Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025

Slashdot - 2 hours 23 min ago
Lucas123 writes An industry consortium made up by leading hard disk drive manufacturers shows they expect the areal density of platters to reach 10 terabits per square inch by 2025, which is more than 10 times what it is today. At that density, hard disk drives could conceivably hold up to 100TB of data. Key to achieving greater bit density is Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and Bit Patterned Media Recording (BPMR). While both HAMR and BPMR will increase density, the combination of both technologies in 2021 will drive it to the 10Tbpsi level, according to the Advanced Storage Technology Consortium (ASTC).

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Categories: Science

Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

Slashdot - 4 hours 33 min ago
Lasrick writes After four decades of confining Ebola outbreaks to small areas, experts acknowledged in an October 9 New England Journal of Medicine article that "we were wrong" about the scope of the current situation. At the present transmission rate, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa doubles every two to three weeks. Early diagnosis is the key to controlling the epidemic, but that's far easier said than done: "And there are several complicating factors. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60 percent of all Ebola patients remain undiagnosed in their communities." A transmission rate below 1 is necessary to keep the outbreak under control (instead of the current rate of 1.5 to 2), and the authors detail what's in the works to help achieve early detection, which is crucial to reducing the current transmission rate.

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Categories: Science

Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

Slashdot - 4 hours 33 min ago
Lasrick writes After four decades of confining Ebola outbreaks to small areas, experts acknowledged in an October 9 New England Journal of Medicine article that "we were wrong" about the scope of the current situation. At the present transmission rate, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa doubles every two to three weeks. Early diagnosis is the key to controlling the epidemic, but that's far easier said than done: "And there are several complicating factors. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60 percent of all Ebola patients remain undiagnosed in their communities." A transmission rate below 1 is necessary to keep the outbreak under control (instead of the current rate of 1.5 to 2), and the authors detail what's in the works to help achieve early detection, which is crucial to reducing the current transmission rate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

Slashdot - 5 hours 20 min ago
kwelch007 writes I run a network for a company that does manufacturing primarily in a clean-room. We have many systems in place that track countless aspects of every step. However, we do not have systems in place to identify the specific user performing the step. I could do this easily, but asking users to input their AD login every time they perform a task is a time-waster (we have "shared" workstations throughout.) My question is, what technologies are people actually using successfully for rapid authentication? I've thought about fingerprint scanners, but they don't work because in the CR we have to wear gloves. So, I'm thinking either face-recognition or retinal scans...but am open to other ideas if they are commercially viable.

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Categories: Science

Disruptive sounds help aging brain ignore distractions

Kurzweil AI - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 11:59pm

(Credit: iStock)

As we age, we have an increasingly harder time ignoring distractions. But by learning to discriminate a sound amidst progressively more disruptive distractions, we can diminish our distractibility, new research in Cell Press journal Neuron reveals.

A similar strategy might also help children with attention deficits or individuals with other mental challenges.

Distractibility (the inability to sustain focus on a goal due to attention to irrelevant stimuli) can have a negative effect on basic daily activities, and is a hallmark of the aging mind.

Where were we? Oh, right, the research. To address the problem, a team led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used sounds at various frequencies as targets along with distractors, with the goal of having trainees focus on the target frequencies while ignoring the distractor frequencies.

The training

In both aged rats and older humans, trainees learned to identify the target tone in each training session through reinforcement feedback, and then they had to continue to correctly identify that target tone amidst progressively more challenging distractor frequencies. In both rats and humans, training led to diminished distraction-related errors, and trainees’ memory and attention spans improved. Also, electrophysiological brain recordings in both rats and humans revealed that neural responses to distractors were reduced.

“We show that by learning to discriminate amidst progressively more challenging distractions, we can diminish distractibility in rat and human brains,” says lead author Dr. Jyoti Mishra.

The approach could also be modified to help individuals struggling with a variety of distractions. “This same training could be generalized to more complex stimuli and across sensory modalities — such as auditory, visual, and tactile — to broadly benefit distractor processing in diverse impaired populations needing such training,” says senior author Dr. Adam Gazzaley.

In addition to highlighting the therapeutic potential of this type of brain training to improve our ability to focus with age, it also shows that even in the aged adult, the brain is responsive to learning-based approaches that can improve cognition.

