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+ - Girls 'better than boys at making computer games', study finds. 1

Submitted by Esteanil
Esteanil (710082) writes "Researchers in the University of Sussex's Informatics department asked pupils at a secondary school to design and program their own computer game using a new visual programming language.
The young people, aged 12-13, spent eight weeks developing their own 3D role-playing games. The girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games than the boys and also learnt more about coding. The girls used seven different triggers – almost twice as many as the boys – and were much more successful at creating complex scripts with two or more parts and conditional clauses. Boys nearly always chose to trigger their scripts on when a character says something, which is the first and easiest trigger to learn."

+ - Creative Commons to pass one billion licensed works->

Submitted by Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets (2851661) writes "Sharing is winning. In 2015, Creative Commons is expected to pass one billion licensed works under the commons. Millions of creators around the world use CC licenses to give others permission to use their work in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to. Those millions of users are the proof that Creative Commons works. But measuring the size of the commons has always been a challenge. Until now..."
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+ - Researchers seek the origins of an early Analog Computer->

Submitted by puddingebola
puddingebola (2036796) writes "The Antikythera Mechanism is described as an early analog computer, used to predict the time of eclipses, and for astrological and astronomic instruction. Speculation about its origin has ranged from attributing it to different Greek Mathemeticians and thinkers, such as Archimedes, Hipparchus, and Posidonius, Current research suggests its origin may be much earlier, and its working based on Babylonian arithmetical methods rather than Greek Trigonometry, which did not exist at the time. From the article, "Writing this month in the journal Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Dr. Carman and Dr. Evans took a different tack. Starting with the ways the device’s eclipse patterns fit Babylonian eclipse records, the two scientists used a process of elimination to reach a conclusion that the “epoch date,” or starting point, of the Antikythera Mechanism’s calendar was 50 years to a century earlier than had been generally believed.""
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+ - Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Most major American cities have long used a system to limit the number of operating taxicabs, typically a medallion system: Drivers must own or rent a medallion to operate a taxi, and the city issues a fixed number of them. Now Josh Barro reports at the NYT that in major cities throughout the United States, taxi medallion prices are tumbling as taxis face competition from car-service apps like Uber and Lyft. The average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 percent from a peak reached in the spring of 2013, according to an analysis of sales data. "I’m already at peace with the idea that I’m going to go bankrupt,” said Larry Ionescu, who owns 98 Chicago taxi medallions. As recently as April, Boston taxi medallions were selling for $700,000. The last sale, in October, was for $561,000. “Right now Uber has a strong presence here in Boston, and that’s having a dramatic impact on the taxi industry and the medallion values,” says Donna Blythe-Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Boston Taxi Drivers’ Association. “We hear that there’s a couple of medallion owners that have offered to sell at 425 and nobody’s touched them."

The current structure of the American taxi industry began in New York City when “taxi medallions” were introduced in the 1930s. Taxis were extremely popular in the city, and the government realized they needed to make sure drivers weren’t psychopaths luring victims into their cars. So, New York City required cabbies to apply for a taxi medallion license. Given the technology available in the 1930s, It was a reasonable solution to the taxi safety problem, and other cities soon followed suit. But their scarcity has made taxi medallions the best investment in America for years. Where they exist, taxi medallions have outperformed even the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. In Chicago, their value has doubled since 2009. The medallion stakeholders are many and deep pockets run this market. The system in Chicago and elsewhere is dominated by large investors who rely on brokers to sell medallions, specialty banks to finance them and middle men to manage and lease them to drivers who own nothing at all. Together, they’re fighting to protect an asset that was worth about $2.4 billion in Chicago last year. “The medallion owners seem to be of the opinion that they are entitled to indefinite appreciation of their asset,” says Corey Owens, Uber’s head of global public policy.. “The taxi medallion in the U.S. was the best investment you could have made in the last 30 years. Will it go up forever? No. And if they expected that it would, that was their mistake.”"

