China launched Saturday a rocket bearing three astronauts and an experimental orbiting module intended to presage a full-fledged space station at the end of this decade. While that's big news in itself, the launch also marks the first trip for a female Chinese astronaut. The BBC has a brief video, including part of a pre-launch press conference introducing 33-year-old astronaut Liu Yang, as well as her crewmates.
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snydeq writes "While privacy groups are working to lock away your personal data, a better — or perhaps supplementary — option may be to let you sell it for what it's really worth. 'Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive, or Pinterest, the truth is the product is you — all that data about you used to target ads and sales pitches. It's hardly a new business model — it's how trade publications have made their money for decades — but in the online world all that information is easily stolen, traded, and spread. ... If the data has value — and we know it does — its creators (you and me) should be paid for it. And if we take over the selling of our data, all those companies using it now have to respect us and abide by our standards.'"
First time accepted submitter ctrl-alt-canc writes "The udpdate to Android ICS offered for free by Sony to the Xperia smarphone users has caused plenty of troubles. Not only the decision by Sony of not updating Xperia Play phones to ICS caused rage among customers, but those who were lucky to get an upgrade for their smartphones discovered that WiFi connection did not work anymore. Up to now, the only suggestion proposed by Sony to fix the problem is to turn off the encryption, and reboot the smartphone and the access point."
First time accepted submitter jez9999 writes "I recently worked for a relatively large company that imposed so-called transparent HTTPS proxying on their network. In practice, what this means is that they allow you to use HTTPS through their network, but it must be proxied through their server and their server must be trusted as a root CA. They were using the Cisco IronPort device to do this. The "transparency" seems to come from the fact that they tend to install their root CA into Internet Explorer's certificate store, so IE won't actually warn you that your HTTPS traffic may be being snooped on (nor will any other browser that uses IE's cert store, like Chrome). Is this a reasonable policy? Is it worth leaving a job over? Should it even be legal? It seems to me rather mad to go to huge effort to create a secure channel of communication for important data like online banking, transactions, and passwords, and then to just effectively hand over the keys to your employer. Or am I overreacting?"
Shipud writes "Sequencing the genome of an organism is not the end of a discovery process; rather, it is a beginning. It's the equivalent of discovering a book whose words (genes) are there, but their meaning is yet unknown. Biocurators are the people who annotate genes — find out what they do — through literature search and the supervised use of computational techniques. A recent study published in PLoS Computational Biology shows that biocurators probably perform no better than fully automated computational methods used to annotate genes. It is not clear whether this is because the software is of high quality, or both curators and software need to improve their performance. The author of this blog post uses the concept of the uncanny valley to explain this recent discovery and what it means to both life science and artificial intelligence."
Darth_brooks writes "Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the restart of two idle nuclear reactors Saturday, amid split public response. The Japanese government is trying to fill a summer power shortfall. According to the article, the two reactors supply power to the Kansai region near Osaka, where local officials were predicting a 15% shortfall in power capacity during July and August."
redletterdave writes "The Black Death, a strain of bubonic plague that destroyed nearly a third of Europe's entire population between 1347 and 1369, has been found in Oregon. Health officials in Portland have confirmed that a man contracted the plague after getting bitten by a cat. The unidentified man, who is currently in his 50s, had tried to pry a dead mouse from a stray cat's mouth on June 2 when the cat attacked him. Days later, fever and sickness drove the man to check himself into Oregon's St. Charles Medical Center, where he is currently in 'critical condition.'"
itwbennett writes "Instead of simply not following up with startup proposals that he doesn't intend to pursue, venture capitalist Josh Breinlinger decided to change things up and not only hear every pitch request but respond with honest feedback. For those on the receiving end of that honest feedback, Breinlinger's silence may have been golden. It turns out that Breinlinger, and perhaps most VCs, reject your proposals because you lack experience and leadership skills and your team is weak. Would you rather hear the hard truth about why your startup didn't get funded or some vague dismissal?"
