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Submission + - Debugging Death: An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw 1

theodp writes: Hired by the family of Brooke Melton in their wrongful-death lawsuit against GM, engineer Mark Hood was at a loss to explain why the engine in Melton's 2005 Chevy Cobalt had suddenly shut off, causing her fatal accident in 2010. Hood had photographed, X-rayed and disassembled the two-inch ignition switch, focusing on the tiny plastic and metal switch that controlled the ignition, but it wasn't until he bought a replacement for $30 from a local GM dealership that the mystery quickly unraveled. Eyeing the old and new parts, Hood quickly figured out a problem now linked to 13 deaths that GM had known about for a decade. Even though the new switch had the same identification number — 10392423 — Hood found big differences — a tiny metal plunger in the switch was longer in the replacement part, the switch's spring was more compressed, and most importantly, the force needed to turn the ignition on and off was greater. "It's satisfying to me because I'm working on behalf of the Meltons," Hood said. "It won't bring their daughter back, but if it goes toward a better understanding of the problem, it might save someone else." Next week, GM CEO Mary Barra will testify before Congress about events leading up to the wide-ranging recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

Submission + - Industrious dad finds the genetic culprit in his daughters mysterious disease (nature.com)

bmahersciwriter writes: Hugh Rienhoff has searched for more than a decade for the cause of a mysterious constellation of clinical features in his daugther Bea: skinny legs, curled fingers and always the specter that she might have a high risk of cardiovascular complications. He even bought second hand lab equipment to prepare some of her genes for sequencing in his basement. Now, he has an answer.

Submission + - Birthday Song's Copyright Leads to a Lawsuit for the Ages (nytimes.com)

chriscappuccio writes: "The song “Happy Birthday to You” is widely credited for being the most performed song in the world. But one of its latest venues may be the federal courthouse in Manhattan, where the only parties may be the litigants to a new legal battle.

The dispute stems from a lawsuit filed on Thursday by a filmmaker in New York who is seeking to have the court declare the popular ditty to be in the public domain, and to block a music company from claiming it owns the copyright to the song and charging licensing fees for its use.

The filmmaker, Jennifer Nelson, was producing a documentary movie, tentatively titled “Happy Birthday,” about the song, the lawsuit said. In one proposed scene, the song was to be performed."

Submission + - Switzerland tops IPv6 adoption charts as US lags behind at fourth place (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: According to recent statistics Switzerland has aced the IPv6 adoption charts by leapfrogging Romania, which topped the charts for nearly a year. According to Google Switzerland’s adoption stands at 10.11 percent – the highest for any country. Romania on the other hand has an adoption rate of 9.02 percent followed by France at 5.08 percent. Switzerland took the top position near the end of May and the primary reason seems to be Swisscom and its drive to adopt the next IP version. US stands at fourth place with just 2.76 percent adoption.

Submission + - Ethernet Turns 40 Years Old (theinquirer.net)

alancronin writes: Four decades ago the Ethernet protocol made its debut as a way to connect machines in close proximity, today it is the networking layer two protocol of choice for local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and everything in between. For many people Ethernet is merely the RJ45 jack on the back of a laptop, but its relative ubiquity and simplicity belie what Ethernet has done for the networking industry and in turn for consumers and enterprises. Ethernet has in the space of 40 years gone from a technology that many in the industry viewed as something not fit for high bandwidth, dependable communications to the default data link protocol.

Submission + - Baby's Life Saved with 3D Printing (yahoo.com)

cold fjord writes: I think this is the sort of thing we've been waiting for: " When April and Bryan Gionfriddo brought home their newborn son, Kaiba, in October 2011, he seemed like a healthy baby. But one night, when the family was out to dinner, Kaiba stopped being able to breathe and turned blue. . . . he was rushed to the hospital. After 10 days, Kaiba was sent home, but he turned blue again two days later. That's when doctors realized Kaiba had a rare condition called tracheobronchomalacia, in which the windpipe is so weak that it collapses, preventing air from flowing to the lungs. . . But researchers at the University of Michigan had been working on a solution to this very problem. They had developed a way to use new technology called 3D printing to create a splint that would fit precisely around Kaiba's airway, holding it open and making it possible for him to breathe. . . "As soon as the splint was put in, the lungs started going up and down for the first time, and we knew he was going to be OK," said Dr. Glenn Green, an associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the university. . . Twenty-one days after the procedure, Kaiba no longer needed a ventilator to help him breathe." Informative University of Michigan video here

Submission + - English May Have Retained Words From an Ice Age Language (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: If you've ever cringed when your parents said "groovy," you'll know that spoken language can have a brief shelf life. But frequently used words can persist for generations, even millennia, and similar sounds and meanings often turn up in very different languages. Now, a new statistical approach suggests that peoples from Alaska to Europe may share a linguistic forebear dating as far back as the end of the Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago. Indeed, some of the words we use today may not be so different than those spoken around campfires and receeding glaciers.

Submission + - ARM expects 20-nanometer processors by late 2013 (cio.com.au) 2

angry tapir writes: "ARM chips made with an advanced, 20-nanometer manufacturing process could appear in smartphones and tablets by as soon as the end of next year, the head of ARM's processor division said Monday. The more advanced chips should allow device makers to improve the performance of their products without reducing battery life, or offer the same performance with longer battery life."

