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Part of the beauty of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is its incredible smoothness. But like most things, if you look closely, cracks appear in this facade. In Europa’s case, the cracks come in the form of jumbled pieces of ice that make up what are called the moon's “chaos terrains.” Just what caused the chaos is an open question.
There is, however, an obvious candidate. Europa’s most exciting characteristic is probably the ocean of liquid water that is thought to exist beneath that icy crust. It seems likely that the ocean has something to do with the chaos terrain, especially given the presence of salt there. To figure that out, however, we’d have to know something about how water circulates in that ocean. And, unlike our own oceans, you can’t just chuck a buoy in and see where it goes.
Circulation in the ocean would be driven by the heat from Europa’s interior. It’s been thought that the big-picture pattern might look something like the atmosphere of Jupiter, with alternating bands of eastward or westward flow. Ultimately, this pattern carries the greatest amount of internal heat to Europa’s polar regions. A new study, led by University of Texas at Austin researcher Krista Soderlund, suggests the circulation pattern could actually look quite different.
The end of 2013 has been a pretty special time for console racers. A couple of weeks ago, the Xbox One arrived on shelves with the flawed-but-compelling Forza Motorsport 5. Now PS3 owners have their turn in the spotlight with Gran Turismo 6, the latest installment of Polyphony Digital’s legendary franchise. Going into this review, I was eager to find out if the underwhelming GT5 was the start of a terminal decline or if creator Kazunori Yamauchi and his team knocked it out of the park.A brief history of Gran Turismo
The GT series of games spans three console generations and more than a decade and a half of time. The original Gran Turismo on the original PlayStation blew my mind in 1997, setting a new standard for what gamers could expect from a racing game. Mario Kart was fun and Codemasters’ TOCA Touring Cars had its moments, but GT was more than a game; it was a digital expression of love for the automobile. Contemporary rivals like Ridge Racer didn’t feature real cars, and even ones that did, like Need for Speed II, felt more like driving the idea of a car than a simulation of one.
GT came packed with 140 virtual representations that behaved like their real counterparts (as much as that was possible with that generation's hardware) and introduced a generation across the world to cult Japanese performance cars like the Subaru Impreza WRX and Nissan Skyline GT-R. Progress through the game involved a series of license tests, some of which could be maddeningly difficult, but the effect on one’s nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmentum area was hard to overstate. How else to explain all those late nights spent trying to thread cars between slalom cones like a lab animal repeatedly pushing a lever to gain a reward? Not to mention the odd broken controller, rendered nonfunctional after a frustration-induced meeting with the wall.
Today, Wired writer Kevin Poulsen brought to light a collection of documents that the Army posted to its FOIA reading room just before Thanksgiving last week, which included 13 pages of unclassified chat logs from 2010 between former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley Manning) and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. After handing over a massive trove of diplomatic cables and other videos to Wikileaks, Manning was convicted in July 2013 of espionage, theft, and computer fraud, although she was acquitted of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy.”
The chat log was recovered from Manning’s computer by an Army forensics expert after her arrest, and some of the log's contents were used by the government in its prosecution of Manning.
The conversation ranges widely from pleasantries to highly sensitive leak information, discussions of the political climate, and the occasional conspiracy theory. (In one chat, Manning, who went by “dawgnetwork,” told “pressassociation,” which the Army says was Julian Assange, “i told you before, government/organizations cant control information... the harder they try, the more violently the information wants to get out.") In all, it's an interesting look into the relationship between the source and the leaker in the days before they released the infamous “Collateral Murder” video, which showed a 2007 military attack that killed civilians in Baghdad, Iraq.
Internet Explorer and Chrome both use a multiprocess architecture to enhance stability and security. They separate the task of parsing and rendering Web pages from the job of drawing the browser on-screen, saving downloaded files, creating network connections, and so on. This allows them to run the dangerous parts—the parts exposed to malicious scripts and exploitative HTML—in a sandbox with reduced permissions, making it harder for browser flaws to be turned into system compromises.
It also means that they're much more tolerant of crash bugs; a bug will bring down an individual tab, but shouldn't, in general, bring down the browser as a whole.
In 2009, Mozilla announced the Electrolysis project, which was to bring this kind of multiprocess design to Firefox.
Prenda Law sued thousands of Internet users for alleged illegal downloads of pornographic movies, insisting that they pay thousands of dollars to settle copyright allegations. Last year, documents indicate it made $1.9 million doing so.
In the past six months, however, the organization has come unglued, hammered with one judicial order after another. In five cases, Prenda has been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands in legal fees to defendants.
But while Prenda purchased a bond for more than $200,000 in one case, there hasn't been any confirmation that any defendants or defense attorneys have actually received a dime from Prenda—until today.
The majority of typists couldn’t tell you how they type if they tried, according to a study published in October in the scientific journal Attention, Perception, and Pschyophysics. The finding comes from a body of typists who averaged 72 words per minute but could not map more than an average of 15 keys on a QWERTY keyboard.
The basic theory of “automatic learning,” according to Vanderbilt University, asserts that people learn actions for skill-based work consciously and store the details of why and how in their short-term memory. Eventually the why and how of a certain action fades, but the performative action remains.
However, in the case of typing, it appears that we don’t even store the action—that is, we have little to no “explicit knowledge” of the keyboard. In the first experiment conducted, the typists averaging 72 wpm and 94 percent accuracy were given 80 seconds to write letters in the correct places on a QWERTY keyboard. On average, they got 57 percent right and 22.3 percent wrong, and they forgot the rest.
Bitcoin has been on a rollercoaster ride for most of its four-year history, with a series of dizzying price spikes and stomach-turning plummets, often in close succession. Thursday was no exception, as the digital currency picked up an unprecedented endorsement on Wall Street and a dose of cold water from the Chinese government.
For the first time, a major US investment bank has initiated coverage of bitcoins, and its overall assessment is relatively bullish. Or, at least not as bearish as some people have been saying.
"We believe Bitcoin can become a major means of payment for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money transfer providers," analysts at Bank of America's Merrill Lynch wrote in a 14-page research note to investment clients Thursday morning. "As a medium of exchange, Bitcoin has clear potential for growth in our view."
The Verge has gotten a hold of an advance copy of Android 4.4.1, and the site says the update is all about improving the Nexus 5's disappointing camera performance.
According to the report, the camera app is all-around faster, Google has sped up the shutter speed and auto focus, and the app opens a full second faster than it used to. Getting an in-focus photo is now much easier, as the shutter button no longer tries to refocus the picture when pressed; it just captures an image. Shots of moving objects are less blurry, and quality is up, too, with more contrasting images.The Verge
The report also says that Google has a project underway to make Android's camera "more controllable and obvious." In the future, Google will work on undoing the layers upon layers of settings in the arc menu design. For now, there is a new progress bar in HDR+ mode, which better communicates the longer photo-taking process