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Science

Submission + - Fractal Nanoflowers Could Restore Sight to Blind (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: What do trees, rivers, clouds and neurons have in common? They're all examples of fractals, or irregularly-shaped objects in which any one component is the same shape as the whole – a tributary of a river, for instance, looks like a miniature river itself. Electronic chips are not fractals, yet some researchers are trying to restore sight to the blind by attaching such chips to the eye's neurons. Given that neurons are fractals, wouldn't it work better to hook them up to other fractal structures? University of Oregon researcher Richard Taylor thinks so, which is why he's developing metal nanoflowers.
Android

Submission + - Adobe wants to read your Gmail 2

harryk writes: "Hope I'm not the first to submit this note about the most recent Adobe Acrobat update for Android devices (IOS unaffected?). According to the new permission requirements, "Read Gmail" is required. The only benefit of the new release is reportedly so that Acrobat can open when you want to read PDF files. The only problem with that logic is that Adobe Acrobat can ALREADY do this without needing to read my mail. From the update notes: "Adobe Reader now requires permission to read Gmail and default Email client. This is to enable users to open Gmail and default Email client PDF attachments using Adobe Reader only when users select the application to view PDF files. This permission is required because of a known limitation with the Android platform." ... Just tested this function and it works without the 'update'. What are you trying to do Adobe?"

Submission + - Last major US record label is sold (google.com) 1

jmanforever writes: "Several sites are reporting that Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik has agreed to buy Warner Music Group for $3.3 billion. The deal means that every one of the big four record label groups will be foreign owned.
Can the RIAA explain again why it is in the best interest of the United States to collect performance royalties from American radio stations and internet streaming sites, then send the money to Tokyo, Paris, London and now Moscow?"

Security

Submission + - LastPass: Users Don't Have To Reset Master PWDs (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "LastPass on Friday rescinded its day-old order that all users of its online password management system reset their master passwords due to a database breach. In a blog post this morning, the company said it won't allow users to change master passwords 'until our databases are completely caught up and we have resolved outstanding issues.' In an e-mail to Computerworld, LastPass CEO Joe Siegrist said the company changed its plan in response to demands from users asking they not be required to reset their passwords. 'They're asking because they know how strong their master password is — that it's not vulnerable and therefore they know they're safe even if it was exposed,' Siegrist said. However, comments posted on a LastPass blog suggest that the company's decision may also be related to trouble some users appear to be having with the password reset process. The blog post acknowledged that it had 'identified an issue' with roughly 5% of users that reset their master passwords. The company said it would be contacting those users about about a fix for the problem LastPass said earlier that passwords for its Xmarks bookmark sync, which it acquired last December, were not affected."
NASA

Submission + - Titan May Have Water Ocean Under The Surface (ibtimes.com)

RedEaredSlider writes: NASA's Cassini probe, in orbit around Saturn, may have discovered evidence for a liquid ocean under the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

The data comes from radar observations of the surface that measure Titan's rotation and tell how it is oriented relative to the plane of its orbit — its axial tilt. According to a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the new data showed that the many of the planet's surface features were in the wrong place, sometimes off by as much as 30 kilometers (19 miles).

Titan always presents the same face toward Saturn, just like the Moon does to Earth. But in those situations one expects that the moon will be in the "Cassini state," which means that the axial tilt will have a certain value. In Titan's case, the axial tilt was measured at 0.3 degrees. That seemed too high if one assumed Titan

Comment Re:Vote NDP! (Score 1) 177

Sadly I have to agree. The idea of pure democracy is intriguing...until you look at the guy in the next car over picking his nose while eating a cheeseburger, smoking, and driving. I find myself leaning more and more towards the meritocracy form of government. But again, who decides who has the merit to rule?

*sigh, it seems there is no winning. Time to go colonize mars and rule my own little crater with an iron fist!

Comment Re:Vote NDP! (Score 1) 177

Ok, I know I may be missing something bigger picture here, and I certainly don't have a political science degree, but with today's levels of technology how is it not feasible to simply poll all of Canada electronically in a secure way?

If you set a system like that up (I am sure the costs would be fairly substantial for security, ensuring one vote each only, etc.) could you not then have a true democracy? You could just have billboards up across each city showing what issues were being voted on that day, and if it was something you cared one way or the other you just logged in and cast your vote. Leave the voting open for a few days on each issue, and get a real consensus about people who care about the issue.

I do realize the one draw back of this is that the general public is making decisions about their own futures... :D

Comment Re:Stupid is as stupid does. (Score 1) 314

You do realize that if someone jumps right in front of your vehicle while attempting to play "frogger", you have no time to hit the breaks (after reaction time) regardless of your speed. That rule is reserved for things like an Elk which you can see ahead of time and which can reasonably be thought of as crossing the road at a bad time. People generally have better judgement, and as such you don't slow down to a crawl every time you pass one on the sidewalk.

Canada

Submission + - Pirate Party of Canada to field federal candidate (theglobeandmail.com)

PegNorthPirate writes: Abbreviated release: Jeff Coleman is expected to officially enter the race for parliament in Winnipeg North...This makes Coleman the first non-European Pirate to run for office, and also marks the Pirate Party of Canada meeting its final requirement to become a fully registered federal party. "The Pirate Party is going to bring a whole new voice to Canadian politics, and I'm deeply honoured to be part of that," said Coleman....Coleman, who runs a small design and 3D printing business in the riding, has pledged to combine the Pirate Party's core platform of modern information reform with a crowdsourced "listening campaign" that will identify the needs and wants of the community.
NASA

Submission + - NASA's Stunning Close-up Photos of Comet Hartley 2 (foxnews.com)

Velcroman1 writes: A NASA spacecraft has beamed back the first close-up photos from its rendezvous with a comet — and the images show an ice ball that looks like a giant chicken drumstick, or perhaps a peanut or bowling pin. Deep Impact zoomed to within 435 miles (700 kilometers) of Comet Hartley 2 at 10:01 EDT (1401 GMT) this morning (Nov. 4), and the probe beamed down the first close-up shots an hour later. Cheers erupted in the Mission Control room of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as five high-resolution images flashed up on a big screen. In the photos, the comet, which is about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, looks like a big chicken drumstick, or a peanut.

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