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Submission + - Ethernet Turns 40 Years Old (theinquirer.net)

alancronin writes: Four decades ago the Ethernet protocol made its debut as a way to connect machines in close proximity, today it is the networking layer two protocol of choice for local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and everything in between. For many people Ethernet is merely the RJ45 jack on the back of a laptop, but its relative ubiquity and simplicity belie what Ethernet has done for the networking industry and in turn for consumers and enterprises. Ethernet has in the space of 40 years gone from a technology that many in the industry viewed as something not fit for high bandwidth, dependable communications to the default data link protocol.

Submission + - Instagram User Drop Blamed on Holidays, Not Recent Controversy (slashdot.org) 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: "When AppData first posted a graph (above) showing a 25 percent drop in Instagram’s daily active users, it sparked a flurry of discussion online—much of it focused on the recent controversy over the photo-sharing service’s Terms of Use. The New York Post, for example, blamed the dip on a “revolt” among Instagram users incensed over changes in the Terms of Use, including new legalese that some interpreted as blanket permission for the service to start selling user photos to advertisers. But a new statement from AppData, which tracks app traffic, suggests there’s another cause behind the dip in daily active users: the season. “The decline in Facebook-connected daily active users began closer to Christmas, not immediately after the proposed policy changes,” read a statement the firm sent to The Wall Street Journal. “The drop between Dec. 24 and 25 seems likely to be related to the holiday, during which time people are traveling and otherwise have different routines than usual.”"

Submission + - Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 5 Is a Hit in China Too (apple.com)

Sebolains writes: The iPhone 5 launched in China last Friday, December 14th. Today, Apple announced on their blog that they had sold 2 million phones on the first weekend it was available. This figure is comparable to the just over 5 million iPhone 5s sold after its initial release in September in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK; a fact that is still impressive, even when taking into account the size of the Chinese market. Apple said that they plan to have the phone available in over 100 countries by the end of the year, making this the fastest iPhone roll-out ever.

Submission + - For Obama, Jobs, and Zuckerberg, Boring is Productive

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Robert C. Pozen writes in the Harvard Business Review that while researching a behind-the-scenes article of President Obama's daily life, Michael Lewis asked President Obama about his practice of routinizing the routine. "I eat essentially the same thing for breakfast each morning: a bowl of cold cereal and a banana. For lunch, I eat a chicken salad sandwich with a diet soda. Each morning, I dress in one of a small number of suits, each of which goes with particular shirts and ties." Why does President Obama subject himself to such boring routines? Because making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of your mental energy, a limited resource. If you want to be able to have more mental resources throughout the day, you should identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane — and then "routinize" those aspects as much as possible. Obama's practice is echoed by Steve Jobs who decided to wear the same outfit every day, so that he didn't have to think about it and the recent disclosure that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is proud that he wears the same outfit every day adding that he owns "maybe about 20" of the gray, scoop neck shirts he's become famous for. "The point is that you should decide what you don't care about and that you should learn how to run those parts of your life on autopilot," writes Pozen. "Instead of wasting your mental energy on things that you consider unimportant, save it for those decisions, activities, and people that matter most to you.""

Submission + - Our drugs are tested on Russians

menno_h writes: According to BoingBoing it's so difficult to get access to modern health care in Russia that the country is becoming a haven for medical testing — there are more people there willing to be guinea pigs for more stuff simply because they have no other way to see a doctor. This is one of those fun dilemmas where medical testing is necessary, but hard to talk wealthy, healthy people into if they already have access to health care. The result: Drugs and treatments get tried out, voluntarily, on whoever is most desperate.

Submission + - Total (Autobiographical) Recall (npr.org)

TrueSatan writes: Some, rare, individuals have almost perfect recall of events form their own lives while having only normal memory of less personal events. A well-known example of such a person is the actress Marilu Henner.

Brain scans have shown significant differences between the brains of these individuals and the norm...differences that are often linked to obsessive/compulsive disorders. A number of the individuals (certainly the majority and, arguably, all) in question do suffer from such disorders though not to such a degree as to significantly impair day to day life.

The research into these cases may lead to a better understanding of how memory works.


Submission + - The Return of Dr. Strangelove: Could austerity= Nukes and Cyberwarfare for U.S.? (thediplomat.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: With trillion dollar deficits and large bills in the coming years for social programs, America may simply have no choice but to cut the size of its military. What could be a simple yet cost effective way to achieve a powerful deterrent and global military power in the coming decades with lean budgets: Relying once again on nuclear weapons and a strong emphasis on cyberwar.

With America having left Iraq and soon Afghanistan, America has a fundamental choice to reshape its military. If the nation can move past nation building and focus on defense of the homeland, nuclear and cyber-weapons maybe the most cost-effective solution.

The authors claim: " After all, dollar for dollar, nuclear weapons—in particular—provide American taxpayers the greatest level of security and stability of any weapon the nation has ever fielded. The fact that at an estimated $30 billion per year—5% of the defense budget—the nuclear arsenal is cheap, may spur Congress to take a pragmatic position toward the nation’s most powerful military capabilities (as the federal budget is increasingly engulfed by social welfare programs) and support an effective nuclear deterrent along with the development of devastating cyber capabilities."


Submission + - UEFI Secure Boot and Linux: Where Things Stand (itworld.com) 2

itwbennett writes: "Assuming that Microsoft doesn't choose to implement Secure Boot in the ways that the Linux Foundation says would work with Linux, there 'will be no easy way to run Linux on Windows 8 PCs,' writes Steven Vaughan-Nichols. Instead, we're faced with three different, highly imperfect approaches: Approach #1: Create UEFI Secure Boot keys for your particular distribution, like Canonical is doing with Ubuntu. Approach #2: work with Microsoft's key signing service to create a Windows 8 system compatible UEFI secure boot key, like Red Hat is doing with Fedora. Approach #3: Use open hardware with open source software, an approach favored by ZaReason CEO Cathy Malmrose."

Submission + - Graphene does wonders in Artificial Photosynthesis process (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Graphene, the wonder material, has reinforced its worthiness of the title it holds by helping out in the artificial photosynthesis process by acting as a photocatalyst. Researchers from two different universities Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology in Daejon and Ewha Womans University in Seoul have successfully demonstrated that Graphene can be used as a photocatalyst directly to improve efficiency of artificial photosynthesis. In the latest study researchers were able to use Graphene itself as the photocatalyst that was coupled with a porphyrin enzyme. Results indicate that such a photocatalyst is highly functional in the visible light spectrum and the overall efficiency is significantly higher than the efficiencies of other photocatalysts.

Submission + - Google declares war on free clicks (bgr.com)

redkemper writes: Google is an advertising company first and foremost, but the big revenue the company sees from ads is funding the rest of the company’s efforts — efforts that have brought us great products and services like Gmail, Google Maps and the company’s new Nexus 7 tablet. Search remains Google’s core product, of course, and countless businesses are sustained by traffic generated by Google searches. As such, it’s no mystery that advertising is Google’s biggest revenue generator by a landslide. Google has made moves recently to promote clicks on paid ads rather than organically surfaced results, and a new study reveals that Google’s efforts have had quite an impact...

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