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Submission + - Cloud Harmony Benchmarking Results Reveal Performance Upgrades (

An anonymous reader writes: Benchmarking tests utilizing the Geekbench 3 utility ( for CPU performance and CloudHarmony’s own test results for Disk I/O, pitted similar offerings by Rackspace, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Liquid Web, and DigitalOcean against each other. According to the resulting metrics, the CPUs in Liquid Web’s VPS instances perform 76% better than Rackspace, 84% better than Digital Ocean, and 191% faster than AWS. Also critical is Disk I/O, which measures the input and output operations (reading or writing data) that can be performed by the storage device every second and is referenced when judging a server’s potential to be slowed by the “bottlenecking” of inbound and outbound data. According to CloudHarmony’s metrics, Liquid Web’s VPS instances were 323% faster than Rackspace, 979% faster than Digital Ocean, and 388% faster than AWS in random write IOPS.

Submission + - Laser-Propulsion Could Give Space Rockets a Serious Boost (

Zothecula writes: Russian scientists have proposed a novel way to accelerate a spaceship while in flight – firing a ground-based laser up its backside. The new technique uses a plasma flow caused by laser ablation to increase the exhaust efficiency of a traditional rocket propulsion system, and could theoretically accelerate an aircraft beyond Mach 10.

Submission + - Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

cartechboy writes: It's a story we've come to see quite often: a state trying to ban Tesla's direct sales model. It seems something sneaky just happened in Michigan where Tesla sales are about to be banned. Bill HB 5606 originally intended to offer added protection to franchised dealers and consumers from price gouging by carmakers, and was passed by the Michigan House in September without any anti-Tesla language. However, once it hit the Senate wording was changed that might imply the legality of a manufacturer-owned dealership was removed. The modified bill was passed unanimously by the Senate on October 2, and then sent back to the House that day where it passed with only a single dissenting vote. The bill was modified without any opportunity for public comment. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has less than a week to sign the bill into law. Of course, Tesla's already fighting this legislation. It's already been said that in the end, Tesla will win all of these situations and that time is being wasted.

Submission + - Early childhood neglect associated with altered brain structure, ADHD (

vinces99 writes: Under the rule of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, thousands of Romanian children were placed in overcrowded orphanages with bleak conditions and minimal human contact, a legacy that continued even after the 1989 revolution. Only recently have research and public concern caused policy changes.

University of Washington research on children who began life in these institutions shows that early childhood neglect is associated with changes in brain structure. A paper published this month in Biological Psychiatry shows that children who spent their early years in these institutions have thinner brain tissue in cortical areas that correspond to impulse control and attention. “These differences suggest a way that the early care environment has dramatic and lasting effects for children’s functioning,” said lead author Katie McLaughlin, a UW assistant professor of psychology.

Since 2000, the Bucharest Early Intervention Project has worked to document and treat the children’s health. McLaughlin joined the team about six years ago to focus on brain development. This study is among the first in any setting to document how social deprivation in early life affects the thickness of the cortex, the thin folded layer of gray matter that forms the outer layer of the brain. The study provides “very strong support” for a link between the early environment and ADHD, McLaughlin said.

Submission + - Rosetta Stalks Dark Comet in Stunning New Space Selfie (

astroengine writes: At a distance of only 10 miles from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s surface, the European Rosetta mission has captured yet another dazzling self portrait with the dark comet lurking in the background. But the orbiter couldn’t have snapped this “selfie” without the help of a little friend — the attached Philae lander that is currently undergoing preparations for its historic comet surface landing in November.

Submission + - Smart battery tells you when it's about to explode (

sciencehabit writes: Material scientists have found a clever way to alert users of damaged batteries before any hazard occurs. A typical lithium-ion cell consists of a lithium oxide cathode and a graphite anode, separated by a thin, porous polymer sheet that allows ions to travel between the electrodes. When the cell is overcharged, microscopic chains of lithium, called “dendrites,” sprout from the anode and pierce through the polymer separator until they touch the cathode. An electrical current passing through the dendrites to the cathode can short-circuit the cell, which causes overheating and, in some cases, fire. Attempts to stop dendrite formation have met with limited success, so the researchers tried something different. They built a “smart” separator by sandwiching a 50-nanometer thin copper layer between two polymer sheets and connecting the copper layer to a third electrode for voltage measurement. When the dendrites reach the separator, the voltage between the anode and the copper layer drops to zero, alerting users that they should change the damaged battery while it is still operating safely—disaster averted.

Submission + - Save Our Balls! (

Dyablos writes: "As many of you may or may not know, the CPSC is attempting to ban Buckyballs. Buckyballs is not going to go down without a fight. They have put this together to help spread the word. From the article:
"We are going to fight hard to keep our products on the market... and our balls in your hands. But we need your help. Make your opinion heard: post, tweet, comment and make noise. Tell the CPSC to keep their hands off your balls (and cubes). Or just order a set to help us stay in business and defend our company and products. Use promo code "ThanksCPSC" for free shipping on any order."


Submission + - New 'Beautiful' Particle Discovered at LHC ( 1

SchrodingerZ writes: On the search for the imfamous Higg Boson, "Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider submitted a paper to Physical Review Letters claiming that they’d discovered a new Baryon particle." It is composed of a strange quark, a beauty quark, and an up or down quark. It was given the notation Xi_b^*0. The discovery of this new particle helps to solidify the " validity of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, and helps contribute to our understanding of atomic interactions."

Submission + - Alan Turing papers on code breaking released by GCHQ (

peetm writes: "Two 70-year-old papers by Alan Turing on the theory of code breaking have been released by the government's communications headquarters, GCHQ.

It is believed Turing wrote the papers while at Bletchley Park working on breaking German Enigma codes.

A GCHQ mathematician said the fact that the contents had been restricted "shows what a tremendous importance it has in the foundations of our subject"."


Submission + - Wind turbine can extract liters of water from air ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Getting access to enough water to drink in a desert eveironment is a pretty tough proposition, but Eole Water may have solved the problem. It has created a wind turbine that can extract up to 1,000 liters of water per day from the air. All it requires is a 15mph wind to generate the 30kW's of power required for the process to happen. The end result is a tank full of purified water ready to drink at the base of each turbine.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - CryENGINE 3 gives us a glimpse at the future of gaming (

zacharye writes: The next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles currently being developed by Microsoft and Sony will make the disparity between console and mobile gaming even more vast, adding more fluid animation support and a number of additional enhancements that will make video games more realistic than ever. But even when confined to the capabilities present in today’s home consoles, new video game engines show us just how amazing gaming will be moving forward. Ctytek, the lab behind the popular Crysis franchise, recently released the CryENGINE 3 SDK 3.4.0 DX11 update for developers as well as with a quick reel to highlight some of the engine’s capabilities...

Submission + - Laws of physics trumps traffic law. (

HeLLFiRe1151 writes: Here's a practical application for your physics education: using math to successfully beat a traffic ticket in court. Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist based at the University of California San Diego, did just that to avoid paying a fee for (purportedly) running a stop sign.

Krioukov not only proved his innocence, but he also posted a paper detailing his argument online on the arXiv server


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Compsci BS/MS from a research univ. or teaching univ. better? (

mnanu writes: Recently due to budget cuts some public universities have decided to cut down research in computer science and turn their CS depts into teaching only departments. It is happening in the University of Florida and something similar occurred in the University of Cincinnati. The rationale given for the cuts at UFL is that the teaching quality can be maintained without conducting any research. What do slashdotters think about this? Does it matter if the faculty conducts research as far as BS and MS (non-thesis) programs are concerned?

Submission + - User Journal Quantum Random Numbers (

tqft writes: "What the world needs is more truly random sources of numbers. Here are some more:

" We do this by splitting a beam of light into two beams and then measuring the power in each beam. Because light is quantised, the light intensity in each beam fluctuates about the mean. Those fluctuations, due ultimately to the quantum vacuum, can be converted into a source of random numbers. Every number is randomly generated in real time and cannot be predicted beforehand. So if you need some really random numbers, use the link below!""


Submission + - Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Goes Stable On Linux (

An anonymous reader writes: The open source Nouveau driver that's a reverse-engineered incarnation of NVIDIA's official proprietary driver for Linux, has reached its biggest milestone. The Nouveau driver is now being considered stable within the Linux kernel and leaving the staging area with a pledge of a stable ABI. Phoronix has summarized the state of the Nouveau driver, which works fine if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.