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The Internet

Facebook Surpasses Google For Users' Online Time 159

crimeandpunishment writes "When it comes to our time online, socializing beats searching. According to new data from researchers at comScore Inc., Facebook has moved ahead of Google for the first time in Web users' minutes. In August, people spent more than 41 million minutes on Facebook, compared to just under 40 million for all of Google's sites combined. Yahoo came in third, with 37.7 million minutes."
Earth

Airplanes Unexpectedly Modify Weather 223

reillymj writes "Commercial airliners have a strange ability to create rain and snow when they fly through certain clouds. Scientists have known for some time that planes can make outlandish 'hole-punch' and 'canal' features in clouds. A new study has found that these odd formations are in fact evidence that planes are seeding clouds and changing local weather patterns as they fly through. In one case, researchers noted that a plane triggered several inches of snowfall directly beneath its flight path."
Power

Bill Gates's New Version of the Einstein Letter 407

dcblogs writes "In 1939, Albert Einstein sent 'F.D. Roosevelt, President of the United States,' a letter with a warning about Germany's interest in a new type of energy with potential for use as a powerful bomb. The letter also outlined the competitive threat posed by Germany and steps for improving US research efforts. Last week, Bill Gates, along with GE's CEO and others, met with President Obama to deliver their own message: that of the top 30 companies in the world working on alternative energy, only four are in the US. Similar to Einstein's point and recommendations, Gates and his allies are asking the US to view the alternative energy push as a competitive threat posed by other nations, particularly China, which may be doing a better job in bringing its engineering talent and money to bear on this problem."
Security

Porn Sites More Infected Than Thought 170

nk497 writes "Porn sites are five times as likely to host malware as previously thought, with 3.6% offering up a digital infection of some sort, according to a researchers who set up their very own adult sites for a new study. One reason for the high rate of malware is that the online porn industry makes use of affiliate programs, where one site will drive traffic to another in exchange for links, cash, or simply free pornographic material to use. Because such programs don't check who they're doing business with, and sites use disguised links and other clandestine methods to drive people to different pages, it's easy for criminals to abuse the system to spread malware. Researcher Gilbert Wondracek said, 'They inadvertently have created an ecosystem that can easily be abused on a large scale by cyber criminals, and that's worrying.'"
Databases

MySQL Outpacing Oracle In Wake of Acquisition 157

snydeq writes "Results from the 2010 Eclipse User Survey reveal interesting trends surrounding open source usage and opinions, writes InfoWorld's Savio Rodrigues. Linux usage among developers is on the rise, at the expense of Windows, and MySQL has pulled ahead of Oracle, by a factor of 3-to-2, as the database of choice among Eclipse developers. 'The data demonstrate that fears surrounding Oracle's control over MySQL have not resulted in lower use of MySQL in favor of an alternative open source database,' Rodrigues writes."
Encryption

The Beginnings of Encrypted Computing In the Cloud 76

eldavojohn writes "A method of computing from a 2009 paper allows the computing of data without ever decrypting it. With cloud computing on the rise, this may be the holy grail of keeping private data private in the cloud. It's called Fully Homomorphic Encryption, and if you've got the computer science/mathematics chops you can read the thesis (PDF). After reworking it and simplifying it, researchers have moved it away from being true, fully homomorphic encryption, but it is now a little closer to being ready for cloud usage. The problem is that the more operations performed on your encrypted data, the more likely it has become 'dirty' or corrupted. To combat this, Gentry developed a way to periodically clean the data by making it self-correcting. The article notes that although this isn't prepared for use in reliable systems, it is a quick jump to implementation just one year after the paper was published — earlier encryption papers would take as much as half a decade until they were implemented at all."
United Kingdom

British Computer Society Is Officially At Civil War 275

An anonymous reader writes "A vote of no confidence against the current board of directors has erupted in what is possibly the first nerd war, raging throughout the British Computer Society. More financial- and spreadsheet-related fixations and less computer science have made a few members cross; plus they don't like the new name 'The Chartered Institute of IT.' Here are more specific details on the extraordinary emergency general meeting on July 1, where members will vote to decide the fate of the board of directors."
Medicine

