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Submission + - Survey finds no hint of dark matter near Solar System--no hint of a clue, either (nature.com)

Eponymous Hero writes: Does dark matter exist or doesn't it? It seems these results don't shed as much light as we'd hoped.

"Moni Bidin says he’s not sure whether dark matter exists or not. But he says that his team’s survey is the most comprehensive of its type ever done, and the puzzling results must be reckoned with. 'We don’t have a good comprehension of what is going on,' he says."

This has the smell of a Neutrinogate scandal, but at least we've been warned about the shoulder shrugging.

"As an example, Newberg notes that the researchers assumed that the group of stars they examined were smoothly distributed above and below the plane of the Milky Way. But if the distribution turns out to be lumpier, as is the case for stars in the outer parts of the galaxy, then the resulting calculations of dark matter density could be incorrect.

Flynn agrees that there are a number of ways that the method employed by Moni Bidin and his co-authors 'could get it wrong.'"

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Technology Makes It Harder to Save Money

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "LiveScience reports that a survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs reveals that while more than half of US adults believe technology has made it easier to spend money, just 3 percent think it has made it easier to save. The research found that Americans who subscribe to digital services spend an average of $166 each month for cable TV, home Internet access, mobile phone service and digital subscriptions, such as satellite radio and streaming video — the equivalent of 17 percent of their monthly rent or mortgage payment. and those who download songs, apps and other products spend an additional $38 per month. "Our gadgets and connections can bring benefits like mobility and efficiency,” says Jordan Amin. “But they can also bring financial challenges, like taking money that could go to savings, for instance, or contributing to credit card debt." If facing a financial crunch, Americans would rather change what they eat than give up their cell phones, downloads or digital TV services. Asked to choose the one action they would most likely take in tight time, 41 percent said they would cut back on eating out, 20 percent said they would cut off cable TV, 8 percent said they would end cell phone service and 8 percent said they would stop downloading songs and digital products."

Submission + - Slingshot drone fleet targets US heartland (foxnews.com)

KDN writes: "UAV's in the US: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/20/slingshot-drone-fleet-targets-us-heartland/

When I read this I couldn't help thinking of Wild E Coyote chasing the Road Runner: The UAVs are launched like a slingshot using a 100-foot bungee cord: The pilot ties the bungee to a stake in the ground, gets the proper tension and hooks the bungee to the aircraft before lofting it into the skies "

Submission + - Computer game designed to treat depression as effective as traditional treatment (news24.com)

sirlark writes: Researchers at the University of Auckland tested an interactive 3D fantasy game called Sparx on a 94 youngsters diagnosed with depression whose average age was 15 and a half. Sparx invites a user to take on a series of seven challenges over four to seven weeks in which an avatar has to learn to deal with anger and hurt feelings and swap negative thoughts for helpful ones. Used for three months, Sparx was at least as effective as face-to-face conventional counselling, according to several depression rating scales. In addition, 44% of the Sparx group who carried out at least four of the seven challenges recovered completely. In the conventional treatment group, only 26% recovered fully.

One has to wonder if it Sparx specifically, or gaming in general that provides the most benefit. Given that most of the symptoms of depression relate to a feeling of being unable to influence one's environment (powerlessness, helplessness, ennui, etc) and games are specifically designed to make one feel powerful but challenged (if they hit the sweet spot).

Games

Submission + - Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet Announce 13th Age RPG (prweb.com)

Quizro writes: Rob Heinsoo, lead designer on Dungeons & Dragons fourth edition, and Jonathan Tweet, lead designer on D&D's third edition, are collaborating on a new tabletop roleplaying game that mixes an old school approach with indie design. 13th Age is currently in early playtest and will be published August 2012 by Pelgrane Press, which is giving them complete freedom as designers to make the game.
Politics

Submission + - SPAM: Frans de Waal On The Moral Behaviour Of Animals

An anonymous reader writes: Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity: caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. Frans de Waal has studied primate behavour for many years and has found some surprising data from behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals. Many animals demonstrate many of these moral traits all of us share.
Link to Original Source
Facebook

