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Databases

There Is No Reason At All To Use MySQL: MariaDB, MySQL Founder Michael Widenius 241

sfcrazy writes "In this exclusive interview MySQL founder Michael Widenius talks about the reasons of decline of MySQL, what Oracle is doing wrong and how MariaDB is fast replacing it. There are quite some interesting information in this interview. The take out of this interview is '...there is no reason at all to use MySQL 5.5 instead of MariaDB 5.5. The same will be true for the next generation.'" Of course, he has an economic interest in getting people to use MariaDB. Hard to argue that Oracle isn't evil though.
Science

Living In a Virtual World Requires Less Brain Power 89

sciencehabit writes "If you were a rat living in a completely virtual world like in the movie The Matrix, could you tell? Maybe not, but scientists studying your brain might be able to. Today, researchers report that certain cells in rat brains work differently when the animals are in virtual reality than when they are in the real world. In the experiment, rats anchored to the top of a ball ran in place as movie-like images around them changed, creating the impression that they were running along a track. Their sense of place relied on visual cues from the projections and their self-motion cues, but they had to do without proximal cues like sound and smell. The rodents used half as many neurons to navigate the virtual world as they did the real one."
Security

Following Best Coding Practices Doesn't Always Mean Better Security 61

wiredmikey writes "While some best practices such as software security training are effective in getting developers to write secure code, following best practices does not necessarily lead to better security, WhiteHat Security has found. Software security controls and best practices had some impact on the actual security of organizations, but not as much as one would expect, WhiteHat Security said in its Website Security Statistics Report. The report correlated vulnerability data from tens of thousands of Websites with the software development lifecycle (SDLC) activity data obtained via a survey. But there is good news — as organizations introduced best practices in secure software development, the average number of serious vulnerabilities found per Website declined dramatically over the past two years. 'Organizations need to understand how different parts of the SDLC affects how vulnerabilities are introduced during software development,' Jeremiah Grossman, co-founder and CTO of WhiteHat said. Interestingly, all the Websites tested under the study, 86 percent had at least one serious vulnerability exposed to attack every single day in 2012, and on average, resolving vulnerabilities took 193 days from the time an organization was first notified of the issue."
Privacy

Dutch Bill Seeks To Give Law Enforcement Hacking Powers 114

An anonymous reader writes "The Dutch government today presented a draft bill that aims to give law enforcement the power to hack into computer systems — including those located in foreign countries — to do research, gather and copy evidence or block access to certain data. Law enforcement should be allowed to block access to child pornography, read emails that contain information exchanged between criminals and also be able to place taps on communication, according to a draft bill published Thursday and signed by Ivo Opstelten, the Minister of Security and Justice. Government agents should also be able to engage in activities such as turning on a suspect's phone GPS to track their location, the bill said. Opstelten announced last October he was planning to craft this bill."
Space

Our Solar System: Rare Species In Cosmic Zoo 197

astroengine writes "Pulling from 20 years of research since the first discoveries of planets beyond our solar system, scientists have concluded that Earth and its sibling worlds comprise what appears to be a relatively rare breed in a diverse cosmic zoo that includes a huge variety of planet sizes, orbits and parent stars. The most common systems contain one or more planets one to three times bigger than Earth, all orbiting much closer to their parent stars than Earth circles the sun, says astronomer Andrew Howard, with the University of Hawaii."
The Military

Meet Drone Shield, an Ambitious Idea For a $70 Drone Detection System 159

An anonymous reader writes "Here's an Interesting idea of how to use a Raspberry Pi and a few other inexpensive items to make a low cost detection system. From the article: 'The Drone Shield would combine a Raspberry Pi, a signal processor, a microphone, and analysis software to scan for specific audio signatures and compare them against what known drones sound like. (Because obviously a Predator drone is going to sound very different than a small quadcopter.) Once a match is found, the Drone Shield then sends an e-mail or SMS to its owner...'"
China

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate US Army Database, Compromise Safety of Dams 256

coolnumbr12 writes "Chinese hackers have infiltrated a sensitive U.S. Army database that contains information about the vulnerabilities of thousands of dams located throughout the United States. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' National Inventory of Dams (NID) has raised concerns that information gathered in the hack could help China carry out a cyber-attack on the national electrical power grid."
Mozilla

