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Submission + - Blackberry Playbook Disappoints

adeelarshad82 writes: After months of anticipation, RIM's debut tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, is finally here. Good-looking, well-built tablet, the 14.4-ounce, 5.1-by-7.6-by-0.4-inch BlackBerry PlayBook features a black frame. Its 7-inch screen has a resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels, which is lower than the iPad 2's, but since it's a smaller display, it actually seems sharper. The back panel features a 5-megapixel camera—far higher resolution than the rear-facing lens on the iPad 2. The 3-megapixel front-facing camera sits above the screen, and blows away the VGA-quality lens on the iPad 2. The bottom panel houses a micro HDMI output, a micro USB connector, and a magnetic charging port. The tablet supports 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. As far as the OS goes, the good news is that the user interface for the new BlackBerry Tablet OS is beautiful, graceful, and operates with a simplicity that rivals that of the Apple iPad 2 and bests the Motorola Xoom's oft-cluttered screens. The bad news is that, at launch, there are a lot of features missing.
Cellphones

Submission + - Text messages to replace stamps in Sweden (thelocal.se)

99luftballon writes: "Sweden and Denmark are running tests on replacing stamps with text messages. The writer sends a text message to a central server, which bills for the stamp and returns a code to be written on the letter. It's an interesting system but it better have very good security. Could this be the end of stamp collections and philately?"
Idle

Submission + - Ex-Microsoft CTO writes $625 cookbook (networkworld.com)

carusoj writes: "Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's first CTO, made his mark in the tech world. Now he's cemented his place in the world of cooking and food science with the publication of a groundbreaking six-volume, 2,438-page cookbook. Some of the techniques in Myhrvold's "Modernist Cuisine" are intimidating, to put it mildly, calling for such daunting ingredients as liquid nitrogen and equipment such as centrifuges and rotor-stator homogenizers. But Myhrvold and his co-authors insist that the majority of recipes can be made in a conventional home kitchen — with a few recommended, inexpensive extras such as a digital gram scale and water bath for sous vide cooking."
Security

Submission + - Scientists find TSA scanners may tear apart DNA (cnn.com) 3

Terrence Aym writes: Los Alamos scientist Boian Alexandrov and his team discovered is that the resonant effects of the terahertz (THz) waves bombarding humans unzips the double-stranded DNA molecule. This ripping apart of the twisted chain of DNA creates bubbles between the genes that can interfere with the processes of life itself: normal DNA replication and critical gene expression.
HP

Submission + - HP Plans WebOS Based Tablet "Similar To iPad" (precentral.net)

Kilrah_il writes: HP recently sent an e-mail to developers that outlines their plans for a new WebOS based devices. "Our proprietary operating system, webOS, is now the OS that will be used in HP's mobile devices. This includes mobile handsets as well as tablet-style devices similar to the iPad. We will accordingly leverage Palm's ability to innovate and the scale of HP's vast install base and distribution network previously unavailable to us.”
Censorship

Submission + - Google Tool Shows Government Intervention (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: A tool on Google's newly launched Transparency Report web site lets people check the levels of availability of Google services in different countries. The aim: To show government-induced blocks and disruptions of the search company's services.Transparency Report also houses a previously launched interactive map that displays a digest, by country, of government demands for access to and removal of content and data hosted on Google services like Blogger, Gmail and YouTube. 'We believe that this kind of transparency can be a deterrent to censorship,'said David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, in a blog post on Tuesday.
Idle

Submission + - Computer Model Explains Moses' Red Sea Parting

Ponca City, We love you writes: "Scientists and others have tried for decades to recreate the mystery of the Israelites' escape from the advancing cavalry of the Pharaohs. Now the Guardian reports that researchers at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) claim to have used computer modelling to reconstruct the various wind and wave combinations that could have produced the dry land bridge described in Exodus and found that a strong east wind, blowing overnight, could have driven back the waters on a coastal lagoon in northern Egypt long enough for the Israelites to walk across the exposed mud flats before the waters rushed back in, engulfing the Pharaoh's cavalry. "The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus," says Carl Drews, the study's lead author. "The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that's in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in." A steady 63 mph wind from the east over a digitally reconstructed lake along the Mediterranean near today's Port Said could have swept the waters back to the western shores exposing wide mud flats and creating a land bridge that would remain high and dry for four hours. "If you are going to match the biblical account, you need the wind from the east," adds Drews."
Idle

