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Submission + - Apes Capable of 'Mental Time Travel' (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A single cue—the taste of a madeleine, a small cake, dipped in lime tea—was all Marcel Proust needed to be transported down memory lane. He had what scientists term an autobiographical memory of the events, a type of memory that many researchers consider unique to humans. Now, a new study argues that at least two species of great apes, chimpanzees and orangutans, have a similar ability; in zoo experiments, the animals drew on 3-year-old memories to solve a problem. Their findings are the first report of such a long-lasting memory in nonhuman animals. The work supports the idea that autobiographical memory may have evolved as a problem-solving aid, but researchers caution that the type of memory system the apes used remains an open question.

Submission + - Sony's PS4 to have less stringent DRM than Microsoft's Xbox One (ign.com)

Tackhead writes: E3 is turning into Bizarro World this year. Sony has not only promised that that the PS4 will support used games without an online connection, they trolled the Xbox folks hard with this Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video. Compounding the silliness, and hot on the heels of the political firestorm surrounding Donglegate, Microsoft went for rape jokes during their Xbox presentation. This isn't the first time that Microsoft has stumbled into an embarassment over gender issues, but at the rate the PR gaffes in the launch of the Xbox One are accumulating, perhaps they would have been better off just letting it happen; it’ll be over soon.

Submission + - Microsoft, FBI takedown Citadel botnet (paritynews.com) 1

hypnosec writes: Microsoft has successfully taken down Citadel botnet in collaboration with the FBI which was known to control millions of PCs across the globe and was allegedly involved in and responsible for bank fraud in tune of more than $500 million. Citadel was known to have over 1,400 instances across the globe with most of the instances located in the US, Europe, India, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The botnet a malware by the same name and this malware once on a system was used to install key-logging tools on target systems, which were then used to steal online banking credentials.

Submission + - Even when stitched together, graphene remains the strongest known material (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: In its purest form, graphene is quite remarkable: it is the strongest material known to man. It derives the bulk of its strength from two factors. Firstly, each carbon atom is surrounded by six others in a highly stable honeycomb structure, with the atoms locked firmly in place by very strong covalent bonds; secondly, its extremely simple, two-dimensional structure leaves little room for weakening defects to appear in the lattice. A study conducted at Columbia University has revealed that even when stitched together from much smaller fragments, large sheets of graphene still retain much of their mechanical properties. The discovery may be a crucial step forward in the mass-production of carbon nanotubes that could be used to manufacture flexible electronics, ultra-light and strong materials, and perhaps even the first space elevator.

Submission + - Bionic vision sounds cool, but are contacts the answer?

Myoozak writes: Augmented vision is definitely the future, in fact it's already here today in many way (Google Glass, smart phones that overlay data with video from the camera, etc.). Researchers at the University of Washington took this a step further by successfully integrating an RF-powered LED into a contact lens. Cool stuff, but my question to you slashdotters is this: Are contacts really a viable approach? I think there's some obvious problems with contacts that would be extremely difficult to surmount:
1. Rotation & drift of the lens
2. Out of 120 degrees of FOV, can only read text within 6 deg. So won't text always be in the way of what I'm looking at?
3. Moving eye to focus on text causes text to move as well.
Maybe approaches like this are better? I'd like to hear your thoughts!

Submission + - Schools scanned students' irises without permission (rt.com)

schwit1 writes: Parents in Polk County, Florida are outraged after learning that students in area schools had their irises scanned as part of a new security program without obtaining proper permission.

Two days before their Memorial Day weekend break, kids from at least three different public schools — Bethune Academy (K–5), Davenport School of the Arts (K–5, middle, and high school), and Daniel Jenkins Academy (grades 6–12) — were subjected to iris scans without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The scans are essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school-bus security.

Submission + - NZ High Court rules that Dotcom is to have property returned (stuff.co.nz)

Nyder writes: In a win for Dotcom's legal team, the NZ High Court ruled the warrents invalid, and is to return his possessions that aren't needed for the prosecution. The judge also ruled that the warrents didn't allow the 150 TB of data to be shipped to the FBI, and that the FBI must destroy the copies they have.

Submission + - Hospital Resorts to Big Brother Tactics to Ensure Employees Wash Hands

onehitwonder writes: Long Island's North Shore University Hospital is using sensors and video cameras to make sure employees wash their hands, according to an article in today's New York Times. Motion sensors detect when hospital staff enter an intensive care unit, and the sensors trigger a video camera. Feeds from the video camera are transmitted to India, where workers there check to make sure staff are washing their hands. The NYT article notes that hospital workers wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time that they interact with patients. The Big Brother like system is intended to reduce transmission of infections as well as the costs associated with treating them.

