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Social Networks

Submission + - Diaspora is dead! Long live diaspora! (joindiaspora.com)

Jalfro writes: Following premature rumours of it's demise, the Diaspora core team announce the release of 0.0.1.0. "It’s been a couple of exciting months for us as we’ve shifted over to a model of community governance. After switching over to SemVer for our versioning system, and plugging away at fixing code through our new unstable branch, we’re excited to make our first release beyond the Alpha/Beta labels."
Government

Submission + - How we'll get to 54.5 mpg by 2025 (arstechnica.com)

concealment writes: "At the end of August this year, the US Department of Transport's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new standards to significantly improve the fuel economy of cars and light trucks by 2025. Last week, we took a look at a range of recent engine technologies that car companies have been deploying in aid of better fuel efficiency today. But what about the cars of tomorrow, or next week? What do Detroit, or Stuttgart, or Tokyo have waiting in the wings that will get to the Obama administration's target of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025?"
Patents

Submission + - Unredacted documents in Apple/Samsung case, no evidence of 'copy' instruction (cnet.com)

another random user writes: Previously redacted documents presented in the Apple-Samsung case seem not to offer actual evidence that Samsung told its designers to copy the iPhone.

Documents that have now been unredacted seem to show that there was never any 'copy apple' instruction. There was a push towards things that would be different, such as what is now seen in the Galaxy S3: "Our biggest asset is our screen. It is very important that we make screen size bigger, and in the future mobile phones will absorb even the function of e-books."

Groklaw suggests, rather shockingly, that Apple's lawyers might have been a little selective in how they presented some of this evidence to the court, by picking little parts of it that offered a different shade of nuance.

Android

Submission + - Samsung GALAXY Note 2 source code released (blogspot.de)

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has now released the source code for the Samsung GALAXY Note 2. For all those of you who do not know what that means, now clears the way for much more sophisticated custom ROM’s for this smartphone. Because they can now build directly on the Samsung GALAXY Note 2 Source
Your Rights Online

Submission + - Adventures in rooting: Running Jelly Bean on last year's Kindle Fire (arstechnica.com)

concealment writes: "Luckily, the Fire's low price and popularity relative to other Android tablets has made it a common target for Android's bustling open-source community, which has automated most of the sometimes-messy process of rooting and flashing your tablet. The Kindle Fire Utility boils the whole rooting process down to a couple of steps, and from there it's pretty easy to find pretty-stable Jelly Bean ROMs. A CyanogenMod-based version is actively maintained, but I prefer the older Hashcode ROM, which is very similar to the interface on the Nexus 7."
EU

Submission + - UK Broadband Plan Set To Clear EU Approval (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "The British government's plan to subsidise rural broadband in the UK is about to get approval from the European Union, even though every contract so far has been awarded to BT, according to sources. The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project has been examined under EU state aid rules, but apparently has passed despite all the money going to one dominant telecom operator"
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - Student publishes extensive statistics on the population of Middle-Earth (lotrproject.com)

dsjodin writes: There are only 19% females in Tolkien's works and the life expectancy of a Hobbit is 96.24 years. In January 2012 chemical engineering student Emil Johansson published a website with the hope for it to become a complete Middle-Earth genealogy. Now, ten months later, he has published some interesting numbers derived from the database of 923 characters. The site features a set of unique graphs helping us understand the world Tolkien described. Perhaps the most interesting ones are showing the decrease of the longevity of Men and the change in population of Middle-Earth throughout history. The latter was also recently published in the September edition of Wired Magazine.

Submission + - Teenager's stomach removed after drinking cocktail (bbc.co.uk)

Chrisq writes: From the BBC:

A teenager has had emergency surgery to remove her stomach after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. Lancashire Police say Gaby Scanlon was out with friends in Lancaster last Thursday (4 October) when it happened. The 18-year-old is reported to have become breathless and developed severe stomach pain before being taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary. Officers say she would have died if doctors had not performed the operation. The woman, from Heysham in Lancashire, was taken to hospital at 11pm. She was diagnosed with a perforated, or pierced stomach, and is now in a serious but stable condition. 'Toxic chemical' Lancashire Police have not named the place where she bought the cocktail, but say it has stopped selling it.

Why the hell would anyone even consider this a good idea?

Submission + - How can I succeed as a small developer in the patent war era? (nytimes.com)

hovelander writes: "For three decades, Mr. Phillips had focused on writing software to allow computers to understand human speech. In 2006, he had co-founded a voice recognition company, and eventually executives at Apple, Google and elsewhere proposed partnerships. Mr. Phillips’s technology was even integrated into Siri itself before the digital assistant was absorbed into the iPhone. But in 2008, Mr. Phillips’s company, Vlingo, had been contacted by a much larger voice recognition firm called Nuance. “I have patents that can prevent you from practicing in this market,” Nuance’s chief executive, Paul Ricci"

I don't have the money yet to retain a patent monkey, sorry lawyer, and don't wish to live in the movie "Brazil"! What are some pragmatic options?

China

Submission + - Congressional panel says that Huawei and ZTE pose security threat (bbc.co.uk)

another random user writes: Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE pose a security threat to the US, a congressional panel has warned after an investigation into the two companies. The two firms should be barred from any mergers and acquisitions in the US, the panel has recommended in its report set to be released later on Monday.

It said the firms had failed to allay fears about their association with the Chinese government and military.

The two are among the world's biggest makers of telecom networking equipment. "China has the means, opportunity and motive to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes" the committee said in its report.

Programming

Submission + - CAPTCHA With A Conscience (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: The new CAPTCHA system is from the Swedish activist organization Civil Rights Defenders and serves twin purposes: distinguishing humans from robots using their ability to feel empathy, a characteristic that is considered essentially human, and informing web users of global civil rights issues.The basic idea is that the user is presented with an emotive statement like “its good to torture people” and you have to pick words that describe how it makes you feel “infuriated, sad, encouraged”. The idea is that you can do it because you empathize but machines can’t because they don’t.
Can you spot the potential problems?
The first is — don’t underestimate simple machine learning techniques. The bots will soon have empathy down to Bayesian stats. Also what about us non-empaths?

Submission + - Will a Chromebook be your next PC? (zdnet.com)

dgharmon writes: Sure, you could keep using Windows, although Windows 8 looks worse every time you look at it; or you could buy a Mac for big bucks; or you could buy a Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook starting at $449 and have a great Linux-based desktop that you already know how to use.

Submission + - US congress rules Huawei a 'security threat' (brisbanetimes.com.au)

dgharmon writes: Chinese telecom company Huawei poses a security threat to the United States and should be barred from US contracts and acquisitions, a yearlong congressional investigation has concluded.

A draft of a report by the House Intelligence Committee said Huawei and another Chinese telecom, ZTE, "cannot be trusted" to be free of influence from Beijing and could be used to undermine US security.

Education

Submission + - The Case For The Blue Collar Coder 1

theodp writes: U.S. tech talent shortage discussions tend to focus on getting more young people to go to college to become CS grads. Nothing wrong with that, writes Anil Dash, but let's not forget about education which teaches mid-level programming as a skilled trade, suitable for apprenticeship and advancement in a way that parallels traditional trade skills like HVAC or welding. Dash encourages less of a focus on 'the next Zuckerberg' in favor of encouraging solid middle-class tech jobs that are primarily focused on creating and maintaining tech infrastructure in non-tech companies. Dash also suggests 'changing the conversation about recruiting technologists from the existing narrow priesthood of highly-skilled experts constantly chasing new technologies to productive workers getting the most out of widely-deployed platforms and frameworks.'
Biotech

Submission + - IBM Microscope Can See 100 Times Smaller Than An Atom (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: "Building on their impressive microscopy work over the last few years, a team from IBM has refined their method to precisely measure the structural details of a single molecule. With their technique, they managed to measure very subtle differences in the distribution of electrons within the molecule’s bonds. How subtle? We’re talking 3 picometers or 0.000000000003 meters. That’s one-hundredth the diameter of an atom!"

Submission + - Czech Man Becomes the First Person in the World to Live With No Heart or Pulse 2

An anonymous reader writes: A 37-year-old man from Czech Republic recently became the first man to live without a heart for six months. Jakub Halik, a former firefighter lived without a pulse for six months after undergoing pioneering surgery in April when doctors removed his heart and replaced it with mechanical pumps.
Facebook

Submission + - Man arrested for offensive joke posted on Facebook (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Tasteless joke posted on Facebook sees man arrested in the UK under section 127 of the Communications Act for ending a public electronic communication which is 'grossly offensive'.
Matthew Wood, 20, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, UK will appear before Chorley Magistrates' Court on Monday.

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