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+ - Rare astronomical event will see triple moon shadows on Jupiter->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Stargazers are in for a treat as they will be able to witness a rare astronomical event early tomorrow morning (January 24, 2015) where shadows of three of Jupiter’s largest moons — Io, Europa, and Callisto — will fall upon Jupiter simultaneously. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will provide a live online broadcast on its Livestream channel. The event is slated to being on January 24, 2015 at 4:30 AM GMT and should end by 7:00 am GMT. For those in the PST, the event will happen today from 8:30 pm to 11:00 pm."
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+ - First Baby Galapogos Tortoises Sighted in 150 Years->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "The Guardian, Nature, and other periodicals cover a report by Dr. James Gibbs of the State University of New York (SUNY-ESF) on the recent Pinzon Island population survey of giant tortoises. The survey of Galapogos (which means "tortoise" in Spanish) turned up the first reported sightings of baby tortoises in 150 years. Gibbs attributes the hopeful signs to a 2012 program to exterminate or control invasive rats, which are blamed for the low fertility rates, along with a 1982 repatriation of fertile tortoises from zoos. However, it's also possible, according to the article, that the researchers are just looking harder. The rare sightings may simply correlate with more frequent population surveys.

http://www.galapagos.org/blog/..."

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+ - Extremely rare Star Trek Phaser prop is going on sale for $60,000

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The latest Star Trek item that’s going on sale and expected to go for a doozy of a price. A 47 year old Star Trek Phaser from the original show featuring original Enterprise Crew led by Captain Kirk, Spock, et al, is reportedly going to be sold for a price of a whopping $60,000 (£40,000). This fiberglass prop is apparently one of the two that are currently in existence and hence the fantastic price tag."

+ - Microsoft Announces Office 2016 And Office For Windows 10 Coming Later This Year

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At its Windows 10 event yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the touch-optimized version of Office. Today, the company offered more details about that version, and then snuck in another announcement: the next desktop version is under development, it is called Office 2016, and it will be generally available “in the second half of 2015.” Office for Windows 10 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook), meanwhile, is also slated to arrive later this year, though Microsoft has shared more about it and plans to offer a preview in the coming weeks. These new Office apps will be pre-installed (they will be free) on smartphones and small tablets running Windows 10. They will also be available to download from the Windows Store for other devices."

+ - Dish Network violated Do-Not-Call 57 million times->

Submitted by lightbox32
lightbox32 (1903946) writes "Dish Network has been found guilty of violating the Do Not Call list on 57 million separate occasions. They were also found liable for abandoning or causing telemarketers to abandon nearly 50 million “outbound telephone calls, in violation of the abandoned-call provision of the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule."
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+ - The EU proposes all companies share their encryption keys with the government->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Statewatch published a document revealing that Gilles de Kerchove, the EU counter terrorism coordinator, is advising the EU:

... to explore rules obliging internet and telecommunications companies operating in the EU to provide under certain conditions as set out in the relevant national laws and in full compliance with fundamental rights access of the relevant national authorities to communications (i.e. share encryption keys).

"

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+ - Doomsday Clock is now 3 minutes to midnight!-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 17 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains. Today, the Clock was moved up 2 minutes; it is now 3 minutes to midnight. Here is the Board's statement on the move."
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+ - Fake Engine Noise is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades. Now Drew Harwell reports at the Washington Post that the auto industry’s dirty little secret is that the engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. "Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks," writes Harwell. "Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away." For example Ford sound engineers and developers worked on an “Active Noise Control” system on the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost that amplifies the engine’s purr through the car speakers. Afterward, the automaker surveyed members of Mustang fan clubs on which processed “sound concepts” they most enjoyed.

Among purists, the trickery has inspired an identity crisis and cut to the heart of American auto legend. The “aural experience” of a car, they argue, is an intangible that’s just as priceless as what’s revving under the hood. “For a car guy, it’s literally music to hear that thing rumble,” says Mike Rhynard, “It’s a mind-trick. It’s something it’s not. And no one wants to be deceived.” Other drivers ask if it really matters if the sound is fake? A driver who didn’t know the difference might enjoy the thrum and thunder of it nonetheless. Is taking the best part of an eight-cylinder rev and cloaking a better engine with it really, for carmakers, so wrong? "It may be a necessary evil in the eyes of Ford," says Andrew Hard, "but it’s sad to think that an iconic muscle car like the Mustang, a car famous for its bellowing, guttural soundtrack, has to fake its engine noise in 2015. Welcome to the future.""

