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+ - Apple and Amazon Launch Black Friday Price War->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Forbes magazine points out that tablet computers are receiving some of the biggest discounts for this year's day-after-Thanksgiving sales. "With slowing growth in the tablet market and an increasing array of choices, some of the strongest bargains will come in that sector," they report, noting that Target is giving away a $140 gift card with purcahses of an iPad Air 2 (and a $100 gift card with the iPad Mini or first-generation iPad Air). But Amazon has already launched a counter-strike, posting big discounts online on Thanksgiving day for their entire line of Kindles, including a black-and-white Kindle for just $49, and their 6-inch color/high-definition HD6 for just $79."
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+ - Researchers Discover an 'Off Switch' For Pain in the Brain-> 1

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists working together from several international universities have discovered that it is possible to block a pathway in the brain of animals suffering from neuropathic pain, which could have a huge impact on improving pain relief in humans.

So far, the most successful ways to treat chronic pain from a pharmacological point of view are to create drugs that that interact or interfere with various channels in the brain to decrease pain, including adrenergic, opioid and calcium receptors.

However, there is another way – a chemical stimulator called adenosine that binds to brain receptors to trigger a biological response.

Adenosine has shown potential for killing pain in humans, but so far, no one has managed to harness this pain pathway successfully without causing a myriad of side effects.

Led by Dr Daniela Salvemini of SLU, the researchers discovered that by activating the A3 adenosine receptor in the rodents' brains and spinal cords, the receptor was able to prevent or reverse pain from nerve damage (the cause of chronic pain)."

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+ - Renewables are now Scotland's biggest energy source 2

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Government figures revealed that Scotland is now generating more power from "clean" technologies than nuclear, coal and gas. The combination of wind, solar and hydroelectric, along with less-publicised sources such as landfill gas and biomass, produced 10.3TWh in the first half of 2014. Over the same period, Scotland generated 7.8TWh from nuclear, 5.6TWh from coal and 1.4TWh from gas, according to figures supplied by National Grid. Renewable sources tend to fluctuate throughout the year, especially in Scotland where the weather is notoriously volatile, but in six-month chunks the country has consistently increased its renewable output."

+ - Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering on 2012 Election 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Gerrymandering is the practice of establishing a political advantage for a political party by manipulating district boundaries to concentrate all your opponents votes in a few districts while keeping your party's supporters as a majority in the remaining districts. For example, in North Carolina in 2012 Republicans ended up winning nine out of 13 congressional seats even though more North Carolinians voted for Democrats than Republicans statewide. Now Jessica Jones reports that researchers at Duke are studying the mathematical explanation for the discrepancy. Mathematicians Jonathan Mattingly and Christy Vaughn created a series of district maps using the same vote totals from 2012, but with different borders. Their work was governed by two principles of redistricting: a federal rule requires each district have roughly the same population and a state rule requires congressional districts to be compact. Using those principles as a guide, they created a mathematical algorithm to randomly redraw the boundaries of the state’s 13 congressional districts. "We just used the actual vote counts from 2012 and just retabulated them under the different districtings," says Vaughn. "”If someone voted for a particular candidate in the 2012 election and one of our redrawn maps assigned where they live to a new congressional district, we assumed that they would still vote for the same political party."

The results were startling. After re-running the election 100 times with a randomly drawn nonpartisan map each time, the average simulated election result was 7 or 8 U.S. House seats for the Democrats and 5 or 6 for Republicans. The maximum number of Republican seats that emerged from any of the simulations was eight. The actual outcome of the election — four Democratic representatives and nine Republicans – did not occur in any of the simulations. "If we really want our elections to reflect the will of the people, then I think we have to put in safeguards to protect our democracy so redistrictings don't end up so biased that they essentially fix the elections before they get started," says Mattingly. But North Carolina State Senator Bob Rucho is unimpressed. "I'm saying these maps aren't gerrymandered," says Rucho. "It was a matter of what the candidates actually was able to tell the voters and if the voters agreed with them. Why would you call that uncompetitive?""

+ - Dolby Pimping Bogus Speaker Technology To Justify Licensing Fee?->

Submitted by Tica2
Tica2 (1722182) writes "Dolby is claiming you can place their specialized speakers on top of your existing speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling to create height sound for their new Atmos format. However leading experts agree that the Dolby tech behind it is bogus and nothing more than a means for them to justify charging manufacturers a licensing fee. What do you think?"
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+ - Riecoin breaks world record for largest prime sextuplet, twice->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, Riecoin – a project that doubles as decentralized virtual currency and a distributed computing system — quietly broke the record for the largest prime number sextuplet. This happened on November 17, 2014 at 19:50 GMT and the calculation took only 70 minutes using the massive distributed computing power of its network. This week the feat was outdone and the project beat its own record on November 24, 2014 at 20:28 GMT achieving numbers 654 digits long, 21 more than its previous record."
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+ - Syrian Electronic Army claims responsibility for hacking of multiple websites

Submitted by ddtmm
ddtmm (549094) writes "The Syrian Electronic Army [wikipedia] is claiming responsibility for the hacking of multiple news websites, including CBC News. Some users trying to access the CBC website reported seeing a pop-up message reading: "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)." It appears the hack targeted a network used by many news organizations and businesses.

