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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Paul Allen helps find sunken Japanese WWII battleship Musashi off Philippines->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and his research team have found a massive Japanese World War II battleship off the Philippines near where it sank more than 70 years ago, his representatives said Wednesday.

The apparent discovery of the wreckage of the Musashi, one of the largest battleships in history, comes as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the war’s end.

Allen and the team aboard his superyacht M/Y Octopus found the ship on Sunday, more than eight years after their search began, Allen’s publicity agency Edelman said in a statement.

Detailed images captured by a high-definition camera mounted on the underwater probe confirmed the wreckage as that of the Musashi, it said.

Japanese experts said they were eager to study the images to try to confirm the ship’s identity.

Allen’s team found the battleship in the Sibuyan Sea, using an autonomous underwater vehicle in its third dive after narrowing down the search area using detailed undersea topographical data and other locator devices, the statement said.

“The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction,” Allen said."

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+ - Rosetta snaps a picture of its own shadow on the comet below->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The ESA released an image Tuesday of the comet-orbiting Rosetta leaving a fleeting mark on the comet: its shadow. The space agency describes it as being "encircled in a wreath of light." It was a rare confluence of circumstances that enabled the image to exist as the sun, spacecraft and comet all came into alignment.

The shadow is diffuse, rather than sharp. The ESA explains this by noting, "If you were standing on the surface with Rosetta high above you, there would be no place in the shadow where the entire Sun would be blocked from view, which explains why there is no fully dark core to the shadow."

The image was taken during a close flyby of the comet on February 14, but the ESA just now brought it to the public's attention. Rosetta — which was launched back in 2004 and sent on a mission to approach and study Comet 67P — was at a distance of about 3.7 miles from the comet's surface at the time.

What's so intriguing about the shadow image is that it's something familiar happening in an alien place, 317 million miles away. We're all used to seeing our shadows here on Earth. Rosetta casting a shadow on a comet puts its epic space adventure into a more human perspective."

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+ - A paralyzed woman flew an F-35 fighter jet in a simulator — using only her->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Over at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, there are some pretty amazing (and often top-secret) things going on. But one notable component of a DARPA project was revealed by a Defense Department official at a recent forum, and it is the stuff of science fiction movies.

According to DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, a paralyzed woman was successfully able use her thoughts to control an F-35 and a single-engine Cessna in a flight simulator.

It's just the latest advance for one woman, 55-year-old Jan Scheuermann, who has been the subject of two years of groundbreaking neurosignaling research.

First, Scheuermann began by controlling a robotic arm and accomplishing tasks such as feeding herself a bar of chocolate and giving high fives and thumbs ups.

Then, researchers learned that — surprisingly — Scheuermann was able to control both right-hand and left-hand prosthetic arms with just the left motor cortex, which is typically responsible for controlling the right-hand side.

After that, Scheuermann decided she was up for a new challenge, according to Prabhakar.

"Jan decided that she wanted to try flying a Joint Strike Fighter simulator," Prabhakar said, prompting laughter from the crowd at the New America Foundation's Future of War forum. "So Jan got to fly in the simulator."

Unlike pilots who use the simulator technology for training, Scheuermann wasn't thinking about controlling the plane with a joystick. She thought about flying the plane itself — and it worked.

"In fact," Prabhakar noted, "for someone who's never flown — she's not a pilot in real life — she's in there flying a simulator directly from neurosignaling.""

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+ - Photo First: Light Captured as Both Particle and Wave->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "It’s one of those enduring Zen koans of science that we’ve all grown up with: Light behaves as both a particle and a wave—at the same time. Einstein taught us that, so we’re all generally on board, but to actually understand what it means would require several Ph.D.s and a thorough understanding of quantum physics.

What’s more, scientists have never been able to devise an experiment that documents light behaving as both a wave and a particle simultaneously. Until now.

That’s the contention of a team of Swiss and American researchers, who say they’ve succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of light’s dual behavior. Using an advanced electron microscope – one of only two on the planet – at the EPFL labs in Switzerland, the team has generated a kind of quantum photograph of light behaving as both a particle and a wave.

The experiment involves firing laser light at a microscopic metallic nanowire, causing light to travel — as a wave — back and forth along the wire. When waves traveling in opposite directions meet, they form a “standing wave” that emits light itself — as particles. By shooting a stream of electrons close to the nanowire, the researchers were able to capture an image that simultaneously demonstrates both the wave-nature and particle-nature of light.

“This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics — and its paradoxical nature — directly,” says lead researcher Fabrizio Carbone of EPFL, on the lab’s project page. The study is to be officially published this week in the journal Nature Communications."

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+ - Google allows porn on Blogger after backlash->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "In a reversal, Google says that porn will continue to be allowed on its Blogger site.
Google said it has received a big backlash after deciding earlier in the week that bloggers will no longer be able to "publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity." The ban was to have taken place on March 23.

Instead, Google said that the company would simply double down on its crackdown of bloggers who use their sites to sell porn.
In July, Google stopped porn from appearing in its online ads that appear on Blogger. And in 2013, Google decided to remove blogs from its Blogger network that contained advertisements for online porn sites.
"We've had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities," wrote Jessica Pelegio, Google's social product support manager, in a post on Google product forums. "So rather than implement this change, we've decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.""

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+ - Will 3D printed food become as common as the microwave?->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The “Foodini”—an automated meal-assembly machine that creates homemade meals faster and more efficiently than human hands—is the first product by Natural Machines, Kucsma’s company.

Natural Machines is marketing the Foodini as a 3D food printer. That sort of futuristic branding may scare consumers from the supremely out-there concept. Kucsma’s not worried, though.

“When people first heard about microwaves they didn’t understand the technology, but now 90% of households have microwaves,” she says. “We see the same thing happening with 3D food printing, but on a much faster scale because we adopt technology faster and the technology advances faster.”

In reality, the Foodini isn’t a 3D printer, per se. 3D printers generally run at one speed and handle a single ingredient: plastic. The Foodini is programmed similarly, but offers multiple speeds and works with numerous ingredients at the same time. The box-shaped contraption is approximately 17 inches wide, 18 inches high and clocks in at 33 pounds.

Natural Machines’s first iteration of the Foodini works best for time-consuming projects like pasta, elaborately shaped breads and cookies. Users first select a recipe from the touch screen or send their own to the Internet-connected machine. They then make the individual components of the dish from scratch and put the components into Foodini’s stainless steel ingredient capsules. From there, Foodini whips up dinner.

If the user is making a recipe for ravioli, for instance, the Foodini prints the bottom layer of dough, the filling and the top dough layer in subsequent steps. It reduces a lengthy recipe to two minutes construction time and ensures that no one has to clean a countertop caked with leftover dough and flour."

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+ - Samsung Debuts Ultra-Fast 128GB Universal Flash Storage For Smartphones->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Digital photos and videos aren't consuming any less space these days, and as 4K recording grows in popularity, so too will our storage front — the company today announced that it's now mass producing the industry's first 128GB ultra-fast embedded memory based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard for tomorrow's flagship handsets.

According to Samsung, its UFS memory hits 19,000 IOPS for random reads, which is 2.7 times faster than eMMC 5.0, the common memory standard in phones today. And for random writes, it hits 14,000 IOPS, which is a whopping 28 times faster than a conventional external memory card. In terms of a real-world impact, Samsung's UFS memory is fast enough to handle 4K Ultra HD video and multitasking functions at the same time."

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+ - Drones cost $28,000 for one arrest-> 2

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "They are sleek, mostly silent converted weapons of war: Drones used by the Border Patrol to scan the skies in the empty deserts of the Southwest to spot illegal immigrants and then, if things work out, have agents arrest them. That's the idea, and the agents who use them say the drones give them a vantage point they never had before.

Flying at 18,000 feet, the drones view the landscape below, lock onto potential suspects crossing the Arizona desert, and agents on the ground move into make the arrests. But it's outrageously expensive: $28,000 for a single arrest."

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+ - Facebook Reveals New Feature That Could Help Prevent Suicides->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The signs that someone might be contemplating suicide are often missed until it’s too late. Among younger crowds, evidence that a person might need help are often written right on their social media profiles, which is why Facebook and suicide-prevention groups teamed up to release a new feature that could recognize these signs and offer help.

The feature developed by Facebook with Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, an organization at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, and other partners was announced at Wednesday’s Compassion Research Day at Facebook’s headquarters.
Here’s how it works, according to a news release from the university:

When someone sees a post that suggests its author might be considering suicide, they can click on a dropdown menu and report the post to Facebook.

That reporting activates a series of responses. The person who flags the post will see a screen with links that allow them to message the potentially suicidal person, contact another Facebook friend for support or connect with a trained professional at a suicide helpline for guidance.

Facebook will then review the reported post. If the poster is thought to be in distress, a series of screens will be launched automatically when that person next logs onto Facebook, with suggestions for getting help. The responses link to a number of positive options, including videos from Now Matters Now, an online program started by Forefront research scientist Ursula Whiteside that uses real-life accounts of people who have struggled with suicidal thoughts to provide research-based coping strategies."

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+ - Patients choose amputation to replace damaged hands with bionics->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "eventeen years after losing the use of his hand in a motorcycle crash, Marcus Kemeter volunteered to have it amputated and replaced with a bionic version.

"It wasn't hard for me to decide to do the operation," said Kemeter, 35, a used-car dealer in Austria. "I couldn't do anything with my hand. The prosthesis doesn't replace a full hand, but I can do a lot of stuff."

Kemeter's artificial hand was made possible by a new medical procedure developed at the Medical University of Vienna, which combines reconstructive surgery with advances in prosthetics and months of training and rehabilitation, according to an article published Wednesday in the Lancet, a British medical journal. The researchers performed the procedure on three Austrian men from 2011 to 2014.

