Amazing Pluto Shines in Best Close-Up Views Yet (Photo, Video)

Space.com - 31 min 5 sec ago
A newly released photo mosaic and video show Pluto's towering water-ice mountains, nitrogen glaciers and other exotic features in unprecedented detail.
Categories: Science

Microsoft Will Stop Spamming Android Users With Office Ads In The Notification Tray

Slashdot - 1 hour 33 min ago
An anonymous reader writes from a report via BetaNews: The notification tray in Android serves a very specific purpose. There's a clue in the name -- and it's nothing to do with advertising. Android user Thom Holwerda was upset this week when Microsoft Office for Android started to spam him with ads for apps he already had installed. There are many questions here, one of which is why is Microsoft ignoring Google's guidelines and using the notification tray to display ads? Thom, from the website OSnews, found that the copy of Word he had installed on his Nexus 6P was spamming him with ads for Excel and Powerpoint -- which he was already using. Mark Wilson from BetaNews contacted Microsoft and they said, "Our team is actively investigating the occurrences of these notifications." After pressing further into the issue, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "Microsoft is deeply committed to ensuring that we maintain the best possible experience for our customers in addition to complying with all applicable policies. We have taken the action to turn off these notifications. This update will be reflected in the coming days." In other semi-related news, users can now remove the 260-character path length limit in the Windows 10 build 14352.

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Categories: Science

Russian Online Trolls Resist The Light

Slashdot - 4 hours 33 min ago
Rick Zeman writes: Since the beginning of the public Internet on Usenet and now following on comment boards worldwide, live the trolls, the online creatures dedicated to stirring up trouble with their versions of online flaming, fact-twisting, and overall being a menace to online society. Russia, by paying state-sponsored trolls, has elevated the troll to the level of professional propagandists spewing the party line. In neighboring Finland, a country again precariously balanced between Europe and the Russian bear, Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro's investigations have opened a new front in the (dis)information war (Warning: source may be paywalled) where "'There are so many layers of fakery you get lost,' said Ms. Aro, who was awarded the Finnish Grand Prize for Journalism in March," reports the NYT. All because "A member of the European Union with an 830-mile-long border with Russia, Finland has stayed outside the United States-led military alliance but, unnerved by Russian military actions in Ukraine and its saber-rattling in the Baltic Sea, has expanded cooperation with NATO and debated whether to apply for full membership." The NYT article explores many of the actions that the Russian propagandists use to keep Finland out of NATO, and some of the more indefensible ones directed personally at Aro. She says, "They get inside your head, and you start thinking: If I do this, what will the trolls do next?"

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Categories: Science

Microsoft Removes 260-Character Path Length Limit In Windows 10 Redstone

Slashdot - 8 hours 3 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: Windows 10 build 14352, a preview version of the upcoming Anniversary Update (also known as Redstone), comes with an eagerly awaited change that Microsoft hasn't yet announced publicly. The 260-character path length limit in Windows can be removed with the help of a new policy, thus allowing you to run operations with files regardless of their path or file name. While this new rule is not enabled by default, admins can turn it on by following these instructions. Launch the Registry Editor by clicking the Start menu and typing "regedit.exe," and then navigate to the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{48981759-12F2-42A6-A048-028B3973495F}Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies. Look for an entry called "LongPathsEnabled," and if it does not exist, simply right-click Policies, select New DWORD (32-bit), name it "LongPathsEnabled" (without the quotes), enter value 1, and you're good to go. The description of the preview reads, "Enabling NTFS long paths will allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 char limit per node. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process." While the Windows 10 preview build 1452 has been made available last week, according to Windows Central, a Microsoft team member says that the company could released Windows 10 Mobile build 14352 for Insiders on Tuesday, May 31.

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Categories: Science

ASUS Unveils $599 Home Robot 'Zenbo'

Slashdot - 9 hours 53 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: In addition to the razor thin ZenBook 3, Asus unveiled a cute talking robot for the home at this week's Computex trade show in Taipei. The robot, called Zenbo, is priced at $599 and is pitched as a personal assistant that can help look after elderly relatives or read stories to the kids. It's about two feet tall and rolls around on wheels, with a display that can show animated faces or be used for making video calls and streaming movies. When asked, "Hey Zenbo, is it true you can take pictures?" by ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih, the robot replied with, "Yes, I can take photographs." Zenbo took a photo of him on stage with the audience in the background when Shih told it to. The robot doesn't have an official release date yet, but developers can sign up for a software kit to build applications for it now.

