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Apple-1 Sells For $671,400, Breaks Previous Auction Record
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's built-to-last department:
hypnosec writes "What is believed to be one of the six working Apple-1 computers has fetched a whopping $671,400 for its current owner at an auction in Germany. The Apple-1 was built by Steve Wozniak back in 1976 in the garage of Steve Jobs' parents. The model sold at auction is either from the first lot of 50 systems ordered by Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop chain of stores, or part of the next lot of 150 systems the duo built to sell to friends and vendors. The retail price for the Apple-1 at the time was $666.66."

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ARM In Supercomputers — 'Get Ready For the Change'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-and-what-ARMy department:
An anonymous reader writes "Commodity ARM CPUs are poised to to replace x86 CPUs in modern supercomputers just as commodity x86 CPUs replaced vector CPUs in early supercomputers. An analysis by the EU Mountblanc Project (PDF) (using Nvidia Tegra 2/3, Samsung Exynos 5 & Intel Core i7 CPUs) highlights the suitability and energy efficiency of ARM-based solutions. They finish off by saying, 'Current limitations [are] due to target market condition — not real technological challenges. ... A whole set of ARM server chips is coming — solving most of the limitations identified.'"

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Researcher Unlocks Galaxy S4 Bootloader For AT&T, Verizon Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's achievement-unlocked department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Those of you who like to tinker and jailbreak Android phones should take notice of some new research conducted on Samsung Galaxy S4 Android devices shipped by AT&T and Verizon. Both devicemakers ship the Galaxy S4 smartphones with a locked-down bootloader that prevents users from uploading custom kernels or from making modifications to software on the phone. Azimuth Security researcher Dan Rosenberg has found a vulnerability in the manner in which the devices do cryptographic checks of boot image signatures and was able to exploit the flaw and upload his own unsigned kernel to the device."

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Mayor Bloomberg Battles Fleet Owners Over NYC 'Taxi of Tomorrow'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's both-soon-to-be-replaced-by-autonomous-vehicles department:
An anonymous reader writes "In April, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced that the Nissan NV200 minivan had won a citywide competition to replace the current cab model, the Ford Crown Victoria, in a phased-in period of five years. Cab owners sued, pointing out that New York City law requires that hybrid electric models be available for immediate use for cab medallion owners; that excludes the current Nissan NV200, with its 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at a combined 24 mpg. The NV200 also has poor accessibility for wheelchair users. After a state judge blocked the mayor's plan, Bloomberg allegedly told the CEO of Taxi Club Management at a private club, 'Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f--king industry.' Tim Fernholz of Quartz speculates that Bloomberg (a billionaire) may be planning to launch a cab-hailing service like Uber, which was just allowed back onto the streets of New York, with significant limitations."

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Schrödinger's Cat and RCU (Well, Structured Procrastination, Actually)
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's everything-on-the-internet-must-involve-cats department:
davecb writes "Paul E. McKenney, one of the Linux RCU implementors, addresses the problem of synchronization using structured deferral on, what else, Mr Schrödinger's famous cat. Courtesy of deferral/procrastination, the cat can be both alive and dead at the same time. 'In this example, Schrödinger would like to construct an in-memory database to keep track of the animals in his zoo. Births would of course result in insertions into this database, while deaths would result in deletions. The database is also queried by those interested in the health and welfare of Schrödinger's animals. Schrödinger has numerous short-lived animals such as mice, resulting in high update rates. In addition, there is a surprising level of interest in the health of Schrödinger's cat, so much so that Schrödinger sometimes wonders whether his mice are responsible for most of these queries. Regardless of their source, the database must handle the large volume of cat-related queries without suffering from excessive levels of contention. Both accesses and updates are typically quite short, involving accessing or mutating an in-memory data structure, and therefore synchronization overhead cannot be ignored.'"

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Med Students Unaware of Their Bias Against Obese Patients
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-angry-that-santa-isn't-real department:
An anonymous reader sends news of a study which found that "two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people." The study, published in the Journal of Academic Medicine (abstract) examined med students from many different cultural and geographical backgrounds.
"The researchers used a computer program called the Weight Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measures students’ unconscious preferences for 'fat' or 'thin' individuals. Students also answered a survey assessing their conscious weight-related preferences. The authors determined if the students were aware of their bias by seeing if their IAT results matched their stated preferences. Overall, 39 percent of medical students had a moderate to strong unconscious anti-fat bias as compared to 17 percent who had a moderate to strong anti-thin bias. Less than 25 percent of students were aware of their biases. 'Because anti-fat stigma is so prevalent and a significant barrier to the treatment of obesity, teaching medical students to recognize and mitigate this bias is crucial to improving the care for the two-thirds of American adults who are now overweight or obese,' Miller said. 'Medical schools should address weight bias as part of a comprehensive obesity curriculum.'"

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Six Months Developing Software For Wearable Computing
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-need-a-HUD-that-points-out-youtube-commenters-in-real-life department:
An anonymous reader writes "Twilio's Jon Gottfried has written an article about the lessons he's learned after six months of developing software for Google Glass. He has some insightful points: 'I expected it to be very similar to building mobile applications for Android. In fact, I began learning to build Android applications in preparation. My efforts were for naught, because the Mirror API is a RESTful web service. This means that developing applications for Glass is actually more similar to building a website than it is to building an Android application.' He also talks about how this fits in with the future of technology: 'I would argue that Google took the only option available to them. The only truly scalable products of the future will be developer platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Twilio, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Arduino – all of these products have been successful in large part by embracing and empowering their developer communities. No company is omniscient enough to imagine every potential use of their products. This gives developers an immense amount of power to define the success or failure of an entire product line.'"

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Human Stem Cell Cloning Paper Contains Reused Images
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's novel-method-for-saving-some-time department:
An anonymous reader writes "A very recent paper in the prestigious biology journal Cell — 'Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer' (openly accessible) — reports the novel creation of human embryonic stem cells from somatic nuclei. It has received massive media coverage and is surely penciled in as a strong candidate for scientific publication of the year. It does however have several examples of image reuse that have been pointed out by a submission on PubPeer. In the paper, it is recorded that the journal Cell accepted this paper just 4 days after submission. Perhaps, under the circumstances, the pre-publication peer review had to be a little hasty? At least at PubPeer, while conducting post publication review, we can take as long as necessary to make up for that lost time. 'In 2004 scientists led by Woo Suk Hwang of Seoul National University claimed to have produced human embryonic stem cells through the same technique used by the Oregon team. Their paper, published in Science, turned out to contain fabricated data. That came to light when scientists figured out that some of the images in the paper were copied or manipulated.''"

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How the Smartphone Killed the Three-day Weekend
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-suspected-in-radio-star-slaying-as-well department:
An anonymous reader writes "As we in the U.S. settle in for Memorial Day weekend, this article points out how our cultural addiction to technology is making it less of a vacation than it used to be. 'The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes. Meanwhile, government data from 2011 says 35 percent of us work on weekends, and those who do average five hours of labor, often without compensation — or even a thank you. The other 65 percent were probably too busy to answer surveyors' questions.' Even for those of us who don't have any work to do over the weekend, we'll probably end up reading all of our work-related emails as they roll in, and take time out of our day to think about what's going on — to the detriment of our weekend activities: 'A study at the University of California, San Francisco, found that new experiences fail to become long-term memories unless brains have downtime for review.' I imagine it's even worse for your average Slashdotter, who's likely plugged in to more technology at home and at work. How can we make our employers understand that downtime needs to remain downtime? 'It took labor unions 100 years to fight for nights and weekends off, some say, while smartphones took them away in about three years.'"

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Spain's New S-80 Class Submarines Sink, But Won't Float
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's would-you-classify-that-as-a-launch-problem-or-a-design-problem department:
New submitter home-electro.com writes "In the era of total CAD and CAM, is it even possible to come up with a fundamentally flawed design ? Turns out, yes. This a fascinating engineering SNAFU. Spain's newly built submarine is 100 tons too heavy, which means it is unable to float. 'Unfortunately for the Spainards, Quartz reports that they have already sunk the equivalent of $680 million into the Isaac Peral, and a total of $3 billion into the entire quartet of S-80 class submarines. If Spain hopes to salvage its submarines, it must either find some weight that can be trimmed from the current design or lengthen the ship to accommodate the excess weight, The Local notes. Though the latter option is more feasible, it is expected to cost Spain an extra $9.7 million per meter.'"

