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Submission + - Not Selling Washing Machines Key to Kobo Overtaking Amazon - CEO (

DavidGilbert99 writes: Kobo, the Canadian-based ebook company is number two in the market, behind the behemoth that is Amazon. So what does the CEO Michael Serbinis think is the one thing which will allow them to overtake the e-commerce giant? "We don't sell any washing machines, we don't sell radios. We are not focused on the next server farm to offer data services. It is a question of focus."
Serbinis goes on to tell IBTimes UK: "From an organisation standpoint at Kobo, this is all we do. Everyone at Kobo, all we focus on is creating a great experience for book-lovers."


Submission + - The Mathematics of War

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Isaac Asimov's idea that the movements of masses of people can be predicted may not be quite so fictional after all as Markus Hammonds writes that researchers at the University of Edinburgh have constructed a statistical dynamic model that makes predictions on levels of violence in conflicts such as the recent war in Afghanistan. Their methodology is to analyze how a conflict unfolds by treating outbreaks of violence the way other researchers model the spread of infectious diseases modeling complex underlying processes in conflicts, such as diffusion, relocation, heterogeneous escalation, and volatility (PDF). The researchers first tested the performance of their methods on a WikiLeaks release which contained over 75,000 military logs by the USA military, describing events which occurred between the beginning of 2004 and the end of 2009 that provided a high temporal and spatial resolution description of the Afghan war in that period. "Remarkably, based entirely on written reports between 2004 and 2009, they were able to predict with impressive accuracy, what events would occur in 2010," writes Hammonds. "Even accounting for sudden changes, like the dramatic increase of US forces in Afghanistan in 2010, the predictions remained accurate. Evidently, events will continue unabated despite any large military offensives which may be taking place." In Baghlan province, for instance, the simulation predicted a 128 percent increase in armed opposition group activity from 2009 to 2010. The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting aid workers in dangerous parts of the world, reported that activity in Baghlan rose by 120 percent from 100 incidents in 2009 to 222 incidents in 2010. "This kind of work offers some hope in resolving serious conflicts as quickly as possible", concludes Hammonds. "Whatever your feelings on it, the ability to predict violence in conflict situations the same way meteorologists predict the weather has some potentially very useful possibilities.""

Submission + - Unreal Tournament to highlight AI breakthrough (

00_NOP writes: "This coming week is to see AI researchers battle it out through the medium of Unreal Tournament and hopes are high that researchers at Imperial College in London have built a bot that is sufficiently human like that it will, in effect, pass the Turing Test and win a $7000 prize at the IEEE's Conference of Computational Intelligence and Games in Grenada, Spain.
Interestingly, the breakthrough, if proven, comes not from ever greater computational processing of the environment, but in discriminating between less and more important stimuli. In Alan Turing's centenary year one of the points he was ridiculed for in his lifetime — that machines could match human behaviour and 'thought' may be on the point of decisive vindication."


Submission + - The Galileo Thermometer was not invented by Galileo (

GregLaden writes: "The object known as the Galileo Thermometer is a vertical glass tube filled with a liquid in which are suspended a number of weighted glass balls. As the temperature of the liquid changes, so does the density. Since each glass ball is set to float at equilibrium in a sightly different density of the liquid, as the temperature increases, each glass ball sinks to the bottom. It turns out that this thermometerc was actually invented by a team of instrument inventors that formed a scientific society who had the impressive motto "Probando e Reprobando," which in English means "testing and retesting." The Accademia del Cimento operated under the leadership of the Grand Duke Ferdinand II from 1657-1667 in Florence, Italy.

According to Peter Loyson, who has written a corrective article for the Journal of Chemical Education, Galilio did invent a temperature measuring device called a thermoscope."


Submission + - The Curious Statistics of Space Exploation

An anonymous reader writes: Was the successful landing of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity the result of good engineering or good luck? We can't know for sure because the experiment was only run once. The lack of valid statistical data is a common problem in space exploration. Citizens in Space discusses the curious statistics used to justify multi-billion dollar projects like Curiosity. The need for better data is one reason why the new reusable suborbital vehicles being developed by companies like Armadillo Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, Virgin Galactic, and XCOR Aerospace are so important. The high flight rates will allow developers to obtain valid statistical data on a great many systems, which will be very important for designing future orbital systems.

Submission + - NVIDIA TXAA Brings Movie CGI Rendering To PC Games (

MojoKid writes: "Nvidia's new Kepler GPU packs a number of efficiency and performance improvements, but one of its major features has been locked away until now. When the company launched their new GPU core earlier this year, Nvidia debuted a new type of anti-aliasing it dubbed TXAA. Unlike other types of AA, which can often be forced on in the driver and applied to any game, TXAA requires specific application support. According to NVIDIA, TXAA uses a contribution of samples both inside and outside of the pixel in conjunction with samples from prior frames, to offer the highest quality filtering possible. Funcom's new MMO, The Secret World, was patched last week to add TXAA
and a preview of the technology in action shows how texture shimmering and edge swimming during movement is greatly reduced. It's something still screen shots can't capture well but in-game video footage demonstrates easily."


Submission + - Researchers Find Flaw in Dirt Jumper Botnet C&C (

Trailrunner7 writes: A team of researchers has discovered a weakness in the command-and-control infrastructure of one of the major DDoS toolkits, Dirt Jumper, that enables them to stop attacks that are in progress. The discovery gives the researchers the ability to access the back-end servers that control the attack tool, as well as the configuration server, and key insights into the way that the tool works and how attackers are using it.

Dirt Jumper is not among the more well-known of the DDoS attack toolkits, but it's been in use for some time now and has a number of separate iterations. The bot evolved from the older RussKill bot over time, and various versions of the tool's binary code and back end configuration files have been made public. Researchers have watched as the bot has been used in attacks around the world against a variety of targets, and now they've been able to find a crack in the malware's control infrastructure.


Submission + - The fascinating world of the ubiquitous antenna (

coondoggie writes: The antenna — it has been around so long and is mounted and used so routinely it is rarely even noticed. But such antenna technology has changed a lot over the years and has gone into space, war, water and just about anywhere else you can imagine. Here we take a look the world of the ubiquitous antenna.

Submission + - Baby gender (

dockerbrown writes: "This 700 Year Old Chinese Gender Prediction Chart was Supposedly discoverd
in a royal tomb, near Beijing. Legend has it that chart is over 90 %


Liquid Metal CPU Heatsink Beats Water Cooling 218

unassimilatible writes "Bios Magazine is reporting that the world's first commercially available liquid-metal based CPU cooler is about to ship. Danamics, a Danish company, claims that its LM-10 outperforms standard air-cooled heatsinks and most watercooled systems with a mere 1W power draw. 'The liquid metal is a key component in Danamics cooling systems. Liquid metal has two major advantages when cooling high power density heat sources: Firstly it has superior thermo physical properties that decrease temperature — and temperature non-uniformity — on die and across chips. Secondly, the electrical properties of the liquid metal enables efficient, reliable and ultra compact electromagnetic pumping without the use of moving parts, shafts, seals, etc.' Awesome technology, if it actually works and is affordable. The submitter requests that the moderators terminate all T-1000 jokes."

Security Research and Blackmail 307

harryjohnston alerts us to a story picked up by a few bloggers in the security space. A Russian security research company, Gleg, has discovered a zero-day in the latest version of RealPlayer 11. But they won't reveal details to Real, or to CERT, despite repeated requests. Details are available only to their clients who pay a lot of money for early access to such knowledge. To describe Gleg's business model Daniweb rather cautiously puts forward the word "blackmail." The story was first exposed in Ryan Nariane's Securitywach blog.

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