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+ - Fossils of Cambrian predator preserved with brain impressions

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers on Wednesday described fossilized remains unearthed in China showing in fine detail the brain structures of a bizarre group of sea creatures that were the top predators more than half a billion years ago. The 520-million-year-old creature, one of the first predators of its day, sported compound eyes, body armor and two spiky claws for grabbing prey. "The animals of the Cambrian are noted for being a collection of oddballs that are sometimes difficult to match up with anything currently living on Earth. But even among these oddities, Anomalocarids stand out (as their name implies). The creatures propelled themselves with a series of oar-like paddles arranged on their flanks, spotted prey with enormous compound eyes, and shoveled them into a disk-like mouth with large arms that resided at the very front of their bodies—although some of them ended up as filter feeders.""

+ - Satellite reboot is about reconnecting with an old friend->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "His wife calls him an egotist, NASA calls him a genius, and his friends call him a sore loser and insufferable winner.

Bob Farquhar says they're all right.

"I not only want to get things done, I want to be in your face at the end," the 82-year-old spaceflight engineer said. "And yes, I have a big ego, but it's not as big as Buzz Aldrin's."

The former Army paratrooper with a Stanford PhD is legendary for making spacecraft do things once thought impossible, and maybe even unwise. The only rules he followed faithfully during his 23 years at NASA were the laws of physics.

After years of lobbying NASA, he and a group of self-described space cowboys have won permission to be the first privately organized group to take control of a retired government satellite and change its orbit.

And it's not just any satellite: Farquhar helped send the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 into space 36 years ago — at 12 minutes and 12 seconds after the hour on Aug. 12."

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+ - Why is long term storage so miserably slow - even SSDs?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Using data from the /. post earlier...about the fastest an SSD will spin data off is 550MB/s. Considering that some 8TB SSD drives are coming soon ( — even with the speed of 550MB/s — it will take about 4 hours to spool off. Back in "the day" you could back up a system in about an hour...why hasn't the speed of mass storage kept up?"
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+ - In 1972, Scientists Discovered a 2 Billion-Year-Old Nuclear Reactor in W Africa

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "In June 1972, nuclear scientists at the Pierrelatte uranium enrichment plant in south-east France noticed a strange deficit in the amount of uranium-235 they were processing. That’s a serious problem in a uranium enrichment plant where every gram of fissionable material has to be carefully accounted for. The ensuing investigation found that the anomaly originated in the ore from the Oklo uranium mine in Gabon, which contained only 0.600% uranium-235 compared to 0.7202% for all other ore on the planet. It turned out that this ore was depleted because it had gone critical some 2 billion years earlier, creating a self-sustaining nuclear reaction that lasted for 300,000 years and using up the missing uranium-235 in the process. Since then, scientists have studied this natural reactor to better understand how buried nuclear waste spreads through the environment and also to discover whether the laws of physics that govern nuclear reactions may have changed in the 1.5 billion years since the reactor switched off. Now a review of the science that has come out of Oklo shows how important this work has become but also reveals that there is limited potential to gather more data. After an initial flurry of interest in Oklo, mining continued and the natural reactors--surely among the most extraordinary natural phenomena on the planet-- have all been mined out."

+ - Tunlr DNS service has closed down 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Tunlr is a DNS service that enables people outside the USA to access services like Netflix and HuluPlus. However, a visit to now brings up the following message:

Tunlr Has Left The Building...
A little over two years ago we started Tunlr as a fun project. It was a steep but interesting learning curve and we've developed many ideas, skills and code snippets which we will be of use in future projects.

However, while preparing the paid plans we recognized that we had no desire to run Tunlr as a paid service. Running Tunlr as a good-quality and reliable, paid service requires more time than we're willing to devote to the cause. We didn't want Tunlr to become one of the many mediocre DNS unblocking services available on the market today. That's why we pulled the plug. None of your account data will be shared, all account data has been destroyed...."

+ - Mysterious Sprite Photographed by ISS Astronaut->

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astroengine writes "A very rare and beautiful view of a red sprite has been photographed by Expedition 31 astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) hovering just above a bright flash of lightning in a thunderstorm over Myanmar. First documented in a photo in 1989, red sprites are very brief flashes of optical activity that are associated with powerful lightning discharges in storms — although the exact mechanisms that create them aren't yet known. But the orbiting outpost seems like the perfect vantage point to learn more about them!"
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+ - NY Couple on "Wanted" Poster for Filming Police

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Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Ben Fractenberg and Jeff Mays write that the NYPD has created a "wanted" poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them "professional agitators" who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address. The flyer featuring side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye and Christina Gonzalez and the couple's home address was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house and warns officers to be on guard against them. The couple has filmed officers stopping and frisking and arresting young people of color in Harlem and around New York City, which they post on Gonzalez's YouTube account. They said their actions are legal. "There have been times when it's gotten combative. There have been times when they [police officers] have videoed Christina," says Swaye. "But if we were breaking the law they would have arrested us." Swaye was part of a group of advocates including Cornel West who were detained at the 28th Precinct in Harlem in October for protesting the stop-and-frisk policy which Mayor Bloomberg strongly defends. Gonzalez and Swaye see the flyer as an effort to "discredit" and "shame" them for protesting what they feel is a civil rights issue, while also potentially endangering them by putting their home address on the flyer. "I saw it immediately and was kind of blown away," says Swaye, "It was designed to show us as people who are not trustworthy or safe.""

