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Scientists Record Quantum Behavior of Electrons Via Laser Lights

Slashdot - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 11:49am
An anonymous reader writes in with news about a breakthrough in recording quantum behavior in electrons. A group of researchers has said that they have come up with a new method to record and control electron behavior at the quantum mechanical level. The research team, headed by the scientists at the University of Chicago, used laser lights in ultra-fast pulses for the experiment. The laser light controlled the quantum state of electrons. It contained inside nanoscale defects in a diamond. The researchers observed changes in that electron over a time period. They focused on the quantum mechanical property of electrons known as spin. Lead author David Awschalom, a molecular engineering professor at a university in Chicago, said, "These defects have attracted great interest of the scientists over the past decade. They provide a test-bed system for developing semiconductor quantum bits as well as nanoscale sensors."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

We lack the data needed to show whether venture capital is performing as an asset class (Dan Primack/Fortune)

TechMeme - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 11:40am

Dan Primack / Fortune:
We lack the data needed to show whether venture capital is performing as an asset class  —  VCs suck (but there's a way you could prove me wrong)  —  There has been a bunch of Twitter conversation this week about venture capital economics and performance, stemming from an HBR post titled Venture Capitalists …

Categories: Technology

Researchers Discover New Plant "Language"

Slashdot - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:42am
An anonymous reader writes A Virginia Tech scientist has discovered a potentially new form of plant communication, that allows them to share genetic information with one another. Jim Westwood, a professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, found evidence of this new communication mode by investigating the relationship between dodder, a parasitic plant, and the flowering plant Arabidopsis and tomato plants to which it attaches and sucks out nutrients with an appendage called a haustorium. Westwood examined the plants' mRNA, the molecule in cells that instructs organisms how to code certain proteins that are key to functioning. MRNA helps to regulate plant development and can control when plants eventually flowers. He found that the parasitic and the host plants were exchanging thousands of mRNA molecules between each other, thus creating a conversation.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

With free licensing and new device makers on board, it's too early to write off Windows Phone (Paul Thurrott/SuperSite for Windows)

TechMeme - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:35am

Paul Thurrott / SuperSite for Windows:
With free licensing and new device makers on board, it's too early to write off Windows Phone  —  It's Too Early to Write Off the Third Smartphone Ecosystem  —  Thanks to a single smart phone quarterly market share report from IDC, many are suddenly writing off Windows Phone and declaring …

Categories: Technology

Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Slashdot - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 9:35am
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's Internet Explorer engineering team told a Reddit gathering that discussions about a name change have taken place and could happen again. From the article: "Microsoft has had "passionate" discussions about renaming Internet Explorer to distance the browser from its tarnished image, according to answers from members of the developer team given in a reddit Ask Me Anything session today. In spite of significant investment in the browser—with the result that Internet Explorer 11 is really quite good—many still regard the browser with contempt, soured on it by the lengthy period of neglect that came after the release of the once-dominant version 6. Microsoft has been working to court developers and get them to give the browser a second look, but the company still faces an uphill challenge."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Bezos-owned Washington Post now inserting gross Amazon affiliate links into news articles (Paul Carr/PandoDaily)

TechMeme - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 9:20am

Paul Carr / PandoDaily:
Bezos-owned Washington Post now inserting gross Amazon affiliate links into news articles  —  There's something creepy in this Washington Post piece about Penguin's new “adult” cover for the 50th anniversary edition of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  Well, something else creepy, beyond the weirdly over-sexualized cover itself.

Categories: Technology

Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

Slashdot - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 8:29am
An anonymous reader writes Following up on a recent experiment into the status of software engineers versus managers, Jon Evans writes that the easiest way to find out which companies don't respect their engineers is to learn which companies simply don't understand them. "Engineers are treated as less-than-equal because we are often viewed as idiot savants. We may speak the magic language of machines, the thinking goes, but we aren't business people, so we aren't qualified to make the most important decisions. ... Whereas in fact any engineer worth her salt will tell you that she makes business decisions daily–albeit on the micro not macro level–because she has to in order to get the job done. Exactly how long should this database field be? And of what datatype? How and where should it be validated? How do we handle all of the edge cases? These are in fact business decisions, and we make them, because we're at the proverbial coal face, and it would take forever to run every single one of them by the product people and sometimes they wouldn't even understand the technical factors involved. ... It might have made some sense to treat them as separate-but-slightly-inferior when technology was not at the heart of almost every business, but not any more."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Inside ATAP, Google's mobile development group led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan (Miguel Helft/Fortune)

TechMeme - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 8:20am

Miguel Helft / Fortune:
Inside ATAP, Google's mobile development group led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan  —  Google goes DARPA  —  Regina Dugan loves to tell the story of how she got her current job.  It was a little over two years ago, and Dugan, a mechanical engineer by training and an expert in counterterrorism …

Categories: Technology

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

Slashdot - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 5:20am
Safensoft writes: Symantec recently made a loud statement that antivirus is dead and that they don't really consider it to be a source of profit. Some companies said the same afterwards; some other suggested that Symantec just wants a bit of free media attention. The press is full of data on antivirus efficiency being quite low. A notable example would be the Zeus banking Trojan, and how only 40% of its versions can be stopped by antivirus software. The arms race between malware authors and security companies is unlikely to stop. On the other hand, experts' opinions of antivirus software have been low for a while, so it's hardly surprising. It's not a panacea. The only question that remains is: how exactly should antivirus operate in modern security solutions? Should it be one of the key parts of a protection solution, or it should be reduced to only stopping the easiest and most well-known threats? Threats aren't the only issue — there are also performance concerns. Processors get better, and interaction with hard drives becomes faster, but at the same time antivirus solutions require more and more of that power. Real-time file scanning, constant updates and regular checks on the whole system only mean one thing – as long as antivirus is thorough, productivity while using a computer goes down severely. This situation is not going to change, ever, so we have to deal with it. But how, exactly? Is a massive migration of everything, from workstations to automatic control systems in industry, even possible? Is using whitelisting protection on Windows-based machines is the answer? Or we should all just sit and hope for Microsoft to give us a new Windows with good integrated protection? Are there any other ways to deal with it?

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Internet Explorer team AMA: no plans for iOS & Android release, rebranding has been considered (Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet)

TechMeme - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 5:10am

Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Internet Explorer team AMA: no plans for iOS & Android release, rebranding has been considered  —  Internet Explorer on Android or iOS?  Not in Microsoft's current plans  —  Summary: The cross-platform push may be on at ‘cloud first/mobile first’ Microsoft, but for now …

Categories: Technology