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+ - LTE Hotspot as the only cellular service? 1

Submitted by iamacat
iamacat (583406) writes "I am thinking of canceling my regular voice plan and using an LTE hotspot for all my voice and data needs. One big draw is ability to easily use multiple devices without expensive additional lines or constantly swapping SIMs. So I can have an ultra compact Android phone and an iPod touch and use one of them depending on which apps I fell like using. Or, if I anticipate needing more screen real estate, I can bring only a Nexus 7 or a laptop and still be able to make and receive VoIP calls. When I am home or at work, I would be within range of regular WiFi and not need to eat into the data plan or battery life of the hotspot.

Has anyone done something similar? Did the setup work well and which devices/VoIP services did you end up using? How about software for automatic WiFi handoffs between the hotspot and regular home/work networks?"

+ - The woman who should have been the first female astronaut.

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "We like to think of the Mercury 7 — the very first group of NASA astronauts — as the "best of the best," having been chosen from a pool of over 500 of the top military test pilots after three rounds of intense physical and mental tests. Yet when women were allowed to take the same tests, one of them clearly distinguished herself, outperforming practically all of the men. If NASA had really believed in merit, Jerrie Cobb would have been the first female in space, even before Valentina Tereshkova, more than 50 years ago. She still deserves to go."

+ - Porous Silicon Improves Sensitivity of Integrated Optical Sensors->

Submitted by shalon13
shalon13 (3884431) writes "Researchers in Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new method to significantly improve silicon-based optical sensors for the detection of biochemicals and other molecules. This simplified approach reliably brings porous silicon to silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates, a widely used platform in the area of Silicon Photonics aiming for integrated optical devices with high performance and low cost."
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+ - Speech driven keyboard drivers, why do they only exist in Android/iOS? 1

Submitted by ntrcessor
ntrcessor (821638) writes "I have several clients who are visually disabled, or have other disabilities the make typing a difficulty for them. I noticed that they still prefer to have something with tactile feedback. I also noticed that they liked the fact that on Android and iOS devices they could speak commands, and even type by speaking. Great.

Sans expensive 3rd party add-ons, none of the OS's for desktops seem to integrate this ability directly into the OS. Even with accessibility turned on, my experience across the board, is that one must speak into a "dictation" application, and some how paste that content into the desired app. Experience has also show that if disabled people were all obscenely rich, they could afford the 3rd party add-ons to make this a less cumbersome task.

The least expensive route I found for this doesn't work well, and that was Nuance combined with an iPhone for input. Assuming the user is starting from scratch, we have the cost of a new computer, the Nuance Software, and the iPhone, which pushes the cost easily over $1000, and it's still involves lots of training for the user. The one that didn't involve so much user training isn't directly available in the US, and costs $3000 for the middleman piece that combines the Nuance and another piece of software called Jaws. Between Nuance, and Jaws, that's $1000. The easy part is apparently just adding enough speech recognition to be able to launch a few commands. I have accomplished this in all 3 with minimal effort. But on the typing front, still no joy.

Why is it then, that while it is demonstrably possible to have a keyboard level input done by voice recognition, that none of the major desktop OS's support this out of the box? (Linux,Windows, MacOS). I'm asking because I'm trying to solve this on an affordable basis for the truly disabled, who need it. Unfortunately my skills in programming, are currently not near the level they would need to be to supply keyboard drivers for any platform. Let alone one that involved a speech API."

Google News Sci Tech: Globalfoundries to take over IBM chip unit - MarketWatch->

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Globalfoundries to take over IBM chip unit
International Business Machines Corp. IBM, +1.23% has reached an agreement for Globalfoundries Inc. to take over IBM's semiconductor operations, people familiar with the matter said. IBM will pay Globalfoundries $1.5 billion to take the chip operations off...
IBM Said to Reach Deal to Offload Chip Unit for $1.5 BillionMSN News
IBM's stop-start chip deal with GlobalFoundries resumes: ReportsZDNet
IBM 'major announcement' points to deal on chip manufacturingPCWorld
Poughkeepsie Journal-Re/code
all 33 news articles

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Google News Sci Tech: Microsoft plans to launch smartwatch within weeks: Forbes - Reuters->

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Microsoft plans to launch smartwatch within weeks: Forbes
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O) is preparing to launch a smartwatch within the next few weeks that will passively track a user's heart rate and work across different mobile platforms, Forbes reported on Sunday. The wearable gadget's battery...
Report: Microsoft is about to jump into the smartwatch frayPCWorld (blog)
Microsoft's fitness wearable said just weeks awaySlashGear
Microsoft likely to launch a smartwatch within the next few weeksIBNLive
WinBeta-Gizmodo Australia
all 19 news articles

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+ - If you're connected, Apple collects your data. No matter what.->

Submitted by fyngyrz
fyngyrz (762201) writes "It would seem that no matter how you configure Yosemite, Apple is listening. Keeping in mind that this is only what's been discovered so far, and given what's known to be going on, it's not unthinkable that more is as well. Should users just sit back and accept this as the new normal? It will be interesting to see if these discoveries result in an outcry, or not."
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Google News Sci Tech: NASA says 1934 Dust Bowl was worst drought in 1000 years: Here's what NASA ... -->

