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Study Hints Ambient Radio Waves May Affect Plant Growth 298

dwguenther writes "A Lyons (Colorado) area woman with no academic pedigree has published a scientific paper in the International Journal of Forestry Research about the adverse effects of radio waves on aspen seedlings. Katie Haggerty, who lives north of Steamboat Mountain, found in a preliminary experiment done near her house that aspens shielded from electromagnetic radiation were healthier than those that were not. 'I found that the shielded seedlings produced more growth, longer shoots, bigger leaves, and more total leaf area. The shielded group produced 60 percent more leaf area and 74 percent more shoot length than a mock-shielded group,' she said." This was not a definitive study, as its author readily admits — it's hard to see how a double-blind study could even be designed in this area — but it was refereed.

Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away 1067

theodp writes "Provoked by an iPad ad promising a 'revolution,' Valleywag's Ryan Tate fired off a late-night missive to Steve Jobs. Jobs responded, and the two engaged in an after-midnight e-mail debate over lockdown, Cocoa vs. Flash, battery life, and whether 'freedom from porn' is a bug or a feature. 'The times they are a changin',' quipped Jobs, 'and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.' Tate was unswayed by the Apple CEO's reality distortion field, but did come away impressed by Jobs' willingness to spar one-on-one over his beliefs — at two in the morning on a weekend."

Comment Re:Is it safe? (Score 4, Informative) 264

Isn't the contents of .docx files tied to the (proprietary, closed, secret, patented) algorithms within MS Word?

For example, you may be able to retrieve the text (not sure) but getting your formatting to look exactly like it did in MS Word, will require MS Word.

If you want proof, find another word processing app that can display it 100% compatible with MS Word without calling any code from MS Word.

Now explain how in 25 years time when most people vaguely remember what MS Word 2010 looked like or did, you will somehow open your .docx documents and have them look as they do now. If I know Microsoft at all, I know that the OOXML "Standard" will change (read: "extend") a LOT in 25 years.

Comment Re:Coinstar! (Score 1) 594

If you always keep a palm full of coins with you, and use them with coin transactions, over time you will not accumulate a huge number of coins. Over time you will always have a small collection of coins. But you have to have the ambition to actually carry some coins.

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."

Chinese Root Server Shut Down After DNS Problem 91

itwbennett writes "After a networking error first reported on Wednesday last week caused computers in Chile and the US to come under the control of a system that censors the Internet in China, the 'root DNS server associated with the networking problems has been disconnected from the Internet,' writes Robert McMillan. The server's operator, Netnod, has 'withdrawn route announcements' made by the server, according to company CEO Kurt Lindqvist."

Scientology Tries To Block German Documentary 565

eldavojohn writes "The Guardian is reporting on the strained relationship that Scientology is having with the German government and the airing of a pesky documentary on Southwest Broadcasting. Until Nothing Remains, a $2.3 million documentary, is slotted to air on German television at the end of this month. It recounts the true story of Heiner von Rönn and his family's suffering when he tried to leave the Church of Scientology. A Scientology spokesperson called the film false and intolerant and also said they are investigating legal means to stop the film from being aired. More details on the film can be gleaned here."

Submission + - Comparing Microsoft and Apple Websites' Usability ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: In the article entitled Apple vs. Microsoft — A Website Usability Study, Dmitry Fadeyev, co-founder of Pixelshell, compares Apple's and Microsoft's web sites from a usability perspective, and Apple is the winner. Scott Barnes, PM at Microsoft, agrees with him and suggests the problem is because various site sub-domains have different management.
Wireless Networking

WPA Encryption Cracked In 60 Seconds 322

carusoj writes "Computer scientists in Japan say they've developed a way to break the WPA encryption system used in wireless routers in about one minute. Last November, security researchers first showed how WPA could be broken, but the Japanese researchers have taken the attack to a new level. The earlier attack worked on a smaller range of WPA devices and took between 12 and 15 minutes to work. Both attacks work only on WPA systems that use the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) algorithm. They do not work on newer WPA 2 devices or on WPA systems that use the stronger Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm."
United States

US Call-Center Jobs — That Pay $100K a Year 362

bheer writes "BusinessWeek profiles a call center company called iQor which has grown revenues 40% year-on-year by (shock) treating employees as critical assets. It's done this not by nickel-and-diming, but by expanding its US operations (13 centers across the US now), giving employees universal health insurance, and paying salaries and bonuses that are nearly 50% above industry norms. The article notes that outsourcing will continue and globalization will continue to change the world's economic landscape. 'But the US is hardly helpless. With smart processes and the proper incentives, US companies can keep jobs here in America, and do so in a way that is actually better for the company and its employees.' Now if only other companies get a clue as well."

China Admits Use of Death-Row Organs 309

h.ross.perot writes "Like a page from Larry Niven's Known Space series, here is a real report of criminals' organs being harvested for 'profit.' From the article: 'China is trying to move away from the use of executed prisoners as the major source of organs for transplants. According to the China Daily newspaper, executed prisoners currently provide two-thirds of all transplant organs. The government is now launching a voluntary donation scheme, which it hopes will also curb the illegal trafficking in organs. But analysts say cultural bias against removing organs after death will make a voluntary scheme hard to implement.'"
Data Storage

Windows 7 Hard Drive and SSD Performance Analyzed 248

bigwophh writes "Despite the fact that Windows 7 is based on many of the same core elements as Vista, Microsoft claims it is a different sort of animal and that it should be looked at in a fresh, new light, especially in terms of performance. With that in mind, this article looks at how various types of disks perform under Windows 7, both the traditional platter-based variety and newer solid state disks. Disk performance between Vista and Win7 is compared using a hard drive and an SSD. SSD performance with and without TRIM enabled is tested. Application performance is also tested on a variety of drives. Looking at the performance data, it seems MS has succeeded in improving Windows 7 disk performance, particularly with regard to solid state drives."

Workable Fusion Starship Proposed 260

Adam Korbitz writes "A former colleague of Edward Teller — father of the hydrogen bomb — has published a new paper proposing a design for what could be the first practical fusion-powered spacecraft (PDF). As described at Centauri Dreams, the design has certain similarities to MagOrion, a 1990s-era proposal for a nuclear-powered spaceship with a magnetic sail and propelled by small-yield fission devices. The proposal's author also has links to the British Interplanetary Society's Project Daedalus, a 1970s proposal for an unmanned fusion-powered interstellar probe designed to reach 12% of the speed of light on its way to Barnard's Star."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - MSI employees Stirling Engine Theory

ECO Friendly User writes: It is still very much a work in progress but from the working concept design TweakTown saw in action at the MSI HQ, it is probably not far off from becoming a reality — we hope so too. Since power saving is such a hotly discussed topic, MSI has employed the Stirling Engine Theory to power a cooling fan without the need of conventional electricity.

Submission + - Vista's changes rob Creative of PC audio crown 4

Dr. Damage writes: Creative has ruled PC sound almost since the beginning, but Vista's new audio layer changes the game by essentially killing off 3D positional audio acceleration. The Tech Report has reviewed a pair of post-Vista sound cards, with surprising results. Motherboard maker Asus saw the opening and created perhaps the best consumer-level sound card yet, the Xonar D2X, with quality components, an EMI shield, color-illuminated ports, the best objective measurements and subjective listening test scores we've ever seen, and (finally!) a PCI Express x1 connector. Could the Sound Blaster era finally be over?

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?