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Submission + - Crude oil train explosion in Quebec.

hendrikboom writes: A train that was parked for the night appears to have started rolling on its own. It rolled into the town of Lac-Megantic, derailed, and several of its tank cars exploded, setting the town centre afire.

I wonder if this is going to make environmental approval of shipping oil even more difficult than it is already.

Submission + - Brain pacemaker helps treat Alzheimer's disease (extremetech.com)

Press2ToContinue writes: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the use of a pacemaker-like device implanted in the brain to treat the symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s, or other maladies such as depression. For the first time in the US, surgeons at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland have used this technique to attempt to slow memory loss in a patient suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The fornix, a vital part of the brain that brings data to the hippocampus, is being targeted with this device. Essentially, the fornix is the area of the brain that converts electrical activity into chemical activity. Holes are drilled into the skull, and wires are placed on both sides of the brain. Then, the stimulator device pumps in small and unnoticeable electrical impulses upwards of 130 times per second. Half of the patients will begin the electrical treatment two weeks post-surgery, but the other half won’t have their pacemakers turned on until a full year after the surgery to provide comparison data for the study.

KDE

Submission + - KDE Plasma Should Be Your Primary Choice For Linux Gaming (muktware.com) 2

sfcrazy writes: Martin Gräßlin, a lead KDE developer, addresses some queries around a topic bugging Gnome and Unity users — the fallback mode. In this post he says that "having the non-composited mode around allows us to do things like turning compositing off when running games or heavy OpenGL based applications such as Blender. So if you want to get some of the now finally available games for Linux, KDE Plasma should be your primary choice to enjoy the game. I have also heard of users switching to KDE Plasma because we still provide non OpenGL based setups.
Technology

Submission + - First pressure-sensitive, self-healing material developed (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Our largest bodily organ is also one of the most remarkable. Not only is our skin pressure sensitive, it is also able to efficiently heal itself to provide a protective barrier between our insides and the world around us. While we’ve covered synthetic materials that can repair themselves or are pressure senstive, combining these properties in a single synthetic material has understandably proven more difficult. Now researchers at Stanford University have developed the first pressure-sensitive synthetic material that can heal itself when torn or cut, giving it potential for use in next-generation prostheses or self-healing electronic devices.
Encryption

Submission + - Meet The Lawyer Suing Anyone Who Uses SSL (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: Since 2008, Dallas, Texas attorney Erich Spangenberg and his company TQP have been launching suits against hundreds of firms, claiming that merely by using SSL, they've violated a patent TQP acquired in 2006. Nevermind that the patent was actually filed in 1989, long before the World Wide Web was even invented. So far Spangenberg’s targets have included Apple, Google, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, every major bank and credit card company, and scores of web startups and online retailers, practically anyone who encrypts pages of a web sites to protect users’ privacy. And while most of those lawsuits are ongoing, many companies have already settled with TQP rather than take the case to trial, including Apple, Amazon, Dell, and Exxon Mobil.

The patent has expired now, but Spangenberg can continue to sue users of SSL for six more years and seems determined to do so as much as possible. “When the government grants you the right to a patent, they grant you the right to exclude others from using it,” says Spangenberg. "I don’t understand why just because [SSL is] prevalent, it should be free."

Businesses

Submission + - Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business in China

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The WSJ reports that widespread disruptions to Google in China over the weekend halting use of everything from Google's search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses.The source of the disruptions couldn't be determined but Internet experts pointed to China's Internet censorship efforts, which have been ratcheted up ahead of the 18th Party Congress. "There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access," says David Wolf, citing recent articles in foreign media about corruption and wealth in China spurred by the party congress and the fall of former party star Bo Xilai, "that's their primary concern, people getting news either through Google or through its services." Beijing risks a backlash if it were to block Google outright on a long-term basis, says Wolf and such a move could put Beijing in violation of its free-trade commitment under the World Trade Organization and make China a less-attractive place to do business. "If China insists in the medium and long term of creating another Great Firewall between the China cloud and the rest of the world, China will be an increasingly untenable place to do business.""
Space

Submission + - Global warming felt by space junk, satellites (msn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From msnbc.msn.com, "Rising carbon dioxide levels at the edge of space are apparently reducing the pull that Earth's atmosphere has on satellites and space junk, researchers say. The findings suggest that man made increases in carbon dioxide might be having effects on the Earth that are larger than expected, scientists added... in the highest reaches of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide can actually have a cooling effect. The main effects of carbon dioxide up there come from its collisions with oxygen atoms. These impacts excite carbon dioxide molecules, making them radiate heat. The density of carbon dioxide is too thin above altitudes of about 30 miles (50 kilometers) for the molecules to recapture this heat. Cooling the upper atmosphere causes it to contract, exerting less drag on satellites."

