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The Internet

+ - How schools taught kids about the Internet in 1996->

Submitted by
harrymcc
harrymcc writes "Jared Newman's sister Heather recently found an artifact of her 1990s youth: A school handout she got in 1996 about this new thing called "the Internet." It explains that you can do e-mail, play games, and go shopping, and warns of "Internet addiction" and the alarming possibility of becoming so dependent on it that you spend "hours" using it. The handout is a fascinating artifact from another era."
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Movies

+ - Japan Unveils World's Largest 3D Display->

Submitted by
kkleiner
kkleiner writes "Japan has unveiled a new 200-inch, HD screen on which images shift through 57 different viewing angles to give the appearance of 3D – without the need for glasses. The trick behind the glasses-free 3D is an array of 57 projectors behind the screen, each projecting the same image at a slightly different angle. As awesome as the images are, the screen is not quite practical. You’ll need an extra room for the array and a forklift to move its 500 kg."
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Microsoft

+ - Linux Foundation Releases Document on UEFI Secure ->

Submitted by mvar
mvar (1386987) writes "The Linux Foundation today released technical guidance to PC makers on how to implement secure UEFI without locking Linux or other free software off of new Windows 8 machines. The guidance included a subtle tisk-tisk at Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky for suggesting that PC owners won't want to mess with control of their hardware and would happily concede that to operating system makers and hardware manufacturers."
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Medicine

+ - Standford's Open Source Human Motion Software->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "Standford's OpenSim software is a human motion modeling package that is currently making the rounds at museums where 'visitors walk across a pressure-sensitive floor and are presented at the other side with color-coded print outs of their weight distribution, identifying even slight imbalances that might be putting undue stress on their limbs and joints.' This project can also help with planning surgery. The work of Scott L. Delp, Frank C. Anderson, Allison S. Arnold, Peter Loan, Ayman Habib, Chand T. John, Eran Guendelman, and Darryl G. Thelen has been published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (note that this is a different effort from the virtual world of the same name). Although Standford's press release says it is now open source, I cannot find what license they are using nor can I access their SVN browser after registering."
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AI

+ - Scientists create massively parallel computer from->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "A group of Japanese scientists have built a massively-parallel, brain-like computer out of an organic molecule called DDQ. This computer, which is built from 300 DDQ “neurons,” has successfully calculated how heat diffuses through a medium, and the mutation of normal cells into cancer cells. The work of Anirban Bandyopadhyay and his team from the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, revolves around a molecule called 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-p-benzoquinone, or DDQ for short. DDQ is a ring molecule that can connect with up to six neighboring DDQ molecules. Most importantly, each DDQ molecule can be programmed into four different states, each conducting electricity differently. 300 DDQ molecules are placed on a gold substrate, and their conductive states and connections to other molecules are programmed using a scanning tunneling microscope. The end result is a cellular automaton of 300 neuron-like molecules that can perform calculations in a massively parallel way. It is another characteristic of DDQ "brains" that is most intriguing: When a DDQ molecule changes state, the change ripples down through the molecules that it's connected to, destroying old bonds and creating new circuits as it goes — much like a neuron making new synapse connections. This could eventually lead to emergent computing, where the DDQ brain can react to external stimuli and evolve over time."
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+ - Water level in Thailand rises hard drive proces->

Submitted by AleX122
AleX122 (1657367) writes "Recently I was in need to purchase additional server storage. It was not an urgent issue so I took some time to look around (big mistake). Several weeks ago the price for one device was 200 PLN (something about $65). Today I couldn't believe in numbers, the same part was priced at 960 PLN ($320). The reason? hard drive shortage on the market caused by flood in Thailand. I did not even know that they have flood problem there until now. So if you are not going to wait several months before their factories start up again buy you storage now if prices are still normal.
Wikipedia also mention about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Thailand_floods"

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Facebook

+ - Facebook Flaw Allows Users to Send Executables->

Submitted by Gunkerty Jeb
Gunkerty Jeb (1950964) writes "A security researcher has discovered a vulnerability in Facebook’s messaging system that could allow an attacker to send executable attachments to anyone on the popular social network. The vulnerability is such that an attacker doesn't necessarily need to be friends with the person to whom he sends the message.

Facebook’s operators, to their credit, thought this sort of attack through. By design, users aren’t supposed to be able send executable file attachments via Facebook messaging (trying to do so results in an error message).

However, Nathan Power captured the browser POST request being sent to Facebook'(TM)s web servers when he attempted to send an executable attachment. He found that only the "filename"(TM) was being parsed to determine which file types were allowed or not allowed."

