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Submission + - LibreOffice 4.4 is more than just a pretty face (itworld.com)

sfcrazy writes: LibreOffice (aka LO) is among the best and the most used free (of cost) and open source office suites. The just-announced, brand new version 4.4 boasts some new features and a much needed design overhaul. With the 4.4 release, it looks like the developers have cleaned up the code enough to deal with the design of the product. The new LibreOffice not only shows a sleeker toolbar, it has also added a side panel; similar to the one found of IBM Lotus Notes which also inspired Calligra Suite by the KDE community.

Submission + - SpaceX Injunction Dissolved (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two weeks ago, SpaceX filed suit against the U.S. Air Force in an attempt to enforce competition for rocket purchases. They argued that is was a bad idea to blindly shovel money into Russia's coffers for rides to space, and said there was no way for other rocket manufacturers to get a foot in the door. Last week, it looked like they were getting traction — an injunction was granted, temporarily halting the Air Force's process of buying rockets. Unfortunately for SpaceX, that injunction has now been dissolved. At the heart of the suit was Executive Order 13,661, which blocks the transfer of wealth to people in the Russian Federation who are related to the situation in the Ukraine. SpaceX said that since Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was the head of their space agency, payments to the agency were effectively payments to him. U.S. departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury all sent letters to the court saying this was not the case, and the court agreed.
Here's the final ruling.

Submission + - Oppo's New Phone Is the Most Technology-Packed Smartphone Ever (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: Oppo Electronics has taken off the wraps on its first LTE phone, and it packs more technology than most if not all laptops. The Find 7 is a 5.5" phone and is the first to support 2560 x 1440 resolution (by comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has 441 PPI). 'Another striking and unique feature of the phone is its 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor,' writes blogger Andy Patrizio. 'This is Qualcomm's first chip to feature its Gobi True 4G LTE World Mode, supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA, CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM4. Translation: this phone will work on LTE all over the world.'

Submission + - Any concerted effort to revive Usenet? 4

taxman_10m writes: I've felt for a long time that Usenet as a repository for technical knowledge was better than Stack Exchanges, Reddits, Google+ Communities and various assorted blogs and message boards. Particularly Google+ Communities. Recently info on modifying an Acer Chromebook to run full Ubuntu was moved to such a community. I can't be the only one that finds the layout to be an utter abortion, can I? I'm curious if there is any effort underway to bring back Usenet. One of the big downfalls of Usenet mentioned is spam, but certainly there are ways to deal with that now. If such a movement to bring back Usenet doesn't exist, I'd like to get the discussion started here.

Submission + - The universe may be finite and bounded afterall. (johnhartnett.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The question is discussed whether the universe is finite or infinite, bounded or unbounded. In modern science it is presumed to unbounded and since the discovery of the accelerating universe, for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2011, that it is also infinite. However Hartnett has found that using the cosmology of Moshe Carmeli that the same equations that successfully fit the observational evidence in the cosmos can also be derived from a finite bounded universe. This means our location is space may indeed be special after all. The work was published in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics titled “A valid finite bounded expanding Carmelian universe without dark matter” (Int J Theor Phys (2013) 52:4360–4366).

Submission + - headlights that make rain invisible (autoblog.com) 1

zlives writes: According to CNET, the headlight uses a camera housed within the headlight assembly to detect rain (and presumably snow or hail) as it falls, and then it uses a processor to anticipate the path of the rain. Finally, the actual light is created by a projector, which uses the information supplied by the processor to block out the pixels where the rain is expected to be. This technology, as you can see in the image above, should help improve visibility since there will be less light reflected back at the driver by raindrops.

Submission + - Supreme Court restricts public records requests — Help hack its decision (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: The Supreme Court ruled this morning that states have the right to restrict public records access to locals, meaning one more hurdle to would-be muckrakers everywhere. Even in-state requesters are harmed: It means one more bureaucratic hurdle and another excuse for agencies to respond in paper rather than electronically. MuckRock has helped file requests in all 50 states — important for projects like the Drone Census — and we're looking for more volunteers to help ensure transparency from sea to shining sea. States impacted:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

If you live in one of the above, fill out a simple form and we can help ensure that sunshine isn't restricted depending on where you live.

Submission + - When Does Conciousness Begin? (sciencemag.org) 2

sciencehabit writes: For decades, neuroscientists have been searching for an unmistakable signal of consciousness in electrical brain activity. Such a sign could determine whether minimally conscious or anesthetized adults are aware—and when consciousness begins in babies. Now researchers says they've found a brain signal that seems to correlate with conciousness--one that comes online around 5 monhts old.
Crime

Submission + - John McAfee accused of murder, wanted by Belize police (thehackernews.com) 1

thn writes: "John McAfee, who started the antivirus software giant named after him, has been accused of murder in Belize and wanted. McAfee had taken to "posting on a drug-focused Russian message board...about his attempts to purify the psychoactive compounds colloquially known as 'bath salts,'" Gizmodo wrote. The scariest aspect of this story may be the fact that an entire lab was constructed for John McAfee’s research purposes. Because of his efforts to extract chemicals from natural chemical plans McAfee was able to justify his experiments in a country that is largely unregulated."
Canada

Submission + - Canada's Supreme Court Tosses Viagra Patent For Vagueness

Freshly Exhumed writes: In a 7-to-0 decision, the Supreme Court Of Canada has ruled that Pfizer Canada Inc.'s patent on well-known erectile dysfunction remedy Viagra is now invalid due to insufficient information in Pfizer's patent application. The upshot is that competitors can now manufacture cheaper, generic versions of Viagra for sale in Canada. A problem with spreading this news item is that many email filters will not allow the topic, so cheers to /.
Hardware

Submission + - Optical camouflage used to render car interiors invisible (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Keio University in Japan is using optical camouflage to make the interior of a car effectively invisible. Professor Masahiko Inami at Keio University believes the camo can be adapted so the driver would no longer see the interior of the car as it is replaced with a constantly updated exterior view.

That may be jarring at first, but it does make a lot of sense from a visibility perspective. Nothing outside is hidden from the driver, and turning to see where you are reversing would allow the driver to see very clearly what obstacles there are. Importantly, the projection retains a sense of depth as to where things actually are in relation to the vehicle. Another advantage of such a system is it can render daylight visuals even when it’s dark outside, again meaning better visibility for the driver.

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