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Golden Ratio Discovered In a Quantum World
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 09:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nanites-are-excellent-architects deptartment:
FiReaNGeL writes "Scientists have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. 'In order to study these nanoscale quantum effects, the researchers have focused on the magnetic material cobalt niobate. It consists of linked magnetic atoms, which form chains just like a very thin bar magnet, but only one atom wide.' By artificially introducing more quantum uncertainty, the researchers observed that the chain acts like a nanoscale guitar string. The first two notes show a perfect relationship with each other. Their frequencies (pitch) are in the ratio of 1.618, which is the golden ratio famous from art and architecture. The observed resonant states in cobalt niobate are a dramatic laboratory illustration of the way in which mathematical theories developed for particle physics may find application in nanoscale science and ultimately in future technology."

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Recession Turning Software Auditors Into Greedy Traffic Cops
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 07:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's twenty-six-in-a-twenty-five deptartment:
judgecorp writes "As the recession bites, software auditors are cracking down, and some are simply exploiting loopholes and technicalities to meet their targets, according to analyst Forrester. They may be within their rights, but they aren't endearing themselves to users; Steve Ballmer faced weary customers in London last year, and admitted Windows licenses have deliberate 'gotchas.'"

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NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 06:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ain't-it-cool deptartment:
coondoggie writes "NASA said it will soon move some of the larger (46 lb) mirror segments of its future James Webb Space Telescope into a cryogenic test facility that will freeze the mirrors to -414 degrees Fahrenheit (~25 K). Specifically, NASA will freeze six of the 18 Webb telescope mirror segments at the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility, or XRCF, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in a test to ensure the critical mirrors can withstand the extreme space environments. All 18 segments will eventually be tested at the site. The test chamber takes approximately five days to cool a mirror segment to cryogenic temperatures."

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Google Faces Deluge of Nexus One Complaints
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 05:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's enjoy-the-flood-of-customer-rage deptartment:
wkurzius writes "It seems Google is going through some growing pains as far as customer service is concerned. Since their new phone, the Nexus One, can be bought unlocked, many people are turning to Google themselves for help, but not getting what they're used to from traditional mobile carriers. T-Mobile and HTC are also getting hammered, with many customers being bounced back and forth between the two companies' service lines." It seems they're also taking flak from Android developers who are unhappy that no SDK has yet been released for Android 2.1, which runs on the Nexus One.

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Acer Recalls 22,000 Notebooks Due To Burn Hazard
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hot-product deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Acer, today announced a voluntary recall of 22,000 notebook computers. Acer has received three reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in slight melting of the external casing. No incidents occurred in the United States. No injuries have been reported."

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Palm Opens Dev Program, Offers $1M For Top App
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 03:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's best-kind-of-incentive deptartment:
CWmike writes "Palm opened up its webOS developer program to the public this week in a bid to close the gap with the number of iPhone and Android apps. Palm will also open up its application distribution channel to developers and Web sites, giving them access to detailed information about applications and statistics, such as the number of downloads. This will allow them to build their own application directories and application ranking mechanisms, Palm's Katie Mitic said. 'As an incentive to developers interested in building their own directories, Palm is offering $1 million to the developer with the most downloads of free and paid applications between February and May, Mitic said. Palm also announced a plug-in development kit for WebOS that allows developers to extend the OS's capabilities using code written in C and C++. Over time, these plug-ins will be incorporated into the software development kit, she said. The plug-in development kit will be released at the Game Developers Conference in March, but a handful of game developers have already put the kit to use. EA Mobile, Laminar Research, Gameloft and Glu all released games that were developed using plug-ins. Those games include 3D titles, such as EA Mobile Need for Speed Undercover, and are now available.'"

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Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-nuts deptartment:
JamJam writes "Air Canada has been told to create a special 'buffer zone' on flights for people who are allergic to nuts. The Canadian Transportation Agency has ruled that passengers who have nut allergies should be considered disabled and accommodated by the airline. Air Canada has a month to come up with an appropriate section of seats where passengers with nut allergies would be seated. The ruling involved a complaint from Sophia Huyer who has a severe nut allergy and travels frequently. Ms. Huyer once spent 40 minutes in the washroom during a flight while snacks were being served."

