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Government

As Nuclear Reactors Age, the Money To Close Them Lags 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-could-go-wrong dept.
Harperdog writes "A worrying bit of news about nuclear reactors in the U.S. from the NYT: 'The operators of 20 of the nation's aging nuclear reactors, including some whose licenses expire soon, have not saved nearly enough money for prompt and proper dismantling. If it turns out that they must close, the owners intend to let them sit like industrial relics for 20 to 60 years or even longer while interest accrues in the reactors' retirement accounts.'"
Power

Scientists Discover Link Between Trees and Electricity 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the lightning-leaf dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Everyone knows trees give us all oxygen so we can breathe, but according to Australian scientists, they also affect the concentration of positive and negative ions in the air. A team from the Queensland University of Technology's International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health ran experiments in six locations all over Brisbane and found that positive and negative ion concentrations in the air were two times higher in heavily wooded areas than in open grassy areas, such as parks."
Moon

Elementary School Kids Explore the Moon At Close Range 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the permission-and-release-form dept.
sighted writes "The twin robotic spacecraft that make up the new GRAIL mission to map the moon's gravity include small cameras in addition to their primary scientific instruments. The first images from those cameras, as selected by school kids, were downlinked to Earth on March 20. 'MoonKAM is based on the premise that if your average picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture from lunar orbit may be worth a classroom full of engineering and science degrees,' said Maria Zuber, GRAIL mission principal investigator."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Dutch Artist Admits Faking Viral 'Human Bird Wing' Video 125

Posted by timothy
from the hey-that's-just-like-my-911-call dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Dutch filmmaker and animator Floris Kaayk in collaboration with media production company Revolver fessed up to creating a 'media art project' that took the world by storm in recent days — a video of inventor Jarno Smeets taking flight by flapping his arms. But like the wax melting from Icarus' wings, the truth is finally emerging. Kaayak admitted that he didn't expect the media attention his project would generate, with over 8.9 million views across the world. He made the project in collaboration with Revolver and Omroep NTL, sources in the Netherlands who have spoken to the filmmaker said prior to the show. They admitted their hoax Thursday evening on the Dutch television show Wereld Draait Door."
Open Source

How Big US Firms Use Open Source Software 116

Posted by timothy
from the filling-the-gaps-in-the-walls dept.
Diomidis Spinellis writes "We hear a lot about the adoption of open source software, but when I was asked to provide hard evidence there was little I could find. In a recent article we tried to fill this gap by examining the type of software the U.S. Fortune 1000 companies use in their web-facing operations. Our study shows that the adoption of OSS in large U.S. companies is significant and is increasing over time through a low-churn transition, advancing from applications to platforms, and influenced by network effects. The adoption is likelier in larger organizations and is associated with IT and knowledge-intensive work, operating efficiencies, and less productive employees. Yet, the results were not what I was expecting."
Medicine

Researchers May Have Discovered How Memories Are Encoded In the Brain 185

Posted by timothy
from the enduring-mystery dept.
Zothecula writes "While it's generally accepted that memories are stored somewhere, somehow in our brains, the exact process has never been entirely understood. Strengthened synaptic connections between neurons definitely have something to do with it, although the synaptic membranes involved are constantly degrading and being replaced – this seems to be somewhat at odds with the fact that some memories can last for a person's lifetime. Now, a team of scientists believe that they may have figured out what's going on. Their findings could have huge implications for the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's."
GUI

Ask Slashdot: Which Multiple Desktop Tool For Windows 7? 359

Posted by timothy
from the dual-boot-with-linux dept.
First time accepted submitter asadsalm writes "MacOS has spaces. Windows had no out-of-the-box utility for multiple virtual desktops. Which Multiple Desktop Tool should one use on Windows 7? Sysinternals Desktops, mdesktop, Dexpot, Virtual Dimension, VirtuaWin, Finestra are the few options that I have shortlisted." So, if you use both Windows and multiple desktops, what's your favorite method?
Government

DoD Networks Completely Compromised, Experts Say 164

Posted by timothy
from the but-are-they-iso-9000-compliant-is-the-question dept.
AZA43 writes "A group of U.S. federal cybersecurity experts recently said the Defense Department's network is totally compromised by foreign spies. The experts suggest the agency simply accept that its networks are compromised and will probably remain that way, then come up with a way to protect data on infected machines and networks."
Math

