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Submission + - Congress Can't Afford Affordable Health Care. Can You? 2

theodp writes: The Affordable Care Act was to have required Congress to purchase coverage on the law's new health insurance exchanges without the generous subsidy they enjoy for their current coverage. But affordable health care, as the fine print in the approved rate sheet linked to from NY Governor Cuomo's press release reveals, can mean annual premium of as much as $35k for a family of 3 (for a 'platinum' plan). So, Congress was no doubt relieved to learn last week that they won't be eating their own health care dogfood after all — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has decided to allow the government to subsidize coverage for its employees on the exchanges. If you're curious, plug your numbers into Covered California's insurance cost calculator to get an idea of how you might fare!

Submission + - Ubuntu TV unveiled (

Barence writes: "Canonical has unveiled the first screenshots and details of Ubuntu TV. Plans for versions of the Linux distro for tablets, smartphones and TVs were unveiled last year, and now the television is — perhaps surprisingly — the first of those to arrive. "It's a simple viewing experience for online video, both your own and routed over the internet," Jane Silber, Canonical's CEO told PC Pro. Movie streaming services will be supported as well as live television broadcasts. Ubuntu TV will be integrated into television sets, but Canoncial was unable to confirm any manufacturers. It will be released later this year."

Submission + - How Stephen Hawking Has Defied the Odds for 50 Yea

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Now aged 70, Prof Stephen Hawking, winner of 12 honorary degrees, a CBE and in 2009 awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is an extraordinary man but what is perhaps most extraordinary about Hawking is how he has defied and baffled medical experts who predicted he had just months to live in 1963 when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a disease that only 5% survive for more than a decade after diagnosis. Hawking started having symptoms shortly before his 21st birthday. At first they were mild — a bit of clumsiness and few unexplained stumbles and falls but, predictably, by the very nature of the disease, his incurable condition worsened. The diagnosis came as a great shock, but also helped shape his future. "Although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying life in the present more than before. I began to make progress with my research, and I got engaged to a girl called Jane Wilde, whom I had met just about the time my condition was diagnosed," says Hawking. "That engagement changed my life. It gave me something to live for." Another important thing in Hawking's life has been his work and at the age of 70, Hawking continues working at the University of Cambridge and recently published a new book — The Grand Design. "Being disabled, or physically challenged, makes no difference to how my scientific colleagues treat me apart from practical matters like waiting while I write what I want to say." Finally the grandfather-of-three continues to seek out new challenges and recently experienced first-hand what space travel feels like by taking a zero-gravity flight in a specially modified plane. "People are fascinated by the contrast between my very limited physical powers, and the vast nature of the universe I deal with," says Hawking. "I'm the archetype of a disabled genius, or should I say a physically challenged genius, to be politically correct. At least I'm obviously physically challenged. Whether I'm a genius is more open to doubt.""

Submission + - Microsoft Patents Bad Neighborhood Detection (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: With the grant of their US Patent #8090532 Microsoft may be attempting to corner the market on GPS systems for use by pedestrians, or they may have opened a fertile ground for discrimination lawsuits.

Described as a patent on pedestrian route production, the patent describes a two-way system of building navigation devices targeted at people who are not in vehicles, but still require the use of such a device to most efficiently route to their destination. For example, the user inputs their destination and any constraints or requirements they might have, such as a wheelchair accessible route, types of terrain they are willing to cross, the option of public transportation, and a way point such as the nearest Starbucks on the route.

Any previously configured preferences are also considered, such as avoiding neighborhoods that exceed a certain threshold of violent crime statistics (hence the description of this as the "avoid bad neighborhoods" patent), fastest route, most scenic, etc.


Submission + - Nokia, Apple Reach Patent License Deal, Settle All (

suraj.sun writes: Nokia, Apple Reach Patent License Deal, Settle All Lawsuits:

Nokia and Apple agreed to settle all patent litigation between the companies in a deal that awards a one-off payment and royalties to Nokia. Apple will pay Nokia an undisclosed sum as well as royalties for the term of the agreement, Nokia said in a statement today.



Submission + - Living Cells With Frickin' Laser Beams Attached (

An anonymous reader writes: Malte Gather and Seok Hyun Yun at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital have coaxed a living cell into producing laser light. Starting with a light-emitting protein first obtained from glowing jellyfish, the resulting cells are bathed in weak blue light, causing them to emit directed and intense green laser light. The work may have applications in improved microscope imaging and light-based therapies.

Submission + - Turkish Police Nab 32 Suspects Tied to Anonymous (

wiredmikey writes: Following the arrest of three alleged "Anonymous" members by Spanish authorities on Friday, Turkey's state-run news agency has reported that police have detained 32 individuals allegedly linked to the hacktivist group.

The Anatolia news agency said today that the suspects were taken into custody after conducting raids in a dozen cities for suspected ties to Anonymous.

The group recently week targeted Web sites of the country's telecommunications watchdog, the prime minister's office and parliament as a protest to Turkey's plans to introduce Internet filters.