Submission + - Optical Speedbumps Create Illusion of Little Girl (popsci.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Civil authorities around the world have tried all kinds of tricks to get drivers to slow down: speed bumps, rumble strips, flashing lights, the decoy police cruiser, and of course the good old-fashioned speed trap. The British Columbia Automobile Association Traffic Safety Foundation is taking a different tack: scaring the living hell out of drivers. In an effort to brusquely remind drivers of the consequences of wanton acceleration, they’re painting an elongated image of a child chasing a ball into the street in 2-D on the pavement in such a way that it appears three-dimensional.
Communications

GMail Introduces Priority Inbox 242

jason-za writes with this quote from a Google announcement: "People tell us all that time that they're getting more and more mail and often feel overwhelmed by it all. We know what you mean — here at Google we run on email. Our inboxes are slammed with hundreds, sometimes thousands of messages a day — mail from colleagues, from lists, about appointments and automated mail that's often not important. It's time-consuming to figure out what needs to be read and what needs a reply. Today, we're happy to introduce Priority Inbox (in beta) — an experimental new way of taking on information overload in Gmail."
Medicine

Researchers Zero In On Protein That Destroys HIV 216

Julie188 writes with this excerpt from a Loyola University news release: "Using a $225,000 microscope, researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys. The finding could lead to new TRIM5a-based treatments that would knock out HIV in humans, said senior researcher Edward M. Campbell, PhD, of Loyola University Health System."
Security

Submission + - Researchers Track Cyber-Espionage Ring to China (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: Researchers in the U.S. and Canada have tracked and documented a sophisticated cyber-espionage network based in China, dubbed Shadow, that targeted computers in several countries, including systems belonging to the Indian government and military. The Shadow network of compromised computers was detailed in a report released Tuesday by the Information Warfare Monitor — a project involving researchers at the University of Toronto's Munk Center for International Studies and The SecDev Group — and the Shadowserver Foundation. 'We were able to document another network of compromised government, business, and academic computer systems in India, the Office of the Dalai Lama, and the United Nations as well as numerous other institutions, including the Embassy of Pakistan in the United States,' wrote Nart Villeneuve, the SecDev's chief research officer and a research fellow at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk Center for International Studies, in a blog post. Shadow is the latest example of cyber-espionage efforts linked to China. Others include attacks on Google's Gmail system that ultimately led the company to close the censored search engine it built for China. Like with other networks such as GhostNet, targeted malware is believed to have allowed the attackers to compromise specific computer systems. The ring behind the Shadow network, which was traced to Chengdu, in China's Sichuan province, used social media and blogs to control computers they had compromised using malware. 'In total, we found three Twitter accounts, five Yahoo Mail accounts, 12 Google Groups, eight Blogspot blogs, nine Baidu blogs, one Google Sites and 16 blogs on blog.com that were being used as part of the attacker's infrastructure,' the report said, noting that those services were being misused but were not compromised.
Medicine

Submission + - Exoskeleton Lets Paraplegics Walk (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Seeing people who are wheelchair bound suddenly stand up and walk is stunning to say the least. The ReWalk system, developed by Dr. Amit Goffer in Israel, attaches to the legs and serves as a sort of vertical walking wheelchair. Patients use crutches to help guide them while wearing ReWalk, and the exoskeleton knows when to take each step by monitoring upper body movements and shifts in center of gravity. ReWalk was actually created 2 years ago as a prototype, but is gaining media coverage now as it seeks a commercial launch later this year.
News

Submission + - D.C. Court rules against FCC on Net Neutrality (cnet.com) 1

lefiz writes: The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to impose strict Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. This ruling overturns the FCC's 2008 order against Comcast over its "network management" practices that interfered with BitTorrent traffic. This may have serious consequences for Net Neutrality going forward.

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