writes "A surge of electrical activity in the brain could be responsible for the vivid experiences described by near-death survivors, scientists report.
A study carried out on dying rats found high levels of brainwaves at the point of the animals' demise.
US researchers said that in humans this could give rise to a heightened state of consciousness.
The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The lead author of the study, Dr Jimo Borjigin, of the University of Michigan, said: "A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case.
"If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state.""Link to Original Source
writes "The UK looks set to become the first country to allow the creation of babies using DNA from three people, after the government backed the IVF technique.
It will produce draft regulations later this year and the procedure could be offered within two years.
Experts say three-person IVF could eliminate debilitating and potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases that are passed on from mother to child.
Opponents say it is unethical and could set the UK on a "slippery slope".
They also argue that affected couples could adopt or use egg donors instead.
Mitochondria are the tiny, biological "power stations" that give the body energy. They are passed from a mother, through the egg, to her child.
Defective mitochondria affect one in every 6,500 babies. This can leave them starved of energy, resulting in muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and death in the most extreme cases."Link to Original Source
writes "Drayson Racing Technologies has broken the world land speed record for a lightweight electric car.
Its Lola B12 69/EV vehicle hit a top speed of 204.2mph (328.6km/h) at a racetrack at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire.
Chief executive Lord Drayson, who was behind the wheel, said the achievement was designed to highlight electronic vehicle technology's potential.
The previous 175mph record was set by Battery Box General Electric in 1974.
Drayson Racing is not the only electric vehicle-maker hoping to use motorsport to spur on adoption of the technology.
Last week Nissan unveiled the Zeod RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car), which can switch between electric and petrol power.
The firm intends to enter the vehicle into next year's Le Mans 24 race saying the competition would act as a "challenging test bed" for technologies that could eventually find their way into road cars."Link to Original Source
writes "The tired spat between Google and Microsoft just got a lot more interesting after reports that the search giant tipped off European authorities to antitrust concerns, a tip that will now cost the Windows-maker nearly a billion dollars. When news of the fine levied by the European Union's competition watchdog broke on Wednesday, nobody was too surprised that the European Commission was punishing Microsoft for bullying consumers. But with a recent headline-stealing dispute between the Redwood, Washington company and Google, it's competitor down in Mountain View, California, bloggers got curious. Early Wednesday evening, The Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara wondered, "Did Google Snitch?" According to a Financial Times report published a few minutes later, the answer is yes.
The link to the FT in the original article is sadly behind a pay wall"Link to Original Source
writes "Oracle says a U.S. judge erred when he threw out its billion-dollar copyright claim against Google over parts of the Java programming language that Google incorporated into the Android mobile platform, according to a court filing.
Oracle's intellectual property battle against Google has attracted intense interest from software developers, many of whom believe the structure of a programming language should not be subject to copyright protection.
In an appeals brief filed on Monday at the Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Oracle said Google's use of Java structure was "decidedly unfair."
"Copyright protects a short poem or even a Chinese menu or jingle," Oracle wrote. "But the copied works here were vastly more original, creative, and labor-intensive.""Link to Original Source
writes "A sea slug that is able to detach, re-grow and then re-use its penis has surprised scientists.
Japanese researchers observed the bizarre mating behaviour in a species called Chromodoris reticulata, which is found in the Pacific Ocean.
They believe this is the first creature known that can repeatedly copulate with what they describe as a "disposable penis".
The study is published in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters.
The sex life of the sea slug is complicated even before detachable organs come into play.
Almost all of these creatures, which are also known as nudibranchs, are thought to be "simultaneous hermaphrodites". This means they have both male and female sexual organs and can use them both at the same time."Link to Original Source
writes "One of the country’s biggest mutual fund managers signaled its opposition to Dell‘s proposed $24.4 billion sale on Tuesday, as another investor disclosed a major step in a campaign to fight the deal.
T. Rowe Price said in a statement that it was opposed to the $13.65-a-share takeover bid being offered by the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell, and the investment firm Silver Lake. With a stake of about 4.4 percent, T. Rowe Price is Dell’s third-biggest shareholder.
The second-biggest shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, meanwhile disclosed in a regulatory filing that it had retained D.F. King, a big proxy solicitation firm, as an adviser. It also confirmed that it held about 8.44 percent of Dell’s shares, trailing only Mr. Dell."Link to Original Source
writes "Acer Inc. the Taiwanese computer maker that’s suffered two consecutive annual losses, posted strong sales of notebooks using Google Chrome platform after the release of Microsoft Windows 8 failed to ignite the market.
Chrome-based models accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since being released there in November, President Jim Wong said in an interview at the Taipei-based company’s headquarters. That ratio is expected to be sustainable in the long term and the company is considering offering Chrome models in other developed markets, he said.
