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China

China Blocks NYT Over Critical Article 94

Posted by timothy
from the modern-and-progressive dept.
Taco Cowboy writes "The New York Times has become the latest target of Chinese censorship. Censors of the People's Republic of China, in an almost unheard of, truly remarkable feat of neck-breaking speed, blocked the (paywalled) website of the New York Times, all because of one news article. That particular article was about the enormous wealth of the family members of a very prominent figure in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — Chinese Premier Wen Jia Bao. The wealth in question totals some USD 2.7 billion. " (Also covered at the BBC.)
The Internet

How To Hug a Chicken Via the Internet 96

Posted by timothy
from the anything-between-consenting-adult-beings dept.
the_newsbeagle writes "Adrian Cheok, a professor of electrical engineering in Japan, wants to invent a "multisensory Internet" that will transmit not just information, but also experiences. To usher in this new age, he started by building a haptic system that enabled him to send a hug to a chicken via the Internet. Next came the 'huggy pajama' project, which allowed distant parents to send their kid a goodnight squeeze. Lately he's begun working on sending a taste over the internet with his 'digital lollypop' project."
Medicine

Gut Bacteria Cocktail May End Need for Fecal Transplants 183

Posted by timothy
from the or-do-you-prefer-it-old-school dept.
sciencehabit writes "A tonic of gut microbes may be the secret recipe for treating a common hospital scourge. Researchers have pinpointed the exact mix of microbes required to cure mice of chronic infection by Clostridium difficile. The hard-to-treat bacterium infects alomst 336,000 in the US each year and causes bloating, pain, & diarrhea. A similar bacterial cocktail may be able to replace the current controversial treatment involving the intake of a healthy person's fecal matter to restore the right balance of microbes in the gut."
China

China Telco Replaces Cisco Devices Over Security Concerns 180

Posted by timothy
from the tit-for-tat-for-tit-etc dept.
hackingbear writes "China Unicom, the country's second largest telecom operator, has replaced Cisco Systems routers in one of the country's most important backbone networks, citing security reasons [due to bugs and vulnerability.) The move came after a congressional report branded Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. security threats in the United States, citing bugs and vulnerability (rather than actual evidence of spying.) Surprising to us, up to now, Cisco occupies a large market share in China. It accounts for over a 70 percent share of China Telecom's 163 backbone network and over an 80 percent share of China Unicom's 169 backbone network. Let's wait to see who's the winner in this trade war disguised as national security."
Earth

Slashdot Asks: Are You Preparing For Hurricane Sandy? 232

Posted by timothy
from the just-another-way-to-say-abrasive dept.
Forecasters are tossing around words like "unprecedented" and "bizarre" (see this Washington Post blog entry) for the intensity and timing of Hurricane Sandy, which is threatening to hit the east coast of the U.S. early next week. Several people I know in the mid-Atlantic region have been ordering generators and stocking up on flashlight batteries and easy-to-prepare foods. Are you in the projected path of the storm? If so, have you taken any steps to prepare for it? (Are you doing off-site backup? Taking yourself off-site?)
Medicine

Why Can't Industry Design an Affordable Hearing Aid? 549

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Tricia Romano writes in the NY Times that over the last 10 years, purchasing a hearing aid had become even more difficult and confusing than buying a new car — and almost as expensive. 'I visited Hearx, the national chain where I had bought my previous aids. There, a fastidious young man spread out a brochure for my preferred brand, Siemens, and showed me three models. The cheapest, a Siemens Motion 300, started at $1,600. The top-of-the-line model was more than $2,000 — for one ear. I gasped.' A hearing aid is basically just a microphone and amplifier in your ear so it isn't clear why it costs thousands of dollars while other electronic equipment like cellphones, computers and televisions have gotten cheaper. Russ Apfel, an engineer who designed a technology now found in all hearing aids, says there is no good reason for the high prices. 'The hearing aid industry uses every new thing, like digital or a new algorithm, to raise prices,' says Apfel. 'The semiconductor industry traditionally reduces the cost of products by 10 to 15 percent a year,' he said, but 'hearing aids go up 8 percent a year annually' and have for the last 20 years."
Earth

