Helping Refugees Isn’t Just About Designing Better Shelters

Wired News - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 12:00pm

Ikea may have built a better temporary shelter, but the process for getting refugees permanent homes is still broken.

The post Helping Refugees Isn’t Just About Designing Better Shelters appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Legendary Inventor Inks Deal to Test ‘Personal’ Cell Networks

Wired News - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 12:00pm

Steve Perlman's technology creates a super-fast cell signal that follows your phone from place to place. Now a major network builder is trying it out.

The post Legendary Inventor Inks Deal to Test ‘Personal’ Cell Networks appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

The Active Sun: US Unveils Plan to Deal with Space Weather

Space.com - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 11:51am
On Thursday (Oct. 29), the White House released two documents that lay out the nation's official plan for mitigating the negative impacts of solar flares and other types of "space weather."
Categories: Science

Enceladus Flyby: See Cassini's Close-up Photos of Icy Saturn Moon

Space.com - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 11:51am
After a death-defying dive toward the surface of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, the Cassini spacecraft has sent back images from its close encounter.
Categories: Science

US Law Can't Keep Up With Technology -- and Why That's a Good Thing

Slashdot - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 10:29am
HughPickens.com writes: In the 1910s, the number of cars in the US exploded from 200,000 to 2.5 million. The newfangled machines scared horses and ran over pedestrians, but by the time government could pass the very first traffic law, it was too late to stop them. Now Kevin Matley writes in Newsweek that thanks to political gridlock in the US, lawmakers respond to innovations with all the speed of continental drift. New technologies spread almost instantly and take hold with almost no legal oversight. According to Matley, this is terrific for tech startups, especially those aimed at demolishing creaky old norms—like taxis, or flight paths over crowded airspace, or money. "Drone aircraft are suddenly filling the sky, and a whole multibillion-dollar industry of drone making and drone services has taken hold," says Matley. "If the FAA had been either farsighted or fast moving, at the first sign of drones it might've outlawed them or confined them to someplace like Oklahoma where they can't get in the way of anything too important. But now the FAA is forced to accommodate drones, not the other way around." Bitcoin is another example of a technology that's too late to stop. "But have you heard the word bitcoin uttered once in any of the presidential debates? Government doesn't even understand bitcoin, and that's been really good for it." Uber and Airbnb show how to execute this outrun-the-government strategy. By the time cities understood what those companies were doing, it was too late to block or seriously limit them.

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Categories: Science

How GoDaddy's Quest For Respect Led To an Improbable Partnership With MIT

Slashdot - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 7:37am
harrymcc writes: GoDaddy, the world's biggest domain registrar, remains most famous for its tacky Super Bowl ads and controversial founder, Bob Parsons. But in recent years, the company was sold, hired a CEO from Microsoft and Yahoo, and has made a major effort to reinvent itself as a serious, uncontroversial, technologically-savvy outfit. And now it's partnered with MIT's Media Lab in an ambitious experiment--which I wrote about over at Fast Company--involving placing sensors around downtown Boston to collect big data that could help the small businesses which line the city's streets.

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Categories: Science

Botnet Takes Over Twitch Install and Partially Installs Gentoo

Slashdot - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 4:48am
WarJolt writes: The plug was pulled on the attempt to crowd-source an Arch Linux install after a botnet threatened to take over the process. Twitch Installs has been rebooted by the twitchintheshell community and Twitch Installs users managed to reinstall Arch only to be thwarted by the botnet. The botnet managed to partially install Gentoo. Users are currently in the process of reinstalling Arch.

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Categories: Science

O Verily, the First Preacher Trailer is Upon Us

Wired News - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 4:39am

Looks like Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been cooking up a doozy.

The post O Verily, the First Preacher Trailer is Upon Us appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Linux 4.3 Released As Stable; Improves On Open-Source Graphics, SMP Performance

Slashdot - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 1:52am
An anonymous reader writes: The Linux 4.3 kernel was released as stable today. The Linux 4.3 kernel brings Intel Skylake support, reworked NVIDIA open-source graphics support, and many other changes with the code count hitting 20.6 million lines of code.

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Categories: Science

Feds Have a Plan For Catastrophic Solar Flares

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 11:38pm
New submitter Steve Sacco, referencing the newly released National Space Weather Strategy and the National Space Weather Action Plan, written in anticipation of large-scale disruptions from a solar flare or similar event, writes: Released on October 28, 2015, the White House plan involves the coordination of agencies from the federal level, state level, and including emergency managers, academia, the media, the insurance industry, nonprofit organizations and the private sector, all in preparation for the worst-case scenario possible, such as the Carrington Event that took place in 1859.

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Categories: Science

How a Group of Rural Washington Neighbors Created Their Own Internet Service

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 10:40pm
An anonymous reader writes with a story that might warm the hearts of anyone just outside the service area of a decent internet provider: Faced with a local ISP that couldn't provide modern broadband, Orcas Island residents designed their own network and built it themselves. The nonprofit Doe Bay Internet Users Association (DBIUA), founded by [friends Chris Brems and Chris Sutton], and a few friends, now provide Internet service to a portion of the island. It's a wireless network with radios installed on trees and houses in the Doe Bay portion of Orcas Island. Those radios get signals from radios on top of a water tower, which in turn receive a signal from a microwave tower across the water in Mount Vernon, Washington.

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Categories: Science

HP Is Now Two Companies. How Did It Get Here?