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Scientists Turn Wood Into Bone
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 02:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's better-golems-on-the-way deptartment:
Bob the Super Hamster writes "The BBC is reporting that scientists in Italy have developed a method to convert rattan wood into a bone like substance. The bone replacement is currently being tested in sheep where when inserted into the area of a fracture it joins with the existing bone and eventually fuses. Unlike other bone replacements this one actually has load bearing ability and also naturally fuses with the existing bone. Additionally since it is porous like real bone, nerves and blood vessels can pass through it."

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Why You Should Use OpenGL and Not DirectX
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 02:00 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's market-droids-working-overtime deptartment:
stickyboot writes "The independent games developer Wolfire describes why they decided to use OpenGL instead of DirectX. The article mainly discusses the marketing strategies behind DirectX and how the API became so popular. It also goes over why a developer would choose OpenGL over DirectX and what this decision means for the gamer. 'Back in 1997, the situation was similar to how it is now. Microsoft was running a massive marketing campaign for Direct3D, and soon everyone "just knew" that it was faster and better than OpenGL. This started to change when Chris Hecker published his open letter denouncing DirectX. Soon after that, John Carmack posted his famous OpenGL rant, and put his money where his mouth was by implementing all of Id Software's games in OpenGL, proving once and for all that DirectX was unnecessary for high-end 3D gaming. This lesson appears to have been forgotten over the last few years. Most game developers have fallen under the spell of DirectX marketing, or into the whirlpool of vicious cycles and network advantages.'"

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Court Unfriendly To FCC's Internet Slap At Comcast
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 01:00 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's unchecked-authority-generally-bad deptartment:
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Federal Judges have been harsh in their examination of the FCC's action against Comcast in 2008 for throttling of internet traffic from high-bandwidth file-sharing services. "'You can't get an unbridled, roving commission to go about doing good,' said U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Chief Judge David Sentelle during an oral argument. The three-judge panel grilled FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick on the parts of communications law it could cite to justify the Comcast punishment. The FCC argues that it was enforcing an open Internet policy implicit in the law. Judge A. Raymond Randolph repeatedly said the legal provisions cited by the FCC were mere policy statements that by themselves can't justify the commission's action. 'You have yet to identify a specific statute,' he said. The judges' decision in the case could throw into question the FCC's authority to impose open Internet rules."

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Managing Young Sys Admins At Oregon State Open Source Lab
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 12:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's can't-beat-real-world-experience deptartment:
mstansberry writes "Lance Albertson, architect and systems administrator at the Oregon State University Open Source Lab uses a sys admin staff of 18-21 year old undergrads to manage servers for some high profile open source projects (Linux Master Kernel, Linux Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, and Drupal to name a few). In this Q&A, Albertson talks about the challenges of using young sys admins and the lab's plans to move from Cfengine to Puppet for systems management."

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Hot or Not — 3D TV
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 11:45 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's sounds-like-a-play-for-my-wallet deptartment:
Several sources have written to tell us that in terms of hype at this year's CES show there is none bigger than that surrounding 3D TV. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, and Toshiba all have their own flavors of hardware and ESPN announced a 3D sports channel, but Microsoft seems to be bucking the trend with their apparent lack of 3D interest surrounding the Xbox product. "We're yet to see any major brand at CES pushing a 3D TV that doesn't require them. In most cases these aren't the basic Ray Ban style you might have worn to watch Avatar. In many cases they'll actually require power. For example, Sony's 3D TVs use a "frame sequential"display method, which involves active-shutter glasses that turn on and off in sync with the images. Some TVS come with the glasses and have the transmitter built in, but again, in some cases you'll need to buy the transmitter and glasses separately."