Green Grid Argues That Data Centers Can Lose the Chillers 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-they-checked-the-lost-and-found dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The Green Grid, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making IT infrastructures and data centers more energy-efficient, is making the case that data center operators are operating their facilities in too conservative a fashion. Rather than rely on mechanical chillers, it argues in a new white paper (PDF), data centers can reduce power consumption via a higher inlet temperature of 20 degrees C. Green Grid originally recommended that data center operators build to the ASHRAE A2 specifications: 10 to 35 degrees C (dry-bulb temperature) and between 20 to 80 percent humidity. But the paper also presented data that a range of between 20 and 35 degrees C was acceptable. Data centers have traditionally included chillers, mechanical cooling devices designed to lower the inlet temperature. Cooling the air, according to what the paper originally called anecdotal evidence, lowered the number of server failures that a data center experienced each year. But chilling the air also added additional costs, and PUE numbers would go up as a result."
Canada

Canadian Regulator Orders Telecoms To Tell Us What It Costs To Run Their Service 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the jig-is-up dept.
bshell writes "Canada's CRTC (like the FCC) has finally asked telecoms to provide information about how much their services actually cost. Quoting a Montreal Gazette story: 'In a report I wrote last year, I estimated the markup for Internet services was 6,452 per cent for Bell's Essential Plus plan, which provides a two-megabits-per-second speed for $28.95 (prices may have changed since last year).' The markup is likely similar in the U.S. It's about time that we consumers found out what it really costs to provide Internet service, and for that matter telephone and wireless services, so we can get a fair shake."
Microsoft

Microsoft Reverses 'Mature' Game Ban On Windows 8 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the finally-thought-it-through dept.
another random user writes with news that Microsoft has sorted out the Windows Store guidelines such that games rated 'Mature' in the U.S. will be allowed. An earlier version of the guidelines took cues from the European PEGI rating system, which lumps pornographic content into the same rating as mainstream games that involve violence. In the U.S., they're split up into Adult (for porn) and Mature (for things like Skyrim, Call of Duty, and Assassin's Creed). Gamers and developers were worried that a large number of very popular games were going to be disallowed on the Windows Store. Microsoft hopes to have the situation fixed by December — not ideal, since Windows 8 is now out, but better than nothing.
Cellphones

HTC Losing Ground Faster Than RIM or Nokia 280

Posted by Soulskill
from the race-to-the-bottom dept.
zacharye writes "How bad is HTC's current tailspin? So bad it makes Nokia look like a growth company. HTC's handset volume declined by -43% in the autumn quarter vs. Nokia's -23% volume decline. This is very interesting because HTC is using Android, the world's most popular smartphone OS, that is powering 40% annualized growth among its vendors. Nokia is limping along with an unholy mix of the obsolete Symbian platform, the moribund S40 feature phone platform and a niche OS called Windows Phone."
Science

The Periodic Table of Tech 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-made-out-of-unicorns dept.
itwbennett writes "From calcium in cameras and germanium in CPUs to selenium in solar cells. Here's a look at how every single element in the periodic table is used in common tech products. For example: Scandium is used in the bulbs in metal halide lamps, which produce a white light source with a high color rendering index that resembles natural sunlight. These lights are often appropriate for the taping of television shows. ... Yttrium helps CRT televisions produce a red color. When used in a compound, it collects energy and passes it to the phosphor. ... Niobium: Lithium niobate is used in mobile phone production, incorporated into surface acoustic wave filters that convert acoustic waves into electrical signals and make smartphone touchscreens work. SAW filters also provide cell signal enhancement, and are used to produce the Apple iPad 2."
Crime

Paul Ceglia Arrested and Charged With Fraud Over Facebook Ownership Claims 109

Posted by Soulskill
from the know-when-to-fold-'em dept.
whoever57 writes "The man who claimed ownership of 50% of Facebook has been arrested and charged with fraud in connection with his claims. The United States attorney in Manhattan said, 'Ceglia's alleged conduct not only constitutes a massive fraud attempt, but also an attempted corruption of our legal system through the manufacture of false evidence.' 'Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution.'"
Government

South Carolina Department of Revenue Hacked, 3.6 Million SSNs Taken 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the boy-are-their-faces-red dept.
New submitter Escape From NY writes "3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers were stolen from the SC Department of Revenue. Most of the credit and debit card numbers were encrypted — all but about 16,000. There were several different attacks, all of which originated outside the country. The first they're aware of happened on August 27, and four more happened in September. Officials first learned of the breach on October 10, and the security holes were closed on October 20. This is still a developing story, but anyone who filed a SC state tax return since 1998 my be at risk. Governor Nikki Haley today signed an executive order (PDF) to beef up the state's IT security."

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