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Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '13 at 06:17 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's won't-be-big-and-fancy-like-gnu department:
An anonymous reader writes with a link to this "CNET story about arguably the most important technical documents in Apple's early history: the source code, contract letters, schematics and notes for the creation of the Apple II Disk Operating System (DOS). From 1977 and 1978, these documents chronicle Apple's first OS and what made the Apple II into a serious computer for the masses, able to support killer apps like Visicalc and build the PC industry."

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Israeli Firm Makes Kilomile Claims For Electric Car Battery Tech
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '13 at 06:17 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's proclaimers-need-to-up-their-game-a-bit department:
cylonlover writes with this tantalizing excerpt from GizMag "Israel-based company Phinergy claims to have developed metal-air battery technology that promises to end the range anxiety associated with electric vehicles. The company's battery currently consists of 50 aluminum plates, each providing energy for around 20 miles (32 km) of driving. This adds up to a total potential range of 1,000 miles (1,609 km), with stops required only every couple of hundred miles to refill the system with water."

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Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '13 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's dogma-meets-karma department:
twoheadedboy writes "Members of the legal team responsible for prosecution of Aaron Swartz have claimed they received threatening letters and emails, and some had their social network accounts hacked, following the suicide of the Internet freedom activist. Following Swartz's death, his family and friends widely lambasted the prosecution team, who were accused of being heavy-handed in their pursuit of the 26-year-old. He was facing trial for alleged copyright infringement, accused of downloading excessive amounts of material from the academic article resource JSTOR. U.S. attorney for Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz, who headed up the prosecution, and another lead prosecutor, Stephen Heymann, have reportedly become the target of 'harassing and threatening messages,' and their personal information, including home address, personal telephone number, and the names of family members and friends, was posted online. Heymann also received a postcard with a picture of his father's head in a guillotine."

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Activision, Raven Release 2 Star Wars Games Under GPL
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '13 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's play-you-will department:
hypnosec writes "Activision and Raven Software game studios have open sourced a couple of their games so that people can play as well learn from the code. The gaming companies have released the source code of Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast through SourceForge."

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The Activists Who Bring Security To the Oppressed
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '13 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fighting-the-good-fight department:
msm1267 writes "Tibetans inside China or in exile, along with Syrians, Iranians and other groups oppressed by autocratic regimes, rely on technology to communicate and organize protests. Yet state-sponsored attackers have infiltrated the devices and platforms used by the oppressed to put their freedom or lives in danger. Groups such as Tibet in Action or Citizen Lab Munk School of Global Affairs have put together resources to help educate and enhance the security of oppressed people."

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Pinhead-Sized Implant Could Replace Hearing Aids
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '13 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's can-you-hear-me-now? department:
An anonymous reader writes "Depending on the level of hearing impairment, conventional aids may not be good enough and a hearing implant is the only option. Until now the required surgery to fit them has taken several hours. However, that is about to change. A new implant that can be fitted with outpatient surgery has been developed consisting of a 1.2mm electro-acoustic transducer, which is positioned at the so-called 'round window,' which is where the middle and inner ear connect. It then produces amplified mechanical vibrations that stimulate the auditory nerve. Even though the transducer is tiny, it can reach volumes of up to 120 decibels."

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Non-Volatile DIMMs To Ship This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 11:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's coming-soon department:
Lucas123 writes "Both Viking and Micron plan to ship cards that combine DRAM and NAND flash on a standard DDR3 DIMM. The cards will have twice as much NAND flash as volatile memory. For example, the non-volatile DIMMs will come in capacities ranging from 4GB of DRAM to 16GB and 8GB of flash to 32GB of flash. Micron also sees its NVDIMM card being used as a storage tier, as cache for RAID systems, system check pointing, full system persistence, data logging, de-duplication and fast access to metadata. Without providing specifics, Viking said the NVDIMM cards will cost roughly a few hundred dollars each, more than a standard DDR3 DIMM module but still inexpensive enough for server and storage admins to consider for boosting application performance."

