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SkyOrbiter UAVs Will Fly for Years at a Time and Provide Global Internet Access

Zothecula (1870348) writes | just now

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Zothecula (1870348) writes "The internet has become a critical means of communication during humanitarian crises and a crucial everyday tool for people around the world. Now, a Portuguese company wants to make sure everyone has access to it. Quarkson plans to use SkyOrbiter unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to transmit internet access "to every corner of the world.""
Link to Original Source

People Are Charging Their iPhone 6 In The Microwave After Falling For Hoax

Diggester (2492316) writes | 14 minutes ago

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Diggester (2492316) writes "Folks at 4Chan seem to have successfully trolled plenty of Apple iPhone owners. Some witty people spread the rumour that the new iPhone can now be charged in any microwave courtesy of the new and improved iOS 8. They decided to name this ‘hot’ feature the Apple Wave which was said to be a super-fast way of charging the device. It’s obvious how cleanly they went about advertising it the ‘Apple’ way."
Link to Original Source

Former Assistant Secretary of Energy to Obama says: Climate Science is not settl

Zecheus (1072058) writes | 49 minutes ago

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Zecheus (1072058) writes "Steven E. Koonin in an article published this weekend of the People's Climate March summarizes the "very, very difficult" problem for the climate science research community. There are hard questions, and the climate models today are not dependable. He warns against declaring climate science as either 'settled' or a 'hoax', because neither declarations advance the public discourse of politicians or diplomats who are developing the policies of environmental management."
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FDA issues final guidance for mobile medical apps developers

Anonymous Coward writes | about an hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued final guidance for developers of mobile medical applications (commonly known as apps). These apps are basically software programs that run on mobile communication devices and perform the same functions as traditional medical devices."
Link to Original Source

Kickstarter lays down new rules for when a project fails

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "In a blog post, Kickstarter announced several updates to its terms of use for projects. From the article: "Kickstarter has iterated on its policies several times since it launched in 2009, with the most recent wave of revisions surrounding the site's transition from only posting projects cleared by the staff to clearing all projects that meet a basic set of criteria. Even still, some projects lack clear goals, encounter setbacks, or fail to deliver, like the myIDkey project that has burned through $3.5 million without yet to distributing a finished product. The most recent terms revision is timely: on Thursday, science fiction author Neal Stephenson announced that a game he Kickstarted in 2012 with $526,000 in funding was officially canceled.""

The Raid-Proof Hosting Technology Behind 'The Pirate Bay'

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes | yesterday

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HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Ernesto reports at TorrentFreak that despite its massive presence the Pirate Bay doesn't have a giant server park but operates from the cloud, on virtual machines that can be quickly moved if needed. The site uses 21 “virtual machines” (VMs) hosted at different providers, up four machines from two years ago, in part due to the steady increase in traffic. Eight of the VM's are used for serving the web pages, searches take up another six machines, and the site’s database currently runs on two VMs. The remaining five virtual machines are used for load balancing, statistics, the proxy site on port 80, torrent storage and for the controller. In total the VMs use 182 GB of RAM and 94 CPU cores. The total storage capacity is 620 GB. One interesting aspect of The Pirate Bay is that all virtual machines are hosted with commercial cloud hosting providers, who have no clue that The Pirate Bay is among their customers. "Moving to the cloud lets TPB move from country to country, crossing borders seamlessly without downtime. All the servers don’t even have to be hosted with the same provider, or even on the same continent." All traffic goes through the load balancer, which masks what the other VMs are doing. This also means that none of the IP-addresses of the cloud hosting providers are publicly linked to TPB. For now, the most vulnerable spot appears to be the site’s domain. Just last year TPB burnt through five separate domain names due to takedown threats from registrars. But then again, this doesn’t appear to be much of a concern for TPB as the operators have dozens of alternative domain names standing by."

Hundreds Of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 2 hours ago

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mdsolar (1045926) writes ""More than 400,000 people turned out for the People's Climate March in New York City on Sunday, just days before many of the world's leaders are expected to debate environmental action at the United Nations climate summit.

Early reports from event organizers are hailing the turnout as the largest climate march in history, far bigger than the Forward on Climate rally held in Washington, D.C., last year. High-profile environmentalists including Bill McKibben, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva marched alongside policymakers such as Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Vice President Al Gore were also there, and more than 550 buses carried in people from around the country."

Big science contingent too: http://www.scientificamerican...."

Link to Original Source

Astrophysicists Identify The "Habitable" Regions Of The Entire Universe

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes | 3 hours ago

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KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "It's not just star systems and galaxies that have habitable zones--regions where conditions are suitable for life to evolve. Astrophysicists have now identified the entire universe's habitable zones. Their approach starts by considering the radiation produced by gamma ray bursts in events such as the death of stars and the collisions between black holes and so on. Astrobiologists have long known that these events are capable of causing mass extinctions by stripping a planet of its ozone layer and exposing the surface to lethal levels of radiation. The likelihood of being hit depends on the density of stars, which is why the centre of galaxies are thought to be inhospitable to life. The new work focuses on the threat galaxies pose to each other, which turns out to be considerable when they are densely packed together. Astronomers know that the distribution of galaxies is a kind of web-like structure with dense knots of them connected by filaments interspersed with voids where galaxies are rare. The team says that life-friendly galaxies are most likely to exist in the low density regions of the universe in the voids and filaments of the cosmic web. The Milky Way is in one of these low density regions with Andromeda too far away to pose any threat. But conditions might not be so life friendly in our nearest knot of galaxies called the Virgo supercluster."

Mangalyaan's main engine test fired for 4 seconds.

William Robinson (875390) writes | 3 hours ago

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William Robinson (875390) writes "Before the spacecraft is scheduled to enter Mars orbit, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) scientists reignited the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft's main engine for four seconds as a trial. The liquid apogee motor (LAM) engine has been idle for about 300 days since the spacecraft left the Earth's orbit on a Martian trajectory on December 1, 2013. The short-duration test was to ensure that the engine is in good shape for the 24-minute crucial manoeuvre on Wednesday."

Anonymized mobile data can still identify you, says new research

Anonymous Coward writes | 3 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "A new report (http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1225/pir2014_submission_11.pdf) from a Singapore-based research group posits that a large majority of individuals are relatively easy to identify from supposedly 'anonymized' mobile datasets. An individual's movements over time form a 'trajectory' which is difficult to obscure even at medium resolution. '‘Not So Unique in the Crowd: a Simple and Effective
Algorithm for Anonymizing Location Data' proposes improving anonymity by cutting the trajectory into sub-trajectories, maintaining the analytical value of the data whilst affording better identity protection within datasets."

Link to Original Source

New paradigm on computing could offer 100X in speed increase

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 5 hours ago

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Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Current model of silicon based computing, with memory operation and logic-processing operation taking place in separate compartments, is facing a speed bottleneck. This bottleneck could be overcome by a new computing paradigm whereby logic-processing operations being performed in non-volatile memory cells using particular combinations of ultra-short voltage pulse using PCM (phase-change materials) based deviced

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Singapore A*STAR Data-Storage Institute and the Singapore University of Technology and Design designed a type of PCM based on a chalcogenide glass, which can be melted and recrystallized in as little as half a nanosecond (billionth of a second) using appropriate voltage pulses. The new device, logic operations and memory are co-located, rather than separated, as they are in silicon-based computers. These materials could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy. The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

First developed in the 1960s, PCMs were originally used in optical-memory devices, such as re-writable DVDs. Now, they are starting to be used for electronic-memory applications and are beginning to replace silicon-based flash memory in some makes of smartphones

The PCM devices recently demonstrated to perform in-memory logic do have shortcomings: currently, they do not perform calculations at the same speeds as silicon, and they exhibit a lack of stability in the starting amorphous phase. However, the Cambridge and Singapore researchers found that, by performing the logic-operation process in reverse — starting from the crystalline phase and then melting the PCMs in the cells to perform the logic operations — the materials are both much more stable and capable of performing operations much faster

The intrinsic switching, or crystallization, speed of existing PCMs is about ten nanoseconds, making them suitable for replacing flash memory. By increasing speeds even further, to less than one nanosecond (as demonstrated by the Cambridge and Singapore researchers in 2012), they could one day replace computer dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), which needs to be continually refreshed, by a non-volatile PCM replacement.

In a silicon-based system, information is shuffled around, costing both time and energy. "Ideally, we'd like information to be both generated and stored in the same place," said Dr Desmond Loke of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the paper's lead author. "Silicon is transient: the information is generated, passes through and has to be stored somewhere else. But using PCM logic devices, the information stays in the place where it is generated." "Eventually, what we really want to do is to replace both DRAM and logic processors in computers by new PCM-based non-volatile devices," said Professor Elliott. "But for that, we need switching speeds approaching one nanosecond. Currently, refreshing of DRAM leaks a huge amount of energy globally, which is costly, both financially and environmentally. Faster PCM switching times would greatly reduce this, resulting in computers which are not just faster, but also much 'greener'.""

