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Microsoft Adds Node.js Support To Visual Studio
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's could-be-the-biggest-open-source-company department:
shutdown -p now writes "Coming from the team that had previously brought you Python Tools for Visual Studio, Microsoft has announced Node.js Tools for Visual Studio, with the release of the first public alpha. NTVS is the official extension for Visual Studio that adds support for Node.js, including editing with Intellisense, debugging, profiling, and the ability to deploy Node.js websites to Windows Azure. An overview video showcases the features, and Scott Hanselman has a detailed walkthrough. The project is open source under Apache License 2.0. While the extension is published by Microsoft, it is a collaborative effort involving Microsoft, Red Gate (which previously had a private beta version of similar product called Visual Node), and individual contributors from the Node.js community."

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Project Rescue Expert Todd Williams Talks About Healthcare.gov (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's a-health-website-that-isn't-healthy department:
By now, most Americans have either heard or learned firsthand that the Healthcare.gov website doesn't work right. Slings, arrows, and brickbats are being slung all over Washington, and Congressional representatives are busily thundering imprecations at all and sundry who were involved in putting Helathcare.gov together. If there have been any Congressional hearing focusing on how to fix the problems, though, we have not seen them. You'd think that our representatives would bring in people like today's interviewee, Todd Williams, who has written a book titled Rescue the Problem Project and runs a company that specializes in rescuing failed projects. What's more, Todd is just one of many Americans who have helped rescue projects that have gone awry. Hopefully our government has at least one of them working on Helathcare.gov by now, although we haven't heard that they've selected a strong turnaround manager and set him or her to work on the project -- and you'd think they would have told us if they had.

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Bionic Eye Implant Available In US Next Month
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's I'm-a-transhumanitarianist-myself department:
kkleiner writes "Starting next month, Americans suffering from degenerative eye diseases can get excited about the launch of the Argus II, a bionic eye implant to partially restore vision. Designed for those suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, the Argus II is a headset that looks akin to Google Glass but is actually hard wired into the optic nerve to transmit visual information from a 60 electrode array. The device opens the door for similar 'humanitarian' implants that both reduce the difficulty in getting government approval and increase the adoption of brain implants."

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Google Nexus Gets Wireless Charger
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-lay-still department:
judgecorp writes "Wireless charging has had little success so far (except for toothbrushes) but Google is giving it a good try, with a Nexus Wireless Charger that works with LG's Nexus 4 and 5 as well as the latest version of Google's tablet, the second generation Nexus 7. The charger operates using the Qi standard, which seems to be ahead of rival Powermat."

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ISS Astronauts Fire-Up Awesome 'Cubesat Cannon'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pew-pew-pew department:
astroengine writes "As if the International Space Station couldn't get any cooler, the Japanese segment of the orbiting outpost has launched a barrage of small satellites — known as "cubesats" — from their very own Cubesat Cannon! Of course, the real name of the cubesat deployment system isn't quite as dramatic, but the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) adds a certain sci-fi flair to space station science."

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Researcher Offers New Perspective On Stuxnet-Wielding Sabotage Program
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's back-then-we-tied-an-onion-to-our-belts department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Help Net Security: "Stuxnet, the malware that rocket the security world and the first recorded cyber weapon, has an older and more complex 'sibling' that was also aimed at disrupting the functioning of Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, but whose modus operandi was different. The claim was made by well-known German control system security expert and consultant Ralph Langner, who has been analyzing Stuxnet since the moment its existence was first discovered. He pointed out that in order to known how to secure industrial control systems, we need to know what actually happened, and in order to do that, we need to understand all the layers of the attack (IT, ICS, and physical), and be acquainted with the actual situation of all these layers as they were at the time of the attack."

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Building a (Virtual) Roman Emperor's Villa
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's fly-through-the-vomitorium department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Scientists have been using everything from supercomputing clusters to 3D printers to virtually recreate dinosaur bones. Now another expert is trying to do something similar with the ancient imperial villa built for Roman emperor Hadrian, who ruled from 117 A.D. to 138 A.D. Hadrian's Villa is already one of the best-preserved Roman imperial sites, but that wasn't quite good enough for Indiana University Professor of Informatics Bernie Frischer, who trained as a classical philologist and archaeologist before being seduced by computers into what evolved into the academic discipline of digital analysis and reproduction of archaeological and historical works. The five-year effort to recreate Hadrian's Villa is based on information from academic studies of the buildings and grounds, as well as analyses of how the buildings, grounds and artifacts were used; the team behind it decided to go with gaming platform Unity 3D as a key part of the simulation."

