Submission + - UK court orders H33t, Kickass Torrents and Fenopy blocked (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "A court in the U.K. has ordered key Internet service providers in the country to block three torrent sites on a complaint from music labels including EMI Records and Sony Music. The High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, ordered six ISPs including Virgin Media, British Telecommunications and British Sky Broadcasting to block H33t, Kickass Torrents and Fenopy."

Submission + - Unraveling the Physics of Invisible Knots (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Physicists had long believed that a vortex could be twisted into a knot, even though they'd never seen one in nature or the even in the lab. Determined to finally create a knotted vortex loop of their very own, physicists at the University of Chicago designed a wing that resembles a delicately twisted ribbon and brought it to life using a 3D printer. After submerging their masterpiece in water and using electricity to create tiny bubbles around it, the researchers yanked the wing forward, leaving a similarly shaped vortex in its wake. Centripetal force drew the bubbles into the center of the vortex, revealing its otherwise invisible, knotted structure and allowing the scientists to see how it moved through the fluid. By sweeping a sheet of laser light across the bubble-illuminated vortex and snapping pictures with a high-speed camera, they were able to create the first 3D animations of how these elusive knots behave. Although this is the first time that scientists have seen knotted vortices for themselves, similar structures are thought to exist naturally in many places, including on the surface of the sun. Being able to custom-make and manipulate these flowing knots on command could lead to a much better understanding of the effects of their mysterious topology on different kinds of turbulence.

Submission + - Researchers Describe First 'Functional HIV Cure' in an Infant

An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School describe the first case of a so-called "functional cure" in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children.

Submission + - Man-Made Material Pushes the Bounds of Superconductivity

An anonymous reader writes: A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material that could lead to breakthroughs in both superconductivity research and in real-world applications. The researchers can tailor the material, which seamlessly alternates between metal and oxide layers, to achieve extraordinary superconducting properties — in particular, the ability to transport much more electrical current than non-engineered materials.

Submission + - New Research Sheds Light on the Evolution of Dogs

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The first dogs descended from wolves about 14,000 years ago but according to Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods humans didn't domesticate dogs — dogs sought out humans and domesticated us. Humans have a long history of eradicating wolves, rather than trying to adopt them which raises the question: How was the wolf tolerated by humans long enough to evolve into the domestic dog? "The short version is that we often think of evolution as being the survival of the fittest, where the strong and the dominant survive and the soft and weak perish. But essentially, far from the survival of the leanest and meanest, the success of dogs comes down to survival of the friendliest." Most likely, it was wolves that approached us, not the other way around, probably while they were scavenging around garbage dumps on the edge of human settlements. The wolves that were bold but aggressive would have been killed by humans, and so only the ones that were bold and friendly would have been tolerated. In a few generations, these friendly wolves became distinctive from their more aggressive relatives with splotchy coats, floppy ears, wagging tails. But the changes did not just affect their looks but their psychology. Protodogs evolved the ability to read human gestures. "As dog owners, we take for granted that we can point to a ball or toy and our dog will bound off to get it," write Hare and Woods. "But the ability of dogs to read human gestures is remarkable. Even our closest relatives — chimpanzees and bonobos — can't read our gestures as readily as dogs can." With this new ability, these protodogs were worth knowing. People who had dogs during a hunt would likely have had an advantage over those who didn't. Finally when times were tough, dogs could have served as an emergency food supply and once humans realized the usefulness of keeping dogs as emergency food, it was not a huge jump to realize plants could be used in a similar way. " This is the secret to the genius of dogs: It's when dogs join forces with us that they become special.," conclude Hare and Woods. "Dogs may even have been the catalyst for our civilization.""

Submission + - Curiosity Rover On Standby As NASA Addresses Computer Glitch (rawstory.com)

alancronin writes: NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has been temporarily put into “safe mode,” as scientists monitoring from Earth try to fix a computer glitch, the US space agency said. Scientists switched to a backup computer Thursday so that they could troubleshoot the problem, said to be linked to a glitch in the original computer’s flash memory. “We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations,” said Richard Cook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which built and operates Curiosity.

Submission + - Did Steve Jobs Pick The Wrong Tablet Size?