+ - SparkleVision - Seeing Through The Glitter->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Another new application of computational photography lets you reconstruct an image that has been reflected by a rough shiny object — a glitter-covered surface, say.If you have an image viewed by reflection from a "glittery" surface — more technically one containing mirror facets with random orientation — then what you will see is a blurry shadow of the original. To unscramble the image all you need is the inverse transform and a recent paper from MIT explains how to do it. Basically all you have to do is shine a one pixel light onto the glitter and record where it goes on the sensor. Then some math is used to compute the inverse transformation. Not content with theory the technique was used to make convincing reconstructions of photos reflected off a glitter surface.
The reconstruction is very sensitive to slight shifts in the image and this could be used as a movement detector or 3D camera. But next time you are in a room with a glittery surface keep in mind that you could still be watched."

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+ - Hibernation Protein May Halt Alzheimers

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "The BBC is reporting test that show a protein called RBM3, involved in hibernation, may hold the key to regenerating synapses.

In the early stages of Alzheimer's, and other neurodegenerative disorders, synapses are lost. This inevitably progresses to whole brain cells dying. But during hibernation, 20-30% of the connections in the brain — synapses — are culled as the body preserves resources over winter, and are reformed in the spring, with no loss of memory. Memories can be restored after hibernation as only the receiving end of the synapse shuts down.

In a further set of tests, the team showed the brain cell deaths from prion disease and Alzheimer's could be prevented by artificially boosting RBM3 levels.

Prof Mallucci was asked if memories could be restored in people if their synapses could be restored: "Absolutely, because a lot of memory decline is correlated with synapse loss, which is the early stage of dementia, so you might get back some of the synapse you've lost."

Further reading: here, here, and here"

+ - Samsung Plans for Contactless Payment Technology Mobile Handsets->

Submitted by Augustine Bunker
Augustine Bunker (3899229) writes "Samsung is facing tough resistance from its arch rival Apple iPhones and the contact-less payment iPhones could be an added advantage. The latest iPhones users are able to make effortless payment at shops and this is something worrisome to Samsung manufacturers. In this issue, Samsung is heading fast for contactless payment technology."
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+ - Are There One Or More Planets Larger Than Earth In Trans-Neptune Orbits?

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "NBC News reports that at least two planets larger than Earth likely lurk far beyond Pluto, just waiting to be discovered, a new analysis of the orbits of "extreme trans-Neptunian objects" (ETNOs) suggests. The potential undiscovered worlds would be more massive than Earth and would lie about 200 AU or more from the sun — so far away that they'd be very difficult, if not impossible, to spot with current instruments. "The exact number is uncertain, given that the data that we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our solar system," lead author Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, of the Complutense University of Madrid, said."

+ - Linus on Diversity and Niceness in Open Source 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Linus Torvalds has sent a lengthy statement to Ars Technica responding to statements he made in a conference in New Zealand. One of his classic comments in NZ was: "I'm not a nice person, and I don't care about you. I care about the technology and the kernel — that's what's important to me." On diversity, he said that "the most important part of open source is that people are allowed to do what they are good at" and "all that stuff is just details and not really important." Now he writes: "What I wanted to say — and clearly must have done very badly — is that one of the great things about open source is exactly the fact that different people are so different", and that "I don't know where you happen to be based, but this 'you have to be nice' seems to be very popular in the US," calling the concept of being nice an "ideology"."

+ - Micromax Remotely Installing Unwanted Apps and Showing Ads

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Reports are coming in that users of certain devices by Indian phone manufacturer Micromax noticed apps being silently installed without their consent or permission. Uninstalling these apps won't help, as they will be automatically reinstalled. Alternatively, instead of downloading apps, the phone might litter the UI with stack of notifications which are advertisements for online stores and other apps. It turns out that the "System Update" application is responsible for all of this. When starting to tear down the application (which is actually called FWUpgrade.apk on the filesystem), the first thing you notice is that it’s a third-party application. A Chinese company named Adups developed it as a replacement for the stock Google OTA service. The article shows the potential abilities of this app and how Micromax customers can work around the disruptive behavior."

+ - Patriot Act Idea Rises in France, and Is Ridiculed->

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "After shootings last week at a satirical newspaper and a kosher market in Paris, France finds itself grappling anew with a question the United States is still confronting: how to fight terrorism while protecting civil liberties. The answer is acute in a country that is sharply critical of American counterterrorism policies, which many see as a fearful overreaction to 9/11.

Valérie Pécresse, a minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, said France needed its own version of the USA Patriot Act, which gave the United States more authority to collect intelligence and pointed America’s surveillance apparatus at its citizens. Politicians and civil rights advocates on both sides of the Atlantic bristled at that suggestion, and at a string of arrests in which French officials used a new antiterrorism law to crack down on what previously would have been considered free speech.

Dominique de Villepin, the former French prime minister, warned against the urge for “exceptional” measures. “The spiral of suspicion created in the United States by the Patriot Act and the enduring legitimization of torture or illegal detention has today caused that country to lose its moral compass,” he wrote in Le Monde, the French newspaper."

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