Link to Original Source

The Many Stakeholders in the Net Neutrality Debate

ygslash (893445) writes | 5 hours ago

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ygslash (893445) writes "Michael Wolff at USA Today has a long list of the many stakeholders in the net neutrality debate, and what each has to gain or lose. The net neutrality issue has made its way into the mainstream consciousness, thanks to grassroots activism and some help from John Oliver on HBO. But it's not as simple as just net neutrality idealists versus the cable companies or versus the FCC. One important factor that has raised the stakes in net neutrality is the emergence ("unanticipated" by Wolff, but not by all of us) of the Internet as the primary medium for distribution of video content. And conversely, the emergence of video content in general and Netflix in particular as by far the most significant consumers of Internet bandwidth. So anyone involved in the distribution of video content has a lot to gain or lose by the outcome of the net neutrality struggle."

IEEE Standards Group Seeks To Impose Order On The Internet Of Things

jfruh (300774) writes | 5 hours ago

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jfruh (300774) writes "The so-called Internet of Things (IoT), under which tens of thousands of smart objects will interact with each other seamlessly, has a problem: a lack of uniform communication standards that will allow all those things to speak a common language. The IEEE is embarking on an ambitious effort to solve this problem, creating a standards group to bring order to IoT chaos."
Link to Original Source

Massive galaxies snacking on their tiny counterparts

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 7 hours ago

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Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Massive galaxies in the universe have stopped making their own stars. Astronomers looked at more than 22,000 galaxies and found that while smaller galaxies are very efficient at creating stars from gas, the most massive galaxies are much less efficient at star formation, producing hardly any new stars themselves, and instead grow by 'eating' other galaxies

Dr Aaron Robotham, who is based at the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said smaller 'dwarf' galaxies were being eaten by their larger counterparts

Dr Robotham, who led the research, said our own Milky Way is at a tipping point and is expected to now grow mainly by eating smaller galaxies, rather than by collecting gas. "The Milky Way hasn't merged with another large galaxy for a long time but you can still see remnants of all the old galaxies we've cannibalised," he said. "We're also going to eat two nearby dwarf galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, in about four billion years"

But Dr Robotham said the Milky Way is eventually going to get its comeuppance when it merges with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy in about five billion years. "Technically, Andromeda will eat us because it's the more massive one," he said

Almost all of the data for the research was collected with the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales as part of the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, which is led by Professor Simon Driver at ICRAR. The GAMA survey involves more than 90 scientists and took seven years to complete. This study is one of over 60 publications to have come from the work, with another 180 currently in progress. Dr Robotham said as galaxies grow they have more gravity and can therefore more easily pull in their neighbours."

Link to Original Source

GMO food proved almost harmless by a huge volume of data

siddesu (698447) writes | 7 hours ago

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siddesu (698447) writes "A new research suggests there are no ill effects from GMO ingredients for the billions of animals fed for slaughter. In particular, data on livestock productivity and health were collated from publicly available sources from 1983, before the introduction of GE crops in 1996, and subsequently through 2011, a period with high levels of predominately GE animal feed. These field data sets representing over 100 billion animals following the introduction of GE crops did not reveal unfavorable or perturbed trends in livestock health and productivity. Anti-GMO luddites expected to announce that animals are slaughtered too early to tell later today."
Link to Original Source

New revokable identity-based encryption scheme proposed

jd (1658) writes | yesterday

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jd (1658) writes "Identity-based public key encryption works on the idea of using something well-known (like an e-mail address) as the public key and having a private key generator do some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff to generate a secure private key out if it. A private key I can understand, secure is another matter.

In fact, the paper notes that security has been a big hastle in IBE-type encryption, as has revocation of keys. The authors claim, however, that they have accomplished both. Which implies the public key can't be an arbitrary string like an e-mail, since presumably you would still want messages going to said e-mail address, otherwise why bother revoking when you could just change address?

Anyways, this is not the only cool new crypto concept in town, but it is certainly one of the most intriguing as it would be a very simple platform for building mostly-transparent encryption into typical consumer apps. If it works as advertised.

I present it to Slashdot readers, to engender discussion on the method, RIBE in general and whether (in light of what's known) default strong encryption for everything is something users should just get whether they like it or not."

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