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Can There Be a Non-US Internet?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 08:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-management department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "After discovering that the US government has been invading the privacy of not just Americans, but also Brazilians, Brazil is showing its teeth. The country responded to the spying revelations by declaring it'll just have to create its own internet. In reality, although Brazil President Dilma Rousseff is none too happy with the NSA's sketchy surveillance practices, Brazil and other up-and-coming economies have been pushing to shift the power dynamics of the World Wide Web away from a US-centric model for years."

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Woz Expounds On His Hacking Shenanigans and Online Mischief
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's just-for-fun department:
coondoggie writes "In his keynote address at a security conference today, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak admitted he has enjoyed many adventures in hacking often for the sake of pranks on friends and family, especially back in his college days and the early years of working on computers and the Internet. 'I like to play jokes,' said the Wozniak jovially as he addressed his audience of thousands of security professionals attending the ASIS Conference in Chicago. The famed inventor at Apple admitted he also had some fun with light-hearted forays into hacking computer and telecommunications networks several decades ago back in his college years and while learning about electronics and computers."

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'Eraser' Law Will Let California Kids Scrub Online Past
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 06:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's never-happened department:
gregor-e writes "The first-of-its-kind 'eraser button' law, signed Monday by Governor Jerry Brown, will force social media titans such as Facebook, Twitter and Google let minors scrub their personal online history in the hopes that it might help them avoid personal and work-related problems. The law will take effect on January 1, 2015."

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AMD Unveils New Family of GPUs: Radeon R5, R7, R9 With BF 4 Preorder Bundle
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 05:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's latest-and-greatest department:
MojoKid writes "AMD has just announced a full suite of new GPUs based on its Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The Radeon R5, R7, and R9 families are the new product lines aimed at mainstream, performance, and high-end gaming, respectively. Specs on the new cards are still limited, but we know that the highest-end R9 290X is a six-billion transistor GPU with more than 300GB/s of memory bandwidth and prominent support for 4K gaming. The R5 series will start at $89, with 1GB of RAM. The R7 260X will hit $139 with 2GB of RAM, the R9 270X and 280X appear to replace the current Radeon 7950 and 7970 with price points at $199 and $299, and 2GB/3GB of RAM, and then the R9 290X, at an unannounced price point and 4GB of RAM. AMD is also offering a limited preorder pack, that offers Battlefield 4 license combined with the graphics cards, which should go on sale in the very near future. Finally, AMD is also debuting a new positional and 3D spatial audio engine in conjunction with GenAudio dubbed 'AstoundSound,' but they're only making it available on the R9 290X, R9 280X, and the R9 270X."

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Judge Orders Patent Troll To Explain Its 'Mr. Sham' To Jury
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that-name-again-is-mr.-sham department:
netbuzz writes "Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has no problem calling Network Protection Sciences (NPS) a patent troll. What he does have a problem with is NPS telling a Texas court that NPS had an 'ongoing business concern' in that state run by a 'director of business development' when all it really had was a rented file-cabinet room and the 'director' was actually the building landlord who merely signed legal papers when NPS told him to do so. Judge Alsup calls the alleged business a 'sham' and the non-employee 'Mr. Sham,' yet he declined to dismiss the patent infringement lawsuit filed by NPS against Fortinet from which this information emerged. Instead, he told NPS, 'this jury is going to hear all of this stuff about the closet. And you're going to have to explain why "Mr. Sham" was signing these documents.'"

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Twitter Launches Emergency Alerts
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's spread-the-word department:
wiredmikey writes "Twitter on Wednesday launched a system for emergency alerts which can help spread critical information when other lines of communication are down. Twitter Alerts are designed to help communicate in natural disasters or other emergencies when traditional channels may be overloaded or unavailable. 'We know from our users how important it is to be able to receive reliable information during these times,' Twitter product manager Gaby Pena said in a blog post. Users who sign up to receive an account's Twitter Alerts will receive a notification directly to their phone for tweets marked as alerts from certain senders. Some of those able to send alerts include the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, World Health Organization, and government and non-government agencies in Japan and South Korea."

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Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source CRM/ERP System For a Small Business?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-other-aggregation-of-three-capitalized-letters department:
An anonymous reader writes "One of my coworkers recently left the company, and I had to take over most of his responsibilities, including the maintenance and development of a homegrown CRM/ERP system. The system has evolved over more than a decade under the hands of at least four different developers and is based on Microsoft Access. Since I have been assigned this additional role, a day rarely passes without a user yelling for help because some part of the software is failing in strange and unpredictable ways, or some of the entered data has to be corrected manually in some obscure table in one of several database files. Without any exaggeration, some of the Visual Basic source code would be sufficient for several stories on The Daily WTF, and could make a grown man cry. Instead of spending further hours on optimizing this software i would rather like to start from scratch with some existing open-source CRM/ERP system that can be adapted to my companies needs. So far I have looked at and tested several CRM systems, including SugarCRM, vtiger, Feng Office (formerly known as opengoo), Zurmo and Fat Free CRM. Feng Office and Fat Free CRM look really nice and easy to use; the other ones could take a bit less bloat but are fine nevertheless. What software would you choose?"

