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Data Mining Reveals the Emotional Differences In Emails From Men and Women
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's men-are-from-yahoo,-women-are-from-outlook department:
KentuckyFC writes "Sentiment analysis relies on vast databases of common words which are marked as positive, negative or neutral and associated with one of the eight fundamental emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, discuss, anger and anticipation. It is then a straightforward matter to search Tweets, novels and even fairy tales to see what emotions appear. Now, researchers have carried out the first large-scale study of sentiment in workplace emails. They examined the emotions associated with words in over 30,000 emails and analyzed the emotional differences between messages sent by men and women. It turns out that women use more cheerful words in emails than men, that men use more fear words, especially when communicating with other men, and that both men and women are far more likely to use anticipation words when emailing a member of the opposite sex. The same researchers say they are developing a Google app that will allow users to track their own emotions towards the people they correspond with in Gmail. And they plan to make a public call for volunteers willing to share their data for research purposes."

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MIT Researchers Unveil Self-Assembling Robot Swarm
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's resistance-is-futile department:
MIT research scientist John Romanishin, along with professor Daniela Rus and postdoc Kyle Gilpin, have demonstrated a swarm of modular robots with the ability to self-assemble into larger shapes. The individual robots are small and cubical, but they contain a flywheel capable of spinning at 20,000 rpm. By spinning up the flywheel and then braking abruptly, the robots use angular momentum to jump into different positions. Magnets on the edges of the cube guide them into alignment. The researchers hope to be able to shrink the cubes even further, but they think a "refined version of their system could prove useful even at something like its current scale. Armies of mobile cubes could temporarily repair bridges or buildings during emergencies, or raise and reconfigure scaffolding for building projects. They could assemble into different types of furniture or heavy equipment as needed. And they could swarm into environments hostile or inaccessible to humans, diagnose problems, and reorganize themselves to provide solutions." The cubes could also be packed with sensors, batteries, or other technologies.

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Activists Angry After Apple Axes Anti-Firewall App
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's welcome-to-the-world-walled-web department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "BBC reports that Chinese web users are criticizing Apple after the company pulled a free iPhone app called OpenDoor, which enables users to bypass firewalls and access restricted internet sites. The developers of OpenDoor — who wish to remain anonymous — told Radio Netherlands that Apple removed the app because it 'includes content that is illegal in China.' 'It is unclear to us how a simple browser app could include illegal contents, since it's the user's own choosing of what websites to view,' say the developers. 'Using the same definition, wouldn't all browser apps, including Apple's own Safari and Google's Chrome, include illegal contents?' Chinese internet users were disappointed by the move by Apple. Zhou Shuguang, a prominent Chinese blogger and citizen journalist, told U.S.-based Radio Free Asia that Apple had taken away one of the tools which internet users in China relied on to circumvent the country's great firewall. 'Apple is determined to have a share of the huge cake which is the Chinese internet market. Without strict self-censorship, it cannot enter the Chinese market,' says one Chinese user disappointed by the move by Apple."

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More Evidence That Piracy Can Increase Sales
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's arrr-me-hearties department:
Socguy writes "The London School of Economics has published a new study (PDF) which shows that the claims about digital downloading killing music and movies are overblown. In fact, there is new evidence to indicate that it actually generates more income in certain cases. 'While it acknowledges that sales have stagnated in recent years, the report points out that the overall revenue of the music industry in 2011 was almost $60 billion US, and in 2012, worldwide sales of recorded music increased for the first time since 1999, with 34 per cent of revenues for that year coming from digital channels such as streaming and downloads. "The music industry may be stagnating, but the drastic decline in revenues warned of by the lobby associations of record labels is not in evidence," the report says. ... The growing use of streaming, cloud computing, so-called digital lockers that facilitate the sharing of content and sites that offer a mix of free and paid methods of getting content will, the study predicts, spur the entertainment industries to shift their focus from pursuing illegal downloading to creating more legal avenues for getting content online.'"

