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Submission + - James Bond film 'Skyfall' inspired by Stuxnet virus (foxnews.com)

Velcroman1 writes: No smartphones. No exploding pens. No ejector seats. No rocket-powered submarines. “It’s a brave new world,” gadget-maker Q tells James Bond in the new film “Skyfall.” The new film, released on the 50th anniversary of the storied franchise, presents a gadget-free Bond fighting with both brains and brawn against a high-tech villain with computer prowess Bill Gates would be envious of. What inspired such a villain? "Stuxnet," producer Michael G. Wilson said. “There is a cyberwar that has been going on for some time, and we thought we’d bring that into the fore and let people see how it could be going on."

Submission + - Valve Refuses to Stock Dating and Sex SIM Called Seduce Me (ibtimes.co.uk) 2

DavidGilbert99 writes: "Seduce Me, a new point-and-click dating sim developed by Dutch indie studio No Reply Games, has been banned from Valve's Greenlight service due to its alleged explicit content.
Screenshots from Seduce Me (which feature frontal nudity and in-game sex scenes) appeared on Greenlight last Thursday, but were quickly replaced with an error message claiming the game had been removed for violating Valve's terms of service agreement.

Shortly afterward, No Reply Games received a generic email from Valve, explaining that Seduce Me's sex scenes had contravened Greenlight's usage policy.

Miriam Bellard, lead designer of the games has told IBTimes UK: "In literature, erotic fiction is an accepted category and you can find it at your local bookstore without any fuss. The same should be true for games, but it isn't. I find it strange that if sex is placed in the context of an action game — i.e. if we have both sex and violence — then the sex is deemed acceptable and appropriate — but if the sex is enjoyed for its own sake, without any surrounding violence, then it is considered inappropriate and offensive.""


Submission + - Tough, super-stretchy hydrogel could be used to replace cartilage (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Scientists at Harvard University have created a hydrogel that’s tough, biocompatible, self-healing, and can be repeatedly stretched to 21 times its regular length without breaking – all of which are qualities that could make it an ideal replacement for damaged cartilage in humans. Being a hydrogel, it’s composed mostly of water, although it also contains calcium ions, and a mix of two common polymers. While each of those polymers are fairly weak on their own, the results are truly impressive when they’re combined.

Submission + - Simple Sugar Detected Surrounding a Binary Star (nationalgeographic.com)

eldavojohn writes: Slashdot has covered organic compounds in meteorites as well as in stellar ejecta but now scientists are claiming to have found sugar — glycoaldehyde to be exact — surrounding a star with the aid of the radio telescope Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. The results were peer reviewed in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and a PDF release of the paper is available. From an explanation of how they detected this: 'The gas and dust clouds that collapse to form new stars are extremely cold and many gases solidify as ice on the particles of dust where they then bond together and form more complex molecules. But once a star has been formed in the middle of a rotating cloud of gas and dust, it heats the inner parts of the cloud to around room temperature, evaporating the chemically complex molecules, and forming gases that emit their characteristic radiation as radio waves that can be mapped using powerful radio telescopes such as ALMA.'

Submission + - What are good books/kits/tools for skilled/learning software/hardware hobbyist?

postermmxvicom writes: I have a friend who is a mechanic, but enjoys tinkering with software and hardware as a hobby. I want to get him a gift that will either broaden his horizons or deepen his understanding in these fields. He is proficient at soldering components and removing them from circuit boards. His programming experience is with a wide variety of scripting languages. He recently used teensy and arduino boards and an accelerometer to add some bells and whistles to a toy car he made. He also used his knowledge to help a friend find and correct weaknesses in his shareware (that would have let 'customers' share more freely than intended). He is fascinated that people can create chips to modify existing hardware. Do you know of any good books or kits (or even tools of the trade) that would appeal to a hobbyist and allow him to grow? Is there anything that might also play off of his handyman/mechanic abilities?

Submission + - CPUs of the future: AMD partners with ARM, Intel designs a brain on a chip (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "In the past week, both AMD and Intel have given us a tantalizing peek at their next-generation neuromorphic (brain-like) computer chips. These chips, it is hoped, will provide brain-like performance (i.e. processing power and massive parallelism way beyond current CPUs) while consuming minimal amounts of power. First, AMD last week announced that its future APUs will feature ARM Cortex cores, first to implement TrustZone (ARM Holdings' hardware DRM/security chip), but then eventually as part of a proper x86-ARM-GPU heterogeneous system architecture (HSA). It isn’t too crazy to think that a future AMD (or Texas Instruments) chip might have a few GPU cores, a few x86 CPU cores, and thousands of tiny ARM cores, all working in perfect, parallel, neuromorphic harmony — as long as the software toolchain is good enough that you don’t have to be some kind of autist to use all of those resources efficiently. Intel, on the other hand, today unveiled a neuromorphic chip design based on multi-input lateral spin valves (LSV) and memristors. LSVs are microscopic magnets that change their magnetism to match the spin of electrons being passed through them (spintronics). Memristors are electronic components that increase their resistance as electricity passes through them one way, and reduce their resistance when electricity flows in the opposite direction — and when no power flows, the memristor remembers its last resistance value (meaning it can store data). Unlike state-of-the-art CMOS transistors that require volts to switch on and off, the LSV neurons only require a handful of electrons to change their orientation, which equates to 20 millivolts. For some applications, Intel thinks its neuromorphic chip could be up to 300 times more energy efficient than the CMOS equivalent."

