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NASA To Deploy Four Spacecraft To Study Magnetic Reconnection

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 19:37
Zothecula writes: NASA has released a video depicting the initial deployment of an undertaking designed to study a phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection. "Reconnection happens when magnetic field lines explosively realign and release massive bursts of energy, while hurling particles out at nearly the speed of light in all directions. Magnetic reconnection powers eruptions on the sun and – closer to home – it triggers the flow of material and energy from interplanetary space into near-Earth space." The launch of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will see four identical spacecraft deployed from a single Atlas V rocket, set to lift off from cape Canaveral, Florida, no earlier than March next year.

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Comcast wants customers to track and rate its technicians

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 19:27
When it comes to offering great customer service, Comcast's reputation on the matter is far from being healthy. Every now and then, the company gets put on the map for making its subscribers go through rather tedious experiences -- to get an idea, ju...

Amazon now connects you with local contractors

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 18:58
Looks as if the list of things that Amazon doesn't sell just got that little bit shorter after the company started connecting people with local contractors. Customers in a handful of trial cities, including NYC and Seattle, can now use an Angie's Lis...

The Schizophrenic Programmer Who Built an OS To Talk To God

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 18:54
rossgneumann writes: Terry Davis, a schizophrenic programmer, has spent 10 years building an operating system to talk to God. He's done this work because God told him to. According to the TempleOS charter, it is "God's official temple. Just like Solomon's temple, this is a community focal point where offerings are made and God's oracle is consulted." [The TempleOS V2.17 welcome screen] greets the user with a riot of 16-color, scrolling, blinking text; depending on your frame of reference, it might recall DESQview, the Commodore 64, or a host of early DOS-based graphical user interfaces. In style if not in specifics, it evokes a particular era, a time when the then-new concept of "personal computing" necessarily meant programming and tinkering and breaking things.

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Twitter Offers delivers discounts you can nab from tweets

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 18:26
Twitter has been dabbling in timeline-based purchases already, and its latest effort will boost commerce-driven tweeting. Twitter Offers serves up discounts from participating retailers that you'll be able to grab right from the tweet -- so long as y...

Revisiting Open Source Social Networking Alternatives

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 18:09
reifman writes Upstart social networking startup Ello burst on the scene in September with promises of a utopian, post-Facebook platform that respected user's privacy. I was surprised to see so many public figures and media entities jump on board — mainly because of what Ello isn't. It isn't an open source, decentralized social networking technology. It's just another privately held, VC-funded silo. Remember Diaspora? In 2010, it raised $200,641 on Kickstarter to take on Facebook with "an open source personal web server to share all your stuff online." Two years later, they essentially gave up, leaving their code to the open source community to carry forward. In part one of "Revisiting Open Source Social Networking Alternatives," I revisit/review six open source social networking alternatives in search of a path forward beyond Facebook.

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Lyft's new offering lets you take passengers only during your commute

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 18:00
App-based carpooling options like Lyft Line and UberPool are useful if you'd rather not drive to work yourself... but what if you do drive, and want to make a little money on the side? That's where Lyft's newest offering, Driver Destination, could co...

One of the first true computers is finally on public display

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 17:34
Seeing ENIAC, one of the first true programmable computers, has been tricky; the giant mainframe was partly restored in 2007, but it was only visible in an office building. At last, though, you now have a (relatively) easy way to witness this piece o...

Top Counter-Strike Players Embroiled In Hacking Scandal

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 17:30
An anonymous reader writes Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the world's fastest growing eSports, but the community has been rocked by scandal in the last week, with several top players being banned by Valve for using various hacking tools to improve their performance. With the huge Dreamhack Winter tournament taking place this weekend, the purge could not have come at a worse time for the game, and fans are now poring over the archives for other signs of foul play in top tier games — be sure to look out for these tell tale signs while playing.

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Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review: slim and sexy comes with some trade-offs

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 17:00
I haven't reviewed an Ultrabook in months. It's not because I've grown lazy; it's because there just haven't been many new models to test. Nearly every laptop that crosses Engadget's reviews desk these days is a gaming notebook, a Chromebook or maybe...

Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 16:50
_Sharp'r_ writes Two Standford PhDs, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, worked for Google on the RE<C project to figure out how to make renewables cheaper than coal and solve climate change. After four years of study they gave up, determining "Renewable energy technologies simply won't work; we need a fundamentally different approach." As a result, is nuclear going to be acknowledged as the future of energy production?