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How Many Android OEMs Cheat Benchmark Scores? Pretty Much All of Them
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's at-least-they're-consistent department:
An anonymous reader writes "After Samsung got caught out cheating on benchmarks (Note 3, Galaxy S4) AnandTech has done a detailed analysis of the state of benchmark cheating amongst Android OEMs. With the exception of Motorola, literally every single OEM they've looked at ships (or has shipped) at least one device that does benchmark-specific CPU optimizations. AnandTech also thinks it will get worse before it gets better. 'The hilarious part of all of this is we’re still talking about small gains in performance. The impact on our CPU tests is 0 - 5%, and somewhere south of 10% on our GPU benchmarks as far as we can tell. I can't stress enough that it would be far less painful for the OEMs to just stop this nonsense and instead demand better performance/power efficiency from their silicon vendors.' The article notes that Apple doesn't do any of the frequency gaming stuff."

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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-is-your-ice-delivery-man-doing department:
Mystakaphoros writes "Mike Masnick of Techdirt argues that we can all put down our wooden shoes and take a chill pill: technology 'rarely destroys jobs.' For example, telephone operators have largely gone by the wayside, but a (brave) new world of telemarketing and call center support jobs have opened up because of advances in technology, not to mention the Internet. Masnick points out writing from Professor James Bessen that makes the same point: 'In other cases, technology creates offsetting job growth in different occupations or industry segments. For example, word processors and voice mail systems reduced the numbers of typists and switchboard operators, but these technologies also increased the number of more highly skilled secretaries and receptionists, offsetting the job losses. Similarly, Amazon may have eliminated jobs at Borders and other national book chains that relied on bestsellers, but the number of independent booksellers has been growing and with it, more jobs for sales clerks who can provide selections and advice that Amazon cannot easily match.' That said, I think it's worth asking: if machines are going to replace all our fast food workers, are we going to start paying our gourmet chefs minimum wage just because we can?"

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MAVEN Mission To Mars Will Proceed, Despite Shutdown
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's game-on department:
necro81 writes "Due to the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. Government, NASA is largely grounded. This is bad for all kinds of reasons, but one particularly bad outcome would have been missing the launch window for the MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch 18 November. The next launch window would not have been until 2016. MAVEN, thankfully, has been given the go-ahead, in large part because this orbiter will serve as a vital communications link for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers currently on the surface. Currently, these rovers are served by two aging orbiters: Mars Odyssey (launched 2001) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched 2005). Maintaining communications with the rovers is considered essential, hence the preparations and launch will proceed. (NASA's official mission website is currently offline.)"

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Unmanned 'Terminator' Robots Kill Jellyfish
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '13 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it-can't-be-reasoned-with department:
First time accepted submitter starr802 writes "Scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, have developed a 'jellyfish terminator' robot set out to detect the marine coelenterate and kill it. Scientists started developing the robots three years ago after South Korea experienced jellyfish attacks along its southwest coast, where they clogged fishing nets and ate fish eggs and plankton, Discovery News reports. The Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm or JEROS has two motors that let it move forward, backwards and rotate at 360 degrees." In related news, the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden was shut down recently after moon jellyfish overwhelmed the screens and filters in cooling pipes."

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India's Billion User Biometric Odyssey
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 11:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's scan-me department:
mask.of.sanity writes "A bold new biometric identity system is being deployed across India in a bid to combat rampant welfare fraud. The mammoth system will collect the iris and fingerprint records on a voluntary basis of every one of India's 1.2 billion men, women and children. The Aadhaar project runs three trillion biometric identity matches every day — all on a small data center of commodity blade servers."

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ArkOS: Building the Anti-Cloud (on a Raspberry Pi)
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's host-it-yourself department:
angry tapir writes "arkOS is a Linux distribution that runs on the Raspberry Pi. It's an initiative of the CitizenWeb Project, which promotes decentralization and democratization of the Internet. arkOS is aiming to aid this effort by making it super-simple for people to host their own email, blogs, storage and other services from their own home, instead of relying on cloud services run by third parties. about the project."

