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Submission + - Sony Announces PlayStation 4 with Significantly More Powerful Graphics Engine (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: Now that we have system specs from both the PS4 and Xbox One, we can compare the two and see which console is better equipped for the future. A similar CPU is found in both consoles. The PS4 wields a custom low-power x86-64 AMD Jaguar chip with eight physical processing cores, and the same is true of the Xbox One. In this category, it's essentially wash, though the PS4 leaps ahead when looking at the other specs. Of most interest are the GPU and RAM, as these are primarily gaming devices, after all. The Xbox One's GPU is similar to a Radeon 7790, offering 68GB/s of bandwidth to a local 32MB SRAM memory cache, plus another 30GB/s of bandwidth to game controllers and peripherals like the Kinect. It also has 8GB of DDR3 system memory. The GPU in the PS4 offers similar performance to a Radeon 7870, which is quite a bit more powerful than the 7790. It's also aided by 8GB of unified GDDR5 RAM and thus able to offer 176GB/s of bandwidth to the CPU and GPU. The advantage here clearly lies with Sony.

Submission + - Miniature Sandia Sensors May Advance Climate Studies (scienceworldreport.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An air sampler the size of an ear plug is expected to cheaply and easily collect atmospheric samples to improve computer climate models.

"We now have an inexpensive tool for collecting pristine vapor samples in the field," said Sandia National Laboratories researcher Ron Manginell, lead author of the cover story for the Review of Scientific Instruments, the often-cited journal of the American Institute of Physics.

Submission + - Why humans have pretty much stopped evolving (npr.org) 2

Kidipede writes: "Never thought of this before, but Ian Tattersall explains that organisms can evolve quickly only in small isolated groups with a limited gene pool, so that a mutation can really take hold. In huge gene pools like modern cities, mutations are quickly muted by the dominance of the older DNA and evolutionary change becomes nearly impossible. It's not the main point of the story, but it's a good point."

Submission + - Interview With TSA Screener Reveals 'Fatal Flaws' (wordpress.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: Jonathan Corbett, creator of the video showing that TSA's body scanners can't see metal objects on our sides, has a new video out. This time he's interviewing an experienced TSA screener identified only as 'Jennifer,' and her allegations point to 'fatal flaws' in TSA and its procedures. Worse, TSA's screeners are well aware of these flaws. According to 'Jennifer,' body scanners frequently fail to detect objects on passengers, and this flaw is well known to the screeners on the job. People with visible items in their pockets can pass through scanners without detection, even when the items are simulated weapons or explosives. 'Jennifer' also alleges that training for screeners is severely lacking. Screeners are directed to operate body scanners, even the X-ray scanners, without any training whatsoever. The manual of standard operating procedures often can't be found at the checkpoints, let alone read. 'Jennifer' was so alarmed by what she experienced that she wrote her congressional representative to complain. She was ultimately fired as a result, effective today.
The Internet

Submission + - Has the infamous Goatse guy been found? (gawker.com) 1

DesScorp writes: "If you were on Slashdot in the late 90's and early 2K's, then you've probably been "Goatse'd". Someone posts a link about a supposedly innocuous subject, you click, and suddenly you're looking at something you didn't think was humanly possible. Goatse'ing was a form of RickRolling, only with a "What has been seen cannot be unseen" aspect. For years, people have speculated: "Who IS that guy?". Was he some otherwise normal guy... a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, that just had some very kinky personal tastes? It was noted that in his pic, he wore a wedding band. Was this the guy sitting next to you in church?

Adrian Chen at Gawker claims to have found the man responsible, and describes the process of how the Internet's first truly infamous meme began, and how it spread."


Submission + - Statistical Analysis Raises Civil War Dead by 20%

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "For more than a century it has been accepted that about 620,000 Americans died in the the bloodiest, most devastating conflict in American history, but now BBC reports that historian J David Hacker has used sophisticated statistical software to determine the war's death toll and found that civil war dead may have been undercounted by as many as 130,000. "I have been waiting more than 25 years for an article like this one," writes historian James McPherson. Hacker began by taking digitized samples from the decennial census counts taken 1850-1880. Using statistical package SPSS, Hacker counted the number of native-born white men of military age in 1860 and determined how many of that group were still alive in 1870 and compared that survival rate with the survival rates of the men of the same ages from 1850-1860, and from 1870-1880 — the 10-year census periods before and after the Civil War. The calculations yielded the number of "excess" deaths of military-age men between 1860-1870 — the number who died in the war or in the five subsequent years from causes related to the war. Hacker's findings, published in the December 2011 issue of Civil War History, have been endorsed by some of the leading historians of the conflict but do the numbers, equivalent to about 7.5 million US deaths in proportion to America's current population, really matter? "The difference between the two estimates is large enough to change the way we look at the war," writes Hacker. "The war touched more lives and communities more deeply than we thought, and thus shaped the course of the ensuing decades of American history in ways we have not yet fully grasped. True, the war was terrible in either case. But just how terrible, and just how extensive its consequences, can only be known when we have a better count of the Civil War dead.""

