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Updated: 14 min 2 sec ago

Rovi and Michigan State University Establish Largest US Library Media Collection

Tue, 20/10/2015 - 11:31am
New submitter dbosman writes: A donation from Rovi Corp. announced Monday is bringing a gigantic media collection to Michigan State University that includes more than 850,000 CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games. “We are honored to be the proprietors of the largest media archive in the country, which has quickly become the most requested material in the Michigan inter-library loan system,” said Clifford H. Haka, director of libraries, Michigan State University. “The ‘Rovi Media Collection’ dramatically enhances our teaching curriculum and research within the College of Music, popular culture and film studies, and an emerging gaming program. Assembling a collection of such cultural and historic importance and overall magnitude would simply not have been feasible with our current budget. On behalf of all of our users at MSU and across Michigan, we thank Rovi for this generous gift.”

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Guy Creates Handheld Railgun With a 3D-Printer

Tue, 20/10/2015 - 9:27am
turkeydance writes: Using a combination of 3D printing and widely available components, David Wirth built a functioning handheld railgun that houses six capacitors and delivers more than 1,800 joules of energy per shot. So far he has tested the gun using metal rods made of graphite, aluminum and copper-coated tungsten. David has shot projectiles at over 250 meters per second in tests.

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Replacing Humans With CGI Animations To Protect Anonymity In Video Footage

Tue, 20/10/2015 - 7:03am
An anonymous reader writes: New research (PDF) from the University of Zagreb proposes the de-identification of innocent individuals in closed circuit footage by replacing them with CGI animations which either guess their skeletal motion or impose the animation via Kinect-style movement sensors. In order to preserve the raw footage, the original frames are then re-encoded via steganographic techniques into the final amended output.

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A Scientist Is Selling the Right To Name His Newly-Discovered Moth On eBay

Tue, 20/10/2015 - 4:35am
sarahnaomi writes: An entomologist has decided to use eBay to auction off the naming rights for a newly-discovered species of moth. When a new species is discovered, the honor of naming it goes to whoever found it. However, Eric H. Metzler, an entomologist from the Wedge Entomological Foundation, decided to ask Western National Parks Association—who funded some of his research—to start an online auction and take the proceeds. “It’s getting harder and harder to get funding to do this research because it’s not seen as a priority in the way it used to be, even though it’s fundamental to our understanding of biodiversity,” says Paolo Viscardi, a curator at University College London’s Grant Museum. “Any mechanism where you can raise more funds to continue your work is taken—so I guess [auctioning of the naming rights] is another way to fund your research.”

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Bank's Severance Deal Requires IT Workers To Be Available For Two Years

Tue, 20/10/2015 - 2:04am
dcblogs points out this story at Computerworld about a severance agreement that requires laid-off IT employees to be available to help out for two years. The article reads in part: "SunTrust Banks in Atlanta is laying off about 100 IT workers as it moves work offshore. But this layoff is unusual for what it is asking of the soon-to-be displaced workers: The bank's severance agreement requires terminated employees to remain available for two years to provide help if needed, including in-person assistance, and to do so without compensation. Many of the affected IT employees, who are now training their replacements, have years of experience and provide the highest levels of technical support. The proof of their ability may be in the severance requirement, which gives the bank a way to tap their expertise long after their departure. The bank's severance includes a 'continuing cooperation' clause for a period of two years, where the employee agrees to 'make myself reasonably available' to SunTrust 'regarding matters in which I have been involved in the course of my employment with SunTrust and/or about which I have knowledge as a result of my employment at SunTrust.'"

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GA Tech Students Use Cell Phone Pings To Find Missing Person

Tue, 20/10/2015 - 12:18am
McGruber writes: Georgia Authorities are giving kudos to technology – and the perseverance of Georgia Tech students – for the safe return of a fellow student who disappeared after a Friday night party. The missing student was found Monday morning along railroad tracks, in northeast Atlanta. He had been beaten, was unconscious and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Georgia Tech Police Chief Robert Connolly said "The students rallied together and then they started searching. The students stayed out until midnight last night, putting out pamphlets and combing the area, anywhere they could possibly find [cell phone] pings along the route." The students "were not going to stop. They checked every hospital, every hotel, they checked everywhere. They didn't give up on their friend."