+ - Selling used software licenses legal in Europe, even if downloaded

Submitted by teslar
teslar (706653) writes "The Court of justice of the European Union has ruled that An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his "used" licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet (PDF). This follows a legal battle between German company UsedSoft (which does just that) and Oracle. From the press release: "By its judgment delivered today, the Court explains that the principle of exhaustion of the distribution right applies not only where the copyright holder markets copies of his software on a material medium (CD-ROM or DVD) but also where he distributes them by means of downloads from his website" (the principle of exhaustion of the distribution right means that "A rightholder who has marketed a copy in the territory of a Member State of the EU loses the right to rely on his monopoly of exploitation in order to oppose the resale of that copy")."

+ - Hong Kong dentist to explore Egyptian pyramids with his robotic tools->

Submitted by asavin
asavin (2516080) writes "Ng Tze-chuen, a 59-year-old dentist, is teaming up with Egypt's former antiquities minister to explore the Pyramids of Giza.

To do this, he's invented a tiny insect-sized robot with dental forcep-inspired grips on the top. This will be used to travel between the cracks on two mysterious doors blocking a tomb."

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+ - OCZ to cache your HDD with SSD->

Submitted by sl4shd0rk
sl4shd0rk (755837) writes "OCZ is coming out with Synapse Cache; an SSD cache for your hard drive. The SSD runs software which copies data into the cache, from your hard drive, as you work with it. The data sits on the SSD until it gets less activity and gets flushed to the hard disk. Aside from boosting your IOPS to 10k/75k (read/write) The SSD also comes with capabilities for AES encryption, SMART and TRIM."
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+ - DigiNotar goes bankrupt after hack->

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twoheadedboy writes "DigiNotar, the Dutch certificate authority (CA) which was recently at the centre of a significant hacking case, has been declared bankrupt. The CA discovered it was compromised on 19 July, leading to 531 rogue certificates being issued. It was only in August that the attacks became public knowledge. Now the company has gone bankrupt, parent firm VASCO said today. VASCO admitted the financial losses associated with the demise of DigiNotar would be “significant.” It all goes to show how quickly a data breach can bring down a company..."
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+ - Dead Island's Steam problems continue, DRM style. ->

Submitted by Channard
Channard (693317) writes "Dead Island has done pretty well in terms of sales, but the game's PC release hasn't gone smoothly. Initially, Deep Silver/Techland released the wrong version of the game onto Steam, causing some consternation amongst gamers. The game also contains a variety of other bugs. However, it now emerges that even the fixed version of the game requires you to be online and connected to Steam in order to play.

Most Steam games only require you to validate the game once, after which you have the option of switching Steam to offline mode and playing the games regardless of whether or not you're connected to the internet at the time. Since the retail version of Dead Island uses Steamworks, this problem affects retail copies of the game as well.

While this may smack of Ubisoft-style DRM, Deep Silver/Techland suggest this is a bug although they then go on to state that they ' cant make any promises' as to when or indeed if it'll be fixed. They also try to blame Steam's Steam Cloud architecture, although this seems to be a case of passing the buck since other Steam Cloud games don't have this problem and can be played fine offline, albeit without Steam Cloud synchronization.


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+ - Oracle: Java's Worst Enemy-> 1

Submitted by
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Oracle's buggy Java SE 7 release as only the latest misstep in a mounting litany of bad behavior. 'Oracle shipped Java SE 7 with a serious, showstopping bug, and who was the first to alert the Java community? The Apache Foundation. Oh, the irony. This is the same Apache Foundation that resigned from the Java Community Process executive committee in protest after Oracle repeatedly refused to give it access to the Java Technology Compatibility Kit,' McAllister writes. 'It seems as if Oracle would like nothing better than to stomp Apache and its open source Java efforts clean out of existence. And that's a shame, because at this point, Apache is doing a lot more good for the Java community than Oracle is. If I made my living as a Java developer, I would be pounding the walls right now. Oracle should be ashamed of itself. It's almost as if it doesn't care about its customers at all — ah, but what am I saying?'"
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