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Internal Bug: Code Flaw May Lead to Wrong Dose From Infusion Pump
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's clippy-thinks-you're-injecting-insulin department:
chicksdaddy writes "The steady drumbeat of disturbing news about vulnerable, IP enabled medical devices continues this week, after medical device maker Hospira said it has issued a voluntary recall of its Symbiq-brand drug infusion pumps after discovering a software error that may cause touch interfaces on the pumps to not respond to user touches or to display dosage information that is inaccurate. The problem was detected in around 1.5% of Symbiq One Channel and Two Channel Infusers (model numbers 16026 and 16027), but could potentially affect 'all Symbiq infusion systems currently in the field.' The software bug could result in 'a delayed response and or the screen registering a different value from the value selected by the user,' the company said in a statement."

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Russia's Internet Blacklist Law Takes Effect
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's age-limits-don'tcha-know department:
another random user writes with this report from the BBC "A law that aims to protect children from harmful internet content by allowing the government to take sites offline has taken effect in Russia. The authorities are now able to blacklist and force offline certain websites without a trial. The law was approved by both houses of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin in July. If the websites themselves cannot be shut down, internet service providers (ISPs) and web hosting companies can be forced to block access to the offending material."

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Kim Dotcom Outs Mega Teaser Site, Finalizes Domain Name
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-you-actually-big-tease department:
hypnosec writes "Kim Dotcom has let out more information about the launch of Megaupload's successor Mega, which he claims will be 'bigger, better, faster, stronger, [and] safer.' Mega is currently looking for partners willing to provide servers, support and connectivity to become 'Mega Storage Nodes.' The prime requirement, according to Dotcom, is that the servers should be located outside the U.S. and that the companies should also be based outside of the U.S. For this reason, Dotcom has decided that the new service will be launching with 'Me.ga' domain name."

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UK Court of Appeal Reprimands Apple Over Mandated Samsung Statement
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-no-use-this-petard-instead department:
Macthorpe writes "In the UK, Apple were previously ordered to add a statement to their website stating that Samsung did not copy their designs, following a previous case where this was ruled by the UK courts. However, today the same court revealed that Apple's statement is not good enough. From the article: 'The acknowledgement put up last week, linked from the home page by a tiny link, was deemed to be "non-compliant" with the order that the court had made in October. The court has now ordered it to correct the statement – and the judges, Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Kitchin and Sir Robin Jacob, indicated that they were not pleased with Apple's failure to put a simpler statement on the site.' It appears the main objection is the statement is on a separate page and only linked from the hompage — and that the statement is buried in marketing blurb, and also put next to references to a case Apple won."

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Thanks For the Logos; Help Us Choose a Winner
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's winner-gets-best-seat-in-the-wicker-man department:
Over the course of October, we marked each day of our 15th anniversary month with a different reader-submitted graphic, instead of the usual Slashdot logo. (Thanks to all the artists who participated, whether or not your submission made it to the page: to keep it to one each day, we had to reluctantly cull a lot of great ones.) Now that all the selected graphics have had their day in the sun, we'd like your help in figuring out which one of the selected artists will receive a Nexus 7 tablet (in addition to one of our anniversary T-shirts). Take a look at the current poll and cast your vote. We've listed a handful of favorites as poll options, but feel free to pick the "some other" option and make a case for your favorite in the comments. As the note below all Slashdot polls warns, "This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane." So we'll take the results with a grain of salt ("advisory") — but as of this writing, four of the options are between 13 and 16 percent, which gives us an idea that it's working pretty well.

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Ask Slashdot: Digital Pens On Linux?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pen-envy department:
New submitter Gonzalez_S writes "There are many digital pens out there, but none of them seem to work on Linux; unless you combine them with a tablet. I have contacted many vendors (Lifetrons, Dane-Elec, ApenUSA, IntelliPen..) and only Intellipen responded that there is very limited support for Linux. Do any of you know of a digital pen that works fine using Linux on normal paper? Some options to explore: can the pen work in real time on my PC screen? Can it function as a mouse? Can the pen work offline? Do i need a tablet (preferably not)? I would be happy if anyone shares a success story here, as they seem a great tool."

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KDE Plasma Active: the Mobile Interface That Works
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hold-it-in-your-hand department:
jrepin writes "Bruce Byfield is not a fan of interfaces for mobile devices. At best, he finds them clumsy makeshifts, tolerable only because nothing better is available. The only exception is KDE's Plasma Active, which not only works well on tablets, but, with its recently released version 3.0, remains the only mobile-inspired interface he can tolerate on a workstation."

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Mozilla: Browser Ballot Glitch Cost Us 9m Firefox Downloads
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's prisoner-failed-to-provide-enough-rope department:
nk497 writes with this selection from PC Pro magazine: "Microsoft's failure to include the EU browser ballot in Windows 7 SP1 cost Mozilla as many as 9 million Firefox downloads, the organisation's head of business affairs revealed. Harvey Anderson said daily downloads of Firefox fell by 63% to a low of 20,000 before the ballot was reinstated, and after the fix, downloads jumped by 150% to 50,000 a day. Over the 18 months the ballot was missing, that adds up to six to nine million downloads — although it's tough to tell if the difference has more to do with Chrome's success or the lack of advertising on Windows systems. The EU is currently investigating the 'glitch,' and Microsoft faces a massive fine for failing to include the screen, which offers download details for different browsers to European Windows users, as part of measures ordered by the EU to balance IE's dominance." Reader Dupple points to coverage at ZDnet, too.

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Judge To Newspaper - Reveal Name of Commenter
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's naming-names department:
First time accepted submitter Andy Prough writes "A Kansas judge has ordered a Topeka newspaper to release the name of a commenter on one of its stories about the trial of Anceo D. Stovall for the murder of Natalie Gibson. Using the name 'BePrepared,' the commenter posted the following in response to a story about the ongoing trial on July 21 at 1:45pm: 'Trust me that's all they got in their little world, as you know, I have been there. Remember the pukes names they will do it for ever.' The problem? The court is convinced that 'BePrepared' was a juror, and was not supposed to be accessing news about the trial before it ended on July 24th. The court wants BePrepared's name, address and IP address. The jury was ultimately unable to find Stovall guilty of 10 of the 11 charges against him — including murder. Both defense and prosecution lawyers appear to want a new trial, and if it turns out that BePrepared was a juror, they are more likely to get their wish."

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Hurricane Sandy Damages Space Shuttle Enterprise
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's space-wind department:
SchrodingerZ writes "The now decommissioned Space Shuttle Enterprise appears to have been damaged by super storm Sandy, as it blew through New York City. The shuttle is currently on display on the deck of the USS Intrepid, as part of the Sea, Air, and Space museum on pier 86. The storm tore through the shuttle's inflatable pavilion which housed it, leaving a deflated mess over the space craft. It appears that the pavilion has damaged the vertical stabilizer on the tail of the craft. The museum has yet to comment on the situation. This is not the first time the Enterprise has been damaged however. As it was being towed through Jamaica Bay en route to its new home in Manhattan, the barge was hit by wind and forced the spacecraft's wingtip into a railroad bridge pylon ."

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Researchers Crown Buddhist Monk the World's Happiest Man
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '12 at 12:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mr.-bluebird-on-my-shoulder department:
concealment writes in with a story about a man who has been crowned the world's happiest. "Tibetan monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard is the happiest man in the world according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin. The 66-year-old's brain produces a level of gamma waves — those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory — never before reported in neuroscience. The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard's brain produces a level of gamma waves — those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory — 'never reported before in the neuroscience literature,' Davidson said. The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain's left pre-frontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity, researchers believe."

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Breakthrough Promises Smartphones that Use Half the Power
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's save-the-juice department:
Dupple writes in with news about a discovery that should extend the life of your battery in the near future. "Powering cellular base stations around the world will cost $36 billion this year—chewing through nearly 1 percent of all global electricity production. Much of this is wasted by a grossly inefficient piece of hardware: the power amplifier, a gadget that turns electricity into radio signals. The versions of amplifiers within smartphones suffer similar problems. If you've noticed your phone getting warm and rapidly draining the battery when streaming video or sending large files, blame the power amplifiers. As with the versions in base stations, these chips waste more than 65 percent of their energy—and that's why you sometimes need to charge your phone twice a day. It's currently a lab-bench technology, but if it proves itself in commercialization, which is expected to start in 2013—first targeting LTE base stations—the technology could slash base station energy use by half. Likewise, a chip-scale version of the technology, still in development, could double the battery life of smartphones."

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NASA Teams To Build Gyroscopes 1,000X More Sensitive Than Current Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's any-which-way-you-can department:
coondoggie writes "NASA today said it would work with a team of researchers on a three-year, $1.8 project to build gyroscope systems that are more than 1,000 times as sensitive as those in use today. The Fast Light Optical Gyroscope project will marry researchers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center; the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and Northwestern University to develop gyroscopes that could find their way into complex spacecraft, aircraft, commercial vehicles or ships in the future."

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In Time For Halloween: 9 New Tarantula Species Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's welcome-to-my-parlor department:
Damien1972 writes "If you suffer from acute arachnophobia, this is the perfect Halloween discovery for you: a spider expert has discovered nine new species of arboreal tarantulas in the Brazil. Although tarantula diversity is highest in the Amazon rain-forest, the new species are all found in lesser-known Brazilian ecosystems like the Atlantic Forest and the cerrado."

