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Submission + - Uber Lowers Drunk Driving Arrests in S.F.–Dramatically (

schwit1 writes: There were only two drunken driving arrests last New Year's Eve in San Francisco, the lowest since 2009, according to crime statistics from the San Francisco Police Department provided to the Ferenstein Wire.

The recent data comes on the heels of a new study revealing that the introduction of Uber's low-cost service, UberX, reduces drunk driving deaths all over California.

Temple University's Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal published a new paper which finds that (not surprisingly) cheap taxi-like options make it easier for people to make the safer decision and call an Uber or Lyft rather than driving home themselves.

If the benefits of Uber in California were extended to the entire country, ride-sharing would save billions of dollars and hundreds of lives.

Submission + - Space Elevator 'green lit' (

gurps_npc writes: Here is a press release with very little information from Thoth Technology (1 year old company — sells cameras, sensors, rovers, and computers for space applications), about how a space elevator design has been 'green lighted'. No information about who green lighted it, where the funding will come, where in Canada they want to build it, etc. May be vaporware, but still it's a plan for a 12.4 mile tall building — bigger than Mt. Everest.

Submission + - Windows 10 Blocking Counterfeit Games? (

Eloking writes: Microsoft's new unified services agreement includes language that has some worrying Microsoft may scan their Windows 10 devices for pirated software and block its use.

Submission + - DNA can efficiently store data for thousands of years (

hypnosec writes: Researchers have managed to store data onto DNA with higher efficiency and successfully read it off without errors. Researchers including Robert Grass, Ph.D., of ETH Zurich, successfully encoded 83 kilobytes of text from the Swiss Federal Charter from 1291 and the Method of Archimedes from the 10th century onto DNA. The team then encapsulated the DNA in silica spheres and warmed it to nearly 160 degrees Fahrenheit for one week, which is the equivalent of keeping it for 2,000 years at about 50 degrees. When they decoded it, it was error-free.

Submission + - Samsung Takes Wraps Off 15TB 2.5-in SSD (

Lucas123 writes: Samsung has unveiled an 2.5-in SSD with 15.35TB of capacity, in what is indisputably the highest capacity for a flash drive of that form factor. Samsung, which made the announcement during a keynote presentation at the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara this week, revealed virtually no information about the new PM1633a SSDs specifications — other than the capacity. It also would not say when it would be available. At the same conference, Samsung announced three new flash drive models that will be based on its 48-layer 3D V-NAND technology. Samsung announced last week it is now mass producing its V-NAND chips, which can store 32GB (256Gbits). The other new model SSDs, which include the PM1633, PM1725 and the PM953, come in a 2.5-in, a half-height/half-length module and a M.2 expansion card form factors, respectively. Samsung's PM1725 expansion card offers a fast random read rate of 1 million IOPS and 120,000 write IOPS.

Submission + - Intel And Fujitsu Demo Light-Based Server Connectivity (

itwbennett writes: At the annual Fujitsu Forum in Munich, Germany last week, Intel and Fujitsu showed of a new server prototype using Intel's silicon photonics technology to power an Optical PCI Express (OPCIe) design. The demo showed the ability to connect separate boxes with compute or storage nodes so that they appear to the CPU to be on the main motherboard when in fact they are actually being fully virtualized. The SSDs and Xeon Phis appeared to the RX200 server as if they were on the motherboard. Thanks to the speed of light, data traveling a few meters down the cable had no latency. Fujitsu’s approach showed three key benefits: increasing storage capacity, because the server box is no longer a limit; Fujitsu was able to include Xeon Phi cards for massive compute power, something that would be impossible to do with hard drives in there; and the server ran much cooler.

Submission + - Apple II DOS source code released (

gbooch writes: The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is not just a museum of hardware, but also of software. The Museum has made public such gems as the source code for MacPaint, Photoshop, and APL, and now code from the Apple II. As their site reports:

"With thanks to Paul Laughton, in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Damer, founder and curator of the Digibarn Computer Museum, and with the permission of Apple Inc., we are pleased to make available the 1978 source code of Apple II DOS for non-commercial use. This material is Copyright © 1978 Apple Inc., and may not be reproduced without permission from Apple."

Submission + - HTC One Max with fingerprint tech. Review (

An anonymous reader writes: At a conference held in Dubai HTC Corporation announced the One Max smartphone, which will be the third of a series of individual " One ".Smartphone would be from tablet class in size 5.9-inch with the same specifications younger brother HTC One ,so we use the phone in a lengthy and here's a detailed experience of the smartphone.

