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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 16:10
An anonymous reader writes: Caffeine is a staple of most workplaces — it's rare to find an office without a coffee pot or a fridge full of soda. It's necessary (or at least feels like it's necessary) because many workers have a hard time staying awake while sitting at a desk for hours at a time, and the alternative — naps — aren't usually allowed. But new research shows it might be more efficient for employers to encourage brief "coffee naps," which are more effective at returning people to an alert state than either caffeine or naps alone. A "coffee nap" is when you drink a cup of coffee, and then take a sub-20-minute nap immediately afterward. This works because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to get into your bloodstream, and a 20-minute nap clears adenosine from your brain without putting you into deeper stages of sleep. In multiple studies, tired participants who took coffee naps made fewer mistakes in a driving simulator after they awoke than the people who drank coffee without a nap or slept without ingesting caffeine.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:29
An anonymous reader writes: On August 6, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the federal government to "explain why the government places U.S. citizens who haven't been convicted of any violent crimes on its no-fly database." Unsurprisingly, the federal government objected to the order, once more claiming that to divulge their no-fly list criteria would expose state secrets and thus pose a national security threat. When the judge said he would read the material privately, the government insisted that reading the material "would not assist the Court in deciding the pending Motion to Dismiss (PDF) because it is not an appropriate means to test the scope of the assertion of the State Secrets privilege." The federal government has until September 7 to comply with the judge's order unless the judge is swayed by the government's objection.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Google Testing Drone Delivery System: 'Project Wing'

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:46
rtoz writes: Google's research division, Google X, is developing a fleet of drones to deliver goods. This drone delivery system is called "Project Wing," and Google X has been developing it in secret for the past two years. During a recent test in Australia, drones successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers. The self-flying vehicle uses four electrically-driven propellers to get around, and it has a wingspan of about five feet. It weighs just under 19 pounds and can take off and land without a runway. Google's long-term goal is to develop drones that could be used for disaster relief by delivering aid to isolated areas.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 14:04
snydeq writes Microsoft has re-released its botched MS14-045/KB 2982791 'Blue Screen 0x50' patch, only to introduce more problems, InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard reports. "Even by Microsoft standards, this month's botched Black Tuesday Windows 7/8/8.1 MS14-045 patch hit a new low. The original patch (KB 2982791) is now officially 'expired' and a completely different patch (KB 2993651) offered in its stead; there are barely documented revelations of new problems with old patches; patches that have disappeared; a 'strong' recommendation to manually uninstall a patch that went out via Automatic Update for several days; and an infuriating official explanation that raises serious doubts about Microsoft's ability to support Windows 9's expected rapid update pace."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Error'd: Netflix is Smarter than You Are

The Daily WTF - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:15

"I never thought that The Princess Diaries and The Shining had anything in common, but who am I to argue with Netflix's magic algorithms?" Neal L. wrote.

 

"I clicked on the 'unsubscribe instantly' link in a third-party vendors email this morning," writes Mike G, "I got directed to a web page with the attached image as the content. I'm still not sure if I got off the mailing list or not."

 

Dominic M. wrote, "I found this at the subway gate on my way to work... I hope the trains aren't affected by this too!"

 

"When a comment is the only content, is it still a comment?," wonders William B.

 

"Yes. I'll take the 'clown car suite', please," writes Jim C.

 

"No, banggood.com, no matter how many decimal places you use, it's still wrong.," wrote Clark.

 

Steven B. writes, "Apparently, moonpig has access to some pretty freaky technology - including the ability to send my great, great grandmother some flowers.

 

Rodney wrote, "While searching the Atkins website to learn where I could purchase their products near my home in New Jersey, I got a little lesson in geography."

