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Science

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"

Submission + - Google deploys SSL encrypted searches

el-schwa writes: CNN is running a story about Google's deployment of SSL to it's main search page. It seems to me that this feature is 10 years overdue.
Links

Submission + - Streamtu.be - HTML5/CSS3 realtime Twitter rankings (streamtu.be)

kjeldahl writes: Monitors Twitter, looking for links mentioned in tweets and ranks destination sites by frequency. Auto-resolves shortened links etc. Site titles and ranks are collected and animated in real-time. Useful to see what links are being mentioned, or which links contain actual useful information during real-time events. Disclaimer: My site.
Moon

Submission + - Citizen Scientists Help Explore the Moon

Pickens writes: "NPR reports that NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is doing such a good job photographing every bit of the moon's surface that scientists can't keep up, so Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott is asking amateur astronomers to help review, measure and classify tens of thousands of moon photos streaming to Earth using the website MoonZoo, where anyone can log on, get trained and become a space explorer. "We ask people to count the craters that they can see ... and that tells us all sorts of things about the history and the age of that bit of surface," says Lintott. Volunteers are also asked to identify boulders, measure the craters and generally classify what is found in the images. If one person does the classification — even if they're an expert — then anything odd or interesting can be blamed on them but with multiple independent classifications the team can statistically calculate the confidence in the classification and that's a large part of the power of Moon Zoo and Lintott adds the British and American scientists heading up the LRO project have been randomly checking the amateur research being sent in and find it as good as you would get from an expert. "There are a whole host of scientists ... who are waiting for these results, who've already committed to using them in their own research.""
The Internet

Submission + - Adobe founders on Flash and internet standards

An anonymous reader writes: An interview with the founders of Adobe (and creators of PostScript) Charles Geschke and John Warnock. Three interesting quotes:

"It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox. The whole point of the universality of the Web would be to not have those kind of distinctions, but we're still living with them. It's always fascinating to see how long it takes for certain pieces of historical antiquity to die away. The more you put them in the browsers you've codified them as eternal, and that's stupid".

"With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics".

"You can see why, to a certain extent, Apple and Microsoft view that as a challenge because they would like you to buy into their implementation of how the seamless integration with the Web goes. What we're saying is it really shouldn't matter. That cloud ought to be accessible by anybody's computer and through any sort of information sitting out on the Web."
Games

Submission + - Brief History of Social Games (radoff.com)

Tarinth writes: Social games (such as Farmville, etc.) are hardly new--because games have been part of recorded history for thousands of years. An infographic has integrated many of the key games from history (starting with Egypt's Senet game from 3100BC) to present, showing major milestones along the way such as play-by-mail, Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering. Today's social games phenomena, which might better be better called "social network games" is the confluence of several trends ranging from asynchronous gameplay, social play and virtual economies--all of which are shown within the infographic.
Cellphones

Submission + - Any Android Phones Can Process Credit Cards Now 1

adeelarshad82 writes: A plug-in device known as Square, accompanied by an app, is helping the concept of mobile payments anywhere, anytime on android phones. A simple swipe through Square allows it to read the credit card and send instructions to the mobile app which then allows the user to make payment. Square can be plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack. The device and the app are free, however Square banks 2.75 percent of the total transaction in addition to a charge of 15 cents per swipe, and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for each transaction made with a keyed in entry.

Submission + - Numeral Systems of the World's Languages (eva.mpg.de)

labr!nth writes: Linguist Eugene Chan has "successfully collected basic numeral systems and data from about 4,000 languages in the world." He gives a summary of many of these on his website. All sorts of interesting systems are used including various bases (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, and 12), body-part tallying, and languages that only distinguish between one and many (c.f. various wikipedia articles on Everett and the Piraha language). The site is ugly and difficult to navigate, but summary boxes at the bottom of specific language pages are informative. Especially interesting are those from indigenous languages from remote areas (c.f. pages for Bella Coola or Kwadi).

Submission + - A new app to hide text messages from prying eyes (safebox.mobi)

jolypip writes: A new mobile application, called SafeBox, has been launched to let users send and receive private text messages, invisible to anyone taking their phone. The application combines the popularity and mobility of texting with the privacy and security of modern cryptography to give some privacy to the SMS communications.

Stories of intercepted and incriminating SMS texts make the celebrity gossip headlines regularly, whether a prince, a footballer, an actor, a musician, a politician or a golfer, the examples are many where the SafeBox application could have kept those texts private and protected from curious intruders, paparazzi, stalkers and other prying eyes.

Privacy in general has become increasingly important, but especially so in the mobile space, as incidents of SMS spoofing and interception multiply.
SafeBox is a privacy tool that is simple to use, available to everyone around the world, and free to download. The first version has been released with J2ME for Java and Symbian phones and can be used in 7 languages.

Besides text messages, the SafeBox application, also offers other features such as a hidden private contact list, and confidential notes. The application is PIN-protected preventing its content to be seen from the outside without knowledge of the PIN. If the phone is lost, stolen or just gets in the wrong hands for a while, nobody can read the messages sent or received or even see whom they were written to.

For more information about SafeBox or to download the application for free, visit the www.safebox.mobi website from a mobile phone browser or from the web.

Submission + - Body Area Networks To Collect Physiological Data (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The FCC is considering a request by the healthcare industry to allocate radio bandwidth for the creation of body area networks, which would use small, disposable monitors in the form of patches or bracelets to collect physiological data on critically and chronically ill patients, such as temperature, pulse, blood glucose level, blood pressure and respiratory health. The body area networks would transmit the data to electronic medical records, which could be remotely monitored by care givers and could not only head off heart attacks and strokes but reduce staph infections in hospitals, which kill 200,000 people annually in the U.S.
Security

More Mac Vulnerabilities Than Windows In 2007? 329

eldavojohn writes "A ZDNet blog reports stats from Secunia showing OSX averaged 20.25 vulnerabilities per month while XP & Vista combined averaged 3.67/month. Is this report card's implication accurate, or is this a symptom of one company turning a blind eye while the other concentrates on timely bugfixes? 'While Windows Vista shows fewer flaws than Windows XP and has more mitigating factors against exploitation, the addition of Windows Defender and Sidebar added 4 highly critical flaws to Vista that weren't present in Windows XP. Sidebar accounted for three of those additional vulnerabilities and it's something I am glad I don't use. The lone Defender critical vulnerability that was supposed to defend Windows Vista was ironically the first critical vulnerability for Windows Vista.'"
Music

Submission + - Next for Apple: Lossless iTunes Store (cnet.co.uk)

DrJenny writes: C|net has an interesting piece running at the moment about why Apple developed their own lossless codec, and more importantly that iTunes will become a download store for lossless audio, potentially from all the major labels. This would be a massively positive move for people who spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on hi-fi gear, but refuse to give money to stores that only offer compressed music. It's a big FLAC, DRM, ALAC and GB discussion, but it's a very exciting perspective, and surely one that'll pan out meaning audiophiles will finally be able to take advantage of legal digital downloads.

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