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Submission + - Turing maths poses simple origin for complex skins (

techbeat writes: "The labyrinthine patterns on the skins of some animals may be the result of interbreeding between two more simply patterned species," writes New Scientist. A Japanese team of researchers tuned parameters within reaction-diffusion equations, dreamed up decades ago by Alan Turing , the second world war code breaker, so that they produced the patterns of two spotted salmonids. The researchers "crossed" these parameters, producing a set of intermediate values, which they plugged these into the equations. The resulting in silico offspring had coats that matched those seen in real, hybrid salmonids.

Submission + - Los Angeles Unveils $578 million school ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The AP reports, "Next month's opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools . . . will mark the inauguration of the nation's most expensive public school ever. The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of "Taj Mahal" schools....The features include fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex's namesake, a manicured public park, and a state-of-the-art swimming pool. Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, calls it "A really impressive environment for learning". Critics note that nearly 3,000 teachers have been laid off over the past two years, the academic year and programs have been slashed, the district faces a $640 million shortfall and some schools persistently rank among the nation's lowest performing."

Submission + - Tribalism is the enemy within (

climenole writes: "Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are “wrong by default”. It’s the great-granddaddy of racism and sexism. And the most dangerous kind of tribalism is completely invisible: it has nothing to do with someone’s “birth tribe” and everything to do with their affiliations: where they work, which sports team they support, which linux distribution they love."

Submission + - IBM crafts silicon optical amplifier (

An anonymous reader writes: LIght amplifiers have been called the optical-transistor, because they will someday enable all our electronic devices to use light instead of electricity to compute. If this report pans out as expected, then this ultra-cheap CMOS light amplifier from IBM has begun to realize the dream of silicon photonics:

"Optical amplifiers used in applications like telecommunication links must be made with materials such as indium gallium arsenide phosphide today. IBM researchers said they have been able to do the same thing for other applications using a much less expensive standard silicon process. Fabricated at its Yorktown Heights, N.Y., pilot line using the same silicon photonic waveguides used for telecommunications optical interconnects, the new silicon optical amplifier targets the mid-infrared band used by heat sensors, medical imagers and industrial process monitors...--EETimes"

Open Source

Submission + - Open Source Hardware Gets Defined - Linux Magazine (

An anonymous reader writes: Industry leaders in open source hardware published a working definition of open source hardware. The definition, which consists of 11 tenants all projects must adhere to in order to be recognized as open source, is the first document of its kind to be published with regard to open source hardware. The definition also came published with a set of endorsers. The list features members of Creative Commons, Wired, MAKE, MIT Media Lab and many others.

Submission + - Hotels the industry leader in credit card theft. (

katarn writes: A study released this year found that 38 percent of the credit card hacking cases last year involved the hotel industry. At hotels with inadequate data security, the greatest amount of credit card information can be obtained using the most simplified methods. It doesn’t require brilliance on the part of the hacker. Most of the chronic security breaches in the hotel industry are the result of a failure to equip, or to properly store or transmit this kind of data, and that starts with the point-of-sale credit card swiping systems.

Submission + - Chips that Protect Themselves (

cowpiboy writes: The Design Automation Conference (DAC) has posted an interesting article about designing chips to be more secure to reverse engineering of IP, Trojan insertion, etc.:

Leading-edge integrated circuits can cost more than their weight in gold and often control electronic systems of far greater value. However, few mechanisms are currently available to protect investments made by individuals, commercial entities and institutions in electronic products and related intellectual property (IP). Hardware piracy has reached an unprecedented scale and fuels serious threats of subversion by malicious insertions (Trojans). These threats have been articulated by business and military strategists, and confirmed by forensic security experts analyzing recent incidents. In particular, software and network systems running on subverted chips are vulnerable to concerted, remotely-activated, untraceable breakins. Responding to these challenges in a scalable and cost-effective way requires chips and entire systems that protect themselves from a wide range of attacks, as well as new EDA tools and methodologies for design, verification and test of such chips. These tools integrate recently developed techniques for hardware security and novel design primitives into conventional EDA flows, while preventing or detecting side channels, backdoors, and malicious alterations in functionality. In this article we outline key challenges, introduce recent ideas and ongoing efforts, formulate an agenda for research in IC security, and suggest how EDA techniques can be employed in this context.


Submission + - NASA,Soviet astronauts set records, land on Earth (

coondoggie writes: Bumping back to Earth, NASA’s Jeff Williams and Soviet Flight Engineer Max Suraev landed their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft on the steppes of Kazakhstan Thursday, wrapping up a five-and-a-half-month stay aboard the International Space Station. The Soyuz landed on its bottom in nearly 4 feet of snow, and was rolled over and dragged about 20 feet by the winds tugging on its main parachute. Expedition 22 Commander Williams and Suraev spent 167 days onboard the ISS helping receive two US space shuttles and two Russian cargo spaceships. Williams now has logged 362 total days in space, placing him fourth on the all-time US list of long-duration space travelers. Peggy Whitson, who has spent 377 days in space, tops that list, according to NASA.

Submission + - Japan to standardize electric vehicle chargers (

JoshuaInNippon writes: Four major Japanese car manufacturers and one power company (Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Tokyo Electric) have teamed up with over 150 business and government entities in Japan to form a group to promote standardization in electric vehicle chargers and charging stations. The group hopes to leverage current Japanese electric vehicle technology and spread standardization throughout the country, as well as aim towards worldwide acceptance of their standardized charger model. In a very Japanese manner, the group has decided to call themselves "CHAdeMO," a play on the English words "charge" and "move," as well as a Japanese pun that encourages tea-drinking while waiting the 15+ minutes it will take to charge one's vehicle battery.

Submission + - bill to ban all salt in restaurant cooking (

lord_rotorooter writes: Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt will have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese.

Submission + - Doctors Skirt FDA To Heal Patients With Stem Cells ( 1

kkleiner writes: For many years countless individuals in the US have had to watch with envy as dogs and horses with joint and bone injuries have been cured with stem cell procedures that the FDA has refused to approve for humans. Now, in an exciting development Singularity Hub reports that Regenerative Sciences Inc. in Colorado has found a way to skirt the FDA and provide these same stem cell treatments to humans. The results have been stunning, allowing many patients to walk or run who have not been able to do so for years. There’s no surgery needed, just a needle to extract and then re-inject the cells where they are needed. There has always been a lot of hype around stem cells, but this is the real deal. Real humans are getting real treatment that works, and we should all hope that more companies will begin offering this procedure in other states soon.

Submission + - Google to Restart Talks with China (

eldavojohn writes: Following the infamous attacks allegedly carried out by the Chinese government, Google sent a strongly worded message to China. Despite the show of plumage continues to operate filtered. While both parties are silent about any resolution, Google and China have planned to restart talks and negotiations over Google operating unfiltered in China. If you have a subscription, you can read about the story from its original source, the Wall Street Journal. The print edition of the WSJ names Google policy executive Ross LaJeunesse as their representative meeting with Chinese officials.

Submission + - Qt Ported to Android (

tuxcantfly writes: Qt, Nokia's cross-platform library used for the Symbian and upcoming Meego mobile platforms, has been ported to Android a third-party developer. Most of Qt, except the OpenGL support, has already been ported — a video is available, showing the new animation framework in action. Will this new port finally allow standard Linux desktop and mobile applications to be brought to Android? See the project website for the SDK and instructions.

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