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Submission + - Why is Google Opening a New Data Center in a Former Coal-Fired Power Plant?

HughPickens.com writes: Quentin Hardy reports at the NY Times that Google just announced that it is opening its 14th data center inside a former coal-fired power plant in Stevenson, Alabama. While there is considerable irony in taking over a coal-burning plant and promoting alternative power, there are pragmatic reasons Google would want to put a $600 million data center in such a facility. These power facilities are typically large and solid structures with good power lines. The Alabama plant is next to a reservoir on the Tennessee River with access to lots of water, which Google uses for cooling its computers. There are also rail lines into the facility, which makes it likely Google can access buried conduits along the tracks to run fiber-optic cable. In Finland, Google rehabilitated a paper mill, and uses seawater for cooling. Salt water is corrosive for standard metal pipes, of course, so Google created a singular cooling system using plastic pipes. Once fully operational, Google's Alabama data center will employ up to 75 employees in a variety of full-time and contractor roles, including computer technicians, engineers, and various food services, maintenance and security roles. "This a fantastic and exciting day for Jackson County," says Jackson County Commission Chair Matthew Hodges.

Submission + - U.S. tech giants ask Obama not to compromise encryption->

An anonymous reader writes: Two industry bodies which represent, among others, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and IBM have written [http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/09/us-cybersecurity-usa-encryption-idUSKBN0OP09R20150609] to President Obama urging that the U.S. government not seek to legislate 'official back doors' into encryption techniques. The Software and Information Industry Association and the Information Technology Industry Council sent the 'strongly worded' letter on Monday, celaring "Consumer trust in digital products and services is an essential component enabling continued economic growth of the online marketplace...Accordingly, we urge you not to pursue any policy or proposal that would require or encourage companies to weaken these technologies, including the weakening of encryption or creating encryption 'work-arounds,"
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Comment This looks like another tracker. (Score 4, Insightful) 351

Pocket should not be built in to Firefox as it is yet another third party that gets to capture your browser usage. Good old bookmarks have the same function without involving some unknown third party. I do not want the Pocket feature taking up resources on my computer! Leave it as an addon for folks that can't figure out how to use bookmarks.
Medicine

Submission + - The better to see you with->

ericjones12398 writes: "Unlike the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, doctors wanting to get a good look inside you are developing ever-smaller “eyes” to do the job. Even as dimensions shrink, other improvements bring qualitatively better sight to the instruments, allowing doctors to conclusively diagnose ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and cancers. These improvements were recently on display and demonstration this week in San Diego, Calif., at the annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting, attended by gastroenterologists from around the US and world.
Narrow Band Imaging (NBI)
The traditional endoscope consists of a soft, flexible tube with a light and lens on one end and an eyepiece on the other for the doctor — or, more likely, for the digital imaging device the doctor is using. The light used on the distal end of the endoscope, inside the patient, has typically been a full-spectrum source. By contrast, NBI endoscopes use only selected wavelengths of the white light spectrum, from 415 nanometers (blue) to 540 nanometers (green). By dropping out the red wavelengths, small blood vessels become more visible and, hence, so do smaller, newly emerging lesions, such as precancerous polyps of the colon."

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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Suffers Yet Another .Net Patch Failure->

snydeq writes: Microsoft has encountered another .Net patching failure, as three automatic updates failed to install on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and were later pulled. Microsoft has avoided explaining why so many PCs and servers were affected by the three patches — KB 2518864, KB 2572073, and KB 2633880 — and only recently have users been able to piece together a workaround. The failure is reminiscent of last month's .Net Framework patching debacle, where many people couldn't print their TurboTax forms over the tax weekend.
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NASA

Submission + - NASA to future lunar explorers: Don't mess with our Moon stuff ->

coondoggie writes: NASA today gently reminded any future Moon explorers that any relics of its Apollo missions or other US lunar artifacts should be off limits and are considered historic sites. NASA issued the reminder in conjunction with the X Prize Foundation and its Google Lunar X Prize competition which will use NASA's Moon sites guidelines as it sifts through the 26 team currently developing systems and spacecraft to land on the Moon.
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Science

Submission + - New GM Crops Could Make Superweeds Even Stronger->

Lasrick writes: Now that Monsanto and others have created a new breed of superweed that is resistant to herbicides, the next step is to genetically modify crop plants to resist super doses of more chemicals, which in turn will create super weeds resistant to entire CLASSES of chemicals, which in turn...you get the idea. This is ridiculous.
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Security

Submission + - ShowIP Firefox add-on secretly leaks URL data->

An anonymous reader writes: According to researchers at Sophos, a popular Firefox add-on appears to have started leaking private information about every website that users visit to a third-party server, including sensitive data which could identify individuals or reduce their security.