The technique, called bionic reconstruction, offers hope for patients like Kemeter who have brachial plexus injuries, which can result in severe nerve damage and the loss of function in the arms.

The process represents a significant step for patients with brachial plexus injuries, said Levi Hargrove, a researcher in prosthetics at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

"It provides them with an option," he said. "As mechanical prosthesis become more advanced and more functional, this should only improve."

The ultimate success of the procedure won't be known for years and will depend on how often patients use their new hands, said Simon Kay and Daniel Wilks in a Lancet article accompanying the study. Kay is a hand surgeon at the Leeds Teaching Hospital, while Wilks is at The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne."

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+ - This AI Learned Atari Games Like Humans Do - And Now it Beats Them->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The Deep Q-network agent, or DQN as the researchers at DeepMind call it, approaches things the way a person might. All it "knows" is that it wants to maximize the score, and by watching the game carefully and observing which actions increase that score, it learns how to play — then how to play better.

Say a shot from an Space Invader is mere pixels away from striking the ship. On its first try the AI may simply allow the game to end. But on another run-through, it may find that by avoiding shots, it gets more chances to fire the ship's gun, destroying enemies and raising the score. DQN even hit on unique strategies, finding safe spots or getting easy points that humans never tried."

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+ - U.S. offers highest-ever reward for Russian hacker->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The U.S. State Department and FBI on Tuesday announced a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Russian national Evgeniy Bogachev, the highest bounty U.S. authorities have ever offered in a cyber case.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also issued a "Wanted" poster for Bogachev, who is charged in the United States with running a computer attack network called GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts.

Bogachev has been charged by federal authorities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in connection with his alleged role as administrator of GameOver Zeus.

He also faces federal bank fraud conspiracy charges in Omaha, Nebraska related to his alleged involvement in an earlier variant of Zeus malware known as "Jabber Zeus.""

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+ - 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "bout 800,000 taxpayers who enrolled in insurance policies through HealthCare.gov received erroneous tax information from the government, and were urged on Friday to hold off on filing tax returns until the error could be corrected.

The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from congressional Democrats, also announced that it would give several million people more time to buy health insurance so they could comply with federal law and avoid tax penalties.

The incorrect insurance information is used in computing taxes. Consumers can expect to receive corrected data in the first week of March. With the new data, officials warned, some taxpayers will owe more and some will owe less.

Officials said they did not know why the error had occurred."

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+ - Samsung Takes On Apple Pay By Acquiring Mobile Wallet Startup LoopPay->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Samsung has promised that it would debut a mobile wallet service this year to compete with Apple AAPL +0.69% Pay, Google GOOGL -0.43% Wallet, and others. Now, it has made it apparent how it will do that: by acquiring the U.S. mobile payments service LoopPay.

The two companies had been rumored in December to be in talks to incorporate LoopPay’s payment technology, which works in far more stores than Apple Pay and Google Wallet, into some Samsung phones. No acquisition had been rumored at the time, but it’s apparent that Samsung is serious about making sure it has a presence in mobile payments–now seen by many companies as a key point of contact with consumers in the mobile age. Samsung’s mobile wallet service is expected to be introduced on the new Galaxy S6 smartphone to be introduced at the Mobile World Congress in early March.

Mobile wallets allow people with certain smartphones such as the last two iPhone generations as well as Android phones to pay for items in retail stores with a wave of their phones instead of having to swipe credit or debit cards. LoopPay’s offering, which includes magnetic induction devices such as a charging case for iPhones and a payment fob for Android phones, allows phones to use existing point-of-sale card readers that read magnetic stripe cards–by far the most common cards used in the U.S. LoopPay says its technology can work in up to 90% of retail stores.

That’s in stark contrast to Apple Pay and Google Wallet, which can be used in only about 220,000 retail outlets with devices able to read a different technology called Near Field Communication. That technology is considered more secure, but it requires merchants to buy new point-of-sale terminals. Those terminals are getting upgraded thanks to an edict from EuroPay, Visa V -0.65% and MasterCard MA +0.24% that requires stores to accept so-called chip-and-PIN cards that are already standard in Europe, or they will be liable for fraudulent card purchases. Although the vast majority of those terminals are expected to include NFC capability, payments experts say that despite the edict, the upgrade cycle could take years."

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+ - Apple wins patent for a virtual reality headset that works with the iPhone Read->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Apple has yet to officially enter the virtual reality space, but a new patent proves that Apple has been at least thinking about VR.

Apple was just awarded a patent titled "Head-Mounted Display Apparatus for Retaining a Portable Electronic Device with Display," which details a virtual reality headset powered by an iPhone or iPod, according to Apple Insider.

The headset would use the iPhone's screen as the headset's primary display, allowing users to slot their iPhone into the headset's frame when they want to use it for virtual reality. The patent, first filed in 2008, also includes images of a remote that could be used to interact with the device since the iPhone's multitouch display won't be accessible from within the headset."

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