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When is the last time you remember using a VCR?

  • I am using one now, and LOVING it.
  • A month ago
  • Within the last year
  • Three years
  • Five years
  • Ten years or more ago
  • Never touched one
  • What even is a VCR?

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:41 | Votes:265

posted by janrinok on Monday July 28, @06:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the wrong-place-wrong-time dept.

The BBC reports on some research that suggests Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid impact if it hadn't been for a combination of other factors.

The study brought together 11 leading dinosaur experts from the UK, US and Canada to assess the latest research on the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago. There is evidence that some species of dinosaur were dying off shortly before an asteroid hit the Earth. One of the key questions was whether this gradual decline would have led to the extinction of these animals even if the asteroid had not hit.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @04:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the impromptu-vacation dept.

In Atlanta, an electrical problem in a "Buss Duct" has caused the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to be closed for at least a week. 5,000 federal employees work at the center.

While many might view this as another example of The Infrastructure Crisis in the USA, it may also be another example of mismanagement at the General Service Administration (GSA), landlord for the complex.

The GSA has had many scandals and has been the subject of several Congressional Hearings, including an August 1, 2012 hearing titled "GSA: A Review of Agency Mismanagement and Wasteful Spending - Part 2". That hearing followed an $823,000 GSA employee conference in Las Vegas and a one-day-long $250,000 GSA employee conference in Crystal City, Virginia.

The closed Atlanta complex is named for Samuel Augustus "Sam" Nunn, Jr., who served for 24 years as a United States Senator from Georgia and whose daughter is the current Democratic Party nominee for a Georgia Senate seat.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @03:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the hidden-depths dept.

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

The giant hole in the remote energy-rich Yamalo-Nenetsky region first came to light in a video uploaded to YouTube that has since been viewed more than seven million times. "The crater is enormous in size--you could fly down into it in several Mi-8s (helicopters) without being afraid of hitting anything," the person who posted the video, named only as Bulka, wrote.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @02:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the morality-tech dept.

Last fall the Tor Project partnered with Transition House, a domestic violence prevention organization. Since then, the two groups have been working to develop a resource that will provide staff and advocates with the base level of technological know-how required to address casework with a digital abuse component.

"Abuses with technology feel like you're carrying the abuser in your pocket. It's hard to turn off," said Kelley Misata, a Tor spokesperson.

posted by janrinok on Monday July 28, @12:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the age-of-ubiquitous-video dept.

Alternet reports

More than 50 cameras caught Christopher Magee, a police officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, brutally shooting a black man named Carlos Harris to death in the parking lot of a night club three years ago. Now, Harris's family is suing the police for negligence and wrongful death, which could cost Baton Rouge taxpayers up to 2 million dollars, according to reports.

The shooting occurred after Magee reportedly responded to a call regarding reckless driving in the parking lot of Club Insomnia. Magee arrested the responsible driver-- Harris' friend Ryan Dominique-- when he arrived on the scene. Then, Magee told Harris to move Dominique's car. According to a witness who spoke with the local news station WBRZ News 2, Harris told the officer he was drunk and would rather not move the vehicle, but the officer forced him to go through with it.

Video footage shows Harris bumping several other vehicles, including police vehicles, in the parking lot in his attempt to move the car. As Harris drives the car forward away from Magee, the officer opens fire from behind, killing him. Harris was unarmed and other officers on the scene can be heard warning Magee not to shoot.

"Don't draw... too many people," one officer can be heard shouting.

Magee was not charged or in any way penalized for shooting Harris. According to WBRZ he was cleared of all wrongdoing, did not have to attend any additional training and is still with the Baton Rouge Police Department. The BRPD police chief would not comment on the story to WBRZ because the case was pending litigation. [ video ]

Is he not aware that it's the 21st Century and EVERYBODY carries a video camera? Furthermore, it's not the best example of justice that they are showing the world.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @11:49AM   Printer-friendly

Engineers have designed a way to use lithium as the anode component of a battery (abstract), potentially allowing for smaller and lighter batteries with more power.

All batteries have three basic components: an electrolyte to provide electrons, an anode to discharge those electrons, and a cathode to receive them.

Today, we say we have lithium batteries, but that is only partly true. What we have are lithium ion batteries. The lithium is in the electrolyte, but not in the anode. An anode of pure lithium would be a huge boost to battery efficiency.

"Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has the greatest potential. Some call it the Holy Grail," said Yi Cui, a professor of Material Science and Engineering and leader of the research team. "It is very lightweight and it has the highest energy density. You get more power per volume and weight, leading to lighter, smaller batteries with more power."

But engineers have long tried and failed to reach this Holy Grail.

posted by LaminatorX on Monday July 28, @11:40AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-rousing-cheer-for-pj-and-associates dept.

Roy Schestowitz notes that for the first time in nearly a year, Groklaw has come back to life with the posting of an item in its "Latest News Picks" section noting the UK's adoption of OpenDocument Format.

Roy also points out a further news link to the US Patent Office's increased scrutiny of software patents of late and says:

No wonder Groklaw is eager to say something and perhaps come back for good. It will hopefully return to covering FOSS issues, such as the IRS assault on FOSS, patents against Android (China revealed Microsoft's patents and Microsoft's booster Richard Waters reveals that Qualcomm too might be affected), among many other issues that never received an extensive legal coverage.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @10:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the wide-open-spaces dept.

