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Japan

+ - JAXA Creates Camera That Can See Radiation->

Submitted by Ben_R_R
Ben_R_R (1177533) writes "The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has created a camera that can "see" radioactive contamination by detecting gamma rays emitted by radioactive cesium and other substances. The camera has been tested in the disaster evacuation zone around Fukushima. The image captures levels of radiation in six different colors and overlays the result over an image captured with a wide angle lens."
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Social Networks

+ - Kodak failing but camera phones not to blame->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, camera manufacturer Kodak is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following a long struggle to maintain any sort of viable business.

The announcement has prompted some commentators to claim that Kodak’s near-demise has been brought on by:
a failure to innovate, or
a failure to anticipate the shift from analogue to digital cameras, or
a failure to compete with the rise of cameras in mobile phones.

Actually, none of these claims are true. Where Kodak did fail is in not understanding what people take photographs for, and what they do with photos once they have taken them.

Looking at camera data from Flikr, of images uploaded in 2011, camer phones only make up 3% of the total. Dedicated cameras from Canon, Nikon and yes, Kodak were used to take 97% of the images.

What Kodak failed to understand is that people have switched from taking photos for remembering and commemorative reasons to using photos for identity and communication. The shift changes the emphasis away from print to social media platforms and dedicated apps."

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Medicine

+ - New drug could cure nearly any viral infection ->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "An interesting development from Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab who have developed technology that may someday cure the common cold, influenza and other ailments.

As the article explains, most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. But, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.

Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, the MIT researchers have designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

In fact, in a paper published July 27 in the journal PLoS One, the researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them."

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Ubuntu

+ - Ubuntu TV unveiled->

Submitted by
Barence
Barence writes "Canonical has unveiled the first screenshots and details of Ubuntu TV. Plans for versions of the Linux distro for tablets, smartphones and TVs were unveiled last year, and now the television is — perhaps surprisingly — the first of those to arrive. "It's a simple viewing experience for online video, both your own and routed over the internet," Jane Silber, Canonical's CEO told PC Pro. Movie streaming services will be supported as well as live television broadcasts. Ubuntu TV will be integrated into television sets, but Canoncial was unable to confirm any manufacturers. It will be released later this year."
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The Internet

+ - The New Topology of Knowledge

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "There is a very interesting interview in the Atlantic with Internet theorist David Weinberger, co-author of the iconic Cluetrain Manifesto, who has just written another "stunningly profound book" — "Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room", about the new way that the Net generation is beginning to see knowledge. "My generation, and the many generations before mine, have thought about knowledge as being the collected set of trusted content, typically expressed in libraries full of books," says Weinberger. "Yet, for the coming generation, knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument. That social activity — collaborative and contentious, often at the same time — is a more accurate reflection of our condition as imperfect social creatures trying to understand a world that is too big and too complex for even the biggest-headed expert." Weinberger traces the idea of objectivity to the limitations of paper where you have to encapsulate something quite complex in just a relatively small rectangle of print and the reader has no easy way to check what you're saying. "There is no longer an imperative to squeeze the world into small, self-contained boxes. Hyperlinks remove the limitations that objectivity was invented to address.," says Weinberger adding that hyperlinks enable readers to understand — and thus perhaps discount — the writer's point of view. "This, of course, inverts the old model that assumed that if we knew about the journalist's personal opinions, her or his work would be less credible. Now we often think that the work becomes more credible if the author is straightforward about his or her standpoint.""

+ - Chinese Crunch Human Genome With Videogame Chips

Submitted by
Eric Smalley
Eric Smalley writes "The world’s largest genome sequencing center once needed four days to analyze data describing a human genome. Now it needs just six hours. The trick is servers built with graphics chips — the sort of processors that were originally designed to draw images on your personal computer. They’re called graphics processing units, or GPUs — a term coined by chip giant Nvidia. This fall, BGI — a mega lab headquartered in Shenzhen, China — switched to servers that use GPUs built by Nvidia, and this slashed its genome analysis time by more than an order of magnitude."

+ - Portable Fuel Cell Battery Charger-> 1

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "Mashable reports on a device being debuted at CES this year that is a portable fuel cell to recharge your devices. According to the article and the company's website, the device has a fuel cartridge and also uses a small amount of water.

Per the website: "PowerTrekk uses eco-friendly fuel cell technology which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity. The ability to simply insert a PowerPukk fuel pack and add water provides users instant and limitless power on the go."

This seems to not match up to my understanding of fuel cells, which use hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water. My guess is that the water is used to somehow activate the fuel which is stored as 'flexible stickers' not hydrogen gas.

This would be a nice thing if the fuel is cheap enough over time and it doesn't turn out to be vaporware."

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+ - New slow-motion DoS attack: just a few PCs, little->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The attack is new in that it uses reading rather than POST, and limits the server response, filling up the write buffer on the server end. There are other recent attack tools that do something similar, but this tool achieves it just by limiting the response with an ACK that sends a low or zero window value. Sockstress does this, but it uses raw sockets; this attack is simpler because it only uses the TCP Sockets API. So, the vulnerability isn't new; the attack style is an evolution of the slow attack approach. It's still worth noting because of the large number of websites that are potentially vulnerable to this and the relatively low bandwidth requirements of the attack."
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Privacy

+ - Analysis of Data Exposed in Stratfor Cyberattack->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Following news that security and intelligence firm STRATFOR is downplaying the recent hack of its systems, Identity Finder today shared a detailed analysis of the data released so far by the attackers.

