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+ - Ancient Ocean Flows Beneath Virginia->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Salty water flowing through rocks more than 1 kilometer beneath eastern Virginia came from the Atlantic Ocean when it was much smaller and saltier than today, a new study suggests. Researchers drilled samples at sites along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, analyzing water that had been trapped in the rocks as much as 1.7 kilometers below the surface. From the concentrations of helium dissolved in that water, as well as the types of microfossils in the rocks, the team estimated the sediments had been laid down offshore of an ancient coastline between 100 million and 145 million years ago. At that time, the nascent North Atlantic was much narrower than it is today and was a largely enclosed basin surrounded by land—which, along with the warmer climate of the time, helps explain why the long-trapped water is almost twice as salty as today’s seawater. Geologists have long been interested in the area because an asteroid slammed into the Chesapeake Bay about 35 million years ago, blasting a more-than-80-kilometer-wide crater. Despite that crust-shattering impact, the rocks more than 1 kilometer below the surface still retain their original complement of ancient salt water."
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+ - DRM to be used in Renault Electric Cars->

Submitted by mahiskali
mahiskali (1410019) writes "Cup holder? Check. Steering wheel? Check. DRM...for your battery? The new Renault Zoe comes with a "feature" that absolutely nobody wants. Instead of selling consumers a complete car that they can use, repair, and upgrade as they see fit, Renault has opted to lock purchasers into a rental contract with a battery manufacturer and enforce that contract with digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that can remotely prevent the battery from charging at all. This coming on the heels of the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership IP Rights Chapter leak certainly makes you wonder how much of that device (car?) you really own. Perhaps Merriam-Webster can simply change the definition of ownership."
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+ - Soylent: the Future of Food, the End of Family Time?->

Submitted by hypnobuddha
hypnobuddha (2743161) writes "Soylent, the so-called food replacement intended to supply all of a human body’s daily nutritional needs, is poised to disrupt the food industry and become a multi-billion dollar industry. But if society-at-large embraces this 'anti-food' and eschews food, what will become of family dinner time? Are the benefits of not eating Real Food be a fatal blow to families?"
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+ - The Mysterious Malware that Jumps Airgaps

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Dan Goodwin writes at Ars Technica about a rootkit that seems straight out of a science-fiction thriller. According to security consultant Dragos Ruiu one day his MacBook Air, on which he had just installed a fresh copy of OS X, spontaneously updated the firmware that helps it boot. Stranger still, when Ruiu then tried to boot the machine off a CD ROM, it refused and he also found that the machine could delete data and undo configuration changes with no prompting. Next a computer running the Open BSD operating system also began to modify its settings and delete its data without explanation or prompting and further investigation showed that multiple variants of Windows and Linux were also affected. But the story gets stranger still. Ruiu began observing encrypted data packets being sent to and from an infected laptop that had no obvious network connection with—but was in close proximity to—another badBIOS-infected computer. The packets were transmitted even when the laptop had its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards removed. Ruiu also disconnected the machine's power cord so it ran only on battery to rule out the possibility it was receiving signals over the electrical connection. Even then, forensic tools showed the packets continued to flow over the airgapped machine. Then, when Ruiu removed internal speaker and microphone connected to the airgapped machine, the packets suddenly stopped. With the speakers and mic intact, Ruiu said, the isolated computer seemed to be using the high-frequency connection to maintain the integrity of the badBIOS infection as he worked to dismantle software components the malware relied on. It's too early to say with confidence that what Ruiu has been observing is a USB-transmitted rootkit that can burrow into a computer's lowest levels and use it as a jumping off point to infect a variety of operating systems with malware that can't be detected. It's even harder to know for sure that infected systems are using high-frequency sounds to communicate with isolated machines. But after almost two weeks of online discussion, no one has been able to rule out these troubling scenarios, either. "It looks like the state of the art in intrusion stuff is a lot more advanced than we assumed it was," says Ruiu. "The take-away from this is a lot of our forensic procedures are weak when faced with challenges like this. A lot of companies have to take a lot more care when they use forensic data if they're faced with sophisticated attackers.""

+ - World's First 1MW Wave Energy Power Plant->

Submitted by Stolzy
Stolzy (2656399) writes "According to this article by Inhabitat, the world's first ever 1MW wave energy power plant has been launched off the coast of South Australia. According to the article, "The wave energy converter was developed with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and it will undergo tests over the next 12 months to determine how well it feeds into the national power grid." The project's full cost came to around $8 million AUD (around US$7.6 million, or €5.55 million).

If all goes well they are planning on releasing a full 10MW device in the future.

