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Virtual Reality and the Future of Experience Gaming

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "The prime event in the video-game arena is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), where publishers and developers ensemble to unveil the most awaited and astonishing announcements of the year. The core of the last year E3 event... read more..."
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Education Funding for Washington State is in the Hands of Microsoft Shareholders

reifman (786887) writes | about half an hour ago

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reifman (786887) writes "In June, the Washington State Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to appear on September 3rd to explain why it hasn't found the revenue to fully fund the education reforms required by its McCleary ruling, as much as $7.83 billion through 2019. One reason the state has such a huge shortfall is major tax breaks to corporations such as Boeing and Microsoft. In particular, Microsoft’s savings from lobbying and dodging the state royalty tax between 1997 and 2014 is $5.34 billion. Factoring in interest and the Department of Revenue’s typical 25 percent penalty on unpaid corporate taxes, that number jumps to $8.16 billion. In other words, the entire education shortfall which Microsoft's leaders regularly decry, would not likely exist if not for their tax practices, passing education dollars to its out of state and international shareholders."
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

jammag (1021683) writes | 45 minutes ago

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jammag (1021683) writes "A new trend has emerged where tech companies have realized that abusing users pays big. Examples include the highly publicized Comcast harassing service call, Facebook "experiments," Twitter timeline tinkering, rude Korean telecoms — tech is an area where the term "customer service" has an Orwellian slant. Isn't it time customer starting fleeing abusive tech outfits?"
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Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy?

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 1 hour ago

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mdsolar (1045926) writes "Summary: Empirically, wind energy is much more scalable than nuclear energy.

China is the true experiment for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore democracy and social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear.

So how is it doing?

        China turned on just over 16 GW of nameplate capacity of wind generation in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Over the four years of 2010 to 2014, China managed to put 4.7 GW of nuclear into operation at the Qinshan Phase II, Ling Ao Phase II, Ningde, Hongyanhe and Yangjiang plants. This is not their stated plans for nuclear, which had them building almost double this in 2013 alone and around 28 GW by 2015, but the actual plants put into production. The variance between the nuclear roadmap and nuclear reality in China is following the trajectory of nuclear buildout worldwide: delays, cost overruns, and unmet expectations."

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A Better Way to Make Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs

the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes | 2 hours ago

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the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "To make a brain-machine interface, you need a way to capture neurons' electric signals. The most precise and most invasive way uses implants that are stuck in the gray matter. The least precise and least invasive way uses EEG sensors stuck to the scalp. But researchers at Johns Hopkins University say there's a third way that gets the best of both worlds, which is not too invasive and fairly precise. They use ECoG systems, in which a mesh of electrodes is placed under the skull, draped over the surface of the cortex.

They're testing their systems on epilepsy patients, who have these ECoG systems inserted anyway while they're waiting for surgery (the electrodes record the source of their seizures). The researchers are capturing these patients' movement commands from their brains, and using them to control robotic limbs. Someday such a system could be used by amputees to control their prosthetic limbs."

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Securing networks in the Internet of Things era

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Gartner reckons that the number of connected devices will hit 26 billion by 2020, almost 30 times the number of devices connected to the IoT in 2009. This estimate doesn’t even include connected PCs, tablets and smartphones. The IoT will represent the biggest change to our relationship with the Internet since its inception. Many IoT devices themselves suffer from security limitations as a result of their minimal computing capabilities. For instance, the majority don’t support sufficiently robust mechanisms for authentication, leaving network admins with only weak alternatives or sometimes no alternatives at all. As a result, it can be difficult for organizations to provide secure network access for certain IoT devices. Yet IT teams need to set network access policies for all connected devices in order to preserve network security and make the most efficient use of available network resources."

New Understanding of Lizard Tails Could Allow Humans to Regrow Body Parts

Zothecula (1870348) writes | 2 hours ago

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Zothecula (1870348) writes "If you ever had a pet lizard as a child, it was quite likely a green anole. As is the case with other lizards, they have the ability to break off their own tail when attacked by a predator, and then regrow it. Scientists from Arizona State University recently announced that they have cracked the code regarding that tail regrowth process, and are now hoping that it could be applied to the field of regenerative medicine."
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Researchers Made a Fake Social Network to Infiltrate China's Internet Censors

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes | 3 hours ago

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Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "In order to get inside China's notorious internet filter, Harvard researcher Gary King created his own fake social network in order to gain access to the programs used to censor content, so he could reverse-engineer the system.
"From inside China, we created our own social media website, purchased a URL, rented server space, contracted with one of the most popular software platforms in China used to create these sites, submitted, automatically reviewed, posted, and censored our own submissions," King wrote in a study published in Science. "We had complete access to the software; we were even able to get their recommendations on how to conduct censorship on our own site in compliance with government standards.""