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First Few Doctor Who Episodes May Fall To Public Domain Next Year
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's people's-doctor department:
First time accepted submitter wmr89502270 writes "Doctor Who is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The special The Day of The Doctor will be broadcast simultaneously in over 75 countries and hundreds of cinemas in the UK. Across the world the hotly anticipated special episode will be screened simultaneously in full 3D. According to Copyright law of the United Kingdom, the copyright in a broadcast program expires 50 years from the end of the year in which it is broadcast, which means the first episodes will fall to public domain next year."

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Yahoo To Offer Bug Bounty Rewards Up To $15,000
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 06:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-me department:
aesoteric writes "Yahoo is set to launch its first formal bug bounty system after Swiss pen testers complained about the $12.50 vouchers offered for locating XSS vulnerabilities. The web giant also said the voucher rewards were informal and actually funded out of the pockets of the company's own IT security staff."

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In Praise of Micromanagement
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-an-eye-on-things department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Sydney Finkelstein writes at BBC that Steve Jobs, Mickey Drexler, and Jeff Bezos all have something in common. They are all builders of giant brands, very successful, and each is (or was) 'an unmitigated, unapologetic, micromanager!' The modern executive is taught — in business schools and in many jobs — that to manage people effectively is to delegate, and then get out of the way. But it's not delegate and forget says Finkelstein; it must be delegate and be intimately involved with what happens next. Micromanagers must be selective. You can't delve into the details of everything, and in fact superstar micromanagers don't. 'Steve Jobs was intimately involved with each product the company designed, and was even famously involved in designing the glass stairs at the Apple stores. But financial and operational issues were delegated to second-in-command and current Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook.' One key is that micromanagers must be experts. What could be worse than a manager immersed in the details who really doesn't know his stuff? Finally, it takes a strong, trusted team to be a micromanager. Could Steve Jobs have spent weeks with the iPhone design team if there was no one else to mind the store? If not for Tim Cook, perhaps the legend of Steve Jobs would not have turned out quite so well. 'The good news is that the best micromanagers are often the best talent developers,' writes Finkelstein. 'Their attention to detail, their intimate knowledge of the business and their deep involvement in what's going on actually enables more, not less, delegation.'"

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Facebook Building a Company Town
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-this-home department:
cold fjord writes "The Wall Street Journal reports, 'Facebook Inc.'s sprawling campus in Menlo Park, Calif., is so full of cushy perks that some employees may never want to go home. ... The social network said this week it is working with a local developer to build a $120 million, 394-unit housing community within walking distance of its offices. ... the 630,000 square-foot rental property will include everything from a sports bar to a doggy day care. Even in Silicon Valley, where tech companies compete to lure coveted engineers with over-the-top perks and offices that resemble adult playgrounds, Facebook's plan breaks new ground. A Facebook spokeswoman said employee retention wasn't a major factor in the real estate push. "We're certainly excited to have more housing options closer to campus, but we believe that people work at Facebook because what they do is rewarding and they believe in our mission," she said. Some employees had inquired about places to live near the corporate campus, she said ... The development conjures up memories of so-called "company towns" at the turn of the 20th century, where American factory workers lived in communities owned by their employer and were provided housing, health care, law enforcement, church and just about every other service necessary.'"

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Adobe Hacked: Almost 3 Million Accounts Compromised
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's breaking-in department:
sl4shd0rk writes "Adobe Systems Inc. is expected to announce today that hackers broke into its network and stole source code for an as-yet undetermined number of software titles, including its ColdFusion Web application platform, and possibly its Acrobat family of products. The company said hackers also accessed nearly three million customer credit card records, and stole login data for an undetermined number of Adobe user accounts."

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SSHDs Debut On the Desktop With Mixed Results
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's getcher-bits-in-a-row department:
crookedvulture writes "Seagate's solid-state hybrid drives have finally made it to the desktop. The latest generation of SSHDs debuted with a 2.5" notebook model that was ultimately hampered by its slow 5,400-RPM spindle speed. The Desktop SSHD has the same 8GB flash payload and Adaptive Memory caching scheme. However, it's equipped with 2TB of much faster 7,200-RPM mechanical storage. The onboard flash produces boot and load times only a little bit slower than those of full-blown SSDs. It also delivers quicker response times than traditional hard drives. That said, the relatively small cache is overwhelmed by some benchmarks, and its mechanical sidekick isn't as fast as the best traditional hard drives. The price premium is a little high, too: an extra $30 for the 1TB model and $40 for the 2TB variant, which is nearly enough to buy a separate 32GB SSD. Seagate's software-independent caching system works with any operating system and hardware platform, so it definitely has some appeal. But dual-drive setups are probably the better solution for most desktop users."

