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Submission + - Workaholism in America Is Hurting the Economy (

An anonymous reader writes: Work/life balance is a constant problem in the tech industry. Even though experienced and mature engineers have been vocal in fighting it, every new generation buys into the American cultural identity of excessive work being a virtue. Each generation suffers for it, and the economy does, too. This article backs up that wisdom with hard numbers: "The 40-hour workweek is mostly a thing of the past. Ninety-four percent of professional workers put in 50 or more hours, and nearly half work 65 or above. All workers have managed to cut down on our time on the job by 112 hours over the last 40 years, but we’re far behind other countries: The French cut down by 491 hours, the Dutch by 425, and Canadians by 215 in the same time period. ... This overwork shows up in our sleep. Out of five developed peers, four other countries sleep more than us. That has again worsened over the years. In 1942, more than 80 percent of Americans slept seven hours a night or more. Today, 40 percent sleep six hours or less. A lack of sleep makes us poorer workers: People who sleep less than seven hours a night have a much harder time concentrating and getting work done."

Submission + - Evidence Of A Correction To The Speed of Light

KentuckyFC writes: In the early hours of the morning on 24 February 1987, a neutrino detector deep beneath Mont Blanc in northern Italy picked up a sudden burst of neutrinos. Three hours later, neutrino detectors at two other locations picked up a second burst. These turned out to have been produced by the collapse of the core of a star in the Large Magellanic Cloud that orbits our galaxy. And sure enough, some 4.7 hours after this, astronomers noticed the tell-tale brightening of a blue supergiant in that region, as it became a supernova, now known as SN1987a. But why the delay of 7.7 hours from the first burst of neutrinos to the arrival of the photons? Astrophysicists soon realised that since neutrinos rarely interact with ordinary matter, they can escape from the star's core immediately. By contrast, photons have to diffuse through the star, a process that would have delayed them by about 3 hours. That accounts for some of the delay but what of the rest? Now one physicist has the answer--the speed of light through space requires a correction. As a photon travels through space, there is a finite chance that it will form an electron-positron pair. This pair exists for only a brief period of time and then goes on to recombine creating another photon which continues along the same path. This is a well-known process called vacuum polarisation. The new idea is that the gravitational potential of the Milky Way must influence the electron-positron pair because they have mass. This changes the energy of the virtual electron-positron pair, which in turn produces a small change in the energy and speed of the photon. And since the analogous effect on neutrinos is negligible, light will travel more slowly than them through a gravitational potential. According to the new calculations which combine quantum electrodynamics with general relativity, the change in speed accounts more or less exactly for the mysterious time difference. Voila!

Submission + - The Single Best Overview of What the Surveillance State Does With Our Private Da ( 1

Lasrick writes: Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic writes up a new report (and infographic) from NYU's Brennan Center for Justice: 'Enter a new report published by Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. "What the Government Does With Americans' Data" is the best single attempt I've seen to explain all of the ways that surveillance professionals are collecting, storing, and disseminating private data on U.S. citizens. The report's text and helpful flow-chart illustrations run to roughly 50 pages. Unless you're already one of America's foremost experts on these subjects, it is virtually impossible to read this synthesis without coming away better informed..

Submission + - The Countdown to Android Brains is Underway

malachiorion writes: Is the Human Brain Project really the Android Brain Project? With more than $1.6B in funding, some the brightest minds in robotics, and explicitly-stated goals that include linking a simulated brain with a physical bot, here's my take (for Popular Science) on why the world's biggest brain research initiative might also be the biggest robotics story of this, or any year.

Submission + - Over 2,000 Developers Worldwide Create Apps In #hack4good Coding Marathon

rjmarvin writes: During a 48-hour period last week from Oct. 4-6, over 2,000 independent developers in 21 cities worldwide created apps for world charities to help solve humanitarian and environmental problems. In cities including Kathmandu, Nepal, London, Minsk, New Delhi, New York; San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Toronto, coders worked on very little sleep for free coffee and pizza to create apps dealing with environmental conservation, climate change, education issues, global hunger, and emergency communication after earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Submission + - The Chaos Within Sudoku - A Richter Scale Of Difficulty ( 2

mikejuk writes: A pair of computer scientists from the Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) and the University of Notre Dame (USA) have made some remarkable connections between Sudoku, the classic k-SAT problem, and the even more classic non-linear continuous dynamics. But before we go into the detail let's look at what this means for Sudoku enthusiasts. Maria Ercsey-Ravasz and Zoltan Toroczkai have devised a scale that provides an accurate determination of a Sudoku puzzle's hardness. So when you encounter a puzzle labelled hard and you find it easy all you need to do is to compute its , a co-efficient that measures the hardness of the problem. An easy puzzle should fall in the range 0 3 with the hardest puzzle, the notorious Platinum Blond being top of the scale with = 3.6. We will have to wait to see if newspapers and websites start to use this measure of difficulty. The difficulty is measured by the time it takes the classical dynamics corresponding to the problem to settle in the ground state and this depends on the degree of chaos in the search for a solution. The Chaos Within Sudoku (pdf)

Submission + - Study Aims to Read Dogs' Thoughts (

jjp9999 writes: A new study at Emory University is trying to figure out what dogs think. The study uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to scan the dogs’ brains while they’re shown different stimuli. Results from the first study will be published by the Public Library of Science, where the dogs were shown hand signals from their owners. ‘We hope this opens up a whole new door for understanding canine cognition and inter-species communication. We want to understand the dog-human relationship, from the dog's perspective,’ said Gregory Berns, director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy and lead researcher of the dog project.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Encrypted Laptop Hard Drives

An anonymous reader writes: Given all the recent stories of lost laptops and whatnot, I've become very interested in doing full disk encryption on my laptop. I'm using a Mac, so the software options are few and far between, so I've been trying to find a good hardware solution. This has lead to nothing but frustration. Despite drives that support hardware encryption being offered by several different companies (Seagate Momentus and Hitachi TravelStar come to mind), I can't see to find any source that gives a good breakdown of the hardware required, what sort of TCG issues might arise, and how this all ties together with software management for pre-boot authentication and whatnot. So Slashdot, do you have any advice? Even a good LMGY link would be appreciated at this point!

Submission + - Starwars Galxies Set to Close (

djowatts writes: "A great darkness is set to consume part of the Star Wars universe in late 2011.

Sony has announced that its Star Wars Galaxies online game will be shut down on 15 December.

The news was broken in e-mails sent to players and via messages posted on the game's support forums and website.

Sony said the closure had come about because its contract to run the Star Wars game runs out in 2012, not because of declining player numbers."


Submission + - Five Reasons Why Android Will Never Fail! (

sfcrazy writes: When I read his article I got an (the) impression that going by those 5 points basically every other industry, including auto-mobiles, TV, Food and Beverages, Hospitality, Airlines...other than Apple have failed. He inspired me to write what I have been planning to write for ages — diversity of Android.

Submission + - Duke Nukem Forever Review: The King is back and no (

kube00 writes: Hail to the King, Duke is back. One thing for sure Duke Nukem Forever still has the crude humor the series was known for, but is the marginal game play enough to keep gamers interested in the long run? This trip back to the mid 1990s may end with the King hanging up his guns.

Submission + - How TAvoid Your Adsense Account from Being Blocked ( 1

shawngg writes: "Avoid your Adsense account from being blocked ! If you trawl through the AdSense message boards you can’t help but come across tales of woe from AdSense publishers that have had their account banned by Google. Below is a list of ways people have been banned from AdSense and information on how to avo"

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