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Submission + - Brain activity decline linear, starting at 500 ppm CO2

An anonymous reader writes: Is there a CO2 — level sense that says “be calm, you sleep in a chamber”, “be active, you are outdoors”, similarly to the circadian rhythm? Or is it because atmospheric CO2 makes the blood PH decline sharply already? A study says “the exposure — response between CO2 and cognitive function is approximately linear across the concentrations used in this study,” which were in the range 500 ppm — 1500 ppm. 600 ppm is exceeded already in large cities and prognosed everywhere in several decades. Is the coal industry going to make the idiocracy real?

Submission + - Stephen Hawking: Greed, stupidity greatest threats to Earth (washingtonpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Physicist Stephen Hawking says pollution, greed and stupidity are the greatest threats to Earth.

Hawking told Larry King Now on Saturday that he’s worried by overcrowding.

“We certainly have not become less greedy or less stupid,” Hawking said. “Six years ago I was worrying about pollution and overcrowding. They have gotten worse since then.”

Hawking and King also discussed artificial intelligence. Hawking says governments seem to be engaged in “an AI arms race.”

“A rogue AI could be difficult to stop,” the physicist said. “We need to ensure that AI is designed ethically with safeguards in place.”

He also asked King whether his eight marriages are “a triumph of hope over experience.”

“You make a good point, Stephen,” King said. “I think the answer is yes.”

Submission + - Virgin Galactic unveils the new version of SpaceShipTwo (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: According to USA Today, Virgin Galactic unveiled the newest version of its commercial spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, dubbed the VSS Unity, 16 months after the previous version crashed, killing one of its flight crew. The company will subject the suborbital spacecraft to a rigorous series of tests before beginning commercial operations. SpaceShipTwo will take paying passengers on jaunts up to 100 kilometers into space, allowing them to feel weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth. VSS Unity will be taken to a high altitude by a carrier aircraft before firing its rocket engines for the suborbital flight. The spaceship will then land like an airplane and then be prepared to do it all over again.

Submission + - NVIDIA Begins Providing Open-Source 3D Driver Support For GeForce GTX 900 Series (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In late 2014 NVIDIA announced their GPUs would begin requiring signed firmware images before the open-source driver could enable hardware acceleration. That led the Nouveau developers to call the latest GPUs "very open-source unfriendly", but that criticism can now be laid to rest as NVIDIA has finally released the signed firmware and basic open-source driver code. The open-source driver can now move on with its open-source 3D enablement for Maxwell GPUs and the NVIDIA developer is hoping it will be ready for the next kernel cycle (Linux 4.6).

Submission + - U.S. encryption ban would only send the market overseas (dailydot.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: A U.S. legislatures posture toward legally mandating backdoored encryption, a new Harvard study suggests that a ban would push the market overseas because most encryption products come from over non-U.S. tech companies. “Cryptography is very much a worldwide academic discipline, as evidenced by the quantity and quality of research papers and academic conferences from countries other than the U.S.," the researchers wrote.

Submission + - Google Expands 'Right To Be Forgotten' To All Global Search Results (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has confirmed that it will be updating its ‘right to be forgotten’ so that any hidden content under the ruling is removed from all versions of its search engine in countries where it has been approved. Until now Google had only been removing results from the originating country and European versions of its search engine, such as google.co.uk and google.de. The EU had previously asked for an extension of the rule to include all versions of Google. Last year, French data protection authority CNIL threatened the tech giant with a sanction should it not remove data from all of its global platforms – such as google.com – in addition to its European sites. Now, Google’s new extension of the ‘right to be forgotten’ is expected to come into force over the next few weeks.

Submission + - Russia's Putin Wants to Ban Windows on Government PCs

SmartAboutThings writes: The Russian government is allegedly looking to ban Microsoft’s Windows operating system, increase taxes on foreign technology companies, develop its homegrown OS and encourage local tech companies to grow.

