writes: Like we do, most bacteria respire, that is they convert carbon containing compounds, into carbon dioxide and water, and as an outcome of this process generate cellular energy. Unfortunately, for us there are far more bacteria on the planet that there are people and as a consequence bacteria produce rather a lot of carbon dioxide. In fact the microbes that break down plant matter in soil release 55 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, which represents around eight times the amount that humans are putting into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. As the temperature of our planet increases, we will inevitably alter the activity of planet’s microbes and through this fundamentally their impact on the Earth’s climate
writes: The Telegraph reports: "Microsoft has revealed it is the latest high-profile internet company to have its computer system hacked.
The software giant said it experienced a "security intrusion" similar to those suffered by social media site Facebook and technology company Apple earlier this month.
In a blog posted on its website, Microsoft insisted that there was no evidence of customer data being taken.
It said a small number of computers, including some of its Apple Mac computers – which are reputed to be targeted less by viruses compared to Windows computers.
Matt Thomlinson, general manager of Microsoft's trustworthy computing security team, said: "This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries."
Last week Apple announced it had been hit by malicious software, known as malware, which took advantage of a vulnerability in a Java program used as a plug in for web browsing programs.Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: Looks like someone in government is finally waking up that some employers are rorting the scheme to access to cheap foriegn labour.Link to Original Source
writes: Microsoft is getting hip again, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, but Google with Android still the coolest kid in school, Apple doing great as well. The polling organization asked the US's finest 18 and 29-year-olds what the coolest tech brands are, allowing them to give a 'thumb up' for brands they liked. Interestingly, for the first time in a long while around half answered Microsoft. The opinion was that Microsoft is cooler now than it was a year or two ago. 'It's more customizable, and not as rigid as an Apple phone, where you have to buy all the products from Apple. If you want a ringtone, you don't have to pay iTunes. I know Apple is the cool, hip brand right now, but if Microsoft keeps coming out with new tech I'm sure it'll be back soon.', Josh Johnson, a 24-year-old media arts student at the University of South Carolina commented. Although 'coolness' remains, at best, an amorphous concept, consumer perceptions are pivotal in determining the longevity of products, particularly in the fast-moving consumer electronics industry. The survey 'definitely shows that Microsoft's efforts are paying off, but we'll have to see how cool translates into customers,' said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg.
writes: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a "policy memorandum" today requiring any federal agency with over $100 million in R&D expenditures each year to develop plans for making all research funded by that agency freely available to the public within one year of publication in any peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The full memorandum is available on the White House website. It appears that this policy would not only apply to federal agencies conducting research, but also to any university, private corporation, or other entity conducting research that arises from federal funding. For those in academia and the public at large, this is a huge step towards free open access to publicly funded research.Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported and tweeted that Marissa Mayer (CEO since July 2012) has just sent an all-hands email ending Yahoo's policy of allowing remote employees. Hundreds of workers have been given the choice: start showing up for work at HQ (which would require relocation in many cases), or resign. (They can forget about Yahoo advice pieces like this). Mayer has also been putting her stamp on Yahoo's new home page, which was rolled out Wednesday. She's also been fixing the customer service 'hold' music. Oh yeah, and she recently gave birth to a baby boy.
writes: U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) will be starting a new caucus with the ostensible purpose of protecting the intellectual property rights of filmmakers, musicians and other artists. The new caucus, styled the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, will be formed along with Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC). Chu's office released a statement, including the following:
Link to Original Source
American innovation hinges on creativity – it is what allows our kids to dream big and our artists to create works that inspire us all. The jobs that result are thanks entirely to our willingness to foster creative talent, and an environment where it can thrive and prosper." [...] The Congressional Creative Rights Caucus will serve to educate Members of Congress and the general public about the importance of preserving and protecting the rights of the creative community in the U.S. American creators of motion pictures, music, software and other creative works rely on Congress to protect their copyrights, human rights, First Amendment rights and property rights.
writes: NASA is now doing research on a reviewed paper related to the old "cold fusion" experiments. The video in the link shows a few flashes of the paper by Widom and Larsen which include a possible hint about Boeing's problem.
To oversimplify, the paper suggests that protons from H2 absorb an electron to make a slow neutron that can fuse with a nearby nucleus and release energy. The first step is the complicated one — conditions to make it happen are poorly understood.
Included in the flash of the paper is mention of Lithium as the neutron target. Now lithium nuclei have a very high energy reaction with neutrons, and it could be that Boeing had the bad luck to get those conditions just right.
It would be easy to test by running some material through a mass spec looking for Li4.Link to Original Source
writes: In yet another fascinating example of insects being smarter than we give them credit for, this arstechnica article describes how fruit flies are able to fight back against deadly wasps by using alcohol. From the article:
A study in today's issue of Science suggests fruit flies are capable of medicating not only themselves but their offspring as well. And their medication of choice? Alcohol.
The threat for these flies is any of a number of small, parasitic wasps. These wasps lay eggs on the larva or pupa of the flies, and their offspring feed on the animal internally, often killing them in the process. (Flies have larval stages, during which we call them maggots, and pupate just as butterflies do before emerging in their adult form.) Once infected, there isn't much one of the larva can do to get rid of the parasite.
Its one option: booze. Fruit flies, as their name implies, like to dine on fruit, especially during the larval stages. In many cases, that involves ingesting the alcohol that's produced by natural fermentation of rotting fruit (this can approach 20 percent alcohol content). Some species of flies have developed the ability to tolerate this alcohol as they chew through the fruit as maggots. But for most of the wasp species, even moderate levels of alcohol are toxic.Link to Original Source
writes: The BBC reports that Google engineers have surprisingly discovered that the impact of heavy use and high temperatures on hard disk drive failure may be overstated.
From the article: "Google employs its own file system to organise the storage of data, using inexpensive commercially available hard drives rather than bespoke systems. Hard drives less than three years old and used a lot are less likely to fail than similarly aged hard drives that are used infrequently, according to the report."
An anonymous reader writes: An anonymous reader writes
Most anyone working in the corporate world has heard of "buzzword" bingo
. This is a game played most often alone in one's head while listening to mid-level management types discussing topics about which they have little actual understanding. In his latest article, Watching The Herd unlocks the secret of why those who master the craft of modern corporate doublespeak
are those most likely to be promoted to ever-higher levels of incompetence.
writes: For some crazy reason, Microsoft makes you firstly buy the 32-bit version of Vista, then order a CD of the equivalent 64-bit version online. The issue has started to grate on some users. "Imagine going into a shop and buying a music CD only to get it home and open it up and find a bit of paper inside telling you to go online to pay to have the actual CD mailed out to you at an additional cost," wrote one.
writes: Lawrence Watt Evans has been serializing novels using a donation strategy. His traditional publishers found weren't interested in the series, but his fans were. His second novel is almost done at http://www.ethshar.com/thevondishambassador0.html.
This seems to be an interesting alternative to the current publishing mechanisms, where the readers and writer can use the internet directly to get a book published, that the traditional publishing house wasn't interested in.