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Submission + - Learn to code by competing with others (hackerearth.com)

ariiii123 writes: Competitive coding experience is fast becoming a pre-requisite skill for every programmer. Top companies like Google and Facebook have strongly relied on assessing a candidate’s knowledge of algorithms and data structures to make a hiring decision and competitive coding has a heavy emphasis on this. To encourage more programmers to take up this essential skill, HackerEarth conducts an Easy Challenge on the first of every month. This is a short programming challenge which is open to all programmers, and will have beginner level algorithmic problems to solve.

The May Easy Challenge is live on HackerEarth. This is a short 2 hour contest on 1st May. There will be 4 algorithmic problems to solve. The first one to solve all the problems correctly will be adjudged the winner.

The problem setter for this challenge is: Akash Agrawall
The problem tester and editorialist for this challenge is: Pankaj Jindal

The top 3 beginners (verified) will receive HackerEarth Tshirts.

Register for the May Easy Challenge right now – http://hck.re/6CCvZ5

Submission + - Study Finds Gamers Have Greater Cognitive Function And More Grey Matter (blogspot.com)

Lin4 writes: Gamers everywhere rejoice! It turns out that gaming prowess is an indication of a better connected brain. This latest conclusion was drawn from research which looked at the cognitive function of Action Video Gamers (AVGs) of different levels of proficiency. For the ‘noobs’ out there, action video games subject the gamer to physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time games. This could be racing or fighting for example.
There’s already an abundance of evidence that shows that expert AVG players (gamers who are regional or national champions at AVG competitions) have superior cognitive ability to amateurs. This lead the research team, led by Dezhong Yao, to investigate the brains of expert and amateur gamers to see if they could continue to differentiate the differences between them.

Submission + - Republicans introduce a bill to overturn net neutrality

grimmjeeper writes:

A group of Republican lawmakers has introduced a bill that would invalidate the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s recently passed net neutrality rules. The legislation, introduced by Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, is called a resolution of disapproval, a move that allows Congress to review new federal regulations from government agencies, using an expedited legislative process.

This move should come as little surprise to anyone. While the main battle in getting net neutrality has been won, the war is far from over.

Submission + - Congress Introduces the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015 (house.gov)

Major Blud writes: Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Fair Play Fair Pay Act today that would end regulations that don't require terrestrial radio stations to pay royalties to artists and labels. Currently, AM/FM radio stations aren't required to pay royalties to publishers and songwriters. The proposed measure requires stations that earn less than $1 million a year in revenue to pay $500 annually. For nonprofit public, college and other non-commercial broadcasters, the fee would be $100 per year — religious and talk stations being exempt from any payments. Larger radio companies like iHeartMedia (858 stations in the US) would have to pay more.

"The current system is antiquated and broken. It pits technologies against each other, and allows certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists. For decades, AM/FM radio has used whatever music it wants without paying a cent to the musicians, vocalists, and labels that created it. Satellite radio has paid below market royalties for the music it uses, growing into a multibillion dollar business on the back of an illogical ‘grandfathered’ royalty standard that is now almost two decades old,” said Congressman Nadler.

Submission + - Acetaminophen reduces both pain and pleasure, study finds (scienceblog.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers studying the commonly used pain reliever acetaminophen found it has a previously unknown side effect: It blunts positive emotions. Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol, has been in use for more than 70 years in the United States, but this is the first time that this side effect has been documented.


seoras writes: After coming under intense pressure PayPal has closed the account of cloud-storage service Mega. According to the company, SOPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy personally pressured Visa and Mastercard who in turn called on PayPal to terminate the account. Bizarrely, Mega's encryption is being cited as a key problem.... ... What makes the situation more unusual is that PayPal reportedly apologized to Mega for its withdrawal while acknowledging that company’s business is indeed legitimate.
However, PayPal also advised that Mega’s unique selling point – it’s end-to-end-encryption – was a key concern for the processor."

Submission + - NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp (nationaljournal.com)

schwit1 writes: The FISA court has again renewed an order allowing the NSA to continue its illegal bulk collection of Americans' phone records, at least until June 1 when it is set to expire in Congress. President Obama pledged to end the controversial program more than a year ago.

