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13-Inch Haswell-Powered MacBook Air With PCIe SSD Tested
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's fast-light-reasonably-priced-have-all-three department:
MojoKid writes "In addition to the anticipated performance gains that Intel's new Haswell CPU architecture might bring to the table for their new MacBook Air, there are additional component-level upgrades that Apple baked in to their latest ultra-light notebook; namely a higher capacity 54 Whr battery and a PCI Express-based Solid State Drive (SSD). Apple still hasn't seen fit to up the ante on the MacBook Air's display, opting instead to stick with the 1440x900 TN panel carried over from the previous generation 13-inch machine, with the 11-inch variant sporting a 1366x768 native res. But in terms of performance, this is Apple's fastest Air yet, with storage throughput in excess of 700MB/sec for reads and 400MB/sec for writes, along with graphics horsepower that rivals entry level discrete GPUs, thanks to Intel's HD Graphic 5000 core in Haswell. Battery life has been improved dramatically as well, with the new Air lasting over 9 hrs on a charge, playing back 1080p video content. Apple also reduced their MSRP by $100 versus last year's model."

Not too bad at around $1100. The 54Wh battery looks it improves the portability a bit.

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The Rise of Linux In In-Vehicle Infotainment
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's open-source-oops-hit-a-deer department:
DeviceGuru writes "The 2014 Toyota Lexus IS reportedly will be the second major automobile to offer in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems based on Linux, following last year's introduction of the Debian-based Cadillac User Experience (CUE) IVI system, which now appears in Cadillac's XTS and SRX models. Cadillac's CUE IVI implementation was developed by GENIVI Alliance members MontaVista and Bosch and uses similar code, but is not listed as GENIVI compliant. Meanwhile, ABI Research projects that Linux will grow to 20 percent IVI market share by 2018, behind Microsoft and market leader QNX."

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Bill Gates Is Beginning To Dream the Thorium Dream
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 12:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bill-just-wants-a-vat-of-molten-salt department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "TerraPower, the Gates-chaired nuclear power company, has garnered the most attention for pursuing traveling wave reactor tech, which runs entirely on spent uranium and would rarely need to be refueled. But Terrapower just quietly announced that it's going to start seriously exploring thorium power, too."

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Ingy döt Net Tells How Acmeism Bridges Gaps in the Software World (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-for-all-and-all-for-one department:
Ingy döt Net (yes, that's his name) likes to bridge gaps in the software world. People get religious about their favorite programming languages, he says, but in the end, no matter the language, the methodology or the underlying OS, all programming is about telling computers what to do -- from "add these numbers" to complex text manipulation. Ingy compares a new app or module in the world of Free and Open Source as a gift that the creator has given to others; if that gift can be simultaneously bestowed on users of Perl, Python, and Ruby at the same time, its worth is amplified. So he proposes (and provides a growing set of tools) to make programming language irrelevant, by the sly means of encouraging people to write software using whatever their favorite tools are, but with a leaning toward using only language features which are broadly available to *other* programming languages as well. He's adopted the term Acmeism to describe this approach; Acmeists who follow his lead strive to create software that is broadly re-useable and adaptable, rather than tied only to a single platform.

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Fake "Speed Enforced By Drones" Signs On California Freeways
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 11:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's we-only-track-all-your-movements department:
NF6X writes "CBS station KPIX reports that somebody has been installing counterfeit traffic signs on California bay area freeways, warning motorists of drone-based speed enforcement. They are professionally-made reflective metal signs of comparable style and quality to official traffic signs, and in some cases are even mounted with tamper-resistant hardware. The signs show the familiar silhouette of an MQ-1 Predator drone launching a weapon. According to KPIX, California Highway Patrol denies that they operate any drones, and states that the signs are fake."

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Anonymous Source Claims Feds Demand Private SSL Keys From Web Services
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 11:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's world-wide-fool-proof-cage department:
Lauren Weinstein writes "With further confirmation of the longstanding rumor that the U.S. government (and, we can safely assume, other governments around the world) have been pressuring major Internet firms to provide their 'master' SSL keys for government surveillance purposes, we are rapidly approaching a critical technological crossroad. It is now abundantly clear — as many of us have suspected all along — that governments and surveillance agencies of all stripes — Western, Eastern, democratic, and authoritarian, will pour essentially unlimited funds into efforts to monitor Internet communications."

