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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Slashdot - Fri, 31/10/2014 - 00:01
vinces99 writes A new study shows that the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide that contributed to the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago did not occur gradually but rather was characterized by three abrupt pulses. Scientists are not sure what caused these abrupt increases, during which carbon dioxide levels rose about 10 to 15 parts per million – or about 5 percent per episode – during a span of one to two centuries. It likely was a combination of factors, they say, including ocean circulation, changing wind patterns and terrestrial processes. The finding, published Oct. 30 in the journal Nature, casts new light on the mechanisms that take the Earth in and out of ice ages. "We used to think that naturally occurring changes in carbon dioxide took place relatively slowly over the 10,000 years it took to move out of the last ice age," said lead author Shaun Marcott, who did the work as a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University and is now at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "This abrupt, centennial-scale variability of CO2 appears to be a fundamental part of the global carbon cycle." Previous research has hinted at the possibility that spikes in atmospheric carbon dioxide may have accelerated the last deglaciation, but that hypothesis had not been resolved, the researchers say. The key to the new finding is the analysis of an ice core from the West Antarctic that provided the scientists with an unprecedented glimpse into the past."

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Warblr can identify that bird just by hearing its song

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 23:17
Technology can be pretty wonderful sometimes. Case in point: Warblr, an app that uses sound recognition tech and your phone's GPS signal to identify birdsongs. The application first pinpoints where you are (it'll debut in the United Kingdom), and...

Google To Disable Fallback To SSL 3.0 In Chrome 39 and Remove In Chrome 40

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 23:16
An anonymous reader writes Google today announced plans to disable fallback to version 3 of the SSL protocol in Chrome 39, and remove SSL 3.0 completely in Chrome 40. The decision follows the company's disclosure of a serious security vulnerability in SSL 3.0 on October 14, the attack for which it dubbed Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (POODLE). Following Mozilla's decision on the same day to disable SSL 3.0 by default in Firefox 34, which will be released on November 25, Google has laid out its plans for Chrome. This was expected, given that Google Security Team's Bodo Möller stated at the time: "In the coming months, we hope to remove support for SSL 3.0 completely from our client products."

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Charity Promotes Covert Surveillance App For Suicide Prevention

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 22:32
VoiceOfDoom writes Major UK charity The Samaritans have launched an app titled "Samaritans Radar", in an attempt to help Twitter users identify when their friends are in crisis and in need of support. Unfortunately the privacy implications appear not to have been thought through — installing the app allows it to monitor the Twitter feeds of all of your followers, searching for particular phrases or words which might indicate they are in distress. The app then sends you an email suggesting you contact your follower to offer your help. Opportunities for misuse by online harassers are at the forefront of the concerns that have been raised, in addition; there is strong evidence to suggest that this use of personal information is illegal, being in contravention of UK Data Protection law.

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Engadget Daily: The 'Microsoft Band,' life with the OnePlus One and more!

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 22:16
Been waiting for a Windows-powered smartwatch? Well, you'll have to keep waiting; Microsoft's debut wearable is a Nike FuelBand-like fitness tracker called the Band. That's not all we have on deck, though. Click through for our Nintendo 3DS review,...

Vulnerabilities Found (and Sought) In More Command-Line Tools

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 21:47
itwbennett writes The critical Shellshock vulnerabilities found last month in the Bash Unix shell have motivated security researchers to search for similar flaws in old, but widely used, command-line utilities. Two remote command execution vulnerabilities were patched this week in the popular wget download agent and tnftp client for Unix-like systems [also mentioned here]. This comes after a remote code execution vulnerability was found last week in a library used by strings, objdump, readelf and other command-line tools.

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Kodak's new action cam offers 360-degree views of your stunts

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 21:29
Kodak has already thrown its hat into the action cam fray, but its new gadget offers a much wider view of the goings-on. The company's PIXPRO SP360 effort captures footage with 360-degree views in full HD (1080p), which it says is capable of creating...

Getting 'Showdown' To 90 FPS In UE4 On Oculus Rift

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 21:26
An anonymous reader writes Oculus has repeatedly tapped Epic Games to whip up demos to show off new iterations of Oculus Rift VR headset hardware. The latest demo, built in UE4, is 'Showdown', an action-packed scene of slow motion explosions, bullets, and debris. The challenge? Oculus asked Epic to make it run at 90 FPS to match the 90 Hz refresh rate of the latest Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype. At the Oculus Connect conference, two of the developers from the team that created the demo share the tricks and tools they used to hit that target on a single GPU.

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Signed-In Maps Mean More Location Data For Google

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 21:05
mikejuk writes The announcement on the Google Geo Developers blog has the catchy title No map is an island. It points out that while there are now around 2 million active sites that have Google Maps embedded, they store data independently, The new feature, called attributed save, aims to overcome this problem by creating an integrated experience between the apps you use that have map content and Google Maps, and all it requires is that users sign in. So if you use a map in a specific app you will be able to see locations you entered in other apps.This all sounds great and it makes sense to allow users to take all of the locations that have previously been stored in app silos and put them all together into one big map data pool. The only down side is that the pool is owned by Google and some users might not like the idea of letting Google have access to so much personal geo information. It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy.It might just be that many users prefer their maps to be islands.

