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Microsoft

Submission + - Windows 8 Fights Off 85% Of Malware Detected In The Past Six Months

An anonymous reader writes: Now that Windows 8 is on sale and has already been purchased by millions, expect very close scrutiny of Microsoft’s latest and greatest security features. 0-day vulnerabilities are already being claimed, but what about the malware that’s already out there? When tested against the top threats, Windows 8 is immune to 85 percent of them, and gets infected by 15 percent, according to tests run by BitDefender.
Science

Submission + - Scientists Study "Frictional Ageing" - Standing Objects Becoming Harder to Move (bbc.com) 1

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: 'Have you ever had the impression that heavy items of furniture start to take root – that after years standing in the same place, they’re harder to slide to a new position? Do your best wine glasses, after standing many months unused in the cabinet, seem slightly stuck to the shelf? Has the fine sand in the kids’ play tray set into a lump?

If so, you’re not just imagining it. The friction between two surfaces in contact with each other does slowly increase over time. But why? A paper by two materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA, suggests that the surfaces could actually be slowly chemically bonding together.

There are already several other explanations for this so-called “frictional ageing” effect. One is simply that two surfaces get squashed closer together. But a curious thing about friction is that the frictional force opposing sliding doesn’t depend on the area of the contacting surfaces. You’d expect the opposite to be the case: more contact should create more friction. But in fact two surfaces in apparent contact are mostly not touching at all, because little bumps and irregularities, called asperities, prop them apart. That’s true even for apparently smooth surfaces like glass, which are still rough at the microscopic scale. It’s only the contacts between these asperities that cause friction.'

Censorship

Submission + - China Blocks Google.com, Gmail, Maps and more during 18th party Congress (ibtimes.co.uk)

DavidGilbert99 writes: "In an extraordinary move, the Chinese authorities have blocked access to Google.com, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, and many more Google services as the Communist Party of China holds the 18th Party Congress.

The blocking of these sites was reported by Chinese web monitoring site GreatFire.org, which said "Never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website."

The latest move in a long line of disputes between the Chinese government and Google, it is unclear yet whether this denial will be temporary (like a similar one in 2010) or permanent."

Facebook

Submission + - Facebook's Corona: When Hadoop MapReduce Wasn't Enough (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Facebook’s engineers face a considerable challenge when it comes to managing the tidal wave of data flowing through the company’s infrastructure. Its data warehouse, which handles over half a petabyte of information each day, has expanded some 2500x in the past four years—and that growth isn’t going to end anytime soon.

Until early 2011, those engineers relied on a MapReduce implementation from Apache Hadoop as the foundation of Facebook’s data infrastructure. Still, despite Hadoop MapReduce’s ability to handle large datasets, Facebook’s scheduling framework (in which a large number of task trackers that handle duties assigned by a job tracker) began to reach its limits. So Facebook’s engineers went to the whiteboard and designed a new scheduling framework named “Corona.”"

IBM

Submission + - With All Due Respect: The Patent System's Not Broken (wired.com)

TurinX writes: Unsurprisingly, IBM's Chief Patent Counsel thinks the patent system’s not broken. "Patent disputes like this are a natural characteristic of a vigorously competitive industry.And they’re nothing new: Similar skirmishes have historically occurred in areas as diverse as sewing machines, winged flight, agriculture, and telegraph technology. Each marked the emergence of incredible technological advances, and each generated similar outcries about the patent system. We are actually witnessing fewer patent suits per patent issued today than the historical average."
Intel

Submission + - Intel's Details Eight-Core Poulson Itanium Processor (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: "Intel has unveiled details of their new Itanium 9500 family, codenamed Poulson, and the new CPU appears to be the most significant refresh Intel has ever done to the Itanium architecture. Moving from 65nm to 32nm technology substantially reduces power consumption and increases clock speeds, but Intel has also overhauled virtually every aspect of the CPU. Poulson can issue 11 instructions per cycle compared to the previous generation Intanium's six. It adds execution units and re-balances those units to favor server workloads over HPC and workstation capabilities. Its multi-threading capabilities have been overhauled and it uses faster QPI links between CPU cores. The L3 cache design has also changed. Previous Itanium 9300 processors had a dedicated L3 cache for each core. Poulson, in contrast, has a unified L3 that's attached to all its cores by a common ring bus. All told, the new architecture is claimed to offer more than twice the performance of the previous generation Itanium."
The Internet

Submission + - The Information Age: North Korean Style (thediplomat.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: It seems cell phones and the internet have come to the reclusive nation of North Korea — albeit in a manor that you might not expect. North Korea now sports over 1 million cell phones, although calls are not allowed outside of the country, text messages come daily from North Korean authorities sporting government propaganda. The internet is not the global internet of Twitter and Facebook, but a government crafted intranet that is restricted to just a tiny percentage of the population. The intranet is restricted to elites in North Korea with good standing. The intranet uses message boards, chat functions, and state sponsored messages; its use has also been encouraged among universities, technical professionals and scientists, and others to exchange info. An even smaller fraction can access the outside internet. All of this seems to be an effort to control the information revolution without loosing authority.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft demos English-to-Chinese translator that keeps your voice and accent (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "At an event in China, Microsoft Research chief Rick Rashid has demonstrated a real-time English-to-Mandarin speech-to-speech translation engine. Not only is the translation very accurate, but the software also preserves the user’s accent and intonation. We’re not just talking about a digitized, robotic translator here — this is firmly within the realms of Doctor Who or Star Trek universal translation. There is, of course, a lot of technological wizardry occurring behind the scenes. For a start, the software needs to be trained — both with a few hours of native, spoken Chinese, and an hour of Rick Rashid’s spoken English. From this, the software essentially breaks your speech down into the smallest components (phonemes), and then mushes them together with the Chinese equivalent, creating a big map of English to Mandarin sounds. Then, during the actual on-stage presentation, the software converts his speech into text, his text into Mandarin text, and then the Rashid/Chinese mash-up created during the training process is used to turn that text into spoken words. The end result definitely has a strong hint of digitized, robotic Microsoft Sam, but it’s surprising just how much of Rashid’s accent, timbre, and intonation is preserved."
Power