Submission + - How Fortune 500 Companies Profit From Scammers (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "Privacy blogger Dan Tynan has gone where angels fear to tread, friending an obvious scammer on Facebook and finding out where the links "she" tries to get you to post on your wall go. They go to an array of websites that set off every alarm in Dan's anti-virus software, but it's worth noting that the conduit that gets you there is a Web survey about Taco Bell hosted by Q Interactive, a "respectable" lead generation firm that does business with a lot of huge American companies."
The Internet

Submission + - Chrome Flags arstechnica as Infected Site 2

bs0d3 writes: If you tried to visit arstechnica today with google's Chrome browser, you were greeted with a warning. arstechnica has commented on twitter saying, "Many users are reporting that you're receiving malware warnings on Ars. We are trying to get these removed. You may ignore it.". Although no one knows what happened, as of now the site appears to be clear and google is still flagging it as malicious. Google scans may have produced a false positive or perhaps a hacker had compromised arstechnica earlier. No other warnings appear from any other browsers at this time.
Science

Submission + - FedEx Invests in Carbon-Nuetral Shipping (fedex.com)

rootlicker writes: "The iconic FedEx Envelope, which is already made from 100% recycled content and is 100% recyclable, is getting another environmentally-friendly boost today.. launching a new carbon-neutral shipping program for its most widely-used packaging solution for document shipping.
FedEx Express will make an investment in global projects that displace or sequester greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, neutralizing the impacts of the carbon emissions emitted during the shipment of all FedEx Envelopes around the world..."

Google

Submission + - Federal Appeals Court Revives Rosetta Stone Suit vs Google (reuters.com)

suraj.sun writes: A federal appeals court on Monday revived the bulk of language-software maker Rosetta Stone's trademark infringement lawsuit against Google. In a lawsuit filed in 2009, Rosetta Stone accused Google of committing trademark infringement by selling the language-software maker's trademarks to third-party advertisers for use as search keywords. "A reasonable trier of fact could find that Google intended to cause confusion in that it acted with the knowledge that confusion was very likely to result from its use of the marks," Chief Judge William Traxler wrote for the three-judge panel. The opinion is the first appellate decision to address whether Google's sale of other companies' trademarks for sponsored links could give rise to liability for trademark infringement. The appeals court also reinstated Rosetta Stone's trademark dilution claims.

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/09/net-us-rosetta-stone-google-idUSBRE8380ND20120409

Security

Submission + - FBI: Child porn "computer expert" added to Top Ten Fugitive list (networkworld.com) 1

coondoggie writes: "The FBI today placed Eric Justin Toth, a former private-school teacher and computer expert who is believed to regularly use the Internet and social networking websites on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. Toth is accused of possessing and producing child pornography, has been on the run since warrants for his arrest were issued in Maryland and the District of Columbia in 2008. There is a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to Toth's arrest."

Submission + - Why humans have pretty much stopped evolving (npr.org) 2

Kidipede writes: "Never thought of this before, but Ian Tattersall explains that organisms can evolve quickly only in small isolated groups with a limited gene pool, so that a mutation can really take hold. In huge gene pools like modern cities, mutations are quickly muted by the dominance of the older DNA and evolutionary change becomes nearly impossible. It's not the main point of the story, but it's a good point."
Science

Submission + - The tiny, lethal weapon that viruses use to kill bacteria (phys.org)

rainbo writes: "An excerpt reads: Grouped together under the unassuming name phi-92, a family of bacteriophage viruses has perfected its specialty: they attack salmonella and coliform bacteria. The centerpiece of their arsenal is a needle-like tip that pierces its victim’s membrane. EPFL scientists have measured this miniscule weapon; at a single nanometer, it’s roughly 20 times the diameter of a helium atom. This discovery, published in Structure, a Cell Press journal, will allow researchers to better understand the attack strategy used by bacteriophages, which are being intensively studied for their therapeutic potential."

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