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Submission + - Donations revive SETI quest (

tugfoigel writes: The SETI Institute's search for extraterrestrial intelligence is back on track, thanks to more than $200,000 in donations from thousands of fans.

"We're not completely out of the woods yet, but everybody's smiling here," the institute's chief executive officer, Tom Pierson, told me today.

In April, the institute had to put its big ear for hearing E.T.'s radio call, the 42-antenna Allen Telescope Array in Northern California, into "hibernation" due to budget woes. The biggest hit was the loss of funding by the University of California at Berkeley, the institute's partner for operating the antenna array.

The SETI Institute has been around for decades: It stepped in to help keep the search for alien radio signals active after NASA cut off funding for the quest in 1993. It's not the only organization doing SETI, but it's the leader in the field. The Allen Telescope Array, or ATA, was launched with $50 million in contributions from software billionaire Paul Allen and others — and if the array ever takes in 350 linked antennas, as it's designed to do, it would rank among the world's premier radio-telescope facilities.


Submission + - What's the Carbon Footprint of Bicycling?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Brian Palmer writes that although none of the major manufacturers has released data on their energy consumption and how much greenhouse gas making a bicycle requires, Shreya Dave, a graduate student at MIT, recently estimated that manufacturing an average bicycle results in the emission of approximately 530 pounds of greenhouse gases. Therefor given a "typical U.S. diet," you would have to ride your bike instead of driving for around 400 miles to cover the bike's initial carbon footprint. However calculating the total environmental impact of a mode of transit involves more than just the easy-to-measure metrics like mileage per gallon. Using a life-cycle assessment Dave concluded that an ordinary sedan's carbon footprint is more than 10 times greater than a conventional bicycle (PDF) on a mile-for-mile basis, assuming each survives 15 years and you ride the bike 2,000 miles per year. What about other ways to get to work? According to Dave's life-cycle analysis, the only vehicle that comes close to a bicycle is the peak-hour bus—and it's not really that close. A fully loaded bus is responsible for 2.6-times the carbon emissions total of a bicycle per passenger mile while off-peak buses account for more than 20 times as many greenhouse gases as a bicycle. What about the carbon footprint of walking? “Walking is not zero emission because we need food energy to move ourselves from place to place,” says environmentalist Chris Goodall. “Food production creates carbon emissions.”"

Submission + - Bitcoin-like DRM Perserving Right-of-first-sale?

watchful2037 writes: As someone who develops software for a living I understand that only selling support isn't always practical: movies, music, and games for example. (Please, no flame-wars about the evils of DRM.) As a customer I also see usage terms that prohibit transfer or resale as violating the first-sale doctrine.

Could Bitcoin-like DRM be a solution that suits both seller and buyer better?

Submission + - Experian Hitwise: Bing more effective than Google ( 1

Xiph1980 writes: Experian Hitwise claims Bing and Bing-powered search to be more effective than Google. The success rate for Bing searches in the U.S. in July was 80.04%, compared to 67.56% for Google. The market watcher defines "success rate" as the percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website. Searches made through sites owned by Yahoo, which farmed out search to Bing under a deal struck in 2009, were also more efficient than Google. Those searches yielded a success rate of 81.36%.

The claims of Hitwise don't explain why I keep finding things like Microsoft service pack download pages better through google than through bing.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: BART Braces For Anonymous-Organized Protest Monday - The San Francisco Appeal (

Daily Mail

BART Braces For Anonymous-Organized Protest Monday
The San Francisco Appeal
by Bay City News The decision by BART officials to interrupt wireless service at several downtown San Francisco stations Thursday in an attempt to disrupt possible protest plans has drawn criticism. The transit agency interrupted wireless service for ...
SF subway muzzles cell service during protestCNET
Was the BART Cell Phone Shutdown Ethical? 2 Points to ConsiderInternational Business Times
To Prevent Protests, San Francisco Subway Turns Off Cell SignalsPC Magazine
San Francisco Chronicle-PCWorld-The Associated Press
all 815 news articles


Submission + - The Death of Booting Up 2

theodp writes: 'Booting up was a bear,' recalls Slate's Farhad Manjoo, 'something to be avoided at all costs.' But now, he adds, 'It's time to rejoice, because all that's in the past. Computers these days can go from completely off to working within 30 seconds, and in some cases much faster. Apple's MacBook Air loads up in 16 seconds, and machines based on Google's cloud-based Chrome OS boast boot times of under 10 seconds. Even Windows computers are fast-with the right set-up, your Windows 7 laptop can load just as quickly as a MacBook.' Perhaps at home, but how's that working out for you at work? Have reports of the death of long boot times been greatly exaggerated?

Submission + - The five levels of ISP evil (

schwit1 writes: Recently a number of ISPs have been caught improperly redirecting end-user traffic in order to generate affiliate payments, using a system from Paxfire. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Paxfire and one of the ISPs.

This is a serious allegation, but it’s the tip of the iceberg. I’m not sure if everyone understands the levels of sneakiness that service providers can engage in.


Submission + - Old Computer Tech That Never Went Away (

GMGruman writes: "It's amazing to realize how much computer technology we use every day has been around forever, at least in the context of tech's fast pace of evolution. This slideshow surveys 13 computer technologies that are at least 25 years old that most of use still use every day. You may not realize that some are that old. (InfoWorld also put together a slideshow of tech 25 years or older that geeks still rely on all these years later.)"

Comment 100 pages (Score 1) 310

I wouldn't even have a printer, but my kids and wife constantly need to print things. Ah well, at least this one works without my continuous monitoring and soon the kids will be able to take over babysitting its paper and ink supplies.