A tweet from an account appearing to belong to the Syrian Electronic Army suggested the attacks were meant to coincide with the U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday. The group claimed to have used the domain Gigya.com, a company that offers businesses a customer identity management platform, to hack into other sites via GoDaddy, its domain registrar. Gigya is "trusted by more than 700 leading brands," according to its website. The hacker or hackers redirected sites to the Syrian Electronic Army image that users saw. Gigya's operations team released a statement Thursday morning saying that it identified an issue with its domain registrar at 6:45 a.m. ET. The breach "resulted in the redirect of the Gigya.com domain for a subset of users," the company said.

Among the websites known to be hacked so far are New York Times, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, PC World, Forbes, The Telegrapgh, Walmart and Facebook."

+ - Edsac Goes Live

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Britain's National Museum of Computing has flipped the switch on the venerable Edsac computer. The arduous task of reconstructing the 1949 behemoth, fraught with little in terms of the original hardware or documentation, was brought to fruition on Wednesday. As project lead, Andrew Herbert, is quoted as saying, "We face the same challenges as those remarkable pioneers who succeeded in building a machine that transformed computing." A remarkably shaky video of the event, replete with excellent views of the floor at the videographer's feet, can be found here."

+ - Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well."
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+ - Windows 10 to Feature Native Support for MKV and FLAC

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Windows Media Player is going to become a more useful media player for those who want to play geeky file formats. Microsoft has earlier confirmed that Windows 10 will come with native support for Matroska Video, but the company now talks about also adding FLAC support. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul posted a teaser screenshot in Twitter showing support for this particular format. It can be expected to arrive in a future update for people running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Not many GUI changes seem to be happening around Media Player, but work is done under the hood."

+ - ReactOS inches closer to becoming true Windows XP clone (New Shell and NTFS)-> 3

Submitted by jeditobe
jeditobe (2701857) writes "So finally the new ReactOS Explorer has arrived!

The new ReactOS Explorer is much more compatible, stable, and comes with more features than the current (and now old) explorer. We expect it to be a big quality jump in terms of usability, and the rockstar feature of the upcoming 0.4 release. Just keep reading to discover more about it!

ReactOS is an open source operating system designed to be compatible with Windows XP (and later) apps. It’s been in development for nearly two decades (it actually predates Windows 2000 and grew out of a project called FreeWin95) and it’s still very much a work in progress.

ReactOS was most recently talked about for one of its developers coming up with an open-source AMD SI ISA compatible GPU design while the latest accomplishments from this open-source developer group has came to light.

The developers also unveiled two interesting milestones last mounth. First, ReactOS can now read files from NTFS volumes on a hard drive. Pierre Schweitzer of ReactOS shared, "ReactOS now supports reading files from NTFS volume. This was a long awaited feature people were asking for." A new ReactOS ISO re-spin is now available containing this support. [http://reboot.pro/topic/20149-ntfs-now-supported-in-reactos-livecd/]

Second, ReactOS 0.3.17 was released with an early build of NTVDM, a tool that adds support for 16-bit Windows apps for folks that want to run legacy software.

Also huge bunch of font problems was fixed making possible to run without problems Gimp, Wireshark [https://jira.reactos.org/browse/CORE-4657], Java, Winrar and IntelliJ IDEA [https://jira.reactos.org/browse/CORE-8525]."

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+ - Scientists develop paint to help cool the planet->

Submitted by AaronW
AaronW (33736) writes "Engineers at Stanford University have developed an ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings but also directs internal heat away from the building using a system called "photonic radiative cooling." The coating is capable of reflecting away 97% of incoming sunlight and when combined with the photonic radiative cooling system it becomes cooler than the surrounding air by around 9F (5C). The material is designed to radiate heat into space at a precise frequency that allows it to pass through the atmosphere without warming it.

The material is designed to be cost effective for large-scale deployments."

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+ - Why Apple Failed to Make Sapphire iPhones->

Submitted by Frankie70
Frankie70 (803801) writes "Apple invested more than $1 billion in an effort to make sapphire one of iPhone 6's selling point. But iPhone 6 released without the sapphire screen. GT Advanced Technologies, the small company chosen to supply Apple with enormous quantities of cheap sapphire, declared bankruptcy a month later. Recent documents from GT’s bankruptcy proceedings, and conversations with people familiar with operations at Apple and GT, provide several clues as to what went wrong. GT said that to save costs, Apple decided not to install backup power supplies, and multiple outages ruined whole batches of sapphire. The terms Apple negotiated committed GT to supplying a huge amount of sapphire, but put Apple under no obligation to buy it. In its bankruptcy documents, GT would later accuse Apple of using “bait-and-switch” tactics, and said the terms of the deal were “onerous and massively one-sided.”"
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