Submission + - Singapore: Regulating the Internet (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Currently ranked 149th globally in terms of press freedom, alongside Iraq and Myanmar, the Singapore government chose the further tighten its grip on the media instead of letting up. The Media Development Authority (MDA) announced yesterday that "online news sites" reporting regularly on issues relating to Singapore and have significant reach among readers here will require an individual licence from the MDA. Under the regime, website operators have to comply within 24 hours with any directives from the MDA to take down content that breaches standards. These sites also have to put up a “performance bond” of S$50,000. The Government also plans to amend the Broadcasting Act next year, to ensure that websites which are hosted overseas but report on Singapore news are brought under the licensing framework as well.

Submission + - Google acquires kite-power generator (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: Google has acquired a US company that generates power using turbines mounted on tethered kites or wings.

Makani Power will become part of Google X – the secretive research and development arm of the search giant.

The deal comes as Makani carries out the first fully autonomous flights of robot kites bearing its power-generating propellers.

Google has not said how much it paid to acquire Makani, but it has invested $15m (£9.9m) in the company before now.

Submission + - Android Malware Intercepts Text Messages, Forwards to Criminals

An anonymous reader writes: A new piece of Android malware has been discovered that can intercept your incoming text messages and forward them on to criminals. Once installed, the trojan can be used to steal sensitive messages for blackmailing purposes or more directly, codes which are used to confirm online banking transactions. The malware in question, detected as "Android.Pincer.2.origin" by Russian security firm Doctor Web, is the second iteration of the Android.Pincer family according to the company. Both threats spread as security certificates, meaning they must be deliberately installed onto an Android device by a careless user.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can Yahoo Actually Stage a Comeback? (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: Fresh off purchasing Tumblr for $1.1 billion, Yahoo has moved to the next stage of what’s becoming a company-wide reboot: fixing Flickr, the photo-sharing service that it acquired in 2005 and subsequently allowed to languish. Yahoo boosted Flickr accounts' individual storage capacity to one free terabyte, revamped the Website's overall look, and launched a new Flickr app for Google Android, among other tweaks. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer clearly wants her company to fight toe-to-toe on features with Google and Facebook, but she faces a long road ahead of her: not only does she need to streamline Yahoo’s cumbersome corporate structure and product portfolio into something that resembles fighting shape, but she needs to reverse the general perception that Yahoo is teetering on the edge of history’s trash-bin, with an aging customer base and unexciting features. The question is, could anyone actually pull it off? Is Yahoo capable of an Apple-style turnaround, or are its current actions merely delaying the inevitable?

Submission + - Google and NASA Join Forces on Quantum Computing Project (informationweek.com)

CowboyRobot writes: NASA's Ames Research Laboratory, in collaboration with Google and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), has announced plans to host a 512-quantum-bit (qubit), quantum computer at its new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. Quantum computing combines the principles of quantum physics, where a bit of matter can exist in two states, with supercomputing processes that manipulate billions of bits of data. A bit can be 0, 1 or both, allowing the computer to test all possible solutions simultaneously. NASA's interest in quantum computing lies in trying to solve extremely complex problems in areas such as optimizing air traffic control, navigation and communication, and robotics. Google views quantum computing as having potential to solve high-level computer science problems, especially in the area of machine learning.

Submission + - HTML5 used for new, dynamic Transport for London website (v3.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Transport for London (TfL) which oversees the smooth (sometimes) running of the entire London transport network has unveiled plans to build a new website based entirely on HTML5 so it can meet the needs of mobile commuters on any device. It will also be ditching Microsoft's Bing Maps for Google's services in the process.

Submission + - Aurora Attackers Were Looking for Google's Surveillance Database

An anonymous reader writes: When in early 2010 Google shared with the public that they had been breached in what became known as the Aurora attacks, they said that the attackers got their hands on some source code and were looking to access Gmail accounts of Tibetan activists. What they didn't make public is that the hackers have also accessed a database containing information about court-issued surveillance orders that enabled law enforcement agencies to monitor email accounts belonging to diplomats, suspected spies and terrorists. Whether this was the primary goal of the attacks as well as how much information was exfiltrated is unknown. current and former U.S. government officials interviewed by the Washington Post say that the database in question was possibly accessed in order to discover which Chinese intelligence operatives located in the U.S. were under surveillance.

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Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman