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+ - Scientists craft seamless, ultrathin semiconductor junctions->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Scientists have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three atoms thick. The University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that two of these single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless fashion known as a heterojunction. This result could be the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, and solar technologies.

“Heterojunctions are fundamental elements of electronic and photonic devices,” said senior author Xiaodong Xu, a UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering and of physics. “Our experimental demonstration of such junctions between two-dimensional materials should enable new kinds of transistors, LEDs, nanolasers, and solar cells to be developed for highly integrated electronic and optical circuits within a single atomic plane.”

The research was published online this week in Nature Materials. The researchers discovered that two flat semiconductor materials can be connected edge-to-edge with crystalline perfection. They worked with two single-layer, or monolayer, materials – molybdenum diselenide and tungsten diselenide – that have very similar structures, which was key to creating the composite two-dimensional semiconductor."

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+ - gcc LTO reduces firefox package size by 50%-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Link Time Optimization used to be a lot of promise for little gain, and typically unable to deal with packages in the MSLOC range. Seemingly no longer. Reported in gcc's bugzilla is an impressive result for firefox:
'Firefox since version 30 as well as Thunderbird since version 31 both compile fine with LTO enabled without the need of any additional patches. The package size was reduced by 51% (firefox ~420MB -> ~207MB) and 59% (thunderbird ~480MB -> ~200MB). Both programs work as intended, no crashes or unexpected behaviour so far.'
Has time come to rebuild the world using LTO ?"

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+ - Amazing New Invention: A Nail Polish That Detects Date Rape Drugs->

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "Checking to see if your drink has been tampered with is about to get a whole lot more discreet. Thanks to the work of four North Carolina State University undergrads, you’ll soon be able to find out without reaching for a testing tool. That’s because you’ll already have five of them on each hand. The team — Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney — has come up with a creative and unobtrusive way to package chemicals that react when exposed to Rohypnol and GHB. They put it in nail polish that they’re calling Undercover Colors."
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+ - Cooking the climate numbers in Australia 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A comparison of the raw climate data with the adjusted numbers released by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology shows that the adjustments have routinely turned the trends from cooling to warming.

This is the same finding that Steven Goddard and others in the U.S. found when they did the same comparison of NASA and NOAA numbers. In every case the adjustments either cooled the past or warmed the present in order to accentuate the appearance of a warming trend, sometimes in complete contradiction of numbers that had been accepted by scientists for decades.

So, does this mean the climate isn’t warming? No. What it means is we haven’t the slightest idea what’s happening, since the data has now been corrupted so badly that it is almost meaningless."

+ - Oregon Sues Oracle for an "Abysmal" Healthcare Website 1

Submitted by SpzToid
SpzToid (869795) writes "The state of Oregon sued Oracle America Inc. and six of its top executives Friday, accusing the software giant of fraud for failing to deliver a working website for the Affordable Care Act program.

The 126-page lawsuit claims Oracle has commmitted fraud, lies, and "a pattern of activity that has cost the State and Cover Oregon hundreds of millions of dollars".

"Not only were Oracle's claims lies, Oracle's work was abysmal", the lawsuit said. Oregon paid Oracle about $240.3 million for a system that never worked, the suit said.

“Today’s lawsuit clearly explains how egregiously Oracle has disserved Oregonians and our state agencies”, said Oregon Atty. Gen. Ellen Rosenblum in a written statement. “Over the course of our investigation, it became abundantly clear that Oracle repeatedly lied and defrauded the state. Through this legal action, we intend to make our state whole and make sure taxpayers aren’t left holding the bag.”

Oregon’s suit, alleges that Oracle, the largest tech contractor working on the website, made falsely convinced officials to buy “hundreds of millions of dollars of Oracle products and services that failed to perform as promised.” It is seeking $200 million in damages.

Oracle issued a statement saying the suit "is a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project. The complaint is a fictional account of the Oregon Healthcare Project.""

+ - I Contain Multitudes->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Your DNA is supposed to be your blueprint, your unique master code, identical in every one of your tens of trillions of cells. It is why you are you, indivisible and whole, consistent from tip to toe.

But that’s really just a biological fairy tale. In reality, you are an assemblage of genetically distinctive cells, some of which have radically different operating instructions. This fact has only become clear in the last decade. Even though each of your cells supposedly contains a replica of the DNA in the fertilized egg that began your life, mutations, copying errors and editing mistakes began modifying that code as soon as your zygote self began to divide. In your adult body, your DNA is peppered by pinpoint mutations, riddled with repeated or rearranged or missing information, even lacking huge chromosome-sized chunks. Your data is hopelessly corrupt."