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Can the Wii U Survive Against the PS4 and Xbox One?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-much-can-one-plumber-do department:
An anonymous reader writes "Now that both Sony and Microsoft have announced their next-gen consoles, and we've gotten solid information about their hardware, technology, and features, Eurogamer asks whether Nintendo's struggling Wii U will be able to hold its own once the new competition arrives. 'Wii U has tanked — there's no other way to put it — with even the release of traditional big-hitters like Dragon Quest 10 failing to make a dent in the Japanese market. If you believe certain analysts, April saw things getting even worse in the U.S. with the Wii U shifting under 40,000 units, easily outsold by the 360 and PS3 — and, even more embarrassingly, the Wii.' If the Wii U doesn't see a miraculous turnaround, Nintendo may be left with the difficult choice of whether to port its software to competing consoles. It'll also serve as a bellwether to see if the big gamer complaint about the new Sony and Microsoft consoles — that they're only partly about games — is honest. 'At a time when the goal of its competitors is to own the living room, the extent of Nintendo's ambition is simply to be in it — a dedicated games console, and no more.'"

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World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's be-careful-not-to-learn-anything-from-this department:
00_NOP writes "'Universal Credit' — the plan to consolidate all Britain's welfare payments into one — is the world's biggest 'agile' software development project. It is now close to collapse, the British government admitted yesterday. The failure, if and when it comes, could cost billions and have dire social consequences. 'Some steps have been taken to try to rescue the project. The back end – the benefits calculation – has reportedly been shifted to a "waterfall" development process – which offers some assurances that the government at least takes its fiduciary duties seriously as it should mean no code will be deployed that has not been finished. The front end – the bit used by humans – is still meant to be “agile” – which makes some sense, but where is the testing? Agile is supposed to be about openness between developer and client and we – the taxpayers – are the clients: why can’t we see what our money is paying for?'"

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Google Unable To Keep Paying App Developers In Argentina
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-cry-for-them department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google has sent letters to app developers registered in Argentina saying they won't be able to accept payments on developers' behalf after June 27th. 'The change applies to both paid apps and apps that use in-app purchases. The move appears to be related to new, restrictive regulations the Argentine government has imposed on currency exchanges.' According to the Telegraph, 'The new regulations required anyone wanting to change Argentine pesos into another currency to submit an online request for permission to AFIP, the Argentine equivalent of HM Revenue & Customs. To submit the request, however, you first needed to get a PIN from AFIP, either online or in person. Having finally obtained your number, submitted your online request and printed out your permission slip, you could then present it at the bank or official cambio and buy your dollars. Well, that was the theory. In practice, the result was chaos. ... damming the flood has come at a huge cost to the economy, especially since the currency restrictions were coupled with another set of regulations that effectively imposed a near-total ban on any imported goods.'"

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Ex-Marine Detained Under Operation Vigilant Eagle For His Political Views Sues
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's within-his-rights department:
stry_cat writes "You may remember the story of Brandon Raub, who was detained without due process over some Facebook posts he made. Now with the help of the Rutherford Institute, he is suing his captors. According to his complaint [PDF], his detention was part of a federal government program code-named 'Operation Vigilant Eagle,' which monitors military veterans with certain political views."

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European Commission Launches $12 Billion Chip Support Campaign
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '13 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's there-would-be-this-thing-called-comparative-advantage department:
An anonymous reader writes "Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for the digital economy, wants to use 5 billion euros of European Union tax payers' money, together with matching funds from the chip industry, to recreate European success in semiconductors similar to that of Airbus. Because of its strategic importance to wealth creation Kroes wants Europe to reverse its decline in chip manufacturing and move back up from 10 percent to 20 percent of global production."

