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Submission + - Open Document Format 1.2 Published as ISO/IEC Standard->

jrepin writes: The Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) Version 1.2, the native file format of LibreOffice and many other office applications, has been published as International Standard 26300:2015 by ISO/IEC. ODF defines a technical schema for office documents including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations. The current version of the standard was published in 2011, and then was submitted to ISO/IEC in 2014.
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Submission + - Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s

sycodon writes: A new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645.

Submission + - Airbus first to Fly across English Channel, after dirty tricks delay rival. 1

wolfguru writes: Airbus claimed the technical coup of being the first to fly and electrically powered plane across the English Channel today, with great fanfare. Unfortunately for Airbus, even though they were able to get rival Pipistrel denied the opportunity earlier this week, by behind-the-scenes pressure on Siemans to de-certify the electric motors Pipistrel uses for flight over water, another electric plane was able to make the flight about 12 hours earlier. French pilot Hugues Duval took his two-engine, one-seat Cricri plane from Calais to Dover and back. Because he was denied authorization to take off from Calais, another fuel-driven plane towed his 100-kilogram (220-pound) Cricri for the start of the trip. He then flew back to Calais and landed safely.
So what does Airbus get to actually claim, other than to have duplicated the acheivement with more media in attendance?

Submission + - Adblock Plus Reduces University Network Bandwidth Use By 40 Percent

Mickeycaskill writes: Simon Fraser University in British Colombia, Canada claims it saved between 25 and 40 percent of its network bandwidth by deploying Adblock Plus across its internal network.

The study tested the ability of the Adblock Plus browser extension in reducing IP traffic when installed in a large enterprise network environment, and found that huge amounts of bandwidth was saved by blocking web-based advertisements and video trailers.

The experiment carried out over a period of six week, and involved 100 volunteers in an active enterprise computing environment at the university. The study’s main conclusions were that Adblock Plus was not only effective in blocking online advertisements, but that it “significantly” reduced network data usage.

Although the university admits there are some limitations of the study, it suggests that the reduced network data demand would lead to lower infrastructure costs than a comparable network without Adblock Plus.

Submission + - Iowa Makes a Bold Admission: We Need Fewer Roads

An anonymous reader writes: During a recent Urban Land Institute talk, the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation Paul Trombino told an audience that the overbuilt and unsustainable road network in Iowa was probably going to "shrink". Calling for fewer highways isn't what you'd normally expect from a government transportation official but since per capita driving has peaked in the U.S., it might make sense for states to question whether or not to spend their transportation budgets on new roads.

Submission + - Supercomputing Cluster Immersed in Oil Yields Extreme Efficiency->

1sockchuck writes: A new supercomputing cluster immersed in tanks of dielectric fluid has posted extreme efficiency ratings. The Vienna Scientific Cluster 3 combines several efficiency techniques to create a system that is stingy in its use of power, cooling and water. VSC3 recorded a PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) of 1.02, putting it in the realm of data centers run by Google and Facebook. The system avoids the use of chiillers and air handlers, and doesn't require any water to cool the fluid in the cooling tanks. Limiting use of water is a growing priority for data center operators, as cooling towers can use large volumes of water resources. The VSC3 system packs 600 teraflops of computing power into 1,000 square feet of floor space.
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Submission + - What goes into a decision to take software from proprietary to open source

Lemeowski writes: It's not often that you get to glimpse behind the curtain and see what led a proprietary software company to open source its software. Last year, the networking software company Midokura made a strategic decision to open source its network virtualization platform MidoNet, to address fragmentation in the networking industry. In this interview, Midokura CEO and CTO Dan Mihai Dumitriu explains the company's decision to give away fours years of engineering to the open source community, how it changed the way its engineers worked, and the lessons learned along the way. Among the challenges was helping engineers overcome the culture change of broadcasting their work to a broader community.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Have You Tried a Standing Desk?

An anonymous reader writes: Evidence is piling up that sitting down all day is really bad for you. I work primarily from home, and as I grow older, I'm starting to worry about long term consequences of riding a desk full-time. We talked about this a few years ago, but the science has come a long way since then, and so have the options for standing desks. My questions: do you use a standing desk? What kind of setup do you have? There are a lot of options, and a lot of manufacturers. Further studies have questioned the wisdom of standing all day, so I've been thinking about a standing/sitting combo, and just switching every so often. If you do this, do you have time limits or a particular frequency with which you change from sitting to standing? I'm also curious about treadmills — slowly walking could work during parts of my work, and the health benefits there are easy to measure. Also, any ergonomic tips? A lot of places seem to recommend: forearms parallel to the ground, top of monitor at eye level, and get a pad for under your feet. Has your experience been the same? Those of you who have gone all-out on a motorized setup, was it worth the cost? The desks are dropping in price, but I can still see myself dropping upward of $1k on this, easily.