If this is true it means that SSL/TLS to any Internet service could be useless — the authorities could simply main-in-the-middle anyone. Without knowing who has given keys over, or if anyone has given keys over... The NSA does claim encryption poses a problem for them, but honesty isn't their best attribute. The source claims that major providers at least have resisted (assuming it is happening), but that smaller companies may have folded to the pressure.

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New Shrew Has Spine of Steel
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 10:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's loki-shrew-harder-to-find department:
sciencehabit writes "It's the size of large rat, but it can reportedly withstand the weight of an adult man standing on its back. Meet the hero shrew, a molelike creature that owes its near-mythological status to a remarkable spine, thickened by extensions of bone that interlock like fingers. The structure was thought to be unique among mammals — until now. An international team of researchers in the village of Baleko, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, made a surprising find: a slightly different shrew with a similarly 'heroic' backbone. Today in Biology Letters, they introduce Thor's hero shrew (S. thori), named for mammalogist Thorvald Holmes, but invoking the Norse god of strength. The researchers don't yet know how its strength compares to that of S. somereni. After exploring the shrews' swampy palm forests habitat, the researchers also have a new guess about why the spine evolved: They suggest that the creatures might wedge themselves between the trunk of a palm tree and the base of its leaves, then use the strength and flexion of their muscular spine to force open this crevice, revealing insect larvae—a food source that other animals can't access."

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Google Announces Android 4.3, Netflix, New Nexus 7, and Q Successor Chromecast
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's side-of-bacon department:
At a press conference dubbed "Breakfast With Sundar," Google announced two new pieces of hardware and a minor revision to Android. Complete stories and commentary are still coming in, but in the mean time you can skim a liveblog or two

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Vendetta Online Becomes the First MMO To Launch Support For the Oculus Rift.
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 09:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's enter-the-multiverse department:
Incarnate-VO writes "Many-platform space MMORPG Vendetta Online has added another first, with the official launch of support for the Oculus Rift family of head-mounted VR displays. The VR adds another level of immersion to the twitch-combat space title."

A few limitations: Windows only (because the Rift only supports Windows), some effects are disabled, and the developers still want to tweak things like the HUD. But it's a good first step, and supports both the low-res and high definition revisions of the Occulus Rift.

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Edward Snowden Still Stuck At Airport, May Be Permitted Entry Into Russia Soon
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's jump-the-gun department:
sl4shd0rk writes "Edward Snowden, the enlightening NSA Whistleblower, may have been granted refuge in Russia as reported by Interfax News. He has apparently been given papers (and a change of clothes) by the Russian government to allow him to soon leave the Sheremetyevo airport. The delay in exodus, cited by a Russian official, is apparently due to the 'uniqueness' of the situation being cause for thorough review of Snowden's Asylum request."

Reports are conflicting; WaPo and Reuters say Snowden's Asylum application is still in limbo, whereas other sources are claiming only minor details are blocking his exit and he may be allowed to leave as early as tomorrow. What is certain is that he's not leaving today despite early reports claiming he could.

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British Porn-Censoring MP Has Website Defaced With Porn
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's dang-teenage-cyberterrorists-or-something department:
twoheadedboy writes "Claire Perry MP, who has been the main driver of the UK government's plans for default blocking of pornography, has had her website plastered in porn by hackers. But the story only just begins there. Notable blogger Guido Fawkes, otherwise known as Paul Staines, posted on the matter, only to later be accused of sponsoring the hacking himself. During some back and forth over Twitter, it appeared Perry was 'confused,' as she said Fawkes had posted a link to the defaced page, when he had only shown a screenshot of the site. Given the backlash against the government's plans to censor porn and its technical fallacies, the event could be particularly embarrassing for Perry. She is not commenting on the matter, whilst Staines has threatened to sue unless Perry offers a retraction of her claim he had anything to do with the hack."

