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Submission + - Enterprise SSDs potentially lose data in a week (

Mal-2 writes: From IB Times:

The standards body for the microelectronics industry has found that Solid State Drives (SSD) can start to lose their data and become corrupted if they are left without power for as little as a week. According to a recent presentation (PDF) by Seagate's Alvin Cox, who is also chairman of the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), the period of time that data will be retained on an SSD is halved for every 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in temperature in the area where the SSD is stored.

Submission + - Girls 'better than boys at making computer games', study finds. 1

Esteanil writes: Researchers in the University of Sussex's Informatics department asked pupils at a secondary school to design and program their own computer game using a new visual programming language.
The young people, aged 12-13, spent eight weeks developing their own 3D role-playing games. The girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games than the boys and also learnt more about coding. The girls used seven different triggers – almost twice as many as the boys – and were much more successful at creating complex scripts with two or more parts and conditional clauses. Boys nearly always chose to trigger their scripts on when a character says something, which is the first and easiest trigger to learn.

Submission + - Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

onproton writes: The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance, a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health.

Submission + - Artificial sweeteners may contribute to diabetes (

sciencehabit writes: When it comes to the sweet stuff, science often turns sour. Almost every study that has linked sugar to problems such as tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, or even childhood violence has come under heavy fire. Nonetheless, the World Health Organization released draft guidelines earlier this year that halved the recommended maximum sugar intake. Now, new research is suggesting that synthetic sweeteners like saccharin might not be a great alternative. They could have a negative effect on gut microbes and thus lead to a higher risk of diabetes, researchers say.

Submission + - Intel's Knights Landing - a 72 core, 3 teraflop beast (

asliarun writes: David Kanter of Realworldtech recently posted his take on Intel's upcoming Knights Landing chip. The technical specs are startling massive and shows Intel's new found focus on throughput processing (and possibly graphics). 72 Silvermont cores with beefy FP and vector units, mesh fabric with tile based architecture, DDR4 support with a 384bit memory controller, QPI connectivity instead of PCIe, and 16GB on-package eDRAM (yes, 16GB!). All this should ensure throughput of 3 teraflops/s double precision. Many of the architectural elements would also be the same as Intel's future CPU chips — so this is also a peek into Intel's vision of the future. Will Intel use this as a platform to compete with nVidia and AMD/ATI graphics? Or will this be another Larrabee? Or just an exotic HPC product like Knights Corner?

Submission + - Passwords Tried by Hackers - Case Study On Small WordPress Site (

SmartCrib writes: The total number of passwords we logged was 11,312. This set contains 4,421 different passwords. We can split all passwords into several distinct groups:
  • number passwords – contain only digits;
  • names – first names;
  • popular passwords – passwords that rank high in known statistics;
  • keyboard friendly – characters are next to each other on keyboard;
  • website related – use the website name and/or usernames on the website; and
  • topical – e.g., StarTrek related, football related, and so on.

It seems to be a very bad idea to use password consisting of only digits. We have logged passwords of 1 digit to passwords of 12 digits. As such, even a long number does not help. 22% of all guesses used number passwords.

Passwords made form keys that are close to each other are not so often but I was still surprised by some of them. Here is again a small selection: q1q1q1, qwertuiop, ytngfh, k,jdm, qweasd123, 123asd, qazwsxedcrfv.

Submission + - Academics Against Mass Surveillance speak out

Koen Lefever writes: Over 250 Academics Against Mass Surveillance demand American and European security agencies to stop large scale monitoring of the population: "The signatories of this declaration call upon nation states to take action. Intelligence agencies must be subjected to transparency and accountability. People must be free from blanket mass surveillance conducted by intelligence agencies from their own or foreign countries. States must effectively protect everyone's fundamental rights and freedoms, and particularly everyone's privacy. "

Submission + - Facebook sued over alleged scanning of users' private messages (

Kentrshal writes: SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is being sued over allegations it monitors private messages on the social network to surreptitiously gather even more information on its users and share the data with marketers.

According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose, Facebook scans the contents of private messages including links to other websites "to improve its marketing algorithms and increase its ability to profit from data about Facebook users."

Submission + - Chromebooks' Success in 2013 is a Gut Punch to Microsoft 3

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Gregg Keizer reports at Computerworld that Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all US commercial notebook sales in 2013 through November, and 10% of all computers and tablets. Both shares were up massively from 2012 when Chromebooks accounted for an almost-invisible two-tenths of one percent of all computer and tablet sales. That’s really rough news news for Microsoft, which is the principal loser of market share against the Chromebooks. Part of the attraction of Chromebooks is their low prices: The systems forgo high-resolution displays, rely on inexpensive graphics chipsets, include paltry amounts of RAM — often just 2GB — and get by with little local storage. And their operating system, Chrome OS, doesn't cost computer makers a dime. "A few years ago, Chromebooks were a bit of a laughing stock. They were underperforming single-purpose laptops that weren’t even good at the only thing they could do that is, surf the web," says Frederic Lardinois. "Over the last year, ChromeOS also went from a one-trick pony to something that’s more like a “real” operating system." Today’s Chromebooks are nothing like the old Cr-48 prototype Google once sent out to bloggers in late 2010. The fact that Microsoft has now started making fun of them just shows that it’s concerned about losing market share in the business world. "Google is doing with its Chrome OS for PCs what it did with Android for smartphones," says Matt Marshall. "No wonder Google is starting to eating Microsoft’s lunch."

