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Space

Submission + - The Signature of Parellel Universes in the CMB? (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "An emerging new idea in cosmological circles is that the universe had a Big Bang, but only one of countless creation moments in a "megaverse" that is eternally inflating with multiple big bangs, like a string of firecrackers going off. But how can such a hypothesis have any observational evidence?

Well, according to researchers from University College London, patterns in the ubiquitous cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation may be the thumbprints of other universes that have been spawned alongside our own. What's more, they're not alone in this thinking. (Let's just hope they're not being duped by the cosmic equivalent of seeing bunny shapes in clouds.)"

Earth

Submission + - Man-Made Organisms to Compete with Nature (smartertechnology.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Presidential Commission charged with recommending safeguards against man-made organisms devouring natural resources has decided nothing needs to be done, except keep an eye on things (what it calls "prudent vigilance"). Meanwhile, researchers are forging ahead with plans to create killer microbes that attack human cancer cells, but of course stop and volunteer to die when the cancer is gone. Sound like a movie script? Where will this end? You decide.
Facebook

Submission + - LinkedIn Pulls a Facebook on Privacy (businessinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: If you're a member of LinkedIn--the social network with a business bent--you might want to review some changes made in the service's privacy policy--if you can find it. LinkedIn has volunteered your name and photograph to be used for advertising if it feels like it wants to use them.

Submission + - Terrorist target mexican nanotechnology professors (m-x.com.mx)

An anonymous reader writes: A new mexican terrorist organization sent an explosive device to an ITESM professor due to his research in nanotechnology. ITS or Individuals with Wild Tendencies in english, is a group that claims to be against the "nanotechnology revolution" in fear of a nanomachine take over that will mean the end of civilization. The group has published in their website that they plan to target individuals in this research field to ensure the survival of mankind. Mexican authorities are investigating the case.

Comment Re:"Rentals" make no sense (Score 1) 39

Don't mind me, just a poor student coming through... I will still be pirating whatever cracked games I can just because its less hassle (anyone been reading the Diablo 3 news btw? forced permanent tether?) and also happens to be cheaper.

Don't you think that this stage of gaming "experimentation" has been going on long enough to draw rational conclusions about the market by now? Do you think that this industry, that twirls around billions of dollars, has not yet paid some very smart people to predict the market outcome in the long term? Of course they have, and the results are in - the most important slice of the clientele doesn't care and doesn't know about implications of DRM, the average housewife/grandma/baseball-dad has no clue, you could convince them to buy a blank CD for their kids if the cover looked cool enough.

This is the target audience of the industry, because this is the largest chunk of the world population with a modicum of spending cash.

Catching teenagers and nerds for pirating is just the cherry on top after the soccer-mom payoff.
Transportation

Submission + - Human-Powered Helicopter Breaks World Record (umd.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: The University of Maryland just announced that its human-powered Gamera helicopter recently broke the national record for longest human-powered flight while simultaneously setting the world record for the longest human-powered flight by a woman. Student Judy Wexler lifted the Gamera off the ground for a full 12 seconds — the previous national record was only four seconds. The pilot manually powers the hand and foot pedals to force Gamera into flight. Constructed from balsa wood, foam, mylar and carbon fiber, the machine itself weighs in at only 210 pounds.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun Unleashes An Earth-directed X6.9 Class Flare (ibtimes.com)

Daniel_Lee writes: The sun on Tuesday emitted an Earth-directed X6.9 flare at 3:48 a.m. EDT, as measured by the NOAA GOES satellite, according to NASA. The Solar flare peaked at 4:05 a.m..

These gigantic bursts of radiation cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to harm humans on the ground, however, they can disrupt the atmosphere and disrupt GPS and communications signals. In this case, it appears the flare is strong enough to potentially cause some radio communication blackouts. It also produced increased solar energetic proton radiation — enough to affect humans in space if they do not protect themselves.

Idle

Submission + - 10 Bizarre Fiber Cuts (level3.com) 1

ffejie writes: Fred Lawler, SVP of Global Field Services at Level 3 has an amusing look at some strange fiber cuts that he's seen in his days maintaining a large fiber network across the US. Whether it's squirrels, vandals, storms or truckers, it seems everyone has a new way to destroy the fiber that keeps the global communications infrastructure afloat.
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft Patches 1990s-Era 'Ping of Death' (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Microsoft on Tuesday issued 13 security updates that patched 22 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Windows, Office and other software, including one that harked back two decades to something dubbed 'Ping of Death.' While other patched vulnerabilities we more serious, one marked 'CVE-2011-1871' brought back memories for nCircle's Andrew Storms. 'This looks like the Ping of Death from the early-to-mid 1990s,' he said. 'Then, when a specially-crafted ping request was sent to a host, it caused the Windows PC to blue screen, and then reboot.' Two decades ago, the Ping of Death was used to bring down Windows PCs remotely, often as a way to show the instability of the operating system. 'People would say, 'You're stupid to put your machines on the Internet.'' said Storms. 'My suspicion is that if this catches fire and someone writes a small attack tool and releases it, you could see [Windows PCs] blue screened at your local coffee shop,' Storms said."
Advertising

