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Renaming the Very Large Array
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-about-the-really-big-array department:
New submitter mercurywoodrose writes "To commemorate a decade-long electronics upgrade, the Very Large Array in New Mexico is up for renaming. Submissions may be made at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's website until December 1."

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DNA Sequenced of Woman Who Lived To 115
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-sequence-her-boosterspice department:
chrb writes "The DNA of W115 — an anonymous woman who lived to the age of 115 years and left her body to science — has been sequenced. Despite her old age, W115 showed no signs of dementia or heart disease, and tests at the age of 113 showed she had the mental abilities of a woman aged 60-75 years. Dr. Henne Holstege of the Department of Clinical Genetics at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam has suggested W115 had rare genetic changes in her DNA which protected against Alzheimer's and other late-life diseases."

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Leonardo DiCaprio To Play Alan Turing?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 07:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's martin-lawrence-not-available department:
mikejuk writes "2012 is the one hundredth anniversary of Alan Turing's birth, with many celebration events being planned around the world. This week Warner Bros outbid other companies for the script of a biopic based on Turing's life. The script for The Imitation Game, by first-time screenwriter Graham Moore and based in turn on the biography by Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma, was snapped up by Warner Bros in a 7-figure deal. Right now the leading candidate to portray Turing is Leonardo DiCaprio."

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Who Killed Videogames?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's zynga-in-the-cloud-with-the-microtransactions department:
jjp9999 writes "Video game developer and novelist Tim Rogers exposes the underbelly of free-to-play games that use real-world currency. They're not trying to entertain you — they're trying to get you hooked. Every minute you play is being analyzed by men in suits reeling you into a cycle of addiction so they can keep you coming for more, and hopefully opening your wallet to buy premium points here and there. To do this, they intentionally give you an hour's worth of gameplay dragged out over the course of a week to keep it on your mind, dropping coins here and there for you to pick up, and playing on your own sense of work and profit to keep you coming back."

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FTL Neutrinos Explained... Maybe
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's a-definite-possibility department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "A new paper, recently posted on the arXiv physics preprint server, claims to have explained the faster-than-light neutrino experiment from last month. The author claims the motion of the GPS satellite introduces a relativistic dilation that accounts for the now-infamous 60 ns discrepancy in neutrino flight time. However, I'm not so sure; the original experimenters claimed to have accounted for relativistic effects. I don't think we've seen the end of this just yet."

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World Solar Challenge About To Start
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's watch-out-for-the-kangaroos department:
SustainableJeroen writes "On Sunday morning at 08:30 local time — that's less than an hour away — the World Solar Challenge will start in Darwin, Australia. The first solar racing car and its support fleet will depart Darwin to traverse the 3000+ km to Adelaide through the Australian outback. It will be followed at two-minute intervals by 36 other racing teams, from twenty countries from all over the world. The qualification round, held on Saturday, saw Solar Team Twente secure the first starting position in the race, closely followed by Nuon Solar Team and Michigan University. The top ten times in the qualification round were within eleven seconds of each other, and while driving one lap around a race track is very different from driving 3000 km on a public motorway, it does show that the top cars are quite close in performance. With the top cars and teams being very, very close to each other, it's sure to be a very exciting race. The fastest teams are expected to reach the official finish line just outside Adelaide late Wednesday or early Thursday (local time), after which the teams will continue on for the traditional dive in the fountain at Victoria Square in Adelaide."

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Why Mars Is Not the Best Place To Look For Life
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's red-dead-emption department:
EccentricAnomaly writes "A story over at Science News quotes Alan Stern (former head of NASA Science missions) as saying: 'The three strongest candidates [for extraterrestrial life] are all in the outer solar system.' He's referring to Europa, Titan, and Enceladus. So why is NASA spending $2.5B on the next Mars Rover and planning to spend over $6B more on a Mars sample return when it can't find the money for much cheaper missions to Europa or Enceladus?"

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District Attorney Critiques Gizmodo Emails In iPhone 4 Prototype Case
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's stay-classy department:
lee1 writes "After the police broke in to a Gizmodo editor's home and collected emails from computers found there as part of the investigation of the stolen 2010 iPhone prototype, the San Mateo District Attorney's office petitioned the court to withdraw the search warrant, because it violated a law intended to protect journalists. Nevertheless, the DA, rather than apologize for the illegal search and seizure, issued a critique of the seized emails, commenting that they were 'juvenile' and that 'It was obvious that they were angry with the company about not being invited to ... some big Apple event. ... this is like 15-year-old children talking.''"

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Ask Slashdot: Ergonomic Office Environment?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-recommend-airplane-seats department:
relyte writes "In the spirit of the recent poll — where many people recommended ergonomic upgrades — what's the best way to get a comfortable, ergonomic, efficient work environment? I'm just starting my career in software development, and I'd like to get a great chair, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. What models would you recommend to save wear and tear on joints, eyes, and muscles? Are there other categories I should consider?"

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Doing Science With Virtual Biologists
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's please-state-the-nature-of-the-biological-emergency department:
An anonymous reader sends word of new research into automating computational experiments. A team of scientists developed a piece of software, dubbed Eureqa, to help solve complex, computationally-intense biological problems. A new paper in the journal Physical Biology details their success (abstract).
"The researchers chose this specific system, called glycolytic oscillations, to perform a virtual test of the software because it is one of the most extensively studied biological control systems. Jenkins and Vallabhajosyula used one of the process' detailed mathematical models to generate a data set corresponding to the measurements a scientist would make under various conditions. To increase the realism of the test, the researchers salted the data with a 10 percent random error. When they fed the data into Eureqa, it derived a series of equations that were nearly identical to the known equations. 'What’s really amazing is that it produced these equations a priori,' said Vallabhajosyula. 'The only thing the software knew in advance was addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.'"