Submission + - The universe may be finite and bounded afterall. ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The question is discussed whether the universe is finite or infinite, bounded or unbounded. In modern science it is presumed to unbounded and since the discovery of the accelerating universe, for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2011, that it is also infinite. However Hartnett has found that using the cosmology of Moshe Carmeli that the same equations that successfully fit the observational evidence in the cosmos can also be derived from a finite bounded universe. This means our location is space may indeed be special after all. The work was published in the International Journal of Theoretical Physics titled “A valid finite bounded expanding Carmelian universe without dark matter” (Int J Theor Phys (2013) 52:4360–4366).

Submission + - The Archaeology of Beer (

cold fjord writes: The Atlantic reports, "Dr. Pat McGovern, a biomolecular archeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology ... explains his process to me. “We always start with infrared spectrometry,” he says. “That gives us an idea of what organic materials are preserved.” From there, it’s on to tandem liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, sometimes coupled with ion cyclotron resonance, and solid-phase micro-extraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The end result? A beer recipe. Starting with a few porous clay shards or tiny bits of resin-like residue from a bronze cup, McGovern is able to determine what some ancient Norseman or Etruscan or Shang dynast was drinking ... Details will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Danish Journal of Archaeology. But if your curiosity is more immediate ... head to a nearby wine-and-beer store and request a bottle of the most recent Ancient Ale from Dogfish Head. The Delaware-based brewery ... collaborated with McGovern to make ... a brew that was inspired by the residue found on pottery fragments in a 2,700-year-old tomb in Turkey. Dogfish Head has since re-created six other defunct potables ... based on archeological finds in China, Honduras, Peru, Egypt, Italy, and now Scandinavia. Its re-creation of Nordic grog, Kvasir ..."

Submission + - Surge in Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Reuters reports that the high volume of online orders of holiday packages overwhelmed shipping and logistics company UPS delaying the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe and sending angry consumers to social media to vent. The company projected 132 million deliveries last week "and obviously we exceeded that," said UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black without disclosing how many packages had been sent. "For now, UPS is really focused on delivering the remaining packages. You might not see trucks, but people are working." Asked why the company underestimated the volume of air packages it would receive, Black noted that previous severe weather in the Dallas area had already created a backlog. Then came "excess holiday volume" during a compressed time frame, since the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was shorter than usual this year. responded with an email to affected customers offering shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to compensate. Packages shipped via UPS for by Prime customers, who pay $79 a year for two-day shipping, may be eligible for additional refunds. Amazon's stated policy for missed deliveries is to offer a free one-month extension of Prime. Frustrated consumers took to social media, with some complaining that gifts purchased for their children would not arrive in time to make it under the tree by Christmas morning. "A lot of these employees keep saying 'It's the weather' or 'It's some kind of a backlog,'" said Barry Tesh. "Well then why, all the way up until the 23rd, were they offering next-day delivery? That guaranteed delivery was 80% of my decision to buy the gift." However others on social media urged shoppers to be more appreciative of the delivery company's work during the holiday season. "While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever," said a 20 year veteran UPS driver on the UPS Facebook page. "So when you see your family and complain that your package is held up, everyone who moves your package is working and doesn't get the Xmas experience you get, Be thankful for that."

Submission + - PureVPN shuts down due to "legal issues" ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: It looks like PureVPN has shut down due to an as yet undisclosed incident. To quote "We had to handover all customer’s information to the authorities unfortunately. They might contact you if they need any details about the case they are working on. The following information was handed over: your name, billing address and phone number provided during purchase and any documents we had on file..."

Submission + - PICTURES: Any animal that touches this lethal lake turns to stone... (

Tuck News writes: The still water of this lake seems to draw creatures to it. The reflective surface confuses them and acts like a mirror making them think they can fly straight throw, but instead they end up in its murky depths and are killed and perfectly preserved within a matter of seconds, reports Gizmodo. These haunting photographs were captured by Nick Brandt for his new book 'Across The Ravaged Land". According to Brandt, petrified creatures pepper the area around the lake due to its constant pH of 9 to 10.5, and extremely basic alkalinity that preserves the creatures for eternity. "I unexpectedly found the creatures — all manner of birds and bats — washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten