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Why You Shouldn't Buy a UHD 4K TV This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's more-pixels-than-sense department:
Lucas123 writes "While it's tempting to upgrade your flatscreen to the latest technology, industry analysts say UHD TVs are still no bargain, with top brand names selling 65-in models for $5,000 or more. And, even though 4K TVs offer four times the resolution of today's 1080p HDTVs, there are no standards today for how many frames per second should be used in broadcasting media. Additionally, while there's plenty of content being produced for UHDs, little has been made available."

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Jolla's First Phone Goes On Sale
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's jolla-jolla-bill-y'all department:
jones_supa writes "Jolla, the mobile phone company formed by ex-Nokia employees, has officially launched its first phone. It will be initially available in Finland, paired with the local telecom operator DNA. After that, it will be made available in 135 other countries. The Jolla handset runs the Sailfish OS, which is itself based on the former MeeGo platform developed by Nokia and Intel several years ago to produce Linux-based smartphone software. Sailfish can run Android apps and it also integrates Nokia's Here mapping and positioning technology. Looking at the hardware, the device sports a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB memory and 16GB of flash storage, plus a 4.5in 960x540 IPS touchscreen with Gorilla 2 Glass. It has the usual mobile network support, including GSM/3G/4G, 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, 8MP autofocus rear camera and 2MP front camera. SIM-free pricing is expected to be €399."

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62% of 16 To 24-Year-Olds Prefer Printed Books Over eBooks
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-i-can't-throw-my-book-at-somebody-what's-the-point-of-owning-it department:
assertation writes "According to The Guardian, 62% of readers between the age of 16 and 24 prefer physical copies of books over ebooks. Reasons given were the feel of 'real books,' a perceived unfairly high cost for eBooks, and the ease of sharing printed books. 'On questions of ebook pricing, 28% think that ebooks should be half their current price, while just 8% say that ebook pricing is right.' The preference for physical copies was in contrast to other forms of media, such as games, movies, and music, where a majority preferred the digital version."

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NSA Planned To Discredit Radicals Based On Web-Browsing Habits
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's creepy-analysts-only department:
wired_parrot writes "New leaked documents show that the NSA was not only monitoring suspected radical sympathizers, but planned to discredit them based on their web-surfing habits. This includes not only evidence of porn browsing and online sexual activity, but also extortion and blackmail based on inappropriate use of funds. At the same time, the leaked document notes that very few of the targeted contacts were associated with terrorism"

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Bitcoin Tops $1,000 For the First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's from-the-top-you-can-only-go-down department:
An anonymous reader writes with this bit from The Next Web "Bitcoin hit a new milestone today, passing the $1,000 mark for the first time. The virtual currency is currently trading above the four-digit figure, with its highest at $1,030 on Mt. Gox, one of the largest exchanges. Last week, Bitcoin's high for the day was $632. That means its trading value has surged 62.83 percent in a week, assuming we're looking at just its high points. That figure could of course rise even further if Bitcoin continues to push further up throughout the day."

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European Commission Outlines Steps To Restore Trust In EU-US Data Flows
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's mending-wounds department:
hypnosec writes "The European Commission has outlined steps it believes will pave the way for restoring faith in EU-U.S. data flows following revelations about NSA spying activities under its PRISM program. The EC notes that spying on its citizens, companies, and leaders is unacceptable; and that citizens of U.S. and EU need to be reassured about protection of their data, while companies need to be reassured that the existing agreements between the two regions are respected and enforced. The Commission outlined a total of six areas that it believes require action including swift adoption of the EU's data protection reforms; making Safe Harbor safer; strengthening data protection safeguards in the law enforcement area; commitment from the U.S. for making use of a legal framework; addressing European concerns in the on-going U.S. reform process; and promoting privacy standards internationally."

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A Real-Time Map of Travelers Suffering From the Thanksgiving Storm
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's raining-turkeys department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Travel officials expect about 3 million people to venture by plane to their turkey dinner, and already hundreds of flights have been canceled and thousands delayed—including more than a third of routes at the major airport hub in Dallas, which will have a ripple effect down through the airline system as thwarted passengers try to hop on other flights. This inspired flight-tracking site FlightAware to develop an interactive 'Misery Map' visualizing flight statuses in real-time and the megastorm traversing the country simultaneously. Because who doesn't love a little data viz schadenfreude?"

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Spamhaus Calls for Fining Operators of Insecure Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's banned-from-the-net department:
Barence writes "Anti-spam outfit Spamhaus has called on the UK government to fine those who are running Internet infrastructure that could be exploited by criminals. Those who leave open Domain Name Server resolvers vulnerable to attack should be fined, if they have previously received a warning, said chief information officer of Spamhaus, Richard Cox. When Spamhaus was hit by a massive distributed DDoS possibly the biggest ever recorded at more than 300Gbits/sec — open DNS resolvers were used to amplify the hit, which was aimed at one of the organization's upstream partners. 'Once they know it can be used for attacks and fraud, that should be an offense,' Cox said. 'You should be subject to something like a parking ticket... where the fine is greater than the cost of fixing it."