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Categories: Science

Microsoft Warns of ZCryptor Ransomware With Self-Propagation Features

Slashdot - 10 hours 38 min ago
An anonymous reader writes from a report issued by Softpedia on May 27: Microsoft and several other security researchers have detected the first ransomware versions that appears to have self-propagation features, being able to spread to other machines on its own by copying itself to shared network drives or portable storage devices automatically. Called ZCryptor, this ransomware seems to enjoy quite the attention from crooks, who are actively distributing today via Flash malvertising and boobytrapped Office files that infect the victim if he enables macro support when opening the file. This just seems to be the latest addition to the ransomware family, one which recently received the ability to launch DDoS attacks while locking the user's computer.

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Categories: Science

Computer Generates Largest Math Proof Ever At 200TB of Data

Slashdot - 11 hours 23 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A trio of researchers has solved a single math problem by using a supercomputer to grind through over a trillion color combination possibilities, and in the process has generated the largest math proof ever -- the text of it is 200 terabytes in size. The math problem has been named the boolean Pythagorean Triples problem and was first proposed back in the 1980's by mathematician Ronald Graham. In looking at the Pythagorean formula: a^2 + b^2 = c^2, he asked, was it possible to label each a non-negative integer, either blue or red, such that no set of integers a, b and c were all the same color. To solve this problem the researchers applied the Cube-and-Conquer paradigm, which is a hybrid of the SAT method for hard problems. It uses both look-ahead techniques and CDCL solvers. They also did some of the math on their own ahead of giving it over to the computer, by using several techniques to pare down the number of choices the supercomputer would have to check, down to just one trillion (from 10^2,300). Still the 800 processor supercomputer ran for two days to crunch its way through to a solution. After all its work, and spitting out the huge data file, the computer proof showed that yes, it was possible to color the integers in multiple allowable ways -- but only up to 7,824 -- after that point, the answer became no. Is the proof really a proof if it does not answer why there is a cut-off point at 7,825, or even why the first stretch is possible? Does it really exist?

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Categories: Science

'Huge Wake Up Call': Third of Central, Northern Great Barrier Reef Corals Dead

Slashdot - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 11:25pm
iONiUM quotes a report from The Sydney Morning Herald: More than one-third of the coral reefs of the central and northern regions of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the huge bleaching event earlier this year, Queensland researchers said. Corals to the north of Cairns -- covering about two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef -- were found to have an average mortality rate of 35 percent, rising to more than half in areas around Cooktown. Bleaching occurs when abnormal conditions, such as warm seas, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae. Corals turn white without these algae and may die if the zooxanthellae do not recolonize them. "It is fair to say we were all caught by surprise," Professor Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said. "It's a huge wake up call because we all thought that coral bleaching was something that happened in the Pacific or the Caribbean which are closer to the epicenter of El Nino events." The report says, "The northern end of the Great Barrier Reef was home to many 50- to 100-year-old corals that had died and may struggle to rebuild before future El Ninos push tolerance beyond thresholds."

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Categories: Science

Running may be better than cycling for long-term bone health

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 11:01pm
Exercise that puts greater strain on bones, like running, may improve long-term bone health more effectively than non weight-bearing activities like cycling, conclude the authors of a new study measuring the hormones of mountain ultra-marathon runners.
Categories: Science

Exposure to chemicals in plastic and fungicides may irreversibly weaken children’s teeth

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 11:01pm
Chemicals commonly found in plastics and fungicides may be weakening children’s teeth by disrupting hormones that stimulate the growth of dental enamel, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Hormone treatment in transgender persons could shed light on role of sex hormones in bone density

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 11:01pm
Male-to-female (MtF) transgender persons have a greater increase in bone mineral density than female-to-male (FtM) persons in their first year of hormone treatment. The research helps scientists further understand the roles sex hormones play on bone development and maintenance in both sexes.
Categories: Science

One third of children have higher levels of cardiometabolic risk factors due to family history

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 11:01pm
Children with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes were found to have cholesterol levels significantly higher than children with no family history of those conditions, new research shows.
Categories: Science

Stephen Hawking Calls Trump A 'Demagogue' Who Appeals 'To The Lowest Common Denominator'

Slashdot - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 10:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking told ITV's morning show that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican Party candidate for U.S. president, "is a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator." He said, "Gone are the days we could stand on our own against the world. We need to be part of a larger group of nations, both for our security and our trade." ABC News writes, "Stephen Hawking understands the workings of the universe -- but says he cannot fathom the popularity of Donald Trump. He went on to say that British voters should keep the United Kingdom in the European Union in a June 23 referendum, saying the EU provides essential support for British scientific research as well as its economy and security.

