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Submission + - Amazing Lego Mechanical Loom Weaves Actual Fabric (Video) (ecouterre.com)

fangmcgee writes: An expert Lego Technic builder, Nicolas Lespour has turned what many consider child’s play into a full-fledged career. Latest among his toys? An automated mechanical loom that weaves fabric from multiple bobbins of colored yarn. Presented on Monday at Fana’Briques 2012, a convention Lego enthusiasts organize annually in Rosheim, France, Lespour’s invention comprises 20,000 individual Lego components, including a fly-shuttle mechanism that delivers the weft into the warp with little human intervention.
Math

Submission + - Historian: Mass violence to erupt in 2020, mathematical pattern suggests (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Historian Peter Turchin, who studies population dynamics at the University of Connecticut, has assumed the role of the world's biggest bummer with his recent prediction that widespread violence will erupt worldwide sometime around the year 2020, as profiled in this recent feature in Nature. What has many people worried is that he's backing up this premonition with a mathematical formula, known as cliodynamics.

Turchin is credited with coining the term cliodynamics, which is the study of historical mathematical data like population figures and global economic performance to identify patterns of similar behavior. Turchin's studies point to a cycle in which society at large becomes engulfed in widespread violence every 50 years.

The current pattern dates back at least to 1870, when economic disparity in the U.S. led to urban violence, and follows the 50-year cycle to the anti-Communist fervor and race riots around 1920, followed by the political assassinations, terrorist attacks and domestic violence in 1970, Turchin told Nature. By that logic, Turchin believes we should circle the year 2020 on our calendars as the year when we start locking our doors.

Microsoft

Microsoft Lays Out Money-Making Options For Windows Store Developers 85

tsamsoniw writes "With the release of Windows 8 just around the corner, Microsoft is eager to see its Windows Store well stocked with third-party, Metro-friendly apps. Hoping to get developers on board, the company has announced pricing structure, along with guidance and tools to help developers create trial versions of apps and set up lucrative in-app purchases."
Cloud

Privacy Advocates Slam Google Drive's Privacy Policies 219

DJRumpy writes "Privacy advocates voiced strong concerns this week over how data stored on Google Drive may be used during and after customers are actively engaged in using the cloud service. While the TOS for Dropbox and Microsoft both state they will use your data only as far as is necessary to provide the service you have requested, Google goes a bit farther: 'Google's terms of use say: "You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours. When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content."'
Microsoft

Microsoft Reveals More Windows 8 Details 538

Barence writes "Microsoft has released the first full details of Windows 8, with an all-or-nothing approach to touchscreen technology. All versions of Windows 8 — whether used on a touchscreen device or not — will use the operating system's new Metro interface, which was first developed for Windows Phone 7 devices. The advent of Windows 8 sees Microsoft introduce a new style of application, dubbed Metro Style apps, and its own app store. The company also claims to have boosted Windows 8 performance with fast boot/shutdown times, a new Task Manager and the option to refresh a PC with a clean install of the OS with apps and settings left intact."
Cloud

Google Kills Desktop Search and Gadgets 138

CWmike writes with an article in Computerworld about Google axing yet another product. From the article:"Google has decided to retire Desktop, an application it first launched in 2004 that is designed to let people search for files and data stored in their computers' hard drives. It was one of the first products Google aimed against Microsoft and was intended to improve upon the native search functionality found in Windows. Desktop search became an area of competition, as Microsoft responded to the challenge and others such as Yahoo launched their own products. However, Google has decided that, with the popularity of cloud computing and users' increasing comfort with Web apps, the time has come to decommission Desktop, it said in a recent blog post. As of September 14, Google will also end support for Desktop APIs, services, plug-ins and gadgets." From the looks of it the announcement implies that Google Gadgets are getting the axe too, which a few more people might be using.
Government

Submission + - How the new 'Protecting Children' bill puts you at (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering H.R. 1981, a bill that would order all of our online service providers to keep new logs about our online activities, logs to help the government identify the web sites we visit and the content we post online. This sweeping new "mandatory data retention" proposal treats every Internet user like a potential criminal and represents a clear and present danger to the online free speech and privacy rights of millions of innocent Americans.
Government

Submission + - Murdoch's Drone at The Daily Might Be Illegal (forbes.com)

nonprofiteer writes: The News Corp iPad newspaper has a drone they've been using for news gathering — mainly flying it over disaster zones in N. Dakota and Alabama. However, FAA regulations on drones are mighty restrictive at the moment, and they're not to be used for commercial purposes (tho law enforcement is free to let them fly). FAA now examining Daily's use of its drone. Could set a precedent for how private businesses can use them.
Data Storage

Submission + - eBay Deploys 100TB of SSD, Cuts Rackspace By Half

Lucas123 writes: "eBay's QA division was facing mounting performance issues as related to its exponential growth of virtual servers, so instead of purchasing more 15K rpm Fibre Channel drives, the company began migrating over to a pure SSD environment. eBay said half of its 4,000 VMs are now attached to SSD. The changeout had improved the time it takes the online site to deploy a VM from 45 minutes to 5 minutes and had a tremendous impact on its rack space requirements. "One rack [of SSD storage] is equal to eight or nine racks of something else," said Michael Craft, eBay's manager of QA Systems Administration."
Microsoft

Microsoft's SkyDrive Drops Silverlight 358

mikejuk writes "Microsoft's SkyDrive, a web service that provides cloud storage for end user files, has just acquired a revamped user interface — and it is HTML5 based. Yes, another Microsoft website has dropped Silverlight. How can Microsoft expect independent developers to base their future on Silverlight when Microsoft itself is abandoning it like a sinking ship? Whatever happened to 'eating your own dog food'? It seems that now Microsoft would rather eat dog food made elsewhere..."
Microsoft

Will Microsoft Release Its Own Windows 8 Tablet? 207

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft isn't exactly known for its hardware prowess. Sure, it's churned out plenty of nice mice, keyboards, and game controllers over the years, but success with actual devices has been mixed. The Xbox 360 has exceeded all expectations, while the Zune and Kin hardware have been monumental failures. According to industry sources in Taiwan, however, Microsoft is working on a Windows 8 tablet that will be powered by Texas Instrument's next-generation 1.8GHz dual core processor."

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