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Submission + - The Country That Time Forgot (

An anonymous reader writes: "World Affairs reports, "If you hang out in a communist country in the 21st century you’ll encounter strange incongruities that never had a chance to exist in the Soviet Union. For instance, the waiter at the restaurant where I had lunch handed me a card indicating the establishment has a page up on Trip Advisor in case I felt like writing a review once I got home. The Internet scarcely exists in Cuba. It’s banned in private homes. No Cubans surf Trip Advisor when they wonder where they should go out to lunch. Who can afford to go out to lunch? The government imposes a Maximum Wage of twenty dollars a month. These people have been crushed into poverty and are kept there by force. The restaurant is strictly for foreigners from nations with minimum wages rather than maximum wages. The staff have probably never seen their own Web site. And yet, they have 157 reviews. You might think, if you looked it up on the Internet, that eating out and vacationing in Cuba is no stranger than doing so in Puerto Rico or Aruba or anywhere else in the Caribbean. Yet Cuba is little different from East Germany when it was still cut off from West Berlin by the Wall.""

Submission + - Weibo Goes Down in China, Traffic Redirected to Freedom Software (

jjp9999 writes: Weibo, China's replacement for Twitter and Facebook, went offline for about two hours on Jan. 20, when a DNS attack switched its IP address to overseas VPN software used to circumvent censorship. On Jan. 21, the brief IP switch was the most discussed topic on Weibo, with one user, ITHome, saying posting “What IP is It’s sure to go down in history.” The IP address is one of those used by Freegate, which is free software released by Chinese dissidents in the U.S. intended to help Chinese people break through the Great Firewall. However, Bill Xia, president of Dynamic Internet Technology, which makes Freegate, said he and his team of volunteers thought their networks were under attack when they got a surge of traffic with about 100,000 users a second hitting their IP address. Xia said they are still trying to analyze the incident, but he assumes it was a slip-up the Chinese authorities in charge of censoring content. “Our guess is they messed up again,” he said. “This doesn’t make sense for them, so I assume it was a mistake in their operation.”

Submission + - ID Now Required to Post Videos Online in China (

An anonymous reader writes: A new law in China requires that anyone who uploads a video to the Internet is required to use their real identities. The law was announced in a Jan. 20 notice posted by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). It states that all websites with video and/or audio programs must "strictly guard the pass" for user uploaded content, and that any content that “does not comply with the relevant provisions of the state” must be “immediately taken down.” The move closely follows new laws in China taht can land people in jail if an online blog post goes viral. SARFT says it is to “create a civilized and healthy Internet environment.”

Submission + - Fighting the Flu May Hurt Those Around You ( 4

sciencehabit writes: When you've got the flu, it can't hurt to take an aspirin or an ibuprofen to control the fever and make you feel better, right? Wrong, some scientists say. Lowering your body temperature may make the virus replicate faster and increase the risk that you transmit it to others. A new study claims that there are at least 700 extra influenza deaths in the United States every year because people suppress their fever.

Submission + - SteamOS ISO now available for non UEFI systems (

sfcrazy writes: Valve Software has published beta ISO image which can be used to install the Debian based operating system on non-UEFI systems [download image]. When Valve announced SteamOS, quite a lot of users were disappointed as the OS images were available only for UEFI systems leaving out those users who had legacy BIOS based systems. Since the images are at beta stage and developers admit that very little testing was done on those images so it’s not recommended for dual booting systems. At the same time beware of testing it on a machine which has critical data on it as you might lose that data, so I heavily recommend to try it on a test machine and disconnect additional hard drives which may had important data on them.

Submission + - Another law, another squelched dream (

schwit1 writes: Surprise, surprise! Virgin Galactic space tourists could be grounded by federal regulations.

Virgin Galactic submitted an application to the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation in late August 2013, says Attenborough. The office, which goes by the acronym AST, has six months to review the application, meaning an approval may come as early as February. Industry experts, however, say that may be an overly optimistic projection. “An application will inevitably be approved, but it definitely remains uncertain exactly when it will happen,” says Dirk Gibson, an associate professor of communication at the University of New Mexico and author of multiple books on space tourism. "This is extremely dangerous and unchartered territory. It’s space travel. AST has to be very prudent," he says. "They don’t want to endanger the space-farers or the public, and they can’t let the industry get started and then have a Titanic-like scenario that puts an end to it all in the eyes of the public."

Submission + - Voynich Manuscript may have originated in New World

bmearns writes: The Voynich Manuscript is every geek's favorite "indecipherable" illuminated manuscript. It's bizarre depictions of strange plants and animals, astrological diagrams, and hordes of tiny naked women bathing in a system of interconnected tubs that bare an uneasy resemblance to the human digestive system, have inspired numerous essays and doctoral theses', plus one XKCD comic. Now a team of botanists (yes, botanists) may have uncovered an important clue as to its origin and content, by identifying several of the plants and animals depicted, and linking them to the Spanish territories in Central America.

