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Updated: 18 min 36 sec ago

Experiment: Installing Windows 10 On a 7-Year-Old Acer Aspire One

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:55am
jones_supa writes: Windows 10 will launch in less than a week and it is supposed to work flawlessly on devices already powered by Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, as Microsoft struggled to keep system requirements unchanged to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Device drivers all the way back to Windows Vista platform (WDDM 1.0) are supported. Softpedia performed a practical test to see how Windows 10 can run on a 7-year-old Acer Aspire One netbook powered by Intel Atom N450 processor clocked at 1.66 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB mechanical hard disk. The result is surprising to say the least, as installation not only went impressively fast, but the operating system itself also works fast.

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Astronauts' Skin Gets Thinner In Space, Scientists Say

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:15am
An anonymous reader writes: Living in space can be hard on the human body. Muscles atrophy, bones lose density and new research suggests that spending time in space can make your skin thinner. Professor Karsten Koenig from the Department of Biophotonics and Laser Technology at Saarland University, has used high-resolution skin imaging tomography to look into the skin cells of several astronauts before and after a trip into space. "NASA and ESA came to us and asked, 'is it possible to also look in the skin of astronauts? Because we want to know if there's any ageing process going on or what kind of modifications happened to astronauts as they work for six months out in space.' Because many astronauts complain about skin problems," he said.

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Melinda Gates: Facebook Engineers Have Solved One of Education's Biggest Problem

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 6:31am
theodp writes: Asked by the NY Times if Silicon Valley is saving the world or just making money, Melinda Gates replied, "I can say without a doubt — because I've seen it — that some of them [SV companies] are innovating in ways that make life better for billions of people." As an example, BillG's better half suggests that a handful of Facebook engineers have solved one of education's biggest problems with their 20% time project at billionaire-backed Summit Public Schools, a small charter school operator. Gates writes, "One of the biggest problems in American education is that teachers have to teach 30 students with different learning styles at the same time. Developers at Facebook, however, have built an online system that gives teachers the information and tools they need to design individualized lessons. The result is that teachers can spend their time doing what they're best at: inspiring kids." Some people — like the late Roger Ebert — might not be quite as impressed as Melinda to see Silicon Valley trying to reinvent the 1960's personalized-learning-wheel in 2015!

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New York Judge Rules Against Facebook In Search Warrant Case

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 4:30am
itwbennett writes: Last year, Facebook appealed a court decision requiring it to hand over data, including photos and private messages, relating to 381 user accounts. (Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, among other companies backed Facebook in the dispute). On Tuesday, Judge Dianne Renwick of the New York State Supreme Court ruled against Facebook, saying that Facebook has no legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of search warrants served on its users.

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How Pentaquarks May Lead To the Discovery of New Fundamental Physics

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 3:18am
StartsWithABang writes: Over 100 years ago, Rutherford's gold foil experiment discovered the atomic nucleus. At higher energies, we can split that nucleus apart into protons and neutrons, and at still higher ones, into individual quarks and gluons. But these quarks and gluons can combine in amazing ways: not just into mesons and baryons, but into exotic states like tetraquarks, pentaquarks and even glueballs. As the LHC brings these states from theory to reality, here's what we're poised to learn, and probe, by pushing the limits of quantum chromodynamics.

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Pocket SCiO Spectrometer Sends Chemical Composition of Anything To Smartphones

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 2:05am
MojoKid writes: Is that a tricorder in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? All joking aside, the handheld SCiO could truly make you feel like a member Bones McCoy's medical team. The SCiO turns science fiction into science fact by shrinking mass spectrometry technology used in traditional lab settings into a device small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. While pricey handheld spectrometers have been available for researchers, the SCiO is the first such device marketed directly at consumers. To get the SCiO down to a reasonable price point, Consumer Physics uses near-IR spectroscopy and optics typically found in smartphones to measure the light reflected from any given object. Held at a distance of 5 to 15 mm from the intended target, SCiO captures reflected spectrum data and uploads it to its own cloud platform. The company's proprietary algorithms then analyze the data and send the information back down to your smartphone (SCiO require a Bluetooth connection). Reportedly, this whole process occurs within 1.5 seconds. The hope is to empower consumers to learn more about the world around them and even about the things that we put in our mouth. You'll be able to ascertain nutritional information about the foods you eat without having to rely on labels, or even determine the ripeness of fruits and vegetables with the push of a button. The Whole Foods crowd will be all over this, one would think.

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Skype Translate Reportedly Has a Swearing Problem In Chinese

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 11:29pm
An anonymous reader writes: Skype Translate was supposed to be Microsoft's attempt at the "Star Trek" universal translator, offering real-time voice and text translation. It launched with one of the most challenging of languages, Chinese. And apparently, thanks to the Great Firewall, it has its problems. An American expat using it in China reports: "A glitch in the beta software misinterpreted the words I spoke. 'It's nice to talk to you' was translated as 'It's f*cking nice to f*ck you,' and other synthesized profanity, like the icebox robot in 1970's sci-fi flick Logan's Run, but with Tourette Syndrome. It was quite funny to me - I couldn't help but laugh during repeated takes, to Yan's exasperation - but the tech team were none too happy about it as they worked late into the night."