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Nasdaq 4000 — This Time It's Different?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 07:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's new-and-exciting-bubbles-to-pop department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes, quoting USA Today "The NASDAQ has topped 4000 for the first time in 13 years, but much has changed since then. ... Tech investors in 2000 were right about the possibilities of the Internet and mobile computing. But they were dead wrong about which companies would be in the vanguard ... The recovery of the NASDAQ has been a complex tale of creative destruction, where old companies that once fueled the index have been pushed aside by new players. Back in 2000, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Intel, Oracle, and Sun accounted for 8.9%, 8.5%, 7.1%, 3.6% and 2.6%, respectively, of the value of the NASDAQ composite. Today, companies that were just starting out or didn't even exist — think Google, Amazon, and Facebook — are in the top 10, accounting for 4.7%, 2.7% and 1.5% of NASDAQ's value. Microsoft, Cisco and Intel's weight has fallen sharply. Apple, which wasn't in the top 10 in 2000, is a behemoth at 7.9%. So is the NASDAQ enjoying a long overdue catch-up with the rest of the market, or is the broad market overpriced, with the NASDAQ being pulled along for the ride? 'The reality is that the only thing that's the same from Nasdaq 4000 in 1999 and Nasdaq 4000 in 2013,' says Doug Sandler, 'is the number 4000.'"

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Google Launches Voice Search Hotword Extension For Chrome
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 06:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's always-listening department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google has launched the Google Voice Search Hotword extension for Chrome, bringing the 'OK Google' feature to the desktop. You can download the new tool, currently in beta, now directly from the Chrome Web Store. Android users with version 4.4 KitKat will recognize the feature: it lets you talk to Google without first clicking or typing. It's completely hands-free, provided you're already on Google.com: just say 'OK Google' and then ask your question."

Quick, someone wire Pocketsphinx up to Firefox, or integrate Simon into Krunner.

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EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 05:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's that's-why-i-use-disposable-cloth-bags department:
jones_supa writes "An EU citizen uses around 200 plastic bags per year. That's too much, says the EU. But wasting plastic bags is not just a European problem. Countries around the world are struggling with the issue, and it especially affects growing economies such as Asia. Some Southeast Asian countries don't even have the proper infrastructure in place to dispose of the bags properly. The problems for the environment are many. Plastic bags usually take several hundred years until they decay, thereby filling landfills, while animals often mistake the plastic for food and choke to death. Additionally they are a major cause of seaborne pollution, which is a serious hazard for marine life. This autumn, EU started ambitious plans which aim to reduce usage 80% by 2017. Some countries have already applied measures to slow plastic bag use: England has added a 5p charge to previously free bags, and in Ireland the government has already imposed a tax of 22 euro cents ($0.29) per plastic bag. The EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potonik, said, 'We're taking action to solve a very serious and highly visible environmental problem.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '13 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-off-my-lawn department:
caferace writes "I've been around the block. I'm a long-time worker in the tech industry (nearly 30 years), absolutely kickass SQA and Hardware person, networking, you name it. But I'm 50+ now, and finding new regular or contract work is a pain. And it shouldn't be. I have the skills and the aptitude to absorb and adapt to any new situations and languages way beyond what any of my college age brethren might have. But when I send out a perfectly good resume and use the more obvious resources there are still precious few bites for someone requiring to work remotely. Am I just whining, or is this common? Are we being put out to pasture far too early?"

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Art Makes Students Smart
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's too-bad-we-cut-it-for-football department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "For many education advocates, the arts supposedly increase test scores, generate social responsibility and turn around failing schools but research that demonstrates a causal relationship has been virtually nonexistent. Now the NY Times reports that with the opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a large-scale, random-assignment study (abstract) of school tours to the museum has determined that a strong causal relationship does in fact exist between arts education and a range of desirable outcomes. Students who, by lottery, were selected to visit the museum on a field trip demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, displayed higher levels of social tolerance, exhibited greater historical empathy and developed a taste for art museums and cultural institutions. Moreover, most of the benefits are significantly larger for minority students, low-income students and students from rural schools — typically two to three times larger than for white, middle-class, suburban students — owing perhaps to the fact that the tour was the first time they had visited an art museum. Further research is needed to determine what exactly about the museum-going experience determines the strength of the outcomes. How important is the structure of the tour? The size of the group? The type of art presented? 'Clearly, however, we can conclude that visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition,' write the authors. 'Expanding access to art, whether through programs in schools or through visits to area museums and galleries, should be a central part of any school's curriculum.'"

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NY Police Get Tall SUVs To Combat Texting While Driving
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 09:16 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's tall-vehicle-short-temper department:
coondoggie writes "The New York State Police have a new weapon to fight the plague of drivers that insist on texting while operating their vehicle: tall SUVs. Most recently reported by the AP, NY has begun operating a fleet of 32 unmarked SUVs that let troopers more easily peer down into a car to see if the driver is texting or not. 'Major Michael Kopy, commander of the state police troop patrolling the corridor between New York City and Albany, quoted a Virginia Tech study that found texting while driving increased the chance of a collision by 23 times and took eyes off the road for five seconds — more than the length of a football field at highway speed. Kopy worries that as teens get their driver's licenses, texting on the road will become more prevalent. "More people are coming of driving age who have had these hand-held devices for many years, and now as they start to drive, they're putting the two together, texting and driving, when they shouldn't."'"