All these proposals comes from German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin's new 'internet czar, as Bloomberg describes him. In a 90-minute interview, Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Submission + - Your credit card knows what you did last summer - and tells everyone near it

An anonymous reader writes: More and more credit and debit cards are being equipped with NFC. It promises fast and convenient payment. But did you know, that many also reveal your past chip and pin transactions, including the date, amount and currency? What privacy implications do you see? See if your card also shares this information with anything reading it's NFC tag. Does your bank's ToS or Privacy Policy include this?

This story has already been picked up by Computer Bild, a popular German tech blog. Read the original story at here: https://metabubble.net/payment-cards-bank-accounts/your-number26-mastercard-knows-what-you-did-last-summer/

Submission + - Amazon Launches New, Free, High-quality Game Engine: Lumberyard

Dave Knott writes: Amazon has both announced and released a new, free game engine, Lumberyard, which offers deep integration with its Amazon Web Services server infrastructure to empower online play, and also with Twitch, its video game-focused streaming service. Lumberyard is powerful and full-featured enough to develop triple-A current-gen console games, with mobile support is coming down the road. Its core engine technology is based on Crytek's CryEngine. However, Lumberyard represents a branch of that tech, and the company is replacing or upgrading many of CryEngine's systems. Monetization for Lumberyard will come strictly through the use of Amazon Web Services' cloud computing. If you use the engine for your game, you're permitted to roll your own server tech, but if you're using a third-party provider, it has to be Amazon. Integration of Amazon's Twitch video streaming tools at a low level also helps to cement that platform's dominance in the game streaming space. Alongside Lumberyard, the company has also announced and released GameLift, a new managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling server-based online games using AWS. GameLift will be available only to developers who use Lumberyard, though it's an optional add-on. The game engine is in beta, but is freely usable and downloadable today.

Submission + - The most energetic particles in the Universe dwarf the LHC

StartsWithABang writes: When it comes to the Universe, you might think that energy really is only limited by rarity: get enough particles accelerated by enough supermassive, super-energetic sources, and it’s only a matter of time (and flux) before you get one that reaches any arbitrary energy threshold. After all, we’ve got no shortage of, say, supermassive black holes at the hearts of active galaxies. And yes, we do find cosmic rays hundreds, thousands or even millions of times the energy that the LHC can achieve. But when we think about the Universe in detail, these cosmic rays aren’t unlimited in their energy, but are rather stopped in their tracks by the most unlikely of sources: the ultra-low-energy cosmic microwave background, left over some 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang.

Submission + - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites.

Submission + - Slashdot forces a beta site by default

kelk1 writes: As a poor submitter found out (https://developers.slashdot.org/story/14/02/05/2328224/html5-app-for-panasonic-tvs-rejected---jquery-is-a-hack), Slashdot (https://slashdot.org) suddenly forced a preview of its beta site without any warning on all its viewers.

Judging by the comments, the feedback was immediate and clearly negative.

I cannot speak for the forum moderation side, but my reaction to the front page was an knee jerk: "Oh no!, not another portal full of noise I cannot speed-read through." Text and hyperlinks are what we need, please, and as little graphics as possible. Think lynx, thank you.

Submission + - CERN antimatter experiment produces first beam of antihydrogen (web.cern.ch)

An anonymous reader writes: "Matter and antimatter annihilate immediately when they meet, so aside from creating antihydrogen, one of the key challenges for physicists is to keep antiatoms away from ordinary matter. To do so, experiments take advantage of antihydrogen’s magnetic properties (which are similar to hydrogen’s) and use very strong non-uniform magnetic fields to trap antiatoms long enough to study them. However, the strong magnetic field gradients degrade the spectroscopic properties of the (anti)atoms. To allow for clean high-resolution spectroscopy, the ASACUSA collaboration developed an innovative set-up to transfer antihydrogen atoms to a region where they can be studied in flight, far from the strong magnetic field."

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