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+ - Nanotechnology Cools Electrons Without External Sources->

Submitted by PsiCTO
PsiCTO (442262) writes "

A team of researchers has discovered a way to cool electrons to -228 C without external means and at room temperature, an advancement that could enable electronic devices to function with very little energy. The process involves passing electrons through a quantum well to cool them and keep them from heating. The team details its research in “Energy-filtered cold electron transport at room temperature,” which is published in Nature Communications.

The PDF of the paper is free to download.

Let the free energy debate begin..."

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+ - Tesla's Fighting Back In Georgia

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Elon Musk isn't just changing the way our cars work, no, he's changing the way we buy our cars too. At least, he's trying to. Musk and Tesla's biggest hurdle in the U.S. has been bypassing conventional dealerships and selling directly to customers. This concept is something that's illegal in many states thanks to a nationwide patchwork of decades-old franchise laws. Tesla's latest battle is taking place in Georgia where dealers allege that the start-up company is in violation of the state's franchise laws. Not surprsingly, Tesla's fighting back. To sell cars in the state Tesla had to agree to sell fewer than 150 vehicles directly to consumers in the state. Last week Georgia Automobile Dealers Association complained that Tesla sold 173 vehicles. Tesla hasn't publicly commented on how many vehicles it has sold in Georgia. We've seen time and time again how this story ends, and the writing is clearly on the wall for this case."

+ - Lara Croft explores her players through data mining

Submitted by jtogel
jtogel (840879) writes "Whenever you play a game of Tomb Raider: Underworld, a comprehensive record of your playing activities is collected on servers at Square Enix. Pretty much everything is tracked: from number of deaths, causes of death, requests for help, total and relative play time and rewards collected. Researchers at the University of Bonn, Fraunhofer IAIS and Northeastern University have mined this data to identify how playing behavior evolves throughout the entire game.
Using unsupervised behavioral clustering algorithms on gameplay data from 62,000 players, they identified six archetypes that both offered explanatory strength and representation value difference. Confirming earlier work that clustered players into Runners, Pacifists, Solvers and Veterans, this research found consistent spread of behavior at all levels of the game except when the design of a level enforced defined play attitudes. What’s more, playing styles vary and evolve as you play the game. This research helps game designers identify how players change from one type of behavior to the other, for example move from novice to expert, or from a non-paying user to become a paying user. (So that they can put all their effort into the ones that will eventually pay?)"

+ - The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train->

Submitted by MatthewVD
MatthewVD (2603547) writes "Almost half a century ago, New York Central Railroad engineer Don Wetzel and his team bolted two J47-19 jet engines, throttled up the engines and tore down a length of track from Butler, Indiana to Stryker, Ohio at almost 184 mph. Today, the M-497 still holds the record for America's fastest train. This is the story of how it happened."
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+ - I guess it had to start somewhere: Venezuela's airport 'breathing' tax->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "There is something to be said about every socialist paradise in the history of socialist paradises: they always run out of other people's money. And when they do, stuff like this happens: the biggest international airport in Venezuela is charging a fee for the right to inhale clean air.

As BBC correctly notes, we're used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we fly — passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further — passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax ($20) for the air they breathe.

Wait, a tax to breathe the air? Why yes — it is meant to cover the cost of a newly-installed system which uses ozone to purify the building's air conditioning system. A press release from the Ministry of Water and Air Transport says it's the first airport in South America and the Caribbean to use the technology, which it claims will eliminate bacterial growth to "protect the health of travellers," as well as deodorizing and sanitising the building.

Needless to say, the denizens of the socialist paradise are all but enthused. From BBC:

But with tickets out of the country already expensive and scarce because of Venezuela's economic crisis, many on social media have responded to the tax with both humour and outrage.

Radio presenter Daniel Martínez tweeted: "Could you explain to me the ozone thing in Maiquetia? The toilets don't have water, the air-con is broken, there are stray dogs inside the airport, but there's ozone?"

