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+ - Physical sciences contribute 22% of economy->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "According to a report published in Australit — http://www.science.org.au/scie... — physical sciences, including core disciplines of physics, chemistry, earth sciences and the mathematical sciences have contributed around 22% of the Australian economy The direct contribution of the advanced physical and mathematical sciences is equal to 11% of the economy while additional and flow-on benefits add another 11%, bringing the total benefits to almost A$300 billion a year The report also notes that this estimate is likely to be conservative, and sets out several other areas of benefit that are harder to measure The report carefully considered the pathways by which the advanced physical and mathematical sciences yielded economic benefits and the Australian community’s continuing commitment to the advanced physical and mathematical sciences would be needed to ensure that the benefits from what is essentially a global scientific enterprise will continue to accrue to the Australian economy The economists who prepared the report conducted industry consultations to determine the importance of the physical sciences to Australia’s 506 industry classes. They outline the economic contribution of the sciences to the top 10 industry groups in an appendix to the report There are three distinct sources of useful knowledge, the report says: the core disciplines of mathematics, physics and chemistry can provide useful knowledge individually and it takes banking as an example: "“Part of the banking industry relies on complex mathematically based models that support risk and investment decisions, but on no other science input. We estimate that 3.6% of Australia’s economic output is produced from inputs that embody useful knowledge from a single core discipline” The economists also estimate that 7.3% of Australia’s economic output is produced from inputs that embody useful knowledge from multiple disciplines. So the multidisciplinary nature of science means that the total impact of science is greater than the sum of the contributions of the individual sciences"
Link to Original Source

+ - Airbus crash in France->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "An Airbus A320 plane has crashed in a remote area of the French Alps, 148 feared dead

The aircraft belongs to Germanwings, and was flying from on the flight from Barcelona, of Spain, to Duesseldorf, Germany

More news at
http://rt.com/news/243533-plan...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...
http://rt.com/news/243533-plan..."

Link to Original Source

+ - A tale of industrial espionage->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "First, the links -

This tale of an industrial turncoat ought to be a lesson to all high-tech captains

An employee of TSMC defected to Samsung is the focus of this tale of industrial espionage

TSMC has paid dearly due to their inaction and is losing clients, including Apple, Qualcomm and Nvidia, to Samsung, as a result

TSMC's blind trust on its former employee, and the resultant loss of business should become a case study for all industrial captains, especially those running high-tech companies

Here's a very brief quote

Many people were puzzled why the normally decisive TSMC had suddenly gone soft. In fact, in May 2010, the vice president of TSMC's human resources division at the time, Tu Long-chin, sent an e-mail to Liang saying he had seen reports that Liang was already employed by Samsung. That, Tu warned, would constitute a violation of the non-compete clause and lead to the forfeiture of his shares, which would be handed over to the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation.

Liang immediately replied, writing: "I have never, am not now and will never in the future do anything to let down the company."

A month later Tu and Richard Thurston, then general counsel and vice president of TSMC's legal division, held a meeting with Liang at which he promised that he "will not join Samsung now or in the future." The next day, he even sent a letter to Thurston, with whom he had been close, saying that he was thinking of resigning his position at Sungkyunkwan University.

During that time, Liang even wrote a letter to Morris Chang, insisting on his innocence and saying that he had TSMC blood in his system.

Ultimately, TSMC executives decided to believe their old comrade who had fought alongside them for more than a decade and pay him the more than NT$100 million his 738,000 withheld shares were worth in three installments.

But on July 13, 2011, just two months after collecting the final installment of the stock payout, Liang formally became the chief technology officer of Samsung Electronics' System LSI division. When the news spread, it came as a slap in the face to those who trusted him

To do justice to the story, you just gotta read it yourself"
Link to Original Source

+ - A side effect of digitization to the movie industry->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Do you know that there is a very effective side effect that digitization has wrought to the movie industry?

Hint: The colors

Before you start to scratch your head, consider this — What colors do most movie posters use these days?

If you still have no clue, click this link — http://pix-media.s3.amazonaws.... and this link — http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-...

The two predominant colors are orange and blue, and they are there for a reason ... and it is actually based on Science

"The big change that digitization made was it made it much easier to apply a single color scheme to a bunch of different scenes at once. The more of a movie you can make look good with a single scheme, the less work you have to do. Also, as filmmakers are bringing many different film formats together in a single movie, applying a uniform color scheme helps tie them together"

"One way to figure out what will look good is to figure out what the common denominator is in the majority of your scenes. And it turns out that actors are in most scenes. And actors are usually human. And humans are orange, at least sort of!"