Artificial Cornea To Reach Patients This Year 94

kkleiner writes "A German-led team of researchers has developed a new version of an ophthalmological polymer to which the eye will bond and still function normally. 'The new polymer could help restore sight to thousands waiting for corneal transplants around the world. The artificial cornea has passed clinical trials and is ready to see expanded use in patients this year. ... In order to work in the human body, an artificial cornea has to meet some stringent requirements. First, it has to bond to the human eye around its edge. ... The center of the artificial cornea, however, does not promote cell growth and remains clear so that it can be seen through. The artificial cornea also has to move freely with the eyelid and balance moisture on its faces.'"
HP

HP Gives Printers Email Addresses 325

Barence writes "HP is set to unveil a line of printers with their own email addresses, allowing people to print from devices such as smartphones and tablets. The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own — or someone else's — printer. It will also let people more easily share physical documents; rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend's printer. 'HP plans to offer a few of these new printers to consumers this month, and then a few more of the products to small businesses in September.'"
Google

Google Reportedly Ditching Windows 1003

Reader awyeah notes a Financial Times report that Google is ditching the use of Windows internally. Some blogs have picked up the FT piece but so far there isn't any other independent reporting of the claim, which is based on comments from anonymous Googlers. One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google "employs more than 10,000 workers internationally," whereas it's easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000. "The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google's Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google. ... 'We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,' said one Google employee. ... New hires are now given the option of using Apple's Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. 'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.' ... Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from 'quite senior levels,' one employee said. 'Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,' said another employee."
Hardware

When Mistakes Improve Performance 222

jd and other readers pointed out BBC coverage of research into "stochastic" CPUs that allow communication errors in order to reap benefits in performance and power usage. "Professor Rakesh Kumar at the University of Illinois has produced research showing that allowing communication errors between microprocessor components and then making the software more robust will actually result in chips that are faster and yet require less power. His argument is that at the current scale, errors in transmission occur anyway and that the efforts of chip manufacturers to hide these to create the illusion of perfect reliability simply introduces a lot of unnecessary expense, demands excessive power, and deoptimises the design. He favors a new architecture, that he calls the 'stochastic processor,' which is designed to handle data corruption and error recovery gracefully. He believes he has shown such a design would work and that it would permit Moore's Law to continue to operate into the foreseeable future. However, this is not the first time someone has tried to fundamentally revolutionize the CPU. The Transputer, the AMULET, the FM8501, the iWARP, and the Crusoe were all supposed to be game-changers but died cold, lonely deaths instead — and those were far closer to design philosophies programmers are currently familiar with. Modern software simply isn't written with the level of reliability the stochastic processor requires (and many software packages are too big and too complex to port), and the volume of available software frequently makes or breaks new designs. Will this be 'interesting but dead-end' research, or will Professor Kumar pull off a CPU architectural revolution really not seen since the microprocessor was designed?"
Businesses

Sudden Demand For Logicians On Wall Street 525

An anonymous reader writes "In an unexpected development for the depressed market for mathematical logicians, Wall Street has begun quietly and aggressively recruiting proof theorists and recursion theorists for their expertise in applying ordinal notations and ordinal collapsing functions to high-frequency algorithmic trading. Ordinal notations, which specify sequences of ordinal numbers of ever increasing complexity, are being used by elite trading operations to parameterize families of trading strategies of breathtaking sophistication. The monetary advantage of the current strategy is rapidly exhausted after a lifetime of approximately four seconds — an eternity for a machine, but barely enough time for a human to begin to comprehend what happened. The algorithm then switches to another trading strategy of higher ordinal rank, and uses this for a few seconds on one or more electronic exchanges, and so on, while opponent algorithms attempt the same maneuvers, risking billions of dollars in the process."
Communications

Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over 16 km In China 389

Laxori666 writes "Scientists in China have succeeded in teleporting information between photons farther than ever before. They transported quantum information over a free space distance of 16 km (10 miles), much farther than the few hundred meters previously achieved, which brings us closer to transmitting information over long distances without the need for a traditional signal."

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