ericjones12398 writes "Struggling cell phone manufacturer Nokia launched a recent attack in both German and U.S. courts, filing lawsuits against HTC, RIM, and ViewSonic, alleging a laundry list of infringements on 45 patents pertaining to mobile software and hardware. Nokia also filed a meaty complaint against HTC at the International Trade Commission in Washington requesting select mobile devices be banned from sale in the U.S. According to Louise Pentland, Nokia's chief legal officer, 'Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed.' Chief among the ITC complaint was patent 5,570,369, a power saver designed for the GSM system and based on TDMA technology. Although, on the surface, '369 appears to have been tossed in the recycle bin with other 2G relics, the 1996 patent helps serve as a warning shot to competitors recycling Nokia's technology. At the same time it reveals a possible ulterior motive to stop Google's momentum. HTC seems to be straight in the crosshairs of Nokia's legal assault, with three relevant – and curious — phones singled out in the ITC complaint. HTC's Sensation 4G, Amaze 4G and Inspire 4G are all driven by Android. While similar phones based on the Windows Phone platform were missing from Nokia's accusations."
ColdWetDog writes "The US Air Force / DARPA 'baby shuttle,' the Boeing-built XB-37B has just landed after 469 days in orbit. No official explanation of why controllers kept the mission going past the original duration of 270 days other than 'because we could.' I, for one, welcome our long duration, unmanned orbital overlords."
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix constructed a low-cost, low-power 12-core ARM cluster running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and made out of six PandaBoard ES OMAP4460 dual-core ARMv7 Cortex A9 chips. Their results show the ARM hardware is able to outperform Intel Atom and AMD Fusion processors in performance-per-Watt, except it sharply loses out to the latest-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors." This cluster offers a commendable re-use of kitchenware. Also, this is a good opportunity to recommend your favorite de-bursting tools for articles spread over too many pages.
Glasswire writes "ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft will announce a Microsoft-branded tablet on Monday running the Win RT (ARM-based) subset version of Win 8. MSFT choose not to offer a x86 Win 8 version, which could have given them a performance advantage over ARM-based Apple iPads. A PCMag opinion piece titled 'A Microsoft Tablet Would Be Dumb' says, 'The only real reason to introduce a Microsoft-branded tablet is because Microsoft couldn't get anyone else to make a Windows RT tablet.' No reaction yet from Microsoft's system OEM customers that it will now be competing with."
mikejuk writes "In an interview with Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun, it was revealed that he hopes to offer a Masters degree for only $100, and is close to offering a full computer science degree. 'There are unfortunately some rough edges between our fundamental class CS101 and the next class up, when this is done I believe we can get an entire computer science education completely online and free and I think this is the first time this has happened in the history of humanity.' The latest course from Udacity is on statistics, and he is hoping to top the 160,000 sign up for his first online class on AI. It is also hoped to be the first class where students can visit a testing center to get their achievments formally certified."
Fnord666 writes "The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has disclosed a flaw in Intel chips that could allow hackers to gain control of Windows and other operating systems, security experts say. The flaw was disclosed the vulnerability in a security advisory released this week. Hackers could exploit the flaw to execute malicious code with kernel privileges, said a report in the Bitdefender blog. 'Some 64-bit operating systems and virtualization software running on Intel CPU hardware are vulnerable to a local privilege escalation attack,' the US-CERT advisory says. 'The vulnerability may be exploited for local privilege escalation or a guest-to-host virtual machine escape.'" According to the article, exposed OSes include "Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, 64-bit versions of FreeBSD and NetBSD, as well as systems that include the Xen hypervisor."
An anonymous reader writes "Sometimes, it's the oldest machines that are the most fascinating. PC & Tech Authority has posted this gallery of photos of the first automatic electronic stored-program computer in Australia and one of the first in the world — CSIRAC. The photos show a machine massive in size — the main system comprised nine steel cabinets containing 2000 valves that weighed over 7000kg. Using valve technology and World War II radar systems as a starting point, the machine was used for various purposes including weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments and building design. It boasted a 1000Hz memory clock and a serial bus that transferred one bit at a time. The system generated so much heat, cool air needed to be blown up through the cabinets from the basement below. In addition to being Australia's first computer, it is also said to have been the first computer to play digital music anywhere in the world. When CSIRAC was turned off for the last time, a witness described it as 'like something alive dying.'" Museum Victoria has some short but informative pages about CSIRAC, too, including this one about programming the thing, and another about the dangers and annoyances of working on it.