Submission + - Ad Industry Failing To Regulate Itself (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "Fearing the interference that would arise from do-not-track regulation, the online advertising industry has promised to impose its own privacy rules. The only problem is that the rules they've agreed on aren't being imposed. For instance, the Network Advertising Initiative has a big red button that supposedly lets you opt out of ad tracking online. Which is great, except that only the big advertisers have agreed to honor this system, some of those advertisers aren't honoring it even though they've agreed to, and most people have no idea the system exists."
Network

Submission + - Handling an inherited house full of technology 3

Dewin writes: My father-in-law passed away earlier this year, leaving my wife as the executor of an estate including a house full of all sorts of hardware. There's a wide variety here — at least a half dozen computers and monitors (all LCDs, thankfully), mixing boards, a karaoke system, and a home networking setup with in-wall CAT5 wiring and no fewer than 3 wireless access points in addition to other networking hardware.

No one person is assigned specific items from the estate. It's a percentage share among the heirs, who are all (thankfully) on good terms with each other. Thus, we have some leeway in making decisions.

With that all in mind, we have the following questions:
  1. What's the best way to assess a value for all of the hardware in the house, and how do we determine what is worth keeping, what's worth selling, and what's just junk?
  2. Dozens of computers means dozens of harddisks, some of which probably hold interesting data either from an legal standpoint or a historical one. I'd like to find a way to aggregate all this data in one place quickly, ideally without having to look over each harddrive's contents or copying things like OS files.
  3. Is there any reason why I shouldn't just factory-reset all of the routers and reconfigure them to be in a known state (especially considering we lack the current admin passwords)? Considering I cannot get into the administrative interfaces for them currently, is there anything I should take note of first? There's nothing critical that we need running on the network that would break.
  4. I suspect the in-wall wiring is too old to support gigabit ethernet speeds, but I'd like to test (and possibly address that) if possible. Any tips?

We are on a fairly tight budget, so while purchases are an option we'd like to keep them fairly cheap and ideally something that will continue to be useful after the fact. Thanks!

Social Networks

Submission + - Syrian Hackers Deface Anonymous' Social Network (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "After the hacking gang Anonymous took credit for defacing Syria's Ministry of Defense website, a Syrian group retaliated on Monday by posting gruesome photos on Anonymous' embryonic social network. The defacement of AnonPlus — the site Anonymous set up last month when it was booted off Google+ — did not include the name of the group responsible. The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, however, credited the AnonPlus defacement to the 'Syrian Electronic Army' in a message posted to Twitter. 'In response to your hacking to the website of the Syrian Ministry of Defence, the Syrian people have decided to purify the internet of [y]our pathetic website,' the defacement read."

Submission + - New Nano Batteries Smaller Than A Human Hair (techtribune.com)

techtribune writes: If we could take the weight of our current batteries in EV-powered cars and shrink them down a million times we could obtain gas mileages better than anyone could ever dream. The researchers at Rice university have shown off some micro or nano batteries that could revolutionize the battery industry in a few years. The new microscopic battery pack created by Rice researchers pack a lot of power in a minuscule battery pack. At only 150 nanometers in size the battery pack is hundreds times smaller and thinner than a human hair.
Data Storage

Submission + - Start-Up's 'Stone-Like' Optical Disc Lasts Forever (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Start-up Millenniata and LG plan to soon release a new optical disc and read/write player that will store movies, photos or any other data forever. The data can be accessed using on any current DVD or Blu-ray player. The M-Disc can be dipped in liquid nitrogen and then boiling water without harming it. It also has a Defense Department study backing up the resiliency of its product (PDF document) compared with other leading optical disc competitors. The company would not disclose what material is used to produce the optical discs, referring to it only as a 'natural' substance that is 'stone-like.' Like DVDs and Blu-ray discs, the M-Disc platters are made up of multiple layers of material. But there is no reflective, or die, layer. Instead, during the recording process a laser 'etches' pits onto the substrate material."
Security

Submission + - AntiSec Hackers Dump Data After Hacking Police (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "The war between law enforcement and Anonymous continued this past weekend as hackers leaked a 10 gigabyte database of private data. They say they stole information during an attack on more than 70 small-town law enforcement agencies. The hackers, an Anonymous-affiliated group known as AntiSec, say that they hope to 'embarrass, discredit and incriminate police officers across the US,' in retaliation for ongoing arrests of Anonymous members. The hackers had already knocked many of the sheriffs' sites offline last week, but on Saturday AntiSec posted e-mail messages, passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers as well as messages from confidential informants."

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