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+ - Krugman: Say no to Comcast acquisition of Time Warner->

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "In his column, "Barons of Broadband" http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02... (easily circumventable paywall) New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says:

Comcast perfectly fits the old notion of monopolists as robber barons, so-called by analogy with medieval warlords who perched in their castles overlooking the Rhine, extracting tolls from all who passed. The Time Warner deal would in effect let Comcast strengthen its fortifications, which has to be a bad idea.

Comcast’s chief executive says not to worry: “It will not reduce competition in any relevant market because our companies do not overlap or compete with each other. In fact, we do not operate in any of the same ZIP codes.” This is, however, transparently disingenuous. The big concern about making Comcast even bigger isn’t reduced competition for customers in local markets — for one thing, there’s hardly any effective competition at that level anyway. It is that Comcast would have even more power than it already does to dictate terms to the providers of content for its digital pipes — and that its ability to drive tough deals upstream would make it even harder for potential downstream rivals to challenge its local monopolies."

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+ - YouTube to Remove Scientist's Account who Debunked AIDS Deniers Movie ->

Submitted by EwanPalmer
EwanPalmer (2536690) writes "YouTube is threatening to remove the account of a scientist who made a series of videos debunking claims made in an Aids denialist movie over copyright infringement disagreement.

Myles Power is claiming the producers of controversial 2009 documentary House of Numbers are attempting to censor him by submitting bogus DMCA claims against him. He says his movies do not breach copyright laws because his films are educational and therefore fair use. The 'AIDS denialist' documentary makers say they instead amounted to “propaganda”."

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+ - Hubble spots source of short GRB->

Submitted by symbolset
symbolset (646467) writes "Researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have imaged some evidence that the merger of neutron stars is responsible for producing a short-duration gamma ray burst. On June 3rd the Swift gamma-ray burst (GRB) mission detected GRB 130603B, a burst lasting only one tenth of a second nearly 4 billion lightyears away. Imaging with Hubble they located a small red dot which, over the course of the following two weeks dimmed. Cites an article in yesterday's special online edition of Nature."
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+ - Less vaccination then, more measles now->

Submitted by DavidHumus
DavidHumus (725117) writes "Some of the longer-term effects of the anti-vaccination movement of past decades is now evident in a dramatic increase in measles. From the article: A measles outbreak infected 1,219 people in southwest Wales between November 2012 and early July, compared with 105 cases in all of Wales in 2011.

There continues to be no credible evidence that vaccination causes autism but the a significant minority believes this anyway."

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+ - Some volcanoes 'scream' at ever-higher pitches until they blow their tops->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Swarms of small earthquakes often precede a volcanic eruption. They can reach such rapid succession that they create a "harmonic tremor" that resembles sound made by some musical instruments. A new analysis of an eruption sequence at Alaska's Redoubt Volcano in March 2009 shows the harmonic tremor glided to substantially higher frequencies and then stopped abruptly just before six of the eruptions. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory have dubbed the highest-frequency harmonic tremor at Redoubt Volcano “the screams” because the episodes reach such high pitch compared with a 1-to-5 hertz starting point. Alicia Hotovec-Ellis, a University of Washington doctoral student in Earth and space sciences and an author of two papers examining the phenomenon, has created a 10-second recording and a one-minute recording that provides a 60-times faster representation of harmonic tremor and small earthquakes."
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+ - What Medical Tests Should Teach Us about the NSA Surveillance Program

Submitted by Davak
Davak (526912) writes "In many ways finding the small amount of terrorists within the United States is like screening a population of people for a rare disease. A physician explains why collecting excessive data is actually dangerous. Each time a test is run, the number of people incorrectly identified quickly dwarfs the correct matches. Just like in medicine, being incorrectly labelled has serious consequences."

+ - Intel Caught Cheating in AnTuTu Benchmark To Show-up ARM?->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Recently, industry analysts came forward with the dubious claim that Intel's Clover Trail+ low power processor for mobile devices had somehow seized a massive lead over ARM's products, though there were suspicious discrepancies in the popular AnTuTu benchmark that was utilized to showcase performance. It turns out that the situation is far shadier than initially thought. The version used in testing with the benchmark isn't just tilted to favor Intel — it seems to flat-out cheat to accomplish it. The new 3.3 version of AnTuTu was compiled using Intel's C++ Compiler, while GCC was used for the ARM variants. The Intel code was auto-vectorized, the ARM code wasn't — there are no NEON instructions in the ARM version of the application. Granted, GCC isn't currently very good at auto-vectorization, but NEON is now standard on every Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 SoC — and these are the parts people will be benchmarking. But compiler optimizations are just the beginning. Apparently the Intel code deliberately breaks the benchmark's function. At a certain point, it runs a loop that's meant to be performed 32x just once, then reports to the benchmark that the task completed successfully. Now, the optimization in question is part of ICC (the Intel C++ compiler), but was only added recently. It's not the kind of procedure you'd call by accident. AnTuTu has released an updated "new" version of the benchmark in which Intel performance drops back down 20-50%. Systems based on high-end ARM devices again win the benchmark overall, as they did previously."
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