The extension is the fifth of its kind since Obama said he would effectively end the Snowden-exposed program as it currently exists during a major policy speech in January 2014. Obama and senior administration officials have repeatedly insisted that they will not act alone to end the program without Congress.

After all the other things he's done against or without congressional approval and he balks at this one?

Submission + - Google Taking Over New TLDs (sealedabstract.com)

bobo the hobo writes: In the corner of the internet where people care about DNS, there is a bit of an uproar at Google's application for over a hundred new top-level domains, including .dev, .lol, .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. Their application includes statements such as:
By contrast, our application for the .blog TLD describes a new way of automatically linking new second level domains to blogs on our Blogger platform – this approach eliminates the need for any technical configuration on the part of the user and thus makes the domain name more user friendly.

And also limiting usage of .dev to Google only:
Second-level domain names within the proposed gTLD are intended for registration and use by Google only, and domain names under the new gTLD will not be available to the general public for purchase, sale, or registration. As such, Charleston Road Registry intends to apply for an exemption to the ICANN Registry Operator Code of Conduct as Google is intended to be the sole registrar and registrant.

Submission + - Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow.

An anonymous reader writes: BBC News Reports

An unidentified attacker shot Mr Nemtsov four times in central Moscow, a source in the law enforcement bodies told Russia's Interfax news agency. He was shot near the Kremlin while walking with a woman, according to Russian-language news website Meduza. "Several people" had got out of a car and shot him, it added. Mr Nemtsov, 55, served as first deputy prime minister under the late President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, various sources report a massive gathering of protestors at the site of the shooting.


Submission + - NASA's Mars Viking Robots 'Found Life' (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week. Further, NASA doesn't need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News. "The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope — watch the bacteria move ... On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there.""

Submission + - Scientists Engineer Stem Cells That Can Identify and Destroy HIV (medicaldaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Genetically engineered human stem cells have been shown to be capable of suppressing HIV by virus-infected cells in living mice, according to scientists who hope that the recent breakthrough will lead to a cure for HIV patients.

Submission + - MIT creates diode for light, photonic silicon chip (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a cornerstone of consumer tech. They make thin-and-light TVs and smartphones possible, provide efficient household, handheld, and automobile illumination, and, of course, without LEDs your router would not have blinkenlights. Thanks to some engineers from MIT, though, a new diode looks set to steal the humble LED’s thunder. Dubbed a diode for light, and crafted using standard silicon chip fabrication techniques, this is a key discovery that will pave the path to photonic (as opposed to electronic) pathways on computer chips and circuit boards. The diode for light — which is made from a thin layer of garnet — is transparent in one direction, but opaque in the other. Garnet is usually hard to deposit on a silicon wafer, but the MIT researchers found a way to do it – and that’s really the meat of this discovery."

Submission + - Startup Dishes Recommendataions From Credit Data (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: Startup Bundle.com, a spinoff from Citigroup, is about to launch a service that founder and CEO Jaidev Shergill calls 'a more holistic' recommendation engine for dining and other retail establishments. Core to these recommendations will be analysis of the anonymized transactions from 25 million Citi credit card holders, who generate about 1 billion transactions a year. They are cross-indexed with U.S. Census bureau data and other third-party demographic information. 'We believe that [financial transaction] data can actually result in better recommendations and better decision-making for people,' Shergill said.

Submission + - Does installing software make you vulnerable? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I haven't given this subject much thought, and now that I think about it, I imagine that the average user doesn't think of it at all. But when one installs software on their system, are they inherently trusting the maker of the installer to not subvert them in, well, any way? On a Mac, many installers ask for an admin password, and this is the equivalent of giving the installer root. On Windows, software appears to be able to install without any authentication? Really? On linux, if you're installing open source software, you can say that you know what's in the installer: but not really. That's only true if you have compiled it yourself. What is the need for installers, and why do OS vendors not do more to protect users? I don't think I should even trust companies like Adobe to respect my privacy, let alone some random guy who made a cool little utility.

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