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Games

Submission + - Games could predict whether you're color blind, a gambler, or have ADD (venturebeat.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Lukasz Twardowski, a young Polish entrepreneur, recently made an unexpected discovery. By analyzing data from video games, he thinks he’ll be able to predict whether players are color blind, have Alzheimer’s disease, or suffer from various learning and development disorders. He can already use this data to tell whether players are gamblers, cheaters, or minors, so the profiling of medical conditions is not that distant, Twardowski claims.

“Games are the richest and the most meaningful form of human computer interaction,” said Twardowski in an interview with VentureBeat. “We can use [them] to build a full user behavioral profile.”

Security

Submission + - Demonoid Down Following DDoS Attack (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Demonoid, one of the most famous BitTorrent tracker site, has been at the receiving end of a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack following which it has been inaccessible since about a day and is expected to stay offline for quite some time. Millions of users across the globe were greeted with the message “server busy” instead of the usual welcome screen. Administrators at Demonoid have said that this time around the issue is not that easy to fix and that beyond DDoS attacks there might be some other forms of attack against the tracker. “It started as a DDoS but then it caused a series of problems. These problems need to be fixed before the site can go back up, and it’s a complicated fix this time,” said Demonoid admin.
Science

Submission + - Tired of Paying Out the Nose for Drugs? A 3-D Printer Can Print Them Out for You (medicaldaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Between the cost of doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and medication, it can sometimes feel like the treatment of a condition is as painful as the condition itself. But one man has a solution for the cost of medication – he has developed a 3-D printer that can print it out. Lee Cronin, a professor at Glasgow University, calls it a “chemputer.” When he heard about 3-D printers, which now can print things as diverse as toys, food, and body parts, he wondered if it could be used to print pharmaceuticals. He assembled a 45-person team and set to work.
He admits that the technology is in its infancy, but its ramifications could completely revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry. He and his team use a $1,800 printer that they have outfitted to perform chemistry. The machine uses bathroom sealant to print material of specific dimensions, connected with tubes of various lengths and diameters. When the tube became hard, the printer can inject it with “inks” to create chemical reactions.

Transportation

Submission + - Ford plans to use Aluminum body panels in its F-150 trucks (wsj.com)

Bob the Super Hamste writes: "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ford is planning on using aluminum body panels in its F-150 trucks. By using these panels they expect to be able to cut about 750 pounds from each vehicle. This move is being driven by the need to meet new EPA fuel economy standards. The article also points out that this will add approximately $1500 dollars to the material cost of each F-150. This may eat into the profit on each vehicle or may be passed along to consumers. Additionally there are manufacturing difficulties in switching from steel to aluminum body panels such as aluminum having more of a tendency to return to its original shape, requiring suction instead of magnets to lift, bonding to other panels. Additionally bonding and welding panels together requires different techniques and the dies that stamp the parts will need to be kept cleaner to prevent scratching the metal. The presses that stamp the panels will need to be run at a slower speed as well to prevent tearing the sheet metal. The article notes that biggest challenge facing Ford in doing this may actually be convincing truck buyers that aluminum is just as tough as steel. This isn't Ford's first time working with aluminum bodies for vehicles as they have in the past produced a small fleet of aluminum bodied Tauruses as well as producing aluminum bodied Jaguars while they were owned by Ford. Several other manufacturers are currently making use of aluminum in vehicles as well as having been used in the past."
Graphics

Kinect Hack Builds 3D Maps of the Real World 70

Lanxon writes "Noted Kinect-tinkerer Martin Szarski has used a car, a laptop, an Android smartphone and the aforementioned Xbox 360 peripheral to make a DIY-equivalent of Google Street View. The Kinect's multi-camera layout can be used to capture some fuzzy, but astonishingly effortless 3D maps of real world locations and objects. As we saw in Oliver Kreylos' early hack, you can take the data from Kinect's depth-sensitive camera to map out a 3D point-cloud, with real distances. Then use the colour camera's image to see which RGB pixel corresponds to each depth point, and eventually arrive at a coloured, textured model."
The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"
Handhelds

Starbucks Gets Mobile Payment System 149

Ron writes "Starbucks has started accepting mobile payments. Customers can now use the Starbucks Card Mobile app on their iPhone, iPod touch, or BlackBerry at nearly 6,800 company-operated Starbucks stores in the US plus more than 1,000 outlets inside Target stores. To pay with their phone, app users simply select 'touch to pay' and hold up the barcode on the screen to the 2D scanner at the register. The app also lets users manage Starbucks accounts and find nearby stores. To start using your device as tender, you can download the app now for iOS and BlackBerry. An Android application is also said to be in the works, but the company has not yet given a release date, and there's no word yet on plans for a Windows Phone version."
Earth

New Sunlight Reactor Produces Fuel 269

eldavojohn writes "A new reactor developed by CalTech shows promise for producing renewable fuel from sunlight. The reactor hinges on a metal oxide named Ceria that has very interesting properties at very high temperatures. It exhales oxygen at very high temperatures and inhales oxygen at very low temperatures. From the article, 'Specifically, the inhaled oxygen is stripped off of carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or water (H2O) gas molecules that are pumped into the reactor, producing carbon monoxide (CO) and/or hydrogen gas (H2). H2 can be used to fuel hydrogen fuel cells; CO, combined with H2, can be used to create synthetic gas, or "syngas," which is the precursor to liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Adding other catalysts to the gas mixture, meanwhile, produces methane. And once the ceria is oxygenated to full capacity, it can be heated back up again, and the cycle can begin anew.' The only other piece of the puzzle is a large sunlight concentrator to raise the temperature to the necessary 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The team is working on modifying and refining the reactor to require a lower temperature to achieve the two-step thermochemical cycle. Another issue is the heat loss which the team claims could be reduced to improve efficiency to 15% or higher. Since CO2 is an input, the possibility exists for coal and power plants to collect CO2 emissions to be used in this process which would effectively allow us to "use the carbon twice." Another idea listed is that a "zero CO2 emissions" is developed along these lines: 'H2O and CO2 would be converted to methane, would fuel electricity-producing power plants that generate more CO2 and H2O, to keep the process going.' The team's work was published last month in Science."
Networking

Yahoo IPv6 Upgrade Could Shut Out 1M Users 290

alphadogg writes "Yahoo is forging ahead with a move to IPv6 on its main Web site by year-end despite worries that up to 1 million Internet users may be unable to access it initially. Yahoo's massive engineering effort to support IPv6 — the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol — could at first shut out potential www.yahoo.com users due to what the company and others call 'IPv6 brokenness.'"
Facebook

How Facebook Ships Code 314

Hugh Pickens writes "The two largest teams at Facebook are Engineering and Ops, with roughly 400-500 team members each, together making up about 50% of the company. All engineers go through 4 to 6 week 'Boot Camp' training where they learn the Facebook system by fixing bugs. After boot camp, all engineers get access to the live DB and any engineer can modify any part of Facebook's code base and check-in at-will so that engineers can modify specs mid-process, re-order work projects, and inject new feature ideas anytime. Then arguments about whether or not a feature idea is worth doing or not generally get resolved by spending a week implementing it and then testing it on a sample of users, e.g., 1% of Nevada users. 'All changes are reviewed by at least one person, and the system is easy for anyone else to look at and review your code even if you don't invite them to,' writes yeegay. 'It would take intentionally malicious behavior to get un-reviewed code in.' What is interesting for a company this size is that there is no official QA group at Facebook but almost every employee is dogfooding the product every day."
Businesses

The Fall of Wintel and the Rise of Armdroid 431

hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running a very interesting article on how this year's CES marked the end of the Wintel platform's dominance. Their argument is that tablets are going to disrupt the PC, and these tablets are predominantly going to be running on Google's Android powered by ARM processors — 'Armdroid.' Quoting: 'Both Microsoft and Intel have suffered from the same problem that most successful companies face when dealing with disruption. They cannot find a way to profitably invest in low-end offerings. Think about it from Microsoft's point of view: now that Windows 7 has been developed, to sell another copy, they don't have to do a single thing. Because of this, it becomes very hard for any executive to advocate the complete development of a low cost OS that will run on tablets: not only would it cost Microsoft a lot to develop, but it would result in cannibalization of its core product sales. Intel has the exact same issue. Why focus on Atom, or an even lower-end chip, when there is so much more margin to be made by focusing on its multi-core desktop processors?'"
Science

DoE Develops Flexible Glass Stronger Than Steel 242

An anonymous reader writes "The Department of Energy Office of Science recently collaborated with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology to develop a resilient yet malleable new type of glass that is stronger than steel. The material can also be molded, and it bends when subjected to stress instead of shattering. The glass is actually a microalloy and features metallic elements such as palladium. This metal has a high 'bulk-to-shear' stiffness ratio that counteracts the intrinsic brittleness of glassy materials. The team that developed the material believes that by changing various ratios, they could make it even stronger."
Privacy

Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records 257

schliz writes "Online dating company Gotham Dating Partners has announced plans to create profiles for non-registered individuals based on publicly available information from social networking sites, e-mail registries, mailing lists, marketing surveys, government census records, real estate listings and business websites. Although the Australian Privacy Commissioner has warned that the automatic creation of identifiable profiles of individuals without their knowledge is 'not good privacy practice,' Gotham Dating Partners does not expect to face any privacy issues from the move, which is expected to boost its membership from 6.5 million to 340 million worldwide."
GUI

Xfce 4.8 Released 193

PerlDudeXL writes "Today, after almost two years of work, we have the special pleasure of announcing the much awaited release of Xfce 4.8, the new stable version that supersedes Xfce 4.6. [..] Xfce 4.8 is our attempt to update the Xfce code base to all the new desktop frameworks that were introduced in the past few years. We hope that our efforts to drop pieces like ThunarVFS and HAL with GIO, udev, ConsoleKit and PolicyKit will help bringing the Xfce desktop to modern distributions."

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