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Google

Submission + - Google Reveals Tweaks to Its Search Algorithm (nytimes.com)

Meshach writes: The New York Times has an interesting article about how Google has revealed some of the inner workings of the Google Search service. The main change is that sites that are not in English will be translated then included in the search results. Google said it has also improved the way it recognizes official Web sites, like those published by the government, and will give those sites higher ranking in search results. Google does not usually reveal such details but the article speculates governments have been pushing for more transparancy.
Security

Submission + - Windows 8 no longer automatically restarts to inst (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "We have all been victim of the diabolical, automatic 3am Windows Update restart. You might be watching a movie or you might be slaying a boss in World of Warcraft, or perhaps you simply left your computer on over night — perhaps with some unsaved work — and blam! Windows Update strikes. If you're a geek, it only happens once — usually after setting up a new computer and forgetting, yet again, to disable automatic updates — but for most consumers, it's just a fact of Windows life. But not for long! With Windows 8, Microsoft is finally fixing Windows Update to behave a little more sensibly. Starting with Windows 8, Windows Update will consolidate every restart-requiring patch into just one restart, on Patch Tuesday. Secondly, instead of popping up a system tray notification, Windows Update will now use the login screen to tell you, three days in advance, about an impending restart. Finally, Windows 8 will not automatically restart if your computer is locked, running background apps, or if you have any unsaved work. Instead, Windows 8 will wait for your next login and then begin the restart process."
Censorship

Submission + - Local whistleblower blog blocked in Argentina (google.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Leakymails, a whistleblower blog that is posting email and documents from argentinean politicians, journalist and businessmen, has became the first website to be blocked in Argentina by the government (link in spanish)
The author is looking for help to distribute the leaked material.

Security

Submission + - I'm declaring password bankruptcy

An anonymous reader writes: Once upon a time, composing passwords was as easy as saying open sesame. Not any more. Now web services all-too-often require users to beef up the security of their passwords by stipulating minimum length and numerals or just banning weak passwords (Hotmail is the latest example). But increasingly demanding password systems are themselves posing a security risk, argues this columnist as they don't take account of users' memory and storage limits. Forcing users to create more complex passwords just means users will crack under pressure — and read for the Post-It note.
Intel

Submission + - Intel Details Dynamic Resolution Rendering Tech (thinq.co.uk)

Stoobalou writes: Intel is risking the ire of hardcore gamers by suggesting that PC gaming can learn a trick or two from the world of consoles by altering a game's rendering resolution on the fly in order to boost performance.

Intel's latest chips, the Sandy Bridge series, pack some impressive graphical horsepower compared to the company's previous attempts, but still lag behind the performance of dedicated graphics from AMD or Nvidia. While that hasn't been a problem in the past — as there is a significant cost for an OEM to include discrete graphics with its product — AMD's move to the Fusion platform and the 'accelerated processing' concept threatens Intel's hold on the integrated graphics market.

The Internet

Submission + - 40GB of data that costs the same as a house (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: "PC Pro has an infographic that reveals the extortionate cost of roaming data. They compared the cost of data typically bundled with a fixed-line broadband package (40GB) costing £15, with the cost of buying that data on various mobile tariffs. Buying 40GB of data on a domestic mobile internet tariff from Orange would cost the same as an iMac; buying the same quantity of data on O2's non-Europe roaming tariff would cost £240,000 — or the same as a three-bedroom house."
Ubuntu

Submission + - Best of the lot: My top 5 media players for Ubuntu (ubuntumanual.org)

tjavailable writes: "Ubuntu is now one of the most popular Operating Systems used in the world. The main reason behind is the open source nature of Ubuntu and the backing provided by the vast online user community. Today Ubuntu ranks in 3rd in the list of top OS’s. The Open Source wizard supports a wide variety of software including media players. Today we review some of the best media software available for Ubuntu’s latest versions."

Submission + - Climate sceptic funded by oil and coal companies (guardian.co.uk) 5

Honken writes: The Guardian reports that "One of the world's most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical about climate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies."

This somewhat contradicts that Soon in a 2003 US senate hearing said that he had "not knowingly been hired by, nor employed by, nor received grants from any organisation that had taken advocacy positions with respect to the Kyoto protocol or the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change."

Idle

Submission + - Plan to test Shakespeare remains for marijuana (foxnews.com) 1

dutchwhizzman writes: A team of scientists has submitted a formal request to test the remains of William Shakespeare for drugs. Notably, for marijuana, since remains of clay pipes found in his garden have been tested positive for four-twenty. If they get permission, we may have to adjust our view on his world famous plays quite substantially.

Submission + - Oracle shuts older servers out of Solaris 11 (theregister.co.uk)

PCM2 writes: The Register is reporting that Oracle has decided not to allow Solaris 11 to install on older Sparc hardware, including UltraSparc-I, UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-IIe, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-III+, UltraSparc-IIIi, UltraSparc-IV, and UltraSparc-IV+ processors. The Solaris 11 Express development version released in November did not have this restriction, which suggests that the OS would likely run on these models. Unfortunately, the installer won't. All generations of Sparc T series processors and Sparc Enterprise M machines will be able to install and run Solaris 11, however.
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Dark side of making L.A. Noir (ign.com)

JameskPratt writes: Many readers have no delusions of how awful the video game industry treats its workers. Eleven ex-employee of Team Bondi's, who made LA Noir, have cited working 60 to 110 hours a weeks. And claim their boss, Brendan McNamara, crushed office morale with verbal abuse and unreasonable goals. As the saying goes, the two things you don't want to see being made is law and video games."
Security

Submission + - The Lesson of LulzSec (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "LulzSec says they're retired, which may or may not be true. But one thing the world has learned from their 'frightening yet funny' escapades is that 'the state of online security stinks,' writes blogger Tom Henderson. LulzSec (and Anonymous) have 'demonstrated that an awful lot of people are either asleep at the switch or believed in arcane security methods like security through obscurity.'"
Medicine

Submission + - Researchers Design Memory-Strengthening Implant (nytimes.com)

Antipater writes: "Researchers at Wake Forest University have created a brain implant that can imitate signals through the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory retention. Rats implanted with the device were able to remember information even after their hippocampus was shut down, reports the New York Times. Though still in its infancy, this technology could hopefully be used to help treat dementia or stroke victims."
Google

Submission + - What Google's Aging Tech Says About App Engine (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Savio Rodrigues questions whether an enterprise-class version of Google App Engine will ever prove reliable in light of recent comments by an ex-Google Wave engineer about Google's development priorities and aging technology. 'In the case of Google App Engine, a key question to ask is how your enterprise needs will be prioritized against the needs of internal Google developers. Although both user groups will share a set of feature requests, there are undoubtedly features that enterprises will seek but Google developers will not need. With both user groups vying for the next feature on their wish list to be completed, will Google address the needs of its internal developers or of outside enterprises? Keep in mind that revenue from projects that internal developers are working on will far outweigh revenue from outside enterprises through Google App Engine for the foreseeable future.'"

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