Submission + - Methane Producing Dinosaurs May Have Changed Climate

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Telegraph reports that huge plant-eating dinosaurs callled sauropods may have produced enough greenhouse gas by breaking wind to alter the Earth's climate. Scientists believe that, just as in cows, methane-producing bacteria aided the digestion of sauropods by fermenting their plant food. ''A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate,'' says study leader Dr Dave Wilkinson. ''Indeed, our calculations suggest that these dinosaurs could have produced more methane than all modern sources — both natural and man-made — put together.'' The key factor is the total mass of the animals which included some of the largest animals to walk the Earth, such as Diplodocus, which measured 150 feet and weighed up to 45 tons. Medium-sized sauropods weighed about 20 tons and lived in herds of up to a few tens of individuals per square kilometer so global methane emissions from the animals would have amounted to around 472 million tons per year, the scientists calculated. Sauropods alone may have been responsible for an atmospheric methane concentration of one to two parts per million (ppm), say the scientists and studies have suggested that the Earth was up to 10C (18F) warmer in the Mesozoic Era. ''The Mesozoic trend to sauropod gigantism led to the evolution of immense microbial vats unequalled in modern land animals. Methane was probably important in Mesozoic greenhouse warming. Our simple proof-of-concept model suggests greenhouse warming by sauropod megaherbivores could have been significant in sustaining warm climates.''"
United States

Submission + - Mississippi Teens Jailed After Video Recording Police Investigation From Balcony (wlbt.com)

suraj.sun writes: Two Mississippi teenagers were arrested after video recording a police investigation from their balcony Tuesday. Pearl Police, who charged up the stairs to arrest the teens and burst through their apartment door without a warrant after a shooting took place in the parking lot below, charged the teens with disorderly conduct. Terrell Madison and his twin sister Shanell were jailed for several hours before they were released. Police returned their phone but kept their SIM card, which is unlawful to do without a subpoena.

According to WLBT, "The Colony Park Apartment resident said she and her twin brother Terrell were on their apartment balcony when Tuesday's tragic police shooting unfolded. But she said minutes later they were being manhandled by officers after they saw her brother recording the scene with his cell phone. "The police came up here after they took his phone. They slammed him down and arrested him, and I'm like 'Why are y'all arresting him', and then they grabbed me and slammed me also and arrested me," said Shanell Madison. She said they didn't know why they were targeted in their own home."


Submission + - Apple to crush carriers, become direct service provider (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Apple’s next huge move isn’t into the television or banking industries according to one expert. Instead, Apple will take on carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless by becoming a direct mobile service provider. Veteran wireless industry strategist Whitey Bluestein, who has managed strategic deals for the likes of AT&T, Intel, T-Mobile, Verizon, Microsoft, Nokia and Best Buy, says Apple will soon begin to offer wireless service directly to iPhone and iPad users. Apple has the distribution channels, digital content portfolio and customer base to make the move, Bluestein says, and it also has more than 250 million credit cards on file for iTunes users who could be billed directly for wireless service...

Submission + - Gold Nanoparticles Help Red Blood Cells Deliver Drugs (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: "Scientists decorated red blood cells with gold nanoparticles so they could trigger the cells to dump their contents with a zap from a laser. The laser pulses heated the particles to produce nanopores in the cells’ membranes. The cells contained two fluorescent dyes and both flooded through the pores and out of the cells after the laser pulses. Although the researchers studied the release of dyes, their end goal is to use red blood cells as a vehicle for drug delivery, because the cells are naturally compatible with the immune system and circulate for days in the body. Until now, researchers have found easy ways to load the cells with drugs, but the challenge has been to control the molecules’ release."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Are You Being Taxed By Your Boss? (reuters.com)

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: I guess this explains why the pothole in the state expressway is still awaiting repairs. Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Sears are among over 2,700 companies withholding income from their employees — but instead of sending the money to the state coffers they're keeping it for themselves. With the legal blessings of your own state.

Submission + - Student Charged for Selling Textbooks (yahoo.com)

AstroPhilosopher writes: The US Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a Thai student who was fined $600,000 for re-selling textbooks. Trying to make ends meet, the student had family members in Thailand mail him textbooks that were made abroad, purchased abroad, and then resold in the US. A practice many retailers partake in everyday in the 'parallel market'.

Submission + - Drinking Alcohol May Significantly Enhance Problem Solving Skills 1

An anonymous reader writes: Drinking alcohol may enhance a person’s problem solving skills, according to a new study. Scientists found that men who either drank two pints of beer or two glasses of wine before solving brain teasers not only got more questions right, they also were quicker in delivering correct answers, compared to men who answered the questions sober.

Submission + - Why Action Stars Are War-Mongering Republicans (vice.com)

hellboundunicorn writes: Psychologist Aaron Sell and his team found a strong correlation between physically formidable action stars and pro-war right wing politics, and a similar correlation between physically meeker comedy and drama stars and left-leaning anti-war politics. Though correlation does not necessarily mean causation, Sell et al make the argument that because aggressiveness evolved in men as a tool for so many important physical behaviors – like successful fighting, territorial dominance, and showing off to mates – it makes sense that a muscled, aggressive-looking build would be coupled with a similarly aggressive mental disposition.

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