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Submission + - Cold Fusion Rears Ugly Head with Claims of Deuterium Powered Homes (

szczys writes: Ah, who can forget the cold-fusion fiasco of the early 1990's? Promises of room-temperature fusion machines in every home providing nearly-free energy for all. Relive those glory days of hype with this report of Deuterium-Based Home Reactors. Elliot Williams does a good job of deflating the sensationalism by pointing out all of the "breakthroughs", their lack of having any other labs successfully verify the experiments, and the fact that many of the same players from the news stories in the 90s are once again wrapped up in this one.

Submission + - Disproving the Mythical Man-Month with DevOps 2

StewBeans writes: The Mythical Man-Month is a 40-year old theory on software development that many believe still holds true today. It states: "A project that requires five team members to work for five months cannot be completed by a twenty-five person team in one month." Basically, adding manpower to a development project counterintuitively lowers productivity because it increases complexity. Citing the 2015 State of DevOps Report, Anders Wallgren from Electric Cloud says that microservices architecture is proving this decades-old theory wrong, but that there is still some hesitation among IT decision makers. He points out three rookie mistakes to avoid for IT organizations just starting to dip their toes into agile methodologies.

Submission + - London Mayor Boris Johnson Condemns Random Uber Pick-Ups (

An anonymous reader writes: The mayor of London Boris Johnson has written a column in the Daily Telegraph condemning the way that Uber drivers in the UK capital can effectively circumvent black cabs' legal monopoly on being hailed by random passengers. Whilst supporting the principle of free enterprise, Johnson has no solution to the legal quandary, except to hobble Uber's business model in an absurdly Luddite move, or else level the playing field and condemn the well-outfitted but expensive black cab trade to extinction. Johnson is reluctant to ask such a thing of Parliament, noting that many people there don't 'have apps'.

Submission + - Humans Are More Toxic to Wildlife than Chernobyl (

derekmead writes: The Chernobyl disaster remains the worst nuclear accident in human history, with a death toll that is difficult to tally even decades later. Given the sobering reach of the resulting radiation contamination, you might expect the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone—the 4,200 square kilometers in the immediate vicinity of the explosion—to have suffered serious long-term ecological damage.

Surprisingly, though, a study published today in Current Biology shows that wildlife in the exclusion zone is actually more abundant than it was before the disaster. According to the authors, led by Portsmouth University professor of environmental science Jim Smith, the recovery is due to the removal of the single biggest pressure on wildlife—humans.

Submission + - EP released as a circuit board generates music in real-time. (

An anonymous reader writes: Norwegian Artist "Captain Credible" is about to release an EP. Unlike traditional EPs that are static and released on pre-existing medium, Captain Credible has opted to release this EP (and the next three in the trilogy) as a circuit board that generates and plays music in real-time. Each physical copy will generate a completely different track.

The Dead Cats EP is based on an ATtiny85 microcontroller and a "bunch of complex 8bit maths equations". Upon plugging in you headphones the circuit board begins to generate and play a unique song using your download code as a random seed. The generated track (aptly named "main.h") is practically infinitely long*, but once generated you can restart the song by removing and then reinserting your 3.5mm jack into the board.

Each circuit board will also come with a digital download for the rest of the songs from the EP, and is released on the curiously creative Norwegian label "Metronomicon Audio"

*not really infinitely long, but the universe will probably end first.

Comment Cancel your card. (Score 1) 345

I had this problem repeatedly with my Bank of America Visa card (and so has my daughter). Whenever I would travel anywhere, my card would be declined (often at very inopportune moments) and I would have to call the get the card working again. This even happened when I took the time to call them in advance and tell them where and when I would be traveling. I finally got fed up and cancelled the card.
My other credit cards don't seem to have this problem. I guess they have a different fraud algorithm.
I wouldn't presume to tell the card companies how to do fraud protection. Some do a better job than others. Find one that works for you.

Submission + - Russia's plan to crack TOR crumbles (

mspohr writes: "The Kremlin was willing to pay 3.9 million rubles ($59,000) to anyone able to crack Tor, a popular tool for communicating anonymously over the Internet. Now the company that won the government contract expects to spend more than twice that amount to abandon the project."
Looks like this effort to crack TOR was harder than they anticipated. The company that "won" the contract is now trying to get out of it. They probably figured out that it would be harder than they anticipated. (BTW, $59,000 to crack TOR? ... cheapskates)

Submission + - Another Pharma Company Recaptures a Generic Medication (

Applehu Akbar writes: Daraprim, currently used as a niche AIDS medication, was developed and patented by Glaxo (now GlaxoSmithKlein) decades ago. Though Glaxo's patent has long since expired, a startup called Turing Pharmaceuticals has been the latest pharma company to 'recapture' a generic by using legal trickery to gain exclusive rights to sell it in the US.
Though Turing has just marketing rights, not a patent, on Daraprim, it takes advantage of pharma-pushed laws that forbid Americans from shopping around on the world market for prescriptions. Not long ago, Google was fined half a billion dollars by the FDA for allowing perfectly legal Canadian pharmacies to advertise on its site. So now that Turing has a lock on Daraprim, it has raised the price from $13.50 a pill to $750.

In 2009 another small pharma company inveigled an exclusive on the longstanding generic gout medication colchicine from the FDA, effectively rebranding the unmodified generic so they could raise its price by a similar percentage.

Submission + - Former GM and BMW executive warns Apple: Your car will be a 'gigantic money pit' (

An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that Apple is not only moving full steam ahead on its electric car initiative, but is actually taking measures to accelerate development.

Of course, the notion of Apple entering the car business is not without its fair share of unanswered questions. Consequently, it’s become somewhat common to hear seasoned auto industry insiders express skepticism about Apple’s plans to enter an industry as foreign, challenging, and cutthroat as the auto industry.

Most recently, former GM and BMW executive Bob Lutz appeared on CNBC and completely dismantled the notion that Apple has even a fighting chance to make even the tiniest dent in the auto industry.

"And when it comes to actually making cars," Lutz said, "there is no reason to assume that Apple, with no experience, will suddenly do a better job than General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota or Hyundai. So I think this is going to be a gigantic money pit, but then it doesn’t matter. I mean Apple has an embarrassment of riches, they don’t know where to put the cash anymore. So if they burn 30 or 40 billion dollars in the car business, no one’s going to notice."

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks