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Math

Study Suggests the Number-Line Concept Is Not Intuitive 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-to-count dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Yupno people of New Guinea have provided clues to the origins of the number-line concept, and suggest that the familiar concept of time may be cultural as well. From the article: 'Tape measures. Rulers. Graphs. The gas gauge in your car, and the icon on your favorite digital device showing battery power. The number line and its cousins – notations that map numbers onto space and often represent magnitude – are everywhere. Most adults in industrialized societies are so fluent at using the concept, we hardly think about it. We don't stop to wonder: Is it 'natural'? Is it cultural? Now, challenging a mainstream scholarly position that the number-line concept is innate, a study suggests it is learned."
Science

Insects Develop Pesticide Resistance Through Symbiosis With Gut Flora 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the with-a-little-help-from-my-little-friends dept.
First time accepted submitter blinkin247 writes "The indiscriminate spraying of pesticides has probably caused as many problems as it has solved, but here's one that was not expected: some bacteria have decided that insecticide is a very tasty meal. Unfortunately for us, one of the strains of bacteria that has evolved the ability to digest the toxin happens to be able to find a home in an insect's gut. When it does so, it provides the insect with resistance."
Google

Is Siri Smarter Than Google? 366

Posted by samzenpus
from the top-of-the-class dept.
storagedude writes "Google could go the way of the dodo if ultra intelligent electronic agents (UIEA) make their way into the mainstream, according to technology prognosticator Daniel Burrus. Siri is just the first example of how a UIEA could end search as we know it. By leveraging the cloud and supercomputing capabilities, Siri uses natural language search to circumvent the entire Google process. If Burrus is right, we'll no longer have to wade through '30,000,000 returns in .0013 milliseconds' of irrelevant search results."
Security

VMware Confirms Source Code Leak 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-a-sieve dept.
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Purloined data and documents, including source code belonging to the U.S. software firm VMWare, continue to bubble up from the networks of a variety of compromised Chinese firms, according to 'Hardcore Charlie,' an anonymous hacker who has claimed responsibility for the hacks. In a statement on the VMWare Web site, Ian Mulholland, Director of VMWare's Security Response Center, said the company acknowledged that a source code file for its ESX product had been leaked online. In a phone interview, Mulholland told Threatpost the company was monitoring the situation and conducting an investigation into the incident."
Google

Bug Bounty Hunters Weigh In On Google's Vulnerability Reporting Program 24

Posted by samzenpus
from the professional-swatter dept.
An anonymous reader writes "InfoWorld reached out to three security researchers who participate in Google's vulnerability reporting program, through which the company now offers as much as $20,000 for bug reports. They provided some insightful perspectives on what Google (and other companies, such as Mozilla) are doing right in paying bounties on bugs, as well as where there's some room for improvement."
Microsoft

Microsoft's Hotmail Challenge Backfires 453

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-the-desired-outcome dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft challenged the editor of PC Pro to return to Hotmail after six years of using Gmail, to prove that its webmail service had vastly improved — but the challenge backfired when he had his Hotmail account hacked. PC Pro's editor say he was quietly impressed with a number of new Hotmail features, including SkyDrive integration and mailbox clean-up features. He'd even imported his Gmail and contacts into Microsoft's service. But the two-week experiment came to an abrupt end when Hotmail sent a message containing a malicious link to all of his contacts. 'What's even more worrying is that it's not only my webmail that's been compromised, but my Xbox login (which holds my credit card details) and now my PC login too. Because Windows 8 practically forces you to login with your Windows Live/Hotmail details to access features such as the Metro Store, synchronization and SkyDrive,' he writes."
Privacy

Congress Considering CISPA Amendments 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the ACTA-by-any-other-name dept.
First time accepted submitter casac8 writes "As Friday's House vote on CISPA nears, it appears Congress members are getting nervous. Literally millions of people around the world have signed petitions voicing their opposition, and it appears Congress has heard their concerns, as House members are considering a number of amendments aimed at limiting the negative impacts the legislation would have on Internet privacy. For instance, one amendment likely to pass would tighten the bill's language to ensure its provisions are only applied in the pursuit of legit crimes and other rare instances, rather than whenever the NSA wants to target Joe Web-user. And another would increase possible liability on the parts of companies who hand personal information over to the government."
Science

Solar Cells That Emit Light Break Efficiency Record 139

Posted by samzenpus
from the shine-on dept.
benfrog writes "Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley say they have come up with a counter-intuitive way of making solar cells more efficient — making them emit light. In a press release the scientists claim to be the first to demonstrate that the better solar cells are at emitting photons (the more LED-like they are), the more efficient they are at generating electricity. However, 'unlike an LED, the electrons in a solar cell are absorbing photons from an exterior source as well as emitting their own.'"
Space

