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+ - Why Chimps Are Stronger Than Humans->

Submitted by kodiaktau
kodiaktau (2351664) writes "A quick Scientific American video describes why chimpanzees are stronger than humans. The video explains that chimps have less grey matter or neurons controlling muscles. Humans on the other hand have more refined muscle skill and fine motor control because we have more neurons controlling smaller bundles of muscles. In effect when a chimp engages its muscle mass it is an all or nothing proposition."
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Google

+ - Google and Apple spent more on Patents than R&D last year->

Submitted by parallel_prankster
parallel_prankster (1455313) writes "NYTimes has an interesting article about how patents are really stiffling inovation in the tech industry. Today, almost every major technology company is involved in ongoing patent battles. Of course, the most significant player is Apple, industry executives say, because of its influence and the size of its claims: in August in California, the company won a $1 billion patent infringement judgment against Samsung. Former Apple employees say senior executives made a deliberate decision over the last decade, after Apple was a victim of patent attacks, to use patents as leverage against competitors to the iPhone, the company’s biggest source of profits. At a technology conference this year, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said patent battles had not slowed innovation at the company, but acknowledged that some aspects of the battles had “kind of gotten crazy.” It is a complaint heard throughout the industry. The increasing push to assert ownership of broad technologies has led to a destructive arms race, engineers say. Some point to so-called patent trolls, companies that exist solely to sue over patent violations. Others say big technology companies have also exploited the system’s weaknesses. “There are hundreds of ways to write the same computer program,” said James Bessen, a legal expert at Harvard. And so patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology. When such applications are approved, Mr. Bessen said, “the borders are fuzzy, so it’s really easy to accuse others of trespassing on your ideas.” The number of patent applications, computer-related and otherwise, filed each year at the United States patent office has increased by more than 50 percent over the last decade to more than 540,000 in 2011. Google has received 2,700 patents since 2000, according to the patent analysis firm M-CAM. Microsoft has received 21,000."
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Privacy

+ - Lock-pick hotel rooms with a James Bond-like dry-erase marker->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "At the Black Hat security conference, a hacker picked Onity hotel keycard locks in less time than it takes to blink. These locks are in about 22,000 hotels worldwide, leaving about four million vulnerable to hacking.

Lock manufacturer Onity boasts that its locks secure rooms in about 22,000 hotels worldwide, but hacker Cody Brocious said at BlackHat that it's "stupidly simple" to hack them. He added, "It wouldn't surprise me if a thousand other people have found this same vulnerability and sold it to other governments. An intern at the NSA could find this in five minutes." To exploit the lock, Brocious plugged an Arduino microcontroller into the DC power port located underneath the keycard lock. He discovered he could read the 32-bit key stored in the lock's memory location and was able to spoof the type of portable programming device used by hotels to set master keys."

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Android

+ - Rovio And Lucasfilm Team Up For 'Angry Birds Star Wars'->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Rovio’s Angry Birds have conquered construction sites, mines, Rio, the Golden Pistachio, a slew of international holidays and all four seasons, and after their most recent trip to space, it looks like the furious fowls will fly off even further to a galaxy far, far away. On Monday morning, Finland-based Rovio Entertainment announced “Angry Birds Star Wars,” a new game for iOS and Android devices, set to release on Nov. 8. Players have downloaded more than 650 million “Angry Birds” games, and with two of the biggest pop culture brands from recent memory colliding in a brand-new game, Rovio may see its franchise skyrocket to new heights."
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United Kingdom

+ - UK To Get 200Mbps '5G' Test In 2013->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Britain doesn't even have 4G networks yet, but by the end of 2013, it will have a trial of the next generation, 200Mbps ''5G'. The University of Surrey has a £35 million grant and will use it to set up a 5km square 5g "playground" including the city of Guildford. The researchers expect to hit 10Gbps per cell, but the actual technology in question is still in development, and no commercial roll-out of 5G is expected until about 2030. Just as well, as it will probably take that long to get 4G implemented."
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+ - Activision Blizzard secretly watermarking World of Warcraft users.->

Submitted by
kgkoutzis
kgkoutzis writes "A few days ago I noticed some weird artifacts covering the screenshots I captured using the WoW game client application. I sharpened the images and found a repeating pattern secretly embedded inside. I posted this information on the OwnedCore forum and after an amazing 3 day cooperation marathon, we managed to prove that all our WoW screenshots, since at least 2008, contain a custom watermark inside. This watermark includes our userIDs, the time the screenshot was captured and the IP address of the server we were on at the time. It can be used to track down activities which are against Blizzard's Terms of Service, like hacking the game or running a private server. The users were never notified by the ToS that this watermarking was going on so, for four years now, we have all been publicly sharing our account and realm information for hackers to decode and exploit. You can find more information on how to access the watermark in the aforementioned forum post which is still quite active."
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Google

+ - Jill Stein campaign accuses Google of illegally censoring campaign ads->

Submitted by imortate
imortate (2722507) writes "U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's campaign says that Google has informed them, the day before their campaign ads are set to run, that they will be censored due to "inappropriate language."

Google has served as the ad broker for placement of the campaign's satellite and cable television ad placements.

According to the campaign, "What Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office."

This is called the "no censorship rule," and is designed to protect broadcasters from liability for the content of campaign ads by forbidding them to censor campaign ads.

Has Google, in setting themselves up as a major ad broker, failed to understand and follow the laws that govern advertising and broadcasting?"

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Open Source

+ - GitHub finally raises funding: $100M from Andreessen Horowitz->

Submitted by
vu1986
vu1986 writes ""GitHub is ready to take a huge step forward. After successfully bootstrapping its operation since 2008, the open-source code hosting site is set to announce Monday that it has accepted $100 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz in order to improve and expand a platform that has become an industry standard for managing and finding code on the web."
http://gigaom.com/2012/07/09/github-finally-raises-funding-100m-from-andreessen-horowitz/"

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Medicine

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive? 629

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
solune writes "You can get a tablet these days for a few hundred dollars, and laptops for a few hundred more. Gaming consoles, TVs, and smartphones are all available for under a thousand bucks. Yet, a decent hearing aid for my mom will go upwards of $3000! With ever-shrinking electronic components, better capabilities, and technological advancements, not to mention the rapidly increasing potential user base, I would think quality hearing aids should be coming in a lot cheaper than what we can find. Adding fuel to my fire is that a hearing aid will greatly improve my mom's life — not to mention the lives of millions of others out there. Currently, she suffers from frustration and isolation with having to ask people to 'speak up', and nodding her head to things her kids and grandkids say. We've tried the cheapies, and they're fraught with problems. So, can someone tell me why a hearing aid should be so expensive?"
User Journal

Journal: Copyright For Dummies

Journal by kodiaktau

An interesting video was passed to a friend of a friend who subsequently passed it on to me about the original intent and virtues of copyright in America. Not surprisingly the video outlines the original intent of copyright to encourage the creators to bring new content and protect them for a period of time. As the video points out one of the largest instigators of the new rules on time privilege for creators was the Disn

Space

The Space Shuttle Discovery's Last Mile (Video) 101

Posted by Roblimo
from the gone-to-her-final-resting-place dept.
Timothy Lord was in the closest civilian parking lot to where the Space Shuttle Discovery touched down from her last flight -- as a passenger on top of a 747, but it was still a space shuttle flying... a flight that was the sad epitaph for an American era. Timothy's shots of the landing approach are much like all the others you've seen. What's interesting is the variety of people he talked with. One came all the way from Tokyo. And there was the young man who got a Master's in Aeronautical Engineering to work on the space program, which sadly shut down, and who is now looking for a job with SpaceX or one of the other private space-bound companies. We hope there are lots of opportunities in the near future for him, and for thousands if not millions of others who want to go into space or, ground-bound, help our efforts to go where only science fiction writers' imaginations have gone before.
Math

+ - User Journal Quantum Random Numbers->

Submitted by
tqft
tqft writes "What the world needs is more truly random sources of numbers. Here are some more:

" We do this by splitting a beam of light into two beams and then measuring the power in each beam. Because light is quantised, the light intensity in each beam fluctuates about the mean. Those fluctuations, due ultimately to the quantum vacuum, can be converted into a source of random numbers. Every number is randomly generated in real time and cannot be predicted beforehand. So if you need some really random numbers, use the link below!"

http://photonics.anu.edu.au/qoptics/Research/qrng.php

http://150.203.48.55/Matrix.php"

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+ - Mitch Altman parts ways with Maker Fair over DARPA Grant->

Submitted by
SWroclawski
SWroclawski writes "Well known hacker and hackerspace advocate, Mitch Altman has decided to temporarily part ways with Maker Faire over their involvement with DARPA (as reported on Twitter and Facebook). This public parting of ways raises the question of what role government, especially the military, should play in working alongside hackers and educators."
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Cellphones

+ - The First Cell Phone Call Almost Got Bloody ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "On April 3, 1973, Motorola researcher Martin Cooper was perched on a New York City street corner on his way to a press conference, when he pulled out an enormous prototype phone in front of a few reporters and placed the first ever cell phone call, to a competitor at Bell Labs. And in the process of stepping into telecommunications history, he almost got killed."
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