Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:But but but (Score 1) 311

by jdschulteis (#48618273) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

The main problem with desalination plants is that they are a risky investment. If the drought ever does end then you are basically priced out of the market and you have these big expensive desalination plants collecting dust until the next drought.

Build desalination plants on barges. Move them to the most profitable locations as needed.

+ - Brain Stimulation for Entertainment?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used for years to diagnose and treat neural disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, and depression. Soon the medical technique could be applied to virtual reality and entertainment. Neuroscientist Jeffrey Zacks writes that “it’s quite likely that some kind of electromagnetic brain stimulation for entertainment will become practical in the not-too-distant future.” Imagine an interactive movie where special effects are enhanced by zapping parts of the brain from outside to make the action more vivid. Before brain stimulation makes it to the masses, however, it has plenty of technical and safety hurdles to overcome."
Link to Original Source

+ - Curiosity Detects Mysterious Methane Spikes on Mars-> 1

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A gas strongly associated with life on Earth has been detected again in the Martian atmosphere, opening a new chapter in a decade-old mystery about the on-again, off-again appearance of methane on Mars. The latest discovery comes from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which in addition to analyzing rocks and soil samples, is sniffing the air at its Gale Crater landing site. A year ago, scientists reported that Curiosity had come up empty-handed after an eight-month search for methane in the atmosphere, leaving earlier detections by ground-based telescopes and Mars-orbiting spacecraft an unexplained anomaly. “We thought we had closed the book on methane. It was disappointing to a lot of people that there wasn’t significant methane on Mars, but that’s where we were,” Curiosity scientist Christopher Webster with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told Discovery News."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: How Can a Liberal Arts Major Get into STEM?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I graduated with a degree in the liberal arts (English) in 2010 after having transferred from a Microbiology program (not for lack of ability, but for an enlightening class wherein we read "Portrait of the Artist"). Now, a couple years on, I'm 25, and though I very much appreciate my education for having taught me a great deal about abstraction, critical thinking, research, communication, and cheesily enough, humanity, I realize that I should have stuck in the STEM field. I've found that the jobs available to me are not exactly up my alley, and that I can better impact the world, and make myself happier, doing something STEM related (preferably within the space industry--so not really something that's easy to just jump into). With a decent amount of student debt already amassed, how can I best break into the STEM world? I'm already taking online courses where I can, and enjoy doing entry-level programming, maths, etc.

Should I continue picking things up where and when I can? Would it be wiser for me to go deeper into debt and get a second undergrad degree? Or should I try to go into grad school after doing some of my own studying up? Would the military be a better choice? Would it behoove me to just start trying to find STEM jobs and learn on the go (I know many times experience speaks louder to employers than a college degree might)? Or perhaps I should find a non-STEM job with a company that would allow me to transfer into that company's STEM work? I'd be particularly interested in hearing from people who have been in my position and from employers who have experience with employees who were in my position, but any insight would be welcome."

+ - SPAM: Holiday cheer - robot style!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Our first holiday robot video of the season is in! Check out how these robots party, from the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich’s Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems."
Link to Original Source

+ - Security Alert at Parliament as Westminster Brought to a Standstill->

Submitted by WestminSecurity
WestminSecurity (3646589) writes "Security Alert at Westminster Palace as Suspect ‘device’ found
A mobile phone and drinks bottle sparks security alert at The houses of Parliament, Westminster brought to a temporary standstill as roads are cordoned off and people advised not to use mobile phones near suspected device. James Kirkup, Political Editor at The Telegraph reports:

A section of the Palace of Westminster in the shadow of Big Ben was evacuated in a brief security alert after an X-ray detected a mobile phone and a drinks bottle.
Police and security officers cordoned off a section of the Parliamentary estate around New Palace Yard, next to the base of the clock tower.
One officer said the alert was triggered after an X-ray operator at the Parliament visitor centre detected what appeared to be a mobile phone connected to a liquid bottle in a bag.
Specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police, wearing rubber gloves, were called and inspected the package.
It transpired that the phone was not connected to the bottle.

Security Alert at Big Ben

The security alert comes just 2 months after it was announced that cut backs had to be made to the security budget, and that some of the policing roles at The Palace of Westminster would be replaced by private security contractors. Although the Met Police would continue to have an armed presence at Parliament. Some MPs have expressed their concerns that security companies may employ agency staff, who have had little training and not yet completed vetting.

Police at the palace warned people not to use their mobile phones “for your own safety”, the roads around Parliament square were closed off to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from passing in front of the Houses of Parliament. A 30 meter cordon was in place across the square to keep tourists away from the suspected device. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “There is a security alert. We have no further details.”

A spokesman from local London security company, Westminster Security commented: “MPs have every right to be concerned for their personal safety, they should be able to go about their daily duties without the worry that their safety is being compromised due to budget cutbacks. You seen what happened at the London Olympics, who’s to say that won’t happen again, but with fatal consequences?.”

The area around Westminster Palace was declared safe within one hour of the security alert."

Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: US Orion, Russia's future spacecraft 'to be compatible for safety' - RT->

From feed by feedfeeder

RT

US Orion, Russia's future spacecraft 'to be compatible for safety'
RT
In this image released by Nasa, the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA's Orion spacecraft lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 at at 7:05 a.m. EST, on December 5, 2014, in Florida. (AFP Photo).
NASA to narrow asteroid retrieval optionsUSA TODAY

all 30 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - BGP Hijacking Continues, Despite the Ability to Prevent It 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "BGPMon reports on a recent route hijacking event by Syria. These events continue, despite the ability to detect and prevent improper route origination: Resource Public Key Infrastructure. RPKI is technology that allows an operator to validate the proper relationship between an IP prefix and an Autonomous System. That is, assuming you can collect the certificates. ARIN requires operators accept something called the Relying Party Agreement. But the provider community seems unhappy with the agreement, and is choosing not to implement it, just to avoid the RPA, leaving the the Internet as a whole less secure."

+ - Cosmic Mystery Solved? Possible Dark Matter Signal Spotted->

Submitted by TaleSlinger
TaleSlinger (3080869) writes "Astronomers may finally have detected a signal of dark matter, the mysterious and elusive stuff thought to make up most of the material universe.

While poring over data collected by the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton spacecraft, a team of researchers spotted an odd spike in X-ray emissions coming from two different celestial objects — the Andromeda galaxy and the Perseus galaxy cluster.

  "The signal's distribution within the galaxy corresponds exactly to what we were expecting with dark matter — that is, concentrated and intense in the center of objects and weaker and diffuse on the edges," [assuming that dark matter consists of sterile neutrinos] study co-author Oleg Ruchayskiy, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, said in a statement.

"With the goal of verifying our findings, we then looked at data from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and made the same observations," added lead author Alexey Boyarsky, of EPFL and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

  Researchers have proposed a number of different exotic particles as the constituents of dark matter, including weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), axions and sterile neutrinos, hypothetical cousins of "ordinary" neutrinos (confirmed particles that resemble electrons but lack an electrical charge).

The decay of sterile neutrinos is thought to produce X-rays, so the research team suspects these may be the dark matter particles responsible for the mysterious signal coming from Andromeda and the Perseus cluster."

Link to Original Source

+ - Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Over the next 10 years, adoption of distributed power in the form of renewables such as solar power has the potential to reduce revenues to grid utilities by as much as $48 billion in the U.S. and by $75 billion in Europe, according to a new study. The study, by Accenture, revealed that utility executives are more nervous about the impact of distributed — or locally generated renewable power — than ever before. with 61% of those surveyed this year indicating they expect significant or moderate revenue reductions compared to only 43% last year. The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices for common coal or oil-powered generation in two years, and the technology to produce it will only get cheaper, according to a recent report from Deutsche Bank. New technologies, such as more efficient solar cells, are also threatening to increase efficiencies and drive adoption."
Link to Original Source

+ - Destover Malware Signed with Legit Sony Certificate->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 (2804139) writes "Researchers have discovered a new version of the Destover malware that was used in the recent Sony Pictures Entertainment breaches, and in an ironic twist, the sample is signed by a legitimate certificate stolen from Sony.

The new sample is essentially identical to an earlier version of Destover that was not signed. Destover has been used in a variety of attacks in recent years and it’s representative of the genre of malware that doesn’t just compromise machines and steal data, but can destroy information as well. The attackers who have claimed credit for the attack on Sony have spent the last couple of weeks gradually releasing large amounts of information stolen in the breach, including unreleased movies, personal data of Sony employees and sensitive security information such as digital certificates and passwords.

The new, signed version of Destover appears to have been compiled in July and was signed on Dec. 5, the day after Kaspersky Lab published an analysis of the known samples of the malware."

Link to Original Source

+ - SPAM: Lose Weight With Time-Restricted Diets

Submitted by hotboy18
hotboy18 (1128103) writes "Losing weight without counting your calories may seem unusual, but according to researchers at Salk Institute, a simple 12-hour eating period could be the key to weight loss. Snacking during bedtime has become a bad habit for many of us and it seems that burning calories continues to be a struggle. The results of this new study by researchers at the Salk Institute published in Cell Metabolism, suggests that it’s not only what we consume but when we eat it that matters the most (Salk Institute 2014).

Back in 2012, Satchidananda Panda, a Salk associate professor, demonstrated that mice which were fed a high-fat diet, but granted access to that diet for just 8 hours per day, were healthier and smaller than mice given access to the exact same food for the entire day, although the two groups consumed the same amount of calories. This new study demonstrates that the benefits of time limitation is shockingly more important than initially thought and can reverse diabetes and obesity (Salk Institute 2014).

In these days, most of the advice about how to lose weight involves nutrition or changing your diet. But what if you don’t have access to a healthy diet? Panda and his researchers sought out to find how forgiving time-restricted feeding was so he and his group subjected approximately 400 mice to a variety of diets and lengths of time restrictions (Salk Institute 2014). They discovered that the benefits of time-restricted feeding showed up regardless of the weight of the mouse, type of diet and length of the time restriction. The mice were given time limitations of 9 to 12 hours-and ate the same amount of daily calories as their unrestricted counterparts- gained less weight than the controlled subjects regardless of whether their diets were high in fat (Salk Institute).

This study basically shows that you can consume a high fat diet as long as you limit yourself to when you eat and still lose weight. Time-restriction seems to be the key in this study because the amount of calories and the type of diet didn’t make any difference. I believe that when you give your body time to disgust and break down the food, it has a positive effect on your metabolism which in turn helps you burn more calories. Eating a high fat diet between a 9 to 12-hour-window doesn’t seem difficult at all because many of us are busy working long hours to begin with.
Researchers issued some of the time-limited mice a short period of relief on weekends, allowing them free access to high-fat diets for these two days. These mice had less fat mass and gained less weight than the ones allowed a freely available, high-fat meal the entire time. Furthermore, the mice that were fed freely just on weekends appeared much similar as the mice given access to food 9 or 12 hours a day for 7 days a week, meaning that the diet can withstand some temporary interruptions (Salk Institute). The most shocking fact is that it doesn’t matter what the diet is or what period of the week it is because it worked on the weekends as well.

One of the most important facts is that the mice that were already obese by eating a freely available high-fat diet, lost weight by 5 percent within a few days, when researchers restricted their food access to a 9-hour window. Eating this way stopped the mice from gaining more weight (by nearly 25% by the end of a 38-week study) compared to the group kept on the freely available high-fat diet. This study by Panda and his researchers is a great set-up experiment for future research on the causes of diabetes, says Panda. The next step is to investigate the effects of time-restricted diets in humans. Until next time, take care and God bless!

Source: Salk Institute [spam URL stripped] “Another case against the midnight snack” 2 December 2014"

Link to Original Source

+ - Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: Is this Snowcrash for AI?-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new paper on deep learning produces snowcrash to hack deep neural networks, producing fascinating images and raising security concerns. The paper is called "Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images".

Here is the abstract:

Deep neural networks (DNNs) have recently been achieving state-of-the-art performance on a variety of pattern-recognition tasks, most notably visual classification problems. Given that DNNs are now able to classify objects in images with near-human-level performance, questions naturally arise as to what differences remain between computer and human vision. A recent study revealed that changing an image (e.g. of a lion) in a way imperceptible to humans can cause a DNN to label the image as something else entirely (e.g. mislabeling a lion a library). Here we show a related result: it is easy to produce images that are completely unrecognizable to humans, but that state-of-the-art DNNs believe to be recognizable objects with 99.99% confidence (e.g. labeling with certainty that white noise static is a lion). Specifically, we take convolutional neural networks trained to perform well on either the ImageNet or MNIST datasets and then find images with evolutionary algorithms or gradient ascent that DNNs label with high confidence as belonging to each dataset class. It is possible to produce images totally unrecognizable to human eyes that DNNs believe with near certainty are familiar objects. Our results shed light on interesting differences between human vision and current DNNs, and raise questions about the generality of DNN computer vision."

Link to Original Source

+ - Anonymous demand to Lizard Squad to stop attacking Xbox Live and PSN-> 1

Submitted by xboxfosale2
xboxfosale2 (3892093) writes "Infamous hacking group Anonymous has launched a YouTube video directed at Lizard Squad, the group claiming to be behind a series of DDoS attacks on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

Both Sony’s and Microsoft’s on-line services were disrupted once more last night, with Lizard Squad claiming to be behind the attacks.

In the video, Anonymous demands that Lizard Squad stops attacking gaming communities otherwise they're going to come back come them.

"You have made countless threats against Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. You have taken down their servers with relentless Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks," says Anonymous.
"If you continue to attempt to attack the gaming communities we will take action against you. What you are doing is wrong. You are taking away the fun and enjoyment of children as well as adults. You have no real reason for taking down their servers. Your only goal is to see how far you get without getting caught. Quit while you’re ahead because the FBI is watching you and they will find you and Anonymous will help and support them. You said your next attack on Christmas Day. We will stop at nothing to ensure that you never attack the gaming communities again. You have been warned. We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Lizard Squad expect us.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Every weapon, armored truck, and plane the Pentagon gave to local police->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "You may have heard that the image-conscious Los Angeles Unified School District chose to return the grenade launchers it received from the Defense Department’s surplus equipment program. You probably have not heard about some of the more obscure beneficiaries of the Pentagon giveaway, but now you can after MuckRock got the Department of Defense to release the full database, letting anyone browse what gear their local department has received."
Link to Original Source

An authority is a person who can tell you more about something than you really care to know.

Working...