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New Facebook Phone App Lets You Stalk Your Friends 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-won't-be-ignored dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Iain Thomson reports that Facebook is adding a new application called 'Nearby Friends' that alerts smartphone users when their friends are nearby. 'If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up,' says Facebook in a statement. 'For example, when you're headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward.' The feature, which is opt-in, allows users to select which friends get a warning that you are in the area, and prepare a subset of people who might like to know when you're near, if they have the Nearby Friends activated as well. According to Josh Constine what makes 'Nearby Friends' different than competitors and could give it an advantage is that it's centered around broadcasting proximity, not location. 'If someone's close, you'll know, and can ping them about their precise location and meeting up. Broadcasting location is creepy so we're less likely to share it, and can cause awkward drop-ins where someone tries to come see you when you didn't want them to.'"

Lying Eyes: Cyborg Glasses Simulate Eye Expressions 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A researcher in Japan has taken what is, perhaps, the next step after Google Glass: Glasses which produce animated images of the user's eyes to simulate emotional responses. They are intended to aid workers in emotionally-intensive environments. As the researcher explains, '... they allowed others to feel they were "cared" about ...'"

Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds' 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the people's-meadow dept.
mr crypto (229724) writes "A group of scientists and food activists are launching a campaign to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new 'open source pledge' that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely."

Comment: Re:ALL the exchanges failed (Score 1) 150

by Tablizer (#46785523) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

was that the rollout was rushed for political reasons. If it were slowed down then the republicans might have had more success killing it before implementation.

That might be "political" reasons, but it's also practical reasons. If you want to get certain things done, you have to race against competition trying to kill it.

For about 100 years various presidents and lawmaking groups have tried to enact a medical insurance program of some sort, only to see it smashed down. With that kind of record you know you have to move quickly and take some risk to slip through the narrow cracks of opportunity that present themselves.

Like it or hate it, ACA is a monumental political endeavor with equally monumental forces pushing against it. The horse has to be big and ride fast to get something like this through, and that probably means inadvertently stepping on and squashing stuff along the way.

When Biden was caught on mike saying, "This is a big fucking deal!", it was no exaggeration.

Comment: Re:It's Not Really Oracle (Score 2) 150

by Tablizer (#46785451) Attached to: Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

It's that people think they can drop Oracle on top of a crappy design and that will somehow magically fix it.

That's probably what the sales-person told them.

"Just drop your leaky little app into our Oratron Fix-O-Matic 5000 and out will pop perfect shiny reports and data! You have my trustworthy word!"

However, seems they forgot to get it in writing.


Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops 228

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-eye-in-the-sky dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes "There has been a huge surge in the number of hidden cannabis farms across Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury, towns on the outskirts of rural Shropshire some seven miles from central Birmingham. They require hydroponic lights for the marijuana plants to grow – and the huge amounts of excess heat given off make them easily spottable for a would-be criminal with a drone carrying infrared cameras. One such man says that after finding a property with a cannabis farm he and his crew either burgle or 'tax' the victim."
The Courts

Oracle Deflects Blame For Troubled Oregon Health Care Site 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oracle is gearing up for a fight with officials in Oregon over its role developing an expensive health insurance exchange website that still isn't fully operational. In a letter obtained by the Oregonian newspaper this week, Oracle co-president Safra Catz said that Oregon officials have provided the public with a 'false narrative' concerning who is to blame for Cover Oregon's woes. In the letter, Catz pointed out that Oregon's decision to act as their own systems integrator on the project, using Oracle consultants on a time-and-materials basis, was 'criticized frequently by many'. And as far as Oracle is concerned, 'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,' she added."

Comment: Re:Not Evolution (Score 2) 89

by Tablizer (#46784513) Attached to: NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

This is the theory of abiogenesis, not evolution. Evolution is how life changes, not how it got started.

But life probably cannot start until evolution helps it along. Something that was half-alive probably had to be shaped further by evolution to become true life.

For example, an early molecule that was perhaps either too poor a replicator (sloppy & broken) or too accurate a replicator (exact clones) would have reached a dead end if evolution didn't start pruning the copies to find the Goldilocks range of imperfection level (mutation) in the replication process necessary for continuing life.


NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the from-the-water dept.
William Robinson (875390) writes "A new study from researchers at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has proposed the "water world" theory as the answer to our evolution, which describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life. While the scientists had already proposed this hypothesis called 'submarine alkaline hydrothermal emergence of life' the new report assembles decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture."

In a Cloning First, Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adults 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-your-cells dept.
Trax3001BBS (2368736) writes in with news about a breakthrough in creating stem cells perfectly matched to a person's DNA. "...Lanza's group used caffeine to prevent the fused egg from dividing prematurely. Rather than leaving the egg with its newly introduced DNA for 30 minutes before activating the dividing stage, they let the eggs rest for about two hours. This gave the DNA enough time to acclimate to its new environment and interact with the egg's development factors, which erased each of the donor cell's existing history and reprogrammed it to act like a brand new cell in an embryo.'"

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes