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Google

Submission + - Google+ Approaching 50 Million Users (thecompiler.org)

gzomartin writes: Only days after Google+ went into open beta it has risen to 50 Million users even though many have stated that it is a ghost town, and that its dying. These stats completely disprove that, and show that it is going to start being a real threat to Facebook.

Comment Excellent stop-motion would promote this project (Score 1) 103

Brilliant concept, well executed! Helium is a good choice, I initially thought that the balloon might be thermal, powered by wax or some liquid fuel. (eg kerosene). The ballon project video is good but it could be improved.
Perhaps with a 360 degree fisheye or some kind of spin correction system, I felt a bit dizzy watching it. A really stand-out high-altitude stop-motion vid' with good production like this one of mountain views of Annapurna in Nepal can be really successful and might do a lot to promote this amazing balloon project.

Submission + - Nanoscale nonlinear light source (physorg.com)

Freddybear writes: "Not long after the development of the first laser in 1960 scientists discovered that shining a beam through certain crystals produced light of a different color; more specifically, it produced light of exactly twice the frequency of the original. The phenomenon was dubbed second harmonic generation

The green laser pointers in use today to illustrate presentations are based on this science, but producing such a beautiful emerald beam is no easy feat. The green light begins as an infrared ray that must be first processed through a crystal, various lenses and other optical elements before it can illuminate that PowerPoint on the screen before you.

It was later discovered that applying an electrical field to some crystals produced a similar, though weaker, beam of light. This second discovery, known as EFISH – for electric-field-induced second harmonic light generation – has amounted mostly to an interesting bit of scientific knowledge and little more. EFISH devices are big, demanding high-powered lasers, large crystals and thousands of volts of electricity to produce the effect. As a result, they are impractical for all but a few applications.

In a paper published today in Science, engineers from Stanford have demonstrated a new device that shrinks EFISH devices by orders of magnitude to the nanoscale. The result is an ultra-compact light source with both optical and electrical functions. Research implications for the device range from a better understanding of fundamental science to improved data communications."

Submission + - Violation of ToS Should not be a Crime (eff.org)

Khyber writes: "Three data and security breach notification bills have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of which includes an amendment that adds clarity with regards to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. These three bills would require businesses to develop data privacy and security plans, and it would set a federal standard for notifying individuals of breaches of very sensitive personally identifiable information, such as credit card information or medical records. This clarification is welcomed, making the statute more focused towards hackers and identity thieves, instead of consumers that run afoul of ToS or AUPs of websites and service providers."
Medicine

Submission + - Virus kills breast cancer cells in laboratory (psu.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: A nondisease-causing virus kills human breast cancer cells in the laboratory, creating opportunities for potential new cancer therapies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers who tested the virus on three different breast cancer types that represent the multiple stages of breast cancer development.

Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) is a virus that regularly infects humans but causes no disease. Past studies by the same researchers show that it promotes tumor cell death in cervical cancer cells infected with human papillomavirus. Researchers used an unaltered, naturally occurring version of AAV2 on human breast cancer cells.

Cells have multiple ways of dying. If damage occurs in a healthy cell, the cell turns on production and activation of specific proteins that allow the cell to commit suicide. However, in cancer cells these death pathways often are turned off, while the proteins that allow the cell to divide and multiply are stuck in the "on" position.

One way to fight cancer is to find ways to turn on these death pathways, which is what researchers believe is happening with the AAV2 virus.

In tissue culture dishes in the laboratory, 100 percent of the cancer cells are destroyed by the virus within seven days, with the majority of the cell death proteins activated on the fifth day. In another study, a fourth breast cancer derived cell line, which is the most aggressive, required three weeks to undergo cell death.

Submission + - Crowdsourced evolution of 3D printable objects (endlessforms.com)

JimmyQS writes: "The Cornell Creative Machines Lab, which brought us chatbots debating God and unicorns, has developed Endlessforms.com, a site using evolutionary algorithms and crowdsourcing to design objects that can be 3D printed in materials such as silver, steel or silicone. MIT's Technology Review says "The rules EndlessForms uses to generate objects and their variants resemble those of developmental biology—the study of how DNA instructions unfold to create an entire living organism. The technology is 'very impressive,' says Neri Oxman, director of the MIT Media Lab's Mediated Matter research group. She believes the user-friendliness of the evolutionary approach could help drive the broader adoption of 3-D printing technologies, similar to how easy-to-use image editors fueled the growth of digital photography and graphic manipulation. Oxman [notes] that this could ultimately have an impact on design similar to the impact that blogs and social media have had on journalism, opening the field to the general public." The New Scientist has a quick video tour and describes how the same technology can evolve complex, artificially intelligent brains and bodies for robots that can eventually be 3D printed."

Comment good or bad depending. (Score 2) 408

This is only an issue when it is invisible, or out of your control. When I watch a trashy movie, I want a filter on everything else. When I go to news feeds, social sites, I want a challenge, many do not. they just want to not be bored. All this is only a problem if one treats Google, Fbook etc as being a 'true' and 'correct' view of the world. any monoply supply leads to this kind of problem.

The issue here is that these big algorythms are actually tuned to collect and hold and direct attention of users as first priority. Not to hand out accurate info, advice, wisdom, world views etc. I think It is easy to forget that " free " on the net actually means "you pay us with your valuable attention".

This is really interesting stuff... good book that I am reading (too early to review it sorry) http://cliftonchadwick.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/is-the-internet-changing-the-way-you-think-book-review/

Comment 1 teardown is not decent a stat' sample, (Score 1) 531

While it is indicative, one teardown is hardly a statistical sample to base QC on. The things mentioned all sound like non-core functionality. It is dissapointing, but this is precisely the maths that good statistical tolerancing would do. If we replace eg 5% of units in the 1st 12 months with warranty, we save 15% on unit assembly costs if we let the workers strip a few screws. Good enough is what matters to Apple and consumers.
IOS

Submission + - iPhones Reveal Passwords Regardless of Protection (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: Losing your iPhone or iPad equals having your passwords compromised — even if the device is protected with a passcode. The results of an experiment conducted by Jens Heider and Matthias Boll, two researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, have proven that the combination of a modified jailbreaking technique and the installation of an SSH server on a device running iOS results in a complete circumvention of the passcode. According to the researchers, this is not the first time that someone managed to access great portions of the data stored in these devices without having to know the passcode. "Tools are available for this tasks that require only small effort. This is done by tricking the operating system to decrypt the file system on behalf of the attacker. This decryption is possible, since on current iOS devices the required cryptographic key does not depend on the user’s secret passcode," they explain.

Submission + - Secret plan to kill Wikileaks with FUD leaked (securecomputing.net.au) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Three information security consultancies with links to US spy agencies cooked up a dirty tricks campaign late last year to destroy Wikileaks by exploiting its perceived weaknesses, reads a presentation released by the whistleblowers'(TM) organisation that it claimed to be from the conspirators. Consultants at US defence contractors Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary proposed to lawyers for a desperate Bank of America an alliance that would work to discredit the whistleblowers’ website using a divide and conquer approach. Since the plan was hatched, disgruntled volunteers mentioned in the PDF broke away from Wikileaks, financial institutions withdrew services, Apelbaum was harassed by the US Government and Amazon denied service to Wikileaks' website.

Comment Isnt this against the point of the internets (Score 1) 152

I understand that the internet was invented/evolved as a robust distributed system that allowed communication specifically even when subject to attack or damage. Having a 'kill switch' is completely against the core purpose. as mentioned earlier, you just introduce an attack vector that was engineered not to exist. just get enought leverage against the killswitch operator and you can cause major damage.

I speculate that this is a major reason behind tiered internet. the kill switch can shutdown only the 'low tier' users of the internet, (punters, small businesses, the small fish, whatever). But, the top tier (military, corporation, gov, banking,power generation, big fish, ) can keep running unaltered (maybe even faster, and with more hardening). In this situation, the killswitch looks a lot more useful, or at least useable.

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