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Handhelds

Dell Dumps Keyboardless Windows RT Tablets 186

jfruh writes "On Friday, Dell was selling Windows RT tablets for as low as $300. By this morning, the cheapest one on offer was $479. The difference? The only tablets they're selling now come bundled with keyboards, which may indicate that customers are finding even the Metro-focused RT version of Windows 8 too irritating to navigate by touch alone. (If you really want a 10-inch Dell tablet without a keyboard it looks like you can still get one on Amazon, at least for the time being.)"
Biotech

GM Rice Passes Unexpected Benefits To Weeds 208

ananyo writes "A genetic-modification technique used widely to make crops herbicide resistant has been shown to confer advantages on a weedy form of rice, even in the absence of the herbicide. Used in Monsanto's 'Roundup Ready' crops, for example, resistance to the herbicide glyphosate enables farmers to wipe out most weeds from the fields without damaging their crops. A common assumption has been that if such herbicide resistance genes manage to make it into weedy or wild relatives, they would be disadvantageous and plants containing them would die out. But the new study led by Lu Baorong, an ecologist at Fudan University in Shanghai, challenges that view: it shows that a weedy form of the common rice crop, Oryza sativa, gets a significant fitness boost from glyphosate resistance, even when glyphosate is not applied. The transgenic hybrids had higher rates of photosynthesis, grew more shoots and flowers and produced 48 — 125% more seeds per plant than non-transgenic hybrids — in the absence of glyphosate, the weedkiller they were resistant to."
The Almighty Buck

McAfee Regrets "Flawed" Trillion Dollar Cyber Crime Claims 39

Techy77 writes "McAfee's chief technology officer Mike Fey has admitted that he regrets his own company's estimates, which once pinned global losses from cyber crime at more than $1 trillion. From the article: 'A more recent report commissioned by the security company, and released last month, reduced those estimates to as low as $US300 billion globally, but specifically noted the difficulty of determining exactly how much companies, governments and individuals could lose if subject to an attack. “It’s very difficult to put a dollar figure on it,” Mr Fey said. “When you meet an engineer that has spent a good chunk of his life working on some innovation and it’s stolen overnight, you get a good feeling for what [intellectual property] loss means. It is the shift in a moment’s instance from an innovative company set strategically, to loss. It becomes difficult for that company to invest in innovation."'"
Space

New System Propels Satellites Without Propellants 85

cylonlover writes "Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are testing a new propulsion system ... inside the station. While this might seem like the height of recklessness, this particular system doesn't use rockets or propellants. Developed in the University of Maryland's Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory, this new electromagnetic propulsion technology called the Resonant Inductive Near-field Generation System (RINGS) uses magnetic fields to move spacecraft as a way to increase service life and make satellite formation flying more practical."
The Media

Time Reporter "Can't Wait" To Justify Drone Strike On Julian Assange 490

First time accepted submitter Tuck News writes "A reporter for TIME Magazine sparked a Twitter war when he said that he 'can't wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange'. Michael Grunwald deleted his tweet after a follower argued that it would only encourage Assange supporters.Grunwald's employer distanced itself from the tweet, saying 'Michael Grunwald posted an offensive tweet from his personal Twitter account that is in no way representative of TIME's views.'"
Movies

The Death of the American Drive-in 236

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Claire Suddath writes in Businessweek that the number of drive-ins in America has dwindled from over 4,000 in the 1960s to about 360 today. Since Hollywood distributors are expected to stop producing movies in traditional 35 millimeter film by the end of this year and switch entirely to digital, America's last remaining drive-ins — the majority of which are still family-owned and seasonally operated — could soon be gone. 'We have challenges that other movie theaters don't,' says John Vincent, president of United Drive-In Theater Owners Association and the owner of Wellfleet Drive-In in Cape Cod, Mass. 'We have fewer screens and can only show one or two movies a night. Now we have to spend tens of thousands of dollars just to stay in business.' According to Vincent, only 150 drive-ins have converted to digital so far — the other 210 have until the end of the year either to get with the program or go out of business. It may seem silly to fret over the fate of 210 movie theaters whose business model is outdated, even compared with regular movie theaters, but Honda Motor Co. is offering help with a program called 'Project Drive-In.' The car company is planning to give away five digital projectors by the end of the year. Winners will be determined by voting from the public, which can be done online through Sept. 9 at ProjectDriveIn.com. 'Cars and drive-in theaters go hand in hand,' says Alicia Jones, manager of Honda & Acura social marketing, 'and it's our mission to save this slice of Americana that holds such nostalgia for many of us.'"
Medicine

