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Science

Submission + - Artificial self-healing skin can sense touch (sciencemag.org)

thomst writes: Science Magazines's Tim Wogan reports that chemical engineer Zhenan Bao of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and her team have increased the conductivity of a self-healing polymer by incorporating nickel atoms. The polymer they have produced is sensitive to applied forces like pressure and torsion (twisting) because such forces alter the distance between the nickel atoms, changing the electrical resistance of the polymer. Their work is published online in the November 1 issue of Nature Nanotechnology (abstract here, full article paywalled). Now Bao and her team are working on making the polymer more flexible.
Crime

Submission + - John McAfee accused of murder, wanted by Belize police (thehackernews.com) 1

thn writes: "John McAfee, who started the antivirus software giant named after him, has been accused of murder in Belize and wanted. McAfee had taken to "posting on a drug-focused Russian message board...about his attempts to purify the psychoactive compounds colloquially known as 'bath salts,'" Gizmodo wrote. The scariest aspect of this story may be the fact that an entire lab was constructed for John McAfee’s research purposes. Because of his efforts to extract chemicals from natural chemical plans McAfee was able to justify his experiments in a country that is largely unregulated."
Google

Submission + - Google Launches $199 Acer Chromebook With 320 GB Hard Drive (muktware.com)

sfcrazy writes: Microsoft has never seen this kind of competition before and it's going hurt Microsoft real bad. Google has announced a $199 Acer Chromebook available immediately from various stores. This Chromebook joins the recently launched ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook which was prices at $299.

Google may finally bring the year of Desktop Linux!

Science

Submission + - Supersymmetry theory dealt a blow (bbc.co.uk)

Dupple writes: Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have detected one of the rarest particle decays seen in Nature.

The finding deals a significant blow to the theory of physics known as supersymmetry.

Many researchers had hoped the LHC would have confirmed this by now.

Supersymmetry, or SUSY, has gained popularity as a way to explain some of the inconsistencies in the traditional theory of subatomic physics known as the Standard Model.

The new observation, reported at the Hadron Collider Physics conference in Kyoto, is not consistent with many of the most likely models of SUSY.

Prof Chris Parke, who is the spokesperson for the UK Participation in the LHCb experiment, told BBC News: "Supersymmetry may not be dead but these latest results have certainly put it into hospital."

Microsoft

Submission + - Surface sales 'modest' so far said Ballmer (theregister.co.uk)

hcs_$reboot writes: Sales of Microsoft’s Windows RT-based Surface tablet are off to a “modest” start according to chief executive Steve Ballmer. Given the general dropping sales in the PC business coupled with Microsoft’s relatively small inventory of Surface machines, it’ll be interesting to see how soon Surface can hit Microsoft’s million milestone.
(Update originally from French Le Parisien)

Security

Submission + - Alere Loses 100,000 Patient's Personal Details, SSNs, Diagnoses (marcoislandflorida.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The 'health management' company Alere produces and markets in-home medical devices that act as electronic middle-men between doctors and patients taking warfarin (an anti-coagulant drug). Levels of the drug in the blood stream need to be constantly monitored to ensure levels remain within safe ranges, too little and there is a risk of blood clots, too much and hemorrhage can occur. This data is processed by Alere and distributed to qualified health professions who then interpret the results, taking action as required. However, on the 23rd of September, an Alere employee laptop with an unencrypted file containing the health records and personal details of all 100,000 patients being monitored was stolen from a parked car. The company did not become aware of the privacy breach until the 1st of October, and since then affected patients have been notified by mail and have been offered identity theft checks. The OCR has not yet been notified (notification must be made within 60 days), and the neither the laptop nor the data have been recovered. It begs the question, would you trust a 3rd party health provider with your personal information? What if the home test had been for more stigmatised diseases such as HIV antigen levels?
Apple

Submission + - Judge to review whether foreman in Apple v. Samsung hid info (cnet.com)

thomst writes: Cnet's Greg Sandoval is reporting that Lucy Koh the Federal judge in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case is reviewing whether jury foreman Velvin Hogan failed to disclose his own patent suit v. Seagate during the jury selection process. Samsung, which lost the suit filed by Apple has complained that Hogan's failure to disclose his own status as a former patent case plaintiff constituted misconduct serious enough to invalidate the jury's verdict in the case.

Submission + - World markets slide on weak growth outlook (cnn.com)

Tylere4 writes: Some results were still too close to call, but CNN projections pointed to the status quo being largely maintained in much of American government. President Obama captured a second term in the White House, Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives and Democrats held their majority in the Senate.
IT

Submission + - New Mastercard has LCD screen and keyboard (bbc.co.uk)

nachiketas writes: A credit card with an LCD display and built-in keyboard has been launched in Singapore by Mastercard. The card has touch-sensitive buttons and the ability to create a "one-time password" — doing away with the need for a separate device sometimes needed to log in to online banking.Future versions of the card could display added information such as the remaining balance. The card will be available from January before being rolled out globally.
Power

Submission + - Pee-Powered Generator Unveiled at Maker Faire Africa (paritynews.com) 1

hypnosec writes: Four Nigerian girls aged between 14 and 15 have unveiled their creation – a urine-powered generator that is capable of generating six hours of electricity using a liter of pee. Showcased at the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, the generator is an eco-friendly power source that generates electricity by separating hydrogen present in the excreted bodily fluids with an electrolytic cell. The design is more or less crude as of now and if enough attention and funding are made available, chances are that this pee-powered generator may very well be available at your local hardware store.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The Truth and Fiction of Tablet-induced Wi-Fi Stress (informationweek.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "Wireless LANs (WLANs) have been displacing wired Ethernet as a preferred means of client access for years.
The changing device mix means existing WLAN installations could face significant stress, if not outright gridlock, unless network managers make some architectural changes. WLAN equipment vendors have been fond of scaring customers with a Gartner report claiming that "enterprises deploying iPads will need 300% more Wi-Fi." But this number is simplistic and misleading. The bigger limitation of tablets and smartphones isn't their radio power, but channel capacity. Every current smartphone and tablet is a 1SS (single spatial stream) implementation, although things are a bit better for dual band devices like the iPad and iPhone 5 as they support a single stream on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. But with 1SS clients, everyone is still trying to share the same airtime on a given channel — kind of like truckers on CB radios — which leads to a massive RF traffic jam when a classroom of them are trying to talk at the same time."

Medicine

Submission + - Methamphetamine vaccine shows promise (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. The vaccine works by allowing the body’s immune system to attack methamphetamine molecules in the bloodstream, keeping them from entering the nervous system. This keeps the meth from affecting the user’s brain, and thus removes the incentive for using the drug.
Biotech

Submission + - Proteins made to order (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "Proteins are an enormous molecular achievement: chains of amino acids that fold spontaneously into a precise conformation, time after time, optimized by evolution for their particular function. Yet given the exponential number of contortions possible for any chain of amino acids, dictating a sequence that will fold into a predictable structure has been a daunting task.
Now researchers report that they can do just that. By following a set of rules described in a paper published in Nature (abstract), a husband and wife team from David Baker’s laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle has designed five proteins from scratch that fold reliably into predicted conformations. The work could eventually allow scientists to custom design proteins with specific functions."

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