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Submission + - Lose Sleep, Fail to Form Memory 1

Rambo Tribble writes: A research team of Chinese and American scientists claim to have witnessed the mechanism by which sleep contributes to the formation of memories. Using advanced microscopy the researchers witnessed synapses being formed in the brain of sleeping mice recently exposed to a learning task. They compared this to similarly tasked mice, that were subsequently sleep-deprived. The sleeping mice showed a marked increase in the formation of new synapses. As one researcher explained, 'We thought sleep helped, but it could have been other causes, and we show it really helps to make connections and that in sleep the brain is not quiet, it is replaying what happened during the day and it seems quite important for making the connections.' Link to original publication [abstract, paywall]

Submission + - Defeating UEFI's SecureBoot (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: UEFI is ment to replace the BIOS firmware interface. But is it secure enough? Or, at least, more resilient than BIOS? Corey Kallenberg, Security Researcher for the MITRE Corporation explains how he and his team have been able to circumvent that protection on roughly half of the computers that have it enabled, in order to install a malicious bootkit, and what this means for the future of UEFI.

Submission + - Nanoparticles Used to Create Thermal "Barcodes"

Rambo Tribble writes: Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, have developed nanoparticles with distinct melting points, which they suggest be used as forensic "barcodes" to identify the origins and integrity of things such as explosives and currency [PDF]. To demonstrate the technique, the researchers used the explosive, TNT, as a test case. Commenting on the viability of the approach, researcher Dr Ming Su said, 'The nanoparticle does not participate in any chemical reaction, and it will not effect the function of the existing object. The only thing it will do is to provide a thermal signature.' He added, 'Nanoparticles are so small, they can be put into any objects.' The BBC has more approachable coverage.

Submission + - Hypertext and the Internet: The Unappreciated Backstory 1

Rambo Tribble writes: While the seminal influence of Vannevar Bush's 'As We May Think' is not in dispute, many don't realize that he was rekindling ideas that had been around for decades. 'In the years leading up to World War II, a number of European thinkers were exploring markedly similar ideas about information storage and retrieval, and even imagining the possibility of a global network—a feature notably absent from the Memex [of Bush's essay].' In fact, some of these thinkers even predated WW I.

Comment He's an MBA, right? (Score 2) 343

For some time MBA training has concentrated on offering the least while charging the most. Ethics, social responsibility, even just basic human decency have no ROI, so they've been thrown overboard. The goal is to control a market, then milk it for all it's worth. Part and parcel of that is letting QoS degrade while consistently undercutting your labor force. As the C-whatever, you make your quaterly bonuses, the shareholders are delighted, and the company gradually degrades until it is a mere shell. Of course, you've moved on and the collapsing hulk you left behind is someone else's problem. Then it's time for the government bailout. Welcome to the modern business model.

Comment Charge them ... (Score 4, Insightful) 185

... and they will flee. If those who provide services are charged more, they will pass those costs to the students. If the students are forced to pay more, they'll do their online ordering on free wifi at the coffee shop, (and look for a cheaper place to live). By providing network access, you are providing a useful service that enhances the appeal of you rentals. Diminish the quality or value of that service, and you diminish the value of your rental.

Submission + - Daniel Ellsberg criticizes Kerry for calling Snowden a coward and traitor (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defence Department staff who leaked the Vietnam War Pentagon Papers to the New York Times has some harsh criticism of Kerry's recent call for Snowden to come back to USA and "man up".

"Nothing excuses Kerry's slanderous and despicable characterisations of a young man who, in my opinion, has done more than anyone in or out of government in this century to demonstrate his patriotism, moral courage and loyalty to the oath of office the three of us swore: to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," he concludes.

Submission + - Congressman Introduces Bill to Limit FCC Powers

An anonymous reader writes: Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would limit the FCC's power to regulate ISPs in a supposed effort to keep the internet free. The bill's text is currently not available on the Library of Congress webpage or on congress.gov, but a purported copy has been spotted on scribd. Representative Latta's press release nevertheless indicates that the bill is intended to prevent the FCC from re-classifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II. Latta is one of the 28 representatives who lobbied the FCC earlier this month and were shown to have received double the average monetary donations given to all House of Representative members from the cable industry over a two year period ending this past December.

Submission + - Oregon vs. Oracle: The Battle of Blame Heats Up

Rambo Tribble writes: The ongoing efforts to assign responsibility for the disastrous attempts to create the Cover Oregon health exchange, the primary contractor for which was Oracle Corporation, have entered a new round, with Governor John Kitzhaber calling on State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to initiate legal action against the firm. Kitzhaber has also sought the help of Washington D.C. in sanctioning Oracle, though Oregon's own management of the project and the terms of their contract with Oracle muddy the waters, considerably. Although the AG's office hasn't committed to filing suit, yet, AG Rosenblum has said, 'I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled.' Although the outcome of this is uncertain, it is likely heads, both corporate and political, will roll.

Submission + - The Light Might Make You Heavy

Rambo Tribble writes: Writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers have found that sleeping with high ambient light levels may contribute to obesity [Abstract; paywall]. In a large survey, of 113,000 women, a high correlation was found between higher bedroom light levels and increased propensity to overweight or obesity. Excess light in the sleeping environment has long been known to adversely affect melatonin production and circadian rhythms. It is posited that such an interference with the "body clock" may be behind these results. Although there is not yet enough evidence to call this a smoking gun, as one researcher put it, 'Overall this study points to the importance of darkness.' The BBC offers its take on the story, here.

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