Blackjack Player Breaks the Bank At Atlantic City 294

Posted by timothy
from the applied-mathematics dept.
Hugh Pickens writes with a link to Atlantic writer Mark Bowden's account of how one gambler has cleaned up against casinos: "[B]lackjack player Don Johnson won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-handedly decimating the monthly revenue of Atlantic City's Tropicana casino after previously taking the Borgata for $5 million and Caesars for $4 million. How did Johnson do it? For one thing, Johnson is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player. 'He plays perfect cards,' says Tony Rodio. But that's not enough to beat the house edge. As good as Johnson is at playing cards, his advantage is that he's even better at playing the casinos. When revenues slump as they have for the last five years at Atlantic City, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts and are willing to lessen its edge for them primarily by offering discounts, or 'loss rebates.' When a casino offers a discount of, say, 10 percent, that means if the player loses $100,000 at the blackjack table, he has to pay only $90,000."
Businesses

Entrepreneurs Watch As Crowdvesting Bill Stalls In Senate 182

Posted by timothy
from the please-fill-out-form-1099-qed dept.
cayenne8 writes "The JOBS Act bill, passed in the house, has stalled in the senate. One section of this bill, which would legalize 'Crowdsourcing' in the U.S., as it is in other countries, allowing companies and startups (like indie film makers) to solicit investments for profit over the internet. This differs from sites like Kickstarter, which allow you to only donate money, in that this bill will allow the common citizen to invest for potential profit ($10K or 10% of income for investor limits) in new ideas and companies."
Medicine

Aspirin Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show 132

Posted by timothy
from the more-aspirin-ya-got-the-healthier-ya-are dept.
kkleiner writes "For years, research has shown that aspirin is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well. The studies, involving tens of thousands of participants over many decades, show reductions of cancer incidence (both short- and long-term) and mortality rate as well as a decrease in metastatic cancer. It still is not known exactly how aspirin and cancer are connected, but those between the ages of 45-50 will now likely consider taking low-dose aspirin daily for the remainder of their lives."
Graphics

Nvidia's Fermi Architecture Debuts; Nouveau Driver Already Working 70

Posted by timothy
from the those-ndas-must-have-really-hurt-your-backs dept.
crookedvulture writes Nvidia has lifted the curtain on reviews of its latest GPU architecture, which will be available first in the high-end GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. The underlying GK104 processor is much smaller than the equivalent AMD GPU, with fewer transistors, a narrower path to memory, and greatly simplified control logic that relies more heavily on Nvidia's compiler software. Despite the modest chip, Nvidia's new architecture is efficient enough that The Tech Report, PC Perspective, and AnandTech all found the GeForce GTX 680's gaming performance to be largely comparable to AMD's fastest Radeon, which costs $50 more. The GTX 680 also offers other notable perks, like a PCI Express 3.0 interface, dynamic clock scaling, new video encoding tech, and a smarter vsync mechanism. It's rather power-efficient, too, but the decision to focus on graphics workloads means the chip won't be as good a fit for Nvidia's compute-centric Tesla products. A bigger GPU based on the Kepler architecture is expected to serve that market." Read on below for good news (at least if you prefer Free software) from an anonymous reader. Update: 03/22 19:35 GMT by T : Mea culpa -- that headline should say "Kepler," rather than Fermi; HT to Dave from Hot Hardware (here's HH's take on the new GPU).
Music

Judge Rules Pi-Based Music Is Non-Copyrightable 183

Posted by timothy
from the but-don't-go-stealing-from-feigenbaum dept.
New submitter AnalogDiehard writes "A copyright case alleging infringement of a 1992 Lars Erickson song 'The Pi Symphony' by Michael John Blake's 'What Pi Sounds Like' was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon. Both pieces were conceived by assigning numbers to musical notes, then deriving a melody based on the pattern defined by a finite set of numbers in Pi. Judge Simon wrote in his legal opinion, intentionally announced on Pi day (3/14), that 'Pi is a non-copyrightable fact.' While the Judge did not invalidate the Erickson copyright, he ruled that 'Mr. Erickson may not use his copyright to stop others from employing this particular pattern of musical notes.' The judge further ruled that the two pieces were not sufficiently similar — for instance, its harmonies, structure and cadence are all different."
Privacy

Verizon Says Hactivists Now Biggest Corporate Net Threat 150

Posted by timothy
from the is-that-hat-dark-grey-or-light-grey? dept.
alphadogg writes "Hactivists — not cybercriminals — were responsible for the majority of personal data stolen from corporate and government networks during 2011, according to a new report from Verizon. The Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigation Report found that 58% of data stolen in 2011 was the result of hactivism, which involves computer break-ins for political rather than commercial gain. In previous years, most hacking was carried out by criminals, Verizon said. Altogether, Verizon examined 855 cybersecurity incidents worldwide that involved 174 million compromised records. This is the largest data set that Verizon has ever examined, thanks to its cooperation with law enforcement groups including the U.S. Secret Service, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit and police forces from Australia, Ireland and London."

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley

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