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Security

+ - Got Pwned? PwnedList.com Knows->

Submitted by
chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes "With more and more victims of identity theft minted every day, figuring out if you're one of the unlucky masses with a leaked email password is yeoman's work. Now one security researcher is trying to make it easy with PwnedList.com, a Web site that collects leaked and stolen data, then tells Internet users whether their information is in it.

PwnedList is the brainchild of Alen Puzic, a security researcher who works for HP's TippingPoint DVLabs on the Advanced Security Intelligence team. The biggest challenge, he says, is staying on top of the tsunami of leaked records — which are pouring in at a rate of 40,000 to 50,000 a week. Puzic chatted(*) with Threatpost editor Paul Roberts via Skype this week."

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Power

+ - Highly Efficient Oxygen Catalyst Found-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "Published in the Journal Science, a new compound composed of cobalt, iron and oxygen with other metals presents us with the most efficient way (found so far) of splitting oxygen atoms from water. These ten known compounds provide a reactivity rate that is at least an order of magnitude higher than what is currently known as the gold standard in such reactions. In accomplishing this, the team also discovered that the reactivity is dependent on the configuration of the outermost electron of transition metal ions which they then exploited to develop this efficient catalyst. For rechargeable batteries and hydrogen fuel, this is exciting work from MIT's Jin Suntivich, Kevin J. May, Hubert A. Gasteiger, John B. Goodenough, and Yang Shao-Horn."
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Government

+ - CIA Official: Agency Struggling With Network Secur->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "One of the more common problems network security staffs have is trying to get a good view of what's actually happening on their networks. They get bits here and pieces there, but a complete picture can be difficult to come by. As it turns out, the CIA has the same problem. The agency, whose mission is to know what's going on around the world at any given moment, doesn't have any secret recipe or black box giving its security personnel deep insights into network activity. It's struggling, just like everyone else is.

"One of the big challenges we have is the lack of interoperability between security products. We spend a lot of time integrating tools, looking for changes in firmware and software, and all of the vendors are all over the map when it comes to some of these things, like what they call the insider threat," Robert Bigman, chief of the Information Assurance group at the CIA, said during a panel discussion at the SINET Innovation Showcase here Wednesday. "We have no idea what's going on on some of our networks, not because we're not trying, but because we don't have the tools to do it.""

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Google

+ - Google introduces charges for Maps API->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On the Google Geo Developers blog the product manager for the Google Maps API, Thor Mitchell just announced that there will be a limit on the numbe of free map API calls for any given site. You will be allowed to make 25,000 map loads per day, and up to 2,500 map loads for styled maps. Above this limit the price will be set at approximately $4 for 1,000 map API calls. Alternatively sites will be able to purchase a Maps API Premier licence. This licence will be priced at a minimum of $10,000 per year"
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Technology

+ - Invisible glass solves screen reflection problems->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The days of dealing with a very reflective glass panel may soon be behind us. Nippon Electric Glass has used the FPD International 2011 conference in Japan this week to show off its new “invisible glass” panel.

What NEG has done is added an anti-reflection film to both the front and back of the glass that are only nanometers thick. By doing this luminance reflectance is only diminished by 0.1% over a more typical sheet of glass. But the real benefit comes in how much reflections are reduced. Look at a typical sheet of glass and you will see about 8% of the light reflected off of it. With NEG’s anti-reflection film in place, that is reduced to just 0.5%.

If this can be used in laptop displays it means the days of glossy screens you can't see outside may be over."

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+ - Book Review : Apache Maven 3 Cookbook->

Submitted by
maoo
maoo writes "Today I had the possibility to read the new book published by Packt Publishing, Maven 3 Cookbook, written by Srirangan; in the following post I'll shortly review the topics discussed and give my personal opinion on the book.

The book contains a good collection of recipes to start playing with Apache Maven, an Open Source build automation tool widely adopted, especially for JVM-based languages, such as Java, Scala, but also applicable to other languages, like PHP, Ruby and C#.

The book is targeted for Software Developers who want to start with Maven, therefore it is important to have a generic knowledge about Software Development and the challenges that need to be tackled when building Software; the definition of Application Lifecycle Management is good reading to start.

It is highly advised to follow this book with a laptop close to you, having a working installation of Maven 3.0.x; the first chapter of this book will guide you through the process.

Let's talk about the contents; the book can be divided in two main parts: Introduction to Maven as a build tool and its main features and conventions, with examples and snippets

(Chapter 1 to4)

In my opinion these chapters, especially if targeted to a Maven newbie, lack of main concepts, such as:
  • What is the Maven Reactor
  • Properties and resource filtering
  • What is/how to use Maven archetypes

The concept of Maven Lifecycle, which I consider the most important if you need to model your build behaviors, is not extensively explained, although I think it should be necessary to understand the examples — in the second part of the book — which make use of plugin's <executions>.