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Scientists Build Computer Using Carbon Nanotubes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-i-play-quake-3-on-it-yet department:
trendspotter writes "Future computers could run on lab-grown circuits that are thousands of times thinner than a human hair and operate on a fraction of the energy required to power today's silicon-based computer chips, extending 'Moore's Law' for years to come. Stanford engineers' very basic computer device using carbon nanotube technology validates carbon nanotubes as potential successors to today's silicon semiconductors. The achievement is reported today in an article on the cover of Nature magazine written by Max Shulaker and other doctoral students in electrical engineering. The research was led by Stanford professors Subhasish Mitra and H.S. Philip Wong."

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The Most WTF-y Programming Languages
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's as-long-as-it's-functional department:
itwbennett writes "A couple of years ago, developer Sammy Larbi undertook a project to identify which languages had the most instances of the string 'WTF' in their GitHub code repositories. At the time, Objective C topped the list. ITworld's Phil Johnson has updated Larbi's research using GitHub data from the last 21 months, but instead of screen-scraping GitHub search results as Larbi had done, he queried the GitHub Archive for stand-alone instances of 'WTF' in the comments attached to GitHub commits to weed out cases where the string 'WTF' was legitimately used in the code. The three most baffling languages for 2012/13: C++, Lua, and Scala. Objective C comes in at #16."

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Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's time-flies-when-you're-making-billions-of-dollars department:
An anonymous reader writes "Three to seven milliseconds before the fed moved interest rates, billions of dollars of trades were input that took advantage of the changed rates, reaping huge profits. According to a report at Mother Jones, 'Last Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would not be tapering its bond buying program. This news was released at precisely 2 pm in Washington 'as measured by the national atomic clock.' It takes 7 milliseconds for this information to get to Chicago. However, several huge orders that were based on the Fed's decision were placed on Chicago exchanges 2-3 milliseconds after 2 pm. How did this happen?'"

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Boy Scouts Bully Hacker Scouts Into Submission
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's is-there-a-badge-for-being-obnoxious department:
b1tbkt writes "Youth-focused Maker organization 'Hacker Scouts' has announced their decision to surrender their name due to bullying by the Boy Scouts of America. It appears that BSA has interpreted their federal charter to include a claim on any and all use of the term 'Scout' in an organization's name. The litmus test for such a claim, so far as I'm aware, is the likelihood of causing confusion. The term 'Scout' is sufficiently generic, though, and by this reasoning most every airline in the world would need to eliminate 'Airlines' from their name."

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Phantom Authors Publish Real Research Paper
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's probably-nsa-sponsored-ghosts department:
ananyo writes "Ghost writing is taking on an altogether different meaning in a mysterious case of alleged scientific fraud. The authors of a paper published in July, which reported significant findings in obesity research, seem to be phantoms. They are not only unknown at the institution listed on the paper, but no trace of them as researchers can be found. The paper, published in the Elsevier journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, is not the kind of prank that journals have encountered before, in which hoaxsters have submitted dummy papers to highlight weaknesses in the peer-review process. The paper's reported findings — that overexpression of two novel proteins in fat cells leads to improvements in metabolic processes related to diabetes and obesity in mice — are, in fact, true. Too true, in the opinion of Bruce Spiegelman, a cell biologist at Harvard Medical School's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He says that he has presented similar findings at about six research meetings, and is preparing to submit them to a journal. He suspects that the BBRC paper was intended as a spoiler of his own lab's work."

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A Timely Revision of Elop's "Burning Platform" Memo
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 10:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's immolation-for-fun-and-profit department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft's purchase of Finnish phone-maker Nokia will enrich the latter's CEO, Stephen Elop, to the tune of roughly $25.4 million. That's a generous number, considering Nokia's much-publicized travails over the past few years — generous enough, certainly, to prod angry reactions from the Finnish media. As Elop came aboard Nokia in 2011, he wrote the infamous 'burning platform' memo, in which he suggested that radical moves would be necessary to halt the company's market-share declines. In light of these latest revelations, however, I offer an updated version of Elop's memo: ''

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Apple Maps Flaw Sends Drivers Across Airport Runway
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's wrong-turn department:
solareagle writes "The BBC reports that an Alaskan airport says it has had to place barricades across one of its taxiways after an Apple Maps flaw resulted in iPhone users driving across a runway. The airport said it had complained to the phone-maker through the local attorney general's office. 'We asked them to disable the map for Fairbanks until they could correct it, thinking it would be better to have nothing show up than to take the chance that one more person would do this,' Melissa Osborn, chief of operations at the airport, told the Alaska Dispatch newspaper. The airport said it had been told the problem would be fixed by Wednesday. However the BBC still experienced the issue when it tested the app, asking for directions to the site from a property to the east of the airport. By contrast the Google Maps app provided a different, longer route which takes drivers to the property's car park."