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Psychologists Strike a Blow For Reproducibility
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's science-is-self-correcting department:
ananyo writes "Science has a much publicized reproducibility problem. Many experiments seem to be failing a key test of science — that they can be independently verified by another lab. But now 36 research groups have struck a blow for reproducibility, by successfully reproducing the results of 10 out of 13 past experiments in psychology. Even so, the Many Labs Replication Project found that the outcome of one experiment was only weakly supported and they could not replicate two of the experiments at all."

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Ask Slashdot: What Review Sites Do You Consult For IT Equipment?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 06:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's throw-darts-at-a-part-catalog department:
JackAcme writes "Searching for product reviews via Google mostly turns up sales sites masquerading as review sites. Consumer reviews on Amazon and other big retailers are suspect since so many manufacturers are paying for positive reviews. Where do Slashdotters turn for reliable, informed reviews of new hardware and software?"

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Intelligence Officials Fear Snowden's 'Doomsday' Cache
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 05:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-the-juicy-stuff-is-on-the-shelf department:
Dega704 writes with news that Edward Snowden is believed to have a collection of highly sensitive classified documents that will be released in the event he is detained, hurt, or killed. According to Reuters, "The data is protected with sophisticated encryption, and multiple passwords are needed to open it, said two of the sources, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. The passwords are in the possession of at least three different people and are valid for only a brief time window each day, they said. The identities of persons who might have the passwords are unknown." These details have caused several security experts to express skepticism, but multiple sources, including Glenn Greenwald, believe Snowden has not released all of the documents he appropriated. "U.S. officials and other sources said only a small proportion of the classified material Snowden downloaded during stints as a contract systems administrator for NSA has been made public. Some Obama Administration officials have said privately that Snowden downloaded enough material to fuel two more years of news stories." Whether or not it's true, U.S. and U.K. officials clearly believe it, which can only serve to protect Snowden.

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The Science Behind the InfinitEye's Panoramic Virtual Reality Headset
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-can-see-my-house-from-here department:
muterobert writes "The Oculus Rift has competition, and it's incredible. The InfinitEye has a 210 degree field of view (compared with the Oculus Rift's 90) and surrounds your peripheral vision in the game completely. Paul James from RoadToVR goes in-depth with the team behind the new device and finds out how high-FOV Virtual Reality really works. Quoting: 'At the present time, we are using 4 renders, 2 per eye. Left eye renders are centered on left eye, the first render is rotated 90 left and the second looks straight ahead, building two sides of a cube. Right eye renders are centered on its position, the first is rotated 90 degree right and the second looks straight ahead, two sides of another cube. We then process those renders in a final pass, building the distorted image.'"

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Docker 0.7 Runs On All Linux Distributions
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 04:16 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
rjmarvin writes "Docker 0.7 was released today, with 7 major new features including support to run on all Linux distributions. No longer capable solely on running on Debian and Ubuntu Linux, Docker 0.7 adds support for distributions such as Red Hat, SUSE, Gentoo and Arch. From the announcement: 'A key feature of Docker is the ability to create many copies of the same base filesystem almost instantly. Under the hood Docker makes heavy use of AUFS by Junjiro R. Okajima as a copy-on-write storage mechanism. AUFS is an amazing piece of software and at this point it’s safe to say that it has safely copied billions of containers over the last few years, a great many of them in critical production environments. Unfortunately, AUFS is not part of the standard linux kernel and it’s unclear when it will be merged. This has prevented docker from being available on all Linux systems. Docker 0.7 solves this problem by introducing a storage driver API, and shipping with several drivers. Currently 3 drivers are available: AUFS, VFS (which uses simple directories and copy) and DEVICEMAPPER, developed in collaboration with Alex Larsson and the talented team at Red Hat, which uses an advanced variation of LVM snapshots to implement copy-on-write. An experimental BTRFS driver is also being developed, with even more coming soon: ZFS, Gluster, Ceph, etc. When the docker daemon is started it will automatically select a suitable driver depending on its capabilities.'"

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Comet ISON Approaches Perihelion
Posted by News Fetcher on November 26 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's put-on-your-game-face department:
New submitter BugNuker writes "Comet ISON has been speeding towards the sun, and while doing so, it has been getting brighter. There was hope that ISON would be 'Comet of the Century' material. That does not seem to be the case, but it still exists and it's still very interesting. Recently, ISON has undergone some outbursts, making it a near naked-eye object. ISON is still approaching perihelion (it will get there at 18:25 UTC on 28 November). For now, we can keep watching the STEREO spacecraft images for more evidence."
Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society put together this animated GIF of the comet from images taken by the STEREO-A spacecraft. Karl Battams put together a fascinating GIF as well. The Planetary Society has a list of information feeds and scheduled events for keeping tabs on ISON.

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