Mozilla Launches Firefox OS 3.0 Simulator 75

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla on Thursday announced the release of Firefox OS Simulator 3.0, polishing all the features in the preview release as well as making a few more improvements. You can download version 3.0 now for Windows, Mac, and Linux from Mozilla Add-Ons. The following features included in the simulator are now functionally stable, according to Mozilla:
  • Push to Device
  • Rotation simulation
  • Basic geolocation API simulation
  • Manifest validation
  • Stability fixes for installation and updates to apps
  • Newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia (the UI for Firefox OS)."
Education

Repeal of Louisiana Science Education Act Rejected 318

egjertse writes "A Louisiana law that opponents say leaves the backdoor open to teaching 'creationism' in public schools will stay on the books after a Senate committee Wednesday effectively killed a bill that would repeal the statute. After hours of testimony for and against House Bill 26, which repeals the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act, the senators narrowly deferred the legislation, effectively killing it in committee. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans."
Stats

LLNL/RPI Supercomputer Smashes Simulation Speed Record 79

Lank writes "A team of computer scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have managed to coordinate nearly 2 million cores to achieve a blistering 504 billion events per second, over 40 times faster than the previous record. This result was achieved on Sequoia, a 120-rack IBM Blue Gene/Q normally used to run classified nuclear simulations. Note: I am a co-author of the coming paper to appear in PADS 2013."
News

Interview: Ask John McAfee What You Will 194

John McAfee was best known as a software designer and founder of the computer anti-virus company McAfee Associates until his saga in Belize began. McAfee's works on producing natural antibiotics commercially in Belize was quickly overshadowed by police raids, murder allegations, and a month of evading Belizean authorities while maintaining his innocence. He was eventually captured and deported back to the United States in December 2012 without being charged with any crime. "Boston George" Jung (a man who has lived quite an unusual life himself) has been tapped to write McAfee's biography titled, No Domain. Now that things have mostly settled down, John has agreed to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.
Science

New Camera Inspired By Insect Eyes 35

sciencehabit writes "An insect's compound eye is an engineering marvel: high resolution, wide field of view, and incredible sensitivity to motion, all in a compact package. Now, a new digital camera provides the best-ever imitation of a bug's vision, using new optical materials and techniques. This technology could someday give patrolling surveillance drones the same exquisite vision as a dragonfly on the hunt."
Programming

CSS Selectors as Superpowers 190

An anonymous reader writes "Simon St. Laurent writes in praise of CSS selectors: 'After years of complaints about Cascading Style Sheets, many stemming from their deliberately declarative nature, it's time to recognize their power. For developers coming from imperative programming styles, it might seem hard to lose the ability to specify more complex logical flow. That loss, though, is discipline leading toward the ability to create vastly more flexible systems, a first step toward the pattern matching model common to functional programming.'"
Google

Google Ordered Back To UK Parliament To "Explain Itself" Following Investigation 176

DavidGilbert99 writes "Last November Matt Brittin, Google's European chief gave a pretty convincing account of himself as he tried to explain why Google wasn't paying more tax in the UK. All the sales staff were based in Ireland apparently and the UK-based staff were there just to promote the platform for advertisers. Great. Nothing to see here. Move on please. Well, actually there is a little more to the story, as an investigation by Reuters has discovered. There are many sales staff in the UK with titles and responsibilities curiously close to what most people would call sales staff and as a result Mr. Brittin will once again have to face Margaret Hodge and the PAC to explain just what is happening."
Earth

Oslo Needs Your Garbage 202

lister king of smeg writes in with news that Oslo is running out of garbage which it burns to generate heat and electricity. "Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by burning garbage — household trash, industrial waste, even toxic and dangerous waste from hospitals and drug arrests — has a problem: it has literally run out of garbage to burn. The problem is not unique to Oslo, a city of 1.4 million people. Across Northern Europe, where the practice of burning garbage to generate heat and electricity has exploded in recent decades, demand for trash far outstrips supply." Back in October we told you about a similar garbage shortage facing Sweden.

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