33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie in a Theater

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Philip Danks made a video recording of the movie Fast & Furious 6 in a UK cinema. Later, he shared it via bittorrent and allegedly sold physical copies. Now, he's been sentenced to 33 months in prison for his actions. "In Court it was claimed that Danks’ uploading of Fast 6 resulted in more than 700,000 downloads costing Universal Pictures and the wider industry millions of pounds in losses." Danks was originally told police weren't going to take any action against him, but he unwisely continued to share the movie files after his initial interview with authorities."
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "We've known for a while that NSA specifically targets Tor, because they want to disrupt one of the last remaining communication methods they aren't able to tap or demand access to. However, not everybody at the NSA is on board with this strategy. Tor developer Andrew Lewman says even as flaws in Tor are rooted out by the NSA and British counterpart GCHQ, other agents from the two organizations leak those flaws directly to the developers, so they can be fixed quickly. He said, "You have to think about the type of people who would be able to do this and have the expertise and time to read Tor source code from scratch for hours, for weeks, for months, and find and elucidate these super-subtle bugs or other things that they probably don't get to see in most commercial software." Lewman estimates the Tor Project receives these reports on a monthly basis. He also spoke about how a growing amount of users will affect Tor. He suggests a massive company like Google or Facebook will eventually have to take up the task of making Tor scale up to millions of users."
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Why Has There Been No Leaked iWatch Pictures?

DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes | 4 hours ago

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DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Leaked iPhone 6 pictures? Sure, there are dozens available. iPad Air 2? Yep, we've got a few of them too. But iWatch photos? Nada, Zip, Zilch. Zero. The reason? This is a new Apple product and even though there has been a lot of talk about it, very few people are likely to know what it looks like, unlike the iPhone 6 which is already in mass production in factories across China."
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UPS: We've Been Hacked

paysonwelch (2505012) writes | yesterday

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paysonwelch (2505012) writes "The United Parcel Service announced Wednesday that customersâ(TM) credit and debit card information at 51 franchises in 24 states may have been compromised. There are 4,470 franchised center locations throughout the U.S., according to UPS.

The malware began to infiltrate the system as early as January 20, but the majority of the attacks began after March 26. UPS says the threat was eliminated as of August 11 and that customers can shop safely at all locations."

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Would Scottish independence mean the end of UK's nuclear arsenal?

Lasrick (2629253) writes | yesterday

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Lasrick (2629253) writes "The referendum on Scottish independence on September 18th affects more than just residents of the United Kingdom. All of the UK's nuclear deterrent is located in Scotland (no wonder they want independence), and Alex Salmond and the Scottish government have pledged to safely remove and permanently ban nuclear weapons from Scottish territory within the first term of a newly independent parliament. Although the polls seem not to favor Scottish independence, you would think the British government would have some sort of contingency plan to quickly and safely remove these weapons from Scottish soil. Nope. There's no contingency plan."
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Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice for the First Time

MikeChino (1640221) writes | yesterday

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MikeChino (1640221) writes "A new paper by a group of researchers from Montana State University confirms that life can survive under antarctic ice. Researchers led by John Priscu drilled down into the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and pulled up organisms called Archaea. These organisms survive by converting methane into energy, enabling them to survive where there is no wind or sunlight, buried deep under the ice."
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Tech Looks to Obama to Save Them From "Just Sort of OK" U.S. Workers

theodp (442580) writes | 9 hours ago

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theodp (442580) writes "Following up on news that the White House met with big biz on immigration earlier this month, Bloomberg sat down with Joe Green, the head of Mark Zuckerberg's Fwd.US PAC, to discuss possible executive actions President Obama might take on high tech immigration (video) in September. "Hey, Joe," asked interviewer Alix Steel. "All we keep hearing about this earnings season though from big tech is how they're actually cutting jobs. If you look at Microsoft, Cisco, IBM Hewlett-Packard, why do the tech companies then need more tech visas?" Green explained why tech may not want to settle for laid-off U.S. talent when the world is its oyster. "The difference between someone who's truly great and just sort of okay is really huge," Green said. "Culture in tech is a very meritocratic culture," he added. "The vast, vast majority of tech engineers that I talked to who are from the United States are very supportive of bringing in people from other countries because they want to work with the very best.""

EVE Online currently unavailable due to DDoS attack.

dpmarsh (1154091) writes | 9 hours ago

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dpmarsh (1154091) writes "The biggest multiplayer universe EVE Online lost connections yesterday evening (UK time) leaving players in precarious situations. The service did return for about an hour and then disappeared again. EVE's twitter feed @EVE_status confirmed it was under a DDoS attack although denied it was anything to do with the impending eruption of the Bardarbunga volcano. As of 0700 UTC EVE Online is still EVE Offline."
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Police warn sharing James Foley killing video is a crime

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

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An anonymous reader writes "Scotland Yard has warned internet users they could be arrested under terrorism legislation if they viewed or shared the video of James Foley's murder, as Twitter and YouTube attempted to remove all trace of the footage from the web.

Twitter suspended dozens of accounts that published the graphic footage while YouTube tried to remove several copies of the video, which was first uploaded on Tuesday night.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted: "We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you."

The unprecedented social media clampdown came as the Metropolitan police warned that even viewing the video could constitute a criminal offence in the UK.

The force said in a statement: "The MPS counter-terrorism command (SO15) is investigating the contents of the video that was posted online in relation to the alleged murder of James Foley. We would like to remind the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating extremist material within the UK may constitute an offence under terrorism legislation.""

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The star that exploded at the dawn of time

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | yesterday

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sciencehabit (1205606) writes "To probe the dawn of time, astronomers usually peer far away; but now they've made a notable discovery close to home. An ancient star a mere thousand light-years from Earth bears chemical elements that may have been forged by the death of a star that was both extremely massive and one of the first to arise after the big bang. If confirmed, the finding means that some of the universe’s first stars were so massive they died in exceptionally violent explosions that altered the growth of early galaxies."
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