Raspberry Pi Gets Affordable, Power Efficient 314GB Hard Drive On Pi Day

Slashdot - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 6:00pm
Mickeycaskill writes: Western Digital has released a had drive optimized for the Raspberry Pi. The 314GB drive, released on Pi Day (3/14), costs $31.42 for a limited time and promises to be more reliable, power efficient and easier to use with the computer than other storage. The company, which also has a 1TB drive, says the unit has been designed to coordinate with the Pi's own power systems in order to minimize energy use without affecting the maximum data transfer rate on a USB connection. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the new drive will stimulate the development of storage-hungry projects.

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Categories: Science

Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Others To Beef Up Encryption

Slashdot - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 5:21pm
An anonymous reader writes: Tech giants including Google, Facebook, Whatsapp and Snapchat are looking to increase the privacy of user data by expanding their encryption features. The recent reports mark growing industry support for Apple in its fight to not allow authorities backdoor access into users' devices. Facebook has suggested that it is increasing privacy of its Messenger service, while its instant messaging app Whatsapp also confirmed that it would be extending its encryption offering to secure voice calls. Others reportedly joining the industry shift include Snapchat, which is working on securing its messaging service, and search heavyweight Google, which is currently developing an encrypted email project. From The Guardian's substantially similar story from which the above-linked article draws: WhatsApp has been rolling out strong encryption to portions of its users since 2014, making it increasingly difficult for authorities to tap the service's messages. The issue is personal for founder Jan Koum, who was born in Soviet-era Ukraine. When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in February that his company would fight the government in court, Koum posted on his Facebook account: "Our freedom and our liberty are at stake." His efforts to go further still are striking as the app is in open confrontation with governments. Brazil authorities arrested a Facebook executive on 1 March after WhatsApp told investigators it lacked the technical ability to provide the messages of drug traffickers. Facebook called the arrest "extreme and disproportionate." The sooner, the better on this front: as TechDirt points out, WhatsApp may be next on the list of communication tools to which the U.S. government would like to give the Apple Treatment.

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Categories: Science

Hitman Is a Thrilling Return, But You Can’t Play It All at Once

Wired News - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 4:40pm
The first episode of Square Enix's new Hitman features three thrilling assassination missions that can get creepy, funny, and only sometimes broken. The post Hitman Is a Thrilling Return, But You Can't Play It All at Once appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Microsoft to Open Source Minecraft-Based Project AIX

Slashdot - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 4:40pm
Microsoft has found a new use of its insanely popular title Minecraft. The company on Monday announced Project AIX, a platform that will let computer scientists experiment with artificial intelligence in its cube-stacking game. For instance, Microsoft says, they can manipulate a character and learn from its actions. Microsoft says that Minecraft, a game it acquired in 2014, is more sophisticated than existing AI research simulations. "You can do survival mode, you can do build battles with your friends, you can do courses, you can implement our own games. This is really exciting for artificial intelligence because it allows us to create games that stretch beyond current abilities said Katja Hofmann, one of the researchers behind AIX. The company initially launched the project for its own testing, but says it will make it available as open source to all in July.

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Categories: Science

Sadistic Writing App Deletes Your Work if You Stop Typing

Wired News - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 4:39pm
A high-stakes, tough-love approach to writing. The post Sadistic Writing App Deletes Your Work if You Stop Typing appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

Inside Jeff Bezos' Secret Rocket Factory

Space.com - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 4:07pm
For the first time, Jeff Bezos, billionaire and chief executive of Amazon, opened the door to his secretive rocket factory Blue Origin — here's an exclusive look inside.
Categories: Science

6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pi

Wired News - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 4:00pm
March 14th is Pi Day, so here are some fun aspects of Pi that you might not know. The post 6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pi appeared first on WIRED.









Categories: Science

6 Tiny Robotic Ants, Weighing 3.5 Oz. In Total, Pull a 3900-lb. Car

Slashdot - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 4:00pm
Reader schwit1 writes about MicroTug, a team of six microrobots that weigh just 3.5 ounces (99 grams), and can move a car: Researchers at Standford University's Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab have developed six miniature robots that have the pulling-power to move objects 2,000 times of their own body weight. The tiny robots and their inter-coordination are based on that of ants. The microrobot uses a special kind of glue on its feet that make them serve as sticky gecko toes. "Their new demonstration is the functional equivalent of a team of six humans moving a weight equivalent to that of an Eiffel Tower and three Statues of Liberty," said David Christensen, a graduate student who is one of the authors of "Let's All Pull Together: Principles for Sharing Large Loads in Microrobot Teams paper. Researchers' fascination with gecko adhesive is nothing new. In 2010, Stanford mechanical engineer Mark Cutkosky developed a Stickybot that could climb walls. A similar robot that could roll up on smooth as well rough surfaces was demonstrated by a group of researchers in Canada in 2011.

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Categories: Science

Microsoft Store No Longer Accepts Bitcoins As Payment

Slashdot - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:23pm
westlake writes: It may come as a surprise to many here [but not all! -- Ed.], but back in December 2014, Microsoft began accepting Bitcoin.as payments for apps, games, and music purchased through the Windows Store, for its Win 10, Windows Phone and Xbox customers. Big-ticket items like MS Office were excluded. The service has been quietly discontinued. Crypto-currencies may excite the geek, but the Windows Store is mass-market and middle class, and the interest just might not be there.

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Categories: Science

Which neuron is more mature? Single cell transcriptome knows

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:13pm
The human brain is extremely complex, containing billions of neurons forming trillions of synapses where thoughts, behavior and emotion arise. However, when an individual is performing a particular task, not many but only a few neural circuits are in action. The enormous cellular heterogeneity of the brain structure has made dissections of the molecular basis for neural circuitry function particularly challenging.
Categories: Science

Nontoxic way of generating portable power developed

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:13pm
The batteries that power the ubiquitous devices of modern life, from smartphones and computers to electric cars, are mostly made of toxic materials such as lithium that can be difficult to dispose of and have limited global supplies. Now, researchers have come up with an alternative system for generating electricity, which harnesses heat and uses no metals or toxic materials.
Categories: Science

Medical students, burnout and alcohol

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:13pm
Medical students are more prone to alcohol abuse than their peers not attending medical school, especially if they are young, single and under a high debt load, according to a study on medical student burnout.
Categories: Science

New imaging technique may give physicians clearer picture of stroke damage

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
Ischemic strokes account for nearly 90 percent of all strokes. They occur when a blocked artery prevents blood from getting to the brain and usually result in long-term disability or death. Now, a team of researchers has developed a new, real-time method of imaging molecular events after strokes -- a finding that may lead to improved care for patients.
Categories: Science

Fermions to bosons, bosons to fermions

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
Theoretical physicists are about to report on a controversial discovery that they say contradicts the work of researchers over the decades. The discovery concerns the conventional approach toward bosonization-debosonization. The finding could affect calculations regarding the future of quantum computers as well as your electronic devices as they become smaller, faster and more advanced.
Categories: Science

Traditional measures of inducing pain refuted in exercise experiments

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
People who are ready to engage in greater amounts of pain perform better in exercise activities, research shows. This indicates that traditional methods of measuring pain in experiments -- such as thermal, pressure or electrical stimuli -- may be unsuitable for investigating the relationship between exercise and pain.
Categories: Science

What dark matter might be

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
There are indications that we might never see the universe's mysterious dark matter. Now researchers turn this somehow depressing scenario into an advantage and propose a new model for what dark matter might be -- and how to test it.
Categories: Science

Bacterial biofilms in hospital water pipes may show pathogenic properties

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
The human microbiome, a diverse collection of microorganisms living inside us and on our skin, has attracted considerable attention for its role in a broad range of human health issues. Now, researchers are discovering that the built environment also has a microbiome, which includes a community of potentially-pathogenic bacteria living inside water supply pipes.
Categories: Science

Now researchers can follow the hectic life inside a cell

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
Living cells are constantly on the move. They move around and divide, and they are responsible for transporting molecules around inside themselves. Now researchers have developed a method that makes it possible to become a spectator at this hectic traffic. The method is of particular importance for disease research.
Categories: Science

Tunable windows for privacy, camouflage

Science Daily - Mon, 14/03/2016 - 3:11pm
Researchers have developed a technique that can quickly change the opacity of a window, turning it cloudy, clear or somewhere in between with the flick of a switch.
Categories: Science