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+ - Scientists baffled by unknown source of CFCs 3

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Scientists have found that, despite their complete ban since 2007, ozone-depleting CFCs are still being pumped into the atmosphere from some unknown source.

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), which was once used in applications such as dry cleaning and as a fire-extinguishing agent, was regulated in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol along with other chlorofluorocarbons that destroy ozone and contribute to the ozone hole over Antarctica. Parties to the Montreal Protocol reported zero new CCl4 emissions between 2007-2012.

However, the new research shows worldwide emissions of CCl4 average 39 kilotons (about 43,000 U.S. tons) per year, approximately 30 percent of peak emissions prior to the international treaty going into effect. "We are not supposed to be seeing this at all," said Qing Liang, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study published online in the Aug. 18 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. "It is now apparent there are either unidentified industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or unknown CCl4 sources."

Note: CCI4s were previously referred to as CFCs, which is to the public the more familiar abbreviation.

That there seems to be an unknown source of CFCs suggests strongly that the entire theory of CFCs destroying the ozone layer is faulty. If CFCs were being produced naturally in the past then the ozone layer should not exist based on this theory. That it does exist says the CFCs are not harmful to it and were banned unnecessarily."

+ - Training Materials Leaked from Comcast

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Ars Technica and the Verge report how leaked training manuals from Comcast show how selling services is a required part of the job, even for employees doing tech support. The so-called "the 4S training material" explicitly states that 20 percent of a call center employee’s rating for a given call is dependent on effectively selling the customer new Comcast services.
"There are pages of materials on 'probing' customers to ferret out upsell opportunities, as well as on batting aside customer objections to being told they need to buy something. 'We can certainly look at other options, but you would lose which you mentioned was important to you,' the guide suggests clumsily saying to an angry customer who doesn’t want to buy any more Comcast services."
Images of the leaked documents are posted on the Verge, making for fun reading."

+ - Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto over Internet Governance->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The debate over Internet governance for much of the past decade has often come down to a battle between ICANN and the United Nations. The reality has always been far more complicated. The U.S. still maintains contractual control over ICANN, while all governments exert considerable power within the ICANN model through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Now governments are looking for even more power, seeking a near-complete veto power of ICANN decisions."
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+ - Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars?

Submitted by Rick Zeman
Rick Zeman (15628) writes "Wired has an interesting article on the possibility of selectable ethical choices in robotic autonomous cars.

From the article: The way this would work is one customer may set the car (which he paid for) to jealously value his life over all others; another user may prefer that the car values all lives the same and minimizes harm overall; yet another may want to minimize legal liability and costs for herself; and other settings are possible.
Philosophically, this opens up an interesting debate about the oft-clashing ideas of morality vs. liability."

+ - Demilitarize the police – and stop flinging false racism charges->

Submitted by Frankie70
Frankie70 (803801) writes "Eric S Raymond feels that the local civil police in the U.S. are too heavily armed and in many places have developed an adversarial attitude towards the civilians they serve, one that makes police overreactions and civil violence almost inevitable.

However, he also feels that there is another injustice being done here: the specific assumption, common among civil libertarians, that police overreactions are being driven by institutional racism. He believes this is dangerously untrue and actually impedes effective thinking about how to prevent future outrages."

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+ - World's Fastest Camera Captures 4.4 TRILLION Frames Per Second->

Submitted by Diggester
Diggester (2492316) writes "The race for faster and more furious just got big in the imaging and photography department. Japanese researchers have recently designed a motion picture camera which is capable of capturing 4.4 trillion frames per second. That’s right; it makes this snapper the fastest the world over. This technique that is known to be STAMP (sequentially timed all-optical mapping photography) is able to boast 450×450 pixels. The work by the Japanese researchers has been so popular that the Nature Photonics has published it."
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+ - Hemp fibres make better supercapacitors than graphene->

Submitted by biodata
biodata (1981610) writes "BBC News is reporting findings published in the journal ACS Nano by Dr David Mitlin's group from Clarkson University, New York.
"We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price — and we're doing it with waste."
"The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all — so there's no overlap with any recreational activities."
Dr. Mitlin's team took waste hemp stems and recycled the material into supercapacitors with performance as good, or better, than those built from graphene, at a fraction of the raw materials cost."

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+ - Burger Robot Poised to Disrupt Fast Food Industry->

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "The company that makes a robot that produces a quality burger in 10 seconds is taking greater responsibility for the disruptive force of their bot to the fast food industry. Momentum Machines recently announced an offer to help retrain workers displaced as a result of their robotic technology. Their proposal involves partnering with vocational schools to assist in the education of former workers in technician and engineer programs. Whether the company's intent will propel the further development and ultimate adoption of robotics and AI into the industry remains to be seen."
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