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Submission + - Google+ growing at unprecedented rate (wsj.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: The Wall Street Journal reports that Google+ has added 20 million users in just 3 weeks. According to the article, no other site has recorded such high growth in such a short time period. Twitter did something similar once, but in months, not weeks. It's especially surprising considering that access to Google+ is by invitation only.

Why is Google+ growing so quickly? Perhaps the obligatory XKCD reference actually offers some insight.


Submission + - "Wake Cloak" Silences Waves (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Wading through water can be such a drag. Even streamlined submarines have to fight the pull of the ocean slowing them down. But with the right outerwear, they may be able to zip through the sea as unburdened as a rocket in outer space—and without leaving so much as a ripple of wake.

Submission + - CEA Says TVs Are Getting Lighter and Greener (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "We all know that today's flat-screen TVs weigh far less than old-style CRTs, or they wouldn't be able to hang on the wall. New research from the Consumer Electronics Association finds that this translates into a massive savings of electronics waste. The report found that today’s flat screen TVs are 82% lighter and 75% smaller than cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs. In other words, 40- to 70-inch flat-panel TVs weigh 34% less than 13- to 36-inch CRT TVs. This reduction in materials has a staggering downstream effect. The report claimed that an old 36-inch CRT TV generated about the same amount of electronics waste as 5,080 cell phones. However, today’s 70-inch flat-screen TV generate the equivalent of just 953 cell phones."

Submission + - Google is Alerting Users of Virus Infections &ndas (mainstreethost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google announced that it will begin alerting some search users of virus infections on their computers.Users will notice a yellow bar at the top of the Google page if infected.

Submission + - Breakthrough removes major hurdle for quantum comp (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers announced that they’ve managed to predict and suppress environmental decoherence, a phenomenon that has been described as a “quantum bug” that destroys fundamental properties that quantum computers would rely on.

Submission + - Apple Laptops Vulnerable to Battery Firmware Hack (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Security researcher Charlie Miller, widely known for his work on Mac OS X and Apple's iOS, has discovered an interesting method that enables him to completely disable the batteries on Apple laptops, making them permanently unusable, and perform a number of other unintended actions. The method, which involves accessing and sending instructions to the chip housed on smart batteries could also be used for more malicious purposes down the road.

Miller discovered the default passwords set on the battery at the factory to change the battery into unsealed mode and developed a method that let him permanently brick the battery as well as read and modify the entire firmware.

"You can read all the firmware, make changes to the code, do whatever you want. And those code changes will survive a reinstall of the OS, so you could imagine writing malware that could hide on the chip on the battery. You'd need a vulnerability in the OS or something that the battery could then attack, though," Miller said.

Submission + - Exoplanet aurorae 'a thousand times' brighter than (tgdaily.com)

thebchuckster writes: Aurorae on many planets could make our own Northern and Southern lights look like a flickering candle, new research has shown.

It seems that aurorae on distant 'hot Jupiters' could be up to 1,000 times brighter than Earthly aurorae, rippling all the way from the equator to the poles.

Social Networks

Submission + - IT Shedding: Pounds, Not Staff, At Kaiser (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Frederick Curiel knew he had to lose weight. But like many IT professionals, the demands of his job had put diet and exercise on the back burner. Fortunately, he was about to get a little help from the CIO of Kaiser Permanente. Coming off an ankle injury, Philip Fasano, 53, needed incentive to get back into shape. Kaiser had already begun a companywide eight-week physical activity program called Thrive Across America. But Fasano took the program a step further by going public on the company's IdeaBook social network. He launched the 5x500 CIO Challenge and invited the rest of the IT staff to join him in his quest. CIO Challenge became one of the most active groups on IdeaBook. By the end of the seven-week program, 400 IT employees collectively lost some 1,500 pounds. Curiel broke through his weight-loss slump, eventually dropping a total of 50 pounds."

Submission + - High performance, low cost solar cell? (ieee.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Alta Devices, a startup funded by Bill Joy among others, has recently announced a record-breaking gallium arsenide solar cell with 28.2% efficiency, roughly double that of conventional silicon devices. That's not news, more complex GaAs cells up to 42% have been around for a while. The real breakthrough here is that the cell is a lightweight, robust and flexible material only 1 micrometer thick — only a tiny bit of GaAs is needed. If their production line works out, the cells will cost the same as the lowest cost thin-film cells available today, but with about three times the performance, or more. This makes grid parity a possibility, and these cells a seriously disruptive technology.

Submission + - Hint of HIggs Boson (nature.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Both ATLAS and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiments are seeing an unusual surplus of events in a rough mass range of 130–150 gEV. The data are far from conclusive, but physicists believe this could be the first indication of the Higgs particle, believed to be responsible for the masses of other particles.

Submission + - Why Everyone Needs to Care About IPv6 (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: The depletion of IPv4 addresses and news of a transition to IPv6 has been covered before on slashhot, and there’s been a lot of noise around the transition to IPv6, beginning with government mandates as early as 2003, and building up to World IPv6 Day on June 8.

But have you considered how you’ll secure your IPv6 infrastructure? Even if you aren’t implementing an IPv6 network, you still need to be concerned about the transition.

While lots of organizations felt mislead by the Y2K hype more than a decade ago, the IPv6 transition has been different. The IPv6 transition has already begun and will continue over dozens of years affecting every organization differently. But one thing every organization shares is that the transition will affect us all and requires some level of preparation in order to maintain the operational integrity we expect and require from our IT infrastructure.

There are a few things to consider to be sure your network remains protected as the industry moves towards IPv6....


Submission + - Netafp.com GPL Compliance and Censorship (pastebin.com)

mithrandir14 writes: The current maintainers of netatalk formed a commercial entity to provide support to corporate entities in an attempt to fund further development of the project. (netafp.com) In January they posted a list of vendors who they felt should be paying them but were not to their news blog with a very disgruntled and petty tone. In June, apparently, since same vendors still were not paying them they closed all development on the project and withheld the source and binaries except to those customers who were paying them in an attempt to extort money out of consumer NAS vendors using their product. The code and binaries withheld included the necessary afp 3.3 implementation details to support time machine on the forthcoming OS X 10.7 release. Some very disturbing actions followed. We've come to expect this type of closed communication and censorship from corporate entities but to see it from the maintainers of a fairly popular GPL'ed project is disheartening. The code is once again available but netafp.com appears to have taken steps to obscure the fact that they were pressured into doing so instead of doing so of their own accord. A timeline of events is located here: http://pastebin.com/gAntZQik

Submission + - Physicists Report Possible Hints of Higgs Boson (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Physicists working with the world's largest atom smasher may have spotted evidence of the long-sought Higgs boson. Officially, experimenters working the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European particle physics laboratory CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, have merely ruled out vast ranges of potential masses for the Higgs, the particle key to physicists' explanation of how all other particles get their mass. But it's a slight excess in another region of mass that has people talking, especially as the LHC should be able to confirm or quash the putative signal within a year.

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