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UAE To Build Artificial Mountain To Improve Rainfall

Slashdot - 47 min 26 sec ago
An anonymous reader writes: The United Arab Emirates is in the early stages of developing an artificial mountain that would force air upwards and create clouds that could produce additional rainfall. While the Middle East and Africa continues to get hotter, researchers are further motivated and more desperate for solutions to maximize rainfall. "Building a mountain is not a simple thing," said NCAR scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes. "We are still busy finalizing assimilation, so we are doing a spread of all kinds of heights, widths and locations [as we simultaneously] look at the local climatology." The specific location has yet to be decided on as the team is still testing out different sites across the UAE. "If [the project] is too expensive for [the government], logically the project won't go through, but this gives them an idea of what kind of alternatives there are for the long-term future." Bruintjes said. "If it goes through, the second phase would be to go to an engineering company and decide whether it is possible or not."

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Kim Jong-Un Bans All Weddings, Funerals And Freedom Of Movement In North Korea

Slashdot - 1 hour 30 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Independent: Weddings and funerals have been banned and Pyongyang is in lockdown as preparations for a once-in-a-generation party congress get underway in North Korea. The ruling Worker's Party of Korea, headed by the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, is due to stage the first gathering of its kind for 36 years on Friday. Free movement in and out of the capital has also been forbidden and there has been an increase in inspections and property searches, according to Daily NK, which claims to have sources in the country. The temporary measures are said to be an attempt to minimize the risk of "mishaps" at the event, according to Cheong Joon-hee, a spokesman at South Korea's Unification Ministry. Meanwhile, North Korea has been conducting missile tests left and right, many of which have failed miserably.

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LG's New Fingerprint Sensor Doesn't Need A Button

Slashdot - 2 hours 13 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mashable: LG Innotek has developed a fingerprint sensor that's placed under a glass surface instead of in a physical button, the company announced Sunday. The new sensor could lead to smartphones that you can unlock by placing your finger on the phone screen. The LG-owned electronics parts manufacturer achieved this by cutting out a 0.01-inch thick slot in the lower part of a smartphone's cover glass, and then inserting a very thin fingerprint sensor into it. In other words, the sensor is still under the cover glass, but the slot moves the sensor close enough to the surface to read a fingerprint. That way, the sensor is protected from water and scratches, and can be installed anywhere under the phone's glass surface.

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China Probes Baidu Over False Medical Ads After Student Dies

Slashdot - 2 hours 56 min ago
hackingbear writes: China's Internet regulator said on Monday it will send a team to investigate Baidu Inc over the death of a university student who used the Chinese search engine to look for treatment for his rare cancer, and to find an experimental treatment offered by the Second Hospital of Beijing Armed Police Corps, which eventually proved ineffective. Before dying, Wei accused Baidu online of promoting false medical information, as well as the hospital for misleading advertising in claiming a high success rate for the treatment, state radio said. The post attracted a large public outcry. Baidu says around one quarter of its revenues come from medical and health-care advertisers.

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Google’s Android keyboard hits version 5.0, now has fine cursor control

Arstechnica - 3 hours 32 min ago

The new warm welcome screens.

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The Google Keyboard for Android got a major update today. Version 5.0 brings a ton of user-requested features and customization options.

My favorite new addition is the fine cursor control. Just drag your finger along the spacebar to move the cursor between letters. There's a similar "delete word" gesture that works by dragging a finger from the backspace key to the left. Each letter crossed over will highlight the previous word, and releasing your finger will delete the selection.

There's also a new "one-handed mode" that shrinks the keyboard to the left or right side of the screen—a welcome feature for users with large screened devices. A few buttons have been redesigned, and now there's an easy way to bring up a number keypad layout. Words can be deleted from the dictionary via a slick drag and drop interface—just long press on a suggestion and drag it to the new trashcan icon to toss the word (or erroneously-saved typo) down the memory hole.

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Hot fashion designer IBM Watson to debut smart dress at Met Gala - CNET

CNET NEWS - 3 hours 37 min ago
Marchesa designers team with IBM's Watson computer for a dress that will change colors in real time according to the social-media mood.

Self-Driving Features Could Lead To More Sex In Moving Cars, Expert Warns

Slashdot - 3 hours 39 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: According to CBC.ca, "At least one expert is anticipating that, as the so-called 'smart' cars get smarter, there will eventually be an increase in an unusual form of distracted driving: hanky-panky behind the wheel." Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence said, "I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars. That's one of several things people will do which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, 'Take over.'" Federal officials, who have been tasked with building a regulatory framework to govern driverless cars, highlighted their concerns in briefing notes compiled for Transport Minister Marc Garneau. "Drivers tend to overestimate the performance of automation and will naturally turn their focus away from the road when they turn on their auto-pilot," said the note. The Tesla autopilot feature has been receiving the most criticism as there have been many videos posted online showing Tesla drivers engaged in questionable practices, including reading a newspaper or brushing their teeth.

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Former Biggest Loser contestants fight slow metabolisms, weight gain

Arstechnica - 3 hours 45 min ago

(credit: Pete Thomas)

After successfully dropping pounds, dieters often see their weight bounce back. But they may not see the same rebound in their sluggish metabolisms.