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 9:33pm
New submitter joshroberts3388 writes: If Hollywood wanted a script about the inexorable decline of a corporate icon, it might look to Hewlett-Packard for inspiration. Once one of Silicon Valley's most respected companies, HP officially split itself in two on Sunday, betting that the smaller parts will be nimbler and more able to reverse four years of declining sales. HP fell victim to huge shifts in the computer industry that also forced Dell to go private and have knocked IBM on its heels. Pressure from investors compelled it to act. But there are dramatic twists in HP's story, including scandals, a revolving door for CEOs and one of the most ill-fated mergers in tech history, that make HP more than a victim of changing times.

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Categories: Science

Greenland Ice Sheet Not Covered In Soot

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 8:24pm
An anonymous reader writes with word of a a new study of the Greenland ice sheet led by Dartmouth adjunct assistant professor Chris Polashenski, which maintains that the darkening sensed there by satellites is not caused by dust and soot deposited by forest fires and industry, but rather by the slow degradation of the sensors on the satellites themselves. [Polashenski] and his colleagues analyzed dozens of snow-pit samples from the 2012-2014 snowfalls across northern Greenland and compared them with samples from earlier years. The results showed no significant change in the quantity of black carbon deposited for the past 60 years or the quantity and mineralogical makeup of dust compared to the last 12,000 years, meaning that deposition of these light absorbing impurities is not a primary cause of reflectivity reduction or surface melting in the dry snow zone. Algae growth, which darkens ice, also was ruled out as a factor. Instead, the findings suggest the apparent decline in the dry snow zone's reflectivity is being caused by uncorrected degradation of sensors in NASA's aging MODIS satellites and that the declining trend will likely disappear when new measurements are reprocessed.

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Categories: Science

Hunting down hidden dangers and health benefits of urban fruit

Science Daily - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 8:06pm
Forgotten trees from long lost orchards and 20th-century city landscaping are being rediscovered in urban areas, and their fruits are proving not only largely free of urban pollutants, but more nutritious than their retail counterparts.
Categories: Science

Vitamin D pill a day may improve exercise performance and lower risk of heart disease

Science Daily - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 8:06pm
Taking vitamin D supplements can improve exercise performance and lower the risk of heart disease, according to the findings of a preliminary study.
Categories: Science

Bumblebees Used For Targeted Pesticide Deliveries

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 7:27pm
Zothecula writes: Chemical pesticides are generally a bad thing for the environment and pollinators like bees that our agriculture relies on. Now a company out of Vancouver, Canada, called Bee Vectoring Technology (BVT) has brought the two together in a system that uses bees to deliver tiny amounts of natural pesticides and beneficial fungi while pollinating crops.

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Categories: Science

Slashdot Asks: Notes For Next Hallowe'en?

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 6:26pm
There are 364 more shopping days until next year's Hallowe'en. But while this year's is still fresh in the memory, I'd like to start gathering ideas for next year in the hopes of actually making my neighborhood worthwhile as a trick-or-treating destination, specifically for fun projects to actually give my yard a haunted-house feel. (For the second time in three years, there were zero candy-seekers, and I'd like to convince my neighbors to make the whole block more decorated and spooky, even if we never get all Alek Komarnitsky.) Did you create an animatronic zombie for your yard? Glowing eyes to appear from behind the bushes? Poltergist-style rising graves to frighten the children? Remote-controlled candy dispensers? If you used any kind of complex haunt technology at home, what things worked and what didn't? (I hear too many stories about fog machines leaking to make them sound like a good idea.)

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Categories: Science

Real-World Roadblocks To Implementing CISA

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 5:24pm
An anonymous reader writes: The recent approval of CISA (the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act) by the US Congress and Senate is paving the way for broader security collaboration. If and when CISA is ratified into law, the chief obstacles to cybersecurity collaboration within the private sector will remain. CISA promotes sharing – but when dealing with cyber threat data companies are also concerned about other mandates which may govern the information being shared. These include anti-trust, privacy, sectorial directives and data protection regulations that affect many multi-national organizations.

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Categories: Science

Vodafone Attack Hits Nearly 2000 Customer Accounts

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 4:24pm
Bloomberg reports that "about 1800" customers of UK telecoms company Vodafone had their account information compromised by attacks this weekend: "Hackers may have potentially gained access to Vodafone customers’ names, phone numbers and the last four digits of their bank account numbers. A 'handful' of customers have been subject to fraudulent attempts on their accounts, Vodafone said." (Also at the BBC.)

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Categories: Science

Celebrate the 200th Birthday of George Boole With Logic

Slashdot - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 3:33pm
mikejuk writes: November 2nd 2015 is the bicentenary of George Boole, dubbed the forefather of modern information technology. To mark the event 55,000 school students globally will be learning about Boolean Logic. Free lesson plans, puzzles and worksheets have been made available in English, Irish and Mandarin and schools in over 30 countries have signed up. According to the George Boole 200 website set up by University College Cork (UCC), the Irish university where he was the first Professor of Mathematics in the mid-19th century, Boole is an unsung hero of the digital age who deserves to be recognized as the forefather of the Information Age. An hour-long documentary, The Genius of George Boole, will be released on November 2 and available to view online until November 16. Although Boole did briefly encounter Charles Babbage during his lifetime he wasn't responsible for bringing together binary arithmetic and what we now call Boolean logic. That achievement is down to Claude Shannon who recognised the relevance for engineering of Boole's symbolic logic. As a result of Shannon's work Boole's thinking became the practical foundation of digital circuit design and the theoretical grounding of the the digital age.

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Categories: Science