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Submission + - Soot Is Warming the World, A Lot (sciencemag.org) 2

sciencehabit writes: Soot is bad stuff all around, whether you're breathing it into your lungs or it's heating the atmosphere by absorbing more of the sun's energy. But a new 4-year, 232-page assessment of soot's role in climate finds that the combustion product could be warming the world twice as much as previously thought. The study points policymakers toward the best targets for reducing climate-warming soot emissions while at the same time improving the health of billions of people.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Hans Camenzind, inventor of the 555 timer chip, Dead at 78 (eetimes.com) 1

Ellis D. Tripp writes: The inventor of the 555 timer IC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555_timer_IC), Hans Kamenzind, has died at age 78. His invention (first introduced in 1972) will be warmly remembered by many electronics hobbyists, and was the first integrated circuit ever used by many of us. R.I.P., Hans!

Submission + - US Carbon Emissions Lowest In 20 Years (apnews.com)

Freddybear writes: A recent report from the US Energy Information Agency says that US carbon emissions are the lowest they have been in 20 years, and attributes the decline to the increasing use of cheap natural gas obtained from fracking wells.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for "cautious optimism" about potential ways to deal with climate change. He said it demonstrates that "ultimately people follow their wallets" on global warming.

"There's a very clear lesson here. What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources," said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado.

The Courts

Submission + - Could Selling Your Computer One Day Be a Criminal Offense? (zeropaid.com)

Dangerous_Minds writes: The Atlantic is reporting that the Supreme Court will decide later this year whether or not re-selling a product that is manufactured outside the US could be a violation of copyright law. Apparently, a lower court ruled that this would be a violation of copyright law due to the wording of first-sale doctrine. Demand Progress is not happy about this saying that sites like Craigslist and eBay will be undermined should the Supreme Court agree with the lower court ruling. ZeroPaid is wondering: if the Supreme Court agrees with the lower courts ruling and the TPP is later ratified, could that mean that selling things like your personal computer one day be a criminal offense?

Submission + - Intel's compilers must not favor Intel products (coding-guidelines.com)

derek_farn writes: "The FTC have filed an antitrust complaint against Intel that requires them to release an updated version of their compilers that do not check whether the compiled code is executing on a "GenuineIntel" processor before deciding whether to go down a go-faster path that makes maximal use of the available processor resources, or a path containing a generic sequence of instructions (which are potentially much slower). The Intel settlement with AMD seems to cover the issue, but perhaps the Intel lawyers have another view. Intel could probably remove the GenuineIntel check without overly effecting their sales"

Submission + - One of the oldest FOSS apps you never heard of:ACP

Esther Schindler writes: "The Airline Control Program (ACP), introduced by IBM around 1967, predated the term "open source" by decades. But you may be surprised by how much of its development reflects the FOSS movement today. The ITWorld.com article An Abbreviated History of ACP, One of the Oldest Open Source Applications describes what made it special."

Submission + - Microsoft's Wipe-Detroit-Off-the-Map Patent

theodp writes: "Not only does Microsoft seem intent on wiping Detroit off the face of the Virtual Earth, they want a patent for doing so. On Thursday, the USPTO published Microsoft's patent application for Safe Route Configuration. 'The disclosed innovation goes against market trends and conventional wisdom in route generation circles,' boasts Microsoft as it touts the advantages of pedestrian and vehicular routes designed 'to mitigate a user's exposure to danger' over those that seek to minimize travel time. Microsoft notes that otherwise-dangerous neighborhoods can become safer 'when a major sport event starts or ends,' so you presumably will still be able to get directions to a Tigers or Lions game. Microsoft also has a patent pending for Pedestrian Route Production, which covers the generation of directions for the purpose of 'avoiding unsafe neighborhoods.' In this area, Microsoft Research appears to have the edge on Google, which settled for merely issuing a bad neighborhood caution with its pedestrian routes ('Use caution when walking in unfamiliar areas')."

Submission + - Robots make the coins go round downunder (computerworld.com.au)

inkslinger77 writes: "Computerworld has a cool slideshow of a Kuka Titan robot and a bunch of AGVs managing the circulation of coins at the Australian Mint. There's also a lengthier article where the head of the project talks about the main reason robots were employed. One of the reasons being that they radically reduce OH&S risk: "We are finding that the AGVs are much safer and more reliable. Robots are never affected by having a bad night with the baby and falling asleep at the wheel. They are extremely accurate and they always do the same task in the same way.""

Submission + - Towards flexible TV screens (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Science reports: "Imagine cardboard-thin TV screens that stretch across entire walls or portable video screens that can be rolled up when not in use. Those are some of the possible applications for tiny, inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that researchers have developed. The new LEDs are just as thin as conventional organic LEDs and liquid-crystal displays, but they're much brighter and more versatile."

Submission + - Newly discovered deep sea worms throw bioluminesce

homer30 writes: "Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have announced in Science the discovery of seven new species of deep sea worms, five of which drop orb-like parts of their body which cause a brilliant green display of bioluminescence. For this reason researchers have nicknamed them the 'green bombers'. The worms are not just new species, but a clade of animals entirely unknown to science until now."

Submission + - Online game unleashes unholy rage on abusers (arstechnica.com) 1

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Ars has a story about Eve Online dropping 9000 accounts for real-world trading of in-game money for profit. From the article:

"Those who buy and sell ISK, the game's currency, are not only exploiting the game, but unbalancing play. That's why the company decided to go drastic: a program they called "Unholy Rage,"

For weeks they studied the behavior and effects these real-money traders had on the game, and then they struck. During scheduled maintenance, over 6,000 accounts were banned. Hreiðarsson assures us that the methods were sound, and the bannings went off with surgical precision.

While the number of accounts banned in the opening phase of the operation constituted around 2 percent of the total active registered accounts, the CPU per user usage was cut by a good 30 percent."

Looks like they got the right 6000.


Submission + - Open Textbook Startup Saves 38,000 Students $3M

An anonymous reader writes: In more open-publishing/open-licensing news, textbook startup, Flat World Knowledge http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/ announced today http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/press-releases that more than 350 colleges and 38,000+ students are going to be using FWK books for the Fall term; this will save students over $3m in textbook costs.

This is a stunning achievement for a newcomer in the established commercial textbook publishing space, with the added benefit that FWK is creating significant social returns on investment for their student (and taxpaying) customers. What's even more impressive is that FWK has discovered a way to create a sustainable open textbook model that will change the very nature of textbook and educational material production, worldwide.

Submission + - Intel Buys Wind River

SlashDotDotDot writes: The New York Times reports that Intel will purchase embedded OS and software vendor Wind River Systems for $884 million. From the article:

Wind River makes operating systems for platforms as diverse as autos and mobile phones, serving customers like Sony and Boeing. Intel, whose processors run about 80 percent of the world's personal computers, is expanding into new markets, including chips for televisions and mobile devices. Wind River's software and customer list will pave the way for Intel to win more chip contracts.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato