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+ - Google Maps Crunches Data, Tells You When to Drive on Thanksgiving->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving, Google can offer some advice: try to avoid driving anywhere the day before. Analysts from the search-engine giant’s Google Maps division crunched traffic data from 21 U.S. cities over the past two years and found that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is by far the worst traffic day that week, with some notable exceptions. (In Honolulu, Providence, and San Francisco, the worst traffic is always on Saturday; in Boston, it’s Tuesday.) Unfortunately, Wednesday is often the only available travel day for many Americans—but Google thinks they can beat the worst of the traffic if they leave before 2 P.M. or after 7 P.M. on that day. Traffic on Thanksgiving itself is also light, according to the data. When it comes to driving back home, Sunday beats Saturday from a traffic perspective. According to Google Maps’ aggregated trends, Americans also seek out “ham shop,” “pie shop,” and “liquor store” on the day before Thanksgiving, as they rush to secure last-minute items."
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+ - Google Announces Image Recognition Advance

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Using machine learning techniques, Google claims to have produced software that can better produce natural-language descriptions of images. This has ramifications for uses such as better image search and for better describing the images for the blind. As the Google people put it, "A picture may be worth a thousands words, but sometimes it's the words that are the most useful...""

+ - Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "In 2007, Google boldly declared a new initiative to invent a green energy technology that produced cheaper electricity than coal-fired power plants. Sure, energy researchers had been hammering at this task for decades, but Google hoped to figure it out in a few years.

They didn't. Instead, Google admitted defeat and shut down the project in 2011. In a admirable twist, however, two of the project's engineers then dedicated themselves to learning from the project's failure. What did it mean that one of the world's most ambitious and capable innovation companies couldn't invent a cheap renewable energy tech? And if Google had met its goals, would that have been enough to solve the problem of climate change?"

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+ - Does being first still matter in America?->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "At the supercomputing conference, SC14, this week, a U.S. Dept. of Energy offical said the government has set a goal of 2023 as its delivery date for an exascale system. It may be taking a risky path with that amount of lead time because of increasing international competition. There was a time when the U.S. didn't settle for second place. President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous "we choose to go to the moon" speech in 1962, and seven years later a man walked on the moon. The U.S. exascale goal is nine years away. China, Europe and Japan all have major exascale efforts, and the government has already dropped on supercomputing. The European forecast of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was so far ahead of U.S. models in predicting the storm's path that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was called before Congress to explain how it happened. It was told by a U.S. official that NOAA wasn't keeping up in computational capability. It's still not keeping up. Cliff Mass, a professor of meteorology at the University of Washington, wrote on his blog last month that the U.S. is "rapidly falling behind leading weather prediction centers around the world" because it has yet to catch up in computational capability to Europe. That criticism followed the $128 million recent purchase a Cray supercomputer by the U.K.'s Met Office, its meteorological agency."
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+ - DRM Used in Dragon Age: Inquisition May Be Killing Your SSD->

Submitted by temcat
temcat (873475) writes " (the article is in Russian) reports that Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM used in Dragon Age: Inquisition game may cause SSDs to fail sooner because of drastically increased read/write load:
"...Want to know how many times on average a part of LoF.exe code gets thrown back and forth between HDD and RAM in an hour? 150,000 copy and write cycles. That's 10,000 times more than usual. The DRM constantly decrypts the game code into the RAM and then encrypts it back. This is one of the most idiotic uses of encruption I've ever seen. Despite the code parts being small, max. a couple of KBs at a time, they are stored in one memory block. In 4 to 8 hours of playing, depending on the quality of the SSD, you can kiss this block goodbye."
With the right software, you can check these findings and assess if the threat is real. I don't really have the knowledge, but I would install this game on HDD just in case."

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+ - U.S. Government Seeks to Keep Megaupload Money Because Kim Dotcom Is a Fugitive

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice told a Virginia federal judge that Kim Dotcom and cohorts have no business challenging the seizure of an estimated $67 million in assets because the Megaupload founder is evading prosecution. The government brought criminal charges against Dotcom in early 2012, but he's been holed up in New Zealand awaiting word on whether he'll be extradited. The government got antsy and this past July, brought a civil complaint for forfeiture in rem, a maneuver to firmly establish a hold over money from bank accounts around the world, luxury cars, big televisions, watches, artwork and other property allegedly gained by Megaupload in the course of crimes. Dotcom is fighting the seizures by questioning the government's basis for asserting a crime, saying "there is no such crime as secondary criminal copyright infringement," as well as challenging how the seized assets are tied to the charges against Dotcom. But according to the U.S. government, Dotcom doesn't get the pleasure of even making the arguments. In a motion to strike, the government cites the doctrine of fugitive disentitlement, which bars a person from using the resources of the court if that person is aware of prosecution and is evading it."