Based on the analysis, 50,277 Individual Credit Card Numbers were exposed, but 40,626 are expired, leaving just 9,651 that are not expired. In terms of emails, 86,594 Email addresses were claimed to be exposed by the hackers, but only 47,680 were unique.

The hackers have released personal information for Stratfor subscribers whose first names begin with A through M, with N through Z expected to be released soon. In addition to the presently published data compromised during the attack, the attackers claim that 200GB of company email containing 2.7 million emails was captured as well."

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Software

+ - American Corporate Software Can't Be Trusted Anymo-> 1

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "There is a problem with proprietary, closed software, which makes Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the first Pirate Party, a bit uneasy: "We get a serious democratic deficit when the citizens are not able to inspect if the computers running the country’s administrations are actually doing what they claim to be doing, doing all that and something else invisibly on top, doing the wrong thing in the wrong way at the wrong time, or doing nothing at all. But this problem is peanuts compared to what has just appeared. In the debate around the American Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).""
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Programming

+ - Ask Slashdot: Hand it Over For The Greater Good? 8

Submitted by rsmith84
rsmith84 (2540216) writes "I'm the Senior Systems administrator for a small trade college. When I was hired on it was strictly for L3 related tasks such as advanced server administration, Exchange design and implementation, WAN and MPLS interconnectivity, multi-site routing, yadda, yadda, yadda. They have no in-house programmers, no help desk software, and no budget to purchase one.

I'm a moderate PHP, MySQL programmer on the side and am easily capable of writing something to meet their needs but do not believe I should be a) asked to or b) required to as my job description and employment terms are not based upon this skill set. I like a challenge and since all of my goals outlined since my hire date have been met and exceeded expectations I have a lot of down time; so I wrote the application. It streamlines several critical processes, allows for a central repository of FAQ, and provides end users with access to multiple systems all in one place.

I've kept a detailed time log of my work and feel I should be remunerated for the work before just handing over the code. The entire source was developed on personal equipment off company hours.

My question is what should I do? Obviously if they are willing to pay me, either in the form of a bonus, raise, or even PTO, I will gladly hand it over. However, it's been mentioned that, if I do the project, it is all but guaranteed that I will see no compensation. The application would streamline a lot of processes and take a lot of the burden off my team, freeing them up to handle what I deem to be more challenging items on their respective punch lists and a better utilization of their time and respective skills.

I'm a firm believer in not getting "something for nothing" especially when the skills are above my pay grade."
Government

+ - IBM Granted Your-Paychecks-Are-What-You-Eat Patent 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "On IBM's Smarter Planet, at least as envisioned in Big Blue's recently-granted patent for Providing Consumers With Incentives for Healthy Eating Habits, the Food and Drug Administration will team up with employers and insurers to determine your final paycheck based upon what you eat. IBM explains that whether a given food item is considered healthy may vary based on a number of factors, including 'individual health histories, family health histories, food intake, exercise routines, medications, and other health related factors', and may even be time dependent ('incentives are greater for consumption of a particular food item during a designated lunch time and less for consumption of the particular food item during other periods of time'). Before being issued, IBM's patent request languished for ten years and was only granted after a Patent Examiner's rejection was overturned on appeal. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano has been a cheerleader for pay-for-monitored-healthy-eating on a national level, which seems to be neatly aligned with the goals of his fellow CEOs on the Business Rountable, who told President Obama in 2009, 'It's very important that we don't have a government [healthcare] plan competing with a private plan and finding out that our employees or the citizens in general could go to a plan that doesn't have the same incentives and requirements and behavioral characteristics to make sure that they do the right things long term'."
Moon

+ - SETI to Scour the Moon for Alien Footprints?->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "Although we have an entire universe to seek out the proverbial alien needle in a haystack, perhaps looking in our own backyard would be a good place to start. That's the conclusions reached by Paul Davies and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University anyway. The pair have published a paper in the journal Acta Astronautica detailing how SETI could carry out a low-cost crowdsourcing program (a la SETI@Home) to scour the lunar surface for alien artifacts, thereby gaining clues on whether intelligent aliens are out there and whether they've paid the solar system a visit in the moon's recent history."
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Businesses

+ - Charlie Kindel explains why Windows Phone is still->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's weak share in the mobile phone market can be attributed to its mishandling of industry politics, not inferior technology or features, blogs ex-Windows Phone evangelist Charlie Kindel. Microsoft's traditional strategy of going over the heads of hardware vendors to meet the needs of consumers and application developers does not work in the phone market, says Kindel, where the handset makers and carriers have the biggest say in determining the winners (Apple is an exception). Some talkback to Kindel's blog post here. Old-timers may remember Kindel, who recently resigned from Microsoft, from his days as developer relations guru for COM/OLE/Active-X."
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