Submission + - Germany exports more power than ever despite phasing out nuclear enegery (google.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The german magazine "Der Spiegel" writes, that "the current export from Germany reached a record high this year — despite nuclear phase. Reason is the boom in green energy." Especially in the Netherlands power-plants are shut down because "electricity imported from Germany is cheaper." Is Germany an example of forward looking energy policy after all?
Your Rights Online

Submission + - Staff emails are not owned by firms, UK judge rules (computerworlduk.com)

Qedward writes: A high court judge has ruled that companies do not have a general claim of ownership of the content contained in staff emails.

The decision creates a potential legal minefield for the terms of staff contracts and an administrative nightmare for IT teams running email servers, back up and storage.

The judge ruled businesses do not have an "enforceable proprietary claim" to staff email content unless that content can be considered to be confidential information belonging to a business, unless business copyright applies to the content, or unless the business has a contractual right of ownership over the content.

Ruling in the case involving Fairstar Heavy Transport and its former chief executive, Justice Edwards-Stewart said: "I can find no practical basis for holding that there should be property in the content of an email, even if I thought that it was otherwise open to me to do so.

"To the extent that people require protection against the misuse of information contained in emails, in my judgment satisfactory protection is provided under English law either by the equitable jurisdiction to which I have referred in relation to confidential information (or by contract, where there is one) or, where applicable, the law of copyright.

"There are no compelling practical reasons that support the existence of a proprietary right — indeed, practical considerations militate against it."

Justice Edwards-Stuart added it was "quite impractical and unrealistic" to determine that ownership of the content of emails either belongs exclusively to the creator or the recipient of an email.

Apple

Submission + - Judge to review whether foreman in Apple v. Samsung hid info (cnet.com)

thomst writes: Cnet's Greg Sandoval is reporting that Lucy Koh the Federal judge in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case is reviewing whether jury foreman Velvin Hogan failed to disclose his own patent suit v. Seagate during the jury selection process. Samsung, which lost the suit filed by Apple has complained that Hogan's failure to disclose his own status as a former patent case plaintiff constituted misconduct serious enough to invalidate the jury's verdict in the case.
The Military

Submission + - Bin Laden Unit Seal Team Six Punished Over Video Game Consulting (bbc.co.uk)

arisvega writes: Seven US Navy Seals have been disciplined for revealing secrets during work as paid consultants on a video game, officials say.

They received reprimand letters and had half of their pay docked for two months for work on Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

The active-duty troops reportedly include one member of the team that killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

They were charged with violation of orders, misuse of command gear, dereliction of duty and disclosure of classified material.

The seven troops worked for two days during the spring and summer on the recently released video game, according to CBS News.

The game's maker has boasted that real commandos, both on active duty and retired, were involved with the process of designing the game to make it as realistic as possible.

Power

Submission + - Pee-Powered Generator Unveiled at Maker Faire Africa (paritynews.com) 1

hypnosec writes: Four Nigerian girls aged between 14 and 15 have unveiled their creation – a urine-powered generator that is capable of generating six hours of electricity using a liter of pee. Showcased at the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, the generator is an eco-friendly power source that generates electricity by separating hydrogen present in the excreted bodily fluids with an electrolytic cell. The design is more or less crude as of now and if enough attention and funding are made available, chances are that this pee-powered generator may very well be available at your local hardware store.
Firefox

Submission + - Happy 8th Birthday Firefox! (benjaminkerensa.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Mozillian Benjamin Kerensa calls fellow Firefox Users and Mozillians to Celebrate Firefox's 8th Birthday.
Medicine

Submission + - Methamphetamine vaccine shows promise (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. The vaccine works by allowing the body’s immune system to attack methamphetamine molecules in the bloodstream, keeping them from entering the nervous system. This keeps the meth from affecting the user’s brain, and thus removes the incentive for using the drug.
Google

Submission + - Google Patents Guilt-By-Association

theodp writes: Guilt by association is defined as the attribution of guilt (without proof) to individuals because the people they associate with are guilty. It's also at the heart of U.S. Patent No. 8,306,922, which was awarded to Google on Tuesday for Detecting Content on a Social Network Using Links, the invention of three Googlers. In its patent application, Google argues that if an individual posts content to social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. 'that is illegal (e.g., content violating copyright law, content violating penal statutes, etc.), inappropriate for minors (e.g., pornography, "R" or "NC-17" rated videos, adult content, etc.), in contravention of an end user licensing agreement (EULA), etc.', then their friends 'may be likely to post content to their profile pages related to similar topics.' Google further explains: 'For instance, a first user and a second user that are designated as friends on a social network may be friends based upon a set of common interests (e.g., the first user and the second user are both interested in tennis). If the first user adds content to its profile page that is related to sports, then the friendship (link) between the first user and the second user can indicate that the profile page of the second user is likely to contain content related to sports as well.' By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?

Submission + - Best system for Core Infrastructure Documentation

reboot-qld writes: Ive been tasked with the job of coming up with a solution that would allow us to document Core Infrastructure systems. We are a company with over 300 Servers spread in 8 locations running Nix/Windows.
This would need to include Hardware / Software as well as any dependencies they have on other systems.
Having it do it automatically is not a must as we will need to do a full manual audit as well as there are systems turned off or fire walled off.
What would the Community recommend. Any help / Ideas would be most welcome.

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