Technology

+ - 134 Ask Slashdot: How would you feel about recording your entire life?

Submitted by skade88
skade88 (1750548) writes "As I get older, I find the little details of my life slip away from my memory after years and decades pass. I find myself wishing I had a way to record at least sound and video of my entire life. It would be nice to be able to go back and see what I was like when I was younger without the fog of memory clouding my view of the past. It would be cool to share with my boy friend and future kids how I was when I was younger by just showing them video from my life. Do y'all know of any good way to do this? I would settle for recording what I see from a first person point of view. There is also concerns that range beyond the technical. If I were to record my entire life, that would mean also recording other people, when they are interacting with me on a daily basis. What sort of privacy laws pertain to this? Even without laws, would others act differently around me because they were being recorded with my life record? How would it make you feel if your friend or family member did this?"
Networking

+ - 140 West Virginia auditor blasts Cisco, state for "oversized" router buy -> 1

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "West Virginia wasted millions in federal grant money when it purchased 1,164 Cisco routers for $24 million in 2010, a state audit concluded. A report issued this month by the West Virginia Legislative Auditor found the state used a "legally unauthorized purchasing process" when awarding the router contract, paid for with federal stimulus funds, to Cisco. The auditor also found Cisco "showed a wanton indifference to the interests of the public" in recommending the investment in its model 3945 branch routers, the majority of which were "oversized" for the requirements of the state agencies using them, the report stated.
 "

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IOS

+ - 288 iOS 6.1.3 Beta 2 Patches Atleast One Vulnerablity Used by Evasi0n Jailbreak->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Apple recently seeded iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 to developers and it seems the beta version patches at least one of the vulnerabilities used by evasi0n thereby rendering the jailbreak tool useless — the time zone settings vulnerability. Released on February 21, the iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 brings with it enhancements to Japan Maps as well as fixes the much hyped Lock Screen bug. It was speculated that Apple would also patch exploits that would break evasi0n as it has been over three weeks since the jailbreak tool has been launched and Apple has had enough time to study it. David Wang aka @planetbeing, has confirmed that iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 does patch one of the vulnerabilities that they exploited in their evasi0n tool."
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Cellphones

+ - 177 Wikipedia Will Soon Be Available Via Text Messages ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Even as we all love to debate the scholarly merits of Wikipedia, there's no denying that it's an immensely powerful research and learning tool. That goes doubly so in poor nations, where access to education materials can be limited to nonexistent.

To that end, Wikimedia started the Wikipedia Zero project, which aims to partner with mobile service providers to bring Wikipedia to poor regions free of charge. It's a killer strategy, because while computer and internet access is still fleeting for much of the world, cell phones are far more ubiquitous. Wikimedia claims that four mobile partnerships signed since 2012 brings free Wiki service to 330 million cell subscribers in 35 countries, a huge boon for folks whose phones have web capability but who can't afford data charges."

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+ - 99 DOJ Had To Put Aaron Swartz In Jail To Save Face Over Arrest-> 2

Submitted by TrueSatan
TrueSatan (1709878) writes "According to Huffington Post. "Some congressional staffers left the briefing with the impression that prosecutors believed they needed to convict Swartz of a felony that would put him in jail for a short sentence in order to justify bringing the charges in the first place, according to two aides with knowledge of the briefing."
It was also conceeded that the prosecution was fuelled by Swartz Open Access Manifesto http://archive.org/stream/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto/Goamjuly2008_djvu.txt in which he stated, "We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.""

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Security

+ - 104 Dirty IT Security Consultant Tricks->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "The IT security world is full of charlatans, and all of us have been 'advised' by at least one of them. From big-ticket items that solve tiny problems you don't have, to surprises about the feature set after you've already signed the dotted line, here are 14 underhanded techniques that security consultants use to drain IT security budgets and avoid accountability."
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Mars

+ - 159 Comet C/2013 A1 to Hit Mars in 2014?->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "According to preliminary orbital prediction models, comet C/2013 A1 will buzz Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. C/2013 A1 was discovered by ace comet-hunter Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, on Jan. 3. When the discovery was made, astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona looked back over their observations to find “prerecovery” images of the comet dating back to Dec. 8, 2012. These observations placed the orbital trajectory of comet C/2013 A1 through Mars orbit on Oct. 19, 2014. Due to uncertainties in the observations — the comet has only been observed for 74 days (so far), so it’s difficult for astronomers to forecast the comet’s precise location in 20 months time — comet C/2013 A1 may fly past at a very safe distance of 0.008 AU (650,000 miles). But to the other extreme, its orbital pass could put Mars directly in its path."
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+ - 183 Real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales overestimated->

Submitted by AchilleTalon
AchilleTalon (540925) writes "Research by Harvard professor David Keith suggests that the global capacity for energy generation from wind power has been overestimated, and that geophysical / climate effects of turbines will reduce the benefits of large-scale power installations.

"People have often thought there's no upper bound for wind power—that it's one of the most scalable power sources," says Harvard applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don't seem likely to "run out" on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-real-world-capacity-farms-large-scales.html#jCp"

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"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe

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