Roy Schestowitz asks:

Why is the press not covering Microsoft back doors, as confirmed last year?

The other day we found this report[1] (via) about "Internet Explorer vulnerabilities increas[ing] 100%" (year-to-year):

Bromium Labs analyzed public vulnerabilities and exploits from the first six months of 2014. The research determined that Internet Explorer vulnerabilities have increased more than 100 percent since 2013, surpassing Java and Flash vulnerabilities.

Here is more on the subject:

The report summarises public vulnerabilities and exploit trends that the firm observed in the first six months of 2014 and found that Microsoft's web browser set a record high for reported vulnerabilities in the first half of 2014 while also "leading in publicly reported exploits".

Remember that Microsoft tells the NSA about these vulnerabilities before they are patched. Perhaps the media should stop focusing only on Apple's back doors.

[1] Gawd, what a horribly constructed HTML page; had to go to No Style in my browser.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @08:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the feathered-overlords dept.

The first ever example of a plant-eating dinosaur with feathers and scales has been discovered in Russia. Previously only flesh-eating dinosaurs were known to have had feathers so this new find indicates that all dinosaurs could have been feathered.

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @06:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the flapping-fantastic dept.

In a fascinating read, Science Mag describes new research on the seemingly perfectly coordinated turns of large flocks of birds.

Long a topic of speculation and study, these turns were even attributed to telepathy by ornithologists in the 1930s. In the 1990s the proposed theory, that each bird simply matches the direction of an adjacent bird's turn, didn't adequately explain in detail how the flock turns as one, and didn't explain why there were few if any stragglers. Even studies as late as 2011 suggested "each starling was connected to every other" by some unknown mechanism.

In the new study, the team, led by physicists, used high-speed cameras to film starlings, which form spectacular synchronized flocks. There is no "connection", simply a self preservation instinct and rapid information signaling.

Using tracking software on the recorded video, the team could pinpoint when and where individuals decide to turn, information that enabled them to follow how the decision sweeps through the flock.

posted by janrinok on Monday July 28, @04:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the ask-and-ye-shall-receive dept.

As some of you may know, I recently published a cartoonist's review of my Tesla Model S. In the second half of the review, I asked Elon Musk to donate toward the completion of a Nikola Tesla Museum, a project I've been working on since 2012. Within a few hours of posting my review, Elon Musk tweeted that he'd be happy to help.

Earlier this week I got to speak to the man directly, and he promised two things.

  1. He's going to build a Tesla Supercharger station in the parking lot of the museum.
  2. He's donating $1 million dollars to the museum itself.

Elon Musk: from the deepest wells of my geeky little heart: thank you. This is amazing news. And it's Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday. Happy Nikola Tesla Day.

-The Oatmeal

posted by janrinok on Monday July 28, @02:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the get-your-popcorn-ready-now dept.

Documentarians working on a film on the history of "Happy Birthday to You" have challenged Warner/Chappel's copyright claims in a lawsuit, alleging that the publishing giant has been fleecing the rest of society for licensing for decades. To quote Cory Doctorow, "This is gonna be great."

posted by azrael on Monday July 28, @12:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the pinch-of-salt dept.

OSnews is reporting along with TechRepublic and Android Police that a report stating that Google's app store is populated with fake apps with half carrying malware. From the OSnews article:

Antivirus peddler Trend Micro recently issued a "report", in which it states that "Google Play [is] populated with fake apps, with more than half carrying malware". Sounds scary, right?

Well, reality is a little different, as TechRepulic and Android Police found out.

It turns out that Trend Micro is guilty of a little over-eager language that obfuscated the nature of some of these threats. While there are indeed fake versions of many popular Android apps available for download, Trend failed to mention in their initial promotion for the report that the apps in question were posted outside the Play Store, and had to be installed manually in what's commonly known as a side-load. This requires users to download the app in a browser, ignore a standard security warning about APK files, and disable a security option in Android's main settings menu.

posted by azrael on Sunday July 27, @10:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the let-me-fly-far-away-from-here dept.

Europe will close an important chapter in its space flight history Tuesday, launching the fifth and final robot ship it had pledged for lifeline deliveries to the International Space Station.

The 20-tonne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) dubbed Georges Lemaitre, the size of a double-decker bus, is set to blast off from South America with fuel, water, oxygen, food, clean clothes and 50 kilogrammes (110 pounds) of coffee for six Earth-orbiting astronauts. Named for the father of the Big Bang theory of how the Universe was formed, the heaviest ATV yet follows on the hi-tech trail of four others sent into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2008.

posted by azrael on Sunday July 27, @07:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the ubiquitous-bay dept.

El Reg reports:

The Pirate Bay has poked Big Content's sore spot again, by erecting a site for mobile devices at [blocked in some countries]

The new site doesn't do much beyond features offered by The Pirate Bay's other ventures. The site's overseers told Torrent Freak that "The normal version of the site renders like crap on mobile devices", an experience the small-screen version seems designed to improve.

BitTorrent clients exist for Android, iOS devices (after jailbreak), and BlackBerry, so the existence of a mobile site does make it possible more torrents will land in mobile devices.

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