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Submission + - Hydrogen fuel cells with non-platinum catalysts (

tbischel writes: Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have developed a way to avoid the use of expensive platinum in hydrogen fuel cells, the environmentally friendly devices that might replace current power sources in everything from personal data devices to automobiles.

Submission + - Help the FBI solve an open murder case (

JustDisGuy writes: The FBI has hit a dead end. On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

“We are really good at what we do,” said CRRU chief Dan Olson, “but we could use some help with this one.”

Submission + - What data mining firms know about you ( 1

storagedude writes: "Time writer Joel Stein spent three months learning what data mining companies know about him. After learning everything the companies had profiled about him (some of it inaccurate) — social security number, age, marital status, religion, income, debt, interests, browsing and spending habits — he had a surprising reaction: complacency.

"... oddly, the more I learned about data mining, the less concerned I was. Sure, I was surprised that all these companies are actually keeping permanent files on me. But I don't think they will do anything with them that does me any harm. There should be protections for vulnerable groups, and a government-enforced opt-out mechanism would be great for accountability. But I'm pretty sure that, like me, most people won't use that option. Of the people who actually find the Ads Preferences page — and these must be people pretty into privacy — only 1 in 8 asks to opt out of being tracked. The rest, apparently, just like to read privacy rules."


Submission + - Ensuring Product Quality at Google (

aabelro writes: James Whittaker, a former Microsoft architect, author of several books in the “How to Break Software” series, and currently Director of Test Engineering at Google, has written a series of posts on how Google does testing. Google blends development with testing, having relatively few testers, and each product goes through successive channels before is ready for prime time.

Submission + - Google Draws Fire From Congress (

bonch writes: Democrat Herb Kohl, the Senate's leading antitrust legislator, has vowed an antitrust probe into Google as one of his top priorities. Others in Congress are criticizing the search giant over several flubs, including scanning personal data over neighborhood WiFi, collecting Social Security information from children in a doodling contest, and sidestepping net neutrality rules through a deal with Verizon. They're also concerned over ties with the administration--Eric Schmidt is a technology advisor to President Obama, Andrew McLaughlin serves as Obama's deputy chief technology officer, and Sonal Shah leads the White House Office of Social Innovation. Google spent $5.2 million last year on federal lobbying, but critics say their increased Washington presence has made more enemies than friends.

Submission + - China To Stop Importing Chips for Supercomputers (

rubycodez writes: "The Tianhe-1A system will be the last Chinese supercomputer to use imported Intel and AMD processors. By years end, China's own 64 bit MIPS-compatible 65nm 8-core 1GHz version of the Godsen (Longsoon family) processors will be used, including 10,000 of them for the "Dawning 6000" supercomputer. Yes, the chips can and usually do run GNU/Linux, but also can run FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD "

Submission + - 3D Printed Bike 1/3 Lighter than Aluminium (

baosol writes: "UK engineers printed the bike using a powder composed of nylon and metal which results in a frame that has the strength of steel while also being 65% lighter than aluminum. The Air Bike is a demonstration of a technology called additive layer manufacturing (ALM) which was able to create the fully working bike with only six parts. The goal is to show how the technology can revolutionize product design from airplanes to satellites to more down to earth items like bikes."

Submission + - Open source guy takes the hardest job at Microsoft ( 1

jbrodkin writes: "Gianugo Rabellino, founder of the Italian Linux Society and a key member of the Apache Software Foundation, traded his Linux and Mac PCs in for a Windows 7 laptop and took on a newly created job at Microsoft designed to encourage collaboration between Redmond and open source communities. “Developers nowadays are mostly to be found in the open source world,” the new Microsoft executive says. “We need to go where they are.” With Rabellino’s help, Microsoft is expanding its successful partnership with PHP developers , but Steve Ballmer and crew are a long way from completely erasing their poor reputation in Linux and open source circles."

Submission + - IBM Watson lands healthcare job (

coondoggie writes: IBM's Watson has parleyed its overwhelming victory in this week's "Jeopardy!" challenge into a job developing smart applications for the health care industry. IBM said it will team Watson's Deep Question Answering, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning capabilities with Nuance Communications' speech recognition and Clinical Language Understanding package to diagnose and offer treatment plans for patients that will let hospitals, physicians and payers access critical and timely information.

Submission + - Reviewed: Android Gets Norton Utlilities (

CWmike writes: Norton has made public its attempt to bring the usefulness of Norton Utilities to Google's Android mobile OS. Preston Gralla gets hands on, and notes that the Norton Mobile Utilities beta is useful but somewhat buggy. The beta is really more of a proof of concept, because Symantec has not yet decided whether the app will ever become a full-blown product and, if it does, whether it will be free or for pay, Gralla writes. One standout feature: its app installer, which helps you install apps (in the form of .APK files) from outside the Android Market, a somewhat messy process in stock Android. Once the .APK file has been saved to your device's SD card, the Installer will list the app and let you install it by tapping on the name. The Installer will also delete the .APK file if you tell it to, leaving the app itself installed. However, Gralla says most other features can be found within the stock OS, and with that he 'can't imagine that it will have nearly the same sales or industry impact' as the original Norton for DOS. 'If Symantec could develop Undelete for Android, it could well have a winner on its hands,' he writes.

Submission + - First underground cave photographed on the moon ( 1

Lanxon writes: High-resolution images have confirmed for the first time the presence of an underground cave on the moon's surface. Images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera reveal that what previously appeared to be a lunar pit in the Marius Hills region is in fact the entrance to a lava tube, with the cave floor visible through a collapsed ceiling, or "skylight".

Submission + - Private Space Shuttle flights (

An anonymous reader writes: It has recently been suggested that when the Space Shuttle retires after its final flights this year, it may continue operations under the funding of private enterprise. United Space Alliance is considering a $1.5 billion a year proposal to take the fleet private. The ageing spacecraft has been flying for more around 30 years, and NASA are retiring it for a good reason. Is it safe to continue flights in private hands?

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Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing