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Submission + - A Laser Message from Space (nasa.gov)

dsinc writes: Anyone who remembers dialup internet can sympathize with the plight of NASA mission controllers. Waiting for images to arrive from deep space, slowly downloading line by line, can be a little like the World Wide Web of the 1990s. Patience is required.

A laser on the International Space Station (ISS) could change all that. On June 5th, 2014, the ISS passed over the Table Mountain Observatory in Wrightwood, California, and beamed an HD video to researchers waiting below. Unlike normal data transmissions, which are encoded in radio waves, this one came to Earth on a beam of light.

Submission + - 5D 'Superman memory' crystal could lead to unlimited lifetime data storage (southampton.ac.uk)

dsinc writes: Using nanostructured glass, scientists at the University of Southampton have, for the first time, experimentally demonstrated the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional digital data by femtosecond laser writing. The storage allows unprecedented parameters including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1000C and practically unlimited lifetime.

Coined as the ‘Superman’ memory crystal’, as the glass memory has been compared to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films, the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz, which is able to store vast quantities of data for over a million years. The information encoding is realised in five dimensions: the size and orientation in addition to the three dimensional position of these nanostructures.

A 300 kb digital copy of a text file was successfully recorded in 5D using ultrafast laser, producing extremely short and intense pulses of light. The file is written in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometres (one millionth of a metre).

Professor Peter Kazansky, the ORC’s group supervisor, adds: “It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race. This technology can secure the last evidence of civilisation: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”

Comment Re:Are there still memory leaks? (Score 2) 156

Funny you should say that. I regularly use Firefox and Chrome on two very different machines: one, is an anemic laptop with a Pentium T4200, the other a desktop with 8 cores and lots of memory. On the weaker machine, Chrome is visibly snappier - and never slows down at the end of the day. Firefox seems quite spry in the beginning, but quickly becomes visibly slower - not its rendering, but its general reaction, the awful, XUL-based interface. By the end of the day, right-clicking on a page and/or opening a new tab has a very visible, very annoying lag and the overall reactivity has decreased greatly. It's not a problem induced by some esoteric extensions (I only use Ghostery), I have enough memory (8GB, and the system memory load never goes beyond 50-52%), I only read text (lots of pages, though), no video, no games, flash is disabled via click-to-run. The faster/newer machine exhibits the same behaviour, it only takes a while longer for the lag to be apparent (due, obviously, to the increased computing power). I've always been a supporter of Firefox, I've been using it continuously since the 0.x era (in its Phoenix incarnation), but I'm not blind and statements like "FF is faster than Chrome" simply make no sense to me (and my browsing habits).

Submission + - TSA eliminates all invasive X-ray machines

dsinc writes: The Transportation Security Administration announced it has finished removing from all airports the X-ray technology that produced graphic and controversial images of passengers passing through security screening checkpoints.
The machines, which the TSA first deployed in 2008, provoked public outrage as the technology, better able than traditional X-rays to detect hidden contraband, also created images that appeared as if they were "virtual nudes." Critics called this an invasion of privacy and questioned whether the scanning devices truly lacked the ability to save the images, as the TSA claimed.

Submission + - Intel Core i Haswell Microprocessors May Require New Power Supply Units for PCs (xbitlabs.com)

dsinc writes: Intel Corp.’s Haswell microprocessors due in early June are expected to bring a number of innovations designed to improve performance and cut power consumption, however, in many cases not all users will be able to enjoy all of them. As it appears, end-users will either have disable low-power states of Haswell or get a new power-supply units compatible with the new Intel chip.

As it appears, Haswell's C6/C7 states require a minimum load of 0.05A on the 12V2 rail, and many desktop power supply units (PSUs) just cannot provide that low current. Meanwhile, numerous older PSUs, which comply with ATX12V v2.3 design guidelines only called for a minimum load of 0.5A on the CPU power rail, hence a less sophisticated internal feedback loop/protection could be used. As a result, unless C6/C7 power states are disabled in the BIOS, PCs with older/cheap PSUs may become unstable when processors enter these states.

Submission + - Microsoft wants you to pay $100 a year for Office (cnn.com)

dsinc writes: Starting on Tuesday, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) will be offering Office as a subscription service for consumers. For $100 a year, "Office 365 Home Premium" customers can put Office on up to five computers (including Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) Macintoshes and Windows 8 tablets) and store up to 27 gigabytes of data on Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage service. The subscription includes frequent software updates and allows users to automatically load their customized Microsoft Office settings on each different device.

Submission + - Mathematical breakthrough sets out rules for more effective teleportation (cam.ac.uk)

dsinc writes: Once considered impossible, in 1993 a team of scientists calculated that teleportation could work in principle using quantum laws. Quantum teleportation harnesses the âentanglementâ(TM) law to transmit particle-sized bites of information across potentially vast distances in an instant.

Entanglement involves a pair of quantum particles such as electrons or protons that are intrinsically bound together, retaining synchronisation between the two that holds whether the particles are next to each other or on opposing sides of a galaxy. Through this connection, quantum bits of information â" qubits â" can be relayed using only traditional forms of classical communication.

Previous teleportation protocols have fallen into one of two camps, those that could only send scrambled information requiring correction by the receiver or, more recently, âoeport-basedâ teleportation that doesnâ(TM)t require a correction, but needs an impractical amount of entanglement â" as each object sent would destroy the entangled state.

Now, physicists from Cambridge, University College London, and the University of Gdansk have developed a protocol to provide an optimal solution in which the entangled state is ârecycledâ(TM), so that the gateway between particles holds for the teleportation of multiple objects.

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