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Submission + - Agbogbloshie: the world's largest e-waste dump – in pictures

kc123 writes: Photographer Kevin McElvaney documents Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in Accra, Ghana, which is home to the world’s largest e-waste dumping site. Boys and young men smash devices to get to the metals, especially copper. Injuries, such as burns, untreated wounds, eye damage, lung and back problems, go hand in hand with chronic nausea, anorexia, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems. Most workers die from cancer in their 20s

Submission + - NASA's Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds

kc123 writes: NASA's Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own solar system. Nearly 95 percent of these planets are smaller than Neptune, which is almost four times the size of Earth. This discovery marks a significant increase in the number of known small-sized planets more akin to Earth than previously identified exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system.

Submission + - Rolls Royce said to be developing drone cargo ships

kc123 writes: From Bloomberg: Rolls-Royce’s Blue Ocean development team has set up a virtual-reality prototype at its office in Alesund, Norway, that simulates 360-degree views from a vessel’s bridge. Eventually, the London-based manufacturer of engines and turbines says, captains on dry land will use similar control centers to command hundreds of crewless ships. Drone ships would be safer, cheaper and less polluting for the $375 billion shipping industry that carries 90 percent of world trade, Rolls-Royce says.

Submission + - Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% for low cost devices

kc123 writes: Microsoft is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals like Google’s Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said. Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50. The discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device.

Submission + - European Space Agency picks Plato planet-hunting mission

kc123 writes: A telescope to find worlds around other stars has been selected for launch by the European Space Agency's Science Policy Committee. Known as Plato (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars), the mission should launch on a Soyuz rocket in 2024. The Plato space telescope will prepare the way for scientists searching for alien life by locating the first genuinely Earth-like exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. It will break new ground in astronomy by using a "bug eye" array of 34 individual telescopes. The intention is for this array to sweep about half the sky, to investigate some of its brightest and nearest stars.

Submission + - Google boosts Chrome performance with background Javascript compilation

kc123 writes: The latest version of Chrome includes improvements in JavaScript compilation according to the Chromium blog. Historically, Chrome compiled JavaScript on the main thread, where it could interfere with the performance of the JavaScript application. For large pieces of code this could become a nuisance, and in complex applications like games it could even lead to stuttering and dropped frames. In the latest Chrome Beta they've enabled concurrent compilation, which offloads a large part of the optimizing compilation phase to a background thread. The result is that JavaScript applications remain responsive and performance gets a boost.

Submission + - Bing censoring Chinese language search results for users in the US

kc123 writes: Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the US in the same way it filters results in mainland China. Searches first conducted by anti-censorship campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, found that Bing returns radically different results in the US for English and Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms. These include Dalai Lama, June 4 incident (how the Chinese refer to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989), Falun Gong and FreeGate, a popular internet workaround for government censorship.

Submission + - DARPA funds 'Mission: Impossible' vanishing devices

kc123 writes: In an effort to stop technology falling into the wrong hands on the battlefield the US military is funding systems which can be destroyed in a controllable manner. Unlike ordinary off-the-shelf electronics that can last indefinitely, the agency is looking for a way to make electronics that last precisely as long as they are needed. The device could be destroyed either by a signal sent by commanders or prompted by "possible environmental conditions" such as a certain temperature.

Submission + - Burning Man is Babylon as Fuck (wordpress.com)

An anonymous reader writes: My, how far the hippies have fallen. From a grassroots culture of social conscience and progressive direct action, to a materialistic, hedonistic community woefully dependent upon the economic class structure and resource wars. From Zion to Babylon.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly those modern hippie movements that honor the spiritual and political ideologies of the counter-culture’s origin. I’m especially thinking of the Occupy Movement, pretentious yoga hipsters who are obsessed with Eastern religion, and even the Rainbow Family. I have no problem with these old school or “classic” hippies. But more and more, the modern party scene tends to be dominated by these poser neo-hippies, frequently found in nightclubs and raves, grinding to lyricless EDM music, suckling the teet of the establishment or their suburbanite parents, often at the expense of their own karma, and having meaningless sexual relationships with strangers while liquored up and tweaked out on bathtub crank.

Submission + - Spectacular new Martian impact crater spotted from orbit 1

kc123 writes: The team that runs the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has released a photo showning a new impact crater on Mars, formed sometime early this decade. The crater at the center is about 30 meters in diameter, and the material ejected during its formation extends out as far as 15 kilometers. The impact was originally spotted by the MRO's Context Camera, a wide-field imaging system that provides the context—an image of the surrounding terrain—for the high-resolution images taken by HiRISE. The time window on the impact, between July 2010 and May 2012, simply represents the time between two different Context Camera photos of the same location. Once the crater was spotted, it took until November of 2013 for another pass of the region, at which point HiRISE was able to image it.

Submission + - Second-hand phones reveal sensitive personal data

kc123 writes: Two of the UK's largest pawn shop chains are selling second-hand phones which still contain swathes of deeply personal information from their previous owners. Photos, text messages, passwords, credit card information and internet searches were left on the phones and easily accessed, leaving their former owners vulnerable to identity theft, fraud and blackmail. Customers are assured that their devices will be wiped before being sold on. However, with freely available and easy-to-use software itt took less than an hour to pull off intimate and personal information that the phone's previous owner had stored.

Submission + - UK police will have backdoor access to health records

kc123 writes: David Davis MP, a former shadow home secretary has has told the Guardian that police would be able to access the new central NHS database without a warrant as critics warn of catastrophic breach of trust. The database that will store all of England's health records has a series of "backdoors" that will allow police and government bodies to access people's medical data. In the past police would need to track down the GP who held a suspect's records and go to court for a disclosure order. Now, they would be able to simply approach the new arms-length NHS information centre, which will hold the records. The idea that police will be able to request information from a central database without a warrant totally undermines a long-held belief in the confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship.

Submission + - Google releases Cast SDK

kc123 writes: From Google Developers Blog:Back in July we announced the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), the underlying Chromecast technology that enables multi-screen experiences across mobile devices (phones, tablet, laptops) and large-screen displays. Starting today, the Google Cast SDK is available for developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps

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