Nerval's Lobster writes "For the past 40-some years, relational databases have ruled the data world. Relational models first appeared in the early 1970s thanks to the research of computer science pioneers such as E.F. Codd. Early versions of SQL-like languages were also developed in the early 70s, with modern SQL appearing in the late 1970s, and becoming popular by the mid-1980s. For the past couple of years, the Internets have been filled with heated arguments regarding SQL vs NoSQL. But is the fight even legitimate? NoSQL databases have grown up a bit (and some, such as Google's BigTable, are now mature) and prove themselves worthy. And yet the fight continues. Tech writer (and programmer) Jeff Cogswell examines both sides from a programming perspective."
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An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo! has patched the security hole that allowed hackers to access some 450,000 email addresses and passwords associated with Yahoo! Contributor Network and ultimately publish them last week. In the meantime, the group responsible for the hack of the official forum site of technology company NVIDIA has also dumped some user 800 records taken during the breach."
Kent Couch and Fareed Lafta had their dreams of setting a world's record for the longest two-man cluster balloon flight dashed by bad weather and not kids with bb guns as you might expect. The men tied 350 balloons to lawn chairs and planned on flying from Bend, Oregon to Montana. The pair flew for about 30 minutes before having to land. From the article: "A post at the Facebook page for the project said wind had turned the balloonists around and pushed them back toward the town of Prineville, Oregon, and that thunderstorms heading toward the area were 'simply too much' for the balloons."
theodp writes "In April, the Chicago Tribune touted its investment in and use of news outsourcer Journatic. 'We're excited to partner with Journatic, both as an investor and as a customer,' said Dan Kazan, the Trib's Sr. VP of Investments. 'Journatic will expand Tribune's ability to deliver relevant hyperlocal content to our readers, and we believe that many other publishers and advertisers will benefit from its services as well.' That was then. In a Friday-the-13th letter to readers, the Tribune announced a plagiarized and fabricated story has prompted the paper to suspend its relationship with Journatic. The move comes two weeks after Journatic's standards and practices were called into question by This American Life, which noted several Journatic-produced stories had appeared this year on TribLocal online with false bylines. Explaining why he went public about his experience at Journatic, reporter Ryan Smith said he felt 'people should know how their local newspapers are being hollowed out.'"
First time accepted submitter Flere Imsaho writes "During the NetHui Internet conference last week, the NZ judge to hear the Dotcom extradition case was speaking on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and how the U.S. entertainment industry is pushing to make region code hacking illegal, when he said 'Under TPP and the American Digital Millennium copyright provisions you will not be able to do that, that will be prohibited ... if you do you will be a criminal — that's what will happen. Even before the 2008 amendments it wasn't criminalized. There are all sorts of ways this whole thing is being ramped up and if I could use Russell [Brown's] tweet from earlier on: we have met the enemy and he is [the] U.S.'"
hypnosec writes "Raspberry Pi, the small $35 ARM-based computer system capable of running Linux that took the world of technology by storm just a few months back, has its order limit shackles removed as it has been revealed that manufacturers are now producing 4000 units per day. The Raspberry Pi Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the tiny computer, has said that RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell have started producing enough units to allow them to scrap the order limit on Raspberry Pi. In a blog post, the foundation made the announcement. Initially the limit of one unit per customer was placed in the light of limited stocks. Despite these limits, there was always a shortage and people had to wait for long time to get their hands on one of these credit card sized computers."
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "A year ago, free information advocate and Bradley Manning supporter David House was subpoenaed to testify in the grand jury investigation of WikiLeaks that's taking place in Alexandria, Virginia. Now he's released a transcript of his interrogation that he produced by taking handwritten notes on a legal pad and handing pages to his lawyer during their consultations. Though House pled the fifth and didn't tell the prosecutors much, the notes show the prosecution attorneys focusing their questions on Boston-area hackers as well as Tor developer and WikiLeaks supporter Jacob Appelbaum."
Alex Rivest has created one of the most visually riveting videos we've seen. Alex says, "In looking at the pictures taken from the International Space Station of the earth at night, I find my attention drawn to that thin line separating earth from space: Our atmosphere." He also says, "A good photograph is one that sparks a question." Since this video runs at 30 (really 29.97) frames per second, and it's about 290 seconds long, that's close to 8700 questions. Luckily, Alex has written a blog post that answers most of them. This doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy his work for its sheer beauty. Or that you shouldn't wish Alex well in his attempt to get into NASA's 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class. A fine art photographer who also has a PhD in Neuroscience from MIT... what better qualifications could there possibly be for astronauthood?
flatt writes "Ending a sixteen year partnership between the now Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Microsoft, the MSNBC.com website has been immediately renamed to NBCNews.com. Both parties note that the integration between both parties is deep and will require 2 years to complete the decoupling. For the immediate future, NBC will continue to provide news content for MSN.com and Microsoft will continue to be the advertising provider for the site. Content control, brand confusion, and partisan content are cited as reasons behind the breakup. Microsoft sold its 50% share in the MSNBC TV rights to NBC back in 2005."
aesoteric writes "Tasmania's police force has taken the unusual step of asking the public to stop alerting it to every 'abusive or harassing' comment posted to Facebook or other social media sites. The force said it was 'increasingly receiving complaints' about material posted to the sites, but sought to clarify that 'the use of technology to undertake some conduct does not in itself create an offense.'"