There you have it. Next time you look at a movie poster wonder no more why the orange and blue are being used, again !

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Where are the Linux talents?->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "IT is changing organizations across the globe, impacting enterprises, governments and the wider public sector. Open source in particular is a driver in innovation, giving organizations a competitive edge and an ability to scale and adapt to changing market demands.

According to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report, demand for Linux expertise continues to grow, with hiring managers across a number of industries citing Linux talents as one of the top recruitment priorities this year

Unsurprisingly, with more government IT transformation projects under way in Asia Pacific, the need to reinvest in government employees' skills is also on the rise. This may be due to legacy systems, often built on proprietary platforms and supported by IT teams with skill sets limited by the technologies they had to maintain

An example of the legacy system is Lotus Notes system, which was adopted by governments throughout southeast Asia over the past 20 years. When the time came for these governments to move to a new and more capable platform, they had to conduct extensive staff retraining for a new tool. Of course, this led to climbing expenditures given the need for new training

With proprietary systems like Lotus Notes, there is a need to keep learning fixed and limited skills to support proprietary, vendor-specific set ups. Open source knowledge (Linux training) is, generally, highly transferable and can be applied to almost any Linux platform

Hiring managers in both governments and enterprises are bolstering Linux talent plans, according to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report. This report is assembled from a survey taken across 1,100 hiring managers and 4,000 professionals within the Linux space

In fact, the demand for Linux expertise is so high that salaries are being driven above industry norms, in turn causing these Linux professionals to identify Linux knowledge as a career-advancing tool

In Singapore, the Singaporean government appears to understand the need for local initiatives and frameworks, as the new fair consideration framework has led to increased competition for local IT talent

"Due to a limited talent pool in the storage, security, cloud or hosted domains, the market is also facing a shortage of technically skilled pre-sales people," said Regional Director of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia, Chris Mead. He explained that service management, cloud architecture and process and quality specialist roles were also in high demand

"We expect the supply shortage of these professionals to continue as businesses are consistently evaluating their IT operations to enable optimal efficiency and a continual improvement of their IT services"

It is thus important that IT professionals find the appropriate training that will prove to be a long term asset to them and their organizations. On the other side of this transformation governments should consider local initiatives to support Linux training programs, thus growing the skill base for Linux and other open source standards."

Link to Original Source

+ - Potential epidemic of autism, said MIT scholar->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior scientist at MIT has declared that we are facing an epidemic of autism that may result in one half of all children being affected by autism in ten years

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who made these remarks during a panel presentation in Groton, MA last week, specifically cites the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, as the culprit for the escalating incidence of autism and other neurological disorders

Roundup, which was introduced in the 1970’s, contains the chemical Glyphosate , which is the focal point for Seneff’s concerns

Roundup was originally restricted to use on weeds, as glyphosate kills plants. However, Roundup is now in regular use with crops. With the coming of GMO’s, plants such as soy and corn were bioengineered to tolerate glyphosate, and its use dramatically increased. From 2001 to 2007, glyphosate use doubled, reaching 180 to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone in 2007

Even if you don’t consume corn- on- the -cob or toasted soybeans, you are still hardly exempted from the potential affects of consuming glyphosate. Wheat is now sprayed with Roundup right before it is harvested, making any consumption of non- organic wheat bread a sure source for the chemical. In addition, any products containing corn syrup, such as soft drinks, are also carrying a payload of glyphosate

According to studies cited by Seneff, glyphosate engages “gut bacteria” in a process known as the Shikimate pathway. This enables the chemical to interfere with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tract, resulting in the depletion of essential amino acids

Monsanto has maintained that glyphosate is safe for human consumption, as humans do not have the Shikimate pathway. Bacteria, however, does—including the flora that constitutes “gut bacteria"

It is this ability to affect gut bacteria that Seneff claims is the link which allows the chemical to get on board and wreak further damage. The connection between intestinal flora and neurological functioning is an ongoing topic of research. According to a number of studies, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer and Parkinson

Whatever may driving the autistic/Alzheimer’s diesel train, one thing is for certain: the spectre of half of our children coming into the world with significant brain damage constitutes a massive and undeniable wound to humanity. The rate of autism has skyrocketed from roughly one in every two thousand in the 1970’s to the current rate of one in every sixty eight. Alzheimer’s has become almost universal in the elderly"

Link to Original Source

+ - Understanding the mechanisms behind highly focused online ads->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "So you go to a website, or fb, or anywhere, and an online ad appears on your screen

Annoying or not, many of those ads have been purposely selected — almost tailor-made — for our consumption