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Making a Liquid Invisibility Cloak
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 10:45 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's pour-to-order deptartment:
Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai, China are proposing a method which could lead to the first soft, tunable metamaterial, the key ingredient in building an invisibility device. "The fluid proposed by Ji-Ping Huang of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and colleagues, contains magnetite balls 10 nanometers in diameter, coated with a 5-nanometer-thick layer of silver, possibly with polymer chains attached to keep them from clumping. In the absence of a magnetic field, such nanoparticles would simply float around in the water, but if a field were introduced, the particles would self-assemble into chains whose lengths depend on the strength of the field, and which can also attract one another to form thicker columns. The chains and columns would lie along the direction of the magnetic field. If they were oriented vertically in a pool of water, light striking the surface would refract negatively – bent in way that no natural material can manage."

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Surgeon Makes Tutorial DVD For Conscious Open-Heart Surgery
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's looks-easy-enough deptartment:
Lanxon writes "Swaroup Anand, 23, from Bangalore, was fully conscious as he underwent open-heart surgery. An epidural to the neck, administered at the city’s Wockhardt Hospital, numbed his body during the procedure. Dr Vivek Jawali pioneered the technique ten years ago and has recently released a tutorial on DVD, which gives a step-by-step guide to the procedure for other surgeons to watch and learn from."

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MagicJack Femtocell Gates Cell Traffic to VoIP
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 10:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's someone-is-gonna-love-that deptartment:
olsmeister writes "MagicJack is demonstrating a femtocell device at CES that will allow any GSM phone (locked or unlocked) to place free phone calls over the internet using VOIP. The device costs $40 and includes free service for 1 year. It supposedly will cover a 3,000 sq ft house."

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Microsoft Patents DRM'd Torrents
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 09:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i'll-patent-torrenting-torrents deptartment:
Anonymous Crobar writes "Microsoft has received a patent for a 'digital rights management scheme for an on-demand distributed streaming system,' or using a P2P network to distribute commercial media content. The patent, #7,639,805, covers a method of individually encrypting each packet with a separate key and allowing users to decrypt differing levels of quality depending on the license that has been purchased."

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Google Applies To Become Energy Marketer
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's what-aren't-they-doing-now deptartment:
necro81 writes "Google consumes massive amounts of electrical energy to power its data centers across the country and world. Now it has created a subsidiary, Google Energy LLC, and applied (pdf) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to become a utility-scale energy trader. Google's stated aim is to be able to purchase renewable energy directly from producers at bulk rates, pursuing its goal of becoming carbon neutral. It is likely that Google Energy would also permit Google's own renewable energy projects to sell their energy at more favorable rates. Google reportedly does not have plans to actively become an energy broker, a la Enron."

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USA Has More Open Wi-Fi Hotspots Than EU
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's my-password-is-passw0rd deptartment:
Mark.JUK writes "Some 40% of wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet access hotspots in the USA are unlocked and do not require a security password, which compares with 25% in Europe; according to WeFi based statistics. Across the world, approximately 30% of recorded Wi-Fi access points are unlocked, while some 70% are locked. Nice to see everybody taking security so seriously, then. It should be perfectly possible to 'share' Wi-Fi while using WPA or WPA2 security measures at the same time."

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Control Your Apps Without Your Finger
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's windex-votes-no deptartment:
VincenzoRomano writes "You won't need to swipe your fingers over smallish touch screens. You'll move your arms, hands and fingers (or whatever else applies) in the air or will shake the handset. The phone camera(s), the G-sensor, the compass and so on will be used by a software to understand the gestures and to translate them into control commands. This breakthrough comes from a company called GestureTek, a non-startup company in this field." I love the idea of my screen no longer being smudged. I hate the idea of people doing this on a bus.

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Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on January 08 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's because-the-others-all-suck deptartment:
waderoush writes "The deafening roar of anticipation around Apple's expected 'iSlate' announcement on January 27 is strange, to say the least, given the public's utter apathy about tablet computers to date. What's going on? Xconomy's analysis makes three points. 1) Previous tablet makers have shown little imagination around UIs and how a touchscreen changes things. 2) With the iPhone, Apple has shown what's possible in this regard. 3) There's latent demand for a mobile computing device that's smaller and lighter than a laptop but has more screen real estate than a smartphone — something reminiscent of a Star Trek tricorder or PADD. Hence the hopes for the iSlate — which are so high that it may be difficult for even Apple to meet them."

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