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Submission + - The first "Unification" attempt was Maxwell, 150 years ago

StartsWithABang writes: When we think of our origin story — the origin of everything in the Universe — many of us think of, “let there be light!” This is true whether you consider the Big Bang origins of our Universe or the biblical stories we’ve told for thousands of years, yet few of us pause to consider what the phenomenon of light actually is. We take for granted, today, that it’s an electromagnetic wave, yet this was only determined by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865: exactly 150 years ago. A few decades later, the first trans-Atlantic radio transmission took place, turning this theoretical novelty into one of the most powerful technological tools ever developed.

Submission + - Saturn's Moon Enceladus Has Global Subsurface Ocean

An anonymous reader writes: NASA's Cassini probe has made another fascinating discovery: Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, has an underground ocean across the entire globe. Researchers were trying to explain why the moon wobbles as it orbits Saturn, and they eventually came to the conclusion that its outer shell must be completely detached from its core. "The mechanisms that might have prevented Enceladus' ocean from freezing remain a mystery. Thomas and his colleagues suggest a few ideas for future study that might help resolve the question, including the surprising possibility that tidal forces due to Saturn's gravity could be generating much more heat within Enceladus than previously thought."

Submission + - Will Sweden hand Julian Assange over to the United States? (

An anonymous reader writes: Digital Journal has the following on the ongoing Assange case: 'Now that Julian Assange's appeal against extradition has failed, fears are that he will then be shipped on from Sweden to the U.S.A. [....] He is due to be extradited to Sweden in two weeks, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault and rape. It is feared that once in Sweden, he is likely to be sent on to the U.S.A. The U.S. Government has apparently issued a secret, closed indictment against Assange. Because of this he will be branded a terrorist and a fair trial seems very unlikely should he be sent to the U.S.A. [... ] STRATFOR's Fred Burton for example was caught writing the following about Assange in an internal email that Wikileaks got its hands on some time ago: "Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever." [...] The question all this raises is: Is there a planned effort underway to ship Assange to Sweden, and ship him right on to the United States, where he would then face serious charges ranging from "illegal espionage" to "leaking classified documents to the public" to "acts of treason committed against the United States"? To put it a bit more bluntly: is there an organized plan underway to send Assange to the U.S. via Sweden, and possibly put him behind bars for the rest of his life, and are the people who have drafted this plan now merely going through to the motions of moving Julian Assange from Point A (Britain) to Point B (United States), where a cruel fate awaits him?

Submission + - Swedes Discover Spherical Object Embedded in Baltic Sea Floor ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: Swedish sea scavengers revealed a curious discovery — a disc-shaped object, roughly 60 metres in diameter, and rising about 4 metres out of the seabed, with a 400-metre trail leading to its position.
A lack of detailed photographs has caused speculation that this may be nothing more than a hoax, or information campaign, but there is a promise of more details, from the crew, as they uncover their find with better equipment.


Submission + - The Universe is Ending (

CmdrStone writes: The Universe is Ending in the eyes of Lego. Cheap pun I know.

"We are very sad to announce that LEGO Universe will be closing on Janurary 31, 2012. This was a very difficult decision to make, but unfortunately LEGO Universe has not been able to attract the number of members needed to keep the game open. "

Bummer. I enjoyed playing this game with my kids. Open sourcing the game would be nice.


Submission + - Google Buys Motorola for $12.5 Billion (

mhh91 writes: "Google announced Monday morning that it will acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

Motorola is one of 39 manufacturers of handsets that use Google’s Android operating system.

Buying a hardware company is an unusual move for Google. The acquisition, Google said in a statement, “will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem.”

Will this strengthen Google's position in the ongoing patent war with Apple and Microsoft?


Submission + - Prior Art Can Make Apple's iPad Design Invalid (

sfcrazy writes: The heart of the issue is the 'generic/broad' design of a tablet that Apple got approved as EC community design. One may wonder how such a generic design, which cover an entire range of product and overlaps with other already existing products be patented to one single company?