And behind all these, lighting fast auctions of the slots for tailor-made ads are going on, all the time, and "Behavioral Targeting" is the name of the game

While traditional cookies can be blocked or erased, forms of cookie-less tracking are taking place all the time. “Fingerprinting” records specifics of a user’s device, and it’s next to impossible for most people to avoid sending information to advertisers, publishers and the bewildering array of specialist firms that serve them

Such information can be exploited in real-time computerized auctions for the right to show online ads to individuals. The algorithm-driven auction process takes place on electronic marketplaces in the hundredths of a second after an internet user clicks a link to visit a website. The winner’s ad appears by the time the site has fully loaded. Millions of individual auctions can take place every second

Advertisers see something like their holy grail: the right ad served to the right person at the right time – for the right price. The real-time bidding process allows ad campaigns to be fine-tuned through instant feedback. In a technique called Retargeting, desirable consumers can be followed around the internet, for example by placing ads on other sites they are known to frequent

Yes, the ads are already there waiting for you, at the sites that you haven't go, yet!

As internet-connected TVs take hold, the kind of highly focused ads now booming on the web will be possible there too. Tracking people better via mobile devices, and the rise of the “internet of things” as fridges and other appliances get IP addresses, will bring even more data into people’s digital exhaust for the industry to draw on."

Link to Original Source

+ - Stress level on the rise for IT workers->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "49% of IT workers say they’re closer to burning out now compared with five years ago

Triggers for IT workplace stress include a lack of exercise, feeling understaffed and job insecurity

The survey also revealed freelance workers tend to be more relaxed, with more than half ( 55% ) believing freelancers’ autonomy to change location and set their own hours reduces stress"

Link to Original Source

+ - Intel to form a stylus alliance->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Last year Apple filed for ten smart pen related patents and earlier this month a rumor surfaced from a prominent analyst claiming that Apple was aiming to introduce a smart pen accessory for Apple's 12" + iPad Pro later this year. On Wednesday Microsoft introduced a new digital whiteboard display system for the enterprise called the Surface Hub that accepts input with a Surface pen working in sync with their OneNote software. Their digital pen was emphasized in their Surface Hub patent that we reported on yesterday. Today there's news that Intel is forming a new Stylus alliance that will be formally announced in February. The first standards-compliant stylus is set to roll out in Q3. It's sure beginning to look as if 2015 will be the year that the stylus of old undergoes its biggest overhaul to date

The current situation regarding the stylus input for touchscreen devices is that every IC designer has its own stylus specifications. Users often find themselves unable to use styluses across different products as well as brands

Intel intends to change that

The chip-making giant is pushing for a standardised Stylus device, that works with all types of displays, be it a notebook ,a smartphone or a tablet

To get a deeper insight into what a standardised stylus would me, Take a Note 4’s stylus for example. You can take notes, dial numbers, highlight text, create your own doodles and still do numerous things that cannot be explained in the length of an article. However, with a standardised stylus, you could do all that, on a device with different config., display, processor or memory

Several chip designers have been invited to take part in the alliance and provide their inputs. Some of them are Atmel, Synaptics and Elan Microelectronics (EMC). Intel has also invited Asustek computer as well as Waltop, the stylus makers that Intel has invested in

It is obvious that this move is directed towards the tablet markets at first. A stylus as an accessory to a 12-inch device makes a lot of sense. The phablet market will benefit too. Nexus 6, iPhone 6 Plus and many of the big screen phones come without a stylus. Actually, only the Note series by Samsung comes with an in-built stylus. The big displays are much easier and fun to use with a stylus

Intel plans to announce the members of the alliance and a draft of the standard in February at the earliest and the official platform will start operating in April or May, with the alliance's first product is expected to launch in the third quarter"

Link to Original Source

+ - Chinese poise to buy O2 for ten billion British pounds->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The second largest British mobile provider, O2, may be purchased by a Chinese, for 10 billion British pounds

Mr. Li Ka-Shing already owns 'Three', another British mobile provider. With the purchase of O2, Mr. Li will inevitably owns the biggest British mobile provider

Mr. Li Ka-Shing is also the owner of many key sea-ports all over the world, from Hong Kong to Panama to Europe and Americas

Mr. Li is also very closed to the Chinese government

Among Mr. Li's many investments, he also invested in a Silicon Valley startup called Hampton Creek, which produces a synthetic egg, made up of plants — http://www.wired.co.uk/news/ar... — which can be used to replace chicken eggs in baked goods"

Link to Original Source

+ - The workflow involved in purchasing a Metro Card->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Slashdot being a geek site I am submitting a link to a very finely crafted workflow analysis comparing the buying of a Metro Card in New York Subway versus that in the Bay Area Rapid Transit

First, start with this simple workflow diagram — http://dhkzkmq0ef5g3.cloudfron...

