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Brain Cell Linker Dependence Shown by Supercomputer Simulations

jorge_salazar (3562633) writes | 6 minutes ago


jorge_salazar (3562633) writes "Neuroscientists at Stony Brook University in New York teamed up with computational biophysicists at Florida State University and found that the function of a key brain cell receptor critically depends on a short polypeptide segment, which they call a linker, to function. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and a number of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are associated with malfunctions of this brain receptor, called the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor. Obama's $100 million BRAIN initiative promises to bring together more eclectic teams like this one to find new tools to map the human brain's billions of nerve cells, networks, and pathways in real time."
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Ancient campfires led to the rise of storytelling

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | 10 minutes ago


sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A study of evening campfire conversations by the Ju/’hoan people of Namibia and Botswana suggests that by extending the day, fire allowed people to unleash their imaginations and tell stories, rather than merely focus on mundane topics. As scientists report, whereas daytime talk was focused almost entirely on economic issues, land rights, and complaints about other people, 81% of the firelight conversation was devoted to telling stories, including tales about people from other Ju/’hoan communities. The team suggests that campfires allowed human ancestors to expand their minds in a similar way and also solidified social networks."
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Nvidia Debunks Moon Landing Conspiracy Photo Using Virtual Light (3830033) writes | 15 minutes ago

0 (3830033) writes "For years Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo program and the associated Moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA with the aid of other organizations. Now Rob Crossley reports that Graphics card vendor Nvidia says that one of the photos used to bolster the moon landing conspiracy theory can be explained with new lighting technology. The photo taken during the 1969 mission, shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin illuminated despite standing in the shadow of the Lunar module with conspiracy theorists claiming the photo would not have been possible unless there was an additional light source--such as a studio light.

Nvidia recreated the scene in Unreal Engine 4 and--using its global illumination technology--was successfully able to recreate the image with only the sun as a light source. Nvidia discovered that there were two key factors, both of which could be addressed using voxel global illumination. First, the moon's surface is comprised of what are essentially thousands of tiny mirrors — moon dust if you will — that bounce light back at a viewer. Yet that didn't account for the necessary level of brightness to light up Aldrin. The second factor was Neil Armstrong — who was off to the side of Aldrin in full view of the Sun — wearing a 85 percent reflective spacesuit that contained five layers of the highly reflective fabric Mylar blended with four layers of the flexible yet durable material Dacron on top of an additional two layers of heat resistant Kapton. Of course, further evidence supporting the Apollo moon landings has been released many times over the years, including high-def shots taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing lander tracks and footprints, and 2012 images showing five out of the six Apollo mission American flags."

The Skinny On Thin Linux

snydeq (1272828) writes | 16 minutes ago


snydeq (1272828) writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia follows up his call for splitting Linux distros in two by arguing that the new shape of the Linux server is thin, light, and fine-tuned to a single purpose. 'Those of us who build and maintain large-scale Linux infrastructures would be happy to see a highly specific, highly stable mainstream distro that had no desktop package or dependency support whatsoever, so was not beholden to architectural changes made due to desktop package requirements. When you're rolling out a few hundred Linux VMs locally, in the cloud, or both, you won't manually log into them, much less need any type of graphical support. Frankly, you could lose the framebuffer too; it wouldn't matter unless you were running certain tests,' Venezia writes. 'It's only a matter of time before a Linux distribution that caters solely to these considerations becomes mainstream and is offered alongside more traditional distributions'"

HelloSpoon: A fun, affordable mealtime assistant for people with disabilities

Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes | about an hour ago


Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes "Shaped like a baby elephant, HelloSpoon is a robot intended to help children and elderly with upper limb difficulties and special needs to have a fun and happy mealtime. The assistive robot recently launched on Indiegogo, and is available for $399 US (for early-adopters). A developer version is also available for $199 US, making HelloSpoon the most affordable feeding machine in existence by far (compare $4000 US for My Spoon and $5000 US for Neater Eater)."
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Ask Slashdot: What would you actually want in a smart watch?

TWX (665546) writes | 1 hour ago


TWX (665546) writes "With the hype in recent Smart Watch offerings lately, no one seems to be truly happy with what's available or the capabilities in various devices. I personally want one that acts a a central hub for 3G/4G/LTE connectivity for any other kind of device that I want to use, but manufacturers now seem to be stressing more functionality on the watch itself as opposed to a modular approach. So, what do you want in a smart watch and other wearable, personal computing?"

