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+ - Cameron reaffirms there will be no "safe spaces" from UK government snooping->

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's prime minister, David Cameron, has re-iterated that the UK government does not intend to "leave a safe space—a new means of communication—for terrorists to communicate with each other." This confirms remarks he made earlier this year about encryption, when he said: "The question is are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read. My answer to that question is: no, we must not."

David Cameron was replying in the House of Commons on Monday to a question from the Conservative MP David Bellingham, who asked him whether he agreed that the "time has come for companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to accept and understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?" To which Cameron replied: "we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on."

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+ - Paradoxical Crystal Baffles Physicists->

An anonymous reader writes: In a deceptively drab black crystal, physicists have stumbled upon a baffling behavior, one that appears to blur the line between the properties of metals, in which electrons flow freely, and those of insulators, in which electrons are effectively stuck in place. The crystal exhibits hallmarks of both simultaneously.

“This is a big shock,” said Suchitra Sebastian, a condensed matter physicist at the University of Cambridge whose findings appeared today in an advance online edition of the journal Science. Insulators and metals are essentially opposites, she said. “But somehow, it’s a material that’s both. It’s contrary to everything that we know.”

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+ - Touring NASA's Space Shuttle Cockpit Trainer->

An anonymous reader writes: Now that the space shuttles have been retired, NASA has been shutting down and cleaning out all of the equipment dedicated to keeping them in service. One such tool was the Crew Compartment Trainer II, a full-size replica of a space shuttle cockpit. Astronauts trained on it to become familiar with the operation of many onboard systems, Just before it was removed, Ars got a chance to tour it, and took a ton of pictures in the process. Quoting: "The forward windows are surprisingly small, and visibility dead ahead is limited to a very narrow section of the window. Both the pilot and commander have fighter-style HUDs (heads-up displays), which are used mainly during landing to keep them lined up and on target with the runway. ... Bloomfield walked me through a few procedures, and it was fascinating how complex the shuttles were in some areas and how primitive they were in others. The on-board computers of course received numerous updates throughout the vehicles’ lives, but even in their final iteration they wouldn’t have won any speed awards."
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+ - World's First Commercial Jetpack To Launch Next Year->

An anonymous reader writes: The good news is that soon, you'll finally be able to buy that jetpack you've always wanted. The bad news is that it'll run you about $150,000. The Martin Jetpack will use fans, rather than rockets, to lift humans weighing up to 120kg (~256 lbs). Its makers say it can reach altitudes of up to 1 kilometer, and fly for up to 30 minutes at a time. The jetpack will be sold commercially to emergency services next year, and then a smaller, personal version will hit the market in 2017.
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Comment: Like the idea, but.. (Score 1) 218 218

...I still have two perfectly working Thinkpads; An IBM T50 (PIII, FreeBSD) and a Lenovo W510 (Core i5, Win7). The thing with a Thinkpad is.. you do not need to replace them every year, or even every five. Both of them have the thinklight, blue enter button, trackpoint, lots of blinkenlites, etc. If they'd ditch the trackpad entirely on a T or W series, I'd consider getting a third.

+ - Reddit blocked in China, Wayback Machine blocked in Russia->

Mark Wilson writes: It is becoming increasingly common for governments around the world to block access to websites they don’t approve of for one reason or another. The most frequent censor is China, and the latest site to fall victim to the Great Firewall of China is Reddit. If you're not able to pop over to China to check whether the site is blocked, you can use Blocked In China to test whether any site is accessible from within the country.

This is not the only site which people are having trouble accessing. Over in Russia, the Internet Archive — responsible for the nostalgia-inducing Wayback Machine — is also blocked. While the blocking of Reddit in China has probably been done on purpose, the same may not necessarily be true in Russia.