Congrats if you read this without any distractions. …

Video abstract (credit: Cell Press Neuron)

Download video

Abstract of Neuron paper

Aging is associated with deficits in the ability to ignore distractions, which has not yet been remediated by any neurotherapeutic approach. Here, in parallel auditory experiments with older rats and humans, we evaluated a targeted cognitive training approach that adaptively manipulated distractor challenge. Training resulted in enhanced discrimination abilities in the setting of irrelevant information in both species that was driven by selectively diminished distraction-related errors. Neural responses to distractors in auditory cortex were selectively reduced in both species, mimicking the behavioral effects. Sensory receptive fields in trained rats exhibited improved spectral and spatial selectivity. Frontal theta measures of top-down engagement with distractors were selectively restrained in trained humans. Finally, training gains generalized to group and individual level benefits in aspects of working memory and sustained attention. Thus, we demonstrate converging cross-species evidence for training-induced selective plasticity of distractor processing at multiple neural scales, benefitting distractor suppression and cognitive control.

Categories: Science

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 11:25pm
An anonymous reader writes A malfunction in electronic voting machines in Saline County, Kansas, left over 5,000 votes uncounted. That's roughly one-third of the votes cast. Counting those 5,207 votes didn't change any outcomes in this case however. “That’s a huge difference,” county Chairman Randy Duncan said when notified by the Journal of the error. “That’s scary. That makes me wonder about voting machines. Should we go back to paper ballots?”

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Categories: Science

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 11:25pm
An anonymous reader writes A malfunction in electronic voting machines in Saline County, Kansas, left over 5,000 votes uncounted. That's roughly one-third of the votes cast. Counting those 5,207 votes didn't change any outcomes in this case however. “That’s a huge difference,” county Chairman Randy Duncan said when notified by the Journal of the error. “That’s scary. That makes me wonder about voting machines. Should we go back to paper ballots?”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 11:25pm
An anonymous reader writes A malfunction in electronic voting machines in Saline County, Kansas, left over 5,000 votes uncounted. That's roughly one-third of the votes cast. Counting those 5,207 votes didn't change any outcomes in this case however. “That’s a huge difference,” county Chairman Randy Duncan said when notified by the Journal of the error. “That’s scary. That makes me wonder about voting machines. Should we go back to paper ballots?”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous After All

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 10:42pm
Taco Cowboy points out a new study that shows it is possible to figure out the IP address of someone who pays for transactions anonymously online using bitcoins. "The Bitcoin system is not managed by a central authority, but relies on a peer-to-peer network on the Internet. Anyone can join the network as a user or provide computing capacity to process the transactions. In the network, the user's identity is hidden behind a cryptographic pseudonym, which can be changed as often as is wanted. Transactions are signed with this pseudonym and broadcast to the public network to verify their authenticity and attribute the Bitcoins to the new owner. In their new study, researchers at the Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security of the University of Luxembourg have shown that Bitcoin does not protect user's IP address and that it can be linked to the user's transactions in real-time. To find this out, a hacker would need only a few computers and about €1500 per month for server and traffic costs. Moreover, the popular anonymization network "Tor" can do little to guarantee Bitcoin user's anonymity, since it can be blocked easily."

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Categories: Science

Rural Pilots Won’t Be Happy About the FAA’s New Drone Rules

Wired News - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 10:37pm

If regulation is a good thing, considerate regulation is even better.

The post Rural Pilots Won’t Be Happy About the FAA’s New Drone Rules appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 10:00pm
mpicpp points out that BlackBerry is hoping to get iPhone owners to switch to Passport smartphones by promising up to $550 to trade in their phones. "The promotion, which starts Monday, promises as much as $550 to iPhone owners who trade in their handsets in favor of BlackBerry's Passport. The actual trade-in value depends on the iPhone, with the iPhone 4S worth up to $90 and the iPhone 6 worth up to $400. (The iPhone 6 Plus is not eligible.) BlackBerry then sweetens the deal by kicking in an additional $150 as a topper for each iPhone. The deal will run through February 13, but it's good only in North America. Customers must buy the $599 to $699 unlocked Passport phone through either BlackBerry's website or Amazon. The trade-in amount comes in the form of a Visa prepaid card."

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Categories: Science

Twitter Plans to Peek at Your Apps to Serve You Targeted Ads

Wired News - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 9:22pm

Twitter will soon identify the other apps on your phone in an effort to personalize your experience on its service---i.e. serve you targeted ads.

The post Twitter Plans to Peek at Your Apps to Serve You Targeted Ads appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 9:16pm
wbr1 writes Apparently the pit pattern on a blu-ray disk is great at helping trap photons, rather than reflecting them. Applying this pattern to the glass in a solar panel can boost efficiency by 22%. Researchers at Northwestern tested this system with Jackie Chan discs. From the article: "To increase the efficiency of a solar panel by 22%, the researchers at Northwestern bought a copy of Police Story 3: Supercop on Blu-ray; removed the top plastic layer, exposing the recording medium beneath; cast a mold of the quasi-random pattern; and then used the mold to create a photovoltaic cell with the same pattern....The end result is a solar panel that has a quantum efficiency of around 40% — up about 22% from the non-patterned solar panel."

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Categories: Science

Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 8:32pm
A bit of housing insulation material, a battery, a motor and propellor, a radio receiver and transmitter, and servos to control the motor and a pair of ailerons, and you're ready to fly the Brooklyn Aerodrome way. This isn't a tiny radio-controlled paper airplane, but a big bruiser with a 1:1 power to weight ratio (which means it can climb like a bat out of hell) and enough guts to fly in reasonably windy conditions while carrying a camera -- except we'd better not mention cameras, since Brooklyn Aerodrome creations, whether kits or plans, are obviously intended tohelp you build model airplanes, not drones. Timothy ran into project proponent Breck Baldwin at a maker faire near Atlanta, surrounded by a squadron of junior pilots who may someday become astronauts on the Moon - Mars run -- or at least delivery drone controllers for Amazon. (Alternate Video Link)

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Categories: Science

Thanksgiving Nor'easter Seen from Space (Photos, Video)

Space.com - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 8:24pm
NOAA satellites captured the early formation of the Thanksgiving nor'easter that could wreak havoc on holiday travelers.
Categories: Science

DragonFly BSD 4.0 Released

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 8:03pm
An anonymous reader writes From the release page: Version 4 of DragonFly brings Haswell graphics support, 3D acceleration, and improved performance in extremely high-traffic networks. DragonFly now supports up to 256 CPUs, Haswell graphics (i915), concurrent pf operation, and a variety of other devices.

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Categories: Science

New targeted, noninvasive treatments for mental illness to combine TMS and ultrasound

Kurzweil AI - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 7:51pm

Transcranial magnetic stimulation can stimulate brain circuits near the surface for treating conditions like depression and anxiety; ultrasound (right) can reach deeper into the brain and more precisely. Stanford researchers hope to combine them. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons and Stanford University)

A new interdisciplinary Stanford University initiative called NeuroCircuit aims to find the specific brain circuits that are responsible for mental-health conditions and then develop ways of noninvasively stimulate those circuits to potentially lead to improved treatments for depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“You see things activated in brain images but you can’t tell just by watching what is cause and what is effect,” said Amit Etkin, Neurocircuit co-leader and a Stanford assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “Right now, if a patient with a mental illness goes to see their doctor they would likely be given a medication that goes all over the brain and body. While medications can work well, they do so for only a portion of people and often only partially.”

Etkin has been working with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to map and remotely stimulate parts of the brain. A TMS device generates a strong magnetic field that stimulates brain circuits near the surface. TMS is currently used as a way of treating depression and anxiety, but Etkin said the brain regions being targeted are the ones available to TMS, not necessarily the ones most likely to treat a person’s condition. They are also not personalized for the individual.

The solution may involve combining TMS with ultrasound. In his lab, Baccus has been using ultrasound to stimulate nerve cells of the retina to develop a prosthetic retina. Other members of the team are modifying existing ultrasound technology to direct it deep within the brain at a safe frequency. If the team is successful, ultrasound could be a more targeted and focused tool than TMS for remotely stimulating circuits that underlie mental health conditions.

Baccus said that before merging with Etkin’s team they had been focusing on the technology without specific brain diseases in mind. “This merger really gives a target and a focus to the technology.”

The initiative is part of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute‘s Big Ideas, which bring together teams of researchers from across disciplines to solve major problems in neuroscience and society.


Stanford University/Kurt Hickman | Researchers hope to find the brain circuits that are responsible for mental
health conditions, develop ways to remotely stimulate those circuits, and potentially treat those conditions.

Categories: Science

Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy

Science Daily - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 7:42pm
The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to 'match' different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers say in a new report.
Categories: Science

Post-medieval Polish buried as potential 'vampires' were likely local

Science Daily - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 7:42pm
Potential 'vampires' buried in northwestern Poland with sickles and rocks across their bodies were likely local and not immigrants to the region. In northwestern Poland, apotropaic funerary rites--a traditional practice intended to prevent evil--occurred throughout the 17th-18th c. AD.
Categories: Science

Was Microsoft Forced To Pay $136M In Back Taxes In China?

Slashdot - Wed, 26/11/2014 - 7:42pm
itwbennett writes China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that an unnamed international company was forced to pay 840 million yuan ($136 million) in back taxes, as part of a Chinese government crackdown on tax evasion. The Xinhua article simply referred to it as the "M company," describing it as a top 500 global firm headquartered in the U.S. that in 1995 set up a wholly owned foreign subsidiary in Beijing. The details match Microsoft's own background, and no other company obviously fits the bill. Xinhua added, that despite the company's strengths, its subsidiary in China had not been not making a profit, and posted a loss of over $2 billion during a six-year period.

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Categories: Science