Soda Makes Five-Year-Olds Break Your Stuff, Science Finds 287

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Shakira F. Suglia and co-authors surveyed 2,929 mothers of five-year-olds (PDF) and found that 43 percent of the kids consumed at least one serving of soft drinks per day. About four percent of those children (or 110 of them), drank more than four soft drinks per day, and became 'more than twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people.' In the past, soda and its various strains have been related to depression, irritability, aggression, suicidal thoughts, and delusions of sweepstake-winning grandeur. Of course, this study didn't find out what types of soda the children had consumed."
Government

Feds Target Instructors of Polygraph-Beating Methods 282

schwit1 writes "Federal agents have launched a criminal investigation of instructors who claim they can teach job applicants how to pass lie detector tests as part of the Obama administration's unprecedented crackdown on security violators and leakers. The criminal inquiry, which hasn't been acknowledged publicly, is aimed at discouraging criminals and spies from infiltrating the U.S. government by using the polygraph-beating techniques, which are said to include controlled breathing, muscle tensing, tongue biting and mental arithmetic. So far, authorities have targeted at least two instructors, one of whom has pleaded guilty to federal charges, several people familiar with the investigation told McClatchy. Investigators confiscated business records from the two men, which included the names of as many as 5,000 people who'd sought polygraph-beating advice. U.S. agencies have determined that at least 20 of them applied for government and federal contracting jobs, and at least half of that group was hired, including by the National Security Agency. By attempting to prosecute the instructors, federal officials are adopting a controversial legal stance that sharing such information should be treated as a crime and isn't protected under the First Amendment in some circumstances."
Crime

Criminals Use 3D-Printed Skimming Devices On Sydney ATMs 110

AlbanX writes "A gang of suspected Romanian criminals is using 3D printers and computer-aided design (CAD) to manufacture 'sophisticated' ATM skimming devices to fleece Sydney residents. One Romanian national has been charged by NSW Police. The state police found one gang that had allegedly targeted 15 ATMs across metropolitan Sydney, affecting tens of thousands of people and nabbing around $100,000."
Power

Studying the Slow Decay of a Laptop Battery For an Entire Year 363

First time accepted submitter jradavenport writes "I've been keeping a log of the health of my MacBook Air battery for the past year, taking samples every minute I use the computer (152,411 readings so far!). This has allowed me to study both my own computing/work habits, but also the fascinating rapid decay of battery capacity. Comparing it to my previous 2009 MacBook Pro, the battery in this 2012 Air is degrading much faster."
Education

Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades 313

Meshach writes "A study in the journal Computers & Education found that students who took notes on a laptop got lower marks then student who took notes the traditional way with pen and paper. The study's author hypothesized that using a laptop leads to multitasking (i.e. surfing the net or checking email), which reduces concentration."
China

China Has a Massive Windows XP Problem 520

An anonymous reader writes "The Chinese are going to have a very, very hard time kicking the Windows XP habit. The deadline for the retirement of Microsoft's most successful operating system ever is eight months from tomorrow: April 8, 2014. That's the day when the Redmond, Wash. company is to deliver the last XP security update. According to analytics company Net Applications, 37.2% of the globe's personal computers ran Windows XP last month. If Microsoft's estimate of 1.4 billion Windows PCs worldwide is accurate, XP's share translates into nearly 570 million machines. In the U.S., 16.4% of all personal computers ran Windows XP in July, or about one in six, Net Applications' data showed. But in China, 72.1% of the country's computers relied on the soon-to-retire operating system last month, or nearly three out of every four systems."
Android

AOSP Maintainer Quits 221

In a post on Google+, Jean-Baptiste Quéru, long-time maintainer of the Android Open Source Project, has said he'll no longer be working on it. "There's no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can't boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I'm getting the blame for something that I don't have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead." Quéru is referring to the recently-released Nexus 7 revision, for which Google has not provided factory images of Android 4.3. This seems to be because GPU maker Qualcomm is refusing to release the blobs necessary to boot the device.
Android

MS Office For Android: Pretty, But Woefully Incomplete 174

mattydread23 writes "The new Office 365 app for Android, launched a week ago, has a super nice UI, but lacks a bunch of basic features and has some really weird oversights — including a classic Microsoft dialog box that offers a choice that makes no sense. 'Overall, it still feels like Microsoft is still trying to funnel people toward its own Windows Phone if they want a better experience. In fact, in a question on an FAQ about how the Android Office app compares to the Windows Phone Office app, Microsoft says this: “Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8 provides a richer, more integrated experience,” and goes on to specify how. That’s a losing strategy when so many other apps — many of them free — offer a richer experience on Android and iOS.' "

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