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Microsoft Customers Hit With New Wave of Fake Tech Support Calls
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's only-do-this-to-your-parents department:
rjmarvin writes "A new surge of callers posing predominately as Microsoft technicians are attempting and sometimes succeeding in scamming customers, convincing them their PCs are infected and directing them to install malware-ridden software or give the callers remote access to the computer. The fraudsters also solicit payment for the fake services rendered. This comes only a year after the FTC cracked down on fake tech support calls, charging six scam operators last October."

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MATE To Make It Into Debian Repositories
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-news-of-the-day-so-far department:
sfcrazy writes "Fans of the MATE desktop environment, which is a fork of Gnome 2, will be happy to know that MATE is scheduled to be included in the official Debian repositories. Early 2012, it was requested that MATE be included in said repositories, and almost 2 years later, it appears we're almost there."

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HIV Tracking Technology Could Pinpoint Who's Infecting Who
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's yet-you-say-you-were-in-burma-at-the-time department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "No man is an island, but evolutionarily, each person functions like one for the HIV virus. That's according to Thomas Leitner, a researcher working on a project aimed at creating technology for tracking HIV through a population. The technology, which is being studied at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, may allow people to identify who infected them with the virus, a development that could have major implications in criminal proceedings. "If you're familiar with Darwin's finches, you have a population of birds on one island and they keep moving and evolving as they spread to other islands so that each population is a little different," Leitner said. "With HIV, it's the same. Every person infected with HIV has a slightly different form the the virus. It's the ultimate chameleon because it evolves this way.""

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Cyprus University Accepts Bitcoin For Tuition Fee Payments
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sound-in-ads-needs-to-die-die-die department:
An anonymous reader writes "The University of Nicosia has begun accepting bitcoins as payment for its courses, as well as launching a Master of Science degree focusing on digital currencies. The announcement is part of a proposal set up by the university to develop the Mediterranean island into a hub for bitcoin trading, processing and banking, as use of the virtual currency continues to gain traction." Warning: Auto-playing ad, with sound.

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Galileo Navigation System Gets Go-Ahead From EU Parliament
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's und-wo-bin-ich-jetzt? department:
An anonymous reader writes "Plans to start up the EU's first global satellite navigation system (GNSS) built under civilian control, entirely independent of other navigation systems and yet interoperable with them, were approved by MEPs on Wednesday. Both parts of this global system — Galileo and EGNOS — will offer citizens a European alternative to America's GPS or Russia's Glonass signals. The Galileo system could be used in areas such as road safety, fee collection, traffic and parking management, fleet management, emergency call, goods tracking and tracing, online booking, safety of shipping, digital tachographs, animal transport, agricultural planning and environmental protection to drive growth and make citizens' lives easier."

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Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hands-on department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Nearly all people connected to the aviation industry agree that automation has helped to dramatically improve airline safety over the past 30 years but Tom Costello reports at NBC News that according to a new Federal Aviation Administration report commercial airline pilots rely too much on automation in the cockpit and are losing basic flying skills. Relying too heavily on computer-driven flight decks now poses the biggest threats to airliner safety world-wide, the study concluded. The results can range from degraded manual-flying skills to poor decision-making to possible erosion of confidence among some aviators when automation abruptly malfunctions or disconnects during an emergency. 'Pilots sometimes rely too much on automated systems,' says the report adding that some pilots 'lack sufficient or in-depth knowledge and skills' to properly control their plane's trajectory. Basic piloting errors are thought to have contributed to the crash of an Air France Airbus A330 plane over the Atlantic in 2009, which killed all 228 aboard, as well as a commuter plane crash in Buffalo, NY, that same year. Tom Casey, a retired airline pilot who flew the giant Boeing 777, said he once kept track of how rarely he had to touch the controls on an auto-pilot flight from New York to London. From takeoff to landing, he said he only had to touch the controls seven times. 'There were seven moments when I actually touched the airplane — and the plane flew beautifully,' he said. 'Now that is being in command of a system, of wonderful computers that do a great job — but that isn't flying.' Real flying is exemplified by Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, says Casey, who famously landed his US Airways plane without engines on the Hudson River and saved all the passengers in what came to be known as the 'Miracle on the Hudson.' The new report calls for more manual flying by pilots — in the cockpit and in simulations. The FAA says the agency and industry representatives will work on next steps to make training programs stronger in the interest of safety."