World's Largest Digital Camera Project Passes Critical Milestone 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-funding dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with a link about the progress of one of the coolest astronomy projects around. "A 3.2 billion-pixel digital camera designed by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is now one step closer to reality. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope camera, which will capture the widest, fastest and deepest view of the night sky ever observed, has received 'Critical Decision 1' approval by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to move into the next stage of the project. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will survey the entire visible sky every week, creating an unprecedented public archive of data – about 6 million gigabytes per year, the equivalent of shooting roughly 800,000 images with a regular eight-megapixel digital camera every night, but of much higher quality and scientific value. Its deep and frequent cosmic vistas will help answer critical questions about the nature of dark energy and dark matter and aid studies of near-Earth asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, the structure of our galaxy and many other areas of astronomy and fundamental physics."
Microsoft

Microsoft Says Two Basic Security Steps Might Have Stopped Conficker 245

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
coondoggie writes "If businesses and consumers stuck to security basics, they could have avoided all cases of Conficker worm infection detected on 1.7 million systems by Microsoft researchers in the last half of 2011. According to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence report, all cases of Conficker infection stemmed from just two attack methods: weak or stolen passwords and exploiting software vulnerabilities for which updates existed."
Apple

Tim Cook Prefers Settling To Suing and Has a Huge Quarter 246

Posted by samzenpus
from the lead-differently dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's current legal battles with Samsung encapsulate a large number of patents, innumerable suits and counter-suits, and have resulted in legal motions in 11 jurisdictions across the globe. As you may remember, Steve Jobs in his biography was quite vocal about his intent to go thermonuclear on Android, vowing to spend every last dime in Apple's coffers to destroy Google's mobile OS. But Tim Cook is a bit more level headed about things, expressing during Apple's earnings conference call yesterday that he has has always hated litigation and would much rather settle than to battle in court. The caveat, of course, is that Cook doesn't want Apple to 'become the developer for the world.'" It may not be what Jobs would do, but as zacharye notes, it doesn't seem to be hurting earnings. "Despite early-morning jitters on Wall Street, Apple on Tuesday reported yet another blow-out quarter. The Cupertino, California-based company managed the second most profitable quarter in its history, posting a net profit of $11.6 billion on $39.2 billion in sales. Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones into channels last quarter, along with 11.8 million iPads, 7.7 million iPods and 4 million Mac computers. While the firm continues to dominate the technology industry — Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world — several analysts think Apple is just getting started."
Cloud

Google Set To Meld Google Drive With Chrome OS 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the when-our-powers-combine dept.
MikeatWired writes "Google will tightly integrate its new Google Drive online storage service with an upcoming version of its Chrome OS operating system, says Sundar Pichai, who oversees development of the company's Chrome products as well as its Google Apps online services. Chrome OS is Google's effort to move all applications and data onto the web (and its Chrome browser), but the OS still hasn't mastered the art of moving files from place to place. By integrating Chrome OS with Google Drive — the online storage service Google introduced on Tuesday — the company seeks to correct this problem. 'With Chromebooks, [Google Drive] is even more powerful,' Pichai says, 'because it just starts working naturally. Your local drive is also Google Drive. This makes it really powerful because you just don't think about it.' Basically, Google Drive — a service that operates on the web — will perform as if it was the local file system. If you open the 'save file' dialog box on Chrome OS, for instance, the system will take you straight to Google Drive. 'We'll effectively integrate [Google] Drive into the native file system of Chrome OS,' says Scott Johnson, Google's Google Drive product manager. 'All the core OS functionality will use [Google] Drive as a place to store data — if that's what you opt in to.'"
Games

Valve's Steam & Games Coming To Linux 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-play dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Valve's Steam and Source Engine-based games are coming to Linux. Michael from well known site Phoronix.com has been invited to Valve's office and was able to spend a day with the developers and Gabe Newell himself. He is confirming the rumors about Linux ports from Valve, and has been able to play the games and work the developers himself. Attached in the article are pictures from Valve's offices with games running on Linux."
Moon

NASA and Astrobotic Investigating Ice Hunting Mission to the Moon 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the repurposed-as-newt's-moon-scooter dept.
Zothecula writes, quoting Gizmodo "While the Moon may or may not contain life forms, precious metals or even green cheese, recent satellite missions have indicated that it does nonetheless contain something that could prove quite valuable — water ice. NASA has estimated that at least 650 million tons (600 million tonnes) of the stuff could be deposited in craters near the Moon's north pole alone. If mined, it could conceivably serve as a source of life support for future lunar bases, or it could be used to produce fuel for spacecraft stopping at a "lunar gas station." Before any mining can happen, however, we need to learn more about the ice. That's why NASA has contracted Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology to determine if its Polaris rover robot could be used for ice prospecting."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Travelling Salesman, Thriller Set In a World Where P=NP 165 Screenshot-sm

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the very-serious-faces-throughout dept.
mikejuk writes with this excerpt from I Programmer: "A movie that features science and technology is always welcome, but is it not often we have one that focuses on computer science. Travelling Salesman is just such a rare movie. As you can guess from its name, it is about the Travelling Salesman problem, more precisely about the P=NP question. Written and directed by Timothy Lanzone, and produced by Fretboard Pictures, it should premiere on June 16. As the blurb to the movie trailer says: 'Travelling Salesman is an intellectual thriller about four of the world's smartest mathematicians hired by the U.S. government to solve the most elusive problem in computer science history — P vs. NP. The four have jointly created a "system" which could be the next major advancement for humanity or the downfall of society.'"

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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