Excessive Hair Pulling Habit Might Lead towards Trichotillomania

rifattabassam (3838947) writes | 1 hour ago


rifattabassam (3838947) writes "Very few adult human being might be left on earth who have never faced hair falling out related problems in their whole lives. I do not belong to that lucky segment. For several months my hair is falling off at an abnormal level, which have made me scared of probable baldness. At the initial months, I had ignored the hair falling problem due to over pressure of work in both of workplace and home. However, at this moment excessive hair falling rate has goaded me to talk with a hair consultant. To my surprise, I found that my hair pulling habit was the main culprit behind my excessive hairfall. If hair pulling habit is not prevented, then it might lead towards an obsessive compulsive disorder, which is medically termed as ‘Trichotillomania’."
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DuckDuckGo joins Google in being blocked in China

wabrandsma (2551008) writes | 1 hour ago


wabrandsma (2551008) writes "from Tech in Asia:

Privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo is now blocked in China. On Sunday DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg confirmed to Tech in Asia that the team has noticed the blockage in China on Twitter

Weinberg added that he has “no idea” when it happened exactly. We also cannot pinpoint an exact date, but it was accessible in China earlier in the summer. DuckDuckGo had been working fine in mainland China since its inception, aside from the occasional ‘connection reset’ experienced when accessing many overseas websites from within the country. But now the search engine is totally blocked in China. (Update 7 hours after publishing: the GreatFire index of blocked sites suggest that DuckDuckGo got whacked on September 4).

DuckDuckGo joins Google in being censored and blocked in the nation. Google, after years of being throttled by China’s Great Firewall since the web giant turned off its mainland China servers in 2010, was finally blocked totally in June this year."

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Did Obama Already Solve the Patent Troll Problem?

speedplane (552872) writes | 1 hour ago


speedplane (552872) writes "A relatively new patent-only court celebrates its second birthday this month, and may be sounding the death-knell for the biggest abusers of the patent system:

After a slow six month ramp-up, the number of petitions challenging patents under the new system has grown significantly, reaching nearly 200 new filings a month. It takes 18 months for a patent challenge to make its way through the PTAB, and we are now finally seeing the effects of the influx. Now, with 75% of all trials resulting in every challenged patent claim being invalidated, it’s clear that the PTAB will have a very broad reach in patent litigation.

Some observers have seen this development coming. A (now retired) Judge at the Federal Circuit, commented that the PTAB is a patent "death squad"."
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Is Pluto a planet? Kinda, sorta, well yes, maybe

coondoggie (973519) writes | 1 hour ago


coondoggie (973519) writes "The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics opened one of those cans of worms that refuse to go away any time soon: Is in fact Pluto a planet or not? The short answer is yes but you know it's not that easy. The organization had 3 distinguished scientists present the case for and against Pluto. Pluto’s planet status you may recall has been redefined and questioned since about 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) set a definition of what it meant to be a planet."
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New long-range RFID technology helps robots find household objects

HizookRobotics (1722346) writes | 1 hour ago


HizookRobotics (1722346) writes "Georgia Tech researchers announced a new way robots can “sense” their surroundings through the use of small ultra-high frequency radio-frequency identification (UHF RFID) tags. Inexpensive self-adhesive tags can be stuck on objects, allowing an RFID-equipped robot to search a room for the correct tag’s signal, even when the object is hidden out of sight. Once the tag is detected, the robot knows the object it’s trying to find isn’t far away. The researchers' methods, summarized over at IEEE's website by Evan Ackerman: The robot goes to the spot where it got the hottest signal from the tag it was looking for, zeroing in on it based on the signal strength that its shoulder antennas are picking up: if the right antenna is getting a stronger signal, the robot yaws right, and vice versa."

Mobile Fun Blog  Blog Archive  Play PS4 games on your Xperia Z3 with

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago


An anonymous reader writes "Playstation 4 owners, meet your favorite new device: the Sony PS4 Game Control Mount GCM10 for the Xperia Z3 or the Xperia Z3 Compact.

With your Sony Xperia Z3 or Xperia Z3 Compact you can use your device as a remote screen for your PS4 so you can keep the gameplay going when someone else needs to use the TV.

The setup is fairly simple; you attach your Xperia Z3 device to your DualShock 4 controller with the PS4 Game Control Mount that has a large suction on the back. You can game on the go with your smartphone and Dualshock 4 controller, thanks to the Game Control Mount’s ultra-lightweight design.

Streaming PS4 games to your phone over your Wi-Fi network has the same impact on battery life as streaming video. Get ready to up your mobile gaming game with the Game Control Mount and be able to stream and play PlayStation 4 games away from the console."

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Not Finding a Job after PhD in Computer Science

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago


An anonymous reader writes "I recently completed my PhD in computer science and hit the job market. I did not think I would have difficulty finding a job esp. with a PhD in computer science but I have had no luck so far in the four months I have been looking. Online resume submittals get no response and there is no way to contact anybody. When I do manage to get a technical interview, it is either “not a good match” after I do the interviews or get rejected after an overly technical question like listing all the container classes in STL from the top of my head. I had worked as a C++ software developer before my PhD but in the past 6 years, software development landscape has changed quite a bit. What am I doing wrong? Has software development changed so much in the last 6 years I was in school or is my job hunting strategy completely wrong. The PhD was on a very technical topic that has very little practical application and so working on it does not seem to count as experience."