+ - UNSW has collected an estimated $100,000 in piracy fines since 2008

Submitted by Jagungal
Jagungal (36053) writes " The SMH reports that The University of NSW says it has issued 238 fines — estimated to total around $100,000 - to students illicitly downloading copyright infringing material such as movies and TV shows on its Wi-Fi network since 2008.

The main issues are that the University is not returning any money to the copyright holders but is instead using the money raised for campus facilities and that it is essentially enforcing a commonwealth law."

+ - Amazon Promises To Go 100% Renewable. Greenpeace says 'When?'->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "Amazon has promised that its data centers, including those for Amazon Web Services (AWS) will run entirely on renewable energy. It's a long term commitment and comes after similar promises from Facebook, Google and Microsoft. But there's not enough detail yet for Greenpeace, which has been campaigning for years for Amazon to make this move."
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+ - Intel reveals prototype DRAM using 25 times less energy at 4x latency->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At Taipei Innovation Day director of Intel Labs Wang Wen-hann has revealed new prototype DRAM which Intel has developed over the last four years in association with Japan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute. The new modules offer four times the latency and use 25 times less energy than current standards. The unnamed technology promises huge benefits either in increased computing power or significantly longer battery life if used in mobile devices. Intel have not made public how these savings have been achieved."
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+ - Millions of spiders seen in mass dispersal event using wind currents->

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "A bizarre and oddly beautiful display of spider webs have been woven across a large field along a walking trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. "Well it's acres and acres; it's a sea of web," said Allen McCormick. Prof. Rob Bennett, an expert on spiders who works at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC, Canada, said tiny, sheet-web weaver spiders known as Erigoninae linyphiidae most likely left the webs. Bennett said the spiders cast a web net to catch the wind and float away in a process known as ballooning. The webs in the field are the spiders' drag lines, left behind as they climb to the top of long grass to be whisked away by the wind. Bennett said it's a mystery why these spiders take off en masse. Perhaps The Green Goblin or Doc Oc are in the vicinity?"
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+ - Increased Crop Yields Adding More CO2

Submitted by davidshenba
davidshenba (2536122) writes "There are many researches that point to increased CO2 levels due to meat production. But now a new research points to increase in crop yields has a positive correlation with the raise in CO2 levels. The researcher notes that “This is another piece of evidence suggesting that when we (humans) do things at a large scale, we have the ability to greatly influence the composition of the atmosphere”."

+ - Apple Pay Signs App Store Deal With UnionPay - Chinese iPhone and iPad users now->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Apple announced that App Store has added China UnionPay as a payment option for customers. UnionPay is the most popular payment card in China and will provide App Store customers with a simple and more convenient way to purchase their favorite apps. Customers can easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card for one-tap purchases.

UnionPay operates China's national inter-bank clearing and settlement system, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network, promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders.

To date, the total number of UnionPay Cards issued both at home and abroad has exceeded 4.5 billion. The UnionPay network has been extended to all cities and rural areas in China. In addition, China UnionPay has enabled UnionPay Card acceptance in over 140 countries and regions through extensive cooperation with more than 400 institutions around the world."

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+ - BitTorrent Unveils Sync 2.0 And Three New Paid Products Coming In 2015

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "BitTorrent today outlined the company's plans for its file synchronization tool Sync. Next year, the company will launch Sync 2.0, finally taking the product out of beta, as well as three new paid Sync products. Ever since its debut, Sync has provided a wide variety of solutions to various problems, BitTorrent says, from distributing files across remote servers to sharing vacation photos. BitTorrent thus believes it needs to build three distinct products for each of these separate audiences, including a Pro version for $40 per year."

+ - Tracking a Bitcoin Thief, Part II: Illustrating the Issue of Trust in Altcoins->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The team over at the BITCOMSEC (Bitcoin Community Security) project released a second part to their "Tracking a Bitcoin Thief" series in which they disclose what happened to a once-rising alternate crypto currency project that promised to place guaranteed value of its MidasCoins by backing it with actual Gold. Dealing with the reality of user compromise, the projects founder ups and runs away with all of the communities coins; cashing them out at an exchange for Bitcoins. A sobering tale of trust issues within the alternate crypto currency community."
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Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.