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+ - To Realloc, Or Not To Realloc-> 3 3

FritzRoid writes: This article discusses the current implementation of realloc() in glibc 2.19, in specific the handling of very large block sizes that gets forwarded to the kernel. The author makes detailed tests where he measure in very detail the performance trying to account for cache issues and other pitfalls that happen at this low level. The conclusion is that the performance of realloc in the region 8kb — 128kb is horrible and perhaps should be revisited by the glibc maintainers.
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+ - Air Force cybersecurity scheme aims to deceive and survive->

coondoggie writes: The Air Force is looking for cybersecurity technology that can deceive attackers but also help its network’s survive in case any online invaders are successful. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) issued two contracts valued at about $98 million to give the agency a variety of cybersecurity technologies that would go a long way towards foiling a range of threats.
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+ - What's the harm in a default setting for div by zero? 2 2

CodeInspired writes: After 20 years of programming, I've decided I'm tired of checking for div by zero. Would there be any serious harm in allowing a system wide setting that said div by zero simply equals zero? Maybe it exists already, not sure. But I run into it ALL the time in every language I've worked with. Does anyone want their div by zero errors to result in anything other than zero?

+ - An extra-large nanocage molecule for quantum computing

JMarshall writes: Researchers have built a molecular nanocage 8 nm across that represents a step toward quantum computing.
It is difficult to make uniform nanoparticles more than 4 nm across, but new work solves this problem. Researchers made eight-membered metal rings from chromium and nickel that can act like a qubits in quantum computing. More connected rings means greater quantum computing capacity, so the team worked to combine many rings into one molecule. They managed to pull 24 rings together into an 8-nm sphere, secured by palladium ions at the core. The molecule had a surprisingly good phase memory, an indication of the molecule’s quantum computing potential. The researchers say building a molecule with 70-100 rings would allow them to do “some serious stuff” in quantum computing.

+ - Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet smaller than Earth

schwit1 writes: Scientists have measured the size and mass of the smallest exoplanet yet, a Mars-sized planet orbiting a star about 200 light years away.

The planet, named Kepler-138 b, is the first exoplanet smaller than the Earth to have both its mass and its size measured. It is one of three planets that orbit the star Kepler-138 and that pass in front of it on every orbit as viewed from Earth — a maneuver that astronomers call a transit. "Each time a planet transits the star, it blocks a small fraction of the star's light, allowing us to measure the size of the planet," said Dr. Daniel Jontof-Hutter, a research associate in astronomy at Penn State who led the study.

"We also measured the gravity of all three planets, using data from NASA's Kepler mission, by precisely observing the times of each transit," Jontof-Hutter said. The astronomers also were able to measure the masses of these planets. "Each planet periodically slows down and accelerates ever so slightly from the gravity of its neighboring planets. This slight change in time between transits allowed us to measure the masses of the planets," Jontof-Hutter explained. After measuring both the mass and size of an exoplanet, astronomers then can calculate its density and its bulk composition.

+ - Microsoft manufacturing Surface Hub in the US

overThruster writes: According to the New York Times, Microsoft has chosen to manufacture its Surface Hub in Wilsonville, Oregon. “It makes a lot of sense to manufacture in the U.S.,” said Steve Hix, an entrepreneur who founded several Portland-area tech companies, including one that had a manufacturing facility in Wilsonville. “The key issue is quality.”

+ - Jaguar Land Rover maps potholes for autonomous vehicles->

An anonymous reader writes: British car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover is developing a system [] that identifies potholes and other obstructions in the road and shares them via the cloud with highway authorities, and, potentially, other drivers with access to the report network. But the intent of the work is to remove yet another obstacle from the rise of the driverless car. The project's research director Dr Mike Bell says that such a network could help autonomous vehicles avoid potholes without crossing lanes or endangering other drivers, and the team is also working on a stereo-camera system capable of identifying obstructions before the fact. Dr Bell says "there is a huge opportunity to turn the information from these vehicle sensors into 'big data' and share it for the benefit of other road users. This could help prevent billions of pounds of vehicle damage and make road repairs more effective,"
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If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer