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Male Scent Molecules May Be Compromising Biomedical Research
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's something-doesn't-smell-right department:
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have found that mice feel 36% less pain when a male researcher is in the room, versus a female researcher. The rodents are also less stressed out. The effect appears to be due to scent molecules that male mammals (including humans, dogs, and cats) have been emitting for eons. The finding could help explain why some labs have trouble replicating the results of others, and it could cause a reevaluation of decades of animal experiments: everything from the effectiveness of experimental drugs to the ability of monkeys to do math. Male odor could even influence human clinical trials."

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Book Review: Designing With the Mind In Mind
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
benrothke (2577567) writes "Neurologists and brain scientists are in agreement that in truth, we know very little about how the brain works. With that, in the just released second edition of Designing with the Mind in Mind, a Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines, author Jeff Johnson provides a fascinating introduction on the fundamentals of perceptual and cognitive psychology for effective user interface (UI) design and creation." Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review. Designing with the Mind in Mind, a Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines
author Jeff Johnson
pages 240
publisher Morgan Kaufmann
rating 9/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 978-0124079144
summary Excellent reference on the integration of user interface design and the mind

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SCOTUS Ends Novell's Anti-Trust Cast Against Microsoft
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's end-of-the-line department:
walterbyrd (182728) writes in with news about the end of the line for a Novell anti-trust claim against Microsoft. "The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday brought an end to Novell Inc's antitrust claims against Microsoft Corp that date back 20 years to the development of Windows 95 software. By declining to hear Novell's appeal, the court left intact a 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from September 2013 in favor of Microsoft. The court of appeals unanimously affirmed the dismissal of Novell Inc's claims that Microsoft violated the Sherman Antitrust Act when it decided not to share its intellectual property while developing its Windows 95 operating system. Novell was seeking more than $3 billion."

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The People Who Are Still Addicted To the Rubik's Cube
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's did-you-just-peel-the-stickers? department:
An anonymous reader writes "If you were a kid in the late 70's or 80's chances are you owned a Rubik's cube. One of the most popular toys of its time, BBC News takes a look at the people who never lost the passion for the puzzle toy and those just learning. 'The speed world record for a single attempt is 5.55 seconds, set by Dutchman Mats Valk last year. The world championship is determined by averaging three attempts. The current champion is 18-year-old Australian Feliks Zemdeg who averaged 8.18 seconds last year. To ensure fairness, a computer generates a randomised cube which all the competitors are given. The record for most Rubik's cubes solved in 24 hours is 4,786, set by Milán Baticz of Hungary.'"

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Australian Exploration Company Believes It May Have Found MH370 Wreckage
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's maybe-this-time department:
First time accepted submitter NapalmV (1934294) writes "Using technology designed to find nuclear warheads and submarines, an Adelaide-based exploration company believes it may have located the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. 'The company, GeoResonance, says its research has identified elements on the ocean floor consistent with material from a plane. Six weeks have now passed since the plane disappeared and extensive searches in the Indian Ocean have failed to locate any wreckage.'"

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Hackaday Offers Trip Into Space For Best DIY Hardware
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hack-your-way-into-space department:
An anonymous reader writes "SupplyFrame is launching The Hackaday Prize, a challenge to create open connected devices judged by Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang, and Limor 'Ladyada' Fried, among others. The grand prize is an all-expense-paid trip to space on a carrier of your choice or $196,418 if going into space isn't your thing. 'We launched The Hackaday Prize because we want to see the next evolution of hardware happen right now, and we want it to be open,' said Mike Szczys, managing editor of Hackaday.com."

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Ask Team Trying To Return 36-Year-Old Spacecraft From Space About Their Project
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's coming-back department:
samzenpus (5) writes "Last week we told you about a group that was trying to recover the 36-year-old ISEE-3 spacecraft from deep space. Led by CEO and founder of Skycorp, Dennis Wingo, and astrobiologist and editor of NASA Watch, Keith Cowing, the crowdfunded project plans to steer ISEE-3 back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Once in orbit, they hope to turn the spacecraft and its instruments over to the public by creating an app that allows anyone access to its data. The team has agreed to take some time from lassoing spacecraft from deep space in order to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post. Hopefully the plan goes better than xkcd predicts."

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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's huff-and-puff-and-blow-your-civilization-down department:
concertina226 (2447056) writes "The real reason behind the downfall of the Roman Empire might not have been lead contaminating in the water, which is the most popular theory, but the use of concrete as a building material. Dr Penelope Davies, a historian with the University of Texas believes that the rise of concrete as a building material may have weakened ancient Rome's entire political system as Pompey and Julius Caesar began 'thinking like kings'. Concrete was used to build many of Rome's finest monuments, such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Tabularium, which have lasted the test of time and are still standing today."

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Comcast Offers To Shed 3.9 Million Subscribers To Ease Cable Deal
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's how-about-now? department:
An anonymous reader writes "In a bid to win regulatory approval for its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable, Comcast has offered to sell 1.4 million pay TV subscribers to Charter Communications for $7.3 billion. From the article: 'Comcast also said it would divest another 2.5 million subscribers into a new publicly traded company, dubbed SpinCo for now, to be one-third owned by Charter and two-thirds owned by Comcast shareholders. The deal will make Charter — whose own bid for Time Warner Cable was thwarted by Comcast's higher offer — the second-biggest U.S. pay TV company with 5.7 million customers, overtaking Cox Communications Inc.'"

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Japanese and Swiss Watchmakers Scoff At Smartwatches
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that's-adorable department:
jfruh (300774) writes "With rumors swirling about Apple entering the wearable space with an iWatch, you'd think that the Japanese and Swiss companies that have dominated high-end watchmaking for more than a century would be scrambling to catch up. But there were virtually no smartwatches on display at the Baselworld trade fair, and the watchmaking giants had no plans to produce any. Company representatives seemed sure that people in practice would be uninterested in constantly recharging their watches and downloading software updates just to tell time."

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Designer Creates a Water Bottle That You Can Eat
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eating-trash department:
Diggester (2492316) writes "Rodrigo García González has been working on the Ooho water bottle for the past few years. The bottle is made out of edible materials, looks like a jellyfish, and has the potential to put an end to the bottled water industry. Inspired by the juice-filled pearls added to bubble tea and the mad-cuisine creations of chef Ferran Adriá, who uses a technique known as sheperification (encasing liquid into edible membranes), García is on his way to revolutionizing the bottled water industry."

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The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's there-goes-the-sun department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The NYT writes in an editorial that for the last few months, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, by pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive. 'The coal producers' motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to their businesses. That might seem distant at the moment, when nearly 40 percent of the nation's electricity is still generated by coal, and when less than 1 percent of power customers have solar arrays. But given new regulations on power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants, and the urgent need to reduce global warming emissions, the future clearly lies with renewable energy.' For example, the Arizona Public Service Company, the state's largest utility, funneled large sums through a Koch operative to a nonprofit group that ran an ad claiming net metering would hurt older people on fixed incomes by raising electric rates. The ad tried to link the requirement to President Obama. Another Koch ad likens the renewable-energy requirement to health care reform, the ultimate insult in that world. 'Like Obamacare, it's another government mandate we can't afford,' the narrator says. 'That line might appeal to Tea Partiers, but it's deliberately misleading,' concludes the editorial. 'This campaign is really about the profits of Koch Carbon and the utilities, which to its organizers is much more important than clean air and the consequences of climate change.'"

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NASA Mars Rover Begins Examining Strange Slab Nicknamed "Windjana"
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '14 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
An anonymous reader writes in with this bit of news about the Mars rover Curiosity. "NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is using several tools this weekend to take a closer look at a sandstone slab being assessed as a possible drilling target. If it fits the bill, the target could become Curiosity's third drilled rock. 'Windjana,' named after a gorge in Western Australia, would be the mission's first drilled rock that is not mudstone. To determine whether Curiosity should drill at Windjana, engineers have asked the rover to perform a number of tasks, including observations with the camera and X-ray spectrometer located at the end of the its arm and interpretations of composition at different points on the rock with a device that fires laser shots from the rover's mast."

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Brazilians Welcome Genetically-Modified Mosquito To Help Fight Dengue Fever
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 10:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-could-go-wrong? department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Brazilian government have decided to try battling the spread of dengue fever with GM mosquitoes. 'Now, with dengue endemic in three of the host cities for this summer's World Cup , Brazilian health officials are trying a radical new approach — biotechnology. They've begun a two-year trial release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that have been genetically modified. "We need to provide the government alternatives because the system we are using now in Brazil doesn't work," says Aldo Malavasi, president of Moscamed, the Brazilian company that's running the trial from a lab just outside of Jacobina. The new breed of Aedes aegypti has been given a lethal gene. The deadly flaw is kept in check in the lab, but the mosquitoes soon die in the wild.'"

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What Happens To All the Universe's Hydrogen?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-today-gone-tomorrow department:
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Just a second after the Big Bang, the Universe was a hot bath of radiation, with a small fraction of protons and neutrons in about equal numbers left over. By time it was four minutes old, it was 92% hydrogen (by number of atoms) and 8% helium. Yet the Universe has aged nearly 14 billion years since then, and have formed many generations of stars, all of which burn hydrogen into heavier elements. So how much hydrogen is left, and how much will be left far into the future? A lot more than you might think."

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Scientists Give Praying Mantises Tiny 3D Glasses
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-the-better-to-see-you-with department:
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at Newcastle University are outfitting praying mantises with tiny 3D glasses in order to study how their vision works. From the article: 'Praying mantises have stereoscopic vision, unlike most invertebrates. This makes them sophisticated hunters, and ideal subjects for a team from Newcastle University led by vision scientist Jenny Read. By putting 3-D glasses on the mantises and faking them out, Reid and her colleagues want to learn how the insect's vision differs from ours.""

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Erik Meijer: The Curse of the Excluded Middle
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's almost-good-enough department:
CowboyRobot (671517) writes "Erik Meijer, known for his contributions to Haskell, C#, Visual Basic, Hack, and LINQ, has an article at the ACM in which he argues that 'Mostly functional' programming does not work. 'The idea of "mostly functional programming" is unfeasible. It is impossible to make imperative programming languages safer by only partially removing implicit side effects. Leaving one kind of effect is often enough to simulate the very effect you just tried to remove. On the other hand, allowing effects to be "forgotten" in a pure language also causes mayhem in its own way. Unfortunately, there is no golden middle, and we are faced with a classic dichotomy: the curse of the excluded middle, which presents the choice of either (a) trying to tame effects using purity annotations, yet fully embracing the fact that your code is still fundamentally effectful; or (b) fully embracing purity by making all effects explicit in the type system and being pragmatic by introducing nonfunctions such as unsafePerformIO. The examples shown here are meant to convince language designers and developers to jump through the mirror and start looking more seriously at fundamentalist functional programming.'"

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Waste Management: The Critical Element For Nuclear Energy Expansion
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's put-that-anywhere department:
Lasrick (2629253) writes "As part of a roundtable on the risks of developing nuclear power in developing countries, Harvard's Yun Zhou explores the reprocessing of spent fuel. Zhou points out that no country in the world has come up with a permanent solution to nuclear waste in either of its two forms: the spent fuel that emerges directly from reactor cores and the high-level radioactive waste that results when spent fuel is reprocessed. Zhou points out that China and France have just announced a joint effort to establish a reprocessing plant, but that option isn't really practical for the developing world."

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China Censors "The Big Bang Theory" and Other Streaming Shows
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-officially-reinstate-anything-can-happen-thursday. department:
dryriver (1010635) writes in with news that the Chinese government has had enough of the antics of doctor Sheldon Lee Cooper. "Chinese authorities have ordered video streaming websites in the country to stop showing four popular American TV shows, including The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife, senior staff from two sites said Sunday. The move suggests government attention is intensifying on the online streaming industry, which is freer than state television and China's cinemas to show foreign productions and other content and has stretched the boundaries of what can be seen in the country. A spokeswoman for a leading online video site, Youku, said it had received notification on Saturday not to show sitcom The Big Bang Theory, political and legal drama The Good Wife, crime drama NCIS and legal drama The Practice."

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Microsoft Issues Advisory For Internet Explorer Vulnerability
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '14 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watch-out department:
jones_supa (887896) writes "Neowin reports how Microsoft made a rare weekend post on its Security Response Center blog to announce an advisory that affects all currently supported versions of Internet Explorer (versions 6 to 11). The issue is based on a newly discovered exploit that could be used against the web browser. The vulnerability exists in the way that IE accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated. Memory may be corrupted in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. Microsoft is aware of 'limited, targeted attacks' that have used the exploit. IE 10 and 11 are protected against attacks using this exploit if they have their Enhanced Protected Mode turned on. Also, PCs that have either the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 4.1 or the EMET 5.0 Technical Preview installed are also secured against this security hole. Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect its customers by delivering a security update."

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