The tweet: 'Apologies to anyone affected by the hacking of my website sponsored by @GuidoFawkes – proves so clearly what we are dealing with.' Someone needs a lesson about hypertext.

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NSA Can't Search Its Own Email
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's apt-get-install-thinthread department:
cycoj writes "The NSA says that there is no central method to search its own email. When asked in a Freedom of Information Act request for emails with the National Geographic Channel over a specific time period, the agency, which has been collecting and analyzing the data of hundreds of millions of Internet users, says it can only perform person-per-person searches on its own email."

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Long Range RFID Hacking Tool To Be Released At Black Hat
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 07:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's arduino-powered-passport-collector department:
msm1267 writes "Next week at the Black Hat Briefings in Las Vegas, a security researcher will release a modified RFID reader that can capture data from 125KHz low frequency RFID badges from up to three feet away. Previous RFID hacking tools must be within centimeters of a victim to work properly; this tool would allow an attacker or pen-tester to store the device inside a backpack and it would silently grab card data from anyone walking close enough to it.The researcher said the tool will be the difference between a practical and impractical attack, and that he's had 100 percent success rates in testing the device. Schematics and code will be released at Black Hat as well."

Plus it's built using an Arduino.

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Apple Profit Falls 22% But iPhone Sales Are Up
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's everyone-needs-five-iphones department:
New submitter marcushoward writes in with news of Apple's quarterly results. From the article: "Apple on Tuesday reported fiscal
third-quarter revenues of $35.3 billion and profits of $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per share
. The revenue number is basically even with Apple’s results from a year ago, but its profits were off by almost $2 billion. Revenues were mostly in line with Wall Street’s expectations of $35.09 billion and slightly above its earnings per share expectation of around $7.31. Apple itself had predicted revenues between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion."


Compared to this quarter last year, sales of Macs are about even, iPad sales dipped slightly (14.6 million vs 16 million), and iPhone sales are up quite a bit (31 million vs 26 million).

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MediaNet Sued for Licensing Unlicensed Songs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 05:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's industry-pirates department:
New submitter duSoliel wrote in with news that another musician is complaining about a lack of royalties from streaming music services. This time, however, the musician is going after MediaNet (once known as MusicNet) which acts as an intermediary source for licensing songs to streaming music services that did not manage to gain compulsory licensing from the Copyright Royalty Board. MediaNet has a storied history riddled with lawsuits from the Harry Fox agency among others; a suit brought last year alleged that around a quarter of MediaNet's catalog was improperly licensed, but was settled privately out of court. Now, Aimee Mann is suing them
for failure to properly license 120 of her songs, seeking $18 million in damages. From the article: "... she entered into a license agreement in 2003 with MediaNet (then known as MusicNet). The term of the license agreement was scheduled to end in 2006 but had automatic two-year extensions unless terminated by either party. Mann's representative is said to have sent a termination notice in 2005, but nevertheless, 'MediaNet continued after the Termination Date to transmit, perform, reproduce and distribute the Compositions as part of MediaNet's service, despite having no right or license to do so.' ... Besides suing for direct infringement, Mann is also claiming that MediaNet induced its business partners to commit copyright infringement. Mann also says she has not been paid any royalties by the company since Sept. 30, 2005 with the exception of a $20 advance this past March that was returned."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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First Apps Targeting Android Key Vulnerability Found in the Wild
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's about-that-vendor-update-speed-problem department:
wiredmikey writes with this tidbit from Security Week: "Earlier this month, researchers from Bluebox Security uncovered a serious vulnerability in Android that allowed for the modification of apps without affecting the cryptographic signature, making it possible for attackers to turn legitimate apps into Trojans. ... Now, Symantec says it has uncovered the first malicious apps making use of the exploit in the wild. Symantec discovered two mobile applications that were infected by an attacker, which are legitimate applications used to help find and make doctor appointments and distributed on Android marketplaces in China. 'An attacker has taken both of these applications and added code to allow them to remotely control devices, steal sensitive data such as IMEI and phone numbers, send premium SMS messages, and disable a few Chinese mobile security software applications by using root commands, if available,' Symantec explained in a blog post. ... Google has fixed the security hole in Android, but it is now in the control of handset manufacturers to produce and release the updates for mobile devices to patch the flaws."