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Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-it-while-it's-hot department:
Valve's second major living-room-gaming announcement landed today: they have produced a prototype model of their first "Steam Machine." They've made 300 units, and they'll be sending the machines to users in a very limited beta test. Valve hastens to add that this device isn't the only Steam-focused hardware: "Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS." They haven't released specs, but they guaranteed the prototypes will ship this year. They explicitly permit using it in any way — swapping parts, changing the OS, installing any software, etc. "The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors."

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Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX Tablets
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's a-little-faster department:
New submitter casab1anca writes "In classic Amazon fashion, without much fanfare, a bunch of new tablets just popped up on their homepage today. The new range, dubbed HDX, is available in the usual 8.9" and 7" versions, with improved hardware and software, but perhaps equally interesting is the revamped 7" Fire HD from last year, which goes for just $139 now."

Compared to the Kindle Fire HD, the new models feature a jump in display density (216 PPI to 323 PPI for the 7" and 254 to 339 PPI for the 9"), a switch from a dual-core TI OMAP Cortex-A9 (at 1.2/1.5GHz) to a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, and a bump from 1G to 2G of RAM. On the software side, Android has been upgraded from 4.0 to 4.2.2 and Amazon added a few new features to their applications.

Businessweek has an interview with Jeff Bezos running today too (starting a bit down the first page).

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LLVM's Libc++ Now Has C++1Y Standard Library Support
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's john-titor-joins-the-team department:
An anonymous reader writes "LLVM's libc++ standard library (an alternative to GNU libstdc++) now has full support for C++1y, which is expected to become C++14 next year. Code merged this week implements the full C++1y standard library, with support for new language features in the Clang compiler frontend nearly complete."

GCC has some support for the soon-to-be standard too. The C++ standards committee is expected to produce a more or less final draft in just a few weeks. The LLVM and GCC C++14 status pages both have links to the proposals for the new features.

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The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's the-day-unix-workstations-died department:
Dputiger writes "It's been a decade since AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51 debuted — and launched the 64-bit x86 extensions that power the desktop and laptop world today. After a year of being bludgeoned by the P4, AMD roared back with a vengeance, kicking off a brief golden age for its own products, and seizing significant market share in desktops and servers."

Although the Opteron was around before, it cost a pretty penny. I'm not sure it's fair to say that the P4 was really bludgeoning the Athlon XP though (higher clock speeds, but NetBurst is everyone's favorite Intel microarchitecture to hate). Check out the Athlon 64 FX review roundup from 2003.

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Frameworks 5: KDE Libraries Reworked Into Portable Qt Modules
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's kde-for-the-masses department:
jrepin writes "The KDE libraries are being methodically reworked into a set of cross platform modules that will be readily available to all Qt developers. The KDE Frameworks, designed as drop-in Qt Addons, will enrich Qt as a development environment with functions that simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of Qt development. For example, KArchive (one of the first Frameworks available) offers support for many popular compression codecs in a self-contained and easy-to-use file archiving library. Just feed it files; there's no need to reinvent an archiving function."

This is a pretty major thing: "The introduction of Qt's Open Governance model in late 2011 offered the opportunity for KDE developers to get more closely involved with Qt, KDE's most important upstream resource. ... These contributions to Qt form the basis for further modularization of the KDE libraries. The libraries are moving from being a singular 'platform' to a set of 'Frameworks'. ... Instead it is a comprehensive set of technologies that becomes available to the whole Qt ecosystem."

The new KDE Frameworks will be layered as three tiers of components, with each tier consisting of three semi-independent groups of libraries (the article explains the category/tier dependencies; it's a bit hairy for a quick summary). A dashboard shows the status of each component.

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LexisNexis and Other Major Data Brokers Hacked By ID Theft Service
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '13 at 07:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's someone-forgot-to-install-rkhunter department:
gewalker writes "Have we reached the point where it is time to admit that the ID thieves are winning and will continue to win as long as their incentives are sufficient to make it lucrative for them? According to Krebs On Security an analysis of a database pilfered from commercial identity thieves identified breaches in 25 data brokers including the heavyweights Dun and Bradstreet and LexisNexis."

And they had access for months to most of them. From the article: The botnet’s online dashboard for the LexisNexis systems shows that a tiny unauthorized program called <tt>nbc.exe</tt> was placed on the servers as far back as April 10, 2013, suggesting the intruders have had access to the company’s internal networks for at least the past five months. The program was designed to open an encrypted channel of communications from within LexisNexis’s internal systems to the botnet controller on the public Internet." The companies compromised aggregated data for things like "credit decisions, business-to-business marketing and supply chain management. ... employment background, drug and health screening."

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