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Math

Submission + - The Mathematics of Obesity

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that Carson C. Chow, an MIT trained mathematician and physicist, has taken a new look at America's obesity epidemic and found that a food glut is behind America’s weight problem with the national obesity rate jumping from 20 percent to over 30 percent since 1970. "Beginning in the 1970s, there was a change in national agricultural policy. Instead of the government paying farmers not to engage in full production, as was the practice, they were encouraged to grow as much food as they could," says Chow. "With such a huge food supply, food marketing got better and restaurants got cheaper. The low cost of food fueled the growth of the fast-food industry. If food were expensive, you couldn’t have fast food." Chow and mathematical physiologist, Kevin Hall created a math model of a human with hundreds of equations, boiled it down to one simple equation, and then plugged in all the variables — height, weight, food intake, exercise. The slimmed-down equation proved to be a useful platform for answering a host of questions. For example, the conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong because the body changes as you lose. The fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight so an extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one. Another finding: Huge variations in your daily food intake will not cause variations in weight, as long as your average food intake over a year is about the same. Unfortunately another finding is that weight change, up or down, takes a very, very long time. All diets work but the reaction time is really slow: on the order of a year. Chow has posted an interactive version of the model on the web where people can plug in their information and learn how much they’ll need to reduce their intake and increase their activity to lose. "There’s no magic bullet on this. You simply have to cut calories and be vigilant for the rest of your life.""
Android

Submission + - Octave and gnuplot coming to Android (walkingrandomly.com) 1

MathIsTasty writes: Recently, it was announced on the Octave-maintainers list that a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to bring Matlab style numerical computations and graphing to Android via a "more than" port of Octave and gnuplot. While, I doubt it will be as successful as some recent games on Kickstarter, is this a reasonable way to fund free software development? Now, we just have to worry about people working on simulating solar irradiation while driving. Here is a good blog post about the project.
Network

Submission + - The elusive capacity of networks (mit.edu)

slashbill writes: MIT's working on a way to measure network capacity. Seems no one really knows how much data their network can handle. Makes you wonder about how then do you calculate expense when building out capacity?

From the article: Recently, one of the most intriguing developments in information theory has been a different kind of coding, called network coding, in which the question is how to encode information in order to maximize the capacity of a network as a whole. For information theorists, it was natural to ask how these two types of coding might be combined: If you want to both minimize error and maximize capacity, which kind of coding do you apply where, and when do you do the decoding?

Power

Submission + - Is the SATA power connector design flawed? 8

An anonymous reader writes: My computer caught fire today. I saw flames and smoke coming out. When I opened it I saw that the SATA power connector on the back of my samsung DVD drive was cooked. I looked around on the internet and found that I was not alone. A lot of other people have already reported their computer catching fire and almost all of them caught fire exactly the same way, the SATA power connector was burnt. In some cases it was an HDD and in others it was a DVD or blue ray drive but invariable the fire started at the SATA power connector.

Now I am wondering if the there is a fundamental flaw in the power connector design causing the fire? I am not sure where to complain or send feedback so that it gets aggregated and someone in the industry can take action and possibly work on changing the connector design. So I am writing on slashdot.

Submission + - Canadian Internet Surveillance dies a quiet, lonely death. (theglobeandmail.com)

Dr Caleb writes: "The Internet surveillance legislation sponsored by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has disappeared down a dark legislative hole. For all intents and purposes, the bill is dead. If the Harper government still wants to pass a law that would make it easier for police to track people who use the web to commit crimes, it will have to start from scratch.

A follow up from the Minister of "Against Online Surveillance? You Must Be 'For' Child Porn""

Medicine

Submission + - Paralyzed Man Regains Hand Function after Breakthrough Nerve Rewiring Procedure (medicaldaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A 71-year-old man who became paralyzed from the waist down and lost all use of both hands in a 2008 car accident has regained motor function in his fingers after doctors rewired his nerves to bypass the damaged ones in a pioneering surgical procedure, according to a case study published on Tuesday.
ISS

Submission + - Psychedelic Star Trails and City Lights From Orbit (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "Streaks of psychedelic colors show the passage of cities below the International Space Station (ISS), airglow in Earth's atmosphere and the circling motion of stars in this stunning new image from Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit. Pettit created the image by combining 18 long-exposure digital images taken with a camera mounted inside the ISS on March 16, 2012. Because of the limitations of digital imaging sensors, multiple exposures are needed to get such an image."
Science

Submission + - MIT Study: Prolonged Low-level Radiation Damage Heals (mit.edu)

JSBiff writes: A new study from MIT scientists suggests that the guidelines governments use to determine when to evacuate people following a nuclear accident may be too conservative.

The study, led by Bevin Engelward and Jacquelyn Yanch and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that when mice were exposed to radiation doses about 400 times greater than background levels for five weeks, no DNA damage could be detected.

Canada

Submission + - Byron Sonne Cleared of Explosives Charges (thestar.com)

davegravy writes: Byron Sonne, the Toronto-based security consultant / chemistry hobbyist / geek who was arrested leading up to the Toronto G-20 for alleged plans to bomb the event, has been found not guilty of all charges.

Sonne was held in prison for 11 months without receiving bail and the ruling comes 2 years after his arrest. Sonne is considered by many in the Toronto security community as a champion of civil rights and a sharp critic of security theatre.

Privacy

Submission + - 'Big brother' lamp posts can hear, see and bark 'Obey!' at you (rt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: America welcomes a new brand of smart street lightning systems: energy-efficient, long-lasting, complete with LED screens to show ads. They can also spy on citizens in a way George Orwell would not have imagined in his worst nightmare.
Apple

Submission + - Mac Clone Maker Saga Ends as SCOTUS Denies Appeal (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "The four-year-old saga of Psystar, a Florida Mac clone maker that was crushed by Apple, ended Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal of a lower court ruling. The decision to not consider the case (download PDF) upheld a ruling last September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That ruling confirmed a permanent injunction against Psystar that prevented the company from copying, using or selling OS X, and blocked it from selling machines with Apple's operating system preinstalled. 'We are sad,' said K.A.D. Camera of the Houston firm Camera & Sibley LLP, in an email reply today to a request for comment. Camera represented Psystar in its bid to get its appeal heard. 'I expect the Supreme Court will eventually take a case on this important issue.' Last year, Camera had said, 'This is far from over,' after the Ninth Circuit's decision. Apparently, it is."
Facebook

Submission + - Google+ is a ghost town, study says (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Google’s emerging social network Google+ may boast big user numbers, but a new study suggests that social activity and user engagement are anything but impressive. Intended to give Google a stronger grip on the massive amount of data shared by users on social networks, Google’s answer to Facebook opened its doors to the public last September. After using some user acquisition methods that seemed a bit desperate, Google revealed in December that Google+ was then home to 62 million users. Google+ boasted an impressive 100 million users as of early April, but according to eCommerce analytics firm RJ Metrics, the social network is not the waterfall of data Google hoped it would be...
Games

Submission + - Android Apps You'll NEVER See On The iOS App Store (modojo.com)

buffdaily247 writes: If Android users have a leg up on iOS supporters, it's the openness of Google's platform, which gives developers a chance to release games and applications that would never see the light of day on the App Store. Some wouldn't make it simply because of legality reasons, while others deal with mature and at times disturbing subject matter that would make the eggheads in Cupertino (and the millions of parents that give their kids "i" devices to play with) cringe. That said, here's a small glimpse at Android's most controversial wares.
Security

Submission + - Fearmongering About Cyberwar And Cybersecurity Is Working: American Public Very, (techdirt.com)

TheGift73 writes: "Well, it looks like all the fearmongering about hackers shutting down electrical grids and making planes fall from the sky is working. No matter that there's no evidence of any actual risk, or that the only real issue is if anyone is stupid enough to actually connect such critical infrastructure to the internet (the proper response to which is: take it off the internet), fear is spreading. Of course, this is mostly due to the work of a neat combination of ex-politicians/now lobbyists working for defense contractors who stand to make a ton of money from the panic — enabled by politicians who seem to have no shame in telling scary bedtime stories that have no basis in reality.

But it's all working. And, by working, I mean scaring the public unnecessarily. As reported by Wired, a new survey from Unisys finds that Americans are more worried about cybersecurity threats than terrorism, and they seem pretty worried about those threats. When asked about which security issues were the highest priority, survey respondents noted:"

Hardware

Submission + - DDR4 May Replace Mobile Memory For Less (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The upcoming shift from Double Data Rate 3 (DDR3) RAM to its successor, DDR4, will herald in a significant boost in both memory performance and capacity for data center hardware and consumer products alike. Because of greater density, 2X performance and lower cost, with the upcoming specification and products will for the first time mean DDR may be used in mobile devices instead of LPDDR. Today, mobile devices use low-power DDR (LPDDR) memory, the current iteration of which uses 1.2v of power. While the next generation of mobile memory, LPDDR3, will further reduce that power consumption (probably by 35% to 40%), it will also likely cost 40% more than DDR4 memory.
Open Source

Submission + - Moving From CouchDB To MySQL (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Sauce Labs had outgrown CouchDB and too much unplanned downtime made them switch to MySQL. With 20-20 hindsight they wrote about their CouchDB experience. But Sauce certainly isn't the first organization to switch databases. Back in 2009, Till Klampaeckel wrote a series of blog posts about moving in the opposite direction — from MySQL to CouchDB. Klampaeckel said the decision was about 'using the right tool for the job.' But the real story may be that programmers are never satisfied with the tool they have."

Submission + - Air defence rockets left unguarded in London (philosophers-stone.co.uk)

Big Hairy Ian writes: ""Amateur video posted on the internet shows military rockets left unguarded outside a block of flats in Bow, East London, as Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) prepares to deploy missiles on top of flats in London during the 2012 Olympics.

The video was posted by journalist Brian Whelan who lives in Bow Quarter, London. The video shows unguarded military rockets with nobody around.

The unguarded military rockets were part of the MoD’s security plans for the London Olympics. Earlier this week, the MoD confirmed that six sites, including two residential blocks of flats, would be tested as launch pads for missile systems in order to combat air threats during the Olympics.

Local residents have expressed their anger over the plans saying they were not consulted and questioning why the MoD did not build a missile base instead of using residential flats as a missile base.""

Windows

Submission + - Avira Premium causes premium problems (avira.com)

Adesso writes: Seem Avira is having difficulty with a update of all there Premium customers. A update that has been downloaded over 70 million times is causing the 32-bit version in Windows to block almost all critical application. Avira has responded promptly on a interim solution for this problem.

In most cases this causes Windows to not boot properly.

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