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Science Magazine "Sting Operation" Catches Predatory Journals In the Act
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-to-be-a-famous-person department:
sciencehabit writes "A sting operation orchestrated by Science's contributing news correspondent John Bohannon exposes the dark side of open-access publishing. Bohannon created a spoof scientific report, authored by made-up researchers from institutions that don't actually exist, and submitted it to 304 peer-reviewed, open-access journals around the world. His hoax paper claimed that a particular molecule slowed the growth of cancer cells, and it was riddled with obvious errors and contradictions. Unfortunately, despite the paper's flaws, more open-access journals accepted it for publication (157) than rejected it (98). In fact, only 36 of the journals solicited responded with substantive comments that recognized the report's scientific problems. The article reveals a 'Wild West' landscape that's emerging in academic publishing, where journals and their editorial staffs aren't necessarily who or what they claim to be."

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NASA Astronaut Talks "Gravity," Spacewalking, ISS
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-view-of-earth department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "The upcoming movie Gravity features a pair of astronauts (George Clooney and Sandra Bullock) stranded in orbit after their space shuttle is destroyed by floating debris. Faced with dwindling oxygen levels, they struggle to reach the nearby International Space Station (ISS). It's a movie, so some deviations from reality are expected, but it also opens up an opportunity to talk with a NASA astronaut about what it's like to live in space. Catherine 'Cady' Coleman, who has spent thousands of hours aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station, who gave Bullock advice on the role, suggests that the real NASA has the whole orbital-debris issue well in hand, but that it takes a lot of training (and on-the-job experience) to get the hang of living in space. 'When we get up to space and the people up there run around and show us stuff — that's really, really effective and there was nothing like that compared to the classroom.' Despite the physical and mental demands, and the the time spent away from family, she sees the endeavor as supremely worth it. 'We're all very privileged to do this job,' Coleman says. 'They spend a lot of money making you ready, and you have a responsibility to do your job.'"

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Tour Houston's Texas-Sized Hackerspace (Video 1 of 2)
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's power-tools-make-me-quiver-with-joy department:
That things are bigger in Texas is sometimes more than just a cliche. A few weeks ago, on the way to LinuxCon, I stopped by what is certainly the biggest hackerspace that I've ever seen; is it the biggest in the world? Whatever the answer is to that, Houston's TX/RX Labs is not just big — it's busy, and booked. Unlike some spaces we've highlighted here before (like Seattle's Metrix:CreateSpace and Brooklyn's GenSpace), TX/RX Labs has room and year-round sunshine enough to contemplate putting a multi-kilowatt solar array in the backyard. Besides an array of CNC machines, 3-D printers, and both wood- and metal-working equipment, TX/RX has workbenches available for members to rent. (These are serious workspaces, made in-house of poured concrete and welded steel tubing.) Member Steve Cameron showed me around, but TX/RX Labs is so large that we broke the tour into two parts, with the other one set to display next week.

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Shots Fired At US Capitol
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '13 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-no-you're-supposed-to-call-it-a-shutdown department:
skade88 writes with a report that "The United States Capitol has been put on lockdown after shots were fired. Reports indicate a policeman was injured." From the story: "The FBI was responding to the unconfirmed reports of shots, and a helicopter landed in front of the Capitol. A message from the Capitol Police ordered anyone in a House office to 'shelter in place.'
'Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows,' the message said." Doubtless more to come on this; watch this space for updates. Update: 10/03 19:08 GMT by T : ABC News reports that the shots followed an attempt to ram the White House gates; the police subsequently shot and killed the driver. Other than that the driver was a woman, the reports adds little detail.

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