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Education

+ - How did you get interested in science?-> 4

Submitted by
jvchamary
jvchamary writes "I'm currently writing a book that uses superheroes to explore scientific research. The aim is to get ordinary people excited about science, so I'd love to hear how you got into it, especially if you were once fascinated but then lost interest, or only discovered a love of science late in life (Was this prompted by something?) It would also be useful to find out what you now do as a job. Your replies will help me write the introduction, and hopefully turn a few non-nerds into Slashdot members."
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Comment: Re:So Start Global Gardening Riots (Score 1) 926

The homeless folks who pilfer our recycling bin on a regular basis force me to suspect otherwise. Anything of sufficient economic value situated in an easily accessible location will eventually be exploited by those with favorable time:reward ratios.

Comment: Throw half your budget at a Nexus 7... (Score 2) 415

...and spend the rest on actual content via the Kindle, Nook and Play Store apps, among others. I've been really happy with mine over the past two months: The bezel widths are just about perfect for reading with one hand if I make an "L" with my thumb and index finger and use the other three fingers to brace the back, very similar to how I'm accustomed to holding paperback books. It's light enough that my arm doesn't get tired. Battery life is good. In terms of bang for the buck, you could do far, far worse.
Mozilla

+ - Sandboxed Flash Player Coming to Firefox->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Adobe, which has spent the last few years trying to dig out of a deep hole of vulnerabilities and buggy code, is making a major change to Flash, adding a sandbox to the version of the player that runs in Firefox. The sandbox is designed to prevent many common exploit techniques against Flash.

The move by Adobe comes roughly a year after the company added a sandbox to Flash for Google Chrome. Flash, which is perhaps the most widely deployed piece of software on the Internet, has been a common attack vector for several years now, and the attacks in some cases have been used to get around exploit mitigations added by the browser vendors. The sandbox is designed to prevent many of these attacks by not allowing exploits against Flash to break out into the browser itself."

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Iphone

+ - A5 Mystery Solved (Why Siri Won't Run on iPhone 4)

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Anna Leach reports that Siri support has been a contentious issue for owners of earlier iPhones but a recent filing from Audience shows that Siri won't run on iPhone 4 because the phone's chip can't handle it dealing a blow to iPhone 4-ers hoping for an upgrade to the voice-activated virtual assistant. Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group cracked one of the secrets of the new iPhone's A5 chip after working out that it packs some serious audio cleaning power not available on the iPhone 4's A4 chip. Audience has developed impressive technology that removes most or all of the background noise when someone places a cell-phone call from a restaurant, airport, or other noisy location. The iPhone 4S integrates Audience's "EarSmart" technology directly into the A5 processor improving its technology to handle 'far-field speech,' which means holding the device at arm's length rather than directly in front of the mouth. Apple has also licensed the Audience technology for a “new generation of processor IP,” which may mean that the forthcoming A6 processor will appear in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. "Why Apple has not simply purchased Audience is unclear. An acquisition would prevent Audience’s other major customer, Samsung, from using the technology to compete with Apple.," says Gwennap. "The company may be hedging its bets, as it could switch to Qualcomm’s Fluence noise-reduction technology in the future.""
Cloud

+ - OpenStack nixing Microsoft Hyper-V support->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Despite Microsoft's stated commitment to Hyper-V in OpenStack, buggy code designed to support the hypervisor will be removed from the next version of the stack, developers decided on Wednesday. An OpenStack developer wrote a patch that removes the Hyper-V support code, and two members of the core OpenStack team have approved the patch. That means the code will be removed when the next version of OpenStack, called Essex, is released in the second quarter. The code would have allowed a service provider to build an OpenStack cloud using Hyper-V."
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Facebook

+ - Facebook's only weakness: Mobile->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Facebook has filed its S-1 document with the SEC, and as always the Risk Factors section makes for interesting reading. Facebook is worried about the continued growth of its userbase, and retention and engagement of the users it already has. The ongoing battle over privacy and data protection, especially in Europe, is also considered a risk. Believe it or not, with 28.4% of the stock, the fact that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has complete control over key decision making is also listed as a risk factor. The biggest risk by far, however, is mobile. Facebook currently has 425 million active mobile users, and yet it makes no money from its mobile site and smartphone apps. The S-1 states that the number of mobile users is growing faster than desktop users, too. Couple this with the fact that iOS already has Twitter integration, Android has Google+ integration, and Facebook's lack of friends in the mobile OEM/carrier/network space, and you can see how mobile is Facebook's biggest weakness."
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Science

+ - Plant traps worms underground using sticky leaves->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Carnivorous plants catch their prey in pools, glue and snap traps. But researchers have now discovered the first species known to trap and digest worms underground, using adhesive leaves — and it is part of a family not believed to be carnivorous at all.
The first scientists to document Philcoxia noted that the plants all have rounded leaves supported by stems and topped with glands that produce a sticky substance. These features are common to many carnivorous plants, but the researchers did not see any evidence of captured prey or remains associated with Philcoxia.
A new study not only offers evidence that Philcoxia species are indeed carnivorous, but also explains why this trait had gone undocumented. P. minensis, researchers found, uses a unique nutrient-acquisition mechanism: its sticky leaves are hidden below the sand."

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Comment: Re:They don't really look like that, do they? (Score 2, Interesting) 102

by Almonday (#38391204) Attached to: Hubble Captures the Violent Birth of a Star
To continue the christmas tree analogy, what Hubble does for our eyes is a little like what some enterprising pixel-slinger might do for a person with some form of color blindness; sure, the viewer might not be able to distinguish between red and green (or blue and yellow) lights on the tree, but they can still be rendered using the available spectrum into something which conveys the beauty and complexity of the overall display.
NASA

+ - Voyager 1 Exits Our Solar System->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "The first man-made craft to do so is now entering a 'cosmic purgatory' between solar systems and entering an interstellar space of the Milky Way Galaxy. With much anticipation, Voyager 1 is now 'in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system. Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back.' After three decades the spacecraft is still operating and apparently has enough power and fuel to continue to do so until 2020. The first big piece of news? "We've been using the flow of energetic charged particles at Voyager 1 as a kind of wind sock to estimate the solar wind velocity. We've found that the wind speeds are low in this region and gust erratically. For the first time, the wind even blows back at us. We are evidently traveling in completely new territory. Scientists had suggested previously that there might be a stagnation layer, but we weren't sure it existed until now." This process could take months to years to completely leave the outer shell but already scientists are receiving valuable information."
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There has been a little distress selling on the stock exchange. -- Thomas W. Lamont, October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)

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