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Research Offers Promise of Devices That Can Detect Disease With a Drop of Blood
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's just-a-drop department:
An anonymous reader writes "An NJIT research professor known for his cutting-edge work with carbon nanotubes is overseeing the manufacture of a prototype lab-on-a-chip that would someday enable a physician to detect disease or virus from just one drop of liquid, including blood. 'Scalable nano-bioprobes with sub-cellular resolution for cell detection,' (Elsevier, Vol. 45), which will publish on July 15, 2013 but is available now online, describes how NJIT research professors Reginald Farrow and Alokik Kanwal, his former postdoctoral fellow, and their team have created a carbon nanotube-based device to noninvasively and quickly detect mobile single cells with the potential to maintain a high degree of spatial resolution."

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Australian Government Rejects Data Retention Law After Report
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-sir-I-don't-like-it department:
mask.of.sanity writes "The Australian Government has shelved its plans to proactively store communications data of every citizen ostensibly to assist with law enforcement and intelligence efforts. The shelving (video) comes after a scathing report by Australian parliamentarians who investigated the Government's plans, and three months ahead of a federal election in which the Government is expected to lose office."

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CubeSats Spurring Satellite Revolution
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-it-started department:
kkleiner writes "Thanks to the miniaturization of electronics, small CubeSat satellites have quickly become the standard for orbital Earth monitoring. Their modular design and lower cost makes them accessible to many, from university researchers to backers of crowdfunding campaigns. This year, the number of CubeSats launched will at least double the number in orbit to date."

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Formlabs In Settlement Talks Over 3D Printing Patent Lawsuit
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's working-it-out department:
curtwoodward writes "Formlabs raised nearly $3 million in a month for its new Form 1 3D printer, which uses stereolithography to make precise models and other physical objects out of photoreactive liquid polymer. But 3D Systems-the publicly traded company founded by the guy who invented that process sued the startup for patent infringement. Formlabs recently announced that it would start shipping its pre-ordered Form 1 printers, and that was no coincidence: the two companies quietly entered into settlement talks in early May, and hope to have a deal done by September."

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Book Review: Puppet 3 Beginner's Guide
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
sagecreek writes "If you are in charge of a small network with just a few servers, you may still be doing configuration management primarily by hand. And you may take particular pride in maintaining that 'artisan' role. After all, it's mostly up to you to set up new users and their machines, fix current problems, manage the servers and their software, create databases and their user accounts, and try to keep the network and user configurations as uniform as possible despite running several different brands--and vintages--of hardware and software. However, warns infrastructure consultant John Arundel, '[b]eyond ten or so servers, there simply isn't a choice. You can't manage an infrastructure like this by hand. If you're using a cloud computing architecture, where servers are created and destroyed minute-by-minute in response to changing demand, the artisan approach to server crafting just won't work.' In his new book, Puppet 3 Beginner's Guide, Arundel emphasizes: 'Manual configuration management is tedious and repetitive, it's error-prone, and it doesn't scale well. Puppet is a tool for automating this process.'" Read below for the rest of sagecreek's review. Puppet 3 Beginner's Guide
author John Arundel
pages 184
publisher Packt Publishing
rating 8 out of 10
reviewer sagecreek
ISBN 978-1-78216-124-0
summary Learn how to fully utilize Puppet through simple, practical examples

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iFixit Giving Away 1,776 "iPhone Liberation Kits"
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fix-it-yourself department:
netbuzz writes "In a clever bit of self-promotion, the do-it-yourself repair evangelists at iFixit announced today that they will be giving away 1,776 free 'iPhone liberation kits' that will allow Apple customers access to the inner workings of their devices by replacing the difficult-to-remove pentalobe screws with standard Phillips screws. 'Get a free insurance policy,' iFixit says. 'In the unfortunate event that your iPhone needs repair, you will be set to make any necessary fix. For situations when you need to get the battery out of your iPhone as quickly as possible—such as after dropping the device into water—you will be ready.'"

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The Glorious Return of the Twinkie
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-in-my-belly department:
iggymanz writes "The geek food staple the Twinkie is coming back. The sturdy main component of the foundation to the geek four food groups of sugar, fat, caffeine and bacon; with rumored shelf life on the order of the time span to cool a white dwarf to room temperature; the Twinkie along with Ding-Dongs, Ho-Ho's and Cupcakes will be returning 15 July 2013 to the shelves under new management of Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulous & Co which paid over $400 mega dollars (U.S.) for the brands."