 

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Categories: Fun/Other

For $1.5M, DeepFlight Dragon Is an "Aircraft for the Water"

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:30
Zothecula writes No one with red blood in their veins buys a sports car and hands the keys to a chauffeur, so one of the barriers to truly personal submarining has long been the need for a trained pilot, not to mention the massive logistics involved in transporting, garaging and launching the underwater craft ... until now. Pioneering underwater aviation company DeepFlight is set to show an entirely new type of personal submarine at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show next week, launching the personal submarine era with a submersible that's reportedly so easy to pilot that it's likely to create a new niche in the tourism and rental market.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:08
angry tapir writes The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a government funded watchdog organization, is taking Valve to court. The court action relates to Valve's Steam distribution service. According to ACCC allegations, Valve misled Australian consumers about their rights under Australian law by saying that customers were not entitled to refunds for games under any circumstances.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

How the World's Fastest Electric Car Is Pushing Wireless Charging Tech

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:07
An anonymous reader writes With the first ever season of Formula E revving up in China next month, it's clear there's more to electric cars than Tesla. But the race cars hitting the track in Beijing don't have anything on the speed of Drayson Racing Technology's Lola B12 69/EV, which holds the record for the world's fastest lightweight electric car, and which uses the kind of power technologies that could one day have applications off the track too—like charging your phone wirelessly.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:24
Andreas Kolbe writes Wikipedia is well known to have a very large gender imbalance, with survey-based estimates of women contributors ranging from 8.5% to around 16%. This is a more extreme gender imbalance than even that of Reddit, the most male-dominated major social media platform, and it has a palpable effect on Wikipedia content. Moreover, Wikipedia editor survey data indicate that only 1 in 50 respondents is a mother – a good proportion of female contributors are in fact minors, with women in their twenties less likely to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation efforts to address this "gender gap" have so far remained fruitless. Wikipedia's demographic pattern stands in marked contrast to female-dominated social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, where women aged 18 to 34 are particularly strongly represented. It indicates that it isn't lack of time or family commitments that keep women from contributing to Wikipedia – women simply find other sites more attractive. Wikipedia's user interface and its culture of anonymity may be among the factors leading women to spend their online time elsewhere.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 04:02
schwit1 writes An investigation into the recent failed Soyuz launch of the EU's Galileo satellites has found that the Russian Fregat upper stage fired correctly, but its software was programmed for the wrong orbit. From the article: "The failure of the European Union’s Galileo satellites to reach their intended orbital position was likely caused by software errors in the Fregat-MT rocket’s upper-stage, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported Thursday. 'The nonstandard operation of the integrated management system was likely caused by an error in the embedded software. As a result, the upper stage received an incorrect flight assignment, and, operating in full accordance with the embedded software, it has delivered the units to the wrong destination,' an unnamed source from Russian space Agency Roscosmos was quoted as saying by the newspaper."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

IBM Opens Up Its Watson Supercomputer To Researchers

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 03:17
An anonymous reader writes IBM has announced the "Watson Discovery Advisor" a cloud-based tool that will let researchers comb through massive troves of data, looking for insights and connections. The company says it's a major expansion in capabilities for the Watson Group, which IBM seeded with a $1 billion investment. "Scientific discovery takes us to a different level as a learning system," said Steve Gold, vice president of the Watson Group. "Watson can provide insights into the information independent of the question. The ability to connect the dots opens up a new world of possibilities."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

The Executive Order That Led To Mass Spying, As Told By NSA Alumni

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 01:57
An anonymous reader writes with this Ars piece about the executive order that is the legal basis for the U.S. government's mass spying on citizens. One thing sits at the heart of what many consider a surveillance state within the US today. The problem does not begin with political systems that discourage transparency or technologies that can intercept everyday communications without notice. Like everything else in Washington, there's a legal basis for what many believe is extreme government overreach—in this case, it's Executive Order 12333, issued in 1981. “12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US," whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. "My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known in government circles as "twelve triple three," gives incredible leeway to intelligence agencies sweeping up vast quantities of Americans' data. That data ranges from e-mail content to Facebook messages, from Skype chats to practically anything that passes over the Internet on an incidental basis. In other words, EO 12333 protects the tangential collection of Americans' data even when Americans aren't specifically targeted—otherwise it would be forbidden under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 01:15
An anonymous reader writes "A recent survey of scientific education and attitudes showed the Canadian population to have the highest level of scientific literacy in the world, as well as the fewest reservations about the direction of scientific progress (full report). A key factor is a high level of scientific knowledge among the general population (despite comparatively low numbers of people employed in STEM fields). Another is a higher level of comfort with choosing rationality over religious belief — only 25% of Canadians surveyed agreed with the statement "We depend too much on science and not enough on faith", as opposed to 55% in the U.S. and 38% in the E.U. I also wonder if the vaunted Canadian healthcare system plays a role. When advances in medical science are something you automatically expect to benefit from personally if you need them, they look a lot better than when you have to scramble just to cover your bills for what we have now."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Brian Stevens Resigns As Red Hat CTO

