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+ - 'Optical fibre' Made Out Of Thin Air 1

Submitted by Dave Knott
Dave Knott (2917251) writes "Scientists from the University of Maryland say they have turned thin air into an "optical fibre" that can transmit and amplify light signals without the need for any cables. As described in the research, this was accomplished by generating a laser with its light split into a ring of multiple beams forming a pipe. Very short and powerful pulses from the laser are used to heat the air molecules along the beam extremely quickly. Such rapid heating produces sound waves that take about a microsecond to converge to the centre of the pipe, creating a high-density area surrounded by a low-density area left behind in the wake of the laser beams. The lower density region of air surrounding the centre of the air waveguide has a lower refractive index, keeping the light focused, and allowing the higher-density region (with its correspondingly higher index of refraction) to act like an optical fibre. The findings, reported in the journal Optica, have applications in long range laser communications, high-resolution topographic mapping, air pollution and climate change research, and could also be used by the military to make laser weapons."

+ - MagicJack Inventor Dan Borislow Dead at Age 52->

Submitted by Nightwraith
Nightwraith (180411) writes "Dan Borislow, whose “MagicJack,” peddled in television infomercials, helped pioneer free phone calls through the Internet, has died. He was 52.

His death was confirmed by Brad Shewmake, a spokesman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., the maker of the device. Borislow was the founder and former chief executive officer of the company, based in Netanya, Israel, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

He died yesterday of a heart attack after playing in a soccer game in West Palm Beach, according to an e-mail today from his friend, Douglas Kass, founder of Seabreeze Partners Management Inc. in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Dan was a true telecom pioneer whose vision, creativity, energy, passion and single-minded focus was the driving force behind the success of MagicJack,” the company’s CEO, Gerald Vento, said today in a statement. Vento replaced Borislow as the company’s chief executive on Jan. 1, 2013."

Link to Original Source

+ - When Google Sells Your Data, It Might Be Illegally Killing Your Phone's Battery

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Personal information about you and your browsing, email, and app-using habits is regularly sent between apps on your Android phone, a potentially illegal practice that could be killing your battery life. A federal judge ruled that the claim, raised in a class action lawsuit against the company, "requires a heavily and inherently fact-bound inquiry."
That means that there's a good chance we're about to get a look into the ins and outs of Google's advertising backbone: what information is shared with who, and when."

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 92

by sjames (#47511443) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

Nice way to toss in an insult just to prove what a bright light you aren't.

Were you a brighter bulb, you would realize that PS rating and actual consumption often have little to do with each other. In fact it doesn't draw half of what you think it does and electricity doesn't cost as much as you think where I have the box.

Meanwhile, who said my usage was typical? Certainly not me.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 2) 92

by sjames (#47511393) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

It is used only for administration, serial console for a few devices, crunch some log files, etc. It used to be a backup mail server as well. All well within it's capabilities. It isn't likely to run at high load very often. The run like a tank feature is it's primary reason to be. Since it is the machine used to diagnose problems, it's helpful that it is unlikely to be the machine with a problem.

Sometimes, old used equipment is exactly the right answer, sometimes it's a terrible idea. The production servers are much newer machines.

+ - Researchers fully 'delete' HIV from human cells for the first time

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "So far, HIV has eluded a cure because it installs its genome into human DNA so insidiously that it's impossible for our immune system to clear it out. While current treatments are effective, a lifetime of toxic drugs are required to prevent its recurrence. But researchers from Temple University may have figured out a way to permanently excise it using a highly-engineered HIV "editor." Here's how it works: the team analyzed a part of our immune system that fights infection and built a "guide RNA" strand consisting of 20 nucleotides (RNA building blocks). Those strands were then injected into cells typically infected with HIV, like T-cells. There, they targeted the end parts of the virus's gene and snipped out all 9,709 nucleotides that made up its genome. Since the guide RNA strand contained no human DNA sequences, it left the host cell intact — but free from HIV."

Comment: Political (Score 2) 591

by sjames (#47508151) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

The proper conclusion is that SOME combination of rampant surveillance by the government, totalitarianism, socialism, and poverty in East Germany lead to a greater willingness to lie and cheat. They have not even attempted to control for the confounding factors sufficiently to pin it on socialism.

Honestly, were I to make a guess, I would rank socialism as the least likely among those conditions to be the actual cause of the measured difference. I would place the fact that the Stasi employed a full third of the population to tattle on the other two thirds near the top of the list. Why not lie to someone who is 33% likely to report you to the authorities if you tell the truth?

If they really want to draw a solid conclusion, they need to compare with other populations as well.

Comment: Re:Identical devices (Score 1) 180

by sjames (#47507741) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

they don't care who you are.........They also salt the site with "Free" offers that all you need to claim them is to input your contact information. Once you do that they link that contact information to your browsing history and shoot it over to a salesman and/or send you a personally designed advertisement to your email.

So in other words, they very much care who I am.

Getting targeted ads is creepy. It's like having my own 24/7 personal stalker. I notice the advertisers often aren't that anxious to share their own details with me. Too often, they can't even manage to be honest about the products they're advertising.

I would rather get ads for irrelevant products and services. Or just ads that are relevant in a generic sort of way based on a few demographic observations.

+ - Google to speed up Web with smaller photos->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Giant photos are slowing the Web down. Google has a plan to make your pages load faster.

The search giant has developed a new kind of image format that promises to shrink the size of Web photos and graphic files down by about 35%. That's a big deal, considering that images are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the size of an average website — a figure that grew by more than 30% last year, according to the HTTP Archive.

To boost load times for websites, Google (GOOGL, Tech30) developed a new image format, called WebP. At its I/O developers conference last month, Google announced that it has converted most of YouTube's thumbnail images to WebP, improving the site's load time by 10%. That may not sound like much, but Google says that alone has saved users a cumulative 140,000 hours each day.
Google has also changed the Chrome Web store and Google Play store over to WebP, speeding up load times on those sites by nearly a third. Facebook, Netflix, eBay (EBAY, Tech30) and several other websites have also begun supporting WebP."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Economists (Score 1) 771

by sjames (#47503415) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

That makes no sense. Minimum wage labor is only a portion of the actual cost of anything. That is the only part that went up due to minimum wage increases. Any other rise in price would have happened anyway. So unless businesses illegally collude to raise prices in a big FU to the state, it won't absorb all of the increase in income.

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas

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