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Researchers use wearable sensors to better communicate with dogs

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 20:57
Sometimes it can be difficult to get your canine companion to get the commands you're giving, but there could be an easier way in the future. Researchers at North Carolina State University are working on a means to improve those communication skills...

Don't call Timex's Ironman One GPS+ a 'smartwatch' (hands-on)

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 20:26
The last time we thought about Timex, we were still using landlines and adjusting the tracking on the VCR so that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze would display properly. Remember "Indiglo"? That's still a thing, apparently!...

Pirate Bay Founder Gottfrid Warg Faces Danish Jail Time

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 20:23
Hammeh writes BBC news reports that Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Warg has been found guilty of hacking into computers and illegally downloading files in Denmark. Found guilty of breaching security to access computers owned by technology giant CSC to steal police and social security files, Mr Warg faces a sentence of up to six years behind bars. Mr Warg argued that although the computer used to commit the offence was owned by him, the hacks were carried out by another individual who he declined to name.

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I typed my entire BlackBerry Passport review on the phone's tiny keyboard

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 19:45
Apparently I'm a masochist. That's an odd way to begin a review. But to give BlackBerry's latest handset, the Passport, as thorough a review as possible, I decided to type the entire thing from the phone itself. My twisted idea came from a...

First Detailed Data Analysis Shows Exactly How Comcast Jammed Netflix

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 19:42
An anonymous reader writes John Oliver calls it "cable company f*ckery" and we've all suspected it happens. Now on Steven Levy's new Backchannel publication on Medium, Susan Crawford delivers decisive proof, expertly dissecting the Comcast-Netflix network congestion controversy. Her source material is a detailed traffic measurement report (.pdf) released this week by Google-backed M-Lab — the first of its kind — showing severe degradation of service at interconnection points between Comcast, Verizon and other monopoly "eyeball networks" and "transit networks" such as Cogent, which was contracted by Netflix to deliver its bits. The report shows that interconnection points give monopoly ISPs all the leverage they need to discriminate against companies like Netflix, which compete with them in video services, simply by refusing to relieve network congestion caused by external traffic requested by their very own ISP customers. And the effects victimize not only companies targeted but ALL incoming traffic from the affected transit network. The report proves the problem is not technical, but rather a result of business decisions. This is not technically a Net neutrality problem, but it creates the very same headaches for consumers, and unfair business advantages for ISPs. In an accompanying article, Crawford makes a compelling case for FCC intervention.

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Tell us how you really feel about the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 19:15
Sure, smartphones have been getting larger and larger every year. And for those who really want to go big, large-screen "phablet" Android phones have risen to fill the demand. But iPhone users who wanted a larger screen have always been left wanting...

How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 19:00
Nerval's Lobster writes Apple design chief Jony Ive has spent the past several weeks talking up how the Apple Watch is an evolution on many of the principles that guided the evolution of timepieces over the past several hundred years. But the need to recharge the device on a nightly basis, now confirmed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, is a throwback to ye olden days, when a lady or gentleman needed to keep winding her or his pocket-watch in order to keep it running. Watch batteries were supposed to bring "winding" to a decisive end, except for that subset of people who insist on carrying around a mechanical timepiece. But with Apple Watch's requirement that the user constantly monitor its energy, what's old is new again. Will millions of people really want to charge and fuss with their watch at least once a day?

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Vudu lends its on-demand streaming library to TiVo devices

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 18:47
TiVo owners who enjoy doing more than just recording TV shows just got another on-demand option. Walmart's video service, Vudu, will be available on select models soon, bringing over 100,000 movie and television selections for rent or purchase à la...

TalkTalk to join the exclusive 'quad-play' club... sort of

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 18:43
Earlier this year, Virgin Media became the UK's first 'quad-play' provider, meaning it began offering one-bill bundles that include all four of its services: mobile, landline, broadband and TV. Soon enough, however, TalkTalk will be joining Virgin...

James Cameron thinks current VR technology is 'a yawn'

Engadget - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 18:19
Coming from the man who created Terminator and Avatar, two of the most highly recognized sci-fi franchises, you'd think James Cameron would be excited about the rise of virtual reality in the past couple of years. But not so fast. Yesterday, during...

A Mixed Review For CBS's "All Access" Online Video Streaming

Slashdot - Thu, 30/10/2014 - 18:18
lpress writes I tested CBS All Access video streaming. It has technical problems, which will be resolved, but I will still pass because they show commercials in addition to a $5.99 per month fee. Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials — but don't expect your monthly bill to drop as long as our ISPs are monopolies or oligopolies.

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