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 00:33
darthcamaro (735685) writes Since November of 2001, Brian Stevens has been the CTO of Red Hat but as of August 28 that's no longer the case. Under Stevens' tenure, Red Hat transformed its business, adding Red Hat Enterprise Linux, acquiring JBoss, Qumranet, Gluster and Ceph as well as joining (and now leading) the OpenStack Foundation. So why did he leave? No official word, but apparently it is to pursue a new opportunity that Stevens just could not pass up.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

Slashdot - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 23:52
merbs (2708203) writes Across drought-stricken California, farmers are desperate for water. So many of them are calling dowsers. These 'water witches', draped in dubious pseudoscience or self-assembled mythologies—or both—typically use divining rods and some sort of practiced intuition to "find" water. The professional variety do so for a fee. And business is booming. They're just part of a storied tradition of pseudoscientific hucksters exploiting our thirst for water, with everything from cloudbusters to rainmachines to New Age rituals.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Judge Lucy Koh Rejects Apple's Quest For Anti-Samsung Injunction

Slashdot - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 23:09
The Associated Press, in a story carried by The Financial Express, reports that Federal Judge Lucy Koh has has rejected Apple's attempt to block the sale of several older Samsung smartphones that copied features in the iPhone. Wednesday's rebuff comes nearly four months after a jury awarded Apple Inc. $119 million in damages for Samsung's infringements on technology used in the trend-setting iPhone. The amount was well below the $2.2 billion in damages that Apple had been seeking in the latest round of legal wrangling between the world's two leading smartphone makers since the tussle began four years ago. The Register also carries the story, and notes Perhaps because the ongoing battle was turning the two companies into law firms rather than tech titans, the two agreed to abandon all patent lawsuits outside the USA earlier this month. However, Apple still wanted the infringing features extirpated from American stores, and was seeking to have phones nobody bought banned as ammo for future battles.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

No, a Stolen iPod Didn't Brick Ben Eberle's Prosthetic Hand

Slashdot - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 22:27
New submitter willoremus writes A wounded Army vet had his $75k prosthetic hand bricked when someone stole his iPod Touch? Yeah, not so much. I'm a tech reporter for Slate.com, and a Slashdot post earlier this week prompted me to look into this story and ultimately debunk some of the key info. Sorry for self-posting, but I thought folks here might be interested in the truth since the false story was one of the top posts earlier this week.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

State of the GitHub: Chris Kelly Does the Numbers

Slashdot - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 21:46
I talked with Chris Kelly of GitHub at last week's LinuxCon about GitHub. He's got interesting things to say about the demographics and language choices on what has become in short order (just six years) one of the largest repositories of code in the world, and one with an increasingly sophisticated front-end, and several million users. Not all of the code on GitHub is open source, but the majority is -- handy, when that means an account is free as in beer, too. (And if you're reading on the beta or otherwise can't view the video below, here's the alternative video link.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Categories: Tech/Science News

State of the GitHub: Chris Kelly Does the Numbers

Slashdot - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 21:46
I talked with Chris Kelly of GitHub at last week's LinuxCon about GitHub. He's got interesting things to say about the demographics and language choices on what has become in short order (just six years) one of the largest repositories of code in the world, and one with an increasingly sophisticated front-end, and several million users. Not all of the code on GitHub is open source, but the majority is -- handy, when that means an account is free as in beer, too. (And if you're reading on the beta or otherwise can't view the video below, here's the alternative video link.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

PHP 5.6.0 Released

Slashdot - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 21:04
An anonymous reader writes "The PHP team has announced the release of PHP 5.6.0. New features include constant scalar expressions, exponentiation using the ** operator, function and constant importing with the use keyword, support for file uploads larger than 2 GB, and phpdbg as an interactive integrated debugger SAPI. The team also notes important changes affecting compatibility. For example: "Array keys won't be overwritten when defining an array as a property of a class via an array literal," json_decode() is now more strict at parsing JSON syntax, and GMP resources are now objects. Here is the migration guide, the full change log, and the downloads page."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Tech/Science News

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