Sci-Tech Expert – Science & Technology News, Reviews and Articles

Rollback of U.S. spy powers would mark post-9/11 watershed

May 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Warren Strobel and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At 3:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, the National Security Agency and telecommunications companies will begin mothballing a once-secret system that collected Americans' bulk telephone records, shutting down computers and sealing off warehouses of digital data. If the U.S. Congress fails to act, key provisions of the USA Patriot Act will lapse in a watershed moment in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era. Intrusive government powers, created and wielded in the name of preventing another mass-casualty terrorist attack, would be at least partly scaled back, proponents and critics of the surveillance say.

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Rollback of U.S. spy powers would mark post-9/11 watershed

DNA Storage: How Harvard Stored Data on DNA

May 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Summary: Using binary, we may be able to encode information on DNA.

Imagine a future where our information is stored inside of us. Sounds very science fiction like, but researchers at Harvard are making breakthroughs in that very field. Utilizing oligos, the team is using DNA as a binary storage device that they can write code to. The team can encode anything, using binary as a method of communication.

DNA Coding

During oligo synthesis, synthetic strands are used like a printer. The “ink” in this case are the TG AC bases. If we take TG to mean “1” and AC to mean “0” we have the basis for binary communication. The sequence is encoded in binary. When the DNA strand is re-sequenced, the researchers are able to detect the binary code and store a whopping 700 terabytes of information for every gram of DNA.

The question is why anyone would think to store information inside of our DNA anyway.

Pros to DNA Storage

DNA storage has been on people’s minds for some time. You can store a surprisingly large amount of information in a relatively small space, and it’s durable too. DNA can survive for thousands of years in a box sitting in someone’s shed or in a warehouse.

The trouble has always been our ability, or lack thereof, to read DNA. The human genome consists of 3-billion base pairs, which we can only now begin to read for the first time. And it still takes hours of time.

This technology has a long way to go, but the future of DNA storage looks very bright.

Bio: The Midland Certified Reagent Company manufactures oligos, RNA polymers and synthetic materials used in medical research and experimentation. To order synthetic DNA, RNA or phosphorothioates, contact The Midland Certified Reagent Company.

Vivendi to book 4.2 billion euro pre-tax gain on GVT sale

May 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

French media group Vivendi said on Friday it would book a 4.2 billion euro ($4.6 billion) pre-tax gain from the sale of Brazilian telecommunications company GVT, which would help it pay interim dividends. The company said it had also received a 12 percent stake in Telefonica Brazil's Vivo and would exchange 4.5 percent for 8.3 percent of Telecom Italia's ordinary shares in the coming weeks. “The closing of the sale of GVT and of the 20 percent interest in Numericable-SFR enables the Vivendi management board, in accordance with its commitment, to authorize in principle the payment of two interim ordinary dividends, each in the amount of 1 euro per share, in respect of 2015,” Vivendi said in a statement.

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Vivendi to book 4.2 billion euro pre-tax gain on GVT sale

Yahoo must face email spying class action: U.S. judge

May 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A U.S. judge ordered Yahoo Inc to face a nationwide class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegally intercepting the content of emails sent to Yahoo Mail subscribers from non-Yahoo Mail accounts, and using the information to boost advertising revenue. In a decision late Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California said people who sent emails to or received emails from Yahoo Mail subscribers since Oct. 2, 2011 may sue as a group under the federal Stored Communications Act for alleged privacy violations. Holders of non-Yahoo Mail accounts accused Yahoo of copying and then analyzing their emails, including keywords and attachments, with a goal of creating “targeted advertising” for its estimated 275 million Yahoo Mail subscribers, in addition to detecting spam and malware

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Yahoo must face email spying class action: U.S. judge

Charter agrees to buy Time Warner Cable for $56 billion

May 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

John Malone's Charter Communications Inc struck a $56 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc, seeking to combine the third and second largest U.S. cable operators to better compete against market leader Comcast Corp. The Federal Communications Commission immediately served notice that it would closely scrutinize the deal, focusing not only on absence of harm but benefits to the public. Charter, in which Malone-chaired Liberty Broadband Corp owns about 26 percent, is offering about $195.71 in cash-and-stock for each Time Warner Cable share, based on Charter's closing price on May 20. A merger of Charter and Time Warner Cable, with other related deals, would create a company that controls more than 20 percent of the U.S. broadband market, according to research firm MoffettNathanson.

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Charter agrees to buy Time Warner Cable for $56 billion

Alibaba’s latest gambit in fighting fakes: foster local brands

May 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By John Ruwitch PUTIAN, China (Reuters) – Criticized and even sued by luxury brand Gucci and others for facilitating the counterfeit goods trade, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has been quietly piloting a scheme to try to curb fakes at source. In the coastal city of Putian, in Fujian province, Alibaba is working with 17 shoe manufacturers to cultivate home-grown brands online, revitalize a flagging industry and offer would-be counterfeiters an alternative source of livelihood. Critics say the scheme is misguided and Alibaba should instead focus on scrubbing its online marketplaces of widespread listings of fakes.

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Alibaba’s latest gambit in fighting fakes: foster local brands

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

May 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

(Reuters) – Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is cutting jobs across the world, the company said on Friday, as it consolidates its software, hardware and applications business. BlackBerry, which reported a 16.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue in March, had about 6,225 full-time employees as of Feb. 2015, according to its website. The company is reallocating resources to capitalize on growth opportunities and achieve profitability across all its business segments, a company spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

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BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

Canadian software maker Shopify valued at $2 billion in U.S. debut

May 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Canadian e-commerce software maker Shopify Inc's shares rose as much as 69 percent in their U.S. debut, valuing the company at about $2.14 billion. Shopify, which also debuted on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday, is the first Canadian company to be listed on a U.S. exchange this year. Ottawa-based Shopify helps small- and medium-sized retailers set up their online stores for a monthly subscription fee of $29-$179.

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Canadian software maker Shopify valued at $2 billion in U.S. debut

Exclusive: Altice eyes U.S. with TWC, Suddenlink buys – sources

May 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The negotiations with Suddenlink are more advanced and a transaction could be announced later this week, the people said. Time Warner Cable has a market capitalization of $44.5 billion. Since Time Warner Cable's merger with Comcast fell apart last month, Time Warner Cable is also being circled by small rival Charter Communications.

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Exclusive: Altice eyes U.S. with TWC, Suddenlink buys – sources

U.S. appeals court reverses part of Apple’s $930 million verdict vs Samsung

May 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A U.S. appeals court on Monday reversed part of the $930 million verdict that Apple Inc won in 2012 against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , saying the iPhone maker's trade dress could not be protected. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the patent infringement violations found by the jury. Trade dress is a legal term for a trademark on the way a product is packaged or presented.

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U.S. appeals court reverses part of Apple’s $930 million verdict vs Samsung

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