Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space

New Mineral Found In Meteorite 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-call-it-unobtianium dept.
Virtucon writes "The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite. 'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed, meaning it can help scientists learn more about the conditions in the cloud of gas and dust that gave rise to our solar system.'"
The Almighty Buck

High-Frequency Traders Are the Ultimate Hackers, Says Mark Cuban 538

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-script-kiddies-of-the-financial-world dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Billionaire Mark Cuban talks in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about how he thinks high-frequency trading can be quite damaging to stock markets. He goes so far as to call high-frequency traders the 'ultimate hackers.' He says, 'They're running software programs that have one goal, and that's to exploit the trading systems as early and often as possible. As someone who wrote software for eight years and who keeps up very closely with the technology world, that scared the hell out of me. The only certainty in the software world is that there is no such thing as bug-free software. When software programs are trying to outsmart other software programs and hack the world's trading platforms, that is a recipe for disaster. ... How many times an hour are there failures across individual equities around the world because of software running algorithms battling each other for supremacy to make a profitable trade? We have no idea. It's not a question of if or when we have meltdowns, it's just a question of how big and where. It's straight out of War Games. And that's before we even get to the possibility of nefarious or sovereign hackers getting involved.'"
Government

ADA May Force Netflix To Provide Closed Captioning On Content 694

Posted by Soulskill
from the information-neutrality dept.
Shivetya writes "Last year Netflix was sued by the National Association for the Deaf for failing to provide closed captioned text through its on-demand streaming service. Now, a judge has denied Netflix's attempt to have the suit thrown out, saying that the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in any venue — not just physical structures. The easiest means to comply would be to remove all videos which do not have a closed captioning component, the other route would require Netflix to pay to have this done to any video it wants to provide. The implications to other providers is immense as well. The plaintiffs will still need to prove that Netflix is legally obligated to provide closed-captioning, but the ruling is still significant for recognizing that Internet sites may fall under the purview of the Americans with Disabilities Act."
Television

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Watch TV In 2012? 479

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-not-involve-3d-glasses dept.
zaba writes "Once again, I can hear the tell-tale signs of a hard drive dying. This time, it's in the DVR for one of our TVs. In the U.S., are we at a point where, with a little technical savvy, 'cutting the cord' makes sense? If so, what are the best options? Does a refurb Roku (anywhere from 60-80 USD) make the most sense? Does building a mythbox or some such device make sense? For my family of four (ages 36, 30, 13 and 4), we are paying ~100 USD/month for two receivers (one with a DVR). What, in your opinion, is the best option to have TV service in two rooms of the house? Kid's shows could be in one room and adult shows in another. Or, all of it could be on one server (I have computers lying around) that could go to multiple rooms. We like the DVR for the instant access, but saving a hundred bucks a month would be nice as well. I can drop CAT-5 as needed, but Wi-Fi would be preferred. For programming, we currently have 'standard' cable and mostly watch the major networks. I would love to have ESPN, but can get my sports fix (mostly college football) through other means, I'm sure. How do you all watch TV? What have you found to be the best way to get what you want?"
AI

Chatbot Eugene Wins Biggest Turing Test Ever 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the it'd-be-easy-to-win-over-xbox-live dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Eugene Goostman, a chatbot imbued with the personality of a 13-year-old boy, won the biggest Turing test ever staged on 23 June, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. Held at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, UK, where Turing cracked the Nazi Enigma code during World War 2, the test involved over 150 separate conversations, 30 judges, 25 hidden humans and five elite, chattering software programs. 'Thirteen years old is not too old to know everything and not too young to know nothing,' explains Eugene's creator, Vladimir Veselov."
The Military

While the U.S. and Iran Negotiate, War Commences In Cyberspace 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the breaking-the-ice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A series of reports shows that the U.S. and Israel are engaged in a cyber war with Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons. Oddly enough, at the same time, the United States and others nations are trying to negotiate with Iran. As America and others start the world's first undeclared cyber-wars, dangerous precedents are being set that this type of warfare is without consequences. Such ideas could not be further from from truth."
EU

EU Commissioner Reveals He Will Ignore Any Rejection of ACTA 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
Dupple tips a story at Techdirt about comments from EU commissioner Karel De Gucht, who made some discouraging remarks to the EU International Trade committee about the opposition to ACTA: "If you decide for a negative vote before the European Court rules, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue to pursue the current procedure before the Court, as we are entitled to do. A negative vote will not stop the proceedings before the Court of Justice. ... If the Court questions the conformity of the agreement with the Treaties we will assess at that stage how this can be addressed." De Gucht also spoke about proposing clarifications to ACTA if Parliament declined to ratify it, which, as Techdirt points out, doesn't make much sense: "Remember that ACTA is now signed, and cannot be altered; so De Gucht is instead trying to fob off European politicians with this vague idea of 'clarifications' — as if more vagueness could somehow rectify the underlying problems of an already dangerously-vague treaty."
Education

Bill Gates Says Tablets Aren't Much Help In Education 575

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-it-worked-on-star-trek dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a detailed interview on the future of education, Bill Gates was surprisingly down on tablets in education — considering that Microsoft just released Surface. He said low-cost PCs are the thing for students, and he dismissed the idea that simply giving gadgets to students will bring change. Quoting: 'Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher. And it's never going to work on a device where you don't have a keyboard-type input. Students aren't there just to read things. They're actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it's going to be more in the PC realm—it's going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive.'"
KDE

