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Submission + - 3 Reasons Why Microsoft Needs 3 Surface Tablets (

CowboyRobot writes: It's looking like Microsoft is planning to replace its underachieving Surface tablet with two new products, but it may need three to finally have success with the Surface. 1) Three tablets would provide an entry point and an upgrade path. 2) Multiple Surface RT models would help Windows RT survive OEM skepticism. and 3) Microsoft needs device fanfare to accompany Windows 8.1, and to coincide with enterprise hardware upgrades. If the company releases one of the models before the end of the year, the device would arrive in time not only for the holiday season, but also to cash in on user interest in Windows 8.1, which will be released later this fall. Surface devices released next year, meanwhile, could capitalize on enterprise hardware upgrades, which are expected to pick up as Windows XP's April 8, 2014 end-of-service date nears.

Submission + - Royal Navy Deployed Laser Weapons During the Falklands War ( 1

Zothecula writes: Despite recent demonstrations by the US Navy, we still think of laser weapons as being things of the future. However, previously-classified British documents prove that not only were the major powers working on laser weapons in the 1970s and 80s, but that they were already being deployed with combat units in war zones. A letter from the Ministry of Defence released under the 30-year rule reveals that laser weapons were deployed on Royal Navy ships during the Falklands War in 1982, and that the British government was concerned about similar weapons being developed behind the Iron Curtain.

Submission + - Apple Next iPhone Release Date is September 10 (

An anonymous reader writes: As per reports, Apple may release the next iPhone on September 10. It s not clear whether iPhone 5S will release on that date or iPhone 5C. Apple may equip iPhone 5S with fingerprint sensor technology and iPhone 5C is rumored to be launched in the emerging markets

Submission + - Playing StarCraft Could Boost Your Cognitive Flexibility (

briglass writes: Imagine being a total non-gamer and then suddenly playing an hour of StarCraft a day for almost two months. A new study of mine demonstrates that a group of female gaming novices (seriously novice, as in 0 to 1 hour of gaming per week novice) demonstrated increased cognitive flexibility after playing StarCraft, a sort of fast-paced chess on steroids — the control group played The Sims. It's been well known that video gaming can lead to psychological benefits, such as faster perceptual information processing after playing first-person shooter games. But this new study, published in PLOS ONE, shows that video gaming can also affect higher-level cognitive functions. The StarCraft game was customized to be adaptive and remain challenging as the newly minted gamers honed their skills, and in-game behavior was recorded to determine what aspects of StarCraft leads to the boost in flexibility.

Submission + - London Bans Recycling Bins That Track Phones (

judgecorp writes: In a swift response to a media storm, the City of London has closed down a trial of recycling bins which track the phones of pedestrians. Renew provides recycling bins funded by digital advertising, and has been told to stop a trial where bins tracked phones. Although the CEO of Renew claims there was no intention to breach privacy, his own marketing material says otherwise.

Submission + - BlackBerry Officially Open to Sale (

Nerval's Lobster writes: BlackBerry is considering whether to sell itself off to the highest bidder. The company’s Board of Directors has announced the founding of a Special Committee to explore so-called “strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale,” which apparently includes “possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.” BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins added that, while the committee did its work, the company would continue to its recent overhead-reduction strategy. Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial—BlackBerry’s largest shareholder—announced that he would resign from the company’s board in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest. News that BlackBerry is considering a potential sale should surprise nobody. Faced with fierce competition from Google and Apple, the company’s market-share has tumbled over the past several quarters. In a desperate bid to regain its former prominence in the mobile-device industry, BlackBerry developed and released BlackBerry 10, a next-generation operating system meant to compete toe-to-toe against Google Android and Apple iOS—despite a massive ad campaign, however, early sales of BlackBerry 10 devices have proven somewhat underwhelming.

Submission + - Could Humanity Really Build 'Elysium'?