I lot of bloggers like Ken Hess and Apple fans are defending Apple. Ken has defended Apple for patenting the iPad design. The question is how unique is the iPad's design, are there prior arts?

Muktware has gather prior art examples which may make the iPad design patent invalid.

Submission + - New tool lets police find porn on WiFi (

katarn writes: The article is a little scant on details, but is touting as a device for police to use in finding WiFi setups engaged in the transfer of child porn. The article tries to give the impression this tool is some great new thing which can singlehandedly track down child porn, but backtracks to state that the police need “a lead on a child predator”, so assuredly the transfer of porn has already been verified by other means, and all the device does is narrow down the location of the device in use. Not to pass this article along as a free advertisement for fluke, but my question to those in the networking field who have used this device is: The writeups present this device as a no-brains method of finding child predators. How easy would it be for someone with actual networking knowledge to trick the device into falsely implicating someone else? There is always the concern that police/judge/jury may blindly accept the apparent evidence presented by a tool like this, even though the details may be more complex than indicated.

Submission + - A Quiet Sun (

guigue writes: Although NASA revealed this week a spectacular movie of a Solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that produced intense geomagnetic activity on Earth, including aurorae, some scientists believe that the Sun entered a long Quiet phase that will last at least 100 years. Similar long calm periods are known in the past history of the Sun, and are called "Grand Minima". It is expected that during the maximum of the current solar cycle, late in 2013, the Sunspot Number will be no greater than 55, a value less than one third smaller than the one registered during the previous solar maximum in 2001, and the smallest during the last century.

Submission + - SPAM: — another image search service

vrecobra writes: Another content-based image retrieval (CBIR) service has been released at It searches (or at least tries to) for color clipart pictures by a black&white sketch drawn by user. The service does not pretend to find any photos or other images from all over the Web. It focuses just on clipart (both vector and raster) from different online storages instead. Thus it could complement traditional keyword search when looking for pictures to insert into a presentation, or a mind map, or a diagram, or some design, whatever.
Link to Original Source
Data Storage

Submission + - Tape, Fibre Channel and Technology Innovation (

storagedude writes: In this meditation on why technology gets developed, the author notes that sometimes a lack of innovation can be the biggest driver of technological change, citing the case of how the slow evolution of Ethernet killed tape storage and gave rise to Fibre Channel — and how the rise of 10Gb Ethernet may finally kill Fibre Channel.

From the article:

"If 10 GbE was available at reasonable prices in 2005, we might not have seen the significant investment in dedupe hardware and software because streaming tape would have worked just fine. But the development of dedupe had another consequence: By lowering the cost of disk so it approached that of tape, it has relegated tape more and more to a deep archiving role, and that may come with its own unforeseen consequences. If tape sales continue to drop, what happens to the backup market segment that still needs tape, and what happens to the huge archiving market that requires tape — and where most, if not all, of the data cannot be deduped? And don't think of this as a small business problem — some of the biggest organizations on the planet are heavy tape users for archiving."

"Technology markets can be driven as much by a lack of innovation as they can by innovation (1 Gb Ethernet lasted far too long, opening the door for disk backup and dedupe). The commoditization of technology is another enduring trend contributing to the tenuous state of some technologies. What this means to you depends on your window for technology planning. I didn't see all the changes coming as a result of 1 Gb Ethernet overstaying its welcome, but I did recognize Fibre Channel's limitations when it failed to get placed on the motherboard despite the big "Fibre-On" push in the early 2000s. Once that happened, it was clear that Fibre Channel would someday be relegated to the back burner; the only surprise was how long it took the Ethernet folks to make that happen.


Submission + - Who knows the most about FUD? (

An anonymous reader writes: For any underdog, FUD will eventually raise its ugly head. I've even seen it happen internally, when one department has promising plans and certain members of management feel threatened by their success. But are open source developers really the experts on FUD? Who would you call if you wanted advice on countering FUD: open source developers, traditional marketing and PR folks, or someone else?

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Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984