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Online Car Retailer Launching Nation's First Car "Vending Machine"
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 03:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's correct-change-only department:
cartechboy writes "Last year's Gallup poll showed that car salespeople are the least trusted professionals in America, ranking even below members of Congress. Enter, Carvana, an online dealership operating in Atlanta, Georgia. They allow customers to shop for cars online, secure loans online, and pay for cars online. Now they have gone one step farther and are claiming to remove the despised car salesperson from test drives and even post-purchase pickup by creating, yes, a giant auto vending machine. The facility, which will open at the end of November, will be a fully digital, 24-7 interactive 'vehicle-delivery center' designed to offer customers pick-up options after purchasing a vehicle online. They'll have floor-to-ceiling windows, custom LED lighting, flat screen TV's plus interactive keypads that identify customers based on unique buyer credentials. There will be three car pickup bays to allow for simultaneous pickups. One thing they won't have: car sales people (Note: there will be customer service reps there to answer questions). Carvana plans to expand on the idea, presumably if this Atlanta facility works."

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World's Smallest FM Radio Transmitter Created With Graphene
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 02:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's smallest-morning-zoo department:
minty3 writes "The team used graphene's mechanical 'stretchability' in order to create a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) – an electronic component that can generate an FM signal. The VCO was used to send and receive audio signals of 100 megahertz. The team used pure tones and more complex music signals to tune the VCO's output and found that both kinds of signals could be 'faithfully reproduced' by an ordinary radio receiver."

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NASA's Next Frontier: Growing Plants On the Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 12:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's to-boldly-grow department:
An anonymous reader writes in with news about a NASA project that aims to grow plants on the moon in specially made containers. "In 2015, NASA will attempt to make history by growing plants on the Moon. If they are successful, it will be the first time humans have ever brought life to another planetary body. The Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team, a group of NASA scientists, contractors, students and volunteers, is finally bringing to life an idea that has been discussed and debated for decades. They will try to grow arabidopsis, basil, sunflowers, and turnips in coffee-can-sized aluminum cylinders that will serve as plant habitats. But these are no ordinary containers – they’re packed to the brim with cameras, sensors, and electronics that will allow the team to receive image broadcasts of the plants as they grow. These habitats will have to be able to successfully regulate their own temperature, water intake, and power supply in order to brave the harsh lunar climate."

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Glut In Stolen Identities Forces Price Cut
Posted by News Fetcher on November 20 '13 at 09:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cheaper-by-the-dozen department:
CowboyRobot writes "The price of a stolen identity has dropped as much as 37 percent in the cybercrime underground: to $25 for a U.S. identity, and $40 for an overseas identity. For $300 or less, you can acquire credentials for a bank account with a balance of $70,000 to $150,000, and $400 is all it takes to get a rival or targeted business knocked offline with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)-for-hire attack. Meanwhile, ID theft and bank account credentials are getting cheaper because there is just so much inventory (a.k.a. stolen personal information) out there. Bots are cheap, too: 1,000 bots go for $20, and 15,000, for $250."

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Mystery Humans Spiced Up Ancients' Sex Lives
Posted by News Fetcher on November 20 '13 at 08:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's how-you-doing? department:
ananyo writes "New genome sequences from two extinct human relatives suggest that these 'archaic' groups bred with humans and with each other more extensively than was previously known. The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia. 'What it begins to suggest is that we're looking at a 'Lord of the Rings'-type world — that there were many hominid populations,' says Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who was at the meeting but was not involved in the work."

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Toyota Announces Plans For Fuel Cell Car By 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on November 20 '13 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-up department:
puddingebola writes "Toyota has announced plans for a fuel cell powered car at the Tokyo Motor show. From the article, 'Satoshi Ogiso, the Toyota Motor Corp. executive in charge of fuel cells, said Wednesday the vehicle is not just for leasing to officials and celebrities but will be an everyday car for ordinary consumers, widely available at dealers. "Development is going very smoothly," he told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show. The car will go on sale in Japan in 2015 and within a year later in Europe and U.S."'"

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3D-Printed Dinosaur Bones "Like Gutenberg's Printing Press" For Paleontologists
Posted by News Fetcher on November 20 '13 at 05:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dig-and-click department:
Philip Ross writes "Uses for 3D printers are more widespread than ever, but researchers in Germany are expanding 3D-printing territory even further. For the first time ever, scientists from the Department of Radiology at Charité Campus Mitte in Berlin have recreated dinosaur fossils from blueprints made by computed tomography, or CT, scans. The ability to scan and 3D-print dinosaur fossils could have wide-ranging applications for not only paleontologists but also educators and private collectors alike."

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