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Categories: Science

Iran Forces Messaging Apps To Move Data To Iranian Servers

Slashdot - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 9:55pm
An anonymous reader writes: According a report from Reuters, the Iranian government wants to be able to track private and semi-private conversations on messaging apps, and has given companies behind popular messaging apps one year to move their data onto servers in Iran. As it stands, many social networks are already blocked in Iran, and now the government wants to control even more online communication platforms. Apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, which have become incredibly popular in Iran, allow users to communicate with no government control. With Telegram, users can contact hundreds of people by creating groups. Now, even though WhatsApp for example is required to move their data to Iranian servers, it's unlikely the government will be able to intercept messages from the app since it features end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp can't even read the content of communications -- only WhatsApp users can decrypt the messages in their conversations. Apple's iMessage also features an encrypted messaging protocol, and Telegram does too, but users need to start "secret conversations" with end-to-end encryption.

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Categories: Science

Eric Holder Says Snowden Performed 'Public Service'

Slashdot - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 9:10pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via CNN: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a "public service" by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents. "We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast produced by CNN and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. "Now I would say that doing what he did -- and the way he did it -- was inappropriate and illegal," Holder added. "I think that he's got to make a decision. He's broken the law in my view. He needs to get lawyers, come on back, and decide, see what he wants to do: Go to trial, try to cut a deal. I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done." "But," Holder emphasized, "I think in deciding what an appropriate sentence should be, I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate." You can listen to the podcast with Eric Holder here.

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Categories: Science

Bitcoin Price Jumps 21% Over 4 Days, Reaching a 21-Month High

Slashdot - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 8:25pm
An anonymous reader shares a TechCrunch report: Bitcoin is back! Or at least, there are positive signs indicating that bitcoin might not be as dead as everybody thought. Bitcoins are now trading at $547.40 on Bitfinex (the largest USD/bitcoin exchange according to Bitcoinity). And it represents a big 21.4 percent price jump over just four days. Today's price represents a 21-month high. Surprisingly, bitcoin prices had been relatively stable for the last two months before this weekend's jump. What's the reason behind this jump? It's hard to say. Huobi and OKCoin, the two dominant Chinese exchanges, have seen many new sign-ups, as well as many buy orders. Increasingly, bitcoin's price variations are correlated with macroeconomic trends in China. These trends tell us that China still fears a deflation.

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Categories: Science

Telus To Shutter CDMA Service On January 31, 2017

Slashdot - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 7:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: With most Canadian mobile devices on some form of HSPA+ or LTE network, you don't hear mention of CDMA that often anymore. And for good reason; carriers like Telus, which still maintain their CDMA network for legacy customers, plan to mothball the tech over the next few years. We now have a definitive date when Telus customers will no longer be able to use their old CDMA device. Over the weekend, the company sent text messages stating, "CDMA service ends January 31, 2017. Move to our 4G network with great offers."

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Categories: Science

Identification of the action mechanism of a protein impacting neural circuit development

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 7:33pm
New research uncovers the action mechanism of an enzyme called DHHC9 in normal development and function of neural networks in the brain. Mutations in DHHC9 have been identified in patients suffering from X-linked Intellectual Disability. The work shows DHHC9 plays a vital role in promoting the growth and branching of neurons and in maintaining the balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals being formed onto neurons.
Categories: Science

Heme, a poisonous nutrient, tracked by 'Green Lantern' sensor

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 7:33pm
The toxin heme is essential to life, but cells must make use of it sparingly and carefully, as poor heme management can lead to Alzheimer's, heart disease and cancer. Researchers tailored ratiometric sensors to tracks heme's movements in yeast cells for the first known time.
Categories: Science

Dancing hairs alert bees to floral electric fields

Science Daily - Mon, 30/05/2016 - 7:33pm
Tiny, vibrating hairs may explain how bumblebees sense and interpret the signals transmitted by flowers, according to a study by researchers at the University of Bristol.
Categories: Science