"Soon we will be charged for the 'good gas'" was another tweet — a rueful reference to the tear gas that the police often use on opposition protesters. The satirical news blog El Chiguire Bipolar ran the headline: "Maiquetia Airport unveils robot that puts you upside-down and takes your money."

"

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+ - New Computer Program Wants to Teach Itself Everything About Any Subject->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Word-picture association is one of the basic mechanisms of human memory. As children, it helps us to learn language by verbalizing what we see, as adults it is an invaluable aid to visualizing broader concepts or perhaps helping those with an LBLD (Language-Based Learning Disability). Now researchers from the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence have created the first fully automated computer program named LEVAN that teaches itself everything there is to know about a visual concept by associating words with images."
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+ - iRobot CEO: Humanoid Robots Like 'Sonny' Too Expensive to be a Reality->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes ""Building a robot that has legs and walks around is a very expensive proposition. Mother Nature has created many wonderful things but one thing we do have that nature doesn't is the wheel, a continuous rotating joint, and tracks, so we need to make use of inventions to make things simpler," Angle tells IBTimes UK.

"The reason it has taken so long for the robotics industry to move forward is because people keep trying to make something that is cool but difficult to achieve, rather than trying to find solutions to actual human problems. Technology can be extremely expensive if you don't focus.""

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+ - Autodesk decided to stop developing Softimage->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Autodesk announced that after the 2015 version of Softimage, which is scheduled for release next April, it would no longer provide software support. The publisher has confirmed the rumors last month, according to which Autodesk intends to terminate its software for 3D modeling and animation. "We regret to inform you that the next version of Softimage 2015 will be the last," can be read on the Autodesk website. "This latest version will be released around April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to provide support for up to 30 April 2016. ""
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+ - Hubble Witnesses Mysterious Breakup of Asteroid->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Hubble has observed some weird things since it was launched in 1990, but this is probably one of the strangest. In September 2013, the Catalina and Pan-STARRS sky surveys spotted a mysterious object in the asteroid belt, a region of rocky debris that occupy the space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Follow-up observations by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii resolved three separate objects within the fuzzy cloud. It was so strange that Hubble mission managers decided to use the space telescope to get a closer look. And what they saw has baffled and thrilled astronomers in equal measure. “This is a really bizarre thing to observe — we’ve never seen anything like it before,” said co-author Jessica Agarwal of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany. “The break-up could have many different causes, but the Hubble observations are detailed enough that we can actually pinpoint the process responsible.”"
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+ - Retired NASA manager sues Discovery channel over Challenger disaster movie->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A retired NASA manager is suing the Discovery Channel for its false portrayal of him in a movie about the Challenger shuttle accident.

The suit says that in the movie’s crucial scene Lovingood is shown testifying falsely that the odds of a shuttle failure were much higher than other NASA engineers calculated. “The clear statement and depiction was that Lovingood lied about the probability of total failure being 1 in 100,000 when NASA’s own engineers said it was 1 in 200,” the lawsuit says. “This movie scene never took place in real life at any hearing. (Lovingood) was never asked to give any testimony as depicted and he did not give testimony to the question shown in the movie in this made up scene.”

“It makes it look like (NASA leadership) ignored a highly risky situation” in deciding to launch Challenger that day, Lovingood’s attorney Steven Heninger of Birmingham said Friday. Heninger said the movie was the network’s “first attempt at a scripted program and they took shortcuts because they were writing for drama.” The testimony in the movie was not in the investigation commission’s records or Feynman’s book “What Do You Care What Other People Think?,” both of which were sources for the film, the suit claims.

Though NASA management did consistently claim the shuttle was safer than it actually was, to falsely portray this specific individual as the person who said those lies when he did not is slander."

