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Government

Brazil and Peru Dispute .Amazon TLD 163

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bad-idea-has-bad-consequences dept.
judgecorp writes "Amazon.com could lose the .amazon domain, as Brazil and Peru have disputed the retailer's application to ICANN, backed by other South American governments, who want to protect use of that domain for 'purposes of public interest related to the protection, promotion, and awareness raising on issues related to the Amazon biome.'"
AI

Getting Small UAVs To Imitate Human Pilots Flying Through Dense Forests 56

Posted by timothy
from the on-earth-as-it-is-on-endor dept.
New submitter diabolicalrobot writes "The Robotics Institute at CMU has been developing systems to learn from humans. Using a Machine Learning class of techniques called Imitation Learning our group has developed AI software for a small commercially available off-the-shelf ARdrone to autonomously fly through the dense trees for over 3.4 km in experimental runs. We are also developing methods to do longer range planning with such purely vision-guided UAVs. Such technology has a lot of potential impact for surveillance, search and rescue and allowing UAVs to safely share airspace with manned airspace."
Microsoft

Office To Become Fully Open XML Compliant (at Last) 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-fast-turnaround dept.
Andy Updegrove writes "Between 2005 and 2008, an unparalleled standards war was waged between Microsoft, on the one hand, and IBM, Google, Oracle and additional companies on the other. At the heart of the battle were two document formats, one called ODF, developed by OASIS, a standards development consortium, and Open XML, a specification developed by Microsoft. Both were submitted to, and adopted by, global standards groups ISO/IEC. But then Microsoft never fully adopted its own standard. Instead, it implemented what it called 'Transitional Open XML,' which was better adapted for use in connection with documents created using older versions of Office. Yesterday, Microsoft announced in a blog entry that it will finally make it possible for Office users to open, edit and save documents in the format that ISO/IEC approved."
Programming

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

Posted by kdawson
from the non-obfuscated dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"
Google

Google Claims They "Just Aren't That Big" 283

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the please-send-a-check-that-is-just-as-not-big dept.
The New York Times is reporting that Google is making the case that they just aren't that big, especially from an anti-trust point of view. While they certainly corner the market in search, advertising, and online video, Dana Wagner, Google's "senior competition counsel," is working hard to convince the public that "competition is a click away." "None of the investigations take aim at Google's core advertising business. And unlike other technology giants in years past, Google has not been accused of anticompetitive tactics. But the investigations and carping from competitors and critics have Google fighting to dispel the notion that it has a lock on its market, even as it increases its share of search and online advertising. Eyes are rolling, especially in reaction to the idea that Google is a relatively small player in a giant market. 'They describe where they are in a market under a kind of a fairy-tale spun gloss that doesn't reflect their dominance of key sectors,' said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. 'Google search is an absolute must-have for every marketer in the world.'"
Medicine

Are Human Beings Organisms Or Living Ecosystems? 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the little-of-column-a,-little-of-column-b dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Every human body harbors about 100 trillion bacterial cells, outnumbering human cells 10 to one. There's been a growing consensus among scientists that bacteria are not simply random squatters, but organized communities that evolve with us and are passed down from generation to generation. 'Human beings are not really individuals; they're communities of organisms,' says microbiologist Margaret McFall-Ngai. 'This could be the basis of a whole new way of looking at disease.' Recently, for example, evidence has surfaced that obesity may well include a microbial component. Jeffrey Gordon's lab at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published findings that lean and obese twins — whether identical or fraternal — harbor strikingly different bacterial communities that are not just helping to process food directly; they actually influence whether that energy is ultimately stored as fat in the body. Last year, the National Institutes of Health launched the Human Microbiome Project to characterize the role of microbes in the human body, a formal recognition of bacteria's far-reaching influence, including their contributions to human health and certain illnesses. William Karasov, a physiologist and ecologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes that the consequences of this new approach will be profound. 'We've all been trained to think of ourselves as human,' says Karasov, adding that bacteria have usually been considered only as the source of infections, or as something benign living in the body. Now, Karasov says, it appears 'we are so interconnected with our microbes that anything studied before could have a microbial component that we hadn't thought about.'"
Earth

95M-Year-Old Octopus Fossils Discovered 290

Posted by kdawson
from the eight-by-eight dept.
mmmscience writes "A new study published in Paleontology is a truly terrific find. Not only did a group of European scientists find a fossilized octopus, they found five complete fossils that show all eight legs in great detail, including a ghost of the characteristic suckers. The discovery of the 95-million-year-old specimens was made in Lebanon. 'What is truly astonishing to the scientists is how similar these ancient creatures are to their modern-day counterparts. Dirk Fuchs, lead author on the study stated, "These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species."'"
Handhelds

What Features Should Be Included With iPhone 3.0? 606

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-that-apple-listens-to-consumers dept.
With the announcement coming tomorrow, Macworld has posted their top list of 15 features they would like to see in an iPhone 3.0 update. The list includes some things that people have been asking for since launch (like cut and paste) and things that were once there but have since been silently removed (like push notifications/background apps). With almost 2 years of time to grow and learn, what other things are woefully inadequate on Apple's popular handheld?
Privacy

UK Government To Outsource Data Snooping and Storage 114

Posted by timothy
from the avoid-conflict-of-interest dept.
bone_idol writes "The Guardian is reporting that the private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone's calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary. Also covered on the BBC."
Privacy

Security Checkpoints Predict What You Will Do 369

Posted by timothy
from the goes-the-theory dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New security check points in 2020 will look just like something out of the futuristic movie, The Minority Report. The idea of the new checkpoints will allow high traffic to pass through just as you were walking at a normal pace. No more waving a wand to get through checkpoints — the new checkpoint can detect if you have plans to set off a bomb before you even enter the building."

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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