Gr8Apes writes: Scientists have successfully decoded the genome of quinoa, a hugely popular "super-food" because it is well balanced and gluten-free. They have pinpointed one of the genes that they believe control the production of saponins (bitter toxic compounds that protect the plant from predators) which can facilitate the breeding of plants without saponins resulting in sweeter seeds without having to process them. The scientists also believe that the genetic understanding now gained will allow them to breed shorter, stockier plants that don't fall over as easily, and that these benefits could be gained without the use of genetic modification.
Gr8Apes writes: To no one's Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism. The New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy.
Gr8Apes writes: How many people does it take to fix a tractor? When the repair involves a tractor's computer, it actually takes an army of copyright lawyers, dozens of representatives from U.S. government agencies, an official hearing, hundreds of pages of legal briefs, and nearly a year of waiting. Waiting for the Copyright Office to make a decision about whether people like me can repair, modify, or hack their own stuff. why do people need to ask permission to fix a tractor in the first place? It’s required under the anti-circumvention section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Even unlocking your cellphone required an act of Congress to make it legal.
A few changes that would significantly help: Make the opposition show that an exemption is absolutely unnecessary. Congress should make exemptions permanent.
Gr8Apes writes: "Soon, when you buy a new PC, it won't support Windows 7 or 8. Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support," Microsoft notes in a blog post published on Friday. "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon." It appears MS is really trying to force everyone not committed to the Windows 10 service model to an alternative OS.
Gr8Apes writes: Every Samsung Galaxy device — from the S3 to the latest S6 — has a significant flaw that lets in hackers, researchers have discovered. The vulnerability lives in the phones' keyboard software, which can't be deleted. The flaw potentially allows hackers to spy on anyone using a Samsung Galaxy phone. You can be exposed by using public or insecure Wi-Fi. But some researchers think users are exposed even on cell phone networks.
"Hitachi, the big electronics company based in Japan, is manufacturing and selling to corporations a device intended to increase efficiency in the workplace. It has a rather bland and generic-sounding name: the Hitachi Business Microscope (paywalled).
But what it is capable of doing... well, just imagine being followed around the office or the factory all day by the snoopiest boss in the world. Even into the restroom."
Gr8Apes writes: The realm of science fiction keeps shrinking. Those annoying viruses and malware that can interrupt your perusal of/. will now have to take a back seat to real cyber threats
From the article: Cyber security experts say they have identified the world's first known cyber super weapon designed specifically to destroy a real-world target: a factory, a refinery, or just maybe a nuclear power plant.
Gr8Apes writes: CNN has a story about scientists needing your help in a galactic census. From the story: They are asking volunteers on the Internet to help classify the galaxies as either elliptical or spiral and note, where possible, in which direction they rotate. Astronomers say computer programs have been unable to reliably classify the star systems. With 10,000 to 20,000 people working to classify the galaxies, the process could take as little as a month.
With/. alone, they might be able to do it in a week. Give them a helping hand by signing up at Galaxy Zoo.
Gr8Apes writes: AMD is upping the performance numbers for Barcelona by stating that "Barcelona will have a 50% advantage over Clovertown in floating point applications and 20% in integer performance 'over the competition's highest-performing quad-core processor at the same frequency'". AMD also claims that the new 3.0 GHz Opterons beat comparable Intel Xeon 5100 series processors in three server-specific benchmarks (SPECint_rate_2006, SPECint_rate2006, SPECompM2001) by up to 24%.
Gr8Apes writes: Listeners and Indies may rejoice according to a just breaking story. According to the AP story:
Four major broadcast companies would pay the government $12.5 million and provide 8,400 half-hour segments of free airtime for independent record labels and local artists, The Associated Press has learned.
Gr8Apes writes: AMD has showcased their new 65nm Barcelona quad-core CPU. It is labeled a quad-core Opteron, but according to Infoworld's Tom Yeager, is really a redefinition of x86.
Each core has a new vector math processing unit (SSE128), separate integer and floating point schedulers, and new nested paging tables (to vastly improve hardware virtualization). According to AMD, the new vector math units alone should improve floating point operation by 80%. Some analysts are skeptical, waiting for benchmarks. Will AMD dethrone Intel again? Only time will tell.