judgecorp writes "The British government and police are customers of a controversial surveillance network called TrapWire, according to emails published by Wikileaks. The messages suggest that Scotland Yard and Number Ten Downing Street are customers of Abraxas Corporation, whose TrapWire network combines CCTV, license plate capture systems and databases. The TrapWire network has caused concern amongst online activists and Abraxas' site is currently not available, possibly due to attacks by Anonymous." There seems to be no end to the Trapwire conspiracy stories today, there's even one going around that various large companies such as Salesforce and Google were offered the chance to be part of the spy club.
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ananyo writes "Black cottonwood trees (Populus trichocarpa) can clone themselves to produce offspring that are connected to their parents by the same root system. Now, after the first genome-wide analysis of a tree, it turns out that the connected clones have many genetic differences, even between tissues from the top and bottom of a single tree. 'When people study plants, they'll often take a cutting from a leaf and assume that it is representative of the plant's genome,' says Brett Olds, a biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who was involved in the study. 'That may not be the case. You may need to take multiple tissues.' The finding also challenges the idea that evolution only happens in a population rather than at an individual level. As one tree contains many different genomes, natural selection and evolution could happen within a single organism."
jfruh writes "Motorola Mobility is facing its first major public shakeup after its acquisition by Google and it's not pretty for many employees. The company will be laying off thousands of workers as it attempts to reorient itself away from feature phones and toward more profitable high-end devices."
SchrodingerZ writes "Designers of Disney Research in Pittsburgh Pa, have turned the average household plant into a musical device and remote control. Called the Botanicus Interacticus project, this new program can turn any household plant into touch-sensitive computer system. 'The system is built upon capacitive touch sensing — the principle used on touchscreens in smartphones and tablets — but instead of sensing electrical signals at a single frequency, it monitors capacitive signals across a broad range of frequencies. It's called Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing.' This works by putting a pulsating electrode into the soil around a plant, which excites the plant, making any touch to the parts of the plant a replayable signal. This could mean soon swatting at your household plant could change the television channel or turn up the volume (PDF)."
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Megan Garber writes that in high school, Paul Ryan's classmates voted him as his class's 'biggest brown noser,' a juicy tidbit that is a source of delight for his political opponents but considered an irrelevant piece of youthful trivia to his supporters. 'But it's also a tension that will play out, repeatedly, in the most comprehensive narrative we have about Paul Ryan as a person and a politician and a policy-maker: his Wikipedia page,' writes Garber. Late Friday night, just as news of the Ryan choice leaked in the political press — the first substantial edit to that page removed the 'brown noser' mention which had been on the page since June 16. The Wikipedia deletion has given rise to a whole discussion of whether the mention is a partisan attack, whether 'brown noser' is a pejorative, and whether an old high school opinion survey is notable or relevant. As of this writing, 'brown noser' stands as does a maybe-mitigating piece of Ryan-as-high-schooler trivia: that he was also voted prom king. But that equilibrium could change, again, in an instant. 'Today is the glory day for the Paul Ryan Wikipedia page,' writes Garber. 'Yesterday, it saw just 10 [edits]. Today, however — early on a Saturday morning, East Coast time — it's already received hundreds of revisions. And the official news of the Ryan selection, of course, is just over an hour old.' Now Ryan's page is ready to host debates about biographical details and their epistemological relevance. 'Like so many before it, will be a place of debate and dissent and derision. But it will also be a place where people can come together to discuss information and policy and the intersection between the two — a town square for the digital age.'"
hypnosec writes "One of the most famous Torrent tracking sites, Demonoid, which was shut down recently by Ukrainian authorities, is on the receiving end of one more blow, as the domain names for the site are up for grabs. As it stands, three Demonoid domains: Demonoid.me, Demonoid.com and Demonoid.ph are up for sale on Sedo. The time is ripe as of now for the sale of the domain names as it has caught the attention of many on and off the web. The traffic that Demonoid used to attract was huge, and internet marketers would definitely want to bank on this. Initially thought of as being under a series of DDoS attacks, the torrent tracking site was out for a prolonged duration, following which it started serving malware-laden ads."