Submission + - Microsoft abandons stack ranking (

Strudelkugel writes: In an overhaul of its employee-review system being announced Tuesday, Microsoft will stop requiring managers to rank workers on a scale of one to five on a "bell" curve. The system—often called "stack" or "forced" ranking— meant a small percentage of workers had to be designated as underperformers. The rankings were also crucial in allocating bonuses and equity awards.In place of the bell curve and numerical-ranking system, Microsoft managers will give employees more frequent feedback on how they're doing their jobs. Managers also will have more flexibility in how they dole out bonuses. The changes take effect immediately. The stack-ranking system was designed to ensure Microsoft's most-effective employees were awarded the lion's share of bonus pools, and were first in line for promotions. Such forced-ranking systems were widely copied after they rose to popularity at General Electric under CEO Jack Welch, but have fallen out of favor in recent years. Some current and former Microsoft employees say the software giant's system has serious flaws. Critics said the review program sometimes resulted in capricious rankings, power struggles among managers jockeying for their employees to get better reviews, and unhealthy competition among colleagues.

Submission + - What are some robust backup strategies to counteract modern day issues?

An anonymous reader writes: With the fact that modern SSDs are unrecoverable once TRIM does its magic, and recent advances in ransomware, it seems that backup technology is still stuck in the Dark Ages, except that good old tape (which was reasonably robust) is not an option for most except for the enterprise.

What is a good backup strategy these days that doesn't allow access to all files at once, or if so, allows read-only access? RAID 1 devices are great, but if malware hits them, they just overwrite the data twice.

The ideal would be a backup server that pulls data from the clients. That way, malware can affect data in flight, but cannot touch data already stored before the malware runs. However, there are few programs outside the enterprise (Netbackup, TSM) that offer this functionality. Retrospect used to be a good standby, but they stopped supporting most optical drives (so one is likely SOL if the ol' Yamaha DVD writer breaks down.)

Of course, there is the cloud, but lets be realistic. A terabyte stored on S3 costs around $100 a month and takes a long time to put there as well as access. So, it needs to be a local solution. A NAS is a nice try, but malware can easily zero everything on the drive share.

Without having the big bucks for a Netbackup appliance, what is a robust method of doing backups these days, preferably a way that supports bare metal restores?

Submission + - India's Mars Mission back on track after hiccup!

rahultyagi writes: After running into some problems in its 4th orbit raising maneuver 2 days ago, Mangalyaan (India's Mars Orbiter Mission) seems back on track now. A supplementary burn lasting ~304 seconds was completed today, raising the apogee of MOM to 118642 km — the intended apogee after the original 4th orbit raising maneuver. After the glitch two days ago, ISRO again seems to be on track to become the first entity to have a successful mars mission on its first attempt. Though, of course, there are quite a few things that might still go wrong before this can be called a successful mission. Let's all hope that a year from now we are all celebrating the entry of another nation into the small club capable of successful interplanetary missions.

Submission + - Nexus 5 is designed to work on Verizon Wireless, and most other networks ( 1

smaxp writes: The rumors that the Google Nexus 5 will operate on Verizon are likely true. That’s because there is no technical reason why the Nexus 5 wouldn’t work on the Verizon Wireless network, or any place else in the world. The Nexus 5 has a Qualcomm WTR1605L transceiver used to connect to carrier networks. It is a multimode/multiband device that supports all the carrier networks in the world.

Submission + - "micro-nano" surface Texture for cooling Surfaces under Extreme Heat

rtoz writes: Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power plant was affected by Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. Power Plant Engineers sprayed seawater on the reactors to cool them. But it didn’t work out. Because, water droplets couldn’t land on surfaces that hot. They instantly begin to evaporate, forming a thin layer of vapor and then bouncing along it — just as they would in a hot cooking pan.

Now, MIT researchers have come up with a way to cool hot surfaces more effectively by keeping droplets from bouncing. Their solution: Decorate the surface with tiny structures and then coat it with particles about 100 times smaller. Using that approach, they produced textured surfaces that could be heated to temperatures at least 100 degrees Celsius higher than smooth ones before droplets bounced.

Submission + - Microsoft Developing Self-Powered Racks With on-Board Fuel Cells (

miller60 writes: Microsoft wants to bring power generation inside the rack. The company says it will test racks with built-in fuel cells, a move that would eliminate the need for expensive power distribution systems seen in traditional data centers. Using a rack-level fuel cell can “collapse the entire energy supply chain, from the power plant to the server motherboard, into the confines of a single server cabinet,” says Microsoft, which plans to use biogas as fuel. The plan builds on Microsoft's plan for poop-powered data centers built alongside water treatment plants. The company has published a white paper describing its research.

Submission + - Sunlight Helps Turn Salty Water Fresh (

MTorrice writes: With energy-efficient desalination techniques, water-starved communities could produce fresh water from salty sources such as seawater and industrial wastewater. But common methods like reverse osmosis require pumping the water, which uses a substantial amount of energy. So some researchers have turned to forward osmosis, because in theory it should use less energy. Now a team has demonstrated a forward osmosis system that desalinates salty water with the help of sunlight. The method uses a pair of hydrogels to absorb and squeeze out freshwater.

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