ShowIP is designed to "show the IP address(es) of the current page in the status bar" and is used by over 170,000 Firefox users.

However, the full URL of every webpage visited is sent to the Germany-based ip2info.org website, using unencrypted connections.

In addition, the add-on has no warning that sites you visit might be disclosed, no privacy policy small print explaining its behaviour, and no apparent way to opt-out of the data-sharing.

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Submission + - An Open Letter To Developers of Ad Blocking Software-> 1

hypnosec writes: John Battelle, CEO Federated Media Publishing sends out an open letter to Developers of Ad Blocking Applications: Dear Developers of Ad Blocking applications, I'll cut straight to the chase. What have we done to you to deserve your wrath? The ad blockers that you design prevent our ads from being displayed. Less advertising means less revenue for producing the quality content that you and everybody else craves and needs. High quality online content allows readers all over the world to educate and better themselves, without incurring any relative costs. Think about it: without online advertising where would the Internet be? Every site that depends on display advertising and page views would find it very hard to make ends meet. Producing good content is generally a very expensive procedure. As it stands, the overwhelming majority of the traditional (by traditional, I mean those who make a living out of writing) online content community works using the following equation.

Monthly Revenue = average advert slots per page x total number of page views x average cost per advert impression

Decreasing any of the variables on the right hand side will decrease revenue on the left hand side. And preventing adverts from displaying can have a devastating effect on the online media ecosystem, directly affecting web designers, journalists, editors, copywriters, developers, sales people, operations teams etc.

"When advertising works, millions keep their jobs" — Reader's Digest Ad

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Hardware

Submission + - $36 000 worth of (unattended) MacBooks destroyed by urine in Pennsylvania->

An anonymous reader writes: An 11-year-old Pennsylvania boy has been charged after urinating on $36,000 worth of Apple MacBook computers, owned by his school.

Local police were called to Upper Allen Elementary School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday after teachers discovered the boy had relieved himself on around 30 laptops.

The expensive technology, which had been sitting unattended on a cart in a school hallway, was 'damaged beyond repair', police said.

  Boy 11 destroys 36 000 worth of MacBooks with ..... URINE! Whoever would think that leaving 36 000 worth of MacBooks unattended could led to trouble?

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AI

Submission + - Face Recognition Maps History via Art->

mikejuk writes: Face recognition techniques usually come with a certain amount of controversy. A new application, however, is unlikely to trigger any privacy concerns because all of the subjects are long dead.
FACES: Faces, Art, and Computerized Evaluation Systems will attempt to apply face recognition software to portraits. Three University of California, Riverside researchers have just received funding to try and piece together the who's who in history.
  “Almost every portrait painted before the 19th century was of a person of some importance. As families fell on hard times, many of these portraits were sold and the identities of these subjects were lost. The question we hope to answer is, can we restore these identities?”
  If the algorithm can be fine tuned we can look forward to the digitized collections of museums and art galleries around the world suddenly yielding a who-knew-who social network graph that could put more science, and computer science at that, into history.

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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft alleged anticompetitive practices agains->

andydread writes: We discussed the accusation against Microsoft by Barnes and Noble about their patent attacks on Android. The details are out on the extent that Microsoft has gone to make open source undesirable in the marketplace. Barnes and Noble says that this is not just about Android. According to B&N Its about all open source in general and they have filed a detailed complaint (PDF) with the ITC spelling out what they call "extortive practices" on the part of Microsoft against open source. Now we have a list of the actual patents in question and B&N explaining how each one of these patents are invalid.
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Google

Submission + - Google's secret lab->

phaedrus5001 writes: Apparently, Google has a secret lab known as 'Google X' where they are working on over a hundred different projects. From the article:"These include a space elevator project, experiments working to connect home appliances and dinner dishes to the Internet, robots that can go to work instead of their owners, and the development of driverless cars for the mass market."
And, just maybe, Skynet as well...

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If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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