Comparing the two you would notice that in order to add money to the Metro Card of the New York Subway you need to touch the touchscreen panel on the ticket selling machine at least 6 times. On the other hand, for the Bay Area Rapit Transit (BART), well, you see it for yourself on that diagram

The article does not only talk about the work flow per se, but also the insanely cumbersome UI which does no one any good

I hope y'all gonna enjoy the article as much as I did !"

Link to Original Source

+ - Europe and China will team up for a space robotic mission->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "China and Europe aim to launch a joint space-science mission by 2021

On Monday (Jan. 19), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the European Space Agency (ESA) issued a call for proposals for a robotic space mission that the two organizations will develop jointly

"The goal of the present Call is to define a scientific space mission to be implemented by ESA and CAS as a cooperative endeavor between the European and Chinese scientific communities," ESA officials wrote in a statement Monday. "The mission selected as an outcome of the present Joint Call will follow a collaborative approach through all the phases: study, definition, implementation, operations and scientific exploitation"

The call envisions a low-budget mission, saying that ESA and CAS are each prepared to contribute about 53 million euros (U.S. $61.5 million at current exchange rates). The spacecraft must weigh less than 661 lbs. (300 kilograms) at launch and be designed to operate for at least two to three years, ESA officials wrote in the call for proposals

All proposals are due by March 16, and the peer-review process will start in April. Mission selection is expected to occur in late 2015, followed by six years of development, with a launch in 2021"

Link to Original Source

+ - Linux computer - A lean, mean, KILLING machine !->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "As had been covered by /. back in 2013 ( http://linux.slashdot.org/stor... ) and then August of last year ( http://hardware.slashdot.org/s... ) now you can aim and hit your target a full mile away, with the help of a Linux computer

The same company which, back in 2013, brought out a system to help shooter homing into a target 250 yards away has extended the range up to a full mile (1,750 yards)

The Linux powered computer tracks not only the optic target point — the laser dot — in which the shooter aimed at, but also tracks wind speed, direction, temperature, and also the barometric pressure

How come they never use Windows 8 to do the job?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Obama's latest tax proposal - cap on profits->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "If you have investments in the USA, watch out! Obama is going to levy hefty tax on ya!

President Barack Obama is proposing new taxes on the wealthiest Americans that would limit their profits from investments and make it harder for them to pass assets to heirs

Obama, who will promote the plan during his Jan. 20 State of the Union Address, will use much of the proceeds — $320 billion over 10 years — to expand tax credits for higher education and child care and create a new break for two-earner couples. The White House released details of the plan Saturday

The president’s address is intended to lay out an agenda for his final two years in office and help the Democratic Party retain the White House in the 2016 election with a legacy of policies that appeal to middle- and lower-income voters, who continued to lose ground as the economy rebounded from the recession

He would increase the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 28 percent from 23.8 percent. The rate was 15 percent when Obama took office in 2009, meaning that he’s proposing to almost double it over his two terms in office

He would also impose capital-gains taxes on asset transfers at death, ending what the White House calls “the largest capital gains loophole.” Under current law, assets held until death aren’t subject to those levies, creating an incentive for wealthy people to hold onto them. Heirs only have to pay capital-gains taxes when they sell and only on the value above what the assets were worth at death"

Link to Original Source

+ - Future farms may move indoor->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A farming model that can produce 100 times what a farm produces in the same amount of space may revolutionize agriculture as we know it

In a 25,000 square foot building in Japan, indoor farming company Mirai has built a farm producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. Not only is the production staggering, but the farm uses 40% less power, 80% less food waste, and 99% less water than outdoor fields while improving yields from around 50%-90%

What's fascinating about this technology isn't where it is today, but where it could be in 10 or 20 years. This technology could be automated, powered by solar energy, and could even produce high value plants used in medicines, just as an example

The medical and pharmaceutical industries often find valuable plant extracts in remote parts of the world. These plants could be produced indoors in a controlled environment, improving supply

Synthetic biology could also open a world of possibilities for indoor farming. Designer plants could be used to fill industry needs the way algae are beginning to be used to create specialty chemicals today

An indoor farm that can create 10,000 heads of lettuce per day is impressive, but it's just scratching the surface of what indoor farming could do. Biological engineering combined with automated growing could feed the world at a lower cost with higher quality and also produce products for a variety an ancillary industries. This could be the future of farming and could be on a dinner table near you before you know it"

Link to Original Source

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