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PSP Oculus Rift Emulator Puts Players Inside of Virtual Reality PSP Games

Mon, 19/10/2015 - 11:37pm
An anonymous reader writes: PPSSPP VR is an emulator that specifically adapts PSP games for use in the Oculus Rift VR headset. Going beyond merely showing a large screen view of the game in a virtual environment, PPSSPP actually puts you inside of the game with a full field of view, just like made-for-VR titles, including headtracking and true stereoscopic 3D. The emulator comes from the same author as Dolphin VR, the Wii & Gamecube emulator with VR support.

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Former Governor On Holding the Department of Energy Accountable In Idaho

Mon, 19/10/2015 - 10:54pm
Lasrick writes: "I have been involved in government at the state and federal level for a long time and have had my share of political and legal run-ins with government agencies, but rarely in more than 50 years in politics have I encountered a government agency more committed to secrecy—perhaps even deception—than the US Department of Energy." So writes former governor of Idaho Cecil D. Andrus in this account of the U.S. government's plan to ship commercial spent fuel to the Idaho National Lab for what the feds call "research" but what the Andrus (and his predecessor) feel is an attempt to store high level nuclear waste in Idaho. According to him, despite Freedom of Information Act requests, the federal government is not sharing its plan for the waste once it gets to Idaho. This is a disturbing tale of government secrecy and stonewalling, and the problem with nuclear waste: no one wants it in their backyard.

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Rod Logic Computers and Why We Don't Already Have Them

Mon, 19/10/2015 - 10:11pm
szczys writes: Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene breakthroughs pop up in the news often enough for them to be considered buzzwords. Most of the time it's the superconducting properties of graphene that are touted, but molecule-scale structures also hold the promise of building mechanical computing devices that are unimaginably small. The reason we don't have these things yet comes down to the manufacturing process. Building machines out of carbon molecules is commonly called Rod Logic — a topic many know from the seminal novel The Diamond Age. Al Williams discusses how Rod Logic works and highlights some of the places we're already seeing these materials like to help cool LED light bulbs, and to strengthen composites.

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Study Questions Scientific Dating Method Used For Lunar Impacts

Mon, 19/10/2015 - 9:28pm
schwit1 writes: A new study has raised questions about the methods scientists have used to date the late heavy bombardment in the early solar system. According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison: "A study of zircons from a gigantic meteorite impact in South Africa, now online in the journal Geology, casts doubt on the methods used to date lunar impacts. The critical problem, says lead author Aaron Cavosie, a visiting professor of geoscience and member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the fact that lunar zircons are âoeex situ, meaning removed from the rock in which they formed, which deprives geoscientists of corroborating evidence of impact. 'While zircon is one of the best isotopic clocks for dating many geological processes,' Cavosie says, 'our results show that it is very challenging to use ex situ zircon to date a large impact of known age.'" The problem is that the removal of the zircon from lunar rocks changes the data enough to make the dating unreliable. The method might work on Earth, but the dating done on Apollo samples can be questioned. This means that much of the supposed history of the solar system, centered on what planetary scientists call the late heavy bombardment, a period 4 billion years ago when the planets were being hit by innumerable impacts as they cleared the solar system of its dusty debris disk, might not have happened as dated from lunar samples. If so, our understanding of when that bombardment ended and life began to form on Earth might be considerably incorrect.

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Feds Looking Into Reports CIA Director's Email Was Hacked

Mon, 19/10/2015 - 8:44pm
An anonymous reader writes: The FBI and Secret Service are looking into reports that non-government personal accounts of CIA Director John Brennan and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson were hacked. NBC reports: "Questions over a possible hacking of a private email account belonging to the CIA director arose late on Sunday after the New York Post published a story in which a hacker claimed to have gained access to the account. Described by the Post as a 'stoner high school student,' the individual claimed to have taken documents that included the Social Security numbers of top intelligence officials, among other information." ComputerWorld's story on the hack describes some of the images published by the hacker as well, poking fun at Brennan: Another screenshot shows Brennan’s wireless phone bill as the hacker taunted the CIA to “step your game up homies, we own everything of you.” One tweet contains a screenshot of suspicious activity logs as Brennan was “trying to get CWA arrested.” Yet another shows a CIA Office of General Counsel fax cover page. Supposedly, Brennan offered the hacker money to “leave him alone.”

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