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Mozilla Location Service: Geolocation Lookups From Cell Towers and WiFi Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's where-in-the-world department:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today launched an experimental pilot project called Mozilla Location Service. The organization explains its goal is to provide geolocation lookups based on publicly observable cell tower and WiFi access point information. Mozilla admits that many commercial services already exist in this space, but it wants to provide a public one. The company points out there isn't a single 'large' public service that provides this data, which is becoming increasingly important when building various parts of the mobile ecosystem."

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NVIDIA Updates SHIELD With Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Console Mode, New Titles
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's latest-and-greatest department:
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA announced a major update to its SHIELD Android gaming device today, with the over-the-air update delivering the latest build of Android (v4.3 Jelly Bean) to the handheld console. NVIDIA also launched GameStream in order to bring more PC titles to streaming devices. Wait, need more? How about SHIELD Gamepad Mapper, which turns touch-based Android games into ones that can be enjoyed with SHIELD's console-quality controls. Alongside that Android update comes Console Mode, which turns SHIELD into a portable living room game console. Users will be able to pair up a Bluetooth controller, kick back on the couch, indulge in Android games, browse the Web, and watch your favorite movies all at 1080p."

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Hardware Is Now Open (sourced) For Business
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's free-and-open-model department:
ptorrone writes "CNBC has an interesting article about the growing trend of hardware companies going open-source. 'The open-source hardware movement is migrating from the garage to the marketplace. Companies that follow an open-source philosophy make their physical designs and software code available to the public. By doing so, these companies engage a wave of makers, hobbyists and designers who don't just want to buy products, but have a hand in developing them.'"

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Book Review: the App Generation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
First time accepted submitter Sara Konrath writes "The App Generation gives an overview of how digital media and technology may affect young people's perceptions of themselves, their ability to relate to others, and their creativity. As the director of the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research (iPEAR), my research finds that there have been generational changes in personality traits related to social functioning. For example, we find that narcissism has been rising while dispositional empathy has been declining in recent generations. I also study the relationship between such traits and the use of social media. Considering this, I was excited to get a copy of the book ahead of its release date." Keep reading for the rest of Sara's review. The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World
author Howard Gardner, Katie Davis
pages 256
publisher Yale University Press
rating 7/10
reviewer Sara Konrath
ISBN 978-0300196214
summary How life for this generation differs from life before the digital era.

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Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Against Apple, Google and Others Given the Green Light
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hands-off department:
An anonymous reader writes "A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and a number of other high-profile tech companies has been given the green light by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. The lawsuit stems from anti-poaching agreements that Apple a number of tech companies entered into from 2005 through 2009. Parties to the agreement all promised not to recruit employees from one another. The companies involved include Apple, Intel, Google, Intuit, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Adobe."

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Debian To Replace SysVinit, Switch To Systemd Or Upstart
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's changing-it-up department:
An anonymous reader writes "Debian has been one of the last holdouts using SysVinit over a modern init system, but now after much discussion amongst Debian developers, they are deciding whether to support systemd or Upstart as their default init system. The Debian technical committee has been asked to vote on which init system to use, which could swing in favor of using Upstart due to the Canonical bias present on the committee."

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Lost Star Wars Footage Found On LaserDisc
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that's-some-bonus-footage department:
drxenos writes "A LaserDisc purchased on eBay was found to contain raw footage from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. From the article: 'The origin of the LaserDisc isn't entirely clear, but it was purchased for $699 off eBay, apparently once used to demonstrate Lucasfilm's EditDroid station — one of the first digital film editing systems sold nearly 30 years ago. Ironically, George Lucas himself never used EditDroid to make a movie; the Star Wars clips were loaded simply to show off its capabilities to prospective buyers.'"

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Stung By Scandal, South Korea Weighs Up Cost of Curbing Nuclear Power
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's add-it-up department:
mdsolar writes in about an ongoing scandal in South Korea that has rocked their nuclear power program. "It started with a few bogus safety certificates for cables shutting a handful of South Korean nuclear reactors. Now, the scandal has snowballed, with 100 people indicted and Seoul under pressure to rethink its reliance on nuclear power. A shift away from nuclear, which generates a third of South Korea's electricity, could cost tens of billions of dollars a year by boosting imports of liquefied natural gas, oil or coal. Although helping calm safety concerns, it would also push the government into a politically sensitive debate over whether state utilities could pass on sharply higher power bills to households and companies. Gas, which makes up half of South Korea's energy bill while accounting for only a fifth of its power, would likely be the main substitute for nuclear, as it is considered cleaner than coal and plants can be built more easily near cities."

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Oracle Eyes Optical Links As Final Frontier of Data-Center Scaling
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shine-on department:
An anonymous reader writes "Oracle is exploring silicon photonics, an optical technology drawing widespread interest, as a potential weapon in the battle against data-center power consumption. Advances in CPU and memory design could boost efficiency dramatically over the next few years. When they do, the interconnects among components, servers and switches will effectively become the power hogs of the data center, according to Ashok Krishnamoorthy, architect and chief technologist in photonics at Oracle. Oracle isn't often associated with networking and may not even manufacture or sell the technologies it's now studying. But as a big player in computing and storage, it could benefit from fostering a future technology that helps make faster, more efficient data centers possible."

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CAPTCHA Busted? Company Claims To Have Broken Protection System
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's spell-this department:
sciencehabit writes "A software company called Vicarious claims to have created a computer algorithm that can solve CAPTCHA with greater than 90% accuracy. If true, the advance would represent a major breakthrough in artificial intelligence. It would also mean that the internet will have to start looking for a new security system. The problem, however, is that Vicarious has provided little evidence for its claims, though some well-known scientists are behind the work."

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Interview: Jason Calacanis On How His Hackathon Is Helping Create Companies
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-hack-at-a-time department:
Jason Calacanis gained notoriety first through Silicon Alley Reporter and later for being a co-founder of Weblogs, Inc. He's now an angel investor and has a company called, LAUNCH, which holds conferences and technology related events. The upcoming Launch Hackathon will be the largest in the world with over 1,000 developers already signed up and prizes of $800k invested in two of the top ten finalists. We had a chance to sit down with Jason to talk about what makes this hackathon so special and the future of angel investing. Read below to see what he had to say.

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Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's failure-to-launch department:
MarkWhittington writes "Glenn Reynolds, the purveyor of Instapundit, asked the pertinent question, 'If big government can put a man on the moon, why can't it put up a simple website without messing it up?' The answer, as it turns out, is a rather simple one. The Apollo program, that President John F. Kennedy mandated to put a man on the moon and return him to the Earth, was a simple idea well carried out for a number of reasons. The primary one was that Congress did not pass a 1,800 or so page bill backed up by a mind numbingly amount of regulations mandating how NASA would do it. The question of how to conduct the lunar voyages was left up to the engineers at NASA and the aerospace industry at the time. The government simply provided the resources necessary to do the job and a certain degree of oversight. Imagine if President Obama had stated, 'I believe the nation should commit itself to the goal of enabling all Americans to access affordable health insurance' but then left the how to do it to some of the best experts in health care and economics without partisan interference."

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Israel Helped the NSA Spy on Former French President According To Documents
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's with-a-little-help-from-my-friends department:
rtoz writes "It wasn't the US government breaking into the private communications of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to top secret documents unearthed by Edward Snowden and published in Le Monde – it was the Israelis. A four-page internal précis regarding a visit to Washington by two top French intelligence officials denies the NSA or any US intelligence agency was behind the May 2012 attempted break-in – which sought to implant a monitoring device inside the Elysee Palace's communications system – but instead fingers the Israelis, albeit indirectly. A few days back, Le Monde reported that the NSA Intercepted French Telephone Calls 'On a Massive Scale' ."

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How To Better Verify Scientific Research
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's checking-it-twice department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Michael Hiltzik writes in the LA Times that you'd think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science but a few years ago, scientists at Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology and found only six could be proved valid. 'The thing that should scare people is that so many of these important published studies turn out to be wrong when they're investigated further,' says Michael Eisen who adds that the drive to land a paper in a top journal encourages researchers to hype their results, especially in the life sciences. Peer review, in which a paper is checked out by eminent scientists before publication, isn't a safeguard because the unpaid reviewers seldom have the time or inclination to examine a study enough to unearth errors or flaws. 'The journals want the papers that make the sexiest claims,' Eisen says. 'And scientists believe that the way you succeed is having splashy papers in Science or Nature — it's not bad for them if a paper turns out to be wrong, if it's gotten a lot of attention.' That's why the National Institutes of Health has launched a project to remake its researchers' approach to publication. Its new PubMed Commons system allows qualified scientists to post ongoing comments about published papers. The goal is to wean scientists from the idea that a cursory, one-time peer review is enough to validate a research study, and substitute a process of continuing scrutiny, so that poor research can be identified quickly and good research can be picked out of the crowd and find a wider audience. 'The demand for sexy results, combined with indifferent follow-up, means that billions of dollars in worldwide resources devoted to finding and developing remedies for the diseases that afflict us all is being thrown down a rathole,' says Hiltzik. 'NIH and the rest of the scientific community are just now waking up to the realization that science has lost its way, and it may take years to get back on the right path.'"

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Dream Chaser Damaged In Landing Accident At Edwards AFB
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's any-landing-you-can-walk-away-from department:
RocketAcademy writes "The test article for Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft suffered a landing accident on Saturday when the left main landing gear failed to deploy, causing the vehicle to flip over. NBC News quotes a Sierra Nevada engineer saying that the pilot would have walked away.
Sierra Nevada Corporation is developing the Dream Chaser to support the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo program. It is not yet known what effect the mishap will have on Dream Chaser development.
A number of rocket vehicles have suffered landing-gear mishaps in the recent past. Several years ago, concerns over spacecraft gear design led to a call for NASA to fund a technology prize for robust, light-weight landing gear concepts."


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Celebrating a Century of Fossil Finds In the La Brea Tar Pits
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '13 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sticky-situation department:
An anonymous reader writes "A century ago on Monday, the predecessor to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County began a two-year project to uncover the Ice Age creatures that became trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits. 'Digs over the years have unearthed bones of mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and other unsuspecting Ice Age creatures that became trapped in ponds of sticky asphalt. But it's the smaller discoveries — plants, insects and rodents — in recent years that are shaping scientists' views of life in the region 11,000 to 50,000 years ago.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Where Are the Complete Hosting Providers?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '13 at 10:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-in-one department:
Kludge writes "In 2000 there were thousands of email/web hosting businesses. In 2013 not much has changed. To get my email/web/webmail/domain/VOIP/public-key/XMPP/VPN hosting I have to deal with five different service providers. Where are the complete hosting providers? The absence of competition in this area drives many to Google, making data siphoning easy for the NSA. Why has hosting not advanced in the last 10 years? Where are the hosting providers that make end-to-end encrypted email/web/VOIP/XMPP easy and automatic for all my clients?"

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How an Astronaut Falling Into a Black Hole Would Die Part 2
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '13 at 10:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's unlikeliest-of-endings department:
First time accepted submitter ydrozd writes "Until recently, most physicists believed that an observer falling into a black hole would experience nothing unusual when crossing its event horizon. As has been previously mentioned on Slashdot, there is a strong argument, initially based on observing an entangled pair at the event horizon, that suggests that the unfortunate observer would instead be burned up by a high energy quanta (a.k.a "firewall") just before crossing the black hole's event horizon. A new paper significantly improves the argument by removing reliance on quantum entanglement. The existence of black hole "firewalls" is a rare breakthrough in theoretical physics."

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30% of Americans Get News From Facebook According To Pew Research Poll
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '13 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-like-this department:
An anonymous reader writes "According to a recent Pew Research poll a third of Americans get their news while they 'like' things. 'All in all, then, it may be the very incidental nature of the site that ultimately exposes more people to news there,' Pew said. 'Indeed, the more time one spends on the site, the more likely they are to get news there.'"

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A Look at the Koch Brothers Dark-Money Network
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '13 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-no-attention-to-the-men-behind-the-curtain department:
An anonymous reader writes "The California attorney general and the state's top election watchdog named the 'Koch brothers network' of donors and dark-money nonprofits as the true source of $15 million in secret donations made last year to influence two bitterly fought ballot propositions in California. State officials unmasked the Kochs' network as part of a settlement deal that ends a nearly year-long investigation into the source of the secret donations that flowed in California last fall."

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