Submission + - Apple rejects Google Voice App

gurps_npc writes: According to PCmag, Apple has rejected Google Coice App that lets you combine multiple phone numbers. The reason Apple gave was that it duplicated existing Iphone functionality. Of course, Google let you do it for free while the Iphone charged for it.

I think that Apple may be taking a few too many lessons from Microsoft.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Therapists Log on to WoW to Counsel Addicts (telegraph.co.uk) 4

eldavojohn writes: So you can't find the time to leave the World of Warcraft to seek help for your World of Warcraft addiction? Sounds reasonable. Well, addiction therapists are coming to meet you so you don't have to quit playing as they counsel you and your addiction. From the leader of this initiative, Dr. Graham, 'We will be launching this project by the end of the year. I think it's already clear that psychiatrists will have to stay within the parameters of the game. They certainly wouldn't be wandering around the game in white coats and would have to use the same characters available to other players. Of course one problem we're going to have to overcome is that while a psychiatrist may excel in what they do in the real world, they're probably not going to be very good at playing World of Warcraft.' Send in the level 5 counselor and let the games begin!

Submission + - Blue M&Ms linked to reducing spine injury

mykepredko writes: Acccording to CNN, the same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage caused by spine injuries. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when they injected the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) into rats suffering spinal cord injuries, the rodents were able to walk again, albeit with a limp. The only side effect was that the treated mice temporarily turned blue.

Submission + - Apple kills Google Voice apps on the iPhone 5

molnarcs writes: "Apple pulls Google Voice-enabled applications from its App Store citing duplication of functionality. This includes both Google's official Google Voice and third party apps like Voice Central. Sean Kovacs, main developer of GV Mobile says that he had personal approval from Phillip Shiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing last April. TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid suspects AT&T behind the move."

Submission + - bone-eating worms found on cow bones (nature.com)

joe jones writes: "A new paper appearing in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London by Jones et al documents for the first time bone-eating worms (genus Osedax) on something other than whale bones. The scientists placed experimental settlement bones (graciously supplied by a local meat market) on a PVC "christmas tree" (see Fig 1A in the paper) at the bottom of the Monterey Bay. Amazingly, the Osedax worms not only grew on cowbones, but they did so extremely quickly (2 months in some cases) and the females were able to produce eggs and recruit males into their "harem". Odd are they are found on any other bones that may be at the bottom of the ocean..."
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Mission-critical hospital systems on Linux (computerworld.com)

jcatcw writes: "Health care software vendor McKesson Provider Technologies is focusing on ways to cut IT costs for customers, including hospitals and medical offices. The cure is moving many of McKesson's medical software applications to Linux, which can then be used on less expensive commodity hardware instead of expensive mainframes. A deal with Red Hat allows McKesson to offer its software in a top-to-bottom package for mission-critical hospital IT systems."

Submission + - Spam lawsuit's last laugh is at Hormel's expense (startribune.com)

Brian Cartmell writes: "Minneapolis — StarTribune Writes: Hormel may have lost at least part of that argument. In a closely watched lawsuit against a Seattle-based company, Spam Arrest, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled against Hormel, saying that consumers of canned Spam wouldn't confuse it with "Spam Arrest" software that blocks unwanted e-mail, which now is generically called spam.

Derek Newman, Spam Arrest's attorney, said the decision opens the door for many other anti-spam software companies to incorporate the word "spam" into their trademarked product names.

"Spam Arrest fought this battle for the whole software industry," Newman said. "The case is limited to the e-mail usage of the word spam, which will not detract from the fame associated with Hormel's meat products trademark."

Hormel said it was disappointed, but officials wouldn't comment on what the decision means to the company.

"Although we understand and accept that the term 'spam' has taken on new meaning in recent years, it is important to remember that we created the Spam brand more than 70 years ago and have invested significantly to build, support and protect the brand," Hormel spokeswoman Julie Craven said."


Submission + - Massive Data Loss Bug in Leopard (tomkarpik.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Leopard's Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in action. This author first came across it when Samba crashed while he was moving a directory from his desktop over to a Samba mount on his FreeBSD server.

Submission + - BBC backtracks on Linux audience figures

6031769 writes: "After recently claiming that only 400 to 600 Linux users visit the BBC website, the BBC's Ashley Highfield has now admitted that they got their numbers wrong. The new estimate is between 36,600 and 97,600 according to his blog post. He stops short of describing how Auntie arrives at these two widely different sets of numbers and how their initial estimate is two orders of magnitude out."

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.