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NASA

Submission + - NASA Unveils Chemical Sniffing App for the iPhone (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: Is there anything the iPhone can’t do? Researchers at NASA’s Homeland Security Cell-All program have brought the latest mind-boggling application to Apple’s phone in the form of a stamp-sized chemical sniffing device. The prototype chemical sensor can sniff small amounts of chemicals like methane, ammonia, and chlorine gas. There are a number of uses for the chemical sensor: it could provide early information on a chemical attack, confirm suspicions of methane emissions from local factories, or just give everyday users information about the chemicals present in their everyday environments.
Politics

Submission + - Transborder Immigrant Tool Helps Mexicans Enter th (viceland.com)

MMBK writes: "By augmenting a low-cost Motorola phone with GPS and a battery of applications, Dominguez’s goal is to help illegal immigrants complete safe border crossings without being sent back by the Border Patrol or getting shot in the face by American 'patriots.'"
Math

Submission + - 90% of 200 Students Fail Basic Algebra Problems (nydailynews.com) 3

vvaduva writes: Basic algebra involving fractions and decimals stumped a group of City University of New York freshmen — suggesting city schools aren't preparing them, a CUNY report shows. During their first math class at one of CUNY's four-year colleges, 90% of 200 students tested couldn't solve a simple algebra problem, the report by the CUNY Council of Math Chairs found. Only a third could convert a fraction into a decimal.
Idle

Submission + - Bug Wears Armor Made of Poo (livescience.com)

richardkelleher writes: It seems it is not always rolling downhill, sometimes it is armor!

"A beetle apparently protects itself by constructing armor made from excrement, researchers now reveal.
Scientists investigated case-bearing leaf beetles, which are found worldwide. Females of these species typically construct bell-shaped receptacles made of feces around an egg immediately after they lay one. "

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Disconnects Modded X-Box Users (bbc.co.uk)

S-4'N3 writes: The BBC reports that Microsoft has disconnected approximately 600,000 X-Box users from X-Box Live because the devices they are using have been modified, either with software or with new chips, to play pirated games.

"Microsoft confirmed that it had banned a 'small percentage' of the 20 million Xbox Live users worldwide. Microsoft said that modifying an Xbox 360 console 'violates' the service's 'terms of use' and would result in a player being disconnected."

Submission + - Hollywood backs Swedish movie streaming site (thelocal.se)

paulraps writes: Forget Spotify and Skype: the latest strangely-named-but-hey-it's-free service from Sweden offers users streamed on-demand movies free of charge, has deals with two major Hollywood studios, and is called Voddler. Since its launch two weeks ago, the service has signed up a quarter of a million users and has almost the same number queuing for an invitation. After signing deals with Disney and Paramount, the company access to thousands of films, which are shown uninterrupted after a barrage of ads. The target is the file-sharing generation: "Our customers can be sure that Voddler is totally legal, secure, and that there are no risks of computer viruses infecting their machines from downloaded files," says executive vice president Zoran Slavic.

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