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Tech Times

NASA says 1934 Dust Bowl was worst drought in 1000 years: Here's what NASA ...
Tech Times
The Dust Bowl of 1934 was the worst dry period in 1,000 years, according to NASA. That doesn't reveal the human suffering it caused, or the art it helped to create. (Photo : Arthur Rothstein / Farm Security Administration)...
NASA and Tree Rings Confirm 1934 Drought Worst in Last 1000
How the Dust Bowl Stacks Up Against Other DroughtsThe News Ledge
1934 drought worst in millenniumThe Hoops News
The Guardian-Capital Wired-Beta Wired
all 84 news articles

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+ - Internet trolls to face two years in jail for online abuse->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Internet trolls who spread “venom” on social media could be jailed for up to two years, the justice secretary Chris Grayling has said as he announced plans to quadruple the maximum prison sentence.

Grayling, who spoke of a “baying cybermob”, said the changes will allow magistrates to pass on the most serious cases to crown courts.

The changes, which will be introduced as amendments to the criminal justice and courts bill, will mean the maximum custodial sentence of six months will be increased to 24 months.

Grayling told the Mail on Sunday: “These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life. No one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the six-month sentence."

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+ - Gigabit Cellular Networks Could Happen with 24GHz Spectrum

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Notice of Inquiry was issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday that focuses research on higher frequencies for sending gigabit streams of mobile data. The inquiry specifically states that its purpose is to determine "what frequency bands above 24 GHz would be most suitable for mobile services, and to begin developing a record on mobile service rules and a licensing framework for mobile services in those bands". Cellular networks currently use frequencies between 600 MHz to 3 GHz with the most desirable frequencies under 1 GHz being owned by AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The FCC feels, however, that new technology indicates the potential for utilizing higher frequency ranges not necessarily as a replacement but as the implementation necessary to finally usher in 5G wireless technology. The FCC anticipates the advent of 5G commercial offerings within six years."

+ - Soda pop damages your cells' telomeres

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "Those free soft drinks at your last start-up may come with a huge hidden price tag. The Toronto Sun reports that researchers at the University of California — San Francisco found study participants who drank pop daily had shorter telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — in white blood cells. Short telomeres have been associated with chronic aging diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

The researchers calculated daily consumption of a 20-ounce pop is associated with 4.6 years of additional biological aging. The effect on telomere length is comparable to that of smoking, they said.

"This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level," researcher Elissa Epel said in a press release."

+ - NASA cancels solar sail demonstration mission (Sunjammer)->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Space News reports that NASA cancelled their solar sail demonstration mission (also known as Sunjammer) citing, "a lack of confidence in its contractor’s ability to deliver".

[Company president Nathan] Barnes said that in 2011 he reached out to several NASA centers and companies that he believed could build the spacecraft and leave L’Garde free to focus on the solar sail. None of those he approached — he only identified NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California — took him up on the offer. Rather than give up on the opportunity to land a NASA contract, L’Garde decided to bring the spacecraft development in house. It did not work out, and as of Oct. 17, the company had taken delivery of about $2 million worth of spacecraft hardware including a hydrazine tank from ATK Space Systems of Commerce, California, and four mono-propellant thrusters from Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California.


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+ - 100 year old rifle being phased out by Canada's Rangers->

Submitted by ControlsGeek
ControlsGeek (156589) writes "The Lee-Enfield .303 Rifle is being phased out for use by Canada's Rangers. A Northern aboriginal branch of the Armed Forces. The rifle has been in service with the Canadian military for 100 years and is still being used by the Rangers for it's unfailing reliability in Arctic conditions. If only the Hardware that we use in Computers could have such a track record."
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+ - Be True to Your CS School: Best Colleges for Programmers?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "With apologies to The Beach Boys: "When some loud braggart tries to put me down / And says his CS school is great / I tell him right away / 'Now what's the matter buddy / Ain't you heard of my CS school / It's number one in the LinkedIn University Rankings'." The Motely Fool reports that the Data Scientists at LinkedIn have been playing with their Big Data, ranking schools based on how successful recent grads have been at landing desirable software development jobs. Here's their Top 25: CMU, Caltech, Cornell, MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, Univ. of Washington, Duke, Michigan, Stanford, UCLA, Illinois, UT Austin, Brown, UCSD, Harvard, Rice, Penn, Univ. of Arizona, Harvey Mudd, UT Dallas, San Jose State, USC, Washington University, RIT. There's also a shorter list for the best schools for software developers at startups, which draws a dozen schools from the previously mentioned schools, and adds Columbia, Univ. of Virginia, and Univ. of Maryland College Park."

Google News Sci Tech: Apple SIM: Not Quite A Revolution - InformationWeek->

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Apple SIM: Not Quite A Revolution
The Apple iPad Air 2's inclusion of a SIM card that lets users choose among cellular data plans won't change the mobile industry all that much. Here's why. 10 Robots Changing The World. (Click image for larger view and slideshow.) When Apple introduced...
SIM card in new iPads gives rise to phone-carrier speculationMarketWatch
New iPad Lets Users Swap Data PlansNASDAQ
Apple SIM has great potential, but widespread changes will take timeInfoWorld
Economic Times
all 73 news articles

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Reference the NULL within NULL, it is the gateway to all wizardry.