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Submission + - Ed Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow 3

hazeii writes: Ed Snowden, the US whistleblower responsible for exposing the degree to which the US watches its own citizens (as well as the rest of the world) is reported as having left Hong Kong for Moscow. According to the South China Morning Post, he is on a commercial flight to Russia but intriguingly it seems this is not his final destination. It's not clear whether this move is in response to the US request to extradite him.

Submission + - US Hacked Chinese University Network 1

An anonymous reader writes: Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reports that Tsinghua University, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year, according to information leaked by Edward Snowden. The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA. The university is home to one of the mainland’s six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined. Universities in Hong Kong and the mainland were revealed as targets of NSA’s cyber-snooping activities last week when Snowden claimed the Chinese University of Hong Kong had been hacked.

Submission + - Only Firefox 3.6 is fully compatible with our site, says eBay (daniweb.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: This is truly astonishing, one of the biggest online brands on the planet tells a customer that it should only be used with Firefox and warns them off of using IE, Chrome or Safari. A support chap is recorded as stating: "I suggest that you kindly use Firefox 3.6 (not IE 9.0, Safari or Google Chrome as they aren't compatible) and certainly you won't face any issues."

Submission + - Brown Dwarf Radio Emissions and the Hunt for Aliens (discovery.com) 1

astroengine writes: "Penn State University researchers have detected flaring emissions from a very cool brown dwarf 33.6 light-years away called "J1047+21." The emissions detected were of radio wavelengths, suggesting some kind of interaction between a magnetic field and charged particles. This is a noteworthy discovery for two reasons: 1) It's the coolest radio-star detected to date and, 2) the method by which this brown dwarf was detected can be applied to large exoplanets that possess magnetospheres. Should the radio emissions from an exoplanet be discovered, this may indicate that an alien biosphere may be protected by a global magnetic field."

Submission + - Oracle Releases Java 7u4 - Their First JVM for OSX (oracle.com)

jensend writes: From the distant Mac OS 7 past until October 2010, Apple took charge of delivering their own Java Virtual Machine. They were slow to update their JVM, leaving security holes unpatched for long periods, and to get a major version upgrade you'd have to pay for a Mac OS upgrade. After a decade of treating it like a red-headed stepchild, they finally jettisoned their support for it, leaving Oracle to pick up the slack. It took a year and a half, but Oracle has finally delivered, releasing the 7u4 JDK&JRE for Linux, Solaris, Windows, and OS X simultaneously. (See also this FAQ regarding the OS X release). The new JVM also includes a new garbage collector and various performance improvements and bugfixes.

Submission + - Engineered Stomach Microbe Converts Seaweed into E (scientificamerican.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Seaweed may well be an ideal plant to turn into biofuel. It grows in much of the two thirds of the planet that is underwater, so it wouldn't crowd out food crops the way corn for ethanol does. Because it draws its own nutrients and water from the sea, it requires no fertilizer or irrigation. Most importantly for would-be biofuel-makers, it contains no lignin—a strong strand of complex sugars that stiffens plant stalks and poses a big obstacle to turning land-based plants such as switchgrass into biofuel.

Researchers at Bio Architecture Lab, Inc., (BAL) and the University of Washington in Seattle have now taken the first step to exploit the natural advantages of seaweed. They have built a microbe capable of digesting it and converting it into ethanol or other fuels or chemicals. Synthetic biologist Yasuo Yoshikuni, a co-founder of BAL, and his colleagues took Escherichia coli, a gut bacterium most famous as a food contaminant, and made some genetic modifications that give it the ability to turn the sugars in an edible kelp called kombu into fuel.


Submission + - BIOS Will Be Dead In Three Years (thinq.co.uk) 2

Stoobalou writes: MSI says that it's planning a big shift towards UEFI at the end of 2010, possibly spelling the end of the BIOS as we know it.

It's the one major part of the computer that's still reminiscent of the PC's primordial, text-based beginnings, but the familiarly-clunky BIOS could soon be on its deathbed, according to MSI. The motherboard maker says it's now making a big shift towards point and click UEFI systems, and it's all going to kick off at the end of this year.

Speaking to Thinq, a spokesperson for the company in Taiwan who wished to remain anonymous said that "MSI will start to phase in UEFI starting from the end of this year, and we expect it will be widely adopted after three years."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.