An anonymous reader writes: During the 2010 Christmas shopping season, Steve Jobs famously dissed the 7 inch tablets being rolled out by competitors, including Samsung's Galaxy, as being "tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the [9.7 inch diagonal] iPad", adding that "the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA — dead on arrival." A year later Jobs was dead, and the iPad Mini, with a 7.9 inch diagonal screen, was rolled out under his successor Tim Cook in October, 2012. Looking at industry-wide tablet sales numbers for January 2013, which show that the iPad Mini surprisingly outsold its larger sibling by a substantial margin (as did 7 inch Android tablets from competitors), Motley Fool's Evan Niu thinks that the 7.9 inch form factor was the correct size all alone, contrary to Jobs' pronoucements (which of course was partly marketing bluster — but he chose the larger size in the first place). Of course the Mini is cheaper, but not by much — $329 vs. $399 for the larger iPad, for the baseline model with WiFi only and 16KB storage. Had Apple introduced the iPad with the smaller size to begin with, Niu argues, competitors would have faced a much difficult task grabbing market share. While the Mini is currently available only with "Super VGA" resolution (1024x768), rumors are afloat that Minis with the Retina display (2048x1536) are close to production.

Submission + - Texas Rangers Use Internet to Breath New Life into Cold Case Homicides

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Katherine Rosenberg reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety has unveiled a new web site dedicated to unsolved cold case homicides to make sure the victims are not forgotten and to try to catch a break in even the coldest of cases. DPS spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger says continual strides in technology make focusing on cold cases more important than ever because there are more opportunities to solve them with each emerging process or device. The web site was created because the more readily available information is the more people may be apt to pick up the phone and report what they know. “It helps to refresh these cases in the public’s mind and hopefully we’ll shed new light on it. In some cases, we can also re-examine evidence if there’s an opportunity or need there as well,” says Cesinger. One featured case from 1993 is Kathleen Suckley who was 29 when her throat was slashed and she was stabbed about 40 times inside her rented duplex, while her two sons, ages 4 and 1, were home. Officials said they interviewed numerous witnesses but never got enough information for an arrest. Capt. Tim Wilson maintains that in any homicide case there always is someone who knows something. At some point, he believes, the murderer will tell someone out of guilt or pride, or simply the pressure of holding it in. Cesinger points out that over time as relationships change, if prompted by something like the website or a news article, that confidant finally may come forward. “I think we owe it to Kathleen to be this tenacious. It drives me nuts that somebody can do this and get away with it," says Kathleen's mother-in-law Luann Suckley. "I think the website is great ... maybe someone will finally speak up because I’m tired of sitting back and waiting.”"

Submission + - Replacing hard drive voids warranty 5

Medieval_Thinker writes: I replaced a hard drive in my Chromebook and had a question for the Chrome-Ninjas. I got a reply back that my warranty was void. I suggested the tech consult a supervisor about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. I should be able to upgrade a hard drive or memory without voiding a warranty. I got this back in reply.

"Thank you for your message.
My supervisor was informed of the situation before sending out the previous email.
Unfortunately we are not going to be able to support your device any longer."

Have the rules changed? Is replacing a hard drive in a Chromebook any different than replacing one in a Dell?

Submission + - Nearly Every NYC Crime Involves Cyber, Says Manhattan DA (theepochtimes.com)

jjp9999 writes: Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, says cybercrimes are the fastest growing crimes in New York City, and criminals of all types are finding uses for digital tools. The Epoch Times reports that during a Feb. 28 event, Vance said it has reached a point where “It is rare that a case does not involve some kind of cyber or computer element that we prosecute in our office—whether it is homicide, whether it’s financial crime case, whether it’s a gang case where the gang members are posting on Facebook where they’re going to meet.” He also noted that organized crime groups in New York are shifting their focus to cybercrime, and that many local criminals are working with international hackers.

Submission + - Can the Valve Company Model Work Elsewhere? (econtalk.org)

glowend writes: I just listened to a fascinating podcast with Valve's economist-in-residence Yanis Varoufakis about the unusual structure of the workplace at Valve where there is no hierarchy or bosses. Teams of software designers join spontaneously to create and ship video games without any top-down supervision.Varoufakis discussed the economics of this Hayekian workplace and how it actually functions alongside Steam--an open gaming platform created by Valve. I kept wondering, assuming that his description of Valve is accurate, can this model work for other tech companies?

Submission + - Debian Allows Trademark Use For Commerical Activities (debian.org)

sfcrazy writes: According to the new trademark policy, Debian logos and marks may now be used freely for both non-commercial and commercial purposes. Stefano Zacchiroli, current Debian Project Leader and one of the main promoters of the new trademark policy, said "Software freedoms and trademarks are a difficult match. We all want to see well-known project names used to promote free software, but we cannot risk they will be abused to trick users into downloading proprietary spyware. With the help of SPI and SFLC, we have struck a good balance in our new trademark policy. Among other positive things, it allows all sorts of commercial use; we only recommend clearly informing customers about how much of the sale price will be donated to Debian."