CWmike writes with this excerpt from ComputerWorld: "In a paper set to be published this week in the scientific journal Nature, IBM researchers are claiming a huge breakthrough in spintronics, a technology that could significantly boost capacity and lower power use of memory and storage devices. Spintronics, short for 'spin transport electronics,' uses the natural spin of electrons within a magnetic field in combination with a read/write head to lay down and read back bits of data on semiconductor material. By changing an electron's axis in an up or down orientation — all relative to the space in which it exists — physicists are able to have it represent bits of data. For example, an electron on an upward axis is a one; and an electron on a downward axis is a zero. Spintronics has long faced an intrinsic problem because electrons have only held an 'up or down' orientation for 100 picoseconds. A picosecond is one trillionth of a second [one thousandth of a nanosecond.] One hundred picoseconds is not enough time for a compute cycle, so transistors cannot complete a compute function and data storage is not persistent. In the study published in Nature, IBM Research and the Solid State Physics Laboratory at ETH Zurich announced they had found a way to synchronize electrons, which could extend their spin lifetime by 30 times to 1.1 nanoseconds, the time it takes for a 1 GHz processor to cycle."
New submitter hey_popey writes "I would like to piggyback on a previous Ask Slashdot question. Do you know of any realistic way to use a tape drive solution at home, not as a backup, but as a regular NAS? I would like, for example, to save the torrents of my Linux distributions on it, and at the same time, play the family videos on a computer. It would seem at a first glance that the transfer rates and capacity of Linear Tape-Open (1.5TB, 280MB/s in 2010) and the functionality of LTFS would allow me to do that, but I don't know the details, or whether this would be economically viable."
In perhaps one answer to the question of how tablet makers will react to a more crowded market for small screen tablets, the L.A. Times reports that Barnes and Noble is dropping the price on its Nook tablet by 10 percent, undercutting the Amazon Kindle Fire by $20. The company's Nook Color is also shedding $20, and will now cost $149. I'm glad to hear it; I've been using a Nexus 7 lately, and finding the size (like a trade paperback, including a protective case) far handier and more often used than any of the 10" tablets I've tried.
angry tapir writes "It has been troubled times for Facebook since the social network's IPO in May. There has been speculation that Facebook could suffer a talent drain in the wake of the IPO, and now the organization has lost four of its high-level managers the space of a week: Ethan Beard, director of platform partnerships; Kate Mitic, platform marketing director; Jonathan Matus, mobile platform marketing manager; and Ben Blumenfeld, design manager, have all resigned from the company."
theodp writes "The NYT's Steve Lohr reports that his has been the crossover year for Big Data — as a concept, term and marketing tool. Big Data has sprung from the confines of technology circles into the mainstream, even becoming grist for Dilbert satire ('Big Data lives in The Cloud. It knows what we do.'). At first, Jim Davis, CMO at analytics software vendor SAS, viewed Big Data as part of another cycle of industry phrasemaking. 'I scoffed at it initially,' Davis recalls, noting that SAS's big corporate customers had been mining huge amounts of data for decades. But as the vague-but-catchy term for applying tools to vast troves of data beyond that captured in standard databases gained world-wide buzz and competitors like IBM pitched solutions for Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave, 'we had to hop on the bandwagon,' Davis said (SAS now has a VP of Big Data). Hey, never underestimate the power of a meme!"
ananyo writes "The highest possible resolution images — about 100,000 dots per inch — have been achieved, and in full-colour, with a printing method that uses tiny pillars a few tens of nanometres tall. The method could be used to print tiny watermarks or secret messages for security purposes, and to make high-density data-storage discs. Each pixel in these ultra-resolution images is made up of four nanoscale posts capped with silver and gold nanodisks. By varying the diameters of the structures (which are tens of nanometres) and the spaces between them, it's possible to control what colour of light they reflect. As a proof of principle, researchers printed a 50×50-micrometre version of the 'Lena' test image, a richly coloured portrait of a woman that is commonly used as a printing standard (abstract). Even under the best microscope, optical images have an ultimate resolution limit, and this method hits it."
First time accepted submitter amiller2571 writes "The eyes of the technology world are focused on the epic patent struggle between Apple and Samsung — the latest iteration of Apple's frantic legal battle against everything Android. The iPhone maker has also brought suits against Android device manufacturers HTC and Motorola. Apple has faced criticism for its endless lawsuits designed to stunt competition from Google's Android, but a quick look at Android device shipments in the second quarter of 2012 reveals a key number that suggest Apple is right to worry." Spoiler alert: the number the article focuses on is 68 — as in, the 68 percent of the smart phone market in this year's second quarter that consisted of Android phones.