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Submission + - Physicists uncover novel phase of matter (

schwit1 writes: A team of physicists led by Caltech's David Hsieh has discovered an unusual form of matter — not a conventional metal, insulator, or magnet, for example, but something entirely different. This phase, characterized by an unusual ordering of electrons, offers possibilities for new electronic device functionalities and could hold the solution to a long-standing mystery in condensed matter physics having to do with high-temperature superconductivity — the ability for some materials to conduct electricity without resistance, even at "high" temperatures approaching -100 degrees Celsius.

"The discovery of this phase was completely unexpected and not based on any prior theoretical prediction ... The whole field of electronic materials is driven by the discovery of new phases, which provide the playgrounds in which to search for new macroscopic physical properties."

Submission + - FBI's Advice for Ransomware Victims: Pay Up!

campuscodi writes: Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit that took place last week in Boston, Joseph Bonavolonta, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cyber and Counterintelligence Program, revealed that the FBI started advising organizations into paying up ransoms if they ever face ransomware infections. The thinking behind this recommendation is that companies and users will eventually learn their lesson and start employing better self-protection measures when navigating the Web.

Submission + - Did you avoid update KB3035583? Too bad; Microsoft still installing Windows 10 ( 1

LichtSpektren writes: Those who wished to avoid Windows 10, and/or were annoyed by the "Get Windows 10" (GWX) advertisement that popped up on Windows 7 & 8.1 machines, were told to remove update KB3035583. This removed the GWX center. However, a more recent update for 7 & 8.1 (the culprit appears to be KB2952664, which my machine received on October 7) appears to have restored it anyway, and worse, is now downloading and installing Windows 10 without permission. This appears to happen even if "Install updates automatically" is turned off, so some users who are away from their machine for more than a day may return to find Windows 10 installed.

Submission + - Did we just find a Dyson Sphere being built? (

gurps_npc writes: Note, as always, the answer to a headline question is usually "no". But Phil Plait just wrote a very interesting article about a star that is extremely variable. We generally look for cyclical minute (1%) variations in star light to detect planets. But we found one that has a variable variation in starlight of over 20%. We don't have a very good explanation for this and some people are proposing it is caused by a civilization building a Dyson Sphere around the star.

Submission + - Cities Turn to DNA Fighting Dog Poop

dkatana writes: More cities are resorting to science and letting DNA analysis help fight dog owners' lack of civic-mindedness. Tarragona is the latest town in Europe to sign on with a plan to build a DNA database of dogs registered. Waste will then be tested and the cost of the analysis charged to the dog owner along with a fine.

And London borough of Barking and Dagenham signed up PooPrints, a Tennessee company that makes DNA kits, to fight the problem.

Submission + - Don't bring your drone to New Zealand (

NewtonsLaw writes: Drones such as the Lilly Camera, DJI Phamtom and (to a lesser extent, because of its size) DJI Inspire are changing the way we experience our vacations. Instead of toting along a camcorder or a 35mm DSLR, more and more people are just packing a GoPro and, increasingly, a drone on which to mount it.

This is fine if you're going to a drone-friendly country but be warned that (when/if they finally ship), your Lilly Camera will get you into big trouble in Thailand (where all use of drones by the public is banned outright) and now New Zealand, where strict new laws regarding the operation of drones and even tiny toys like the 20g Cheerson CX10, come into effect on August 1.

Under these new rules, nobody can operate a drone or model aircraft without getting the prior consent of the owner over which property it is intended to fly — and (this is the kicker) also the permission of the occupiers of that property. So you can effectively forget about flying down at the local park, at scenic locations or just about any public place. Even if you could manage to get the prior permission of the land-owner, because we're talking "public place", you'd also have to get the permission of anyone and everyone who was also in the area where you intended to fly.

Other countries have produced far more sane regulations — such as limiting drone and RC model operators to flying no closer than 30m from people or buildings — but New Zealand's CAA have gone right over the top and imposed what amounts to a virtual death-sentence on a hobby that has provided endless, safe fun for boys (and girls) of all ages for more than 50 decades.

Of course if you are prepared to pay a $600 fee to become "Certified" by CAA then the restrictions on where you can fly are lifted and you don't need those permissions. It seems that the government here is taking away our rights and simply selling them back to us as "privileges" that can be purchased by paying a fist-full of cash to the appropriate government agency.

When reading the linked news story, remember that as far as CAA in New Zealand is concerned, *everything* that flies and is remotely controlled is now deemed to be a "drone" — so that includes everything from a tiny 20g toy quadcopter to a huge octocopter.