Submission + - Embedded Developers Prefer Linux, Love Android (linuxgizmos.com)

DeviceGuru writes: In a recent EE Times 2013 Embedded Market study, Android was the OS of choice for future embedded projects among 16 percent of the survey's participants, second only to 'in-house/custom' (at 28 percent). But if a spectrum of disparate approaches can be lumped together as a single option, why not aggregate the various shades of Linux to see how they compare? Parsing the EE Times data that way makes it abundantly clear that Linux truly dominates the embedded market.

Submission + - The Web Standards Project (WaSP) Shuttered (paritynews.com) 1

hypnosec writes: Aaron Gustafson and two of his fellow contributors, Bruce Lawson and Steph Troeth, have announced the closure of The Web Standards Project (WaSP) which was formed back in 1998 by Glenn Davis, George Olsen, and Jeffrey Zeldman to get browser makers support the open standards established by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The project described itself as a “coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all." Founded at a time when Microsoft and Netscape were battling it out for browser dominance, WaSP aimed to mitigate the risks arising out of this war – an imminent fragmentation that could lead to browser incompatibilities. Noting that "..Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality" Aaron noted that it was time to "close down The Web Standards Project."
Data Storage

Submission + - Seagate to Cease Production of 7200rpm Laptop HDDs

jones_supa writes: 'We are going stop building our notebook 7200rpm hard disk drives at the end of 2013,' said David Burks, director of marketing and product management at Seagate Technology, during a conversation with X-bit labs. The mainstream market demand is expected shift to different products, such as hybrid drives. Users who need maximum performance and cares about battery life, have been choosing notebooks with SSDs for years now, whereas those who required capacity, performance and moderate price do not really care about actual performance. With the introduction of third-generation solid-state hybrid drives later this year, Seagate will position them for performance and capacity demanding end-users. The company will also continue to offer 5400rpm HDDs for value notebooks.

Submission + - Demake of Rainbow Road (MK64) that's only 4096 bytes (java4k.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This demake of the Mario Kart 64 version of Rainbow Road is only 4,096 bytes in size. It was created for the Java 4K Game Programming Contest. Full source code is available from that link as well.

Check out the other contest entries while you are there. You can help pick the winner by being a community voter. See the instructions on the home page for details.


Submission + - How to stop a meteor hitting Earth (cnn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talks stopping extinction-level meteor hits:

"Here in America, we’re really good at blowing stuff up and less good at knowing where the pieces land, you knowSo, people who have studied the problem generally – and I’m in this camp – see a deflection scenario is more sound and more controllable. So if this is the asteroid and it's sort of headed toward us, one way is you send up a space ship and they'll both feel each other. And the space ship hovers. And they'll both feel each other's gravity. And they want to sort of drift toward one another. But you don't let that happen. You set off little retro rockets that prevent it. And the act of doing so slowly tugs the asteroid into a new orbit."


Submission + - Apple's Lightning-to-HDMI Dongle Secretly Packed With ARM, Airplay (panic.com)

joelville writes: "After noticing artifacts and a 1600 × 900 image in the output from Apple's new Lightning Digital AV Adapter, the Panic Blog sawed it open and found an ARM chip inside. They suspect that video bypasses the cable entirely and instead uses Airplay to stream three inches to make up for the Lightning connector's shortcomings."

Submission + - The US Nuclear Exit? (sagepub.com)

Lasrick writes: John Mecklin introduces the rather provocative new issue of the Bulletin, which describes the decline and exit of the US from nuclear power. These articles in the Bulletin are free in the March/April Digital Journal, and include: How to close the US nuclear industry? Do nothing; The limited national security implications of civilian nuclear decline; Nuclear exit, the US energy mix, and carbon dioxide emissions; and The economics of a US civilian nuclear phase-out (by Amory Lovins). Also free is the Nuclear Notebook: US Nuclear Forces 2013. Good reading for energy wonks.

Submission + - Florida Sinkhole Highlights State's Geologic Instability

An anonymous reader writes: Last Thursday night, a sinkhole took the life of a man (TV news video, with ad) while he slept in his home in Seffner FL, near Tampa. While human fatalies are rare, sinkholes are so common in Florida that the insurance industry successfully lobbied the state lawmakers to pass legislation in 2011 making it more difficult for homeowners to claim sinkhole damages. The bedrock in Florida is limestone, a weakly soluble mineral formed from calcified deposits of sea creatures tens of millions of years ago. Above the limestone is a clay layer called the Hawthorn Formation which shields the limestone from ground water; and above the clay is sand. However, the protective clay layer is thin or nonexistent in some areas of Florida, particularly in the middle part of the state near the Gulf coast, where caves and sinkholes are common. Geologists say that human activity, particularly construction and irrigation, can trigger sinkholes by destabilizing the landscape above caverns by drawing down water tables and massing structures above them.