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Submission + - Near death experience caused by electrical activity in dying brain (bbc.co.uk)

Dupple writes: A surge of electrical activity in the brain could be responsible for the vivid experiences described by near-death survivors, scientists report.

A study carried out on dying rats found high levels of brainwaves at the point of the animals' demise.

US researchers said that in humans this could give rise to a heightened state of consciousness.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The lead author of the study, Dr Jimo Borjigin, of the University of Michigan, said: "A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case.

"If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state."

Submission + - Samsung Invents a Clever Cardboard Printer That Folds Up (superperolas.org)

superperolas writes: Lately, the future of printing has been all about 3-D. Every day there seems to be a new advancement that is supposed to totally revolutionize the way we live and create things. It’s almost enough to forget that actual printers (Remember those? The old-school kind that spit out ink and paper?) are advancing, too. Designers are still pushing the boundaries of what we can do in the realm of at-home printing, and the ideas they’re coming up with are actually pretty cool.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Patents 1826 Choropleth Map Technique

theodp writes: A newly-granted Microsoft patent for Variable Formatting of Cells covers the use of 'variable formatting for cells in computer spreadsheets, tables, and other documents', such as using the spectrum from a first color to a second color to represent the values in or associated with each cell. Which is really not a heck of a lot different from how Baron Pierre Charles Dupin created what's believed to be the first choropleth map way back in 1826, when he used shadings from black to white to illustrate the distribution and intensity of illiteracy in France. BTW, beginning in March, the U.S. will switch from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system of granting patents. Hey, what could go wrong?
Open Source

Submission + - Spanish Basque --all government software must b open sourced and published. (h-online.com)

lsatenstein writes: The regional government of Spain's Basque Country has decreed that all software produced for Basque government agencies and public bodies should be open sourced. Joinup, the European Commission's open source web site, cites an articleSpanish language link in Spanish newspaper El Pais, saying that the only exceptions will be software that directly affects state security and a handful of projects which are being conducted in conjunction with commercial software suppliers.
Facebook

Submission + - Winklevoss Twins Launch Zurker - The Social Network Owned By You (zurker.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Winklevoss twins have launched a new social networking site to rival Facebook, except this site comes with a twist in that everyone that signs up to the new site during its beta test gets shares in the company. This "owned by you" approach is a novel way to combat security concerns surrounding sites like facebook and google but do you think Zurker will even see the light of day in terms of every day use? Will this go the same way as Google+ or will some people get rich in the process?
Science

Submission + - Fungi Discovered In The Amazon Will Eat Your Plastic

DaneM writes: Recently, a group of student researchers from Yale University brought home a previously-undiscovered fungus that has a voracious appetite for polyurethane. For those not aware, polyurethane comprises many garden hoses, truck seats, shoes, and other durable plastic items--and will be around for your great-grandchildren to watch decompose if you throw it in the dump today. Depending on further study, this new organism may prove to be a solution to a significant part of our slow-decomposing waste problem.
Politics

Submission + - Climate Change: Conservative politics still have no clue (smh.com.au)

hairyfish writes: In Australia, acting NSW Premier, Andrew Stoner, has dismissed extreme weather predictions for the state of NSW by the federal government's Climate Commission as ''alarmist''.
"We have heard of all our dams drying up in the past. We've heard predictions of the central coast and other coastal parts of the state going under water, the polar ice caps melting. I'm sorry, none of this has happened. As time goes on I think these people's credibility will be found wanting.''

The Military

UK In Danger From Electromagnetic Bomb, Says Defense Secretary 268

judgecorp writes "Britain must build defenses against an EMP bomb, the UK Secretary of Defense Phillip Hammond told a conference today. Electromagnetic Pulse devices mimic the result of a solar flare or a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, creating a storm of electromagnetic radiation, which can break mobile networks and satellite systems. Any preparation for solar storms must also consider the possibility of deliberate electromagnetic events, warns Hammond."
AMD

Submission + - AMD Trinity A10-4600M Processor Launched, Tested (hothardware.com) 3

MojoKid writes: "AMD lifted the veil on their new Trinity A-Series mobile processor architecture today. Trinity has been reported as offering much-needed CPU performance enhancements in IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) but also more of AMD's strength in gaming and multimedia horsepower, with an enhanced second generation integrated Radeon HD graphics engine. AMD's A10-4600M quad-core chip is comprised of 1.3B transistors with a CPU base core clock of 2.3GHz and Turbo Core speeds of up to 3.2GHz. The on-board Radeon HD 7660G graphics core is comprised of 384 Radeon Stream Processor cores clocked at 497MHz base and 686Mhz Turbo. In the benchmarks, AMD's new Trinity A10 chip outpaces Intel's Ivy Bridge for gamingbut can't hold a candle to it for standard compute workloads or video transcoding."
Piracy

Finland: Open WiFi Access Point Owner Not Liable For Infringement 156

New submitter mjrauhal writes "In Finland, the operator of an open WiFi access point was found not guilty for copyright infringement allegedly committed over said access point. The operation of such access points would have become legally risky were this decided otherwise. Appeal by the Finnish Anti-Piracy Center is still possible for this district court ruling."
Microsoft

Submission + - Forbes Names Microsoft's Steve Ballmer names worst CEO

_0x783czar writes: Microsoft haters gleefully have latched on to the latest scoop that a Forbes columnist has named Steve Ballmer the worst CEO. It seems that the article has leveled some strong accusations of irresponsible and ineffective business practices; claiming that Microsoft has not progressed over the last 12 years of Ballmer's leadership.

http://www.bgr.com/2012/05/14/microsoft-steve-ballmer-worst-ceo/

(full disclosure: I'm not a Microsoft fan myself and tend to agree with this piece.)
Science

Submission + - Warmest 12-month Period Recorded in US (wunderground.com) 6

seanzig writes: Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground provides a good overview of the State of the Climate Report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). May 2011 through Apr. 2012 broke the previous record (Nov. 1999 — Oct. 2000). A number of other interesting records (e.g., warmest March on record) and stats emerged. It just presents the data and does not surmise anything about the causes or what should be done about it.
Science

Mini Mammoth Once Roamed Crete 50

ananyo writes "Scientists can now add a 'dwarf mammoth' to the list of biological oxymorons that includes the jumbo shrimp and pygmy whale. Studies of fossils discovered last year on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea reveal that an extinct species once thought to be a diminutive elephant was actually the smallest mammoth known to have existed — which, as an adult, stood no taller than a modern newborn elephant (abstract). The species is the most extreme example of insular dwarfism yet found in mammoths."
Medicine

Submission + - Humans have been performing skull surgery for 10,000 years (vice.com)

derekmead writes: We oh-so-resourceful humans have been performing brain surgery — successfully, mind you — for up to 10,000 years. In fact, the act of cutting open the skull is likely the oldest surgical procedure humans have ever performed.

A paper by Dr. Giorgio Sperati in Italian medical journal ACTA Otorhinolaryngologica Italica which tracks craniotomies throughout history. According to Sperati, evidence suggests that craniotomies — surgeries involving removing a section of the skull in order to access the brain — were first being performed in the Neolithic Age, which lasted from 8000-5000 BC. It wasn’t until the late 1700s that anthropologists M. Prunières and Paul Broca suggested that the marks were the result of surgery, although they originally argued that such surgery was inspired by mystic, rather than medical, causes.

Sperati notes that nearly half of patients survived craniotomies — and with evidence of regrown bone around the incisions on some skulls, some of those patients must have lived for years. That’s a stunning fact considering neolithic surgeons didn’t have operating rooms, antibiotics, anything resembling sterile conditions — or even metal tools.

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