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+ - Protesters block effort to restart work on controversial Hawaii telescope->

sciencehabit writes: An attempt to restart construction on what would be one of the world’s largest telescopes was blocked yesterday, after state authorities escorting construction vehicles clashed with protesters blockading the road to the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano. Officers from Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and construction workers for the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT), turned back from the summit shortly after noon Wednesday, citing concerns for public safety after finding the road blocked by boulders. The withdrawal followed several hours of clashes with Native Hawaiian protesters blockading the road, culminating in the arrests of 11 men and women, including several protest organizers. The protestors have said the $1.4 billion TMT would desecrate sacred land.
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+ - Reverse-engineering a Frame of Supreme Commander

An anonymous reader writes: When Supreme Commander was released 8 years ago, it redefined the RTS genre with its real-time strategic zoom and its epic battles involving several thousands of units at once, while bringing a whole generation of PCs to their knees. Today an article revisits the process of rendering a frame of the game by reverse-engineering the API calls made to the GPU. All the techniques and algorithms are explained in detail, many of them still used in current video games.

+ - Controversial trial of genetically modified wheat ends in disappointment->

sciencehabit writes: A genetically engineered wheat designed to scare away aphids has, in the end, just not proved scary enough. Researchers had hoped that the wheat modified to emit a warning pheromone would ward off aphids while also attracting their natural enemies, thereby allowing farmers to spray less insecticide. Despite promising signs in the laboratory, the field trial—which made headlines in 2012 after opponents of genetic modification (GM) threatened to obstruct it—failed to show any effect.
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+ - Amazon Opens Up Echo's Alexa To Developers ->

mikejuk writes: Amazon announced Echo. a wireless speaker with a built-in, voice-controlled, personal assistant called Alexa in November last year. Seven months down the line, Echo became available for purchase in the US and UK and will begin shipping on July 14th.In future Alexa will no longer be tied exclusively to Echo. Amazon has announced that the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the cloud-based service behind Echo, is being made available for free to third party hardware makers who want to integrate Alexa into their devices.To propel developers and hardware manufacturers interest in voice technology and their adoption of Alexa, Amazon has also announced a $100 Million Alexa Fund, open to anyone, startups to established brands, with an innovative idea for using voice technology.
Could it be Amazon's Alexa that beats Siri and Cortana into the home in devices other than mobile phones and tablets?

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+ - Stellar Rejuvenation: Some Exoplanets May Get Facelifts->

astroengine writes: Astronomers may have discovered an exoplanet that has found the elixir to planetary youth, knocking billions of years off its age. Until now, stellar rejuvenation has been pure conjecture, but after studying a white dwarf star called PG 0010+280, it turns out that one very interesting explanation for an excess in detected infrared radiation may be down to the presence of an exoplanet that was given a facelift. “When planets are young, they still glow with infrared light from their formation,” said Michael Jura of the University of California, Los Angeles, co-author of the study published in The Astrophysical Journal. “But as they get older and cooler, you can’t see them anymore. Rejuvenated planets would be visible again.” This rejuvenation happens when stellar material shedding from a dying red giant star falls onto an exoplanet, causing heating and making it appear younger.
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+ - DARPA is already working on designer organisms to terraform Mars->

MarkWhittington writes: Space visionaries dream of a time when human beings will not only settle Mars, but will terraform the Red Planet into something more Earth-like, with a breathable atmosphere, running water, and a functioning biosphere. Evidence exists that Mars was more or less Earth-like billions of years ago before the atmosphere leached away into space and the water became frozen under the ground and at the poles. Terraforming Mars is decades away from the beginning and probably centuries away from the end. But DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is already genetically engineering organisms that will help turn the Red Planet blue, according to a story in Motherboard.
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+ - Wi-Fi router's 'pregnant women' setting sparks vendor rivalry in China->

colinneagle writes: When one Chinese technology vendor, Qihoo, launched a new Wi-Fi router with a safety setting for "pregnant women," a rival vendor took offense to the implication that their routers might be dangerous. Xiamo, which also sells Wi-Fi routers, took to its page on Chinese social media site Weibo to denounce Qihoo's pregnant women mode as a "marketing tactic," and clarify that "Wi-Fi usage is safe."

Zhou Hongyi, chief executive and president of Qihoo, acknowledged in a statement to the South China Morning Post that there is no evidence supporting claims that Wi-Fi routers pose a risk for birth defects. But he said the company is appealing to consumers' beliefs, whether they are supported by science or not.

"We are targeting people who are afraid of radiation," Hongyi said. "We aren't scientists. We haven't done many experiments to prove how much damage the radiation from Wi-Fi can cause. We leave the right of choice to our customers."

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+ - Hackers watching 'Hackers' (the movie)->

An anonymous reader writes: In honor of Hackers turning 20 this year, we assembled a group of actual hackers (from Hack Manhattan) to watch the cult classic and comment amongst other things: misconceptions about hacking, wearable technology, its nuanced view on law and order, and why 90s fashion had so many pockets.

"HACKER 2: I think one of the most unrealistic parts is taking a floppy that you wrote on a machine, putting it in another one, and all of the files had no read errors.

H&F: Or pulling it out of the trash and still having it work.

  HACKER 2: Yeah, with the gum on it.

  HACKER 3: Floppies were resilient!

  HACKER 2: No, they were not!”

"HACKER 5: Why don't you see more Hackers-era Angelina Jolie cosplays?

HACKER 1: I cringe watching this movie because I'm so embarassed at how much I modeled myself after Cereal Killer when I was like 16.

HACKER 5: 90s was such a pragmatic fashion. So many pockets!"

"H&F: I think the one thing that sets it apart was the styling, the outfits are really good, even kinda believable for the 90s. Not enough leather dusters though.”

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+ - Supreme Court Upholds Key Obamacare Subsidies writes: Retuers repots that the US Supreme Court has ruled 6 — 3 in favor of the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president. It marked the second time in three years that the high court ruled against a major challenge to the law brought by conservatives seeking to gut it. "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," wrote Chief Justice Roberts adding that nationwide availability of the credits is required to "avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid." The ruling will come as a major relief to Obama as he seeks to ensure that his legacy legislative achievement is implemented effectively and survives political and legal attacks before he leaves office in early 2017.

Justice Antonin Scalia took the relatively rare step of reading a summary of his dissenting opinion from the bench. "We really should start calling the law SCOTUScare," said Scalia referencing the court’s earlier decision upholding the constitutionality of the law. SCOTUS is the acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States.

+ - Lenovo VP of Design 'might think about' building a retro Thinkpad->

An anonymous reader writes: In a recent blog post, David Hill thinks loudly about designing and possibly releasing a retro thinkpad that reminds of the IBM thinkpad of olden days. While already having a clear idea what this product line should look like, he is hesitant to commit to making this a thing. With a blue enter key, 16:10 display, dedicated volume controls, rubberized paint, a 7 row classic keyboard and more, this might be a new take on a solid heritage.
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+ - Final step in sugar-to-morphine conversion deciphered->

sciencehabit writes: The last piece of the poppy puzzle is now in hand: Plant geneticists have isolated the gene in the plant that carries out the last unknown step in converting glucose and other simple compounds into codeine, morphine, and a wide variety of other medicines. The discovery sets the stage for splicing the full suite of genes needed to produce these drugs into yeast, which could then produce safer and cheaper versions.
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+ - Interview: Ask Linus Torvalds a Question

samzenpus writes: Linus Torvalds, the man behind the development of the Linux kernel, needs no introduction to Slashdot readers. Recently, we talked about his opinion on C++, and he talked about the future of Linux when he's gone. It's been a while since we sat down with Linus to ask him questions, so he's agreed to do it again and answer any you may have. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please keep them to one per post.

+ - LG won't allow bootloader unlocking on "previously released" G4 variants

aka_bigred writes: Recently, LG announced that they would offer an official process to unlock the bootloader on certain LG mobile phones. They've actually been saying this in various unofficial forms since mid 2014.

Unfortunately, the latest word in LG's own support forums paints a slightly less optimistic picture for the majority of customers who purchased their flagship G4 phone:

Currently, only LG G4 (H815) for the EU open market supports unlocking the bootloader and we have no plan to support bootloader unlock in previously launched models including VS986.

We regret to inform you that LG VS986 does not support it and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

A petition on has been created to let LG know how many of their customers want to unlock the bootloader on other variants of their flagship G4 phone.

An officially unlocked bootloader is the easiest way to enjoy 3rd party Android ROMs such as the wildly popular CyanogenMod, since phone owners no longer have cross their fingers an hope that an obscure security flaw will allow them to root & unlock the bootloader of their phone.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie