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Submission + - Cold-War Nuclear Radiation Creates Anti-Poaching Tool (

benonemusic writes: The fallout from 20th-century atmospheric nuclear tests could help to prevent poaching in some animals. In this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers shows that carbon-14 levels can be used to determine when an animal died to within about one year. The researchers make use of the fact that the levels of carbon-14 in the atmosphere from the mid-1950s, during the era of Cold War nuclear tests, are precisely known, and are taken up in different amounts by animals depending upon the years in which they lived.

Submission + - Unclean at Any Speed 1

countach44 writes: From An article in IEEE's Spectrum magazine: 'Upon closer consideration, moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another. We wouldn’t expect doctors to endorse such a thing. Should environmentally minded people really revere electric cars?' The author discusses the controversy and social issues behind electric car research and demonstrates what many of us have been thinking: are electric cars really more envrionmentally friendly than those based on internal combustion engines?

Submission + - Fear of thinking war machines may push U.S. to exascale ( 1

dcblogs writes: Unlike China and Europe, the U.S. has yet to adopt and fund an exascale development program, and concerns about what that means to U.S. security are growing darker and more dire. If the U.S. falls behind in HPC, the consequences will be "in a word, devastating," Selmer Bringsford, chair of the Department. of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, said at a U.S. House forum this week. "If we were to lose our capacity to build preeminently smart machines, that would be a very dark situation, because machines can serve as weapons." The House is about to get a bill requiring the Dept. of Energy to establish an exascale program. But the expected funding level, about $200 million annually, "is better than nothing, but compared to China and Europe it's at least 10 times too low," said Earl Joseph, an HPC analyst at IDC. David McQueeney, vice president of IBM research, told lawmakers that HPC systems now have the ability to not only deal with large data sets but "to draw insights out of them." The new generation of machines are being programmed to understand what the data sources are telling them, he said.

Comment Verification of results (Score 4, Interesting) 28

One thing that would be great would be to fund studies that's sole purpose is to verify/reproduce someone else's work. Obviously, with the current state of funding, this really doesn't happen. Once something is published, we as the next researchers are forced to take results as fact - which may not be true due to error, low yield, or (hopefully not) fabrication of results (

I really do believe that incentivizing verification of results and repeat studies (with reasonable limits, of course) would improve scientific research tremendously. However, it's even less likely to take hold than moving away from "publish or perish."

Submission + - Number of P2P Botnets Grows Five Fold

Trailrunner7 writes: The resiliency of peer-to-peer botnets is too good to pass up for fraudsters and spam mavens tired of watching expensive and centralized command and control infrastructures be taken down by authorities and technology companies.

Botnets such as ZeroAccess, TDL4/TDSS and Zeus v3 have shown the way for peer-to-peer botnet builders, either as a primary means of communication between hackers and bots, or as a fallback in case centralized communication is disrupted or permanently terminated. Researchers at Damballa, in fact, are reporting a five-fold increase in the number malware samples spread via peer-to-peer during the past 12 months. ZeroAccess is likely the biggest offender, a potent malware family with rootkit capabilities that has been folded into a number of exploit kits, including Blackhole one of the most potent commercial kits available on the underground.

“It’s been put into some toolkits, so it’s spread out among different implementations,” said Damballa senior research scientist John Jerrim. “You don’t have to write your own [botnet]. It’s available to buy and use; it’s big business in terms of building botnets.”

Submission + - Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi (

coop0030 writes: Thanks to the affordable Raspberry Pi and some clever software, anyone can re-create the classic arcade experience at home. Adafruit brings the genuine “clicky” arcade controls, you bring the game files and a little crafting skill to build it. Classic game emulation used to require a well-specced PC and specialized adapters for the controls, so it’s exciting to see this trickle down to a $40 system. Also, a video of the game system is on youtube.

Submission + - Chinese Firm Approved To Raise World's Tallest Building In 90 Days (

kkleiner writes: The long anticipated Chinese construction project called Sky City, a 220-story building that can house 30,000 people, has finally received approval from the central government to break ground. The firm Broad Sustainable Building previously constructed a prefab 30-story building in 15 days (verified by timelapse video), but for Sky City, they have an even more aggressive schedule: 90 days to build 2,750 feet into the air. Once completed, the building will be a place for people to both live and work, with recreational facilities, theaters, a school, and a hospital all within the structure.

Comment Not necessary, but are you /that good/ (Score 1) 656

I have worked at some places that hired folks with only a high school diploma, if that. These were some of the smartest people I've ever known and they were definitely good enough to make it without the diploma. If you are truly amazing at what you do then any employer would be happy to have you. You just have to demonstrate it.

That being said, it is more than worth it to take an honest look at yourself. Are you really that good, and if so, would it come across to a stranger? As many people have pointed out, the degree is not strictly about what you learn, it's a chance for you to prove what you are capable of. Also, most of the folks I'm talking about started doing this stuff before formal tranining was as pervasive as it is now.

Comment Re:Who owns Congress? (Score 0) 317

I'd like to add a litte more along these lines:
As suggested, taking a look at Opensecrets shows that big money in politics does come, in a large part, from unions:
So, a lot of big money in politics comes from unions and goes mainly to the Democratic party (at least the top 15 or so), which may be contrary to the only big corporation and Republicans thing most of us expect (especially from all those Obama campaign emails I get about "grassroots").
What the big unions do is strongarm you as a young person into becoming a VIP member (whose fee is eligible for political contributions) and then don't give you a say. Also, when layoffs happen, you're the first to go since the ONLY thing that matters is seniority. Sadly, when it comes to many things, the big unions don't look too different from the big businesses.

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