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Submission + - New Technology Produces Cheaper Tantalum and Titanium (economist.com)

Billy the Mountain writes: A small UK company is bringing new technology online that could reduce the prices of tantalum and titanium ten-fold. According to this piece in The Economist: A tantalising prospect, the key is a technique similar to smelting aluminum with a new twist: The metallic oxides are not melted as with aluminum but blended in powder form with a molten salt that serves as a medium and electrolyte. This technology is known as the FFC Cambridge Process. Other metals include Neodymium, Tungsten and Vanadium
China

Submission + - Data espionage sleuths aim to put Chinese companies in court (technologyreview.com)

holy_calamity writes: "Accusations that China is stealing corporate secrets have become commonplace, now a startup called CrowdStrike says it can gather firm enough evidence for victims to take legal action against those being fed information copied from their networks. Led by veterans of the FBI and McAfee, the company uses techniques such as planting fake data and embedding "beacons" into documents that send back traces of where they end up. Most infiltration of U.S. firms is by the Chinese military, which passes along what it finds to state-owned and allied industries, cofounder Dmitri Alperovitch told Technology Review. "You can’t do a lot against the PLA, but you can do a lot against that company," he says. Alperovitch says the some clients are already considering launching legal action or asking for government sanctions based on evidence provided by Crowdstrike."
Moon

Submission + - Vulcan to Join Our Solar System (Maybe) (news.com.au) 1

jollyrgr3 writes: If William Shatner gets his wish one of Pluto's two new moons will be named Vulcan. News.com.au reports that James T. Kirk (aka) William Shatner picked the names Vulcan and Cerberus. The names still have to be approved by the International Astronomical Union as they have the final say. Full link here:
http://www.news.com.au/world/capt-kirk-aka-william-shatner-names-plutos-two-new-moons/story-fndir2ev-1226585541984

Chrome

Submission + - Google Chrome Getting Audio Indicators To Show You Noisy Tabs

An anonymous reader writes: Google is working on identifying Chrome tabs that are currently playing audio (or recording it). The feature is expected to show an audio animation if a tab is broadcasting or recording sound. François Beaufort first spotted the new feature, a part of which is already available in the latest Chromium build. For those who don't know, Chromium is the open source web browser project that shares much of the same code and features as Google Chrome, and new features are often added there first.
Science

Submission + - DARPA wants to build high-tech helicopters on steroids (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Engineering an aircraft that can go fast, carry usable amounts of equipment and people and hover has always been one of aviation's greatest challenges. Sure there are plenty of fast helicopters but they are usually limited in the amount of weight they can carry. And there have been a few successful vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jets — the AV-8 Harrier is the industry standard — and while it is fast, it can carry one person, the pilot. The future-looking folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like to change all that with a project they call the VTOL X-Plane program."
Networking

Submission + - West Virginia auditor blasts Cisco, state for "oversized" router buy (networkworld.com) 1

coondoggie writes: "West Virginia wasted millions in federal grant money when it purchased 1,164 Cisco routers for $24 million in 2010, a state audit concluded. A report issued this month by the West Virginia Legislative Auditor found the state used a "legally unauthorized purchasing process" when awarding the router contract, paid for with federal stimulus funds, to Cisco. The auditor also found Cisco "showed a wanton indifference to the interests of the public" in recommending the investment in its model 3945 branch routers, the majority of which were "oversized" for the requirements of the state agencies using them, the report stated.
 "

IOS

Submission + - iOS 6.1.3 Beta 2 Patches Atleast One Vulnerablity Used by Evasi0n Jailbreak (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Apple recently seeded iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 to developers and it seems the beta version patches at least one of the vulnerabilities used by evasi0n thereby rendering the jailbreak tool useless — the time zone settings vulnerability. Released on February 21, the iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 brings with it enhancements to Japan Maps as well as fixes the much hyped Lock Screen bug. It was speculated that Apple would also patch exploits that would break evasi0n as it has been over three weeks since the jailbreak tool has been launched and Apple has had enough time to study it. David Wang aka @planetbeing, has confirmed that iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 does patch one of the vulnerabilities that they exploited in their evasi0n tool.
Cellphones

Submission + - Wikipedia Will Soon Be Available Via Text Messages (vice.com)

pigrabbitbear writes: "Even as we all love to debate the scholarly merits of Wikipedia, there's no denying that it's an immensely powerful research and learning tool. That goes doubly so in poor nations, where access to education materials can be limited to nonexistent.

To that end, Wikimedia started the Wikipedia Zero project, which aims to partner with mobile service providers to bring Wikipedia to poor regions free of charge. It's a killer strategy, because while computer and internet access is still fleeting for much of the world, cell phones are far more ubiquitous. Wikimedia claims that four mobile partnerships signed since 2012 brings free Wiki service to 330 million cell subscribers in 35 countries, a huge boon for folks whose phones have web capability but who can't afford data charges."