Their design incorporates using high pressure air to flow through turbines which then generates the electricity. I personally wonder what the cost of energy to produce the device is compared to the cost of energy to be produced by this design."

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+ - NASA uses a fleet of satellites to record huge sun eruption->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "NASA has used its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to capture a huge eruption and coronal mass ejection on the left side of the sun that occurred on May 1. Such eruptions are by no means small, and the SDO can only view so much of the ejection. But NASA doesn’t just have one satellite looking at the sun, it has a whole team of them working together known as the Heliophysics fleet.

So that data has been compiled to create a fantastic video showing the eruption up to 13.5 million miles out using footage from the SDO, SOHO, and STEREO satellites."

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+ - Girl Receives Synthetic Trachea Made With Her Stem Cells->

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "A toddler born without a trachea has received the first completely fabricated trachea that utilizes stem cells enabling her to live a normal life. Previously, related implants relied on a donor trachea that would act as a scaffold for the patient's stem cells. In this case, the scaffold is synthetic and made from nonabsorbable nanofibers, while the stem cells were harvested from the girl's bone marrow."
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Google

+ - Google halts print editions of Frommer's guidebooks->

Submitted by mahiskali
mahiskali (1410019) writes "Several months after Google bought Frommer's to bolster its location efforts, reports are coming in that iconic travel guide maker has completely stopped publication of print editions. Authors say that many of their scheduled Frommer's books now won't be published; a few say their contracts were simply delayed, but the usual raft of guides that would show at this time of year just haven't materialized. The writing may have been on the wall when the online bookstore disappeared from the Frommer's site in September. If true, many travelers will have to either switch to rival guides or use Google's digital parallels to learn what's interesting in a strange new land."
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The Courts

+ - Twitter Sued $50M For Refusing To Identify Anti-Semitic Users-> 1

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "After a French civil court ruled on Jan. 24 that Twitter must identify anyone who broke France's hate speech laws, Twitter has since refused to identify the users behind a handful of hateful and anti-Semitic messages, resulting in a $50 million lawsuit. Twitter argues it only needs to comply with US laws and is thus protected by the full scope of the First Amendment and its free speech privileges, but France believes its Internet users should be subject to the country's tighter laws against racist and hateful forms of expression."
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+ - Fate of $35 Aakash Tablet in Doldrums as Indian Government Changes Tone->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "The Indian Government has given up on the $35 Aakash – the tablet which was once known as India’s weapon to bridge the gap of digital divide, by insisting that it’s not the hardware that matters but, the ability of enabling students is what counts. Speaking with members of the press, M. M. Pallam Raju, India’s Human Resource Development (HRD) minister said that the efforts should be concentrated to help students gain access to content and that users themselves will determine the nature of the device that will help them gain knowledge rather being obsessed with the hardware. The Minister said that there are "others who have come up...students will pick up whatever serves the purpose better and affordable.""
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Privacy

+ - Tracking the Web Trackers->

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "Do you know what data the 1300+ tracking companies have on you? Privacy blogger Dan Tynan didn't until he had had enough of being stalked by grandpa-friendly Jitterbug phone ads. Tracking company BlueKai and its partners had compiled 471 separate pieces of data on him. Some surprisingly accurate, some not (hence the Jitterbug ad). But what's worse is that opting out of tracking is surprisingly hard. On the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out Page you can ask the 98 member companies listed there to stop tracking you and on Evidon's Global Opt Out page you can give some 200 more the boot — but that's only about 300 companies out of 1300. And even if they all comply with your opt-out request, it doesn't mean that they'll stop collecting data on you, only that they'll stop serving you targeted ads."
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Intel

+ - Intel's Pentium chip turns 20 today->

Submitted by girlmad
girlmad (2404748) writes "Intel's Pentium processor was launched 20 years ago today, a move that led to the firm becoming the dominant supplier of computer chips across the globe. This article has some original iComp benchmark scores, rating the 66MHz Pentium at a heady 565, compared with 297 for the 66MHz 486DX2, which was the fastest chip available prior to the Pentium launch."
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Security

+ - Twitter, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Yahoo open to hijacking->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "Twitter, Linkedin, Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts are open to hijacking thanks to a flaw that allows cookies to be stolen and reused.
Attackers need to intercept cookies while the user is logged into the service because the cookies expire on log-out ( except LinkedIn which keeps cookies for three months). The server will still consider them valid.
For the Twitter attack, you need to grab the auth_token string and insert it into your local Twitter cookies. Reload Twitter, and you'll be logged in as your target (video here). Not even password changes will kick you out."

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You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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