Google News Sci Tech: OnePlus And Cyanogen Inc. Might Be Aimed For A Split - Techaeris->

From feed by feedfeeder

Firstpost

OnePlus And Cyanogen Inc. Might Be Aimed For A Split
Techaeris
It's been a rough year for OnePlus. They drummed up feverish interest in their phone only to have to turn away potential customers. They ran with a convoluted invite system, alienated their fans with some questionable forum contests, and now it seems that...
OnePlus and Cyanogen on brink of breakup after India fightEngadget
OnePlus One will run custom Android 5.0, not CyanogenMod, in IndiaPhoneDog
OnePlus One Indian Users Will Not Receive CyanogenOS OTA Updates For NowAndroid Headlines - Android News

all 38 news articles

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+ - Single Pixel Camera Takes Images Through Breast Tissue 1

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Single pixel cameras are currently turning photography on its head. They work by recording lots of exposures of a scene through a randomising media such as frosted glass. Although seemingly random, these exposures are correlated because the light all comes from the same scene. So its possible to number crunch the image data looking for this correlation and then use it to reassemble the original image. Physicists have been using this technique, called ghost imaging, for several years to make high resolution images, 3D photos and even 3D movies. Now one group has replaced the randomising medium with breast tissue from a chicken. They've then used the single pixel technique to take clear pictures of an object hidden inside the breast tissue. The potential for medical imaging is clear. Curiously, this technique has a long history dating back to the 19th century when Victorian doctors would look for testicular cancer by holding a candle behind the scrotum and looking for suspicious shadows. The new technique should be more comfortable."

+ - Hackers Breach Payment Systems of Major Parking Garage Operator->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Parking garage operator SP+ said on Friday that an unauthorized attacker gained access to its payment processing systems and was able to access customer names and payment card information. The company, which operates roughly 4,200 parking facilities in hundreds of cities across North America, said the attack affected 17 SP+ parking facilities.

According to the company, an unauthorized person had used a remote access tool to connect to the payment processing systems to install malware which searched for payment card data that was being routed through the computers that accept payments made at the parking facilities.

Parking facilities in Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Evanston were affected by the breach, though a majority of the locations affected were located in Chicago.

SP+ did not say what type of malware was found on the systems. Earlier this week, a new strain of point-of-sale malware targeting e-kiosks and ticket vending machines was uncovered by intelligence firm IntelCrawler. Dubbed 'd4re|dev1|', the malware is hitting mass transit systems, and acts a backdoor that gives attackers remote administration capabilities."

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+ - Oracle finally release Java MSI file. 1

Submitted by nosfucious
nosfucious (157958) writes "Oracle Corporation, one of the largest software companies and leading supplier of database and enterprise software quietly started shipping a MSI version of their Java Runtime (https://www.java.com/en/download/help/msi_install.xml). Java is the worlds leading software security vulnerability and keeping up with the frequent patches of nearly a job in itself. Added to this is the very corporate (read: Window on a large scale) unfriendly EXE packaging of the Java RTE. Sysadmins around the world should be rejoicing. However, nothing from Oracle is free. MSI versions of Java are only available to those with Java SE Advanced (and other similar products). Given that urgency and frequency of Java updates, what can be done to force Oracle release MSI versions publicly (and thereby reduce impact of their own bugs and improve Sysadmin sanity)."

+ - Raspberry Pi and Coder by Google for beginners and kids->

Submitted by Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets (2851661) writes "Coder is an experiment for Raspberry Pi, built by a small team of Googlers in New York. It converts a Raspberry Pi into a friendly environment for learning web programming. It is ideal for beginners and requires absolutely no experience with coding. Luis Ibanez, an engineer at Google, has written this getting started guide that shows how easy it is to set up Coder."
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+ - 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?""

+ - 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."

+ - Non-ultra, power user notebooks that don't try to imitate Apple?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Shopping for a highly mobile 12-13" notebook, and getting frustrated. Each new one I try has one of these feelless, flat, almost touchscreen-like keyboards, clearly copied from Apple. What's more, the layouts are getting idiotic — for example, hiding PgUp/Dn behind Fn key makes multi-tab browsing a nightmare. What's more, modern touchpads seem to be getting rid of buttons & side-scroll, instead experimenting with crude "multi-touch".

I could still live with a refurbished ThinkPad or Latitude from a couple of years back, but would rather have more power under my fingertips. Just need a decent KB with cup keys, and touchpad with side-scroll + middle button (even with emulation, if only L+R buttons can be reliably pressed with one thumb).

Background: Linux admin, blogger, somewhat road warrior. Write tens of KB every day. Mostly terminal + browser windows. Hate moving hands from keyboard, or even having to look at keyboard. Used to be able to work with most any laptop before the Ultra crisis."

+ - 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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+ - Ask Slashdot: Best drone for $100-$150

Submitted by andyring
andyring (100627) writes "With Christmas fast approaching, and me being notoriously hard to buy for, I thought a camera drone would be great to suggest for Christmas. But the options are dizzying, and it's nearly impossible to find something and know it'll be decent. What are /.ers suggestions/recommendations/experiences with a basic camera drone in the $100-150 range? Looks like all of them do video but I'm more interested in high-res stills although that may be a moot point. Your ideas?"

+ - 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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