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Science

Charged Superhydrophobic Condenser Surface May Make Power Plants More Efficient 72

New submitter _0xd0ad sends this news from the CS Monitor: "The activities of bantam water droplets in just one region of a power plant could make a significant difference in the output of power plants, scientists say. ... When a water droplet forms on a sheet of metal coated with a superhydrophobe, the droplet can camp there only so long as it does not merge with another droplet. As soon as it weds with another droplet, the energy produced is so great that the two will 'jump' away from that surface, as if in urgent deference to the surface's severe water phobia. Scientists have proposed that this 'jumping' could be incorporated into power plant design. ... 'To have the most efficient condensing surface, you want to remove the droplets as early as possible,' says Dr. Nenad Miljkovic, [postdoctoral associate at MIT and co-author on 'Electrostatic charging of jumping droplets']. But, in prototypes, this 'jumping' design is not as efficient as engineers believe it could be. Some of the droplets will just fall back to the condenser's surface, recoating it and slowing the process down. ... But a newly discovered component to the 'jumping' process might allow scientists to eliminate this fall back. In an accidental find, the MIT team found that droplets don't just spring from the surface — they also rebound from each other ... because an electrical charge forms on the droplets as they flee the hydrophobic surface. So, if a charge is applied to the condenser system, the water droplets can be electrically prevented from returning to the surface, he said.
Cellphones

NSA Abandoned Project To Track Cell Phone Locations 70

barlevg writes "The Washington Post reports that NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander testified before the Senate about an experimental NSA program to track location data from cell phones in 2011, but abandoned it because it lacked 'the operational value' it needed. It was not made clear what 'operation value' they were seeking. Alexander said, 'the data collected were never available for intelligence analysis purposes.' He added, 'This may be something that is a future requirement for the country, but it is not right now because when we identify a number we can give that to the FBI, [who can a warrant for the data it needs]. That’s the reason we stopped in 2011.''"

Comment Re:Simple solution (Score 2) 332

This is Verizon Telecom (eg FiOS) not Verizon Wireless. (Though they will soon be one in the same). The FCC only regulated wireline ISPs in it's Open Internet Rules. Thus Verizon Wireless can play all the games they want and sell their paying customers to content providers at will.

However, the case that went to federal court this week was brought by Verizon Telecom so that they could charge Netflix, YouTube, et al.. And they don't even need to degrade service, they just need to drag their feet on peering agreements.

What they are doing is purely evil. It's hostile to their own customers and they are already causing these problems. Now they are suing to be allowed to make it worse.

Another good read:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/09/fccs-wishy-washy-rulemaking-might-doom-net-neutrality-in-court/

The Internet

Verizon's Plan To Turn the Web Into Pay-Per-View 332

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Bill Snyder writes of Verizon's diabolical plan to to charge websites for carrying their packets — a strategy that, if it wins out, will be the end of the Internet as we know it. 'Think of all the things that tick you off about cable TV. Along with brainless programming and crummy customer service, the very worst aspect of it is forced bundling. ... Now, imagine that the Internet worked that way. You'd hate it, of course. But that's the direction that Verizon, with the support of many wired and wireless carriers, would like to push the Web. That's not hypothetical. The country's No. 1 carrier is fighting in court to end the Federal Communications Commission's policy of Net neutrality, a move that would open the gates to a whole new — and wholly bad — economic model on the Web.'"

Comment Re:Is this news? (Score 1) 331

It's not just about change -- change can be adapted to. However, the photo viewing interface of the new UI truly sucks balls.

For example: the picture title and comments are only visible for a second or two when you move to the next picture. They come back when the mouse moves. As a result, if you want to read the title and comments, you have to sit there, quietly moving the mouse back and forth while you read.

Not to mention that the title, comments, etc. are placed on top of the image. And worst of all, the viewer is just simply clumsy and incredibly slow.

Seriously, did they even test this UI with users?

Python

Open-Source Python Code Shows Lowest Defect Density 187

cold fjord sends news that a study by Coverity has found open-source Python code to contain a lower defect density than any other language. "The 2012 Scan Report found an average defect density of .69 for open source software projects that leverage the Coverity Scan service, as compared to the accepted industry standard defect density for good quality software of 1.0. Python's defect density of .005 significantly surpasses this standard, and introduces a new level of quality for open source software. To date, the Coverity Scan service has analyzed nearly 400,000 lines of Python code and identified 996 new defects — 860 of which have been fixed by the Python community."

Comment Re:Play Services is the "Value Add" (Score 1) 182

The biggest one is Maps the v2 (Android) Google Maps API is part of Google Play services. (What 3rd party devs use).

Anyways, there is a picture in TFA that covers the Google services & apps you would lose without Google Play Services (i.e. almost all of them).

I think you would also lose any games/paid apps that use the Play store licensing (LVL).

Comment Re:Anything that bypasses the carriers/manufacture (Score 2) 182

He didn't say anything about how Apple supports their devices, just that manufacturers and carriers want to sell devices as much as Apple does. He then notes that but they want to do it without having to upgrade the older ones. I think you're being a bit defensive there bud. The only misconception of reality here is in what you think he said. Apple's support of older devices is great. Google's is getting much better, especially given the logistical challenges of Android. (This is the whole point of the article). It's other manufacturers and carriers that are terrible.

Comment Re:What Happens When Google Play Services is Buggy (Score 2) 182

I do think there were some bugs to be worked out because they patched the app signature stuff, but the reality is that those ROMs are not getting Google Play from Google, nor do they officially support them.

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Gapps

Incidentally, on any given day any quick check of XDA will show ROMs with a wide variety of bugs. Many of the ROMs on XDA are put together by hobbists who have figured out how to build AOSP from source. Many are quite talented and experienced but do not have a staff of QA testers, nor the inside knowledge of closed source driver APIs. So many bugs on custom ROMs revolve around the hardware driver issue. The hardware driver stuff is the bigger concern (IMHO)

Granted, it would be nice for customers to have an official way to obtain Google Play (as they do for many other gapps)

Microsoft

Official: Microsoft To Acquire Nokia Devices and Services Business 535

Many submitted, and symbolset emailed me to wake up, sending this bit of interesting news out of Redmond: "Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, license Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions." And, yep, Elop is part of the deal (quoting Ballmer): "Stephen Elop will be coming back to Microsoft, and he will lead an expanded Devices team, which includes all of our current Devices and Studios work and most of the teams coming over from Nokia, reporting to me."

Comment Re:So then... (Score 1) 182

This is not a good idea, you'll end up breaking a lot of apps if you do this. Disabling Google Services would also disable the ability for 3rd party apps to make use of the many, many APIs it contains (where are very useful for app devs).

FTA:

Right now Play Services handles the Google Maps API, Google Account syncing, remote wipe, push messages, the Play Games back end, and many other duties. If you ever question the power of Google Play Services, try disabling it. Nearly every Google App on your device will break.

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