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Hardware

'Universal' Memory Aims To Replace Flash/DRAM 125

siliconbits writes "A single 'universal' memory technology that combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility and density of flash memory was recently invented at North Carolina State University, according to researchers. The new memory technology, which uses a double floating-gate field-effect-transistor, should enable computers to power down memories not currently being accessed, drastically cutting the energy consumed by computers of all types, from mobile and desktop computers to server farms and data centers, the researchers say."
Transportation

How Chrysler's Battery-Less Hybrid Minivan Works 347

thecarchik writes "Chrysler announced Wednesday that it would partner with the US Environmental Protection Agency to build and test prototypes of a different kind of hybrid vehicle, one that accumulates energy not in a battery pack but by compressing a gas hydraulically. The system in question, originally developed at the EPA labs, uses engine overrun torque to capture otherwise wasted energy, as do conventional hybrid-electric vehicles. The engine is Chrysler's standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder, the base engine in its minivan line. But rather than turning a generator, that torque powers a pump that uses hydraulic fluid to increase the pressure inside a 14.4-gallon tank of nitrogen gas, known as a high-pressure accumulator."
Security

Ex-NSA Analyst To Be Global Security Head At Apple 145

AHuxley writes "Cnet.com reports that Apple has tapped security expert and author David Rice to be its director of global security. Rice is a 1994 graduate of the US Naval Academy and has a master's degree in Information Warfare and Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as a Global Network Vulnerability analyst (Forbes used cryptographer) for the National Security Agency and as a Special Duty Cryptologic officer for the Navy. He is executive director of the Monterey Group, a cybersecurity consulting firm. He's also on the faculty of IANS, an information security research company and works with the US Cyber Consequences Unit. In a 2008 interview with Forbes, 'A Tax On Buggy Software,' Rice talks of a 'tax on software based on the number and severity of its security bugs. Even if that means passing those costs to consumers. ... Back in the '70s, the US had a huge problem with sulfur dioxide emissions. Now we tax those emissions, and coal power plants have responded by using better filters. Software vulnerabilities, like pollution, are inevitable — producing perfect software is impossible. So instead of saying all software must be secure, we tax insecurity and allow the market to determine the price it's willing to pay for vulnerability in software. Those who are the worst "emitters" of vulnerabilities end up paying the most, and it creates an economic incentive to manufacture more secure software.'"
The Military

Chinese Stealth Fighter Jet May Use US Technology 339

Ponca City writes "In 1999, a US F-117 Nighthawk was downed by a Serbian anti-aircraft missile during a bombing raid. It was the first time one of the fighters had been hit, and the Pentagon blamed clever tactics and sheer luck. The pilot ejected and was rescued. Now, the Guardian reports that pieces of the wrecked F-117 stealth fighter ended up in the hands of foreign military attaches. 'At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents crisscrossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers,' says Admiral Davor Domazet-Loso, Croatia's military chief of staff during the Kosovo war. 'We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies... and to reverse-engineer them.' Zoran Kusovac says the Serbian regime routinely shared captured western equipment with its Chinese and Russian allies. 'The destroyed F-117 topped that wish-list for both the Russians and Chinese,' says Kusovac."
Microsoft

Italian Consumer Watchdog Sues Microsoft Over 'Windows Tax' 313

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from El Reg: "[An] Italian consumer watchdog is suing Microsoft over the 'Windows Tax' – the near impossibility of an ordinary user getting a refund if they decide to delete Microsoft's software from a new computer or laptop. The class action case says Microsoft makes it too difficult for people who buy a computer with Microsoft software on it to remove that software and get their money back. Most users do not realise that starting the software means you have accepted the end user licence."
Science

Nature Publisher Launches PLoS ONE Competitor 62

linhares writes "Nature's Publishing Group is launching a new journal, Scientific Reports, announced earlier this month. The press release makes it clear that it is molded after PLoS ONE: 'Scientific Reports will publish original research papers of interest to specialists within a given field in the natural sciences. It will not set a threshold of perceived importance for the papers that it publishes; rather, Scientific Reports will publish all papers that are judged to be technically valid and original. To enable the community to evaluate the importance of papers post-peer review, the Scientific Reports website will include most-downloaded, most-emailed, and most-blogged lists. All research papers will benefit from rapid peer review and publication, and will be deposited in PubMed Central.' Perhaps readers may find it ironic that PLoS ONE, first dismissed by Nature as an 'online database' 'relying on bulk, cheap publishing of lower quality papers to subsidize its handful of high-quality flagship journals' seems to be setting the standards for 'a new era in publishing.'"
Power