Notice: Your tin foil hats may need to be turned in for bunkers against falling space debris.

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Surface Touch Cover "Splits within Days" (guardian.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Guardian reports: 'Some early users of the Touch Cover of Microsoft's Surface tablet say one of the edges splits to expose a wire just days after they starting using it. A number of users on the Surface Forums site have reported the problem, which has also been experienced by Tom Warren, a writer on the Verge website and Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, a Windows developer. The defect is identical in each case: the cover, which has an integral keyboard, begins to split at its seam where the device attaches magnetically to the main computer. Microsoft did not respond to a request from The Guardian for information about how many reports there had been of the problem. Baxter-Reynolds was told to return his Touch Cover to Microsoft for a replacement, and Microsoft has been swapping faulty covers for users where it has retail stores. It's unclear whether the problems that people have encountered are due to a faulty batch or are a subtle problem that will become more apparent as more people use it for longer- but the fact that users in the US and the UK have reported the problem suggests that it is not isolated to a single manufacturing batch.'
Encryption

Submission + - Four years later, most U.S. Drones still Openly Broadcast Secret Video Feeds (coinurl.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Four years after discovering that militants were tapping into drone video feeds, the U.S. military still hasn’t secured the transmissions of more than half of its fleet of Predator and Reaper drones, Danger Room has learned. The majority of the aircraft still broadcast their classified video streams “in the clear” — without encryption. With a minimal amount of equipment and know-how, militants can see what America’s drones see.
Politics

Submission + - Why does a voting machine need calibration? (theblaze.com)

Shotgun writes: I heard on the radio that there were some issues with voting machines in Greensboro, NC (my hometown), and the story said the machines just needed "recalibration". Which made me ask, "WTF? Why does a machine for choosing between one of a few choices need 'calibration'?" This story seems to explain the issue.
NASA

Submission + - Behind the scenes at NASA's Mission Control Center (arstechnica.com)

willith writes: "I was recently given the opportunity to spend several hours on the floor of Historic Mission Operations Control Room #2, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. MOCR2 was used to control almost manned Gemini and Apollo mission, including Apollo 11 & 13. More, my tour guide was none other than famous Apollo mission controller Sy Liebergot, one of the fellows behind the solution that saved Apollo 13. I go in-depth on the role of the flight controller during Apollo, and focus on how and why Mission Control functioned, and I spend a lot of time talking about the consoles and how they worked. The feature includes a ton of anecdotes and stories from Mr. Liebergot about mission control in general, and about what he did during Apollo 12 & 13 specifically. I also put together a supplemental report that goes through each and every station and describes their Apollo-era layout. I wrote this story to be the kind of thing I'd always wanted to read, but could never find online. There are also lots and lots of pictures of MOCR2!"
Microsoft

Submission + - 6 Noobs Tests Windows 8 (theregister.co.uk)

gagol writes: Here is some reactions to the very first impression to non-techies: “Microsoft will have some kind of introduction to this, won't they?”; “Microsoft needs to put some tutorials in this or it will frustrate a lot of people.”; “It's like they tried to make the computer like a mobile phone.”
Data Storage

Submission + - FreeNAS 8.3.0-RELEASE is available with full ZFS 28 Support (freenas.org)

An anonymous reader writes: FreeNAS project once again has made available an update to their NAS/SAN appliance operating system "FreeNAS" at version 8.3.0-RELEASE. Improvements include support for ZFS 28 (which include on-disk de-duplication of data), as well as other features such as USB 3.0 support, webshell console, etc. As usual, download package or ISO is about 100 megs.
HP

Submission + - HP Unveils Open webOS 1.0 (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: HP has lifted the curtains off its open source initiative and released the version 1.0 of its Open webOS as per schedule. HP has added core applications like email and browser in this version and has also continued the support for “desktop build environment.” HP unveiled the Beta version of Open webOS earlier this month. The source code is available through Open webOS GitHub repositories. The version 1.0 of the platform can now be ported to new devices claims HP.

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