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Harvard, IBM Crunch Data For More Efficient Solar Cells
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's better-than-the-sun department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Harvard's Clean Energy Project (CEP) is using IBM's World Community Grid, a 'virtual supercomputer' that leverages volunteers' surplus computing power, to determine which organic carbon compounds are best suited for converting sunlight into electricity. IBM claims that the resulting database of compounds is the 'most extensive investigation of quantum chemicals ever performed.' In theory, all that information can be utilized to develop organic semiconductors and solar cells. Roughly a thousand of the molecular structures explored by the project are capable of converting 11 percent (or more) of captured sunlight into electricity—a significant boost from many organic cells currently in use, which convert between 4 and 5 percent of sunlight. That's significantly less than solar cells crafted from silicon, which can produce efficiencies of up to nearly 20 percent (at least in the case of black silicon solar cells). But silicon solar cells can be costly to produce, experiments with low-grade materials notwithstanding; organic cells could be a cheap and recyclable alternative, provided researchers can make them more efficient. The World Community Grid asks volunteers to download a small program (called an 'agent') onto their PC. Whenever the machine is idle, it requests data from whatever project is on the World Community Grid's server, which it crunches before sending back (and requesting another data packet). Several notable projects have embraced grid computing as a way to analyze massive datasets, including SETI@Home."

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Personal Audio's James Logan Answers Your Questions
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's Listen-up department:
A few weeks ago you had the chance to ask James Logan, the founder of Personal Audio, about the business, the patents the company holds, and the lawsuits it has filed. James answered most of the questions in great detail. Read below to see what he has to say and what question he passed on and why.

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New Links Found Between Bacteria and Cancer
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cleaning-up-your-cancer department:
Shipud writes "A recent study by a group at the University of Maryland School of Medicine shows that bacterial DNA gets transferred to human cells, in a process known as lateral gene transfer, or LGT. LGT is known to occur quite commonly between bacteria, including bacteria of different species. In fact, that is how antibiotic resistance is transferred so quickly. The team has shown that certain types of tumor cells acquire bacterial DNA that may play a role in tumor progression. Another group at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has shown that gut inflammation leads to a radical change in the microbial population there, which encourages growth of E. coli that can disrupt the inflamed cells' DNA, leading to cancer. Both studies enable us to ask new questions such as: how does inflammation change the landscape for bacterial colonization? Can bacteria indeed harness inflammation — and then cancer — to flourish and remove competitors from their newly found ecosystem? And can we use this information to fight cancer?"

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NSA Releases Secret Pre-History of Computers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's please-forget-about-that-other-stuff department:
An anonymous reader writes "The National Security Agency has declassified an eye-opening pre-history of computers used for code-breaking between the 1930s and 1960s. The 344 page report, entitled It Wasn't All Magic: The Early Struggle to Automate Cryptanalysis (pdf), it is available on the Government Attic web site. Government Attic has also just posted a somewhat less declassified NSA compendium from 1993: A Collection of Writings on Traffic Analysis. (pdf)"

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Wikileaks Aiding Snowden - Chinese Social Media Divided - Relations Strained
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-today's-smowden-news department:
cold fjord writes "Despite the US cancelling his passport, Edward Snowden continues his travels aided by Wikileaks, and is leaving a trail of strained diplomatic relations in his wake. It appears China gifted the issue to Russia. From Yahoo: 'Lawyer Albert Ho, ... a Hong Kong legislator ... told reporters he was approached by Snowden several days ago, and that the American had sought assurances ... whether he could leave the city freely if he chose to do so... Snowden later told Ho an individual claiming to represent the Hong Kong government had contacted him and indicated he should leave the city, and wouldn't be stopped ... Ho said he believed the middleman was acting on Beijing's orders.' From the NYT: Julian Assange, ...said in an interview ... 'that he had raised Mr. Snowden's case with Ecuador's government and that his group had helped arrange the travel documents.' From WSJ: 'Edward Snowden has generated more than a million posts on one of China's biggest social media platforms... Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging service, exploded with activity on Sunday as Mr. Snowden left ... Mr. Snowden was hailed as a hero ... last week, but posts on Sunday and Monday were divided... "All crows are black," said a number of users, citing an Chinese old saying, to describe both American and Chinese government's surveillance programs. ... "Snowden has helped China so much. Why did we let him go?" said one ... Some suggested that China should keep Mr. Snowden as a weapon against repeated accusations of China hacking U.S. companies. More extreme users complained that China is "too soft on the U.S." "Russia is a real strong country to accept him," ... Another popular term: "hot potato," reflecting relief that Hong Kong wouldn't have to stand against U.S. efforts to take him into custody. Some users criticized Mr. Snowden for fleeing.' From the Guardian: 'Snowden's escape from Hong Kong infuriated US politicians, while China focused on condemning Washington over his latest disclosures, which suggested the NSA had hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies ... Moscow was also drawn into the controversy after it emerged that Snowden's passport had been revoked before he left Hong Kong and he did not have a visa for Russia. But Russia appeared indifferent to the uproar, with one official saying Snowden was safe from the authorities as long as he remained in the transit lounge at the city's Sheremetyevo airport. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said: "I know nothing."' From ABC: Snowden registered for the flight to Havana that leaves Moscow on Monday..."