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Congressmen Worried About Amazon Silk Privacy Issues
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-that-they-know-what-those-issues-are department:
suraj.sun sends this quote from an article at Ars:
"Congress is trying to wrap its collective head around Amazon's new Silk Web browser. At a privacy hearing yesterday, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) expressed outrage at the way Silk's 'split' design can funnel all user browsing data through Amazon's backend servers. 'My staff yesterday told me that one of our leading Internet companies, Amazon, is going to create their own server and their own system and they're going to force everybody that uses Amazon to go through their server and they're going to collect all this information on each person who does that without that person's knowledge. Enough is enough.' Today came a similar shot from the other side of the aisle, with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) dashing off a letter (PDF) to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the same privacy concerns. 'Consumers may buy the new Kindle Fire to read 1984, but they may not realize that the tablet's "Big Browser" may be watching their every keystroke when they are online,' Markey said in a statement."

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Is Apple Pushing Away Professionals?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nobody-works-in-a-post-pc-world department:
Barence writes "Is Apple turning its back on professional users to focus on consumers? That's the argument in this article, which claims Apple is alienating the creative professionals who have supported the company for 20 years or more. Fury over the dumbing down of Final Cut Pro, Apple's refusal to sell non-glossy screens and poor value hardware is fueling anger from professional Mac users. 'People will get hacked off. I'm only Apple because I want the OS, but if I could come up with a 'Hackintosh' with OS X, I'd be so happy,' claims one audio professional."

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Correlating Psychopathy With Speech Patterns
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's goal-oriented department:
florescent_beige writes "Researchers from Cornell and UBC report that analysis of speech patterns using Wmatrix, along with something called the Dictionary of Affect in Language (see a demo here), shows that psychopaths speak differently from other people, at least statistically (abstract). Although they say that these differences are 'presumably beyond conscious control,' the authors do not say if the method has any predictive use. Regardless, the popular press has already gone headline-nonlinear about it."

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Google Working To Launch Music Store Soon
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's everybody's-doing-it department:
afabbro writes with news that Google is working to follow up its cloud music service with an MP3 store capable of competing with Amazon and Apple. The NY Times reports that "According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks," but it's unclear "whether Google would be able to close the necessary deals with labels and music publishers in time to open a full-service store." The Wall Street Journal confirms in its own (paywalled) report that negotiations with Warner, Universal, and Sony are still a long way from resulting a deal.

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Soon, No More Film Movie Cameras
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's video-has-another-crime-to-answer-for department:
phil reed writes "Creative Cow Magazine reports that manufacturers of movie cameras have quietly discontinued production of film cameras. There are still some markets — not in the U.S. — where film cameras are sold, but those numbers are far fewer than they used to be. If you talk to the people in camera rentals, the amount of film camera utilization in the overall schedule is probably between 30 to 40 percent. However, film usage is dropping fast, which has ramifications up and down the production line. Archivists are worried."

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Sony Reader T1 Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '11 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-no-now-it's-more-useful department:
Nate the greatest writes "It's been just over a month since the T1 launched and only a couple weeks since it shipped — and it has already been hacked. A video has surfaced that shows the T1 running a number of apps, including a new home screen, AW Launcher, and a couple of different reading apps. It can't run Angry Birds just yet, but this is still great news. There aren't any details yet on when you'll be able to hack your T1, but I bet they'll be filtering out fairly soon."

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Australian Gov't To Streamline Anti-Piracy Lawsuit Process
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '11 at 11:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's streamlining-always-looks-cool department:
daria42 writes "Remember how the mass piracy lawsuits common in the U.S. are now coming to Australia? Of course you do. Well, now Australia's Government has come out backing the legal process which makes them possible — and is even promising to streamline it. Anti-piracy organisations will be jumping for joy — but I'm not sure how popular the move will be with the rest of the population."

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LibreOffice Going Online and Mobile
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '11 at 08:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-rocks-quite-hard department:
itwbennett writes "News from the LibreOffice Conference in Paris is trickling out. Blogger Brian Proffitt has a roundup of the conference announcements thus far. Notably included are plans for a browser-based version of LibreOffice called LibreOffice Online; and ports of LibreOffice to the Android and iOS platforms."

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US Bishop Charged For Not Reporting Priest's Child Porn To Police
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '11 at 06:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's thought-it-was-just-a-phase department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes "Kansas City's Catholic bishop was charged Friday with not telling police about child pornography found on a priest's computer, making him the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official indicted on a charge of failing to protect children. Finn has acknowledged that he and other diocese officials knew for months about hundreds of 'disturbing' images of children that were discovered on a priest's computer but did not report the matter to authorities or turn over the computer."

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OccupySF IT Admins Using Pedal Power For Protest
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '11 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's still-occupying-the-basement-for-now department:
99luftballon writes "The OccupySF team have been running an ad-hoc computer network on the streets of San Francisco without a steady power source, no Wi-Fi and even the occasional police raid. It turns out the best way to keep the lights on is car batteries and pedal power."

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