Oh yeah, and I probably only printed six of those pages.


Submission + - MD family helps to catch a thief using cellphone (

tugfoigel writes: At first, all Kari and Derek Fisher knew about the man who broke into their house was that he was careful enough to cut the screen window and neatly fold it so as not to get scratched on the way out. Given the size of the opening, he probably wasn't very big. And he liked to talk.

The couple and their two young children were asleep early Sept. 24 when the burglar crept into their Adelphi home. He found the home office, where he palmed a pair of digital cameras, a video camera, a satellite radio, and two camera bags filled with memory cards and batteries. He swiped Derek Fisher's wallet and cellphone from a desk.

That revelation sparked a series of slightly panicked phone calls, first to the Prince George's County police and then to banks and credit card companies to cancel cards. The Fishers also called their cellphone carrier, Sprint Nextel.

When a customer service representative offered to cut off the stolen phone or transfer the number to a new one, Derek Fisher asked out of curiosity whether there was some way for the company to see where the phone was. The customer service rep told him about a locator service he could sign up for on a 15-day free trial. Fisher agreed and signed on.

The Sprint Family Locator service, launched in 2006, relies on GPS technology embedded in the phone. AT&T and Verizon offer similar versions of the service, which is marketed as a way for parents to surreptitiously keep tabs on their kids, or, as the online demo puts it, "to make sure Caroline made it to morning band practice without interrupting the music."

Submission + - The Walking Dead Is already here!

An anonymous reader writes: As we all know, The Walking Dead TV series episode 1 will be aired on Oct 31.
But guess what? The pre-aired it last October 25 and it was a huge success for all the fans!
If you guy want to watch this unique Zombie tv series you can watch every episode at:
Watch The Walking Dead Online I hope you guys will enjoy!

Submission + - OLPC Gets $5.6M Grant From Marvell (

tugfoigel writes: The One Laptop per Child Foundation and Santa Clara, CA-based semiconductor maker Marvell have cemented a partnership announced last spring, with Marvell agreeing to provide OLPC with $5.6 million to fund development of its next generation tablet computer, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte tells me. Negroponte says the deal, signed in the past week or so but not previously announced, runs through 2011.

"Their money is a grant to the OLPC Foundation to develop a tablet or tablets based on their chip," he says. "They're going to put the whole system on a chip."

The OLPC tablet, which Negroponte hinted at last November in an interview with my colleague Wade Roush and formally announced last December, is known as the XO 3 because it represents the third-generation of the XO laptop currently sold by OLPC (the foundation scrapped plans for its e-book-like XO 2 computer and is moving straight to the tablet). Marvell is a longtime corporate sponsor of the foundation, but with this grant has formally stepped up to take the lead on engineering development. "They've been sponsors all along," Negroponte says. "But they were one of ten. Now they are the technology partner." The deal, he says, means the tablet's development is "fully funded."


Submission + - How to Recover From a Gmail Account Compromise (

Trailrunner7 writes: Threatpost has a guest column from application security expert Caleb Sima about how to recover from a compromise of your Gmail account. "I recently read an article warning of attacks against Gmail accounts being conducted by the Chinese government. The article provided one solution to fix a hacked Gmail account: change your password. That's good advice, but insufficient. Any decent attacker will have at least one backdoor to regain control of your account so quickly that it will make your head spin.

  Gmail isn't just an email program, its part of an entire Web based application ecosystem. Check your authorized applications to see if the attacker added their own malicious application to be allowed on your account. This is my personal favorite. Everyone today adds social applications and gives permission to their Facebook/Google accounts through third party applications. Most people don't even look at what permissions the third party applications have. In Gmail applications can pretty much do everything an attacker would want to do. Even better, from the attacker's stand point, is that no one even knows where how to revoke or check permissions on these applications once they've been approved, they're forgotten. There are open source applications will grant full IMAP/SMTP access using OAUTH. (The Python scripts from the open source google-mail-xoauth-tools project are an example). Once the Gmail account is hijacked, an attacker can run this script and grant access to the application for full privileges. Even if you change your password multiple times, a rogue application can continue reading your email and accessing your personal data.


Submission + - Scientists now develop e-skin (

tugfoigel writes: Biotech wizards have engineered electronic skin that can sense touch, in a major step towards next-generation robotics and prosthetic limbs. The lab-tested material responds to almost the same pressures as human skin and with the same speed, they reported in the British journal Nature

Important hurdles remain but the exploit is an advance towards replacing today’s clumsy robots and artificial arms with smarter, touch-sensitive upgrades, they believe.

“Humans generally know how to hold a fragile egg without breaking it,” said Ali Javey, an associate professor of computer sciences at the University of California at Berkeley, who led one of the research teams.

“If we ever wanted a robot that could unload the dishes, for instance, we’d want to make sure it doesn’t break the wine glasses in the process. But we’d also want the robot to grip the stock pot without dropping it.”

Submission + - Is multi-tasking a myth? ( 1

tugfoigel writes: Britons are increasingly overlapping their media habits — tapping out e-mails while watching TV, reading a paper while answering texts from friends. But, asks Hugh Wilson, does media multi-tasking mean instead of doing a few things well, we are just doing more things badly?

I was watching a documentary the other day about an educational issue that — as the father of a child about to start his first year at school — held more than a passing interest.

At the same time, I was actively participating in a three-way text message conversation about the coming weekend.

It's fair to say that, by the end of the evening, I had only a vague understanding of the message of the documentary and the weekend remained largely unplanned. I had multi tasked, but I hadn't done it particularly well.

Still, I was only doing what comes naturally, at least if the latest report from media regulator Ofcom is to be believed.

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