Submission + - Studying the Impact of Lost Shipping Containers ( 3

swellconvivialguy writes: Looking at a picture of the world’s largest container ship it’s easy to visualize how 10,000 containers fall overboard from these vessels every year. Now scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are undertaking the Lost Container Cruise, an attempt to gauge the effects of shipping containers lost at sea by studying a tire-filled container, which marine biologists discovered in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. ( The research is being funded by a multi-million dollar settlement with the operators of the Med Taipei, the ship that lost the cargo.) The work is not unlike studying a deep water shipwreck: Use robotic submarine to take pictures and collect sediment samples; repeat.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Could PayPal be an in-store option? ( 1

daria42 writes: PayPal has long been one of the most-used payments option on the Internet; its history serving eBay's millions of users has now expanded into a wider remit across many e-commerce sites. But will the company ever become a valid option for point of sale payments at actual physical retail stores? Yes, according to PayPal's global president Scott Thompson — and PayPal's working on that right now, with one option based on mobile phones on the way and two others in development. It'll be interesting to see how far the company gets with its plans; personally I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be using such a system.

Submission + - Comcast offering home security bundle ( 2

vaporland writes: "Bloomberg reports that media giant and MPAA enabler Comcast has begun offering home security bundles with cable or phone service in selected markets. From the article:

The Philadelphia-based company is starting Xfinity Home Security in seven markets for $39.95 a month. It lets users remotely adjust lights and thermostats, watch cameras, and get e-mail or text alerts when doors and windows are opened and closed. Customers can watch live video of their homes on an Xfinity website or with an Apple Inc. iPad application.

If someone hacks my Comcast security system, does their transmission of images from my bedroom count against my monthly 2.5GB quota?"


Submission + - Aquarius 'salt mapper' hits orbit

oxide7 writes: NASA launched a satellite featuring an brand-new instrument which will be able to measure the saltiness of Earth's oceans. Data from the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft will help scientists understand better the processes that drive ocean circulation and the movement of freshwater around the planet.

Submission + - Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist? 2

theodp writes: Slate's Michael Agger wishes there was a website his 6-year-old son could visit on his own to watch amateur Star Wars Lego movies and other stuff he's curious about. 'But I don't leave him alone on YouTube,' he laments, 'because I never know if some strange-ass video will appear in the 'Related Videos' section.' The now defunct TotLoL was one such site, offering handpicked child-appropriate YouTube videos, at least until it was done in by a change in YouTube's Terms of Service. Agger suggests that Google should create Google Kids, a search engine that filters the Web for children. 'Think back to when you were a kid and your parents dropped you off at the library,' explains Agger. 'In the children's section, the only 'inappropriate' stuff to be found was Judy Blume's Forever, which someone's older sister had usually already checked out anyway. Similarly, Google Kids would be a sort of children's section of the Web, focused on providing high-quality results based on age.' In the meantime, Agger can always have his kids spend a little quality time with Michael Jackson over at AOL Kids.

Submission + - JavaScript Gameboy Emulator, Redux ( 1

Prosthetic_Lips writes: Now we have a GameBoy Color emulator written in HTML5/JavaScript and it will run ROM images stored locally. What is amazing is that it runs the games at a playable speed.

Yes, this was first covered 6 months ago ( ), but it seems like it is pretty complete at this point. You can load roms stored locally, and keep data using localStorage.


Submission + - "Will You Marry Me?" QR Code! (

An anonymous reader writes: Jerry Harrison, a tech enthusiast and small business owner (Swoosh! LLC) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has proposed to his lovely girlfriend using a QR Code.

"I wanted to come up with an interesting and nontraditional way to propose to Angie. Being a tech enthusiast, I love the QR Code technology and the possibilities it opens up for easily storing and making data accessible. Also, I love YouTube’s Google Search Stories videos used as marketing tools a few years ago. I made several videos telling our story from the first date to the proposal, which I edited into one continuous Search Story. Then, I generated a QR Code using the Kaywa QR Code Generator. Also, I wanted to incorporate a heart into the QR Code similar to what the BBC did with their logo. Instead of taking away from the Code itself, I simply added a heart background image behind the QR Code and printed them on stickers to place randomly along a romantic riverwalk area in a town near where we live.

My girlfriend (now fiancée) usually attends Zumba classes on Thursday nights. I arranged for the Zumba instructor to contact Angie and cancel the Zumba class for the evening. Once I knew that Angie would be free, I asked a couple we are friends with to send her a message asking to meet in Conway for a double-date. Angie confirmed that my plan was fully in action by sending me a G-Chat message that we’d be meeting our friends for dinner that night. Once the plan was set, all that was left to do was place the QR Codes at the Riverwalk and wait nervously.

When Angie and I arrived at the Riverwalk, there was one QR Code sticker left. I pointed it out to Angie and we used our phones to scan the code. The Code directed Angie to the video and she teared up within the first three seconds. She knew what was coming and was touched that I had spent so much time creating an interesting and meaningful proposal. When the video ended, I got down on one knee, presented her with the ring and asked her to answer my search query. Would she marry me? SHE SAID YES!!"


Submission + - Using Google Apps For Disaster Recovery (

shshme writes: "Google Apps and the expansion of Gmail to fully support POP, IMAP and SMTP access from external email clients, it is now feasible to utilize these free services as an effective Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity (BC) Plan. BC has become a real headache for businesses, particularly as our businesses rely on email as a primary mode of communication."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982