Submission + - First Windows 10 RTM candidate is build 10176->

Mark Wilson writes: With just over three weeks until the launch of Windows 10, preview builds are still popping out left, rights, and center — some more official than others. Microsoft is beavering away on the final build which will start to roll out on 29 July, and it seems that the RTM version could be signed off as early as this week.

Build tracking site BuildFeed shows that Windows 10 Build 10176 from the th1 branch (a reference to threshold, Windows 10's codename) is now being tested as a release candidate. With a full build string of 10.0.10176.16384.th1.150705-0552, the appearance of this version ties in neatly with a rumor that RTM might be reached this week — perhaps as early as Thursday.

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Submission + - Corals may survive global warming thanks to "genetic rescue"-> 1

hypnosec writes: Researchers have found that some coral populations already posses genetic variants that could help them tolerate the increasing ocean temperatures and if such corals are mixed and matched with corals from different latitudes they can be made to survive global warming through 'genetic rescue'. Researchers exposed the corals' larvae to increasingly warm temperatures for long periods of time, and then analyzed the genes of the surviving individuals. Their results reveal that the more heat-tolerant corals produced larvae that were 10 times more likely to survive heat exposure than the larvae of the less heat-tolerant corals.
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Submission + - AppleCare+ now covers batteries that drop to 80%->

Mark Wilson writes: For anyone concerned about their new Apple device, AppleCare+ protection can sound appealing — even if it might seem expensive in some instances. Today Apple has updated the terms of AppleCare+ for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch giving a better deal for people worried about their batteries.

Previously, the extended warranty only covered batteries that would hold 50 percent charge or less. Now this has been updated so that you can request a free replacement within the coverage period is your device's battery is only able to hold 80 percent of full charge. The new terms to no apply to everyone — it all depends on when you bought your Apple device.

If you bought your iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Watch before April 10 2015, you're stuck with the old terms.

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Submission + - Lexus' Hoverboard: What Does Physics Tell Us About It?->

benonemusic writes: Lexus' hoverboard may never become commercially available, but is it scientifically feasible? You'd need to place a superconducting material in a magnetic field powerful enough to support the board and the rider. Steve Gourlay of Lawrence Berkeley Lab's Superconductor Magnet Group provides insights, including the possibility that Lexus put some very strong rare-earth magnets underneath the sidewalk in the video.
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Submission + - Why is Google Opening a New Data Center in a Former Coal-Fired Power Plant?

HughPickens.com writes: Quentin Hardy reports at the NY Times that Google just announced that it is opening its 14th data center inside a former coal-fired power plant in Stevenson, Alabama. While there is considerable irony in taking over a coal-burning plant and promoting alternative power, there are pragmatic reasons Google would want to put a $600 million data center in such a facility. These power facilities are typically large and solid structures with good power lines. The Alabama plant is next to a reservoir on the Tennessee River with access to lots of water, which Google uses for cooling its computers. There are also rail lines into the facility, which makes it likely Google can access buried conduits along the tracks to run fiber-optic cable. In Finland, Google rehabilitated a paper mill, and uses seawater for cooling. Salt water is corrosive for standard metal pipes, of course, so Google created a singular cooling system using plastic pipes. Once fully operational, Google's Alabama data center will employ up to 75 employees in a variety of full-time and contractor roles, including computer technicians, engineers, and various food services, maintenance and security roles. "This a fantastic and exciting day for Jackson County," says Jackson County Commission Chair Matthew Hodges.

Submission + - NIST Updates Random Number Generation Guidelines->

An anonymous reader writes: Encryption weighs heavily on the public consciousness these days, as we've learned that government agencies are keeping an eye on us and a lot of our security tools aren't as foolproof as we've thought. In response to this, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a formal update to its document on how to properly generate a random number — crucial in many types of encryption. The update (as expected) removes a recommendation for the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm. It also adds extra options for CTR_DRBG and points out examples for implementing SP 800-90A generators. The full document (PDF) is available online.
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