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Submission + - Sexually Transmitted Virus Sterilizes Insects While Encouraging Mating (nationalgeographic.com)

cold fjord writes: National Geographic reports, "Why would a sterile male cricket mate with an infertile female? On the surface, this behaviour makes no sense: sex takes energy and effort, and there’s nothing in it for either of these partners. Neither one can foster the next generation. Shelley Adamo from Dalhousie University has the answer. Her team have shown that one particular insect virus can sterilise crickets, but also change their behaviour so they continue to mate with each other. By doing so, they pass the virus on to uninfected hosts. This virus is the latest example of parasitic mind control ... Scientists have now documented hundreds of such manipulators." — TED2014 Video

Submission + - WiFi Pineapple Hacking Device Sells Out at DEF CON (eweek.com)

darthcamaro writes: At the recent DEF CON conference over the weekend, vendor were selling all kinds of gear. But one device stood out from all the others, the WiFi Pineapple — an all in one WiFi hacking device that costs only $80 (a lot cheaper than a PwnPlug) and powered by a very vibrant open source community of users. Pineapple creator Darren Kitchen said that 1.2 Pineapple's per minute were sold on the first day of DEF CON (and then sold out). The Pineapple run it's own Linux, based on OpenWRT, is packed with open source tools including Karma, DNS Spoof, SSL Strip, URL Snarf, Ngrep and more and is powered by g a 400MHz Atheros AR9331 MIPS processor, 32MB of main memory and a complete 802.11 b/g/n stack.
Is this a tool that will be used for good — or for evil?

The Internet

Submission + - Kazaa to return as a legal subscription service (cnet.com)

suraj.sun writes: One of the most recognizable brands in the history of illegal downloading is due to officially resurface, perhaps as early as next week, sources close to the company told CNET News. Only this time the name Kazaa will be part of a legal music service.

Altnet and parent company Brilliant Digital Entertainment attached the Kazaa brand to a subscription service that will offer songs and ringtones from all four of the major recording companies. For the past few months, a beta version has been available.

The company tried recently to ratchet up expectations with a series of vague, and what some considered misguided, press releases.

The site will open with over 1 million tracks. According to the blog TorrentFreak, the new Kazaa will offer unlimited downloads for $20 a month.

CNET News : http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10289985-93.html


Submission + - Light's Repulsive Force Discovered

Aurispector writes: An article on LiveScience says a newly discovered repulsive aspect to light could one day control telecommunications devices with greater speed and less power. The discovery could lead to nanodevices controlled by light rather than electricity. "The discovery was made by splitting infrared light into two beams that each travel on a different length of silicon nanowire, called a waveguide. The two light beams became out of phase with one another, creating a push, or repulsive force, with an intensity that can be controlled; the more out of phase the two light beams, the stronger the force." As an added bonus, nerds may no longer need LED's to trick out their custom gaming rigs!

Submission + - Twitter users buy more music than average (arstechnica.com) 1

Death Metal writes: "Those who use Twitter buy more music than those who don't, making the Twitter-using demographic valuable to the music industry. That's the conclusion of a new report from the NPD Group, which tracked the music buying habits of nearly 4,000 Internet users. The firm found that the crossover between music buyers and Twitter users is higher than the general Internet-using population, and that this segment spends more on music than the average user."
The Courts

Half the Charges Against Pirate Bay Dropped 347

eldavojohn writes "Half the charges have been dropped in the second day of the trial against the Pirate Bay. The charges dropped are those relating to 'assisting copyright infringement,' so the remaining charges are simply 'assisting making available.' No information on how this affects the size of the lawsuit or a settlement."

How Mobile Phones Work Behind the Scenes 220

adamengst writes "We seldom think about how our mobile phones actually work, but in this TidBITS article, Rich Mogull pulls back the covers and peels away the jargon to explain why text messages work when voice calls are dropped, why your battery lasts longer in some places than in others, why you're not allowed to use phones on airplanes, why you can be notified of a voicemail message when your phone never rang, and more."

