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Submission + - Scientists boost the "Will To Persevere" with a current to the brain (

schliz writes: Stanford scientists say they could help boost people's motivation to overcome difficulties by electrically stimulating the anterior midcingulate cortex in the brain.

The study involved two patients, who described the "will to persevere" beautifully. One said it was like driving into a storm front and knowing that he had to get through. Check out the transcript in the story.

Submission + - Adults Make Riskier, More Inconsistent Decisions As They Get Older, Study Finds (

schliz writes: People aged over 65 make poorer financial decisions and inconsistent choices than younger individuals with the same IQ, an international research group has found.

The study had 135 healthy participants aged 12-90 make a series of decisions: for example, choosing between gaining $5 and the chance to win $20 in a lottery. On average, over-65s earned 26-39% less than all other age groups, including adolescents — a finding that could partially explain their susceptibility to problem gambling and scams.

Submission + - Research Finds Link Between Inflation And Laughter In Federal Reserve Meetings ( 1

schliz writes: A one percentage point increase in an inflation forecast brings about a 75% rise in laughter, according to an American University PhD student, who studied transcripts of the Federal Open Market Committee at the Federal Reserve. Laughter usually comes in response to witticisms during a meeting at the time of the inflation forecast, and has been shown to be a mechanism for coping with the stress of a perceived threat.

Submission + - Researchers Develop The Most Detailed Map Of Gravitational Variations Ever (

schliz writes: An Australian-German team of researchers has developed the most detailed map of gravitational variations ever, using satellite data, gravitational readings and small-scale topographical models. They say the data will help civil engineers and miners, and will be available for free online.

Gravity varies because the Earth isn't perfectly spherical. According to the new map, gravity is 0.7% greater near the North Pole (9.83ms-2) than at Peru’s Nevado Huascaran summit (9.76ms-2). The difference is 40% more than previously expected.

Submission + - Geneticists Extend The Lifespan Of Yeast; Findings Could Slow Human Aging (

schliz writes: A team of scientists from Japan and New Zealand have helped baker’s yeast live 50% longer than usual by artificially stabilizing a genetic sequence called ribosomal DNA. The study’s authors say that rDNA is a “hot spot for production of the aging signal”. Because rDNA genes are very similar in yeast and humans, they say their experiment is a first step towards anti-aging drugs.

Submission + - Chemists build app that could identify cheap replacements for luxury wines (

schliz writes: Australian startup Wine Cue is combining the chemical composition of wines with customer ratings for what it hopes to be a more objective wine recommendation engine than existing systems that are based on historical transactions. The technology is likely to reach the market as a smartphone app, and could be used to identify cheap alternatives to expensive bottles.

Submission + - Australia's got some weird political parties running in its September election (

schliz writes: Business Insider has posted a list of 10 "Unusual Political Parties" that will contest the Australian federal election this year.

There are some cool ones in the list, like Future Party, which is basically run by scientists and mathematicians, and the WikiLeaks Party, with Julian Assange running for a seat. Others are just kind of weird, like Bullet Train for Australia... which is " run by ordinary voters who want, among other things, “a faster way to get out of town for a holiday”."

Submission + - Set your watches for the end of Windows XP ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: In one year today exactly, Microsoft will shut down support for Windows XP.

The deadline will prove a challenge for many of Australia’s largest users of IT, all struggling to migrate to new Microsoft environments.


Submission + - Salesforce's secret sauce (

schliz writes:'s head of infrastructure Steve Fisher has explained how it uses commodity hardware and custom software to provide software as a service to some 100,000 customers around the world. Instead of using virtualization, Salesforce treats all customer data as part of a single application server and database, and presents customers with the "illusion" of their own environments through metadata.

Submission + - Bank puts 1b transaction records behind analytics site (

schliz writes: Australia's UBank has put a billion real-world transaction records behind a website that allows users to compare their spending habits with others of the same gender, in the same age/income range, neighborhood and living situation. The 'PeopleLikeU' tool surfaces favorite shops and restaurants surprisingly accurately — because it's based on real customers' transactions, it lists places like good takeout joints that wouldn't normally come to mind when you think of a favorite place to eat. The bank says all data was 'deidentified' and it consulted with privacy authorities.

Submission + - First three-strikes copyright court case in NZ falls over (

Bismillah writes: The "Skynet" anti-filesharing aw introduced last year in New Zealand is starting to bite, with people being hauled in front of the Copyright Tribunal by the music industry after receiving three notices.

Of the three Copyright Tribunal cases to be heard currently, the first one's just been dropped. Why? Nobody knows. RIANZ isn't saying.

Interesting things: the accused was the ISP account holder, a student sharing a place with others who also used the Internet connection.

The cost of the five songs downloaded is NZ$11.95 but RIANZ wanted NZ$1,075.50 because it estimated the music was shared/downloaded 90 times in total.

A high deterrent penalty of NZ$1,250 was also asked for.


Submission + - Privacy advocates oppose Aussie data breach laws (

schliz writes: This week, Australia's Attorney-General released a discussion paper about introducing laws that would force companies to notify members of the public any time personal information about that customer falls into the wrong hands. California introduced similar mandatory data breach notification laws in 2003, but Australian privacy advocates are now opposing the move, saying it's a decade too late.

Drilling for oil is boring.