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Belgian Government Phishing Test Goes Off-Track

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 9:03pm
alphadogg writes: An IT security drill went off the tracks in Belgium, prompting a regional government office to apologize to European high-speed train operator Thalys for involving it without warning. Belgium's Flemish regional government sent a mock phishing email to about 20,000 of its employees to see how they would react. Hilarity and awkwardness ensued, with some employees contacting Thalys directly to complain, and others contacting the cops.

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19-Year-Old's Supercomputer Chip Startup Gets DARPA Contract, Funding

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 7:17pm
An anonymous reader writes: 19-year-old Thomas Sohmers, who launched his own supercomputer chip startup back in March, has won a DARPA contract and funding for his company. Rex Computing, is currently finishing up the architecture of its final verified RTL, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The new Neo chips will be sampled next year, before moving into full production in mid-2017.The Platform reports: "In addition to the young company’s first round of financing, Rex Computing has also secured close to $100,000 in DARPA funds. The full description can be found midway down this DARPA document under 'Programming New Computers,' and has, according to Sohmers, been instrumental as they start down the verification and early tape out process for the Neo chips. The funding is designed to target the automatic scratch pad memory tools, which, according to Sohmers is the 'difficult part and where this approach might succeed where others have failed is the static compilation analysis technology at runtime.'"

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New Facebook Video Controls Let You Limit Viewing By Gender and Age

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 6:35pm
Mark Wilson writes: Videos on Facebook are big business. As well as drugged up post-dentist footage, there is also huge advertising potential. Now Facebook has announced a new set of options for video publishers — including the ability to limit who is able to see videos based on their age and gender. A social network might not be the first place you would think of to try to keep something private, but a new 'secret video' option makes it possible to restrict access to those people who have a direct link. Other new options include the ability to prevent embedding on other sites, but it is the audience restriction settings that are particularly interesting. For a long time Facebook has been about reaching out to as many people as possible in one hit — particularly in the case of pages, which are likely to be used for the promotion of businesses and services. But now the social giant provides tools to limit one's audience. It's fairly easy to understand the reasons for implementing age restrictions on video (although there is obviously scope for abuse), but the reasons for gender-based restrictions are less clear.

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Since Receiving Satellite Tags, Some Sharks Have Become Stars of Social Media

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 5:52pm
Lucas123 writes: A research project that tags the world's most dangerous sharks with four different tracking devices and then offers all the data to the public has taken off, garnering hundreds of thousands of users; one shark even has more then 80,000 followers on Twitter. OCEARCH, a non-profit shark tracking project, has tagged about 130 sharks, from great whites and tigers to hammerheads and makos, and open sourced the data in the hope that it will create citizen scientists who will follow the animals and care about what happens to them. To further personify the apex predators, the researchers at OCEARCH have also given the sharks names such as Katharine and Mary Lee, two sharks that are more than 14 feet long and weight more than a ton. OCEARCH's shark tracker has garnered 10 times the traffic it had last year, and it's expected to grow 20 times more by the end of this year. Along with data from satellite, acoustic and accelerometer tags, the project expects to begin using big data analytics to offer more granular data about the animals and their lives to scientists and the public at large.

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Ask Slashdot: Are There Any Open and Affordable IPCams?

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 5:08pm
New submitter criticalmess writes: I'm about to give up on any decent hardware to be found to roll my own web-based camera setup around the house and office — and thought that the nerds and experts at /. would be my last resource I could pull out. Having bought multiple IPCamera (DLink, Abus, Axis, Foscam, TP-Link, ...) and always getting the 'requires DirectX' treatment, I'm wondering if there are any open and affordable IPCams out there? I've been looking at BlueCherry and their kickstarter campaign to create a complete opensource hardware solution, I've been looking at Zavio as they seem to offer the streams in an open enough format while not breaking the bank on the hardware. Anything else I should be looking at? I can't for the love of it understand why most of these hardware companies require you to run DirectX — anybody care to enlighten the crowd? Should be simple enough really: hardware captures images, a small embedded webserver transforms this into an RTSP stream or HTTP stream, maybe on h264 or similar — done.

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Studies Find Genetic Signature of Native Australians In the Americas

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 4:25pm
Applehu Akbar writes: Two new research papers claim to have found an Australo-Melanesian DNA signal in the genetic makeup of Native Americans, dating to about the time of the last glacial maximum. This may move the speculation around the Clovis people and Kennewick man to an entirely new level. Let's hope that it at least shakes loose some more funding for North American archaeology. Ars reports: "The exact process by which humanity introduced itself to the Americas has always been controversial. While there's general agreement on the most important migration—across the Bering land bridge at the end of the last ice age—there's a lot of arguing over the details. Now, two new papers clarify some of the bigger picture but also introduce a new wrinkle: there's DNA from the distant Pacific floating around in the genomes of Native Americans. And the two groups disagree about how it got there."

