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+ - Followup: Ultraviolet Vision after Cataract Surgery->

Submitted by
xmas2003
xmas2003 writes "Several months ago, I posted to /. about being able to see ultraviolet light after cataract surgery. While a lot of the discussion whimsically discussed the best way for "Captain UV" or "UltraMan" to use this "super-power", there were some people who were skeptical or (incorrectly) said this is Tetrachromatic vision. I've subsequently done more testing using an Oriel Instruments MS257 Monochromator and was able to see color down to 350nm — below the usual ~400nm limit of the visual spectrum. It's also easily demonstrable with a pair of 400nm and 365nm UV flashlights.

Some /.'ers who also have UV vision commented this can be quite annoying at black-lit Disney Rides, Halloween Haunted Houses, etc. Fortunately for me, it's just an interesting oddity so far. Along those lines, some interesting related stories about using UV vision during World War II and Star Gazing. Finally, many/most people end up getting vision debilitating cataracts, so my experience having a Crystalens implanted after cataract surgery may be informative."

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Space

+ - ESA's Vega Launcher Has Successful Maiden Flight->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The European Space Agency's (ESA) new Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata — or Vega — launch vehicle lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 10 a.m. GMT on February 13 on its maiden flight. Designed for launching small payloads, Vega is intended to complement Europe's existing family of launchers that includes the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and Soyuz medium-class launchers. The qualification flight, designated VV01, saw the first Vega successfully carry nine satellites into orbit."
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Blackberry

+ - Amazon Blocks Video Streaming on BlackBerry Tablet, Blames Apple->

Submitted by
AZA43
AZA43 writes "Amazon.com has blocked its Instant Video streaming service on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, in an apparent effort to make its Kindle Fire device more attractive to tablet buyers. And it says Apple is the reason why it blocked the service. But the company hasn't blocked comparable Android tablets from streaming Instant Video, and Android tablets hold a much larger portion of the overall tablet market than PlayBooks. Amazon will likely succeed only in alienating customer with PlayBooks who have already purchased lots of streaming video content."
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XBox (Games)

+ - Xbox 360 Patching Costs $40,000->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "It costs developers a total of $40,000 to release a single patch on Xbox live, making it a difficult platform for smaller developers to grow on. This revelation was made by Tim Shafer of Double Fine Studios — which recently drew a lot of charitable donations as part of a campaign to create a contemporary point and click game. He went on to say that this is just too high a fee for smaller developers to pay, making it hard for them to do well on the platform. This makes sense, since requiring just one patch could massively cut into the profits for a company. More than that and potentially a game could become a big cash drain for an indi developer."
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Microsoft

+ - Mozilla Plans Metro Firefox For Windows 8->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Mozilla is already working on a version of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro that will be focused on touch interaction. It hopes to have a proof-of-concept version available in the second quarter of this year. However, even as a Metro app, the new version of Firefox would be fighting with one hand tied behind its back against the "MetroTop" version of IE.
To quote Mozilla:
"On Windows 8, IE10 is both a metro app and a regular desktop application. When run as a metro app it does things that are known to be off-limits for metro applications."
So Mozilla is looking to Microsoft to provide it with the same privileges as Internet Explorer has. Put another way, Firefox needs to run as a Medium level integrity process with full use of the Win32 API.
Mozilla explains:
"In general, browser vendors would prefer access to the system similar to that of Internet Explorer 10. From all outward appearances IE is currently able to bypass security restrictions of the Metro sandbox by running as a medium integrity process, effectively running as a standard Windows desktop application with additional extensions which allow it to latch into the Metro interface.
Vendors feel changes should be made to the current restrictions which will facilitate the ability of 3rd parties to compete with Microsoft's products in this new environment."
Of course this is not just a problem for Mozilla — both Google and Opera are going to want equal treatment, as are the makers of any other type of app that Microsoft decided to include as a MetroTop app.
What if Microsoft says no?"

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Medicine

+ - Data sharing aids the fight against malaria->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Two years ago, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it would release details of about 13,500 molecules that had already been shown to inhibit the malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum parasite to some degree (http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/05/26/2233236/glaxo-open-sources-malaria-drug-search-data). The molecular structures were published in May 2010, along with similar data from Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, and the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Researchers were encouraged to test the combined library of more than 20,000 compounds to pinpoint potential drugs, and then find out how they work so that the molecules could be tweaked to enhance their activity. Such 'open innovation' efforts have since been launched, including an effort unveiled last month which will see 11 companies sharing their intellectual property (http://www.nature.com/news/road-map-unveiled-to-tackle-neglected-diseases-1.9938). But are such efforts working? The answer, judging by the GSK effort, seems to be a cautious 'yes'."
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Networking

+ - Bram Cohen Demoes BitTorrent Live: Cheap, Real-Time P2P Video Streaming->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "At the SF MusicTech Summit, Bram Cohen, the author of the BitTorrent peer-to-peer sharing protocol, demoed his latest creation BitTorrent Live( http://live.bittorrent.com/ ). BitTorrent Live lets any content owner or publisher stream video to millions of people at good quality and with just a few seconds of latencyfor free or cheap. Sports, news events, simulcast TV shows, education, video conferencing, or uncensored war zone broadcasts — this technology will power the future of video.