Guilty plea in Google Maps-related murder

netbuzz (955038) writes | 1 hour ago


netbuzz (955038) writes "Ex-Cisco engineer Brad Cooper, whose first-degree murder conviction for the 2008 strangulation slaying of his wife Nancy was overturned last year based on disputed Google Maps search evidence, today pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Cooper will be sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison and has agreed to allow the adoption of his two young daughters by Nancy Cooper’s sister. In addition to the disputed Google Maps evidence, prosecutors in the initial trial had alleged that Cooper, a VoIP expert, may have borrowed a Cisco 3825S router from his employer in order to fake a phone call from his wife to him after she was already dead. The router was never found."
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iPhone 6 - iPhone 6 Plus, 10 million sold

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago


An anonymous reader writes "Apple break the record sales of iPhone 5S and 5C: 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were sold during the first weekend.

The presentation of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been positive. 4.7 and 5.5 inches, they have improved components and elements. Also, Apple has optimized Fingerprint Sensor Touch ID, and has incorporated the new "Apple Pay" feature, which allows you to pay via contactless NFC technology. It seems that consumers are expecting these improvements and larger devices, as from the opening of pre-orders, the success was the appointment. In just 24 hours, 4 million units were pre-ordered."

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The Bubble, She Gonna Burst

rjmarvin (3001897) writes | 2 hours ago


rjmarvin (3001897) writes "Today, there’s an awful lot of innovation out there. There are working business plans, as well as companies like Uber, AirBnB and Lyft that seem to be perfectly primed to march across the globe in a universal rollout of capital-backed market expansion. But this time around, there’s something very different about the climate of investment. Silicon Valley was considered a gold mine in 1999, but the pool of people actually investing in it was relatively small. Today, that pool is gigantic, and the open-the-floodgates investment trend is unsustainable If the secret to software success is the right people, not necessarily the most people, why is everyone in the Valley staffing up, renting out $70-per-square-foot offices in downtown San Francisco, and holding giant events for customers and employees? Because they’ve got to spend that silly investment money somehow! Half of these firms don't require anywhere near the $50 or $100 million they're getting, and that money isn't coming back. We're at the peak, and soon the bubble will burst."

Before using StingRays, police must sign NDA ... with FBI

v3rgEz (125380) writes | 2 hours ago


v3rgEz (125380) writes "Advanced cell phone tracking devices known as StingRays allow police nationwide to home in on suspects and to log individuals present at a given location. But before acquiring a StingRay, state and local police must sign a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI, documents released via a MuckRock FOIA request indicate. As Shawn Musgrave reports, it's an unusual setup arrangement for two public agencies to swear each other to secrecy, but such maneuvers are becoming more common."

Back the Future in Nuclear Armageddon

FreedomFirstThenPeac (1235064) writes | 3 hours ago


FreedomFirstThenPeac (1235064) writes "As a former Cold Warrior (both launch officer side and staff analytical mathematician side) I now appreciate more than ever the bitterness I saw in former WW2 warriors when they would see a Japanese car. One even commented that he was pretty unhappy that he had served in submarines to beat the Japanese, only to see their products rolling down the streets. Now I see that the President who was elected partially on a "no new nukes" plank is presiding over a major ramping up of US nuclear power.

This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy.

Mind you, Mutual Assured Destruction is a dangerous path, and one we managed to negotiate only because we were lucky (and we were) and because we were careful (and we were). As a strategy, it only works with rational people (e.g., world powers with lots to lose) who might have irrational expectations that they will win in the long run, the rapid fall of imperialist Russia was helpful (I have seen blackboard talks on this as a mathematical result in game theory). This speed minimized the time we spent in the high-risk regions while transiting from MAD to where we were in the 1990's, but the political world has changed, and this President is finding it hard to toe a pedagogical line in the face of neo-realpolitiks.



FAA bars drone from delivering game ball to college football matchup

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 3 hours ago


mpicpp (3454017) writes "Michigan University's stadium seats 110,000 and was declared a no-fly zone.

The Federal Aviation Administration has blocked plans for a small drone to deliver the game football for the University of Michigan kickoff Saturday against the University of Utah before a crowd of about 110,000 fans.

The FAA's move is the latest example of flight regulators blocking the use of small drones for commercial purposes, despite the questionable legal authority for them to do so. The drone, built by Ann Arbor-based SkySpecs, was supposed to participate in a pre-game program of the American football game to celebrate the University of Michigan's 100-year anniversary of its aerospace-engineering program.

Hobbyists may fly the small drones under guidelines adopted by the agency, and they must be flown away from crowds. Both Google and Amazon are testing drone-delivery programs for commercial purposes, but federal law bans those business models for now.

The FAA has maintained since at least 2007 that the commercial operation of drones is illegal. A federal judge ruled in March, however, that the FAA enacted the regulations illegally because it did not take public input before adopting the rules, which is a violation of federal law. Flight regulators have appealed the decision, maintaining that commercial applications are still barred."

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