theodp writes "The first rule of teaching high school-level Computer Science should be knowing what CS is-and-isn't. Unfortunately, many high schools offering 'Computer Science' really aren't. Using her old California high school as an example, now-a-real-CS-student Carolyn points out that one 'Computer Science' class (C101) touted keyboarding 'speeds in excess of 30 words per minute at 95% accuracy' as a desired outcome, while another (C120) boasted that students will learn to use hyperlinks to link to other sites. While such classes fill a need, she acknowledges, they should not be called Computer Science. What's the harm? 'Encouraging more girls to take computer classes as they are now might have the opposite of the desired effect,' she explains. 'More girls might get the impression that computer science is only advanced application use, which might turn them off to computer science.'"
letsurock writes "Ants' capability to find the shortest route through a maze in an hour, and to find the second shortest route when the first path was obstructed, has inspired researchers creating algorithms for the future. From the article: 'Finding the most efficient path through a busy network is a common challenge faced by delivery drivers, telephone routers and engineers. To solve these optimization problems using software, computer scientists have often sought inspiration from ant colonies in nature — creating algorithms that simulate the behavior of ants who find the most efficient routes from their nests to food sources by following each other's volatile pheromone trails. The most widely used of these ant-inspired algorithms is known as Ant Colony Optimization (ACO).'"
cold fjord writes "Wired Science has a story on a new theory that tries to explain dark matter, and the balance of regular matter with antimatter. This theory may even be testable. From the article: 'A new hypothetical particle could solve two cosmic mysteries at once: what dark matter is made of, and why there's enough matter for us to exist at all."
interval1066 writes "From the article: 'Japanese researchers said Wednesday they had used stem cells to restore partial mobility in a small monkey that had been paralysed from the neck down by a spinal injury.' This is huge news in the world of stem cell research; restoring some muscular control to a simian is a huge step. This means that stem cell therapy is a demonstrably viable path to restoring motility for millions of accident victims, palsy and ms sufferers, the list just goes on."
rekrowyalp writes "From the press release: 'The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event in 2011. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.' Oh the irony."
cylonlover writes "If there's one place you don't want to be caught wandering around right now, it's the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. Especially since South Korean military hardware manufacturer DoDAMM used the recent Korea Robot World 2010 expo to display its new Super aEgis 2, an automated gun turret that can detect and lock onto human targets from kilometers away, day or night and in any weather conditions, and deliver some heavy firepower."
CWmike writes "Samsung on Tuesday announced a new 8GB dual inline memory module (DIMM) that stacks memory chips on top of each other, which increases the density of the memory by 50% compared with conventional DIMM technology. Samsung's new registered or buffered (RDIMM) product is based on its current Green DDR3 DRAM and 40 nanometer (nm)-sized circuitry. The new memory module is aimed at the server and enterprise storage markets. The three-dimensional (3D) chip stacking process is referred to in the memory industry as Through Silicon Via (TSV). Samsung said the TSV process saves up to 40% of the power consumed by a conventional RDIMM. Using the TSV technology will greatly improve chip density in next-generation server systems, Samsung said, making it attractive for high-density, high-performance systems."
To combat vandalism and theft of their holiday displays, many churches and cities are turning to a technological answer. After one of their cows was stolen, St. Marks Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill. installed GPS devices in the figurines of its nativity scene. This year the village of Wellington, Fla. added security cameras to protect their display. From the article: "BrickHouse Security in New York City offered churches and synagogues free GPS and cameras to protect their displays this season. Seventy have signed up so far. About 24 of them are also installing security cameras. In Merrick, N.Y., the Chabad Center for Jewish Life is putting GPS in its 8-foot menorah on display in a park."
theodp writes "Looks like threatening to take their ball and leave paid off for US tech firms. The Irish government announced plans this week to tap the welfare state and working class for much of the $20B in savings they've pledged to find over the next four years, but the austerity measures will not touch large businesses like Microsoft, Intel, Google, HP, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pfizer, which created jobs and fueled exports in Ireland after being lured by low corporate tax rates. More than 100,000 Dubliners took to the streets to protest the bailout plan, calling for the Irish government to default on the country's debts, and demanding an immediate election. 'We should default,' said a retired union worker, 'the idea that the workers of this country should pay for the gambling of the billionaires is disgusting.'"
justice4all writes "Google is working on a fix to a zero-day flaw discovered by British security expert Thomas Cannon that could lead to user data on a mobile phone or tablet device being exposed to attack. Cannon informed Google before posting information about the flaw on his blog. 'While doing an application security assessment one evening I found a general vulnerability in Android which allows a malicious website to get the contents of any file stored on the SD card,' Cannon wrote. 'It would also be possible to retrieve a limited range of other data and files stored on the phone using this vulnerability.'" Sophos's Chester Wisniewski adds commentary on how this situation is one of the downsides to Android's increasing fragmentation in the mobile marketplace.
Many readers have sent in an update to yesterday's story about the Department of Homeland Security's seizure of torrent-finder.com, a domain they believe to be involved in online piracy. As it turns out, this was just one of dozens of websites that were targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "In announcing that operation, John T. Morton, the assistant secretary of ICE, and representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America called it a long-term effort against online piracy, and said that suspected criminals would be pursued anywhere in the world. 'American business is under assault from counterfeiters and pirates every day, seven days a week,' Mr. Morton said. 'Criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet.'" The TorrentFreak article we discussed yesterday has been updated with a list of the blocked sites.
angry tapir writes "Facebook has purchased most of drop.io, an online content-sharing service, but the social-networking giant sounds more interested in acquiring the company's developers than its technology. Drop.io is a service that lets users create a 'drop' where they can share documents, videos and other digital content. The user can set a time for how long the drop will exist, decide who can view the content, set permissions for who can alter the content and share content in a variety of ways, including on Facebook."
An anonymous reader writes "A key UK government minister, Ed Vaizey (Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), has ominously proposed that internet service providers should introduce a new Mediation Service that would allow them the freedom to censor third party content on the Internet, without court intervention, in response to little more than a public complaint. Vaizey anticipates that Internet users could use the 'service' to request that any material deemed to be 'inaccurate' (good luck with that) or privacy infringing is removed. No doubt any genuine complaints would probably get lost in a sea of abuse by commercial firms trying to attack freedom of speech and expression."