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How That 'Extra .9%' Could Ward Off a Zombie Apocalypse
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
netbuzz writes "The questioner on Quora asks: 'When is the difference between 99% accuracy and 99.9% accuracy very important?' And the most popular answer provided cites an example familiar to all of you: service level agreements. However, the most entertaining reply comes from a computer science and mathematics student at the University of Texas, Alex Suchman. Here's his answer: 'When it can stop a Zombie Apocalypse.'"

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Russian Cyber Criminal Unmasked As Creator of "Most Successful" Apple Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-to-blame department:
DavidGilbert99 writes "It was the malware which affected as many Apple computers as the Conficker worm affected Windows PCs and earned its creator up to $10,000 per day. Until now, no one know who was behind the Flashback Trojan which hit 650,000 computers last year, but security researcher Brian Krebs has managed to uncover the creator as a 30-year-old Russian cyber criminal."

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MIT To End Open-Network Policy In Response To Recent Attacks
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 06:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ruining-it-for-everybody department:
An anonymous reader writes "MIT announced that despite a long history of running an open network (so that any student can run a server on any port, without any questions asked), it will now end this policy due to recent denial-of-service attacks and gunman hoax. From a letter sent by Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz: 'I am deeply and personally committed to safeguarding our community, protecting our campus and securing our systems. Together with our colleagues dedicated to campus safety and security, with the support of senior academic leadership and in collaboration with the campus community, we are deploying all necessary resources to this effort. It will require the dedication of all of us to promote safety awareness, complete necessary emergency training, and adhere to reinforced cyber security guidelines. IS&T staff members are working with information technology (IT) leadership and partners across campus in making the changes described above. We continue to explore all opportunities to further strengthen our preparedness, and will communicate additional information as these plans evolve.'"

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Opera Confirms It Will Follow Google and Ditch WebKit For Blink
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's jumping-ship department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google on Wednesday made a huge announcement to fork WebKit and build a new rendering engine called Blink. Opera, which only recently decided to replace its own Presto rendering engine for WebKit, has confirmed with TNW that it will be following suit. 'When we announced the move away from Presto, we announced that we are going with the Chromium package, and the forking and name change have little practical influence on the Opera browsers. So yes, your understanding is correct,' an Opera spokesperson told TNW. This will affect both desktop and mobile versions of Opera the spokesperson further confirmed."

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Should the US Really Limit Chinese-Government Influenced IT Systems?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-bring-that-in-here department:
coondoggie writes "New federal restrictions now preclude four U.S. agencies from buying information-technology (IT) systems from manufacturers 'owned, directed or subsidized by the People's Republic of China' due to national-security concerns. But is this a smart tactic? It's clear that some in the U.S. government, including the House Intelligence Committee — which issued a scathing report last fall that called Huawei and ZTE a threat to national security — and the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. are also working in other ways behind the scenes to keep technology made by China-based manufacturers out of U.S. commercial networks as well."

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Mining Companies Borrow From Gamers' Physics Engines
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's experts-in-blowing-things-up department:
littlekorea writes "Mining companies are developing new systems for automating blasting of iron ore using the same open source physics engines adapted for games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption. The same engine that determines 3D collision detection and soft body/rigid body dynamics in gaming will be applied to building 3D blast movement models — which will predict where blasted materials will land and distinguish between ore and waste. Predictive blast fragmentation models used in the past have typically been either numerical or empirical, [mining engineer Alan Cocker] said. Numerical models such as discrete element method, he noted, are onerous to configure and demanding of resources — both computing and human — and are generally not appropriate for operational use at mines. 'The problem with empirical models, by contrast, is that they tend to operate at a scale too coarse to give results useful for optimizations,' he added, noting typical Kuz-Ram-based fragmentation models (PDF) (widely used to estimate fragmentation from blasting) assume homogeneous geology (the same type of materials) throughout a blast."

