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+ - How The Internet Of Things Could Aid Disaster Response->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "While the Internet has made communications easier, that ease had made us very dependent on the Internet for communications — and, when disaster strikes, power and infrastructure outages tend to shut down those communications networks when we need them most. But now researchers are examining how the so-called "Internet of Things" — the proliferating array of Internet-communicating devices in our lives — can transmit emergency messages via ad-hoc networks even when the Internet backbone in a region is inoperable."
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+ - When Google Sells Your Data, It Might Be Illegally Killing Your Phone's Battery

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Personal information about you and your browsing, email, and app-using habits is regularly sent between apps on your Android phone, a potentially illegal practice that could be killing your battery life. A federal judge ruled that the claim, raised in a class action lawsuit against the company, "requires a heavily and inherently fact-bound inquiry."
That means that there's a good chance we're about to get a look into the ins and outs of Google's advertising backbone: what information is shared with who, and when."

+ - Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons ->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured.""

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Comment: Re:no thanks (Score 4, Insightful) 163

by jenningsthecat (#47512733) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

> In short, the designers are (willfully?) ignorant of the fact that > not everyone uses their web browser exactly the same way > they do.

Aren't you make that mistake yourself?

No, he's not making the same mistake. He's perfectly willing to let others use the new design and features - he just wants a way to keep the old behaviour, and so do I.

> Any time they change the interface, add an easy-to-find > checkbox under the options to restore the old functionality.

That leads to an explosion of difficult-to-understand checkboxes in the UI, and an unmaintainable mess under the hood.

I'm not very well qualified to comment on the 'unmaintainable mess', but it smells fishy to me. If Pale Moon can keep the old behaviour while incorporating the new security enhancements, surely Mozilla can keep the old UI and the new one without compromising maintainability. Especially since addon designers have been doing pretty much that for your users for 25 or more releases. And as for the 'difficult to understand check boxes', scratch them. Just give us a well documented set of 'about:config' entries that are already present and prefixed with something like "old behaviour" so can go to one block of entries, change them all, and be done. Heck, you could boil it down to ONE entry called 'browser.pre_australis_mode'.

I'm pretty sure that won't happen though, not because it's too much work, but because Mozilla is hell bent on me-tooing their way into the future with all the other browser makers whose attitude is 'screw the users'. So in the meantime I'm using Pale Moon. Yes, I see the apparent hypocrisy in that decision. I hope Mozilla sees the hypocrisy of bringing private corporation attitudes to their ostensibly FOSS organization.

Comment: Re:no thanks (Score 3, Informative) 163

by jenningsthecat (#47512609) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

I'll install it when that godawful Australis interface is rolled back or replaced with something less eye-bleedingly bad

If enough of us move to Pale Moon, (it's all I've used since shortly after Australis first shat all over my computer screen), then perhaps Mozilla will get the hint that we love Firefox, but hate what it's become. And if they don't get the hint, well, then we're supporting a viable alternative for the time when Mozilla gets eaten by the shark it just jumped.

BTW, although the Linux version of Pale Moon is 'unofficial' and maintained by somebody outside the organization, I've had no trouble running it under Debian Jessie with all of my usual addons.

Comment: With all this progress on HIV, (Score 1) 62

by jenningsthecat (#47512459) Attached to: Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

I'm astonished that they haven't made more progress on cancer. I know it's like comparing apples and oranges, and I realize that cancer is a whole bunch of diseases while HIV is a handful of strains of the same virus. Still, cancer research has been very heavily funded for far longer than HIV research. Yet it seems that very little progress has been made on cancer beyond 'cut it out, poison it, nuke it', while attempts at eliminating HIV seem more subtle and nuanced by comparison. I know I'm probably missing something important here; anyone care to enlighten me? TIA.

+ - UK to use Open Document Format for government documents->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "UK has decided to use ‘open standards’ for sharing and viewing government documents. The announcement was made by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. One of the primary objectives of this move is to create a level playing field for suppliers of all sizes. The move must put some pressure on Google to offer full support for ODF in Chrome, Android and Google Docs."
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Comment: Even regular sonar wreaks havoc on marine life (Score 4, Informative) 272

When sonar is used, it can create sound pressure levels of 140dB 300 miles from the source . The sound is so excruciating that whales will surface too fast and get the bends, and/or beach themselves, just to escape the sound.

Yup, let's rape our irreplaceable planet some more while torturing innocent, intelligent creatures. After all, they aren't human, and our comfort, convenience, and entertainment are so much more important than their lives.

+ - Google, CNN Leaders in "Advertising Pollution" 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""Everyone gets that advertising is what powers the internet, and that our favorite sites wouldn't exist without it," writes longtime ad guy Ken Segall in The Relentless (and annoying) Pursuit of Eyeballs. "Unfortunately, for some this is simply license to abuse. Let's call it what it is: advertising pollution." CNN's in-your-face, your-video-will-play-in-00:25-seconds approach, once unthinkable, has become the norm. "Google," Segall adds, "is a leader in advertising pollution, with YouTube being a showcase for intrusive advertising. Many YouTube videos start with a mandatory ad, others start with an ad that can be dismissed only after the first 10 seconds. Even more annoying are the ad overlays that actually appear on top of the video you're trying to watch. It won't go away until you click the X. If you want to see the entire video unobstructed, you must drag the playhead back to start over. Annoying. And disrespectful." Google proposed using cap and trade penalties to penalize traditional polluters — how about for those who pollute the Internet?"

Comment: Re:Give Rogers credit (Score 1) 55

Rogers... one of the most evil corporations ever created.

I'm a Canadian, and I used to be a Rogers customer. Yes, they are evil, but they're nowhere near the top of the evilness ladder. Monsanto, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma make companies like Rogers look positively saintly by comparison.

+ - The Placebo Effect occurs with Computer Applications too

Submitted by vrml
vrml (3027321) writes "In medicine, it is well-known that sugar pills sometimes produce the same effects as real drugs (Placebo Effect). But could that happen with computers too? Can it be that the things a computer application claims to do are “all in our mind” and the app is actually a sham? The first scientific study of the Placebo Effect in computing, just published by the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies , gives an affirmative answer. The experiment considered affective computing, that is those fancy applications that claim to know user’s emotions by detecting physiological parameters with sensors. Researchers took two well-known affective computing systems and used them to control in real-time the state of an avatar that looked more and more nervous as users’ stress level increased, and more and more relaxed as it decreased. But they also considered a third system in which, unbeknown to users, the sensors were disconnected from the computer and the avatar state was controlled by a random stream of physiological data instead of the real user’s data. Results show that participants believed that the sham application was able to display their stress level. Even worse, only one of the two (costly) affective computing systems produced better results than the placebo. This suggests that evaluations of such novel computer applications should include also a placebo condition, as it is routinely done in medicine but not yet in computer science."

+ - TSA don't know nothing about geography->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Does this make you feel safer? A TSA agent did not recognize a District of Columbia drivers license and did not know it is part of the United States.

When Gray handed the man his driver’s license the agent demanded to see Gray’s passport. Gray told the agent he wasn’t carrying his passport and asked why he needed it. The agent said he didn’t recognize the license. Gray said he asked the agent if he knew what the District of Columbia is, and after a brief conversation Gray realized the man did not know.

What was unfortunate for this particular agent was that the individual he questioned also happened to be a television news reporter.

Compliments to the American ejukashunal system."

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