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Comment Capital Wasteland here we come. (Score 1) 368

Zawodny says that the most logical first application of LENR is the home reactor, which would produce heat and electricity for the home while charging the family electric car. Another area is in transportation, with the light, portable reactors powering supersonic aircraft and flying cars without the danger or radiation. It could even be used to power a space plane capable of reaching orbit without stages or external fuel tanks.

The list of potential applications reminds me of the Fallout series of video games. For those of you who haven't played or read about the world in those games, technological philosophies stopped at around the 1950's - 1960's, e.g. once they had fission reactors they stopped looking for better methods. The games take place in the post-nuclear winter era after the inevitable global-thermonuclear war. Houses, cars and most other forms of transportation and structures all had their own nuclear fission reactors built in for generating unlimited power. Nuclear fallout shelters were placed just about every square mile and were actually just covers for running unethical scientific experiments on communities and population groups, though I suppose they did actually serve the shelter purpose as well in some cases.

Submission + - Why no 5.25 inch hard drives? 1

bluefoxlucid writes: Back in the day when you kids weren't all up in my lawn, we had "Bigfoot" style hard drives--5.25" form factor hard drives. A 5.25" circular platter would be 2.25 times as big as a 3.25". The actual platters are smaller, making the difference less striking; but then there's a spindle in the middle too, cutting away at the space on a 3.25" but not diminishing the extra space added by widening the total diameter. With Seagate getting 1TB per platter and drives hanging in bays with plenty of space around them in all but the smallest form factors, why aren't we running 5.25" hard drives and doubling the disk size?

Submission + - Punishing Cheaters: Are We the Dark Knight—Or Just Dark? (

sciencehabit writes: If you could confront the pickpocket who ripped you off in the subway, would you simply demand your wallet back, or would you seek vengeance? Your decision to punish the thief might hinge on whether the thief ended up richer than you, a new study suggests. Scientists have found that our desire to crack down on wrongdoers is motivated by a sense of unfairness rather than mere revenge.

Submission + - U.S. Navy preps for drone dogfights (

jehan60188 writes: "MONTEREY, Calif.--Imagine an aerial dogfight of epic proportions: Fifty aircraft on a side, each prowling the sky for advantage over dozens of adversaries.

If Timothy Chung has his way, such a battle could take place over Southern California by 2015. But before you worry that war is coming to American soil, you should know that Chung's vision is really about a high-tech game of Capture the Flag played by as many as a hundred small, lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles playing their role in a grand challenge of an experiment.

Chung is an assistant professor in the Systems Engineering department at the Naval Postgraduate School here, and one of his long-term projects is figuring out ways to help the U.S. military maintain an advantage in a world where aerial drones have dropped so much in price and complexity that there is substantial concern our enemies could soon have the ability to use them as weapons against us in combat."


Submission + - The missing switch: High-performance monolithic graphene transistors created (

MrSeb writes: "Hardly a day goes by without a top-level research group announcing some kind of graphene-related breakthrough, but this one’s a biggy: Researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany have created high-performance monolithic graphene transistors using a simple lithographic etching process. This could be the missing step that finally paves the way to post-silicon electronics. In theory, according to early demos from the likes of IBM and UCLA, graphene transistors should be capable of switching at speeds between 100GHz and a few terahertz. The problem is, graphene doesn’t have a bandgap — it isn’t a natural semiconductor, like silicon — and so it is proving very hard to build transistors out of the stuff. Until now! The researchers say that current performance “corresponds well with textbook predictions for the cutoff frequency of a metal-semiconductor field-effect transistor,” but they also point out that very simple changes could increase performance “by a factor of ~30.”"

Submission + - Researchers uncover 'Mahdi' malware targeting Iran and Israel (

concertina226 writes: Dubbed 'Mahdi', the Trojan campaign is not a weapon on the scale of the highly-unusual Flame malware discovered in May, and there is some evidence to suggest that it is not the work of the US or its allies.

It is undoubtedly an oddity. After collaborating to sinkhole the malware's command and control servers, the two vendors found that the malware's victims were predominantly business people working on infrastructure projects in Iran and Israel.


Submission + - Small, big-brained animals dodge extinction (

ananyo writes: "Large-brained animals may be less likely to go extinct in a changing world, perhaps because they can use their greater intelligence to adapt their behavior to new conditions, according to an analysis presented to a meeting of conservation biologists this week.
Plotting brain size against body size creates a tidy curve. But some species have bigger or smaller brains than the curve would predict for their body size. And a bigger brain-to-body-size ratio usually means a smarter animal.
The researchers looked at the sizes of such deviations from the curve and their relationships to the fates of two groups of mammalian species — ‘palaeo’ and ‘modern’. Analysis of each group produced similar results: species that weighed less than 10 kilograms and had big brains for their body size were less likely to have gone extinct or be placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list for endangered species. For species larger than about 10 kilograms, the advantage of having a large brain seems to be swamped by the disadvantage of being big — such as attracting the unwelcome attention of humans."