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SEC Alleges 'Bitcoin Savings & Trust' Is a Ponzi Scheme
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-currency-new-fraud department:
New submitter craighansen writes "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit against a man they allege ran a Ponzi scheme using Bitcoin. According to the complaint (PDF), during 2011-2012, Trendon Shavers, operating under the username pirateat40, collected investments of over 700,000 Bitcoins from at least 66 'investors' (a valuation of $4.5M) with the promise of as much as 7% weekly returns. These 'investors' received about 500,000 Bitcoins in returns, so on average, they're probably much better-off than investors in Madoff's scheme. Nevertheless, with the rising value of Bitcoins, the $4.5M investments would be worth $65M at recent pricing if they had actually been left in Bitcoins, which approximates the 1% per day returns that the scheme promised."

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The Last GUADEC?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's indiana-jones-and department:
An anonymous reader writes "How can we ensure, together, that this will not be the last GUADEC? Last year, during GUADEC, there was that running joke amongst some participants that this was the last GUADEC. It was, of course, a joke. Everybody was expecting to see each other in Brno, in 2013. One year later, most of those who were joking are not coming to GUADEC. For them, the joke became a reality. People are increasingly leaving the desktop computer to use phones, tablets and services in the cloud. The switch is deeper and quicker than anything we imagined. Projects are also leaving GTK+ for QT. Unity abandoned GTK+, Linus Torvald's Subsurface is switching from GTK+ to Qt. If you spot a GNOME desktop in a conference, chances are that you are dealing with a Red Hat employee. That's it. According to Google Trends, interest in GNOME and GTK+ is soon to be extinct."

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New Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Service Packs Roll Out
Posted by News Fetcher on July 24 '13 at 12:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's packed-with-services department:
jones_supa writes "While service packs are out of style for the Windows operating system, Microsoft has pushed out another service pack (SP2) for both Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 products. According to the company, they provide key updates and fixes across servers, services and applications including security, stability, and performance enhancements and better compatibility with Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, Office 2013, and SharePoint 2013. The updates are available through Windows Update and as separate downloads."

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Supercomputer Becomes Massive Router For Global Radio Telescope
Posted by News Fetcher on July 23 '13 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Astrophysicists at MIT and the Pawsey supercomputing center in Western Australia have discovered a whole new role for supercomputers working on big-data science projects: They've figured out how to turn a supercomputer into a router. (Make that a really, really big router.) The supercomputer in this case is a Cray Cascade system with a top performance of 0.3 petaflops — to be expanded to 1.2 petaflops in 2014 — running on a combination of Intel Ivy Bridge, Haswell and MIC processors. The machine, which is still being installed at the Pawsey Centre in Kensington, Western Australia and isn't scheduled to become operational until later this summer, had to go to work early after researchers switched on the world's most sensitive radio telescope June 9. The Murchison Widefield Array is a 2,000-antenna radio telescope located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, built with the backing of universities in the U.S., Australia, India and New Zealand. Though it is the most powerful radio telescope in the world right now, it is only one-third of the Square Kilometer Array — a spread of low-frequency antennas that will be spread across a kilometer of territory in Australia and Southern Africa. It will be 50 times as sensitive as any other radio telescope and 10,000 times as quick to survey a patch of sky. By comparison, the Murchison Widefield Array is a tiny little thing stuck out as far in the middle of nowhere as Australian authorities could find to keep it as far away from terrestrial interference as possible. Tiny or not, the MWA can look farther into the past of the universe than any other human instrument to date. What it has found so far is data — lots and lots of data. More than 400 megabytes of data per second come from the array to the Murchison observatory, before being streamed across 500 miles of Australia's National Broadband Network to the Pawsey Centre, which gets rid of most of it as quickly as possible."

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