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Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 06:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mightier-than-the-mouse department:
First time accepted submitter Laser Dan writes "I'm an engineer (robotics) who can't seem to find a pen that satisfies me. Most of my writing is just temporary "thinking notes" on random bits of paper, like diagrams, flowcharts, equations etc, but pens always seem to have one or more of the following issues:

1. They write too thickly — I write very small, and when I start adding extra details to diagrams it gets even smaller. A line width of about 0.2-0.4mm would be good.

2. The ink bleeds, making the lines thick and unclear.

3. The ink is slow to dry or the tip grows blobs of ink, causing smudges everywhere.

4. The first line drawn is not fully dark, as the ink takes a short distance to get going.

5. The lines drawn are faint unless you press hard (I don't).

I have been given several fancy pens (Parker etc) over the years but they all suffered from problems 1, 3 (blobs), 4 and 5. I'm considering trying a Fisher space pen, but it looks like even the fine cartridge writes rather thickly. Have any fellow Slashdotters found their ultimate pen?"


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Physicist Explains Cthulhu's "Non-Euclidean Geometry"
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dead-but-dreaming department:
An anonymous reader writes "Mathematician Benjamin K. Tippett has written a fascinating and deadpan paper (Pdf) giving insights into Cthulhu. A 'Bubble' of warped Space-Time makes alarmingly consistent sense of the dead God's cyclopean city under the sea. From the paper: 'We calculate the type of matter which would be required to generate such exotic spacetime curvature. Unfortunately, we determine that the required matter is quite unphysical, and possess a nature which is entirely alien to all of the experiences of human science. Indeed, any civilization with mastery over such matter would be able to construct warp drives, cloaking devices, and other exotic geometries required to conveniently travel through the cosmos.'"

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Watson Goes To Medical School
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's computer-learning department:
First time accepted submitter Kwyj1b0 writes "I.B.M's Watson is headed to the Cleavland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University for training. Clinicians and students will answer and correct Watson's questions, in an attempt to crowdsource its education. From the article: '“Hopefully, we can contribute to the training of this technology,” said Dr. James K. Stoller, chairman of the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic. The goal, he added, was for Watson to become a “very smart assistant.” Part of Watson’s training will be to feed it test questions from the United States Medical Licensing Exam, which every human student must pass to become a practicing physician. The benefit for Watson should be to have a difficult but measurable set of questions on which to measure the progress of its machine-learning technology.'"

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Self-Driving Car Faces Off Against Pro On Thunderhill Racetrack
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's see-you-on-the-top-gear-track department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Rachel Swaby reports that a self-driving car and a seasoned race-car driver recently faced off at Northern California's three-mile Thunderhill Raceway loop. The autonomous vehicle is a creation from the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS). 'We tried to model [the self-driving car] after what we've learned from the best race-car drivers,' says Chris Gerdes (who talks more about the development of autonomous cars in this TED talk). So who won? Humans, of course. But only by a few measly seconds. 'What the human drivers do is consistently feel out the limits of the car and push it just a little bit farther,' explained Gerdes. 'When you look at what the car is capable of and what humans achieve, that gap is really actually small.' Because the self-driving car reacts to the track as if it were controlled in real time by a human, a funny thing happens to passengers along for the ride. Initially, when the car accelerates to 115 miles per hour and then breaks just in time to make it around a curve, the person riding shotgun freaks out. But a second lap looks very different. Passengers tend to relax, putting their faith in the automatically spinning wheel. 'We might have a tendency to put too much confidence in it,' cautioned Gerdes. 'Watching people experience it, they'll say, oh, that was flawless.' Gerdes reaction: 'Wait wait! This was developed by a crazy professor and graduate students!'"

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Flexible Circuits By the Slice
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-is-not-enough-but-two-is-too-much department:
MTorrice writes "Researchers have demonstrated a way to make high performance, flexible integrated circuits using almost exclusively standard equipment and materials already needed to make conventional chips. Such a method could allow electronics manufacturers to build new devices, such as smart medical implants and flexible displays, without needing to significantly overhaul current production protocols. The method, developed by researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, started with researchers patterning integrated circuits on silicon wafers using a standard production line. They then cut off the top 20 to 30 micrometers of the wafer using a thin wire—like slicing a block of cheese—to produce a thin, flexible platter of circuits."

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Wireless Power Over Distance: Just a Parlor Trick?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's efficiency-is-a-harsh-taskmaster department:
Lucas123 writes "Companies like U.S.-based WiTricity and China-based 3DVOX Technology claim patents and products to wirelessly powering anything from many feet away — from smart phones and televisions to electric cars by using charging pads embedded in concrete. But more than one industry standards group promoting magnetic induction and short-distance resonance wireless charging say such technology is useless; Charging anything at distances greater than the diameter of a magnetic coil is an inefficient use of power. For example, Menno Treffers, chairman of the Wireless Power Consortium, says you can broadcast wireless power over six feet, but the charge received will be less than 10% of the source. WiTricity and 3DVOX, however, are fighting those claims with demonstrations showing their products are capable of resonating the majority of source power."

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