SchrodingerZ writes "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is known for making odd scientific advances ranging from hypersonic unnamed rockets to bionic prosthetic limbs to insect-sized reconnaissance drones. But recently DARPA has made a interesting advancement in the field of fire suppression. Using two speakers arranged on either side of an open liquid fuel flame, an acoustic field was emitted and engulfed the fire. 'The sound increases air velocity, which then thins the area of the flame where combustion occurs, known as the flame boundary.' This make the flame weak and much easier to douse. Another wonderful thing about this: it's not even that loud! DARPA began its testing in 2008, stating that despite extensive research in this area, there have been no new methods for extinguishing and/or manipulating fire in almost 50 years. The agency plans to expand on this experiment and try to make it successful on a practical scale."
First time accepted submitter rosy rohangi writes "Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that provides a completely new direction and promise for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes – a key concern of public health in the U.S. due to the current obesity epidemic. From the article: '...Scientists have long suspected that diabetes and obesity could be related to problems of the biological clock. Laboratory mice with altered biological clocks, for example, often become obese and develop diabetes. Two years ago, a team led by Steve Kay, dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, discovered the first biochemical link between the biological clock and diabetes. He found that a key protein, cryptochrome, which regulates the biological clocks of plants, insects and mammals also regulates glucose production in the liver and that changes in levels of this protein could improve the health of diabetic mice.'"
hypnosec writes "A specially designed smartphone for the visually impaired or partially sighted has been launched in the UK. The device, dubbed Georgie, has many special features including a voice-assisted touch screen and apps that will allow for easy completion of day-to-day tasks like catching a bus, reading printed text and pinpointing a location. Designed by a blind couple, Roger and Margaret Wilson-Hinds, and named after Mrs Wilson-Hind's guide dog, the smartphone is powered by the Android operating system and uses handsets like Samsung XCover and Galaxy Ace 2, notes the BBC. The main reason for developing such a phone, according to the couple, was that they wanted to get the technology across to people with very little or no sight. 'It's exactly the type of digital experience we want to make easily available to people with little or no sight,' said Roger."
astroengine writes "If the Pluto-Charon system were viewed in a similar way to binary stars and binary asteroids, Pluto would become a Pluto-Charon binary planet. After all, Charon is 12% the mass of Pluto, causing the duo to orbit a barycenter that is located above Pluto's surface. Sadly, in the IAU's haste to define what a planet is in 2006, they missed a golden opportunity to define the planetary binary. Interestingly, if Pluto was a binary planet, last week's discovery of a fifth Plutonian moon would have in fact been the binary's fourth moon to be discovered by Hubble — under the binary definition, Charon wouldn't be classified as a moon at all."
Hugh Pickens writes "According to Alan D. Mutter, after a 50% drop in newspaper advertising since 2005, the old ways of running a newspaper can no longer succeed, so most publishers are faced with choosing the best possible strategy going-forward for their mature but declining businesses: farm it, feed it, or milk it. Warren Buffett is farming it, and recently bucked the widespread pessimism about the future of newspapers by buying 63 titles from Media General. He is concentrating on small and medium papers in defensible markets, while steering clear of metro markets, where costs are high and competition is fierce. 'I do not have any secret sauce,' says Buffett. 'There are still 1,400 daily papers in the United States. The nice thing about it is that somebody can think about the best answer and we can copy him. Two or three years from now, you'll see a much better-defined pattern of operations online and in print by papers.' Advance Publications is milking it by cutting staff and reducing print publication to three days a week at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, thus making the Crescent City the largest American metropolis to be deprived of a daily dose of wood fiber in its news diet. Once dismantled, the local reporting infrastructure in communities like New Orleans will almost certainly never be rebuilt. 'By cutting staff to a bare minimum and printing only on the days it is profitable to do so, publishers can milk considerable sums from their franchises until the day these once-indomitable cash cows go dry.' Rupert Murdoch is feeding it as he spins his newspapers out of News Corp. and into a separate company empowered to innovate the traditional publishing businesses into the future. In various interviews after announcing the planned spinoff, Murdoch promised to launch the new company with no debt and ample cash to aggressively pursue digital publishing opportunities across a variety of platforms. 'If the spinoff materializes in anywhere near the way Murdoch is spinning it, however, it could turn out to be a model for iterating the way forward for newspapers.'"