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Politics

Submission + - Unwashed Masses to Judge Research Spending

lee1 writes: "The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has established
something they call 'YouCut Citizen Review', in which citizens are being
encouraged to identify 'wasteful spending that should be cut', voting by
text message and email on proposed spending cuts. Each of the 'winners'
has been put to the floor of the House for a vote. Eric Cantor, the
incoming House majority leader, has asked people to search the records
of individual granting agencies for examples of 'waste.' While there is
no immediate threat from this to research programs, as Congress merely
establishes the agencies' overall budgets and does not usually get
involved with individual grants, there is tremendous potential for
political theater and eventual influence on research priorities as
agency heads inevitably find themselves called to hearings on Capitol
Hill."
AMD

Submission + - AMD Launches New Phenom II X6 1100T Flagship CPU (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "AMD is refreshing it’s line-up of desktop six-core processor offerings with a brand new flagship CPU, dubbed the Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition. The 1100T is clocked higher than the 1090T it will be supplanting at the top of AMD’s line-up and its “Black Edition” moniker denotes an unlocked chip for more flexible overclocking. The Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition has a 3.3GHz “base” clock frequency with a peak Turbo Core frequency of 3.7GHz—the 1090T tops out at 3.2GHz / 3.6GHz. The chip, like other Phenom IIs, is manufactured on Global Foundries’ 45nm SOI process node and it is comprised of roughly 904 million transistors, with a die size of approximately 346mm2. Its max TDP (thermal design power) of 125 watts remains unchanged from the 1090T but performance has been taken up a nicely a notch or two."

Submission + - TSA Told To Tell Children That Groping Is A Game (techdirt.com)

Marc Desrochers writes: Apparently TSA agents are being told that one way to handle the new groping pat downs for children is to try to make it out to be some sort of "game." This is apparently horrifying some sex abuse experts who point out that a common tactic in abuse cases is to tell the kids that they're just "playing a game." The TSA has said that the newer patdowns will not apply to children under 12, but the rules have been somewhat unclear — leading to the statement from a TSA director, James Marchand:

        "You try to make it as best you can for that child to come through. If you can come up with some kind of a game to play with a child, it makes it a lot easier."

He also said that the idea of making it a game would become a part of the TSA's training. Ken Wooden, who runs an organization to try to stop sex abuse of children was not pleased:

        "How can experts working at the TSA be so incredibly misinformed and misguided to suggest that full body pat downs for children be portrayed as a game?" Wooden asked in an email. "To do so is completely contrary to what we in the sexual abuse prevention field have been trying to accomplish for the past thirty years."

Microsoft

Submission + - Researchers Bypass IE Protected Mode (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: A new paper from researchers at Verizon Business identifies a method through which an attacker can bypass Internet Explorer Protected Mode and gain elevated privileges once he's successfully exploited a bug on the system. Protected Mode in Internet Explorer is one of a handful of key security mechanisms that Microsoft has added to Windows in the last few years. It is often described as a sandbox, in that it is designed to prevent exploitation of a vulnerability in the browser from leading to more persistent compromise of the underlying system. Protected Mode was introduced in Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7, and other software vendors have followed Microsoft's lead, introducing sandboxes in applications such as Adobe Reader X and Google Chrome.

In their research, the Verizon Business team found a method that, when combined with an existing memory-corruption vulnerability in the browser, enables an attacker to bypass Protected Mode and elevate his privileges on the compromised machine. The technique enables the attacker to move from a relatively un-privileged level to one with higher privileges, giving him complete access to the logged-in user's account.

Math

Submission + - Color breakdown in a bag of M&M's

An anonymous reader writes: How accurate are the company-provided statistics about the colors in a bag of M&M's? Not very according to this article.

Most of these percentages are reasonably close to the above-mentioned distribution (Brown — 17%, Yellow — 17%, Red — 17%, Blue — 17%, Orange — 16%, Green — 16%). However, there are a few anomalies: Red is consistently low, Green is inconsistent but averages low, and Yellow is significantly higher than the 17% reported by the website.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Don't Fear the Raptor

Duck X writes: "Ever worry about what you'd do if velociraptors or other dromeosaurids overcame some 70 million years of extinction and came after you? Thanks to Dr. Daniel Snyder, a paleontologist from Knox College, we now know. Apparently, due to being the ancestors of modern birds, they may share some biology with them. Enough biology that they might very well be repulsed by methyl anthranilate, just like birds are. Not one to leave us wondering where and how to get that strange chemical, Dr. Snyder has a solution: "Thus, I recommend you carry around a loaded SuperSoaker filled with Concord grape juice. Fresh-squeezed would be ideal, but from concentrate should be effective as well. This will not only have the theoretical asset of protecting you from Velociraptor, it will have the pragmatic asset of protecting you from thirst.""
Businesses

Submission + - Whatever happened to superconductors?

AltGrendel writes: "Jonathan Fildes of the BBC wrote that 'In 1987, Ronald Reagan declared that the US was about to enter an incredible new era of technology. Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC). "The breakthroughs in superconductivity bring us to the threshold of a new age," said the president. "It's our task to herald in that new age with a rush."

But 20 years on, the new world does not seem to have arrived. So what happened?'

He shares what he found in this article."

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