I strongly advise to have a full understanding of these concepts (especially before complaining that Maven is too complex ;-) and to read Maven: The Complete Reference from Sonatype.

Nevertheless, this first part is a quick reading that allows you to setup a complete project environment using Maven in no more than 20 minutes, not bad.

Chapter 2 (Software Engineering Techniques) focuses on Maven built-in build automation, such as compilation, packaging, multi-module, reporting, code quality, unit/web testing and distribution; it is a nice and quick walk through the main features of Maven, although not extensively explained, which is good if you're starting. I liked the summary of useful commands provided by the maven-dependency-plugin, which are simply mandatory to debug your build.

Chapter 3 (Agile Team Collaboration) covers same topics of chapter 2 with a special focus on team collaboration, therefore SCM configuration, setting up a centralized Maven repository and Maven offline mode. I see many topics not related with Agile in this chapter, for example I'd have expected SCM to be categorized as a highly advisable Software Engineering Technique; I was also expecting more details on the SCM release process (maven-release-plugin explained). I liked the observations of the author regarding Distributed Development, especially the way he managed to explain important dynamics with simple words (page 67)

The extensive description on how to install Nexus and Tomcat could probably be jumped, assuming there is enough documentation on Google already for that.

Chapter 4 (Reporting and Documentation) is the one I've enjoyed the most, since it delivers practical snippets to setup your Maven site reporting, checkstlyle, javadocs and more; this is something that — within the project — tends to be forgotten/avoided/de-prioritized due to different reasons; Maven provides an extremely powerful set of tools to automatize these processes, which are properly described and tested in this chapter. Different Maven recipes for different goals, in different languages, plus IDE integration and write your first Maven Plugin

(Chapter 5 to 9)

In general, it's a good collection of snippets and recipes; of course you can always find nicer/better/newer snippets of the very same thing on Google and you can probably adopt them with less hassle; on the other hand, there are some extremely useful examples of technologies involving some custom configuration (see Hibernate) or a deeper understanding of the different tools involved (i.e. the Android SDK)

Chapter 5 (Java Development with Maven) explains a very nice and clean Hibernate project using hibernate3-maven-plugin and delivers a very clean structure; I wasn't extremely surprised by the configurations of Seam and Spring, very basic. Maybe I was expecting some examples on how to deliver multi-environment setup using resource filtering

Chapter 6 (Google Development with Maven) is the second chapter I've enjoyed the most (maybe because I don't have an extensive experience with Google Development platform); the entire environment setup is nicely described and allows you to be up and running in a very short time, but with full control on your build processes.

Chapter 7 (Scala, Groovy, and Flex) contains some snippets to start with the mentioned languages and use Maven as build tool; it does not provide a lot of very specific information, everything can be reached on the Web with no hassle, but it's nice to have it for completeness, especially for teams that adopt different programming languages of these for the same project. Maybe Clojure was worth to be mentioned.

Chapter 8 (IDE integration) provides an explanation on how to setup your IDE (if you use IntelliJ Idea, Eclipse or Netbeans) with Maven. There are many screenshots that help you with the configuration; all mentioned IDEs all provide a solid and intuitive way to configure Maven and most of the times you don't need to follow a tutorial. Nice to have it for completeness.

Chapter 9 (Extending Apache Maven) is a quick tour on how to write your own plugin using different languages; the main goal of the chapter is to make the reader aware that it is very simple to build your own plugin/behavior and that you can use different languages, but it cannot be considered a guideline for Maven Plugin Development. Conclusions

Maven 3 Cookbook is a great contribution to the Maven Community and I am happy to have it reviewed; it does not cover everything for sure, but gives you a very quick start on Maven and remarks what are the most important aspects of a software lifecycle providing simple examples; it is definitely a nice reading for someone that has never used Maven.

From a general perspective, the book is well written, it provides a clear chapter structure and a high readability; the Maven archetypes provided by Packt are very useful and save a lot of time copy/pasting code if you want to run the examples.

The Maven expert could get a bit bored with this reading, although there are some very nice considerations and snippets, especially on Chapter 3, 4 and 6.

Although the book covers and amazing amount of topics, yet being able to keep it simple and readable, some important topics are missing; I strongly advise to deepen your Maven know-how reading also

Many thanks to Packt Publishing for providing me a digital copy of the book!"
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Network

+ - Searching for balloons in a social network->

Submitted by djeps
djeps (2463954) writes "The Red Balloon Challenge, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense, laid out a simple objective: Use social media to identify the GPS coordinates for all 10 balloons, suspended at fixed locations across the country. The first team to do so would win $40,000. The challenge, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Internet, highlighted social networking’s potential to solve widely distributed, time-sensitive problems."
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FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A cucumber is not a vegetable but a fruit.

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