Mars

Submission + - Comet C/2013 A1 to Hit Mars in 2014? (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "According to preliminary orbital prediction models, comet C/2013 A1 will buzz Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. C/2013 A1 was discovered by ace comet-hunter Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, on Jan. 3. When the discovery was made, astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona looked back over their observations to find “prerecovery” images of the comet dating back to Dec. 8, 2012. These observations placed the orbital trajectory of comet C/2013 A1 through Mars orbit on Oct. 19, 2014. Due to uncertainties in the observations — the comet has only been observed for 74 days (so far), so it’s difficult for astronomers to forecast the comet’s precise location in 20 months time — comet C/2013 A1 may fly past at a very safe distance of 0.008 AU (650,000 miles). But to the other extreme, its orbital pass could put Mars directly in its path."

Submission + - Real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales overestimated (phys.org)

AchilleTalon writes: Research by Harvard professor David Keith suggests that the global capacity for energy generation from wind power has been overestimated, and that geophysical / climate effects of turbines will reduce the benefits of large-scale power installations.

"People have often thought there's no upper bound for wind power—that it's one of the most scalable power sources," says Harvard applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don't seem likely to "run out" on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-real-world-capacity-farms-large-scales.html#jCp

Security

Submission + - Airport Manager Won't Let TSA Replace Body Scanner With Magnetometer (spokesman.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: TSA recently announced that it would remove all of Rapiscan's X-ray body scanners from airports by June. As part of this effort, it is trying to move a millimeter-wave body scanner from the Helena, Montana airport to replace an X-ray unit at a busier airport. Strangely enough, they have encountered resistance from the Helena's Airport Manager, Ron Mercer. Last Thursday, workers came to remove the machine, but were prevented from doing so by airport officials. Why? Perhaps Mercer agrees with Cindi Martin, airport director at Montana's Glacier Park International Airport airport, who called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.'
Television

Submission + - LG acquires webOS source code and patents from HP, for smart TVs (thenextweb.com)

An anonymous reader writes: LG is set to breathe new life into the webOS platform after the company announced today that it has acquired the software and its intellectual property from HP. The news, which was first noted by CNET, comes after HP abandoned webOS device and software development in August 2011, then open-sourced the platform so that developers might be able to salvage something from the software that was widely acclaimed, despite the lack of smartphone and tablet sales which it powered. LG now claims complete ownership of the webOS source code, its documentation and webOS websites. It has obtained HP licenses, as well as the patents that Palm transferred to its owner when it was acquired in 2010.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57570990-94/webos-lives-lg-to-resurrect-it-for-smart-tvs/

Intel

Submission + - Intel Announces Clover Trail+ Atom Platform For Smartphones and Tablets (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Today, Intel announced the follow-on to their Medfield Atom platform for smartphones, code-named Clover Trail+. Clover Trail is powering a few Windows 8 Pro tablets currently. However, Clover Trail+, Intel’s new performance and feature-optimized version of Clover Trail for smartphones and tablets, has a long row to hoe versus incumbents like Qualcomm, Samsung and NVIDIA, at least in the highly competitive handset arena. What’s interesting this time around is that Clover Trail+ seems to really have the chops (at least on paper) to keep pace with the performance of current, best-of-class ARM-based architectures that have been so dominant in smartphones. Clover Trail+ is another 32nm design and Intel has beefed up almost every major functional block on the platform. From its now dual-core, 4-thread capable Atom CPU, to its new PowerVR SGX 544MP2 graphics engine, 2GB of LPDDR2 1066 DRAM, up to 256GB of NAND storage, a higher resolution 16MP camera and Intel’s XMM 6360 HSPA+ 42Mbps modem, with LTE support from their XMM 7160 radio moving forward; Intel’s Clover Trail+ smartphone reference design brings a lot more to the table than Medfield ever did."
Science

Submission + - Why the Arabic World Turned Away From Science (thenewatlantis.com)

Geoffrey.landis writes: "The historical period that we call the dark ages, from perhaps 600 to 1200 AD, was the golden age of Islamic science, when great advances in science and technology were taking place in the middle east. But somehow, as the west experienced its renaissance, the blossoming of the age of science, and the founding of the modern technological world, the Arabic world instead turned away from science. Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one, and of roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science. Why? In an article "Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science" in The New Atlantis, Hillel Ofek examines both the reasons why Islamic science flourished, and why it failed. Are we turning the same way, with a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and dogma shouting down the culture of inquiry and free thinking needed for scientific advances? Perhaps we should be looking at the decline of Islamic science as a cautionary tale."
Medicine

Submission + - Scientists Create Mice That Can't Feel Cold (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: "Scientists created a group of mice that were incapable of feeling cold by killing off the neurons in the body whose specific job it is to transmit cold sensation from the skin to the brain. Rather than an attempt to create an X-men-like mutation, the study sheds light on how the nervous system transmits sensory information from the body to the brain and may help to develop more sophisticated pain medicines. The study was published in the February 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience — led by David McKemy, associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences."

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