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Submission + - New moons of Pluto named Kerberos and Styx but popular choice Vulcan snubbed (

MarkWhittington writes: The International Astronomical Union announced on July 2, 2013 its picks to name the two recently discovered moons of Pluto, hitherto known as P4 and P5. They will now be known as Kerberos and Styx respectively. In Greek and Roman mythology Kerberos is the name of the mythological three headed hound that guards the entrance to the underworld. Styx is the name of the river that separated the underworld from the real world.

The names, picked in a popular contest, were actually the second and third choices. The first choice was Vulcan, which was officially touted because it was the name of a Roman god who was a relative of Pluto’s and was associated with fire and smoke. The real reason that Vulcan shot up to the top of the list was that was a choice by Star Trek fans in a campaign instigated by actor William Shatner, who played Captain James Kirk in the original series.

Comment Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (Score 1) 924

I live in NYC and it's been a problem here for at least 10 years. I can't tell you the number of times I've had people near me talking on their cell phone ("Yeah, I'm watching this movie and it sucks. What are you doing ?"). Texting is extremely common. If you sit toward the back on can see the glow of a half dozen smartphone screens at any given time (or more). Having them constantly light up in your field of vision is a annoyance. It's so bad that I basically don't go to movies anymore.

Submission + - Australia Air Force uses math puzzle for job ad that was unsolvable ( 1

KernelMuncher writes: Australia's Royal Air Force has been left red-faced after a job ad asked applicants to solve a complex math problem was revealed to be unsolvable. The service posted the puzzle in a bid to attract the country's best minds to its ranks. "If you have what it takes to be an engineer in the Air Force call the number below," it read above a complicated formula which candidates had to crack. But there was a slight difficulty. The problem had typos and ended up not giving potential operatives the correct contact information.

Submission + - MIT researchers can see through walls using 'Wi-Vi' (

coondoggie writes: If Google Glass isn't enough to get you worried about technology, how about a device that can see through walls using Wi-Fi? Researchers at MIT are experimenting with a system called Wi-Vi, which they say can track moving objects through walls by using the inexpensive, nearly ubiquitous wireless system. Wi-Vi could be built into a smartphone or a special handheld device and used in search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement, according to Dina Katabi, the MIT professor who developed Wi-Vi along with graduate student Fadel Adib.

Submission + - 7 Signs Your Project is Headed for Failure (

Esther Schindler writes: How can you recognize that your project is headed for disaster? Look for these warning signs.

For example: Everybody is “the Vision Guy.”: "Another political landmine is the flip side of nobody being in charge: Everyone thinks he is in charge. To demonstrate the need to be “part of” this important, career-defining project, every single stakeholder sees himself as a dog that needs to mark his territory by peeing on it."

Comment good career stability (Score 2, Interesting) 276

In the late 90's COBOL consultants were paid big bucks to fix the Y2K (non) problem. Now they get good money for replacing all of the retiring baby boomers. And since nobody in India seems to know the language (and there's zero interest in universities teaching it), I think job security would be excellent. It's a great niche to fill.

Submission + - Join COBOLs Next Generation (

jfruh writes: COBOL, it's finally becoming clear, isn't going away any time soon; there are far too many business-criticial applications written in it that work perfectly well for that to happen. This reality could be a career boon for IT staff. Need to learn the ins and outs of COBOL? Your employer may well pay for your training. Just getting started in IT? COBOL can provide a niche that gets you a first job.

Submission + - New Device to Detect Disease with Drop of Blood

An anonymous reader writes: An NJIT research professor known for his cutting-edge work with carbon nanotubes is overseeing the manufacture of a prototype lab-on-a-chip that would someday enable a physician to detect disease or virus from just one drop of liquid, including blood. "Scalable nano-bioprobes with sub-cellular resolution for cell detection," , (Elsevier, Vol. 45), which will publish on July 15, 2013 but is available now online, describes how NJIT research professors Reginald Farrow and Alokik Kanwal, his former postdoctoral fellow, and their team have created a carbon nanotube-based device to noninvasively and quickly detect mobile single cells with the potential to maintain a high degree of spatial resolution.

Comment don't screw up (Score 3, Insightful) 100

If a doctor does this and then makes a mistake during surgery, it's an instant lawsuit. It's all being captured on video. Furthermore the attorney can claim the doc was distracted and more interested in experimenting with technology than with providing the best possible patient care.

Submission + - Android Fragmentation Isn't Hurting Its Adoption (

Nerval's Lobster writes: Apple’s developer Website offers a new, handy graph of iOS fragmentation—which is to say, the mobile operating system isn’t fragmented much at all. A full 93 percent of iOS users are on iOS 6, the latest version; another 6 percent rely on iOS 5; and a mere 1 percent use an earlier iOS. Compare that to Google Android, which really is fragmented: some 33 percent of Android devices run some variant (either 4.1.x or 4.2.x) of the “Jelly Bean” build, while 36.5 percent run a version of “Gingerbread,” which was first released in December 2010—ancient history, in mobile-software terms. (Other versions take up varying slices of the Android pie.) For years, Google’s rivals have used the “Android is fragmented” argument to hype their own platforms. But is Android’s fragmentation really hurting the platform? Not as far as global shipments are concerned. According to recent data from research firm IDC, Android’s market-share stood at 75 percent in the first quarter of 2013—up from 59.1 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, iOS owned 17.3 percent of the market—compared to 23.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. Whatever the drawbacks of fragmentation (and people can name quite a few), it's clear that it's not really hurting Android device shipments or adoption.

Submission + - State Photo-ID databases Mined By Police

Rick Zeman writes: Showing once again that once a privacy door is opened every law enforcement agency will run through it, The Washington Post details how state drivers license photo databases are being mined by various LEOs in their states--and out. From the article: "[L]aw enforcement use of such facial searches is blurring the traditional boundaries between criminal and non-criminal databases, putting images of people never arrested in what amount to perpetual digital lineups. The most advanced systems allow police to run searches from laptop computers in their patrol cars and offer access to the FBI and other federal authorities.

Such open access has caused a backlash in some of the few states where there has been a public debate. As the databases grow larger and increasingly connected across jurisdictional boundaries, critics warn that authorities are developing what amounts to a national identification system — based on the distinct geography of each human face."

Submission + - Thousands companies share with NSA ( writes: Bloomberg is reporting that the recent NSA Prism scandal is just a tiny scratch on the privacy surface. Citing "four people familiar with the process", the agency claims that in fact thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies work with US national security.
Interestingly it explains, for instance, how Microsoft gives government agencies a heads-up when it comes to bug fixesâ"and two sources describe how the news is used to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments.

On a side note maybe we can thank the NSA for giving more steam to Linux on the desktop. And on servers. And routers 8)

Comment develop skills (Score 5, Insightful) 299

In the current job market it's always desirable to keep up one's skills. Learning a new language like Python or (if you haven't already) Java would be great. If your language skills are good contributing to an open source project is smart. Both of these document your continuing education. It's good to show you can benefit the company in multiple ways (or be prepared for another job if necessary).

Submission + - Will Fear of Spying Drive Us to the Dark Side of the Web? (

DavidGilbert99 writes: Prism and the NSA spying scandal has made a lot of people jittery about what they do online. Who is watching them and what are they doing with the information they steal? In a paranoid world like this, many people could begin to consider the deep web as a way of anonymising their online activities, but as David Gilbert says in IBTimes UK, the dark internet is not a place for the faint-hearted

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