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Microsoft and Yahoo vie for control of Safari's search

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 16:32
Mozilla is making the switch to Yahoo search from Google for its default option in the US, and Apple's browser deal will soon be up for renewal, too. The Information reports that Mayer & Co. are in play there as well, and of course, Microsoft is pitc...

Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 16:06
concertina226 writes Kim Dotcom has spoken out about his long battle over copyright with the U.S. government and his regrets about the events that have led to his arrest ahead of his bail breach hearing on Thursday that could see him return to jail in New Zealand. "Would I have done things differently? Of course. My biggest regret is I didn't take the threat of the copyright law and the MPAA seriously enough," Dotcom said via live video link from his mansion in Auckland, New Zealand at the Unbound Digital conference in London on Tuesday. ... "We never for a minute thought that anyone would bring any criminal actions against us. We had in-house legal counsel, we had three outside firms working for us who reviewed our sites, and not once had any of them mentioned any form of legal risk, so I wish I had known that there was a risk."

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Comedy Central bringing 'Key and Peele' and 'South Park' to Chromecast

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 16:00
Sure, there are plenty of hilarious videos on YouTube, but even the best parkour-fail clip can't compare to a bang-on episode of South Park or Key and Peele. In that case, your Chromecast is about to get a a few more laughs thanks to the Comedy Centr...

NASA launches $5 million contest to find CubeSats for deep space missions

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 15:30
Attention, scientists, hobbyists and anyone in between who can design a mean CubeSat, or a mini cube-like satellite, for space exploration: registration is now open for NASA's Cube Quest contest, and the agency's giving out cash prizes worth a total ...

Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 15:25
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from The Guardian: "Internet companies are allowing their networks to be used to plot "murder and mayhem", David Cameron has said in response to the official inquiry into the intelligence agencies' actions ahead of the killing of Lee Rigby. He demanded that internet companies live up to their social responsibilities to report potential terror threats and said there was no reason for such firms to be willing to cooperate with state agencies over child abuse but not over combatting terrorism. His comments to the House of Commons came after the parliamentary intelligence and security committee concluded that the brutal murder of Rigby could have been prevented if an internet company had passed on an online exchange in which one of the killers expressed "in the most graphic terms" his intention to carry out an Islamist jihadi attack.

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Sony's new plan means fewer TVs and smartphones, more PlayStations

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 15:04
Sony may know how to build great gadgets, but convincing people to part with money in exchange for them has turned out to be nearly impossible. In the outfit's most recent financial results, its faltering mobile division was single-handedly responsib...

"Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 14:35
HughPickens.com writes Jason Kane reports at PBS that emergency treatments delivered in ambulances that offer "Advanced Life Support" for cardiac arrest may be linked to more death, comas and brain damage than those providing "Basic Life Support." "They're taking a lot of time in the field to perform interventions that don't seem to be as effective in that environment," says Prachi Sanghavi. "Of course, these are treatments we know are good in the emergency room, but they've been pushed into the field without really being tested and the field is a much different environment." The study suggests that high-tech equipment and sophisticated treatment techniques may distract from what's most important during cardiac arrest — transporting a critically ill patient to the hospital quickly. Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances stick to simpler techniques, like chest compressions, basic defibrillation and hand-pumped ventilation bags to assist with breathing with more emphasis placed on getting the patient to the hospital as soon as possible. Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients are extremely low regardless of the ambulance type with roughly 90 percent of the 380,000 patients who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year not surviving to hospital discharge. But researchers found that 90 days after hospitalization, patients treated in BLS ambulances were 50 percent more likely to survive than their counterparts treated with ALS. Not everyone is convinced of the conclusions. "They've done as much as they possibly can with the existing data but I'm not sure that I'm convinced they have solved all of the selection biases," says Judith R. Lave. "I would say that it should be taken as more of an indication that there may be some very significant problems here."

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Argos opens its first click-and-collect store on the Tube

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 14:25
For a long time, Argos embodied the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." That is until a couple of years ago, when it set out plans to become more digitally minded. Part of this strategy has been to improve the in-store experience by swapping la...

There are now 3 billion internet users, mostly in rich countries

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 14:05
The UN's International Telecommunication's Union (ITU) has revealed that over 3 billion people are now connected to the internet, an increase of 6.6 percent over last year. The good news is that such access can have a huge impact "for those who are t...

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