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Science

Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-waste-zone dept.
Zothecula writes The problem with nuclear waste is that it needs to be stored for many thousands of years before it's safe, which is a tricky commitment for even the most stable civilization. To make this situation a bit more manageable, Hitachi, in partnership with MIT, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley, is working on new reactor designs that use transuranic nuclear waste for fuel; leaving behind only short-lived radioactive elements.
Earth

Mapping a Monster Volcano 105

Posted by timothy
from the shhh-it's-sleeping dept.
bmahersciwriter (2955569) writes In one of the biggest-ever seismology deployments at an active volcano, researchers are peppering Mount St Helens in Washington state with equipment to study the intricate system of chambers and pipes that fed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. This month, they plan to set off 24 explosions — each equivalent to a magnitude-2 earthquake — around around the slumbering beast in an effort to map the its interior with unprecedented depth and clarity.
Math

Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the ace-your-exam-in-one-easy-step dept.
mpicpp sends in the story of Jason Padgett, a man who developed extraordinary mathematical abilities as the result of brain trauma when he was attacked outside a bar. "Padgett, a furniture salesman from Tacoma, Wash., who had very little interest in academics, developed the ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts intuitively. The injury, while devastating, seems to have unlocked part of his brain that makes everything in his world appear to have a mathematical structure 'I see shapes and angles everywhere in real life' — from the geometry of a rainbow, to the fractals in water spiraling down a drain, Padgett told Live Science." "He describes his vision as 'discrete picture frames with a line connecting them, but still at real speed.' If you think of vision as the brain taking pictures all the time and smoothing them into a video, it's as though Padgett sees the frames without the smoothing. "
Bug

Nest Halts Sales of Smart Fire Alarm After Discovering Dangerous Flaw 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the out-of-the-frying-pan dept.
fructose writes: "The Nest Protect has a flaw in its software that, under the right circumstances, could disable the alarm and not notify the owners of a fire. To remedy this flaw, they are disabling the Nest Wave feature through automatic updates. Owners who don't have their Nest Protects connected to their WiFi net or don't have a Nest account are suggested to either update the device manually or return it to Nest for a full refund. While they work out the problem, all sales are being halted to prevent unsafe units from being sold. There have been no reported incidents resulting from this flaw, but they aren't taking any chances."
Privacy

Dropbox's New Policy of Scanning Files For DMCA Issues 243

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-see-what-you-have-there dept.
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "This weekend a small corner of the Internet exploded with concern that Dropbox was going too far, actually scanning users' private and directly peer-shared files for potential copyright issues. What's actually going on is a little more complicated than that, but shows that sharing a file on Dropbox isn't always the same as sharing that file directly from your hard drive over something like e-mail or instant messenger. The whole kerfuffle started yesterday evening, when one Darrell Whitelaw tweeted a picture of an error he received when trying to share a link to a Dropbox file with a friend via IM. The Dropbox web page warned him and his friend that 'certain files in this folder can't be shared due to a takedown request in accordance with the DMCA.'"
Facebook

Facebook Shuts Down @Facebook Email System 149

Posted by timothy
from the shot-in-the-dark-went-wild dept.
First time accepted submitter beaker_72 writes "The BBC are reporting that Facebook will end their email system which provided users an @Facebook.com email address in March. The official line from Facebook is that not many people have been using the service. Is that really the case or have they found it too challenging to monetize that part of their service? Did users stay away from this 'service' because they've become more savvy and recognized it for what it was — another way to harvest their data? Or is it the case that the market is currently saturated with free webmail services and there wasn't room for another one?"

Comment: Re:how can i tell if my router is affected? (Score 1) 134

by sleekware (#46243305) Attached to: Linksys Routers Exploited By "TheMoon"

I have a WRT54 running the original linksys software. I know you guys will say to push DDWRT onto it. In any case, how can i tell if my router's been compromised? It has been flakey lately but I figured that was just signal interference.

Also running original firmware, with a newer Linksys. Short of doing the most reasonable thing and swapping out my firmware for third party, I'm thinking of upgrading to the latest manufacturers firmware and then treating the router's IP as an untrusted site in my browser, adding an exception only when I need to make a change. Perhaps this would thwart? Also not using the default IP, didn't see it mentioned if that would matter...

United Kingdom

James Dyson: We Should Pay Students To Study Engineering 321

Posted by samzenpus
from the change-your-major dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "The inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner believes there is an engineering crisis in the UK and that 61,000 vacancies in the area will go unfilled in 2014. To address this Dyson believes says he wants the UK government to offer monetary incentives to students with an interest and aptitude in science — as well as changing the current visa system to make it easier for foreign students to remain in the country and get work once they have completed their education in the UK."

Comment: Re:FB2K FTW (Score 1) 400

by sleekware (#45476297) Attached to: Winamp Shutting Down On December 20
I was a big fan of Winamp and I converted to foobar2000 for my music a few years ago. It's true that it can be cumbersome out of box, but I save my settings and it works for me and it's the only player I use now. It is much different from Winamp, but I like it much better. That being said it isn't for everyone, but if you like to tweak the heck out of things it's your friend. Interesting yet, the guy who wrote foobar used to do some work for the creators of Winamp:

foobar2000 is a freeware audio player for Windows developed by Peter Pawlowski, a former freelance contractor for Nullsoft. It is known for its highly modular design, breadth of features, and extensive user flexibility in configuration. For example, the user-interface is completely customizable.[5] Its extensive SDK allows third-party developers enough power to completely replace the interface. foobar2000 supports a large number of audio file formats, has many features for organising metadata, files, and folders, and has a converter interface for use with command line encoders. To maximize audio fidelity in cases where resampling or downscaling in bit depth is required, it provides noise shaping and dithering. There are a number of official and third-party components which add many additional features. The core is closed source, whereas the SDK is licensed under the BSD license.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foobar2000 foobar2000 site: http://www.foobar2000.org/ download: http://www.foobar2000.org/download

Software

Winamp Shutting Down On December 20 400

Posted by Soulskill
from the llama-finally-whipped-back dept.
New submitter Cid Highwind writes "If you want to download the latest version of Winamp, you'd better do it soon. According to a new banner on the download page, AOL will be pulling the plug on the iconic llama-whipping music player in a month. 'Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years.' Ars Technica ran an article last year detailing how the music player lost its dominance."
Crime

Crooks Arrested Over KVM-Based Bank Heist Attempt 79

Posted by timothy
from the worse-than-an-annoyatron dept.
judgecorp writes "Twelve men have been arrested over an attempt to take control of computers at a Santander bank branch in London using a stealthily planted KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switch installed by a bogus maintenance engineer. The men were caught by the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crimes Unit."
Microsoft

Ballmer To Retire 633

Posted by Soulskill
from the flying-chair-alert-level-green dept.
Today Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will be retiring within the next 12 months. He said, "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. ... My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction." Ballmer, 57, has been Microsoft's CEO since taking over the role from Bill Gates in January, 2000. The company's board of directors has formed a committee to find a replacement for Ballmer, and he will continue his duties until a new CEO is found. Questions about Ballmer's fitness to remain CEO have been circulating for the past several years, particularly after the company struggled to get a foothold in the mobile market. It will be interesting to see how this affects Microsoft's stock price. Upon retirement, Ballmer will be able to cash out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Microsoft stock.
Transportation

No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV 559

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-does-not-consume-live-kittens-or-drive-on-water dept.
thecarchik writes "In an exhaustive 6,500-word article on the financial website Seeking Alpha, analyst Nathan Weiss lays out a case that the latest Tesla Model S actually has higher effective emissions than most large SUVs of both the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and smog-producing pollutants like sulfur dioxide. This is absolutely false. Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions. When this has been done previously, the numbers have still favored electric cars. The Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, concluded in a 2012 report (PDF), 'Electric vehicles charged on the power grid have lower global warming emissions than the average gasoline-based vehicle sold today.' Working through every one of Weiss' conclusions may show a higher emissions rate than Tesla's published numbers, but in no way does a Model S pollute the amounts even close to an SUV."

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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