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Weebots: Driveable Robots For Babies Who Need Them
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-many-good-ways-to-get-in-trouble department:
toygeek writes "Babies, as you may have noticed if you own one, like to get into all sorts of mischief, and studies show that exploring and interacting with the world is important for cognitive development. Babies who can't move around as well may not develop at the same rate as babies who can, which is why researchers from Ithaca College in New York are working on a way to fuse babies with robots to give mobility to all babies, even those with conditions that may delay independent mobility, like Down syndrome, spina bifida, or cerebral palsy."

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Meet Interesting People at a Mini Maker Faire (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 08:15 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's if-you-make-it-they-will-come department:
There are Maker Faires all over the world, but this video was made at the one held in Ann Arbor this June. It's a random selection of demos given by people Slashdot editors met while cruising the exhibits. Want to have your own Maker Faire? Make Magazine has instructions on how to make a Maker Faire if there isn't already one near you.

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Gelsinger Shoots Down EMC On ARM
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's context-switching-is-costly department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "EMC president and incoming VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger most likely shot down any hope that the company's storage arrays would be built around the ARM architecture. Gelsinger, who also helped orchestrate the VMworld show in San Francisco this week, presented an Aug. 29 keynote at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, Calif. Afterward, an audience member told Gelsinger that as many as 25 percent of all servers could be shipped around the low-power ARM architecture, then asked if Gelsinger agreed with that estimate. EMC previously shifted its product lines to Intel processors. Gelsinger told the audience member that the situation is unlikely to change, even if ARM could deliver workloads at a fraction of the power of an X86 chip."

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Kindle Fire Is Sold Out Forever
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's knew-that-bezos-was-a-seller-outer department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from geek.com: "Amazon has released a rather bizarre bit of news today. The Kindle Fire has completely sold out. You can no longer buy one, and the wording of the press release suggests there won't be any more manufactured. In nine months on sale Amazon claims to have secured 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S.. With that in mind, Amazon will definitely be selling more Kindle Fires, however, the next one you'll be able to buy will probably have a "2 at the end of the name. Jeff Bezos said that the Kindle Fire is Amazon's most successful product launch so far and that there's 'an exciting roadmap ahead.' He also confirmed Amazon will continue to offer hardware, but there's no detail beyond that."

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Calorie Restriction May Not Extend Lifespan
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-even-time-for-one-more-cigarette department:
sciencehabit writes "Slash your food intake and you can live dramatically longer — at least if you're a mouse or a nematode. But a major study designed to determine whether this regimen, known as caloric restriction, works in primates suggests that it improves monkeys' health but doesn't extend their lives. Researchers not involved with the new paper say the results are still encouraging. Although the monkeys didn't evince an increase in life span, both studies show a major improvement in 'health span,' or the amount of time before age-related diseases set in. 'I certainly wouldn't give up on calorie restriction as a health promoter' based on these findings, says molecular biologist Leonard Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge."

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NASA Launches Twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's realized-vision department:
eldavojohn writes "A press release announced the launch of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission at 4:05 a.m. EDT Thursday morning. The probes are listed as healthy and ready to begin their 60-day commissioning period before beginning their prime mission to study Earth's electric atmosphere. Space.com has images of the launch. The spacecraft will study the Van Allen Radiation Belts and allow us better insight on the Sun's influence on the Earth as well as giving us a more accurate picture of Earth's magnetosphere. The spacecraft's sensitive parts are protected by 0.33 inches (8.5 millimeters) of aluminum and they will follow each other across a highly elliptical orbit almost exactly on the Earth's equatorial plane coming as close as 375 miles (603 km) and reaching as far as 20,000 miles (32187 km) from the surface of Earth to dynamically explore the radiation belts."

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Polish Researcher: Oracle Knew For Months About Java Zero-Day
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's well-I-mean-oracle-duh department:
dutchwhizzman writes "Polish security researcher Adam Gowdiak submitted bug reports for the current Java 7 zero day exploit that's wreaking havoc all over the Internet months ago. It seems that Oracle can't — or won't? — take such reports seriously. Is it really time to ditch Oracle's java and go for an open source VM?"

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Linus Torvalds Says Linux 4.0 Could Be Out In Three Years
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-step-only-got-to-3.3 department:
darthcamaro writes "The wait between Linux 2.x and 3.x was a long one but the wait to Linux 4? Well that's will only be a matter of three years according to Linus Torvalds. '"It's just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number," Torvalds said during the LinuxCon conference in San Diego [Wednesday]. "We'll do 4.0 in three years maybe when the sub numbers have grown in the 20's and our feeble brains can't handle it."'"

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US DOJ Drops Charges Against Two Seized Websites
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's forget-about-it department:
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its case against two Spanish websites that stream sports events nearly 17 months after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the sites and shut them down for alleged copyright violations. In a one-page brief to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the district said his office had dropped the case against Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org. ICE seized the two sites on Jan. 31, 2011, and the DOJ asked the court to order that Puerto 80 Projects, the owner of the sites, forfeit the sites to the U.S. government."

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Is Innovation the Most Abused Word In Business?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's give-it-a-name department:
dcblogs writes "Most of what is called innovation today is mere distraction, according to a paper by economist Robert Gordon, written for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Real innovations involve things like the combustion engine or air conditioning, not the smartphone. The paper includes thought experiments to help you gain more respect for genuine innovations such as indoor plumbing. The Financial Times has posted the complete 25-page paper.(pdf)"

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San Diego Zoo Creates Biomimicry Incubator
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's float-like-a-butterfly-literally department:
waderoush writes "The San Diego Zoo has built a world famous reputation as a tourist destination, for helping to rescue the California Condor, and maybe (if you're old enough) for Joan Embery's appearances with Johnny Carson. Now the zoo is using its expertise to drive innovation by establishing a new 'Centre for Bioinspiration.' While the Anglicized spelling of 'center' might seem pretentious, the zoo has a down-to-earth goal of innovating through the emerging field of biomimicry, which is exemplified by Qualcomm's Mirasol display technology (the displays generate colors using the same type of interference between light waves that causes iridescence in butterfly wings). The center includes an incubator for developing new bio-inspired products and technologies, where ideas would be advanced to a proof of concept or working model, and then licensed. The incubator also intends to help develop bio-inspired ideas from outside the zoo."

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Google Talks About the Dangers of User Content
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watch-what-you-say department:
An anonymous reader writes "Here's an interesting article on the Google security blog about the dangers faced by modern web applications when hosting any user supplied data. The surprising conclusion is that it's apparently almost impossible to host images or text files safely unless you use a completely separate domain. Is it really that bad? "

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Japan Considers '911' Calls From Twitter, Social Networks
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-need-helpville department:
itwbennett writes "The Japanese national Fire and Disaster Management Agency today hosted the first of 3 panels to discuss allowing emergency calls to be placed through social networks. For the event, Twitter's Japanese blog posted entries on how to use the service during emergencies, one of which advised: 'If your circumstances allow, please add #survived to your tweets. This will help when family and friends that are worried about you search on your welfare.'"

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NASA "Mohawk Guy" To Host Radio Show
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-all-about-the-hair department:
An anonymous reader writes "NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' Bobak Ferdowsi, a flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory mission that lowered the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface in early August, will host a two-hour online broadcast on Internet radio station Third Rock Radio at 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday, August 30. The show, entitled 'Getting Curious with the Mohawk Guy,' will feature Ferdowsi discussing his experience with the landing of Curiosity, NASA’s evolving image, and renewed interest in science and exploration."

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"Real-life Tricorder" To Be Tested On International Space Station
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-green-pill department:
cylonlover writes "While still impressive, the capabilities of early 'tricorders,' such as the Scanadu and Dr Jansen's tricorder, fall well short of the Star Trek device that inspired them. But a new miniaturized version of a flow cytometer called the Microflow to be tested on the International Space Station (ISS) brings the age of instant diagnosis of medical conditions using a portable device a step closer. The Microflow could also make its way into doctor's offices here on Earth where it might help cut down on the number of follow up visits required after waiting to get results back from the lab."

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Harvard Creates Cyborg Tissues
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-wired department:
MrSeb writes "Bioengineers at Harvard University have created the first examples of cyborg tissue: Neurons, heart cells, muscle, and blood vessels that are interwoven by nanowires and transistors. These cyborg tissues are half living cells, half electronics. As far as the cells are concerned, they're just normal cells that behave normally — but the electronic side actually acts as a sensor network, allowing a computer to interface directly with the cells. In the case of cyborg heart tissue, the researchers have already used the embedded nanowires to measure the contractions (heart rate) of the cells. So far, the researchers have only used the nanoelectric scaffolds to read data from the cells — but according to lead researcher Charles Lieber, the next step is to find a way of talking to the individual cells, to 'wire up tissue and communicate with it in the same way a biological system does.' Suffice it to say, if you can use a digital computer to read and write data to your body's cells, there are some awesome applications."

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Is an International Nuclear Fuelbank a Good Idea?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-for-the-people department:
An anonymous reader writes "A roundtable at the Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences explores the notion of nuclear fuel banks which would offer nations a guaranteed supply of low-enriched uranium if they renounce the right to enrich on their own. From the article: 'The basic idea behind an international fuel bank is that it would, in a reliable and nondiscriminatory way, make emergency supplies of market-priced low-enriched uranium available to states that sign up to participate. States that opt for membership in a fuel bank would gain increased confidence that their access to reactor-grade fuel would not be interrupted. In return, they would renounce the right to enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel on their own. Such an arrangement could be appropriate for a number of states. But for others, it might be less than ideal.'"

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Survey Reveals a Majority Believe "the Cloud" Is Affected by Weather
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stormy-weather department:
SmartAboutThings writes "In a recent survey performed by Wakefield Research, it has been discovered that the majority of the surveyed Americans are quite confused about the notion of Cloud, when it relates to Cloud Storage/Computing. The most interesting fact is that 51% of the surveyed persons thought that stormy weather interferes with cloud computing!"

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New iOS App Sends Users' Web Traffic Through Its Proxy Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-can-trust-us department:
New submitter spac writes "AllthingsD has an interesting story about how a startup called Wajam requires users of their service to download a script that sets up a proxy to handle all network requests for the purpose of providing 'Social Recommendations' within built-in apps. The privacy implications of using this profile script isn't clearly presented to users. Are we really to entrust our data to a company founded by a man who comes from the world of browser toolbars? And for social search?!"
The company rushes to counter privacy concerns by pointing out that their service has "received security certifications from TRUSTe, McAfee and Norton."

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AMD Preps For Server Graphics Push
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's servers-need-to-be-able-to-play-quake-too department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "AMD named John Gustafson as senior fellow and chief product architect of AMD's Graphics Business Unit, the former ATI graphics business unit. Gustafson, known for developing a key axiom governing parallel processing, will apply that knowledge to AMD's more traditional graphics units and GPGPUs, co-processors that have begun appearing in high-performance computing (HPC) systems to add more computational oomph via parallel processing. At the Hot Chips conference, AMD's chief technical officer, Mark Papermaster, also provided a more comprehensive look at AMD's future in the data center, claiming that APUs were the keystone of the 'surround computing era,' where a wealth of data — through sensors, gestures, voice, augmented reality, metadata, and HD video and graphics — will need to be contextualized, analyzed, and either encrypted or assigned privacy policies. That, of course, means the cloud must shoulder the computational burden."

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