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+ - Next step, smiling atoms!->

Submitted by rippeltippel
rippeltippel (1452937) writes "National Geographic reports of the first picture of an atom (an ytterbium atom to be precise). Possible applications include the study of DNA inside living cells and quantum cryptography.
Some details from the article: "[The team] shot a laser beam — about a thousand times wider than the atom — at the ytterbium. The ytterbium atom absorbed a tiny portion of the light, and the resulting shadow was magnified by a lens attached to a microscope, then recorded via a digital camera sensor. The team used ytterbium because they knew they could create lasers of the right color to be strongly absorbed by the element."."

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+ - US Government fancies snooping your data in the cloud->

Submitted by rippeltippel
rippeltippel (1452937) writes "From the article:

"According to some estimates, 35 per cent of UK firms use some sort of cloud system – with Google Drive, Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive the major players. But it has now emerged that all documents uploaded onto cloud systems based in the US or falling under Washington’s jurisdiction can be accessed and analysed without a warrant by American security agencies."

I hope they can't force revealing the passwords of encrypted data as well..."

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Comment: Re:Design patterns bad (Score 1) 27

by rippeltippel (#41940851) Attached to: Book Review: Presentation Patterns

Design patterns led to "programming by buzzword". And perhaps as bad, interviewing by buzzword, so people who could recite pattern names by rote would get hired.

Although this may be OT, I do ask design patterns to my interviewees. However it's not like "tell me what a Visitor is", rather "you have this problem, how would you solve it?". The good ones come up with several solutions, some of which resemble (or exactly overlap with) a design pattern, and that's enough. If they are also aware of this, it's a bonus.

Said that, the value of patterns is not just in using them (they originate from common sense after all) but also in creating a common ground for communication and practice: if you see a class named "Observer" or "Factory" you should immediately imagine what it is about. Presentation patterns could have similar benefits, e.g. an organisation may decide to deliver all presentations in a certain format.

There's nothing new in this, just a few examples: the 10/20/30 rule and pecha-kucha (pronounced like this).

Comment: Re:Deep Space Network? (Score 1) 42

by rippeltippel (#41929811) Attached to: NASA Fires Up Experimental Space Internet For Robot Control

The article is correct, the DSN has just a couple of letters in common with DTN, and nothing to do with the Bundle Protocol.

Delay/Disruption-Tolerant-Networks have been researched and developed by the DTN Research Group and the Bundle Protocol has been an RFC since 2007. It's possible to download an open-source reference implementation from SourceForge.

Actually NASA also use their own protocol, called ION (Interplanetary Overlay Network).

United Kingdom

+ - The scientists who turned fresh air into petrol->

Submitted by rippeltippel
rippeltippel (1452937) writes "The Guardian reports of a tech breakthrough which would allow to synthesize petrol from thin air. Arabs and Texas to bomb UK soon? :-)

Quoting from the article:

A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
"We've taken carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water and turned these elements into petrol," said Peter Harrison, the company's chief executive, who revealed the breakthrough at a conference at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London."

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Comment: Why are you surprised? (Score 1) 257

by rippeltippel (#41271689) Attached to: For Android Users, 2012 Is Still the Year of Gingerbread

1) Gingerbread was the first version to give a fairly complete user environment (compared to iPhone).
Ergo: Most software has been developed for 2.3.

2) Most contracts with mobile operators in UK (and I guess in other countries as well) last for 24 months, and devices cannot be upgraded in the meanwhile.
Ergo: I'm not going to pay for a new device before the current contract end.

3) Honeycomb is mainly for tablets, which have quite a narrow user base compared to mobile phones.
Ergo: Gingerbread devices > Honeycomb devices.

4) Android versions are not easily backwards compatible.
Ergo: I'm not going to port my current software, unless there's a significant user base (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)

+ - Minitel Adieu->

Submitted by rippeltippel
rippeltippel (1452937) writes "France is switching off its groundbreaking Minitel service which brought online banking, travel reservations, and porn to millions of users in the 1980s. Although I've never used it, I remember being fascinated by my mom's account (she used to travel to France quite often back then), which definitely fostered the geek in me. Of course I never heard of Minitel Rose, but it would have been much less interesting than the underlying technology to me."
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