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Obama's Climate Plans Face Long Fight
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 04:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's long-road department:
An anonymous reader writes "He hasn't even given his Tuesday speech yet but Obama's plans to tackle climate change are already raising objections in Washington. From the article: 'When President Barack Obama lays out plans to tackle climate change in a speech Tuesday, including the first effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, he will unleash a yearslong battle that has little assurance of being resolved during his time in office. The president has called climate change a "legacy issue," and his speech may head off a backlash from environmentalists should his administration approve the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. But the address is unlikely to blunt criticism of Mr. Obama's approach from the left or the right.'"

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The Security Risks of HTML5 Development
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '13 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
CowboyRobot writes "Local storage is a big change from HTML of the past, where browsers could only use cookies to store small bits of information, such as session tokens, for managing identity. HTML5 changes this with sessionStorage, localStorage, and client-side databases to allow developers to store vast amounts of data in the browser that is all accessible from JavaScript. An attacker could retrieve this data or manipulate the data, which would then get used again later by the application and may be uploaded back to the server to attack others, as well. Another risk comes from using 3rd-party code. Until HTML5, JavaScript was limited to requesting resources from the domain from which it was loaded, but with the addition of cross-origin resource sharing (CORS), this has been changed to allow JavaScript to request resources from different domains. This offers increased functionality but requires strict usage policies or risks being abused."

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California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '13 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-up department:
An anonymous reader writes in with bad news for the Bitcoin Foundation. "California's Department of Financial Institutions has issued a cease and desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation for "allegedly engaging in the business of money transmission without a license or proper authorization," according to Forbes. The news comes after Bitcoin held its "Future of Payments" conference in San Jose last month. If found in violation, penalties range from $1,000 to $2,500 per violation per day plus criminal prosecution (which could lead to more fines and possibly imprisonment). Under federal law, it's also a felony "to engage in the business of money transmission without the appropriate state license or failure to register with the US Treasury Department," according to Forbes. Penalties under that law could be up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine."

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PlayStation 4 Will Be Running Modified FreeBSD
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '13 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's under-the-hood department:
jones_supa writes "This discovery comes nicely alongside the celebration of FreeBSD's 20th birthday, for all the UNIX nerds. The operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It's not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86-64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD. BSDs in general currently lack manufacturer supported full-feature AMD graphics driver, which leads to the conclusion that Sony and AMD have likely co-developed a discrete driver for the PS4. Some pictures of the development kit boot loader (GRUB) have been published too."

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The Aging of Our Nuclear Power Plants Is Not So Graceful
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '13 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tests-of-time department:
Lasrick writes "This is a very thoughtful article on nuclear power plant aging: how operators use early retirement of plants to extract concessions from rate-payers and a discussion on how California's 'forward-looking planning process' has probably mitigated disruption from the closing of San Onofre."

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Google Preparing "Google Mine" For Organizing and Sharing Your Stuff On Google+
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '13 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-some-google-for-your-google department:
MojoKid writes "George Carlin said it best, we all 'need a place to put our stuff.' It seems the folks at Google understand this age old wisdom as well and as such will be launching a new service. Google Mine will reportedly soon be integrated with Google+ so that users can share their belongings with friends in circles they so designate. The new service will also allow G+ users to rate and review items as well, so that anyone in your Google+ stream that you allow, can see the items and your opinion of them. Reportedly there is also an Android app on the way for Mine, which seems like a natural of course, for sharing your stuff on the go. What's perhaps most interesting about the prospects of Google+ Mine could be the secondary benefit that Google receives from data 'mining' your shares on the items you own, use or want."

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FTC Reviews Google's Purchase of Navigation App Waze
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '13 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's taking-a-closer-look department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google's acquisition of Waze has peaked the interest of the FTC and is now facing an antitrust review. "Google confirmed that it has been contacted by lawyers from the Federal Trade Commission over the company's '$1.1 billion acquisition of the mobile navigation company Waze, which closed in mid-June. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on details of the antitrust review by the FTC. Representatives of the agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.'"

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A Different Approach To Making Alternative Fuels Practical
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '13 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's step-by-step department:
First time accepted submitter overmod writes "Browsing on a completely unrelated subject, I came across this New York Times description of Solazyme. From the article: '...in 2003, Mr. Wolfson packed up and moved from New York to Palo Alto, Calif., where Mr. Dillon lived. They started a company called Solazyme. In mythical Valley tradition, they worked in Mr. Dillon’s garage, growing algae in test tubes. And they found a small knot of investors attracted by the prospect of compressing a multimillion-year process into a matter of days.

Now, a decade later, they have released into the marketplace their very first algae-derived oil produced at a commercial scale. Yet the destination for this oil — pale, odorless and dispensed from a small matte-gold bottle with an eyedropper — is not gas tanks, but the faces of women worried about their aging skin.' What I find interesting is the model they've adopted for short-term growth, which I would not have seen coming from a technology oriented toward biofuel production. Leads me to wonder what other nominally-green technologies that would otherwise be slow if not impossible to scale to workable businesses might have 'niche' applications, with high perceived marginal value, that could be used to boost capital, rather than relying on donations, grants, or nebulous save-the-planet goodwill."


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