“My goal is to kill off television” Cohen said during the SF MusicTech demo session I hosted. Afterwards he explained to me in rhyme, “Television’s physical infrastructure is inevitably going to go away, but TV as a mode of content consumption is here to stay.” Essentially, people love what they see on television, but want it accessible from the web.

Techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/13/bittorrent-live/"

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China

+ - Chinese Hackers Suspected in Nortel Breach-> 1

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Reports of yet another significant incident of international corporate espionage surfaced this morning, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that for nearly a decade, hackers had widespread access to the corporate computer network of former telecom giant Nortel Networks Ltd.

According to the Wall Street Journal, using just seven passwords taken from Nortel executives, including that of their CEO, the hackers penetrated Nortel's systems at least as far back as 2000.

The hackers also embedded malicious spyware so deeply on some systems that it took years to realize the extensiveness of the problem, according documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. They "had access to everything," an investigator told the Journal. "They had plenty of time. All they had to do was figure out what they wanted.""

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Moon

+ - Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project ->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "Newt Gingrich's speech in Florida when he proposed the now much maligned and much debated upon lunar base did not actually articulate the reasons for creating such a facility, aside from the vague notion that it would be an expression of American greatness.

The question of why spend money to create a lunar base is not a frivolous one, considering the reaction Gingrich's proposal has gotten. It is a question that has been a struggle for proponents to articulate clearly.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project — Houston Space news | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project#ixzz1mM2gfIFR"

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Science

+ - Did life emerge in ponds rather than ocean vents?->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "The prevailing scientific view holds that life began in hydrothermal vents in the deep sea. But a controversial study (abstract http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/08/1117774109) suggests that inland pools of condensed and cooled geothermal vapour have the ideal characteristics for the origin of life. The study hinges on the observation that the composition of the cytoplasm of modern cells is very different to that of seawater. On the other hand, the mix of metal ions in cytoplasm is (almost exclusively) found where where hot hydrothermal fluid brings the ions to the surface — places such as geysers and mud pots. There are a number of problems with the study, however — for instance, a lack of land 4 billion years ago would have made it difficult for life to start in such pools."
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+ - CmdrTaco, wife revisit famous Slashdot marriage proposal-> 1

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "Ten years ago today, at 9:25 a.m., Slashdot founder Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda, used his insider access to the homepage of this forum to send a very public Valentine’s Day marriage proposal to Kathleen Fent. Fifteen minutes later she said yes — and then called him a dork — an exchange that would generate more than 2,000 comments here and make news on other tech sites. As the 10th anniversary of the proposal approached, Network World asked the couple to share their memories of that day and thoughts about it since, as a kind of case study on how this type of public proposal – be it on Slashdot or the stadium Jumbotron – holds up over the years. Would they recommend it? Seems there is disagreement on that score."
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Comment: WiFi? Forget it. Neutrinos are the problem (Score 1) 365

Do you realize the flux of neutrinos we endure day in, day out? Thousands of these little suckers go whizzing right through our bodies every single day. Some, apparently, at superluminal velocities. If one of those hits you, look out - you'll feel the sting even before it happens! And if one if these should strike the nucleus of one of the atoms of which your body is composed, unlike WiFi radiation, it is ionizing. I demand that our school be shielded to prevent these neutrinos from entering our classrooms. Think of the children!
Idle

+ - Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that transit officials have started to get a handel on subway crime when they started playing Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Strauss at the Lake Street light-rail station after neighborhood residents complained about the station becoming a haven for rowdy teens and vagrants. "If it encourages some people to wander away because it's not their favorite type of music, I guess that's OK," says Acting Transit Police Chief A.J. Olson. The program is modeled after one is Portland that has shown early signs of success, though the numbers are so small as to be statistically insignificant and even supporters of the music haven't reached a consensus on whether such environmental changes actually deter crime or just push it down the block. Not everyone is sold on using "lovely lovely Ludwig Van" as a deterrent. "Classical music lovers hate the fact that urban planners use classical music to disperse youth," says Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. "Does it chase crime away?" adds Olson. "It's hard to measure. But I do think it makes it a more pleasant place to wait for a train.""

+ - A Permutation on Combinatorial Algorithms->

Submitted by
TropicalCoder
TropicalCoder writes "I don't know what exactly got me obsessed with permutations this past week. I think I was bored and thinking about the Traveling Salesman Problem. I was considering playing with a genetic algorithm to solve it.

Now it turns out that if you want to solve a travelling salesman problem, it would be helpful to know a bit about generating permutations. The idea is that if the salesman doesn't have to visit too many cities, you could simply generate every permutation of the list of cities and measure the distance each route would run and quickly have your answer. Soon I found myself on the Wikipedia page on permutations, and began to play with a classic algorithm. That quickly bored me, so I turned to Doctor Knuth's Art of Computer Programming for more. Did you know he has a full chapter dedicated to this stuff?

For some reason I began subtracting successive permutations, and upon examining the table of values produced, I noticed an interesting pattern. I began to analyse that pattern and became obsessed with it as suddenly a whole world of ideas popped into my head. Here you will find what I have discovered, along with the full source code I developed to prove my theory. In the code I get into a some bit twisting and recursion, and all in all had a very good time. I hope you have as much fun with it as I had."

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