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Science

Submission + - Even Computers Agree: Physics is Hard (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Students and researchers alike have long understood that physics is challenging. But only now have scientists managed to prove it. It turns out that one of the most common goals in physics—finding an equation that describes how a system changes over time—is defined as "hard" by computer theory. That's bad news for physics students who hope that a machine can solve all their homework problems, but at least their future jobs in the field are safe from automation.
Hardware

Submission + - Best Buy display TVs show porn to shoppers (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: No one at Best Buy Greenville knows how to change the security settings on a router. Shoppers at the store were subjected to several minutes of hardcore porn on a number of 55" smart TVs after two individuals gained access to the store WiFi and uploaded the video. All the manager could do was turn the TVs off, then admitted the same thing had happened the day before. Hopefully Greenville is the exception, and other Best Buy stores know how to set router passwords and limit access.
Space

Submission + - Cosmic Buckyball Particle 'Factory' Discovered (discovery.com) 1

astroengine writes: "For the first time, "buckyballs" have been discovered in the cosmos in a solid form. Until now, the only evidence in space for the bizarre little hollow balls of carbon atoms have been in interstellar gases, but with the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered buckyballs accumulating and stacking atop one another to form solid particles. "These buckyballs are stacked together to form a solid, like oranges in a crate," said Nye Evans of Keele University in England, lead author of a paper appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "The particles we detected are minuscule, far smaller than the width of a hair, but each one would contain stacks of millions of buckyballs.""
Advertising

Submission + - Microsoft's Anti-Google Propaganda Campaign (youtube.com) 1

eldavojohn writes: As the presidential race heats up, the smear ads on TV are also increasing. But Microsoft isn't going to site idly by and let the politicians engage in all that song and dance — and Microsoft really does employ both song and dance. Their Youtube channel appears to be slowly transforming from trade show videos and launches into a marketing attack or propaganda campaign that only targets Google (both videos I've watched seemed to have nothing positive about Microsoft in them). Under a month ago, they launched a spoof called GMail man, a creepy guy that flips through all your GMail and serves up super personal ads that are wrong (although they never say if Hotmail engages in targeted marketing). And a few days ago Googlighting shows up to spread fear and uncertainty about Google Docs. Most amusing to this viewer was that I found no such trace of 'Googlighting' on Bing's video service.
Programming

Submission + - Node.js Tools: Server-side JavaScript Comes of Age (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner provides a comprehensive overview of the Node.js-inspired development environments and cloud platforms that are rapidly remaking the Web application stack. 'The scruffy, junkyard quality of the Node realm is rapidly disappearing as programmers build extras for Node as quickly as Node itself was born. Now Node is more of an ecosystem, with its own conference and a collection of tools that orbit around it. There are IDEs, deployment tools, and companies looking to offer Node hosting as a service. All are helping to transform Node from science experiment to real contributor in the data center and the cloud.' Wayner writes. 'These tools aren't luxury goods yet. They're largely the first builds, which means there are rough spots and glitches. They are typically small, simple, and far from full-featured solutions, but they're also a chance for the Node users to rethink what did and didn't work with the previous generation of Web tools. Node is addressing some of the problems people have found with the traditional stack and fixing them"
Piracy

Submission + - Danegeld: Entertainment Industry Lands on UK Telco Shores

__aamdvq1432 writes: TorrentFreak shares a few thoughts from Peter Sunde, ex-spokesman for The Pirate Bay (TPB), in 'Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde on the Copyright Mafia.' The gist is that the Entertainment Industry is trying to attack copyright violators such as TPB indirectly by levying 'protection money' from the Telcos. By shifting the liability for copyright infringement to those Telcos operating in the UK as service providers, the Entertainment Industry hopes to have tangible victims to 'squeeze' instead of the more amorphous targets like TPB. In the end, if this tactic succeeds, it's customers who will pay the Danegeld in the form of increased service charges and of course loss of access to file-sharing.
Security

Submission + - Mcafee Report says Mobile Malware on the rise (darkreading.com)

EliSowash writes: "Mcafee reports that mobile malware hit more than 400 unique samples in Q4 2011, nearly quadrupuling the previous quarter, and total unique malware samples topped 75 million. According to Adam Wosotowsky , senior anti-spam analyst and author of the report, malware authors are changing their tactics. "They are moving to a persistent model, where they are trying to get into corporations and steal intellectual property, more money, and to maintain the infection for a long period of time." Cybercrime and hacktivism were also notable in the last quarter of 2011, particularly the activities of Anonymous, LulzSec, and Sabu. The full report is available here (PDF)."
China