Submission + - Open source project to translate SWF to html5 (github.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla currently has an experimental project on github called shumway to try to interpret SWF (aka Flash files) using browser-standard technologies like html5 and javascript. All I can say is please and thank you!

Shumway is an HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient renderer for the SWF file format without native code assistance. Shumway is community-driven and supported by Mozilla. Our goal is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering SWFs. Integration with Firefox is a possibility if the experiment proves successful.


Submission + - [Videos] Linaro engineers talk about the status of Linux on ARM (armdevices.net) 2

Charbax writes: "Some of the worlds best developers work at Linaro optimizing the future of Linux on ARM. In this 4-hour video series several of them describe software solutions for the upcoming ARM big.LITTLE architecture (ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM Cortex-A7), demonstrate how Linaro Android 4.0.4 runs twice as fast as stock Android 4.0.4 on the TI OMAP4430 Pandaboard, talk about the future of Android, unify the ARM bootloader, combine multiple ARM SoCs into one Linux Kernel for ARM. Canonical works to support ARM Servers, Mark Shuttleworth talks about the opportunity that ARM constitutes for Ubuntu on Laptops and Servers. The CTO of Linaro talks about the next billions of ARM Powered devices that they are working to optimize Linux for."

Submission + - An Illinois beekeeper links CCD to Monsanto and has hives stolen by IDoA (naturalnews.com)

GabriellaKat writes: (NaturalNews) An Illinois beekeeper with more than a decade's worth of expertise about how to successfully raise organic, chemical-free bees is the latest victim of flagrant government tyranny. According to the Prairie Advocate, Terrence "Terry" Ingram of Apple River, Ill., owner of Apple Creek Apiaries, recently had his bees and beehives stolen from him by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDofA), as well as more than 15 years' worth of research proving Monsanto's Roundup to be the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) destroyed.

Submission + - Password Protection Act: Ban Bosses Asking For Facebook Passwords 1

An anonymous reader writes: A group of Democrats today introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to prevent employers from forcing employers and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts. In other words, Maryland may soon not be the only state that has banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn’t owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones.

Submission + - HP CEO to frustrated employees: "A sign of an unhappy company. You wish HP ill." (cnn.com)

N!NJA writes: This is a recent article on Fortune that sheds new light on the troubles inside HP. The battles between members of the board of directors as well as the atmosphere between lower management and engineers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A few months after she took over as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) last September, Meg Whitman held one in a series of get-to-know-you meetings with employees. To say the audience, a group of software engineers and managers, was sullen would be an understatement. As Whitman spoke, many of them glared at her. Others weren't making eye contact with their new boss. Their heads were down, and they were tapping furiously on handheld devices.

"Your comments are being live-blogged," one employee told her defiantly. Whitman challenged the man. "You all have taken leaking to a new art form," she said. "It's a sign of an unhappy company. You wish HP ill." The tapping suddenly stopped, and as the room fell silent, the mobile devices were lowered.

The employees' open contempt for the head of the company and Whitman's acknowledgment of their misery were signs of just how dire things had gotten inside the technology titan after a humiliating series of epic stumbles last year. [...]

The saga of HP's 11 months under Léo Apotheker begins in November 2010. To understand it, you need to appreciate what he found and how HP got to that point. The company seemed strong at that moment, its swagger restored during the five years Mark Hurd had been in charge. Earnings per share had quadrupled. The stock price had doubled. HP was No. 1 in PC shipments, No. 1 in printers, No. 1 in servers.

But just under the surface was a very different reality: HP was traumatized, its employees disengaged. Internal "voice of the company" surveys revealed that morale had cratered. One top executive told Apotheker she felt "maimed" by Hurd's hard-charging style. A company hailed for its vaunted "HP way" — which emphasized employee autonomy — had stifled creativity to the point where workers now had a rueful phrase to describe the way they tuned out and pretended to be clueless when executives asked them to do something: "flipping the bozo bit."

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - 1.Make Movie. 2.Release it for Free 3... 4.Profit $1 Million Dollars (techdirt.com) 1

Fluffeh writes: "In an interesting case that seems to make Big Media talk sound like gibberish, movie makers James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch made a documentary called Hunrgy for Change and released it online totally free — for ten days — then it seems they started to count their money, over a million dollars of it. Everyone who viewed HUNGRY FOR CHANGE was given access to three special offers: the DVD for $34.95, the new recipe book for $49.95, or the DVD and the recipe book for $74.95. Each order came with free bonuses and free shipping. In the first 14 days, over 20,800 orders were placed totaling over $1 million in sales. Although most purchasers had already seen the film for free, many wanted to buy a copy for themselves or purchase it as a gift for family or friends."

Submission + - Great video of Aurora Borealis from helium balloons (vimeo.com)

Harperdog writes: "Wonderful Vimeo video. Here's the summary: From the site: This timelapse video contains the first-ever photos from alongside the edge of the Northern Lights, aka. the Aurora Borealis.
Captured at 100,000 feet using a modified GoPro HD Hero2 camera attached to a carbon fiber frame, this homemade spacecraft reached altitude using a helium weather balloon and also hosted other scientific instruments used to measure features of the Aurora. According to the project leader, Ben Longmier, "We were measuring the plasma particle density at an altitude of 30 km, where the particle density is enhanced due to the presence of the aurora and high energy electrons streaming down into the magnetosphere."
[Note: it also may feature the first-ever footage of the Northern Lights scored without the use of classical music. We're breaking all kinds of firsts, here.]"

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux