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Apple

+ - Steve Jobs Yacht Revealed->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Venus, the incredible luxury yacht Steve Jobs had been designing up until his death a little over a year ago, seems to have made its first appearance as a finished product in the city of Aalsmeer in the Netherlands. Unsurprisingly, its design is breathtaking.

Reportedly designed in a joint effort between Jobs himself and Philippe Starck, the stunning ship first showed up on the blog One More Thing, which posted some stills as well as a few other details. The ship is about 230 to 260 feet long, for instance, and made entirely of aluminum, which makes it particularly light. And if you had any doubt this is Steve Jobs' yacht, there are seven 27-inch iMacs in the wheelhouse.

According to One More Thing's sources, the Jobs family will be present for the yacht's christening ceremony proper, thought it's unknown whether or not they intend to use it, or what its ultimate fate may be. Regardless of what may happen to her, she sure is a beauty. It's certainly a shame Steve Jobs never got the chance to see her finished."

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Biotech

+ - South Korean Scientists to Clone Wooly Mammoth->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last year Russian researchers discovered a well-preserved mammoth thigh bone and announced plans to clone a mammoth from the bone marrow within — and they just signed a deal with South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation to bring the project to fruition. The Sooam scientists plan to implant the nucleus of a woolly mammoth cell into an elephant egg in order to to create a mammoth embryo, which would then be placed in an elephant womb. “This will be a really tough job,” Soaam reasearcher Hwang In-Sung said, “but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals.”"
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Music

+ - Mastering Engineer Explains Types of Compression, Effects on Today's Music-> 1

Submitted by
Stowie101
Stowie101 writes "Today is Dynamic Range Day, which is an event to educate the public about the “Loudness Wars” that are compressing and harming the quality of today’s music.

Ian Shepherd, a mastering engineer and founder of Dynamic Range Day, explains why music lovers should avoid MP3 files.

"The one that springs to mind is to avoid MP3, especially if it’s 128 kbps. Apple uses a more advanced technology called AAC, but if someone can get lossless files like FLAC that’s a better place to start."

Shepherd says it’s actually harder to make a good “lossy” encode of something that has been heavily musically compressed. Very heavy dynamic compression and limiting makes MP3s sound worse, so the loudness wars indirectly make MP3s sound worse.""

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+ - European Parliament blocks copyright reform with 113% voter turnout-> 1

Submitted by mcmadman
mcmadman (868386) writes "In a bizarre turn of events. The Legal Affairs committee (JURI), which has the responsibility of safeguarding the integrity and trustworthiness of the legal framework as a whole in Europe voted recently to weaken a reform of the copyright monopoly for allowing re-publication and access to orphan works. Pieces of our cultural heritage where no copyright monopoly holder can be located. What is surprising that the voter turnout happened to be 113%. This rather embarrassing issue was pointed out to the committee, the fact that there were three votes too many, and that these three votes determined the outcome. When this was done, along with formally requesting a re-vote, that re-vote on the points in question was denied."
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Programming

+ - The Return Of The Fat App->

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Mobile devices are turning the app dev ship around, and everything old is new again, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Fat apps are making a comeback. Thanks to mobile devices, we're drifting back to the fat app model, or at least a hybrid of Web and native app. In many cases, it's not enough simply to reformat a website for mobile browsing. The user experience on mobile devices is just too different than on a PC — you can't hover over links on a tablet or use pop-up windows, for instance. You can rearrange your website's CSS all you want, but the result is usually a poor representation of the original site, shoehorned to fit on a phone or tablet. The solution? A fat app.'"
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+ - Growing Organ Market Targets Desperate Poor

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Impoverished people in developing countries are increasingly being targeted and 'exploited' in the growing black market trade of human organs, according to a paper published in the Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

A decade-long study detailing the experiences of people who were victims of flourishing worldwide market for body parts like kidneys, liver parts and corneas, found that these individuals are often manipulated by unethical brokers and organ recipients."
Biotech

+ - Why Monsanto didn't expect Roundup-resistant weeds 2

Submitted by jenningsthecat
jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From NPR comes the story of how Monsanto thought Roundup was "a herbicide with low risk for weed resistance." The explanation seems to pretty much boil down to "we had a hell of a time creating Roundup-resistant crops, so we figured Mother Nature had little or no chance".

In the face of Monsanto's hubris, Mother Nature went ahead and made 20 strains of weeds, (so far), tolerant to glyphosate. Good for her!"
Android

+ - 'Honey Stick' Project Shows Fate of Lost Smartphones->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "In order to get a look at what happens when a smartphone is lost, Symantec conducted an experiment, called the Honey Stick Project, where 50 fully-charged mobile devices were loaded with the simulated (fake) personal and corporate data and then dropped in publicly accessible spots in five different cities: New York City; Washington D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Ottawa, Canada.

Tracking showed that 96-percent of the devices were accessed once found, and 70-percent of them were accessed for personal and business related applications and information. Less than half of the people who located the intentionally lost devices attempted to locate the owner. Interestingly enough, only two phones were left unaccounted for, the others were all found.

Going further, of the devices located, 45-percent of them reported that there was an attempt to read corporate email, and the remote admin application was accessed 49-percent of the time. A file named “saved passwords” was also one of the top selections, with a 57-percent access rate. Access to social networking accounts and personal email were each attempted on over 60 percent of the devices.

The numbers shouldn't be surprising. While not everyone has malicious intent, people are curious by nature — so remember to password protect your smartphone."

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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft shows off universal translator->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Microsoft Research has shown off software that translates your spoken words into another language while preserving the accent, timbre, and intonation of your actual voice. In a demo of the prototype software, Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s chief research officer, said a long sentence in English, and then had it translated into Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin. You can definitely hear an edge of digitized “Microsoft Sam,” but overall it’s remarkable how the three translations still sound just like Rashid. The translation requires an hour of training, but after that there's no reason why it couldn't be run in real time on a smartphone, or near-real-time with a cloud backend. Imagine this tech in a two-way setup. You speak into your smartphone, and it comes out in their language. Then, the person you’re talking to speaks into your smartphone and their voice comes out in your language."
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Security

+ - Behind The Mask, Accused LulzSec Members Left Trail Of Clues Online->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "When the long arm of the law reached in to arrest members of Anonymous's senior leadership on Tuesday, speculation immediately turned to the identities of the six men behind the Guy Fawkes mask. With the benefit of hindsight, it turns out that many had been hiding in plain site, with day jobs, burgeoning online lives and — for those who knew where to look — plenty of clues about their extracurricular activities on behalf of the world's most famous hacking crew.

An investigation by Threatpost found that two of the accused, Darren Martyn (aka "pwnsauce," “raepsauce,” and “networkkitten,”) and Donncha O’Cearbhail, formerly known as Donncha Carroll (aka “Palladium”) sported outsize online footprints and made little effort to hide their affinity for hacking.

In other areas, however, Martyn (who was reported to be 25, but claimed to be 19), seemed to be on his way to bigger and better things. He was a local chapter leader of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) in Galway, Ireland. He spent some of his free time with a small collective of computer researchers with Insecurety Research, under the name “infodox.”"

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Japan

+ - Nuclear Disaster in Japan Was Avoidable

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Martin Fackler writes that Japan’s nuclear regulators say that the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 45-foot tsunami that knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were far larger than anything that scientists had predicted, but some insiders from Japan’s tightly knit nuclear industry have stepped forward to say that Tepco and regulators had for years ignored warnings of the possibility of a larger-than-expected tsunami in northeastern Japan, and thus failed to take adequate countermeasures, such as raising wave walls or placing backup generators on higher ground. “March 11 exposed the true nature of Japan’s postwar system, that it is led by bureaucrats who stand on the side of industry, not the people,” says Shigeaki Koga, a former director of industrial policy at the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry. Eight years ago, as a member of an influential cabinet office committee on offshore earthquakes in northeastern Japan, Kunihiko Shimazaki, professor emeritus of seismology at the University of Tokyo, warned that Fukushima’s coast was vulnerable to tsunamis more than twice as tall as the forecasts of up to 17 feet put forth by regulators and Tepco but government bureaucrats running the committee moved quickly to exclude his views from debate as too speculative and “pending further research.” Then in 2008, Tepco's own engineers made three separate sets of calculations that showed that Fukushima Daiichi could be hit by tsunamis as high as 50 feet. “They completely ignored me in order to save Tepco money," says Shimazaki."
Government

+ - Illinois: Law barring recording cops unconstitutional-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A Cook County judge today ruled the state’s controversial eavesdropping law unconstitutional.

The law makes it a felony offense to make audio recordings of police officers without their consent even when they’re performing their public duties.

Judge Stanley Sacks, who is assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, found the eavesdropping law unconstitutional because it potentially criminalizes “wholly innocent conduct.”

The decision came in the case of Christopher Drew, an artist who was arrested in December 2009 for selling art on a Loop street without a permit. Drew was charged with a felony violation of the eavesdropping law after he used an audio recorder in his pocket to capture his conversations with police during his arrest."

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Privacy

+ - Should have seen it coming: Twitter sold your tweets->

Submitted by JR-Fire
JR-Fire (2547186) writes "That's right. After introducing censorship (http://mashable.com/2012/01/26/twitter-to-censor/) and ads in your stream (http://www.shoemoney.com/2010/04/20/want-to-advertise-on-twitter-with-promoted-tweets-here-is-the-skinny), Twitter finally gave — your old tweets, to the marketers. From the article,
“You thought that tweets you posted months ago had vanished, or were simply hidden away so deeply and awkwardly on the Twitter website that they would be too difficult to uncover? Think again,” Graham Cluley from security firm Sophos says, as quoted by The Daily Mail web edition.

It turns out that Twitter had archived every tweet and will now be rewarded for its ingenuity. Datasift, for instance, will charge companies up to £10,000 a month to analyze tweets posted each day for anything said about their products and services."

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Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein

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