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FCC To Consider Cellphone Use On Planes
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's leave-your-electronic-devices-on department:
aitikin writes "The Federal Communications Commission is expected to propose allowing passengers to use their cellphones on airplanes. While phone use would still be restricted during takeoff and landing, the proposal would lift an FCC ban on airborne calls and cellular data use by passengers once a flight reaches 10,000 feet. From the article: 'The move would lift a regulatory hurdle, but any use of cellphones on planes would still have to be approved by the airlines, which have said they would approach the issue cautiously due to strong objections from their customers. Airlines would have to install equipment in their planes that would communicate with cellphone towers on the ground.'"

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Ask Slashdot: How Reproducible Is Arithmetic In the Cloud?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's irreproducible-results department:
goodminton writes "I'm research the long-term consistency and reproducibility of math results in the cloud and have questions about floating point calculations. For example, say I create a virtual OS instance on a cloud provider (doesn't matter which one) and install Mathematica to run a precise calculation. Mathematica generates the result based on the combination of software version, operating system, hypervisor, firmware and hardware that are running at that time. In the cloud, hardware, firmware and hypervisors are invisible to the users but could still impact the implementation/operation of floating point math. Say I archive the virutal instance and in 5 or 10 years I fire it up on another cloud provider and run the same calculation. What's the likelihood that the results would be the same? What can be done to adjust for this? Currently, I know people who 'archive' hardware just for the purpose of ensuring reproducibility and I'm wondering how this tranlates to the world of cloud and virtualization across multiple hardware types."

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Putting the Wolfram Language (and Mathematica) On Every Raspberry Pi
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-good-it's-named-after-two-animals department:
An anonymous reader writes "Working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, effective immediately, there's a pilot release of the Wolfram Language — as well as Mathematica—that will soon be bundled as part of the standard system software for every Raspberry Pi computer. Quite soon the Wolfram Language is going to start showing up in lots of places, notably on the web and in the cloud."

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At Long Last: IceCube Spots 28 High-Energy Neutrinos
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's barely-moves-the-windmill department:
Wired reports that IceCube, the detection facility built just to detect such things, has seen just what it was looking for, even though the researchers involved didn't knot it at the time. High-energy neutrinos, the target that IceCube was seeking, weren't showing up as had been hoped, but it turns out that there were quite a few (nearly 30 already, with 2013's data still being recorded) in the three years that the detector has been operating — they just weren't obvious until the data was combed for it. "Most of the 28 high-energy neutrinos so far detected originate from parts of the night sky that don’t include the Milky Way, making it quite likely that they are arriving from a distant source. There are still too few neutrinos to make any specific conclusions about AGNs or gamma-ray bursts, but the IceCube team will continue gathering new data."

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Samsung Ordered To Pay Apple $290M In Patent Case
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-in-nickels-this-time department:
itwbennett writes "After 3 days of deliberations, a jury has ordered Samsung to pay $290 million to Apple for infringement of several of its patents in multiple Samsung smartphones and tablets. The verdict is the second victory for Apple in its multiyear patent fight against Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Last year a jury in the same San Jose courtroom ruled Samsung should pay just over $1 billion for infringement of five Apple patents in multiple Samsung phones and tablets. But afterward, Judge Lucy Koh ordered a new trial to reconsider $450 million of the damages after finding the previous jury had applied an 'impermissible legal theory' to its calculations. Thursday's verdict is the result of that new trial."

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NHTSA Tells Tesla To Stop Exaggerating Model S Safety Rating
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's all-the-kids-are-above-average department:
cartechboy writes "There's always that kid in the class that ruins it for everyone when being graded on a curve. At the moment, that kid is Tesla and Elon Musk. Tesla's been proudly claiming the Model S is one of the safest cars in the word despite the recent fire controversy. And while it may be just that, claiming it earned 5.4 stars from NHTSA isn't pleasing the safety agency as there is no such thing as a rating higher than five. While NHTSA already released a statement indirectly to Tesla saying it doesn't release ratings higher than 5, Tesla continued to promote this fictitious rating. Now NHTSA has updated its guidelines explicitly stating safety ratings are whole numbers only and that 5 stars is the maximum advertisers can claim. If advertisers and automakers decide to disregard these rules NHTSA is threatening removal from the program or referral to state authorities for appropriate action. Basically, hey Tesla, stop making false claims."

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Microsoft Certifications For High School Credits In Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's vocational-training department:
kanad writes "High school students in Queensland, Australia would be able to do Microsoft certifications online and get credits . The exam fees will be free for students and courses include Microsoft's products like Sharepoint and SQL Server. Ostensibly this is for making kids ready for workforce but Australian IT entrepreneur Matt Barrie CEO of freelancer.com has criticised it for vendor lock-in and Microsoft's influence in the educational system."

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Sweden Will Deliver Pirate Bay Co-Founder To Denmark
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '13 at 12:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's amazon-prime department:
wiredmikey writes "Sweden said it will hand over Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg to Denmark where he is wanted for questioning on alleged hacking charges. 'It (the extradition) will take place on November 27,' the prosecutor in charge of the case, Henrik Olin, said, adding that Sweden was responding to an arrest warrant issued by Copenhagen. In June, Danish police revealed that the 30-year-old Swedish hacker is suspected of illegally downloading police files between April and August 2012. He is currently serving a one-year sentence in Sweden for hacking into the computer systems of contractors working for the national tax authority."

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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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