Submission + - Scientists Develop Seaweed Twice As Nutritious As Kale But Tastes Like Bacon (

cold fjord writes: The New Zealand Herald reports, "Researchers at Oregon State University have patented a new strain of succulent red marine algae that tastes like bacon when it's cooked. The protein-packed algae sea vegetable called dulse grows extraordinarily fast and is wild along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. It has been sold for centuries in a dried form around northern Europe, used in cooking and as a nutritional supplement ... Chris Langdon has created a new strain of the weed which looks like a translucent red lettuce. An excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants the "superfood" contains up to 16 per cent protein in dry weight ... It has twice the nutritional value of kale. ... "... this stuff is pretty amazing. When you fry it, which I have done, it tastes like bacon, not seaweed. And it's a pretty strong bacon flavour."" — More at OSU.

Submission + - 70th Anniversary of Trinity Test: Reflecting on the Bomb

Lasrick writes: It's the 70th Anniversary of the Trinity atomic bomb test, and Dan Drollette pulls together a series of reflections, over time, by the scientists who were there: '“In the middle of May, on two separate nights in one week, the Air Force mistook the Trinity base for their illuminated [training] target. One bomb fell on the barracks building which housed the carpentry shop, another hit the stables, and a small fire started.' Other reflections show how perceptions changed over the years. A fascinating history of the beginning of the nuclear age.

Submission + - Gun-firing drone video causes controversy (

An anonymous reader writes: A video posted on YouTube showing a drone firing a gun in a wooded area has caused some controversy today []. The short video shows a four-rotored custom drone with a special rig containing a handgun. The handgun proceeds to fire four shots, handling the recoil better than might be expected. The user who posted the video also submitted it to Reddit [], where a commenter noted that the apparent use of a solenoid trigger would class the device as an automatic weapon under ATF rules.

Submission + - Federal government demands NYC strip Times Square of billboards

schwit1 writes: Federal officials have ordered New York to remove the billboards that make Times Square famous or else the state will lose $90 million in federal highway funds.

The edict comes from a 2012 law that makes Times Square an arterial route to the national highway system. And that puts it under the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which limits signs to 1,200 square feet. It took the feds until now to realize that Times Square was included.

Submission + - ISIS militant 'Jihadi John' believed to be a computer programmer from London ( 1

walterbyrd writes: The Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John," who has appeared in several videos depicting the beheadings of Western hostages, is a British man from West London.

His name is Mohammed Emwazi, according to Washington Post and Guardian reports. He was known to British security services, which chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons.

Emwazi graduated from college with a degree in computer programming, according to friends who spoke to the Washington Post. He was a quiet man in his mid-20s who was raised in a middle-class part of London, the paper reports.

Submission + - UK Cyber Cops Arrest Five In Clamp Down on PC Hijacking (

Carly Page writes: The National Crime Agency has arrested five UK residents as part of a European clamp down on PC hijacking. It has has arrested two 33-year-old men and a 30-year-old woman from Leeds, along with a 20 year-old man from Chatham in Kent and a 40-year-old from Darlington in Yorkshire.

Submission + - The Most Gender Equal Countries in the World (

Wakaboom writes: The World Economic Forum have just released their Global Gender Gap 2014 Report ranking 142 countries on how they have managed to reduce the gender gap by ensuring woman are not held back in society. The main areas of focus that the countries are judged on are – economic participation and opportunity, education, health and survival, and political empowerment. The global top ten countries can be seen below with Iceland coming top followed by 4 fellow Nordic countries dominating the top 5 positions. It is also worth noting that Rwanda and Belgium have made it in the top ten for the first time.

Submission + - Malware campaign targeting Industrial Control Systems since 2011, says ICS-CERT (

An anonymous reader writes: "NCCIC/ICS-CERT has identified a sophisticated malware campaign that has compromised numerous industrial control systems (ICSs) environments using a variant of the BlackEnergy malware. Analysis indicates that this campaign has been ongoing since at least 2011. Multiple companies working with ICS-CERT have identified the malware on Internet-connected human-machine interfaces (HMIs). ICS-CERT has determined that users of HMI products from various vendors have been targeted in this campaign, including GE Cimplicity, Advantech/Broadwin WebAccess, and Siemens WinCC."

Comment New Games (Score 1) 145

That is precisely why I refuse to buy games that require Steam or other online DRM services to play. The last game I purchased was Oblivion; love it, but you don't have to have a service to play it. Unreal Tournament is pretty good also but anyone with a fast connection can host that game without requiring a special service to play.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato