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Submission + - Snowflake-shaped networks are easiest to mend (newscientist.com)

Z00L00K writes: Networks shaped like delicate snowflakes are the ones that are easiest to fix when disaster strikes.

Power grids, the internet and other networks often mitigate the effects of damage using redundancy: they build in multiple routes between nodes so that if one path is knocked out by falling trees, flooding or some other disaster, another route can take over. But that approach can make them expensive to set up and maintain. The alternative is to repair networks with new links as needed, which brings the price down – although it can also mean the network is down while it happens.

As a result, engineers tend to favour redundancy for critical infrastructure like power networks, says Robert Farr of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

So Farr and colleagues decided to investigate which network structures are the easiest to repair. Some repairs just restore broken links in their original position, but that may not always be possible. So the team looked at networks that require links in new locations to get up and running again. They simulated a variety of networks, linking nodes in a regular square or triangular pattern and looked at the average cost of repairing different breaks, assuming that expense increases with the length of a rebuilt link.


Submission + - End of the line for Spamcop?

fl!ptop writes: Since about the middle of June, spam reporting tool Spamcop has been under what appears to be a very well coordinated and executed DDoS attack. As a paying member of many years, I've been experiencing unusually long delays, 404's, proxy errors, gateway timeouts, and other strange errors when trying to submit spam reports. There is a very long thread in the 'general' forum discussing the issue. Like some of the commentators, I'm wondering how a company with resources like Cisco (owner of Spamcop) could let this problem persist for so long. Admin posts to the discussion thread keep indicating the problem is fixed, there's a big backlog, it should be working, etc. but that's not the case from my point of view (and may others). Could it be because Cisco doesn't care about the service anymore and are not giving it their full attention? Is this the beginning of the end for Spamcop?

Submission + - Space Worms Live Long and Prosper (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "A microscopic worm used in experiments on the space station not only seems to enjoy living in a microgravity environment, it also appears to get a lifespan boost. This intriguing discovery was made by University of Nottingham scientists who have flown experiments carrying thousands of tiny Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to low-Earth orbit over the years. It turns out that this little worm has genes that resemble human genes and of particular interest are the ones that govern muscle aging. Seven C. elegans genes usually associated with muscle aging were suppressed when the worms were exposed to a microgravity environment. Also, it appears spaceflight suppresses the accumulation of toxic proteins that normally gets stored inside aging muscle. Could this have implications for understanding how human physiology adapts to space?"

Submission + - Student creates world's fastest shoe with a printer (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Engineer and designer Luc Fusaro from the Royal College of Art in London has developed the prototype of a running shoe that can be uniquely sculpted to any athlete’s foot. It’s as light as a feather too, weighing in at 96 grams. The prototype is aptly named, Designed to Win, and is 3D printed out of nylon polyamide powder, which is a very strong and lightweight material. The manufacturing process uses selective laser sintering (SLS), which fuses powdered materials with a CO2 laser to create an object. This process means 3D scans can be taken of the runner’s foot so as to ensure the show matches the shape perfectly. Fusaro can also change the stiffness of the soles according to the athlete’s physical abilities.

The shoe can improve performance by 3.5%, meaning a 10 second 100-meter sprinter could see his time drop by 0.35 seconds, which is a huge time saving relatively speaking. Imagine if Usain Bolt put a pair of these running shows on.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Spectrum segment for medical devices opened by FCC (patexia.com)

sarfralogy writes: "The average doctor’s phone and computer are likely both wireless — and soon many of his or her patients can be as well.
The FCC announced on May 24 that it’s assigning 40 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum for wireless medical tracking devices, called medical body area devices, or MBANs. This will be on a shared basis with, would you believe test pilots in the defense and aerospace sectors? It’s true. The announcement caps several years of negotiations between the FCC; two major manufacturers of medical monitors, General Electric and Phillips; and the flight industry’s Aerospace and Flight Test Radio Coordinating Council."


Submission + - Microsoft Research Releases Cliplets Software for making "Harry Potter" photos (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Have you every wanted to create your own "Harry Potter" photos?, well one of Micrsosoft Research's latest projects called Cliplets, unveiled at Microsoft’s own TechFest 2012, is a free piece of software that video enthusiasts–consumer and professional–may enjoy.

Cliplets is video manipulation software and explores the space between still and video media. The software allows the user to take a moment in time from a home video, and focus on looping the action of one object, while all other actions surrounding that object remain frozen in time. For instance, say you took a video of a waterfall, but the camera is shaking and some hikers walked into your shot toward the end. You can isolate the waterfall as one object and make it loop, allowing you to create a dynamic photo; the waterfall still falling, but everything else standing still. Imagery like this (similar to cinemagraphs) typically take some difficult Photoshop editing to pull off, which makes Microsoft's new Cliplets software a cool point of entry for amateur photographers.


Submission + - Microsoft's Azure cloud down and out for 8 hours (theregister.co.uk)

dcraid writes: Microsoft's cloudy platform, Windows Azure, is experiencing a major outage: at the time of writing, its service management system had been down for about seven hours worldwide.

A customer described the problem to The Register as an "admin nightmare" and said they couldn't understand how such an important system could go down.

"This should never happen," said our source. "The system should be redundant and outages should be confined to some data centres only."


Submission + - Twitter to meet with UK government about riots (venturebeat.com) 1

conner_bw writes: "Twitter has confirmed that it will meet with the UK Home Secretary on Thursday, after being called in for discussions over the role it played in the recent UK riots. Twitter will send a representative to the meeting scheduled for August 25. Both Facebook and RIM will also send representatives to the meeting in regards to their effects on the riots."

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.