Researchers Test BitTorrent Live Streaming 129

An anonymous reader writes "TorrentFreak reports that the Swarmplayer, developed by the P2P-Next research group, is now capable of streaming live video in true 4th generation P2P style using a zero-server approach. With a $22 million project budget from the EU and partners, the P2P-Next research group intends to redefine how video is viewed on the Internet. The researchers have launched a streaming experiment where you can tune in to a webcam in Amsterdam, or a 5 minute weather report (not live) from the BBC. More details about how to set up your own BitTorrent live stream are also available."

Physicists Extend Moore's Law For Tiny Devices 85

schliz writes to mention that a team of quantum physicists have demonstrated how to significantly reduce the effects of "stiction," or the tendency for two very small, very close objects to stick together as a result of Casimir force. "'The Casimir force might be one of the many reasons that very small, movable components in micromechanical devices sometimes stick together,' said Ho Bun Chan, a assistant professor of physics at the University of Florida who is researching the Casimir force. 'The Casimir effect increases rapidly as the separation between components decreases. It becomes significant when the separation is reduced to below about 400 nm,' he told iTnews."

AMD Loses $1.2 Billion and Its CEO 373

Barence writes to mention that after seeing almost $1.2 billion in second quarter losses, AMD's CEO has resigned. Stepping up to fill his shoes will be Dirk Meyer, previous company president and COO. "Only two years ago, the company held a processor performance lead and was making serious inroads into Intel's market. However, AMD failed to keep pace with Intel's Core technology, and it once again surrendered its performance crown at the dawn of the multicore era. Those problems were exacerbated by the bungled launch of the Barcelona processors, which prompted Ruiz to make a frank public apology last December."

Submission + - Mapping the Cortex's Core Electrical Architecture (nytimes.com)

snydeq writes: "Diffusion spectrum imaging has provided a team of scientists with what may be the most complete map of the electrical architecture of the human cortex to date. The study, published in PLoS Biology, details how researchers tapped the new imaging technique to estimate the density and orientation of connections running through specific brain locations of five healthy male volunteers. Dr. Olaf Sporns, a psychologist at Indiana University and the study's senior author, said continued research should help produce a complete neural wiring diagram, aka 'connectome,' of the human brain. 'We hope we can get to a place where we have, in effect, a brain simulator, in the same way we have computer models that can simulate the climate,' he said, 'so we can simulate activation patterns we see in clinical cases,' like psychiatric problems and brain injuries."

Submission + - Acclimate to Online Education (dirjournal.com)

Rubab writes: "There has been a dramatic push for online education over the last decade. At first only the occasional correspondence class was offered online. Then certain colleges offered degrees, and now most colleges and universities include online classes alongside traditional classrooms. And even those traditional classrooms often have an online component. You are hard-pressed to find a college classroom that does not include something on the internet.
But these online education plans are not for everyone. This is a shame since there are few other alternatives. Rather than look for classes that are not online, it is far better to acclimate yourself to the online education environment."


Submission + - Reports of Apple TV's demise greatly exaggerated (roughlydrafted.com)

DECS writes: This quarter's NPD report on the video downloads market contradicts the widely publicized reports by James McQuivey of Forrester Research, who has insisted all year that iTunes is headed for a fall, that users want ad-supported downloads, and that Apple TV is a tremendous failure. Daniel Eran Dilger describes why the pundits are wrong in a look at IPTV vs TVoIP, direct sales vs ads, and iTunes vs the studios: Apple TV Digital Disruption at Work: iTunes Takes 91% of Video Download Market

Submission + - Steampunk Tree House

bangzilla writes: "Soon to be appearing at Burning Man: The Steampunk Tree House. Built from recycled metal and wood and styled after the Victorian age of architecture, the Steampunk Tree House takes installation art in a wonderful new direction. Visitors may climb inside the tree house and hangout. The tree is made of steel with a wood and metal house perched within its branches. It was constructed in multiple components at two locations. It's currently in route to the Black Rock Desert of Nevada for Burning Man."

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