Italian Scientists Demonstrate Cold Fusion? 815

Haffner quotes physorg which says "Italian scientists Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi of the University of Bologna announced that they developed a cold fusion device capable of producing 12,400 W of heat power with an input of just 400 W....when the atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen are fused in their reactor, the reaction produces copper and a large amount of energy. The reactor uses less than 1 gram of hydrogen and starts with about 1,000 W of electricity, which is reduced to 400 W after a few minutes. Every minute, the reaction can convert 292 grams of 20C water into dry steam at about 101C. Since raising the temperature of water by 80C and converting it to steam requires about 12,400 W of power, the experiment provides a power gain of 12,400/400 = 31."
Hardware

Thermal Nanotape Promises Cooler, Healthier Chips 48

Blacklaw writes "A team of researchers comprised of members from the Semiconductor Research Corporation and Stanford University has developed a new thermal nanotape which it claims will lead to chips that run cooler and last longer. The thermal nanotape, constructed of binder materials surrounding carbon nanotubes, promises to lead to the creation of semiconductors — including CPUs and GPUs — that don't suffer from the rigors of frequent temperature changes, known as thermal cycling."
The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"
Privacy

Domestic Use of Aerial Drones By Law Enforcement 299

PatPending writes "Aerial drones are now used by the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado; the Miami-Dade County, Florida, Police Department; and the Department of Homeland Security. But what about privacy concerns? 'Drones raise the prospect of much more pervasive surveillance,' said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. 'We are not against them, absolutely. They can be a valuable tool in certain kinds of operations. But what we don't want to see is their pervasive use to watch over the American people.'"
Government

UK Authorities Accused of Inciting Illegal Protest 371

jarran writes "Questions are being asked about the tactics being employed by UK authorities to monitor and control protest groups. Schnews reports on evidence that government IP addresses are posting messages to sites like indymedia, attempting to provoke activists into taking illegal direct action. Evidence has emerged recently that the police consider sex to be a legitimate tool for extracting information from targets, and senior police have been accused of lying to parliament about the deployment of undercover agents at protests."
Businesses

The Fall of Traditional Entertainment Conglomerates 204

Advocatus Diaboli writes "We no longer live in the era of 'plantation-type' movie studios or recording houses. However large private companies still have considerable power over content production, distribution and promotion. Technology has been slowly changing this state of affairs for almost 30-40 years, however certain new technological advances, enabling systems and cost considerations will change the entertainment industry as we know it within 5 years."
Security

New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process 760

An anonymous reader writes "There's been yet another mega-leak, this time of 1,600 papers describing the Israeli/Palestinian peace process negotiations. It's independent of Wikileaks and came to light via al-Jazeera, showing perhaps that the mega-leak meme is here to stay whatever happens to Assange. The papers show a weak Palestinian side offering ever greater concessions to Israel, which flatly rejected this as being insufficient: 'We do not like this suggestion because it does not meet our demands,' Israel's then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, told the Palestinians, 'and probably it was not easy for you to think about it, but I really appreciate it.'"
News

Artificial Retinas Can Balance a Pencil On Its End 165

mikejuk writes "A team of researchers has built a neural information system that is good enough and fast enough to balance a pencil in real time. If you think it's an easy task, try it! The Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH / University Zurich have used what look like video cameras to do the job but in fact they are analog silicon retinas. They work so fast that even with fairly basic hardware they can balance a pencil."
Google

Why Eric Schmidt Left As CEO of Google? 378

Edsj writes "According to The New Yorker: 'Schmidt, according to associates, lost some energy and focus after losing the China decision. At the same time, Google was becoming defensive. All of their social-network efforts had faltered. Facebook had replaced them as the hot tech company, the place vital engineers wanted to work. Complaints about Google bureaucracy intensified. Governments around the world were lobbing grenades at Google over privacy, copyright, and size issues. The “don’t be evil” brand was getting tarnished, and the founders were restive. Schmidt started to think of departing. Nudged by a board-member friend and an outside adviser that he had to re-energize himself, he decided after Labor Day that he could reboot. He couldn't.'"

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