“Windows 8 itself is still not successful,” said Wong, whose company posted a 28 percent drop in fourth-quarter shipments from a year earlier. “The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not.”"Link to Original Source
writes "After settling with the FTC last year, Google is under pressure again regarding user privacy. From the BBC -
A group of Apple's Safari web browser users has launched a campaign against Google over privacy concerns.
They claim that Google bypassed Safari's security settings to install cookies which tracked their movements on the internet. Between summer 2011 and spring 2012 they were assured by Google this was not the case, and believed Safari's settings to be secure. Judith Vidal-Hall, former editor of Index On Censorship magazine, is the first person in the UK to begin legal action.
"Google claims it does not collect personal data but doesn't say who decides what information is 'personal'," she said. "Whether something is private or not should be up to the internet surfer, not Google. We are best placed to decide, not them.""Link to Original Source
writes "The Pentagon is moving toward a major expansion of its cybersecurity force to counter increasing attacks on the nation’s computer networks, as well as to expand offensive computer operations on foreign adversaries, defense officials said Sunday.
The expansion would increase the Defense Department’s Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900, an American official said. Defense officials acknowledged that a formidable challenge in the growth of the command would be finding, training and holding onto such a large number of qualified people."Link to Original Source
writes "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has been fined £250,000 ($396,100) following a "serious breach" of the Data Protection Act.
UK authorities said a hack in April 2011 "could have been prevented".
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) criticised the entertainment giant for not having up-to-date security software.
Sony told the BBC it "strongly disagreed" with the ruling and planned to appeal.
"Criminal attacks on electronic networks are a real and growing aspect of 21st century life and Sony continually works to strengthen our systems, building in multiple layers of defence and working to make our networks safe, secure and resilient," a spokesman for the firm added.
The company had previously apologised for the hack which saw its PlayStation Network knocked offline for several days. In May 2011 company executives bowed in public and offered users free games to show their remorse."Link to Original Source
writes "France, seeking fresh ways to raise funds and frustrated that American technology companies that dominate its digital economy are largely beyond the reach of French fiscal authorities, has proposed a new levy: an Internet tax on the collection of personal data.
The idea surfaced Friday in a report commissioned by President François Hollande, which described various measures his government was taking to address what the French see as tax avoidance by Internet companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook.
These companies gather vast reams of information about their users, harnessing it to tailor their services to individuals’ interests or to direct customized advertising to them. So extensive is the collection of personal details, and so promising the business opportunities linked to it, that the report described data as the “raw material” of the digital economy."Link to Original Source
writes "The head of French telecoms operator Orange said on Wednesday it had been able to impose a deal on Google to compensate it for the vast amounts of traffic sent across its networks.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard said on France's BFM Business TV that with 230 million clients and areas where Google could not get around its network, it had been able to reach a "balance of forces" with the Internet search giant.
Richard declined to cite the figure Google had paid Orange, but said the situation showed the importance of reaching a critical size in business.
Network operators have been fuming for years that Google, with its search engine and You Tube video service, generates huge amounts of traffic but does not compensate them for using their networks.
There is an interesting editorial piece at gigaom
It turns out that Google, the great proponent of net neutrality, is paying Orange to handle its traffic on the carrier’s mobile networks. That’s an unwelcome development, and here’s why..."
writes "US regulators have ordered a review of the 787 Dreamliner plane after a series of incidents put a question mark over the safety of Boeing's flagship plane.
The review by the Federal Aviation Administration will look at the design and manufacture of the planes. It is not clear whether the planes in the air at the moment will be grounded.
An electrical fire, a brake problem, a fuel spill and cracks in the cockpit's windshield have affected Dreamliner flights in the past week.
"We are absolutely confident in the reliability and performance of the 787," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. "We are working with the FAA and our customers to ensure we thoroughly understand any introductory issues that arise. "While we take each issue seriously, nothing we've seen in service causes us to doubt the capabilities of the airplane."
However, a spate of technical issues has hurt its image.
Problems with the brakes
A fire in boston
There is a longer list and some interesting analyses at the source"Link to Original Source
writes "It looks like the EU is coming close to a decision regarding its investigation of Google according to the FT and Search Engine Land
While saying he’s “still investigating,” the head of the European Union’s antitrust regulatory body has told the Financial Times that he’s convinced Google is “diverting traffic” and that it will be forced to change its results.
From the FT interview:
“We are still investigating, but my conviction is [Google] are diverting traffic,” Mr Almunia told the Financial Times, referring to Google’s preferential treatment of its own vertical search services.
That’s Joaquin Almunia, who has been leading the EU’s investigation into charges that Google is acting anti-competitively with its search listings. Alumnia also said he felt there was an “abuse” of Google’s dominant position in search."Link to Original Source