Submission + - Chinese Billionaire Manages to Fool Western Media But Gets Censored in China (

BioTitan writes: What if Warren Buffet called a press conference, sung karaoke, mused on international politics for 10 minutes, then announced he was paying $2 million for the reconstructive surgery of two women, claiming to be former Christians, who set themselves on fire 13 years ago? Then he brings the women out and slowly unwraps their burnt faces, to demonstrate to the crowd how generous he is. Chen Guangbiao, the Chinese businessman who grabbed headlines for saying he wanted to buy the New York Times, held almost the same press conference the other day. His story was reported widely in English-language media, but censored by the government back home in China. The reason involves complex factional politics of the Chinese Communist Party.

Submission + - Image of Europe Getting Nuked Used in Promotion for China's Moon Rover ( 4

jjp9999 writes: In a promotional exhibit for China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover, an image in the background showed a nuclear explosion over Europe. The image they used was public stock photo titled "Nuclear Explosion on Earth from Space." How it got picked up for the exhibit remains a mystery. The exhibit was shown in November at the China International Industry Fair 2013 in Shanghai ahead of China's recent lunar landing.

Submission + - 5 Year Mission Continues After 45 Year Hiatus (

Okian Warrior writes: Hackaday brings us news about a continuation of the original Star Trek series. The Kickstarter-funded project is attempting to complete the original 5 year mission, which ended after only three seasons on the air. The fan based and fan supported reincarnation is cleverly titled “Star Trek Continues” and has CBS’s consent.

Check out the first episode "Pilgrim of Eternity". For being fan-made, it's actually pretty good.

Submission + - US Nuclear Plants Rely on By-product of China, Russia's Nuclear Weapons (

jjp9999 writes: Close to 13 percent of energy in the U.S. is being produced by nuclear power plants that rely on Lithium-7, which is needed to cool the reactors. Yet, the supply of Lithium-7 may soon be cut. Lithium-7 is a by-product of Lithium-6, which is used in nuclear weapons programs, and the only suppliers of Lithium-7 are China and Russia since the United States halted production in 1963. A report from the Government Accountability Office states that brokers of Lithium-7 told researchers that both China and Russia recently told them they were either having trouble obtaining it, or there were no supplies to sell. A post on Rep. Dan Maffei's (D-NY) website reads, 'Whether this was a temporary disruption or a pattern of future supply shortages is still unclear, but the potential of future Lithium-7 supply problems is apparent.'

Submission + - Apple may no longer support older OS X versions (

lseltzer writes: Has Apple changed their policy on security updates for versions of OS X older than the current one? Apple has released Mavericks and disclosed the 50+ vulnerabilities fixed in it, but they have not released an update for Mountain Lion. Therefore, Mountain Lion users have 50+ unpatched vulnerabilities. The company has no policy on product lifecycle, but they have always released security updates for at least the prior version of OS X. The new approach indicates that they want to make the OS X lifecycle like the iOS one: There is only one current versions and if you want any support you will upgrade to it.

Submission + - First Experimental Evidence That Time Is An Emergent Quantum Phenomenon (

KentuckyFC writes: One of the great challenges in physics is to unite the theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity. But all attempts to do this all run into the famous 'problem of time'--the resulting equations describe a static universe in which nothing ever happens. In 1983, theoreticians showed how this could be solved if time is an emergent phenomenon based on entanglement, the phenomenon in which two quantum particles share the same existence. An external, god-like observer always sees no difference between these particles compared to an external objective clock. But an observer who measures one of the pair--and so becomes entangled with it--can immediately see how it evolves differently from its partner. So from the outside the universe appears static and unchanging, while objects that are entangled within it experience the maelstrom of change. Now quantum physicists have performed the first experimental test of this idea by measuring the evolution of a pair of entangled photons in two different ways. An external god-like observer sees no difference while an observer who measures one particle and becomes entangled with it does see the change. In other words, the experiment shows how time is an emergent phenomenon based on entanglement, in which case the contradiction between quantum mechanics and general relativity seems to melt away.

Submission + - Court Rules Probable-Cause Warrant Required for GPS Trackers (

schwit1 writes: An appellate court has finally supplied an answer to an open question left dangling by the Supreme Court in 2012: Do law enforcement agencies need a probable-cause warrant to affix a GPS tracker to a target’s vehicle? The justices said the government’s statement “wags the dog rather vigorously,” noting that the primary reason for a search cannot be to generate evidence for law enforcement purposes. They also noted that “Generally speaking, a warrantless search is not rendered reasonable merely because probable cause existed that would have justified the issuance of a warrant.” The justices also rejected the government’s argument that obtaining a warrant would impede the ability of law enforcement to investigate crimes.

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