Tablizer writes: "Update:...NASA’s New Horizons mission is returning to normal science operations after a July 4 anomaly and remains on track for its July 14 flyby of Pluto. The investigation into the anomaly that caused New Horizons to enter "safe mode" on July 4 has concluded that no hardware or software fault occurred on the spacecraft. The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby. No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter.
zoobab writes: The Unitary Patent for Europe is being challenged at the Belgian Constitutional Court. One of the plaintiffs, Benjamin Henrion, is a fifteen-year campaigner against software patents in Europe. He says: "The Unitary Patent is the third major attempt to legalize software patents in Europe. The captive European Patent Court will become the Eastern District of Texas when it comes to software patent disputes in Europe. As happened in America, the concentration of power will force up legal costs, punish small European companies, and benefit large patent holders."
abhishekmdb writes: A new study has shown that pharmaceutical drugs cause more overdoses and more deaths than all of the illegal drugs on the market combined. According to the government’s own statistics, listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, deaths relating to pharmaceutical drugs rose to roughly 23,000 last year, which accounts for over half of the total overdose deaths in the country for that time period.
Additionally, a recent study conducted by researchers with the University of Virginia, University of Arkansas, the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, and the American Institutes for Research reconfirmed the known dangers of pharmaceutical drug abuse.
The study concluded that, “Teens need help before they reach these tipping points for prescription drug abuse. Adults spotting teens with very high levels of anxiety and at least moderate use of other restricted substances should realize that these are students with a high likelihood of prescription abuse. Male teens with a high need to be popular and teens in general appear to be at exceptional risk. Campaigns must target parents as well, since they clearly underestimate both the physical risks of prescription drugs and the likelihood that their children will abuse these drugs.” Sadly, the authors of the study described any average teenager, however, it does give us some insight into the root causes of teenage drug abuse. Link to Original Source
Derek du Preez writes: Computer scientists at the University of Glasgow claim to have built a working model of a ‘multi-million pound cloud’ infrastructure with a budget of £4,000, using just Lego bricks and a handful of Raspberry Pi computer boards.
Researchers have linked together 56 cut-price Raspberry Pi computer boards in racks made from Lego, which mimic the function and modular design of commercial cloud computing infrastructure.
The aim is to allow computer science researchers and students to develop a practical understanding of cloud infrastructure, which Glasgow University claims is difficult when working with commercial providers.
It said that cloud computing service providers ‘maintain a great deal of secrecy over how their systems work beyond the software available to end-users’.
eldavojohn writes: PBS's NewsHour interviewed Geoffrey Donovan on his recent research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine that noted a correlation between trees (at least the 22 North American ash varieties) and human health: 'Well my basic hypothesis was that trees improve people's health. And if that's true, then killing 100 million of them in 10 years should have an effect. So if we take away these 100 million trees, does the health of humans suffer? We found that it does.' The basis of this research is Agrilus planipennis, the emerald ash borer, which has systematically destroyed 100 million trees in the eastern half of the United States since 2002. After accounting for all variables, the research found that an additional 15,000 people died from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 more from lower respiratory disease in the 15 states infected with the bug compared with uninfected areas of the country. While the exact cause and effect remains unknown, this research appears to be reinforcing data for people who regularly enjoy forest bathing as well as providing evidence that the natural environment provides major public health benefits.
Qedward writes: An experiment conducted by British telecoms operator O2 has found that 88% of its staff are just as productive working remotely, while one-third claimed that they actually got more work done when they aren’t in the office.
Some 3,000 employees based at O2’s head office in Slough took part in a pilot that required them to work from home for one day, as practice for problems that may occur during the summer’s Olympic Games.
In preparation, O2 upgraded its virtual private network (VPN) as well as its network infrastructure, which saw a 155% increase in users on the day, and a 110% increase in VPN data sent across the network...
jjp9999 writes: Notch has confirmed the release of his space sandbox game, which he's calling 0x10c. For April Fool's, he announced the game would be called 'Mars Effect,' which caused some confusion over whether the whole thing was a joke, but he has now officially confirmed it. The game's description has gone mostly unchanged (except he dropped the note saying it will have 'a game ending that makes sense'), and there are a few more details now available. He says it will be released during early development, similar to Minecraft, but payment will be based on a monthly fee, since, 'we are going to emulate all computers and physics even when players aren't logged in,' he says.