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Scanner Identifies Malware Strains, Could Be Future of AV
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '13 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's like-with-like department:
An anonymous reader writes "When it comes to spotting malware, signature-based detection, heuristics and cloud-based recognition and information sharing used by many antivirus solutions today work well up a certain point, but the polymorphic malware still gives them a run for their money. At the annual AusCert conference held this week in Australia a doctorate candidate from Deakin University in Melbourne has presented the result of his research and work that just might be the solution to this problem. Security researcher Silvio Cesare had noticed that malware code consists of small "structures" that remain the same even after moderate changes to its code. He created Simseer, a free online service that performs automated analysis on submitted malware samples and tells and shows you just how similar they are to other submitted specimens. It scores the similarity between malware (any kind of software, really), and it charts the results and visualizes program relationships as an evolutionary tree."

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AMD Launches New Mobile APU Lineup, Kabini Gets Tested
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '13 at 08:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's failure-to-overwhelm department:
An anonymous reader writes "While everyone was glued to the Xbox One announcement, Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 launch", and Intel's pre-Haswell frenzy, it seems that AMD's launch was overlooked. On Wednesday, AMD launched it's latest line of mobile APUs, codenamed Temash, Kabini, and Richland. Temash is targeted towards smaller touchscreen-based devices such as tablets and the various Windows 8 hybrid devices, and comes in dual-core A4 and A6 flavors. Kabini chips are intended for the low-end notebook market, and come in quad-core A4 and A6 models along with a dual-core E2. Richland includes quad-core A8 and A10 models, and is meant for higher-end notebooks — MSI is already on-board for the A10-5750M in their GX series of gaming notebooks . All three new APUs feature AMD HD 8000-series graphics. Tom's Hardware got a prototype notebook featuring the new quad-core A4-5000 with Radeon HD 8300 graphics, and benchmarked it versus a Pentium B960-based Acer Aspire V3 and a Core-i3-based HP Pavillion Sleekbook 15. While Kabini proves more efficient, and features more powerful graphics than the Pentium, it comes up short in CPU-heavy tasks. What's more, the Core-i3 matches the A4-5000 in power efficiency while its HD 4000 graphics completely outpace the APU."

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How To Hack Twitter's Two-Factor Authentication
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '13 at 05:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's there-can-be-only-one-or-two-or-whatever department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from PC Mag's SecurityWatch: "We've pointed out some problems with Twitter's new two-factor authentication. For example, since just one phone number can be associated with an account, Twitter's two-factor authentication won't work for organizations like the Associated Press, The Onion, or The Guardian. They were hacked; they could still be hacked again in the same way. However, security experts indicate that the problem is worse than that, a lot worse."

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African Soil Mapped For the Very First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '13 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's please-don't-call-it-dirt department:
vikingpower writes "A team of international experts has drawn up the Soil Atlas of Africa — the first such book mapping this key natural resource — to help farmers, land managers and policymakers understand the diversity and importance of soil and the need to manage it through sustainable use. A joint commission of the African Union and the European Union has produced a complete atlas of African soils, downloadable as 3 hefty PDFs ( Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. ) The initiative was announced four years ago, and is intended 'to help farmers, land managers and policymakers understand the diversity and importance of soil and the need to manage it through sustainable use.' A digital, interactive series of maps is (still) in the making."

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BeagleBone Black Ships With New Linux 3.8 Kernel
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '13 at 03:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's add-cheap-monitor-wham-computer department:
DeviceGuru writes "BeagleBoard.org has begun shipping its faster, cheaper BeagleBone Black SBC with a new Linux 3.8 kernel, supporting Device Tree technology for more streamlined ARM development. The $45 BeagleBone Black runs Linux or Android on a 1GHz TI Sitara AM3359 SOC, doubles the RAM to 512MB of its predecessor, and adds a micro-HDMI port. The updated kernel gives the BeagleBone Black access to a new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) display driver architecture, as well as full support for the Device Tree data structure introduced to streamline ARM development in Linux 3.7. The project was hesitant to move up to such a recent kernel, but decided it was time to bite the bullet and support the Device Tree. By doing the hard work of switching to Device Tree now, BeagleBoard.org and its developer community can save a lot of configuration and maintenance headaches down the line, says BeagleBoard.org co-founder Jason Kridner. Fortunately, a modified 3.2 kernel 'coming soon' should provide the necessary bridge from the old cape driver architecture to the new one."

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