Are Open-Source Desktops Losing Competitiveness? 663

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-enough-squabbling-over-rounded-edges dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Penz has been a user of KDE since version 1.2, and he led the development of the Dolphin file manager for the past six years. Now, he's quitting KDE development and handing off Dolphin. His reasons for quitting KDE development are described in a blog post. Penz speaks of KDE losing competitiveness to Apple and Microsoft due to increased complexity and other reasons. 'Working on the non-user-interface parts of applications can be challenging, and this is not something that most freetime-contributors are striving for. But if there are not enough contributors for the complex stuff behind the scenes and if no company is willing to invest fulltime-developers to work on this... well then we are losing ground.' Are open-source desktops losing?"
Biotech

Injected Proteins Protect Mice From Lethal Radiation Dose 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-only-spock-knew-about-this dept.
ananyo writes "Two anti-clotting compounds already approved for use in humans may have a surprising role in treating radiation sickness. Last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan renewed anxiety over the lack of treatments for radiation poisoning. It was long thought that the effects of exposure to high doses of radiation were instantaneous and irreversible, leading to destruction of the gut and loss of bone marrow cells, which damages blood-cell production and the immune system. The two compounds are thrombomodulin (Solulin/Recomodulin), currently approved in Japan to prevent thrombosis, and activated protein C (Xigris). Treating mice with either drug post-exposure led to an eightfold increase in key bone marrow cells needed for the production of white blood cells, and improved the survival rates of mice receiving lethal radiation doses by 40–80% (abstract). And yes, the lead author's name really is Geiger."
Patents

Immigrants Crucial To Innovation 463

Posted by Soulskill
from the melting-pot-of-ideas dept.
gollum123 sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "Arguing against immigration policies that force foreign-born innovators to leave the United States, a new study (PDF) to be released on Tuesday shows that immigrants played a role in more than three out of four patents at the nation's top research universities. Conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of job growth. ... The Partnership for a New American Economy released a paper in May saying that other nations were aggressively courting highly skilled citizens who had settled in the United States, urging them to return to their home countries. The partnership supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States. ... The study notes that nine out of 10 patents at the University of Illinois system in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. Of those, 64 percent had a foreign inventor who was not yet a professor but rather a student, researcher or postdoctoral fellow, a group more likely to face immigration problems."
Cellphones

Eben Moglen: Time To Apply Asimov's First Law of Robotics To Smartphones 305

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-through-inaction-allow-texting-at-the-dinner-table dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Free software lawyer and activist Eben Moglen plans to give a talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York next month on the need to apply Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics to our personal devices like smartphones. Here's a preview: 'In [1960s] science fiction, visionaries perceived that in the middle of the first quarter of the 21st century, we'd be living contemporarily with robots. They were correct. We do. We carry them everywhere we go. They see everything, they're aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream about us, which allows other people to predict and know our conduct and intentions and capabilities better than we can predict them ourselves. But we grew up imagining that these robots would have, incorporated in their design, a set of principles. We imagined that robots would be designed so that they could never hurt a human being. These robots have no such commitments. These robots hurt us every day. They work for other people. They're designed, built and managed to provide leverage and control to people other than their owners. Unless we retrofit the first law of robotics onto them immediately, we're cooked.'"
Piracy

UK's 'Three Strikes' Piracy Measures Published 150

Posted by timothy
from the talk-about-micromanagement dept.
judgecorp writes "UK regulator Ofcom has published details of plans to disconnect illegal file-sharers. It is the 'three strikes' policy which ISPs unsuccessfully appealed against, and it requires ISPs to keep a list of persistent copyright infringers (identified, as usual, by their IP address). ISPs will have to send monthly warning letters to those who infringe above a certain threshold. If a user gets three letters within a single year, the ISP must hand anonymised details to the copyright owner, who can apply for a court order to obtain the infringer's identity (or at least, an identity associated with that IP address)."
Earth

U.S. East Coast a Hotspot of Sea-Level Rise 266

Posted by timothy
from the because-of-all-the-sand-pumping-projects dept.
Harperdog writes "Nature just published this study of sea-level rise and how global warming does not force the it to happen everywhere at the same rate. Interesting stuff about what, exactly, contributes to this uneven rise, and how the East Coast of the U.S., which used to have a relatively low sea level, is now a hotspot in that the sea level there is rising faster than elsewhere."
Mars

Ask Bas Lansdorp About Going to Mars, One Way 540

Posted by timothy
from the bring-plenty-of-coffee dept.
NASA's been solicited ideas for exploring Mars, but Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp is already planning a different kind of trip than is likely to come from the U.S. government. Lansdorp's Mars One project has the goal of putting humans on Mars in 2022, with a twist that might dampen many people's hopes to be a Mars-exploring astronaut: the trip Lansdorp plans is one-way only. That means dramatically less fuel on board, because unlike typical Mars voyage plans, there would be no need (or ability) to carry the mechanism or the energy storage to return to Earth. If you (and three close companions) are willing to go be the first people to die on Mars, you'll also need to give up more than a pinch of privacy, because the Mars One plan to obtain the necessary funding is straightforward: create a media spectacle, and monetize it through advertising. (Note: If Elon Musk's optimistic sounding predictions are right, maybe one-way Marstronauts can get a return ticket, after all.) Many questions about the proposed journey are answered in the project's FAQ; check there before formulating questions. Ask Lansdorp about the practicalities and impracticalities of reaching Mars with as many questions as you'd like, but (lest ye be modded down) please only one question per post.

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.

Working...