By Soulskill from Slashdot's hey-everybody-let's-complain-about-the-start-menu-some-more department
jones_supa writes "Microsoft has confirmed to be preparing to reverse course over elements of Windows 8. 'Key aspects' of how the software is used will be changed when Microsoft releases an updated version of the operating system this year, Tami Reller, head of marketing and finance for the Windows business, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Referring to difficulties many users have had with mastering the software, she added: 'The learning curve is definitely real.'"
While this decision is generally being framed as a frantic backtrack for Microsoft, it comes as the company has recently passed 100 million Windows 8 licenses sold
. Clearly they see this as more of a course adjustment
than bailing water from a sinking ship. Microsoft also plans to preview the update called 'Windows Blue' in June
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's friends-don't-let-friends-glass-and-drive department
Sean Hollister at The Verge was recently outfitted with Google Glass, and he provides a report on some basic usage
. There's a learning curve — the device relies heavily on what information you push from your phone, so if you haven't thought through ever use-case, you'll find yourself reaching for your phone fairly often. Hollister took Glass on the road for use as a kind of heads-up display while driving, and he says it felt awesome, but dangerous. "You have to look directly at what you’re photographing, so you won’t be getting any safe photographs unless they’re photos of the road. More importantly, Glass' ability to look up important information on the go is extremely thin right now. ... While I loved having turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps navigation floating in my peripheral vision, the display wasn't bright enough for me to see those directions while looking out the windshield of my car. I had to glance up towards the car's ceiling, or place a hand behind the cube to see where I was going. ... When another person called, I was able to pick up easily enough by tapping Glass at my temple, but the bone-conducting speaker wasn't loud enough to hear over the noise of the car. I had to enunciate extremely clearly and loudly for Glass to interpret my voice searches correctly." Hollister says Glass has a lot of potential — the things that don't work well are at least close. CNET's Scott Stein also provided a detailed perspective on how Glass works for somebody who already wears glasses
: "I can see the screen with some twiddling. Glass can end up tipping to the side, and I need to prop it up with my fingers, since the nose piece isn't seated on my nose any longer."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's enemy's-gate-is-down department
The first trailer has been released for the movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic Ender's Game
. It gives us a good look at Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff, Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham
, and Hugo
's Asa Butterfield as Ender. It also demonstrates just how much money they put into the special effects for this movie.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's look-how-legitimate-we-are department
An anonymous reader writes "BitTorrent has come up with a new way to sell music. It's called BitTorrent Bundle, and it puts the music store alongside the torrent. At last, someone has come up with a way to turn all us entitled, lawless downloaders into paying customers. BitTorrent thinks of BitTorrent Bundle as a sort of 21st century band flyer. Post a torrent with a handful of live tracks from your latest tour, Bundle it with a store that lets your groupies buy the full album."
Put simply, the idea is that bands publish a basic torrent with a few songs as a teaser. When users download that .torrent file from BitTorrent.com, they're shown a page asking for something — money, an email address, or social media interaction — in exchange for the rest of the album (or other bonus content). If they comply, they get a different .torrent file. It's not intended as a guard against piracy, but as a way to link up content creators with the torrenters who are actually willing to pay.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's car,-take-me-home-then-find-an-EV-hater-to-annoy department
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has been thinking about bringing autonomous driving technology to Tesla's electric cars. Quoting Bloomberg:"Musk, 41, said technologies that can take over for drivers are a logical step in the evolution of cars. He has talked with Google about the self-driving technology it’s been developing, though he prefers to think of applications that are more like an airplane’s autopilot system. 'I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self- driving,' Musk said in an interview. 'Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.' ... Google’s approach builds on a push for the driverless-car technology long pursued by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which held vehicle competitions for carmakers and research labs. Anthony Levandowski, product manager for Google’s self-driving car project, has said the company expects to release the technology within five years. 'The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive,' Musk said. 'It’s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things.' ... 'I think Tesla will most likely develop its own autopilot system for the car, as I think it should be camera-based, not Lidar-based,' Musk said yesterday in an e-mail. 'However, it is also possible that we do something jointly with Google.'"
Musk later warned not to take this as an actual announcement
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's polite-warnings-and-gentle-reprimands department
wiredmikey writes "A new report from the Pentagon marked the most explicit statement yet from the United States that it believes China's cyber espionage is focused on the U.S. government, as well as American corporations. China kept up a steady campaign of hacking in 2012 that included attempts to target U.S. government computer networks, which could provide Beijing a better insight into America's policy deliberations and military capabilities, according to the Pentagon's annual assessment of China's military. 'China is using its computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs,' said the report to Congress (PDF). The digital espionage was part of a broader industrial espionage effort that seeks to secure military-related U.S. and Western technology, allowing Beijing to scale back its reliance on foreign arms manufacturers, the report said. One day later, Beijing dismissed the Pentagon's report that accused it of widespread cyberspying on the U.S. government, rejecting it as an 'irresponsible' attempt to drum up fear of China as a military threat."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's now-this-gives-pause department
SternisheFan writes with an excerpt from Ars Technica: "Attacks exploiting a previously unknown and currently unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser have spread to at least nine other websites, including those run by a big European company operating in the aerospace, defense, and security industries as well as non-profit groups and institutes, security researchers said. The revelation, from a blog post published Sunday by security firm AlienVault, means an attack campaign that surreptitiously installed malware on the computers of federal government workers involved in nuclear weapons research was broader and more ambitious than previously thought. Earlier reports identified only a website belonging to the US Department of Labor as redirecting to servers that exploited the zero-day remote-code vulnerability in IE version 8.
... 'The specific Department of Labor website that was compromised provides information on a compensation program for energy workers who were exposed to uranium,' CrowdStrike said. 'Likely targets of interest for this site include energy-related US government entities, energy companies, and possibly companies in the extractive sector. Based on the other compromised sites other targeted entities are likely to include those interested in labor, international health and political issues, as well as entities in the defense sector.'"Read Replies (1)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's amazon-is-the-new-walmart department
schwit1 quotes The Washington Post
: "The Senate aimed to help traditional retailers and financially strapped state and local governments Monday by passing a bill that would widely subject online shopping — for many a largely tax-free frontier — to state sales taxes. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 27, getting support from Republicans and Democrats alike."
schwit1 adds "Unfortunately online businesses could be in for a rude awakening
when it comes to the law's interpretation." Passage in the House is not certain, and companies like eBay are lobbying to raise the minimum sales required to collect state sales tax to $10 million instead of $1 million per year.Read Replies (0)