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Submission + - Long-lost continent found under the Indian Ocean (

ananyo writes: "The drowned remnants of an ancient microcontinent may lie scattered beneath the waters between Madagascar and India, a new study suggests. Evidence for the long-lost land comes from Mauritius, a volcanic island about 900 kilometres east of Madagascar. The oldest volcanic rocks on the island date to about 8.9 million years ago. Yet grain-by-grain analyses of beach sand collected at two sites on the Mauritian coast revealed around 20 zircons — tiny crystals of zirconium silicate that are exceedingly resistant to erosion or chemical change — that were far older. One of these zircons was at least 1.97 billion years old.
The researchers that made the discovery think that geologically recent volcanic eruptions brought shards of the buried continent to the Earth’s surface, where the zircons eroded from their parent rocks to pepper the island’s sands. Analyses of Earth’s gravitational field reveal several broad areas where sea-floor crust at the bottom of the Indian ocean is much thicker than normal — at least 25 to 30 kilometres thick, rather than the normal 5 to 10 kilometres. Those crustal anomalies may be the remains of a landmass that researchers have now dubbed Mauritia, which they suggest split from Madagascar when tectonic rifting and sea-floor spreading sent the Indian subcontinent surging northeast millions of years ago."


Submission + - Hardware hackers reveal Apple's charging secrets (

ptorrone writes: "In this 7 minute video we explore "The mysteries of Apple device charging". Usually device makers need to sign a confidentially agreement with Apple who want to say "works with iPhone / iPod" and never talk about how the insides work. If you don't put these secret resistors on the data lines to you get the dreaded "CHARGING IS NOT SUPPORTED WITH THIS ACCESSORY". We demonstrate how anyone can do this and make their own chargers that work with iPhone 4, 3Gs, etc."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Stupid Smartphone Tricks (

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's JR Raphael offers seven tales of smartphone horror — bone-headed mobile gaffes by corporate users fun to laugh at now, but most of which were anything but amusing when they occurred. 'Some cost companies money; some cost employees their jobs. Others cost something even more difficult to recover: a slice of their victims' dignity.' From embarrassing four-letter auto-corrections, to erotic gaming on company time, to the cost of doing business in the toilet, today's smartphones provide 'plenty of opportunities for tech-tinged embarrassment.'


Submission + - ATT says "Here is the data you didn't want!"

An anonymous reader writes: I have been an ATT Wireless Customer for over 10 years, recently my flip-candy bar phone broke and I was in the need of a replacement. Not wanting to extend my contract I searched through my drawer and found my old Black Berry Pearl.
This is my personal phone, not subsidized by ATT; I removed my SIM from the candy bar phone and placed it on my old half broken black berry. Last I logged in to my account as I do every month and I saw a $25 for a data plan.
I was appalled by the fact that someone had inadvertently put a data plan in my account without my consent. I rang up the customer service line and this was the treatment I endured.

Anything I can do? Help Slashdot!

Submission + - China Inching Nearer To Homegrown GPS (

siliconbits writes: Now China has its own 3G (and soon 4G) mobile infrastructure and may even soon come up with its own GPS. At 5:30 on Sunday morning, the Chinese government fired a Long March 3A rocket into orbit. It carried a navigation satellite — the fifth in a planned constellation of 30 or more Beidou orbiters that Beijing hopes will soon rival America’s Global Positioning System.

Submission + - Pancreatic Cancers Shown To Use Fructose (

esocid writes: Although it's widely known that cancers use glucose, a simple sugar, to fuel their growth, this is the first time a link has been shown between fructose and cancer proliferation. The source of fructose in the Western diet is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a corn-based mixture of fructose and glucose (inexpensive, easy to transport and keeps foods moist) that has been on the market since about 1970. HFCS accounts for more than 40 percent of the caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages, and it is the sole sweetener used in American soft drinks.

Heaney found that the pancreatic cancer cells could easily distinguish between glucose and fructose even though they are very similar structurally, and contrary to conventional wisdom, the cancer cells metabolized the sugars in very different ways. Heaney said that while this study was done in pancreatic cancer, these finding may not be unique to that cancer type. As in anti-smoking campaigns, a federal effort should be launched to reduce refined fructose intake, Heaney said. "I think this paper has a lot of public health implications," Heaney said.


Submission + - Experts Break Down the Browser Battle

sonicBewm writes: In the ongoing battle for web browsing market share superiority, Internet Explorer continues to reign supreme. However, being the most used web browser by an almost 3:1 rate does not mean it's the overwhelming favorite of security experts. In fact, third-party analysts say having the most market share actually means Internet Explorer is the most vulnerable of the four major web browsers. Its competitors, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple's Safari, do not face the same number of attacks that Internet Explorer does.

Submission + - Ubuntu's Contribution to Free Software Projects? ( 1

jammag writes: The dispute about whether Ubuntu contributes its fair share to free software projects attracts heated comment from partisans on both sides of the issue. But while the exact percentage of Ubuntu's participation can be viewed negatively or positively — depending on who's parsing — Bruce Byfield points out the larger issue. "The two sides in this argument represent two very different views about what constitutes good citizenship among free software developers," he writes. On one hand, many feel that responsible free software developers must make their modifications available for everyone to share. In contrast, "Canonical has pushed ahead with its changes while keeping them within the Ubuntu distribution." Who's right?

Submission + - The recovery disc rip-off (

nk497 writes: The chances of finding a recovery disc at the bottom of a PC box is getting slimmer, as vendors instead take the cheaper option of installing recovery software on a hard disk partition, leaving the buyer with no physical copy of the operating system they paid for if (or when) the hard disk fails. Users can burn a backup disc, but many aren't as diligent as they should be. While some PC vendors will offer a free or cheap disc at the time of purchase, buying one — or even tracking one down — after the fact can be expensive and take weeks to arrive. “I’ve had a lot of people that have had this problem,” said David Smith, director of independent maintenance company Help With Your PC. “One customer recently found his hard drive had gone, but by the time he’d paid £50 for the recovery disc, paid for a new hard drive and paid for the labour of installing the device, it made more sense to buy a new machine.”
Open Source

Submission + - BlindElephant: Open Source Web App Fingerprinting (

An anonymous reader writes: Patrick Thomas, a vulnerability researcher at Qualys, discusses the open source web application fingerprinting engine BlindElephant he created. BlindElephant is a tool that helps security professionals and systems administrators identify everything running on their servers, including any web applications users may have downloaded. It doesn't check for vulnerabilities or vulnerability to a particular exploit, but rather what version of applications are running on their site. For each application that the tool will support, BlindElephant consumes a number of version directories. All files and directories are processed, and a hash is computed for each file. This hash is stored in a temporary table, along with the path and version of the application it came from. Accuracy of the tool was demonstrated by a large-scale survey on Internet-visible hosts.
PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Hacked? 296

Several readers have sent word that George Hotz (a.k.a. geohot), the hacker best known for unlocking Apple's iPhone, says he has now hacked the PlayStation 3. From his blog post: "I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip. 3 years, 2 months, 11 days...that's a pretty secure system. ... As far as the exploit goes, I'm not revealing it yet. The theory isn't really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can't post dumps. I'm hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone's KBAG."

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269

afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

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