Submission + - China computer maker seeks iPad sale ban in Shanghai... (channelnewsasia.com) 1

K7DAN writes: "Apple's battle defending the Ipad trademark in China is taking place in Shanghai. Proview Technology out of Shenzhen, China (a Taiwan affiliated company) claims that it registered the Ipad name in 2000 and the international patent secured by Apple was not properly secured in China. Analysts believe Apple will likely settle the dispute out of court. Chinese courts are notorious for ruling in favor of local companies no matter how strong the case presented by foreigners."
Google

Submission + - Adobe to Abandon Flash Player on Linux (adobe.com) 1

ekimd writes: Adobe has anounced their plans to abandon future updates of their Flash player for Linux. Partnering with Google, after the release of 11.2, "the Flash Player browser plugin for Linux will only be available via the 'Pepper' API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe." Viva la HTML 5!
The Internet

Submission + - UN pushes plan to regulate the Internet, makes SOPA look like a paper cut (wsj.com)

no0b writes: On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish "international control over the Internet" through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.
" Subsume under intergovernmental control many functions of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Society and other multi-stakeholder groups that establish the engineering and technical standards that allow the Internet to work;"

Transportation

Submission + - Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct? 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "AP reports that global competition is squeezing lemons out of the market and forcing automakers to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles so with few exceptions, cars are so close on reliability that it's getting harder for companies to charge a premium. "We don't have total clunkers like we used to," says Dave Sargent, automotive vice president with J.D. Power. In 1998, J.D. Power and Associates found an industry average of 278 problems per 100 vehicles but this year, the number fell to 132. In 1998, the most reliable car had 92 problems per 100 vehicles, while the least reliable had 517, a gap of 425 but this year the gap closed to 284 problems. It wasn't always like this. In the 1990s, Honda and Toyota dominated in quality, especially in the key American market for small and midsize cars. Around 2006, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler were heading into financial trouble and shifted research dollars from trucks to cars after years of neglect and spent more on engineering and parts to close the gap. Meanwhile Toyota's reputation was tarnished by a series of safety recalls, and Honda played conservative with new models that looked similar to the old ones. Now it's "very hard to find products that aren't good anymore," says Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the Edmunds.com automotive website. "In safety, performance and quality, the differences just don't have material impact.""

Comment A Factor (Score 1) 149

Let's try to temper this discovery (not so much new as newly re-emphasized by this work) with the understanding that, it is only one of many contributing factors. Surviving longer allows us to encounter a plethora of new-&-improved woes for old folks. Sure, getting out and soaking up more rays is a good thing when properly managed, but let's not go overboard and attribute to one cause that which is complexly determined.

Memory's the first thing to go. I forget what the second is.
Medicine

Submission + - Aging Eyes Blamed for Seniors' Health Woes

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Scientists have looked for explanations as to why certain conditions occur with age, among them memory loss, slower reaction time, insomnia and even depression looking at such suspects as high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and an inactive lifestyle. Now Laurie Tarkan writes that as eyes age, less and less sunlight gets through the lens to reach key cells in the retina that regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, its internal clock that rallies the body to tackle the day’s demands in the morning and slows it down at night, allowing the body to rest and repair. “Evolution has built this beautiful timekeeping mechanism, but the clock is not absolutely perfect and needs to be nudged every day,” says Dr. David Berson, whose lab at Brown University studies how the eye communicates with the brain. Dr. Patricia Turner, an ophthalmologist who with her husband, Dr. Martin Mainster has written extensively about the effects of the aging eye on health, estimate that by age 45, the photoreceptors of the average adult receive just 50 percent of the light needed to fully stimulate the circadian system, by age 55, it dips to 37 percent, and by age 75, to a mere 17 percent and recommend that people should make an effort to expose themselves to bright sunlight or bright indoor lighting when they cannot get outdoors and have installed skylights and extra fluorescent lights in their own offices to help offset the aging of their own eyes. “In modern society, most of the time we live in a controlled environment under artificial lights, which are 1,000 to 10,000 times dimmer than sunlight and the wrong part of the spectrum,” says Turner. “We believe the effect is huge and that it’s just beginning to be recognized as a problem.""

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