Submission + - Security and mobile jobs market thriving as social media and SEO roles decline (

Qedward writes: The latest trends in online contractor jobs for the second quarter have been published by a jobs website, with iPhone-related jobs outstripping those around Android among the trends. There have also been major changes in the social media space, while the security industry is thriving in the jobs sector.

Mobility is driving the increase in iPhone and Android jobs, while link building projects and SEO jobs are well down, along with Facebook-related jobs which "fell dramatically".

Meanwhile, IT security jobs have increased by almost 50% in two years according to a different survey, while permanent salaries and daily contractor rates are also well up.


Submission + - Why junk electronics should be big business (

An anonymous reader writes: We've heard before about the problem of e-waste — computers and other high-tech gadgets that are tossed into landfills or shipped off to third-world countries when they reach end-of-life. But this article makes the case that there's a huge business opportunity here, with billions of dollars going to waste in the form of metals that could be reclaimed from these old and broken devices. 'At current rates of production, $16 billion (or 320 tons) in gold and $5 billion (7500 tons) in silver are put into media tablets, smartphones, computers, and other devices annually. With growth in demand for smartphones and media tablets showing little sign of diminishing in the next few years, the flow of gold and silver from deposit to waste facilities is only likely to accelerate. ... StEP claims that, in developing nations, 50 percent of the gold in e-waste is lost due to "crude dismantling processes" and only 25 percent of the remainder is recoverable due to the rudimentary technology to hand. In contrast, 25 percent of gold is lost to electronics dismantling in developed nations, and modern facilities are able to recover 95 percent of the rest.'

Comment Re:Never really thought this needed changing (Score 1) 172

Actually, I would say that the biggest problem is that you can't really do much of anything if your user isn't admin level on a windows system. That's why almost every windows user is an administrator on the local machine. Even in enterprise level networks, this is the case with security vulnerabilities mitigated by group policies and patches.

On a *nix box a user can still install programs and use resources as long as it's not making changes outside that user's account. (i.e. restricted to that user's processes and home directory). On a windows machine, without administrative access you can't really do much more than access the internet and run maybe 1/4 of the programs available as long as they're already installed and aren't configured to do something goofy like access the registry or use a location outside the user's home directory or the system temp folders for doing file work.

Unfortunately, most windows programs seems to have been designed to expect administrative access in order to function properly even after installation

Comment Re:Never really thought this needed changing (Score 1) 172

I concede that you're correct about worms, however,
  • trick the user into granting it privilege
  • gain privileged access via a local exploit

I would argue that these two arguments are always valid since there will always be users who aren't paying attention or are ignorant of what's going on with their own machine, and because it's extremely difficult to find and fix every exploit in any large piece of software.

I would still argue that though a worm could flourish under a specific user's account, it would still allow the damage be contained to that one user's account. Would you agree?

Do you also challenge my point's validity concerning traditional viruses, activex drive-by downloads, and the like? If so, what advantage would there be for desktop users in not having root access for all users, in your opinion?

Comment Re:Predictable... (Score 1) 486

Let's be fair about where they built the city. It was founded back in 1718. They didn't really know much about weather patterns back then. Not to mention that it was initially french, then went to the spanish after the seven years war (transition was from 1763 to 69), then became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

So where it's built is something we can blame the French for, we didn't get it until almost an entire century later. The levees... well, they've been relying on the natural levees since the place was initially founded to avoid major catastrophes and problems with levees, both natural and otherwise, is nothing new for that city. We are all aware of it now because of how horribly our emergency services responded to Katrina, which opened the door to the worst, which we all got to have spoon fed to us by our news media.

Here's some history, btw:

Comment Never really thought this needed changing (Score 5, Interesting) 172

See personally I never thought it would be in discussion whether to allow non-root users to install packages. In my opinion it's one of the great advantages of *nix systems as far as security goes. Even the distributions with the root user disabled to make it easier on a desktop user, like Ubuntu, still require use of the sudo command. It's one of the biggest reasons certain worms and drive by download techniques which crippled Microsoft OS's never worked on *nix systems.

Comment Health problems are generally ignored more (Score 1) 1

by those without health insurance. I personally tend to ignore issues that I consider small or that I feel will heal fine by themselves. This is a habit I developed when I had no insurance, but even now I still tend towards that behavior since I have a high deductible plan which wouldn't help me with smaller bills anyway. Apparently, according to this I'm not alone. It seems there's a tendency in 19 to 32 year olds for this kind of behavior due to a kind of "bulletproof" mentality. Then again, some others seem to dread what the insurance companies will do. And who can blame them with things like this, insurance premiums going up due to people dropping their insurance, may become commonplace.

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