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FCC CIO: Consumers Need Privacy Controls In the Internet of Everything Era

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 3:43pm
Lemeowski writes: Who is responsible for ensuring security and privacy in the age of the Internet of Things? As the number of Internet-connected devices explodes — Gartner estimates that 25 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020 — security and privacy issues are poised to affect everyone from families with connected refrigerators to grandparents with healthcare wearables. In this interview, U.S. Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray says control should be put in the hands of individual consumers. Speaking in a personal capacity, Bray shares his learnings from a recent educational trip to Taiwan and Australia he took as part of an Eisenhower Fellowship: "A common idea Bray discussed with leaders during his Eisenhower Fellowship was that the interface for selecting privacy preferences should move away from individual Internet platforms and be put into the hands of individual consumers." Bray says it could be done through an open source agent that uses APIs to broker their privacy preferences on different platforms.

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18th Annual International RoboSub Competition Happening Now In San Diego

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 3:20pm
New submitter madsci1016 writes: The 18th Annual International RoboSub Competition is happening this week at the TRANSDEC Naval Testing facility in San Diego, California. 38 teams from around the world have built fully autonomous underwater robots designed to complete a gauntlet of underwater obstacles. No GPS here, advanced image processing and acoustic sensors are your only tools. The competition is open to the public from now until Sunday. A few pictures from the ongoing event can be found here.

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The Lone Gunmen Are Not Dead

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 3:00pm
He Who Has No Name writes: It may have been one of Slashdot's most memorable front-page gaffes, but apparently there's no harm and no foul — because the Lone Gunmen are set to ride again in the X-Files return. Comicbook.com reports, "The Lone Gunmen, the X-Files' trio of conspiracy theorists, are set to appear in Fox's six-episode event. The three characters were played by Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood. Haglund, who played the gunman 'Ringo,' confirmed his and his compatriots' return on Twitter today." We'll see how see how series creator Chris Carter handles their apparently greatly-exaggerated demise, and whether the explanation used in the print comics comes into play.

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Giving Doctors Grades Has Backfired

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 2:17pm
HughPickens.com writes: Beginning in the early 1990s a quality-improvement program began in New York State and has since spread to many other states where report cards were issued to improve cardiac surgery by tracking surgical outcomes, sharing the results with hospitals and the public, and when necessary, placing surgeons or surgical programs on probation. But Sandeep Jauhar writes in the NYT that the report cards have backfired. "They often penalized surgeons, like the senior surgeon at my hospital, who were aggressive about treating very sick patients and thus incurred higher mortality rates," says Jauhar. "When the statistics were publicized, some talented surgeons with higher-than-expected mortality statistics lost their operating privileges, while others, whose risk aversion had earned them lower-than-predicted rates, used the report cards to promote their services in advertisements." Surveys of cardiac surgeons in The New England Journal of Medicine have confirmed that reports like the Consumer Guide to Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery have limited credibility among cardiovascular specialists, little influence on referral recommendations and may introduce a barrier to care for severely ill patients. According to Jauhar, there is little evidence that the public — as opposed to state agencies and hospitals — pays much attention to surgical report cards anyway. A recent survey found that only 6 percent of patients used such information in making medical decisions. "Surgical report cards are a classic example of how a well-meaning program in medicine can have unintended consequences," concludes Jauhar. "It would appear that doctors, not patients, are the ones focused on doctors' grades — and their focus is distorted and blurry at best."

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Bug Exposes OpenSSH Servers To Brute-Force Password Guessing Attacks

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 1:34pm
itwbennett writes: OpenSSH servers with keyboard-interactive authentication enabled, which is the default setting on many systems, including FreeBSD ones, can be tricked to allow many authentication retries over a single connection, according to a security researcher who uses the online alias Kingcope, who disclosed the issue on his blog last week. According to a discussion on Reddit, setting PasswordAuthentication to 'no' in the OpenSSH configuration and using public-key authentication does not prevent this attack, because keyboard-interactive authentication is a different subsystem that also relies on passwords.

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Interviews: Brianna Wu Answers Your Questions

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:52pm
Last week you had a chance to ask the head of development at Giant Spacekat Brianna Wu about Gamergate, starting a company, and women-in-tech issues. Below you'll find her answers to your questions.

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Chrome 44 Launches With Tweaks To Push Messaging and Notifications

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: Google has launched Chrome 44 for Windows, Mac, and Linux with new developer tools. Aside from a host of security fixes, this release focuses mainly on developer features. The API for push notifications was updated to match the specification, a new implementation of multi-column layout was added, and they've extended support for Unicode escapes in strings. The full changelog notes a number of performance improvements as well.

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