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+ - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

+ - Will Overselling Global Warming Lead To A New Scientific Dark Age? 5

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Patrick Michaels writes in Forbes that atmospheric physicist Garth Paltridge has laid out several well-known uncertainties in climate forecasting including our inability to properly simulate clouds that are anything like what we see in the real world, the embarrassing lack of average surface warming now in its 17th year, and the fumbling (and contradictory) attempts to explain it away. According to Paltridge, an emeritus professor at the University of Tasmania and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, virtually all scientists directly involved in climate prediction are aware of the enormous uncertainties associated with their product. How then is it that those of them involved in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) can put their hands on their hearts and maintain there is a 95 per cent probability that human emissions of carbon dioxide have caused most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades? In short, there is more than enough uncertainty about the forecasting of climate to allow normal human beings to be at least reasonably hopeful that global warming might not be nearly as bad as is currently touted. Climate scientists, and indeed scientists in general, are not so lucky. They have a lot to lose if time should prove them wrong. "In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause," writes Paltridge. "It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavor.""

+ - T-Mobile Writes The Best Press Release You'll Ever See From A Phone Company->

Submitted by Reverand Dave
Reverand Dave (1959652) writes "At the beginning of January, AT&T directly began offering T-Mobile users $450 to switch. Apparently the company has realized that if it can't buy T-Mobile directly, it might as well just buy its customers. Now, most companies when targeted by a larger competitor in this manner might sort through a variety of responses, and I'm sure at some point, perhaps late at night under the influence of an extra alcoholic beverage or two, someone might suggest the following. But to actually go ahead with it... well... that's a bit bold. In short, T-Mobile flips the offer on its head, noting that since it only applies to T-Mobile users, AT&T users now have a "risk free" way to test out T-Mobile — and they throw in hilarious fake quotes from AT&T Mobility's CEO, Ralph de la Vega, mock the "death star" and a variety of other things you don't normally see in a telco press release — such as comparing de la Vega to Darth Vader."
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+ - "Honey Encryption" to Bamboozle Attackers with Fake Secrets

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Tom Simonite writes at MIT Technology Review that security researcher Ari Juels says that trickery is the missing component from the cryptography protecting sensitive data and proposes a new encryption system with a devious streak. It gives encrypted data an additional layer of protection by serving up fake data in response to every incorrect guess of the password or encryption key. If the attacker does eventually guess correctly, the real data should be lost amongst the crowd of spoof data. The new approach could be valuable given how frequently large encrypted stashes of sensitive data fall into the hands of criminals. Some 150 million usernames and passwords were taken from Adobe servers in October 2013, for example. If an attacker uses software to make 10,000 attempts to decrypt a credit card number, for example, they would get back 10,000 different fake credit card numbers. “Each decryption is going to look plausible,” says Juels. “The attacker has no way to distinguish a priori which is correct.” Juels previously worked with Ron Rivest, the “R” in RSA, to develop a system called Honey Words to protect password databases by also stuffing them with false passwords. Juels says that by now enough password dumps have leaked online to make it possible to create fakes that accurately mimic collections of real passwords and is currently working on creating the fake password vault generator needed for Honey Encryption to be used to protect password managers. This generator will draw on data from a small collection of leaked password manager vaults, several large collections of leaked passwords, and a model of real-world password use built into a powerful password cracker. "Honeywords and honey-encryption represent some of the first steps toward the principled use of decoys, a time-honored and increasingly important defense in a world of frequent, sophisticated, and damaging security breaches.""

+ - This 400-HP 3-Cylinder Race Car Engine Can Fit In Your Hands 2

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Motorsports used to be about lots of horsepower, torque, and big engines. In recent years there's been a shift to downsizing engines, using less fuel, and even using alternative energy such as clean diesel and hybrid powertrains. Today Nissan unveiled a 400-horsepower 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that weighs only 88 pounds. This engine will be part of the advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrain that will power the ZEOD RC electrified race car that will run in the 2015 LMP1 class during the race season. Nissan says the driver of the ZEOD RC will be able to switch between electric power and gasoline power with the batteries being recharged via regenerative braking. Even more impressive, according to Nissan, for every hour the ZEOD RC races, the car will be able to run one lap of the Le Mans' 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe on electric power alone. If true, that will make it the first race car in history to complete a lap during a formal race with absolutely zero emissions. If this all works, we could be witnessing the future of motorsports unfold before our eyes later this year when the ZEOD RC makes its race debut at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours in June."

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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