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Submission + - Reconstructing a criminal's appearance from DNA (

An anonymous reader writes: Police sketch artists might soon be trading in the pencil and paper for a genetics lab. Forensic biologists say they may soon be able to reconstruct a criminal's profile from the DNA they leave at a crime scene.

Submission + - US Payroll Tax Exemption Sought for H-1B Workers

theodp writes: Worried about a rising tide of protectionism and looking to improve their ability to compete in the worldwide market, India's government and IT industry wants the U.S. to stop collecting Social Security taxes from H-1B workers and their employers. Anand Sharma, India's minister of commerce and industry, argued Wednesday that a totalization agreement granting the exemption would be 'mutually beneficial' for U.S. workers in India, although immigration policy analyst Daniel Costa noted that the waiver 'would give companies another incentive to hire H-1Bs because that's an extra 14% of savings.' Speaking of payroll tax exemptions, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has introduced the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act, which aims to provide businesses with relief from the employer share of the Social Security payroll tax on wages paid to new U.S. employees who replace employees who had been performing similar duties overseas.

Plants Near Chernobyl Adapt To Contaminated Soil 293

lbalbalba writes "In April 1986, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine exploded and sent radioactive particles flying through the air, infiltrating the surrounding soil. Despite the colossal disaster, some plants in the area seem to have adapted well, flourishing in the contaminated soil."
Wireless Networking

Providing Wireless In the World's Most Dangerous and Remote Places 40

grcumb writes "The Economist magazine is running a brief profile of Digicel, a 'minnow' in the wireless telecoms market that has distinguished itself by setting up shop in some of the most unlikely (and dangerous) markets in the world, including Haiti and Papua New Guinea, whose capital, Port Moresby, has one of the highest murder rates in the world."
Classic Games (Games)

'Old School' Arcade Still Popular In NYC 177

pickens writes "In 2005, there were 44 licensed video game arcades in New York, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs; today, 23 survive. With the expansion of interactive online gaming, video game action has largely shifted to the home. 'Arcades are an anachronism now,' says Danny Frank, a spokesman for the Amusement and Music Owners Association of New York. 'They exist only in shopping malls.' But Chinatown Fair has become a center for all the outcasts in the city to bond over their shared love for a good 20-punch combo and 'old school' games that more popular arcades don't stock anymore — the classic Street Fighter II from 1991 and King of Fighters 1996, for example, as well as Ms Pac-Man and Time Crisis. 'Now, you can play a million people from all around the world,' says one player. 'For me, it's not the same as playing face-to-face. The young'uns may not care, but I do.'"

Submission + - Graphene promises to revolutionize DNA sequencing (

Ken Healy writes: From the more-proof-that-graphene-is-the-next-best-thing-since-sliced-bread dept.

(Disclaimer: This isn't going to nuke your computer or eat your cat, but I am one of the scientists who carried out this research) Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that graphene could revolutionize DNA sequencing, reading our genetic codes so much faster and cheaper that, one day, every doctor could scan your DNA in minutes to figure out what's wrong. The researchers made a nanometer-sized hole in a graphene film and threaded DNA-molecules through it. They sense every DNA molecule as it passes through by monitoring the blockage of salt ions that are constantly flowing through the pore. Graphene is so much better than other materials for DNA sequencing because it is so thin and strong. The thinner the material, the more precisely DNA molecules can be probed. Graphene is the only material that anyone has been able to do this with that is as thin as each individual A, G, T or C in the DNA code.


Where To Start With DIY Home Security? 825

secretrobotron writes "I'm a recent university graduate from a co-op system which has kept me on the move every other semester, so I've never really had a permanent place to live, and I've never had the opportunity (or the capital) to buy expensive things. Now that I'm working, those restrictions on my life are gone and I'm living in an apartment with things I don't want stolen. I would love to build a DIY home security system, but I don't even know where to start since Google searches reveal things like, which help only to an extent for a curious newcomer. Has anybody out there successfully built a home security system on a budget? If so, where did you start?" Related query: When similar questions have come up before, many readers have recommended Linux-based Zoneminder (last updated more than a year ago); is that still the state of the art?

Feds Bust Chinese Firm's Hybrid Car Data Heist 203

coondoggie writes "An FBI investigation has led a Michigan couple to be charged with stealing hybrid car information from GM to use in a Chinese auto outfit. A federal indictment charged Yu Qin, aka Yu Chin, 49, and his wife, Shanshan Du, aka Shannon Du, 51, of Troy, Michigan with conspiracy to possess trade secrets without authorization, unauthorized possession of trade secrets, and wire fraud. One of the individuals was also charged with obstruction of justice, said Barbara McQuade, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in a statement. GM estimates that the value of the stolen documents is over $40 million."

Submission + - The race for realtime photorealism

An anonymous reader writes: A recent article in American Scientist describes the battle between Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA for the next generation hardware that will serve all our graphics needs. At the SIGGRAPH conference next week NVIDIA will present OptiX as their future platform for ray tracing entirely on GPUs, while Intel and AMD will be showing KeyShot which is entirely CPU driven. Around the corner AMD's Fusion architecture looks very interesting as well. Who will win this battle for realtime rendering? And when will we see ray tracing in games?

Safari Privacy Bug May Be Leaking Your Data 152

richi writes "If you use Safari, your browser may be leaking your private information to any website you visit. Jeremiah Grossman, the CTO of WhiteHat Security, has discovered some Very Bad News. I have some analysis and other reactions over at my Computerworld blog. The potential for spam and phishing is huge. A determined attacker might even be able to steal previously-entered customer data." In short, autofill for Web forms is enabled by default in Safari 4 / 5 (and remotely exploitable), and the data that this feature has access to includes the user's local address book — even if the information has never been entered into a Web form.

Why Designers Hate Crowdsourcing 569

An anonymous reader writes "Since Wired's Jeff Howe coined the term in 2006, 'crowdsourcing' has been a buzzword in the tech industry, and a business model on the rise. is a site that hosts design contests for small businesses requiring relatively smaller design projects. Anyone can submit their near finished pieces of work to the contests, but only one winner gets paid. Forbes covers just why established graphic designers are so angry at this business model's catching on."
Open Source

Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs 133

An anonymous reader writes "In my job all of our multifunction copiers scan to PDF but many of our users want and expect those PDFs to be text searchable. I looked around for software that would create text searchable pdfs but most are very expensive and I couldn't find any that were open source (free). I did find some open source packages like CuneiForm and Exactimage that could in theory do the job, but they were hard to install and difficult to set up and use over a network. Then I stumbled upon WatchOCR. This is a Live CD distro that can easily create a server on your network that provides an OCR service using watched folders. Now all my scanners scan to a watched folder, WatchOCR picks up those files and OCRs them, and then spits them out into another folder. It uses CuneiForm and ExactImage but it is all configured and ready to deploy. It can even be remotely managed via the Web interface. Hope this proves helpful to someone else who has this same situation."

Submission + - World’s First Molten Salt Solar Plant Opens ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Sicily has just announced the opening of the world’s first concentrated solar power (CSP) facility that uses molten salt as a heat collection medium. Since molten salt is able to reach very high temperatures (over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit) and can hold more heat than the synthetic oil used in other CSP plants, the plant is able to continue to produce electricity long after the sun has gone down. The Archimede plant has a capacity of 5 megawatts with a field of 30,000 square meters of mirrors and more than 3 miles of heat collecting piping for the molten salt. The cost for this initial plant was around 60 million Euros.

Submission + - IBM, Google, Oracle, Red Hat called hypocrites (

An anonymous reader writes: TechEye reports "IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and Google are being accused of double standards in lobbying over the European Interoperability Framework (EIF)." The sweeping-scathing attack comes from Florian Muller, known for his previous efforts in the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, who says he's been watching the four companies lobbying. He referred to a New York Times article on a lobbying war that's going on in the EU over guidelines for interoperability between governments. Open standards are the big issue. Florian's FOSSpatents blog presents a list of allegations of non-openness against the four: IBM's patent threat letter to TurboHercules is an attack on interoperability, Oracle charges $90 for an ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office that Sun gave away for free, Google keeps search a secret and fights the privacy-friendly Scroogle frontend. Red Hat, finally, is called a "hanger-on" that follows IBM anywhere, including the allegedly unfair OIN patent project.

Submission + - Intel Atom Chips Used in 1000mph Supersonic Car (

jhernik writes: Intel chips are being used to control the fins designed to keep the Bloodhound Supersonic Car firmly planted on terra firma

Intel’s Atom processors are being used to help a land-based car smash the sound barrier (approximately 776.2mph) and reach speeds of up to Mach 1.4.

The Bloodhound Supersonic Car is being led by Richard Noble, who was the holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997. Noble was also the project director of ThrustSSC, the vehicle which holds the current land speed record of 763 mph, set at Black Rock Desert, Nevada in 1997.

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