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WA State Bill Would Allow Bosses To Seek Facebook Passwords
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's no,-go-away department:
An anonymous reader writes "A bill amendment proposed Tuesday could allow employers to ask for a worker's Facebook or other social media password during company investigations. The provision was proposed for a bill that safeguards social network passwords of workers and job applicants. The measure bars employers from asking for social media credentials during job interviews. The amendment says that an employer conducting an investigation may require or demand access to a personal account if an employee or prospective employee has allegations of work-place misconduct or giving away an employer's proprietary information. The amendment would require an investigation to ensure compliance with applicable laws or regulatory requirements."

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Blink! Google Is Forking WebKit
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's reworking-the-basics department:
Carewolf writes "In a blog post titled Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project, Google has announced that Chromium (the open source backend for Chrome) will be switching to Blink, a new WebKit-based web rendering engine. Quoting: 'Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation... This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem. ... In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.'"

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SkyDrive 3.0: Microsoft Gave Up Fighting Apple's 30% Cut
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-you-can't-beat-'em department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft on Wednesday released SkyDrive 3.0 for iOS out of the blue. Last time the app was in the news, Apple was stopping Microsoft from pushing out an update in the App Store because the company doesn't pay a 30 percent cut of the subscription revenue it generates. Now we've learned how Microsoft managed to update its iOS app today. 'We worked with Apple to create a solution that benefited our mutual customers,' a Microsoft spokesperson told TNW. 'The SkyDrive app for iOS is slightly different than other SkyDrive apps in that people interested in buying additional storage will do so via the web versus in the app.' Does this set a precedent for an iOS version of Microsoft Office?"

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New Seagate Hybrid Drives Hampered By Slow Mechanical Guts
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-unlike-an-aging-robocop department:
crookedvulture writes "Seagate announced its third-generation hybrid drives last month, revealing a full family of notebook and desktop drives that combine mechanical platters with solid-state storage. These so-called SSHDs are Seagate's first to be capable of caching write requests in addition to reads, and the mobile variants are already selling online. Unfortunately, a closer look at the Laptop Thin SSHD reveals some problems with Seagate's new design. While the integrated flash cache reduces OS and application load times by 30-45%, overall performance appears to be held back by its 5,400-RPM mechanical component. Seagate's last-gen Momentus XT hybrid spins its platters at 7,200-RPM, and it's faster than the new SSHD in a wide range of tests. The upcoming desktop SSHDs will also have 7,200-RPM spindle speeds, so they may prove more appealing than the mobile models."

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Dark Matter Found? $2 Billion Orbital Experiment Detects Hints
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it-was-in-the-attic-this-whole-time department:
astroengine writes "A $2 billion particle detector attached to the International Space Station has detected the potential signature of dark matter annihilation in the Cosmos, scientists have announced today. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) was attached to the space station in May 2011 by space shuttle Endeavour — the second-to last shuttle mission to the orbital outpost. Since then, the AMS has been detecting electrons and positrons (the electron's anti-particle) originating from deep space and assessing their energies. By doing a tally of electrons and positrons, physicists hope the AMS will help to answer one of the most enduring mysteries in science: Does dark matter exist? And today, it looks like the answer is a cautious, yet exciting, affirmative."

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How to Get Conjurer James Randi to Give You $1 Million (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 12:00 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's conversations-with-physicists-and-other-delights department:
This is the second of our two-part interview (part one ran yesterday) with Conjurer and Investigator (his words) James Randi, whose organization, the James Randi Education Foundation, has a long-standing offer: prove you have paranormal abilities and they'll give you $1 Million. They say they've recently made this award easier than ever to win. Note that, lower bar or no, Randi claims the last time a conjurer's illusion fooled him was many years ago, when he was very young. It was one done by the famous Chan Canasta -- and Randi claims that in the end he figured it out, anyway. So forget the $1 Million, relax, and enjoy James Randi. He's a great raconteur, so we can all be jealous of interviewer Rob Rozeboom (samzenpus) for having made this great video even as we enjoy watching it.

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Nathan Myhrvold Live Q&A
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '13 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ask-what-you-will department:
Last week we announced that co-founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, had agreed to do a live Q&A. Earlier today we posted a few of his answers, but now's your chance to hear it directly from him. Mr. Myhrvold will be answering your questions below until 12:30 PDT. Please keep it to one question per post so everyone gets a chance.

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