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Miriam Kramer writes at that in the new movie "Elysium," Earth is beyond repair, and the rich and powerful have decided to leave it behind to live in a large, rotating space station stocked with mansions, grass, trees, water and gravity. "The premise is totally believable to me. I spent 28 years working on NASA's International Space Station and retired last summer as the director of ISS at NASA Headquarters. When I took a look at the Elysium space station, I thought to myself, that's certainly achievable in this millennium," says Mark Uhran, former director of the International Space Station Division in NASA's Office of Human Exploration and Operations. "It's clear that the number-one challenge is chemical propulsion." Nuclear propulsion could be a viable possibility eventually, but the idea isn't ready for prime time yet. "We learned an incredible amount with [the International Space Station] and we demonstrated that we have the technology to assemble large structures in space." The bottom line: "If you threw everything you had at it, could you reach a space station of the scale of Elysium in 150 years?" says Uhran. "That's a pretty tall order."

Submission + - Charges Devs $2,700 For Security Review (

jfruh writes: Interested in offering a paid app for's CRM/ERP platform? If you're planning on going through the company's AppExchange, that's about to become a pricier proposition for you. Saying that "trust is our number one value," the company is now going to charge between $300 and $2,700 for the initial security review necessary for an app to be listed in the app store. Free apps will not be charged.

Submission + - See Ice Cap Melting Cycle, in 100,000 year Beats (

retroworks writes: Blogger Kim Martineau reviews an article, published in Nature, on climate change. Neither blogger nor study author denies global warming, but the video might add fuel to the discussion. In 100,000 year cycles, the simulation shows that the north pole's ice sheet recedes rapidly (in relation to growth), in 100,000 year cycles, and grows back again at a slower rate. The chart looks almost like a heart rate or pulse monitor reading.. Whatever the cause, the tipping point when warming occurs always seems to happen quickly.

"In a new study in Nature, Maureen Raymo, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and her colleagues show that variations in sunlight interact with Earth’s topography and the size of ice sheets to control the 100,000 year cycles. One important finding: as ice sheets grow bigger, they also become more vulnerable to melting."

The authors give their take. “The larger the ice sheet, the colder the climate has to be to preserve it,” says study coauthor Heinz Blatter, an emeritus professor at ETH Zurich. As ice sheets pushed as far south as New York during the last ice age, a brief warm spell was enough to trigger their catastrophic melting and retreat. Co-Author Maureen Raymo of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says “Sea level was rising at rates of four meters [13 feet] per century during the interval of most rapid melting. It is a bit troubling to think about what a small amount of warming can do to the stability of polar ice sheets.”

Submission + - NASA maps Earth-killer asteroids in one image (

cylonlover writes: There’s something comforting about a map with “You are here” marked on it, but not when the arrow points to a spot where giant asteroids are whizzing by like cannon balls in a pirate movie. NASA has released a map of the inner Solar System showing the orbits of the 1,400 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA) known as of early this year. According to the agency, the plots show the orbits of asteroids over 460 ft (140 m) in diameter that pass within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth.

Submission + - Coffee May Impair Fetal Brain Development (

sciencehabit writes: It’s often one of the first questions a woman asks her physician when she learns she’s pregnant: Can I keep drinking coffee or caffeinated sodas? Soon-to-be moms are generally told by doctors not to drink more than a cup or two of coffee a day, a recommendation in line with a 2010 review concluding moderate caffeine consumption doesn’t promote premature births or miscarriages or harm fetal growth. But a new study in mice offers the controversial suggestion that at larger doses, caffeine can impair memory and increase the risk of having seizures.

Submission + - NASA-Appointed Team Set Out Priorities for a Europa Surface Mission (

astroengine writes: Europa has only been seen from afar, but its aura of intrigue has inspired scientists to study ideas as to how to explore the icy Jovian moon. In a new study published in the journal Astrobiology [paper], a NASA-appointed science definition team lays out the rich tapestry of discovery facing any mission to study Europa, but what questions do we need answering? “If one day humans send a robotic lander to the surface of Europa, we need to know what to look for and what tools it should carry,” said Robert Pappalardo, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the study’s lead author. “There is still a lot of preparation that is needed before we could land on Europa, but studies like these will help us focus on the technologies required to get us there, and on the data needed to help us scout out possible landing locations. Europa is the most likely place in our solar system beyond Earth to have life today, and a landed mission would be the best way to search for signs of life.”

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