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Submission + - David Bowie dies at age 69 (

echo-e writes: Renowned singer, David Bowie has died after an 18-month battle with cancer. His latest album, Blackstar, was only just released on his birthday on Friday. His last live show was in 2006. Bowie rose to fame in the 1970's and is known for hits such as, Under Pressure, Let's Dance and Space Oddity. He also appeared in handful of films such as Labyrinth in 1986.

Comment Re: Search engines search. It's what they do. (Score 1) 179

Google isn't a search engine. Google is a company... With shareholders. They just happen to be in control of the world's most popular search engine. Why on earth would they take a stand against the EU government? What's in it for them? I can't think of a convincing argument that their revenue would go up if they took some ideological stance against the EU law.

Comment Cyclone V development board (Score 1) 133

I use the 12v output from my Anker Astro Pro2 portable charger to power a Terasic Cyclone V GX FPGA development kit while I'm on train journeys. I do occasionally get funny looks from the train conductor. I haven't tried this on an aeroplane yet.

I bought the Anker Pro2 specifically because it has a 12v output in addition to the usual 5v USB port. Very handy.

Anyway, these battery packs are perfect for powering Arduinos and other small development/hobby boards.

Submission + - Nonprofit to bring Sega game console chips back to life (

angry tapir writes: Processors that powered some of Sega's famous gaming consoles in the 1990s will come back to life starting later this year. The newly formed Open Core Foundation wants to reintroduce in October older CPU designs of Hitachi chips, which were used to run operating systems and gaming consoles in the 1990s. The chips were advanced for their time and could even be used today in electronics like sensor devices and do-it-yourself projects, said Shumpei Kawasaki, a member of the OCF, at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California.

Submission + - UK ISPs to send non-threatening letters to pirates (

echo-e writes: A deal has been made between groups representing content creators and ISPs in the UK concerning how the ISPs should respond to suspected illegal file sharers. In short, the ISPs will send letters or emails with an "educational" rather than threatening tone, alerting users to legal alternatives. The rights holders will be notified of the number of such alerts that have been sent out, but only the ISPs will know the identity of the offenders. Only four of the UKs ISPs have agreed to the "Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme" so far, but the remaining ISPs are expected to join the programme at a later stage. The debate between rights holders and ISPs has raged on for years. This agreement falls short of the of the proposals put forward by the rights holders groups, but the ISPs have argued that it is not their responsibility to police users and that a legal process already exists for going after individuals.

Submission + - First Details of Chinese Spacecraft's Asteroid Encounter

the_newsbeagle writes: Chinese aerospace engineers have revealed, for the first time, details about their Chang’e-2 spacecraft’s encounter with the asteroid Toutatis last month. They have plenty to boast of: The asteroid flyby wasn’t part of the original flight plan, but engineers adapted the mission and navigated the satellite through deep space.

Exactly how close Chang'e-2 came to Toutatis is still unclear. The article states that the first reports “placed the flyby range at 3.2 km, which was astonishingly—even recklessly—tight. Passing within a few kilometers of an asteroid only 2 to 3 km in diameter at a speed of 10 730 meters per second could be described as either superb shooting or a near disaster.” If the Chinese spacecraft did pass that near, it could provide a “scientific bonanza” with data about the asteroid’s mass and composition.

Submission + - Quantum physics explanation for smell (

SpuriousLogic writes: The theory that our sense of smell has its basis in quantum physics events is gaining traction, say researchers.

The idea remains controversial, but scientists reporting at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, are slowly unpicking how it could work.

The key, they say, is tiny packets of energy, or quanta, lost by electrons.

Experiments using tiny wires show that as electrons move on proteins within the nose, odor molecules could absorb these quanta and thereby be detected.

If the theory is right, by extending these studies, an "electronic nose" superior to any chemical sensor could be devised.

In 1996, Luca Turin, now of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, suggested that the "vibrational modes" of an odorant were its signature.

Molecules can be viewed as a collection of atoms on springs, and energy of just the right frequency — a quantum — can cause the spring to vibrate.

Since different assemblages of molecules have different characteristic frequencies, Turin proposed, these vibrations could act as a molecular signature.

The idea has been debated in the scientific literature, but presentations at the American Physical Society meeting put the theory on firmer footing.

Most recently, Dr Turin published a paper showing that flies can distinguish between molecules that are chemically similar but in which a heavier version of hydrogen had been substituted.


Super Principia Mathematica 325

An anonymous reader writes "This is not an ordinary book and extraordinary would still be an understatement. Robert Louis Kemp has built a plateau of quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D.) in math, physics and logic; defined as his Super Principia Mathematica. Beyond brilliant, Kemp has worked on his book for over two decades, sacrificing personal comfort and financial security to laboriously bring to fruition his textbook style, hardback, expertly illustrated principles to the understanding level prevailed by most people. By 'most people' he means those who have a basic understanding of mathematics, geometry, algebra, calculus, physics and most importantly possessing the curiosity to learn." Read on for the rest of Gary's review.

Comment Re:My take (Score 1) 337

You want to get the most scope for your money, but like any good tool, you want it to last a long time, so expect to pay out a bit more for quality and performance. I purchased a LeCroy WaveJet after graduation, and it still meets all my needs. The only thing I don't like about it is the noisy fan. LeCroy's WaveJet line does a quite well with packing a lot of feature into a reasonably priced scope. Tek and Agilent don't really have a product comparable to the WaveJet - it sits right between the low end and mid range products from these companies. Having said that, if you can afford a mid range scope from Agilent, they are great - the fastest and most responsive (digital) scopes I've ever used. On the Tek end of things, they still make the most user friendly and solidly built scopes out there - I feel like I could knock a Tek scope off my desk, and it would still work perfectly when I pick it up off the floor.

All things considered, I think you should try to double your budget - $2k just isn't enough to make a future-proof investment. With the way electronics is evolving, I wouldn't consider buying a scope with less than 200MHz bandwidth and a deep memory (at least 500kpts).


UN Officials Remove Poster Mentioning Chinese Firewall 409

At a UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum in Egypt, anti-censorship group Open Net Initiative was startled by a demand from UN officials to remove a poster mentioning Chinese Net censorship. When ONI refused the request, security personnel arrived and took away the poster. The group was promoting a new book, Access Controlled, a survey of Internet censorship, filtering, and online surveillance. A witness said, "The poster was thrown on the floor and we were told to remove it because of the reference to China and Tibet. We refused, and security guards came and removed it. The incident was witnessed by many." Here is a video of the removal.

Doing Internet Searches Boosts Older Brains 65

Hugh Pickens writes "Medical News Daily reports that researchers have found signs of enhanced neural stimulation in parts of the brain that control decision-making and reasoning when they scanned the brains of middle-aged and older first-time Internet users after only seven days of performing Internet searches. 'We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,' says Dr Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. At the start of the study, the participants performed Internet searches while the researchers took fMRI scans of their brains to track changes in blood flow in the brain and record subtle changes in neural activity. After practicing searching the Internet for 7 days over 2 weeks at home, the brains of the Internet novices showed activity in the same regions as before, but this time there was new activity in the middle frontal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus, the parts of the brain that are important for working memory and decision-making. 'You can exercise your mind by using the Internet, but it depends on how it's used,' adds Small. 'If you get hooked on gambling or eBay shopping, that may not be positive.'"

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