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Submission + - Government Admits Area 51 Exists Sans Aliens

voul writes: Philip Bump in an article writes the government admits the existence of Area 51. 'Newly declassified documents, obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive, appear to for the first time acknowledge the existence of Area 51,' Bump writes. 'Hundreds of pages describe the genesis of the Nevada site that was home to the government's spy plane program for decades. The documents do not, however, mention aliens. '

Submission + - Microsoft prepares Windows 8 for battle against th (cnn.com)

vanjav writes: Microsoft is set to unveil the next generation of Windows today. The new operating system, currently known as Windows 8, is the tech giant's attempt to regain ground that it has lost to Apple, which surpassed Microsoft last year as the world's most valuable company.

Submission + - Google+ Games: What It Needs to Beat Facebook (industrygamers.com)

donniebaseball23 writes: Google's new games offering on Google+ has only been around a few weeks, and it's been getting mixed reactions. According to veteran game designer Ed Del Castillo, the potential is there to beat Facebook at its own game, if Google improves in the right areas, which he outlines as evolved content, player discovery and a push for HTML5. "Overall, the quality of Google+ gaming isn’t bad. It’s just another Facebook with fewer games and fewer friends. It’s a baby step in a time where successful companies, like Apple, are taking huge strides. The good news is that they didn’t blow it. They have a good base to build on," he said.

Nvidia Unveils New Mid-Range GeForce Graphics Card 158

crookedvulture writes "Nvidia has uncorked another mid-range graphics card, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Every tech site on the web seems to have coverage of this new $250 offering, and The Tech Report's review will tell you all you need to know about the various flavors available, including how their performance compares to cards from 2-3 years ago. Interestingly, the review concludes that pretty much any modern mid-range graphics card offers smooth frame rates while playing the latest games at the common desktop resolution of 1920x1080. You may want to pay closer attention to power consumption and noise levels when selecting a new card."

Race On To Fingerprint Phones, PCs 139

theodp writes "Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads, reports the WSJ. They want to buy access to specific people. In response, the race is on develop digital fingerprint technology to identify how we use our computers, mobile devices and TV set-top boxes. Start-up BlueCava, an anti-piracy company spinoff, is building a 'credit bureau for devices' in which every computer or cellphone will have a 'reputation' based on its user's online behavior, shopping habits and demographics. By the end of next year, BlueCava says it expects to have cataloged one billion of the world's estimated 10 billion devices, and plans to sell this information to advertisers willing to pay top dollar for granular data about people's interests and activities. It's 'the next generation of online advertising,' said Blue Cava's David Norris. As controversy grows over intrusive online tracking, regulators are looking to rein it in — the FTC is expected to release a privacy report Wednesday calling for a 'do-not-track' tool for Web browsers."

Rise of the Small Botnet 61

wiredmikey writes "Botnets controlled by criminal enterprises all over the world continue to multiply at a steep rate, and it is now arguably the smaller, harder-to-trace operations that organizations should be the most worried about. Not only are smaller botnets cheaper and easier to build out and operate, but criminals have already realized that large-scale botnet activity attracts unwanted attention, and not just of law enforcement."

You Have Taste Receptors In Your Lungs 223

timothy points out news of a study from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine that found bitter taste receptors on the smooth muscle lining airways in the lungs (abstract in Nature). Quoting: "The taste receptors in the lungs are the same as those on the tongue. The tongue’s receptors are clustered in taste buds, which send signals to the brain. The researchers say that in the lung, the taste receptors are not clustered in buds and do not send signals to the brain, yet they respond to substances that have a bitter taste. ... 'I initially thought the bitter-taste receptors in the lungs would prompt a "fight or flight" response to a noxious inhalant, causing chest tightness and coughing so you would leave the toxic environment, but that’s not what we found,' says Dr. Liggett. ... The researchers tested a few standard bitter substances known to activate these receptors. 'It turns out that the bitter compounds worked the opposite way from what we thought. They all opened the airway more extensively than any known drug that we have for treatment of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).'"

Submission + - Fastest problem solving algorithm (pcauthority.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University claim they have devised an algorithm that will reduce problem-solving times a billion-fold in the complex world of linear equations. The scientists claim the algorithm, which applies to problems known as symmetric diagonally dominant (SDD) systems, is so efficient that “it may soon be possible for a desktop workstation to solve systems with a billion variables in just a few seconds”. SSD is used in applications such as recommendation engines on Amazon or Netflix, but also in image processing operations and engineering applications.

Submission + - Album price 'should drop to £1' (bbc.co.uk)

jaweekes writes: The price of music albums should be slashed to around £1, a former major record label boss has suggested.

Rob Dickins, who ran Warner Music in the UK for 15 years, said "radically" lowering prices would help beat piracy and lead to an exponential sales rise.


Submission + - Secret mini space shuttle found X37B lowers orbit (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: The Pentagon has strongly denied claims that the X-37B's mission supports the development of space-based weapons. A group of amateur sky watchers with members around the globe has concluded that the spacecraft's mission is in support of space-based surveillance and reconnaissance technology; they reported the X-37B's track took it over North Korea, Afghanistan and other trouble spots. According to them, the spacecraft passes over the same given spot on Earth every four days, and operates at altitude of 255 miles (410 km), which would be typical for a military surveillance satellite.

Submission + - Oracle Fixes 29 Java Bugs in Huge Patch Release (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Oracle has released a slew of patches for its Java platform, fixing a total of 29 bugs in Java SE and Java for Business. Several of the flaws allow a remote attacker to take complete control of a vulnerable machine.

Among the 29 bugs that Oracle fixed in its quarterly Critical Patch Update for Java are 28 vulnerabilities that are remotely exploitable with no authentication, and more than half of them offer a low barrier to exploitation for attackers. Some of the bugs that Oracle patched Tuesday are issues raised by security researcher Sami Koivu, who earlier this year talked about a class of bugs in Java called "serialization" flaws.

Java is among the more widely deployed technologies on the Web and it is now a favored vector for attackers looking for a common and easy way into machines. It's very difficult to browse the Web these days without having Java enabled in your browser, as millions of sites rely on the technology for portions of their functionality.


Submission + - Mysterious pulsar with hidden powers discovered

Matt_dk writes: Observations with NASA's Chandra, Swift, and Rossi X-ray observatories, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and ESA's XMM-Newton have revealed that a slowly rotating neutron star with an ordinary surface magnetic field is giving off bursts of X-rays and gamma rays. This discovery may indicate the presence of an internal magnetic field much more intense than the surface magnetic field, with implications for how the most powerful magnets in the cosmos evolve.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!