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+ - First build of Windows 9 shows start menu return but with Modern tiles ->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "A leaked alpha of Windows 9 has been brewing on the internet. Today a screenshot shows what MS showed us at BUILD which includes a start menu with additional tiny tiles for things like people, calendar, pc settings, and news etc. What the screenshot does show is it is much bigger than Windows7 taking 1/3 of the screen similar to the Start Screen which will show more apps (frequently used desktop apps) in addition to other features. Is this a shift for MS to fix Windows 8? Or do some of us who are really still used to XP and Windows 7 won't allow anything modern in it? Also what is unknown is the return of AERO, and how will Cortana fit voice control fit in?"
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+ - Scientists create the "blackest" black yet

Submitted by mahiskali
mahiskali (1410019) writes "A team of British researchers at Surrey NanoSystems has created a record-breaking material, but you might struggle to tell—because it's so black that you can barely see it. The new material, called Vantablack, is a coating made using carbon nanotubes, which absorbs all but 0.035 percent of visible light. Grown on a sheet of aluminum foil, the coating grabs hold of light and won't let go: photos ping into the gaps between the nanotubes, bounce around within the structure, and are slowly absorbed without ever bouncing back into the air."

+ - Walter Munk's Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "His name is Walter Munk, now in his 90s and a professor emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. About 60 years ago, he was anchored off Guadalupe Island, on Mexico's west coast, watching swells come in, and using an equation that he and others had devised to plot a wave's trajectory backward in time, he plotted the probable origins of those swells. But the answer he got was so startling, so over-the-top improbable, that he thought, 'No, there must be something wrong.' His equations said that the swells hitting beaches In Mexico began some 9,000 miles away — somewhere in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, near Antarctica. 'Could it be?' he wrote in an autobiographical sketch. Could a storm half way across the world produce a patch of moving water that traveled from near the South Pole, up past Australia, then past New Zealand, then across the vast expanse of the Pacific, arriving still intact – at a beach off Mexico? He decided to find out for himself. That is why, in 1957, Walter Munk designed a global, real life, wave-watching experiment."

+ - Traffic lights: There's a better way

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "MIT researchers develop an improved system for timing of urban lights to minimize commuting times. Anyone who has ever driven a city street and been frustrated by having to stop again and again for red lights has probably thought that there must be a better way. Now, researchers at MIT have developed a means of computing optimal timings for city stoplights that can significantly reduce drivers’ average travel times.

Existing software for timing traffic signals has several limitations, says Carolina Osorio, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT. She is lead author of a forthcoming paper in the journal Transportation Science that describes the new system, based on a study of traffic in Lausanne, Switzerland."

+ - Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In response to the increased interest by the public in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the world authority that names objects in space, is giving the public a chance to name up to 30 planets from a pre-selected group of 305 exoplanets. "Before you get excited about naming HAT-P-7b after your first pet goldfish, it's worth taking a look at the restrictions the IAU places on its minor planet names. The 16 characters or less must be 'pronounceable (in as many languages as possible)' and non-offensive in any language or culture. The names of living persons are verboten, pet names are 'discouraged,' and you can't use a name that is commercial or has political, military, or religious connotations." The proposed names can be submitted by astronomy clubs and non-profit organisations interested in astronomy and votes will be cast by the public from across the world."
China

China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions 110

Posted by timothy
from the best-argument-yet-for-using-it dept.
quantr writes with this excerpt from Bloomberg: "China's central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, moving to regulate the virtual currency after an 89-fold jump in its value sparked a surge of investor interest in the country. Bitcoin plunged more than 20 percent to below $1,000 on the BitStamp Internet exchange after the People's Bank of China said it isn't a currency with 'real meaning' and doesn't have the same legal status. The public is free to participate in Internet transactions provided they take on the risk themselves, it said. The ban reflects concern about the risk the digital currency may pose to China's capital controls and financial stability after a surge in trading this year made the country the world's biggest trader of Bitcoin, according to exchange operator BTC China. Bitcoin's price jumped more than ninefold in the past two months alone, prompting former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to call it a 'bubble.' 'The concern is that it interferes with normal monetary policy operation,' said Hao Hong, head of China research at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. 'It represents an unofficial leakage to the current monetary system and trades globally. It is difficult to regulate and could be used for money laundering.'"
Oracle

Tech Companies Set To Appeal 2012 Oracle Vs. Google Ruling 198

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-do-you-think-now? dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "In 2012, Oracle took Google to court over Java. In the balance hung the legalities of writing code to mimic the functionality of copyrighted software. The trial was set to determine how all future software would be written (and by whom). Oracle's entire case boiled down to an inadvertent 9 lines of code; an argument over a simple and basic comparison of a range of numbers. The presiding judge (who had some background in writing software) didn't buy it stating he had 'written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before.' A victory for more than just Google. This week, however, Microsoft, EMC, Oracle and Netapp have filed for appeal and seek to reverse the ruling. It's not looking good as the new bevy of judges Indicating they may side with Oracle on the issue."

+ - 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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