Researchers followed 14 contestants from the TV weight-loss competition The Biggest Loser, and they found that the dramatic weight loss significantly slowed the rate at which the contestants’ burned calories while resting. Those metabolic slow-downs, which make it more difficult to keep off pounds, lingered six years after the competition—even after nearly all of the contestants regained much of the weight they lost.

The findings, published Monday in the journal Obesity, suggests that the body may purposefully slow down its metabolism to regain lost pounds and maintain a weight “set point.” If the finding holds true in larger studies of dieters, it may explain why it’s so difficult to keep off weight once its lost.

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Alice in Wonderland footwear: Off with her head, on with her shoes - CNET

CNET NEWS - 3 hours 54 min ago
Don't be late for a very important date. Irregular Choice, maker of Luke Skywalker-lightsaber high heels, offers an exotic "Alice" line.

Hey cord-cutters, Hulu may soon offer live TV - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 2 min ago
The video-on-demand service is reportedly planning a subscription service to stream network and cable shows, much like Sling TV.

Solar Impulse 2 departs for desert after soaring in Silicon Valley - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 3 min ago
Aircraft is attempting the first around-the-world solar trek that includes a few US destinations.

Twitter suit over data requests partly dismissed, report says - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 4 min ago
The social network wants to be able to disclose more details about what the government asks of the company.

Drone 'fireworks' light up Mount Fuji (Tomorrow Daily 357) - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 8 min ago
Japanese company creates synchronized drone LED show; also, you may see buttonless fingerprint scanners on phones sooner than you think.

Martian water blasts away sand, may craft features as it boils

Arstechnica - 4 hours 9 min ago

The complex pattern left behind by liquid water flowing through sand under Martian atmospheric pressures. (credit: M. Massé)

We now know that there is liquid water on the surface of Mars. Streaks of dark material flow down crater walls, appearing and disappearing with the seasons. Imaging from orbit has confirmed that these features contain hydrated salts, leading researchers to conclude that the water took the form of a salty brine, which would prevent it from immediately evaporating into Mars' cold, thin atmosphere.

But a new paper released today argues that we might want to rethink the role of brine. The international team behind it tested what would happen if pure water were flowing through sand under Mars-like conditions. Some of the water boiled off quickly, but it managed to spread a bit further than expected and produced features similar to some that have been imaged from orbit.

There are a number of challenges with figuring out what's happening on Mars. The first is that we've got no hardware anywhere near where the watery features form; all our direct exploration has to take place from orbit. Another challenge is that we don't know the nature of the water. At Martian pressures, pure water could boil at temperatures reached in the daytime and freeze at night, while salts could keep it liquid at the prevalent temperatures.

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TiVo cuts price of Bolt DVR by $100 -- but there's a catch - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 12 min ago
TiVo has confirmed it's dropping the price of its newest Bolt DVR by $100, but it may not be the best deal for consumers.

Greenpeace Leaks Big Part Of Secret TTIP Documents

Slashdot - 4 hours 22 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: The environmental group Greenpeace has obtained 248 pages of classified documents from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade talks. The group warns EU standards on the environment and public health risk being undermined by compromises with the US, specifically that US corporations may erode Europe's consumer protections. The TTIP would "harmonize regulations across a huge range of business sectors, providing a boost to exporters on both sides of the Atlantic," writes the BBC. After the Greenpeace leak was published, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said in her blog, "I am simply not in the business of lowering standards." Meanwhile, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said, "These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the center of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health." You can be the judge for yourself. The leaked documents are available for download here.

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ID15 concept car interior: The future of not-driving - Roadshow

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 51 min ago
Autonomous driving will fundamentally change how we interact with the inside of our cars. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is behind the interior technology in many of today's cars, and with the Innovation Demonstrator 2015 concept car (ID15) we got a sneak peek and just what they think is going to be the next big thing.

Climate-Exodus Expected In The Middle East And North Africa

Slashdot - 5 hours 4 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that human habitability is compromised. The goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, agreed at the recent UN climate summit in Paris, will not be sufficient to prevent this scenario. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth's temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. Such extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case at the turn of the millennium. In combination with increasing air pollution by windblown desert dust, the environmental conditions could become intolerable and may force people to migrate.

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Woman ordered to provide her fingerprint to unlock seized iPhone

Arstechnica - 5 hours 7 min ago

(credit: Kārlis Dambrāns)

A Southern California woman was recently ordered to provide her fingerprint to unlock a seized iPhone, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

The case highlights the ongoing balancing act between security and convenience and how the law treats something you know (a passcode) as being quite different than something you are (a biometric). Under the Constitution, criminal defendants have the right not to testify against themselves—and providing a passcode could be considered testimonial. However, being compelled to give up something physiological or biometric (such as blood, DNA sample, fingerprint or otherwise), is not.

As the Times reports, Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan was ordered by a federal judge to provide her fingerprint on February 25, and the warrant was executed and unsealed on March 15.

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson alarm app gets your candy ass out of bed - CNET

CNET NEWS - 5 hours 13 min ago
Can you smell what The Rock is cooking for your mornings? That's the smell of getting your butt out of bed with no snooze to save you.