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Electronic Arts Slashes Workforce
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's survival-of-the-fittest department:
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Electronic Arts has been slashing jobs in recent weeks and according to Kotaku the size of the layoffs has reached as much as 10 percent of its workforce. The game maker says it's making the move to align its workforce closer to mobile and new technologies. For the console dinosaur that's trying to fight extinction by evolving into a bigger mobile player, this process has been a painful transition with a number of employees ending up in the tar pit - as well as its CEO."

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Ask Slashdot: Setting Up a System Integration Room At VAR?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-forget-all-the-little-screwdrivers department:
o2binbuzios writes "Due to an office move, I have a chance to do a clean-sheet design for an integration room at a fairly large VAR ($100M+ ). I'm looking for some ideas or best practice to support 100-120 square meters (~50 x 30 ft). I'm particularly interested in ideas around efficient workflow, ways to manage cabling and electrical, and 'environmental' solutions that make it a pleasant place to work. There will be a central bench with 6-8 stations (3-4 per side) with engineers and techs who may be configuring stacks of up to 10 devices at a time that could range from servers, to network elements, to SAN & NAS devices and more. I've been looking for a paper that seems like it must exist — but I'm happy to gather good ideas one at a time or in bunches here on Slashdot."

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Pearson Vue Now On Day 5 of Massive Outage
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's failure-to-fail-gracefully-compounds-the-problem department:
Reader Patrick In Chicago is one of a few readers to write with this unpleasant news: "Computer-based testing provider Pearson Vue is now in day 5 of a global outage, preventing test-takers worldwide from sitting for exams. I was personally turned away from a Cisco exam on Wednesday morning because Pearson was unable to deliver. Countless people have posted to Pearson Vue's Facebook page detailing various states of panic. There are people who have certifications expiring. Others are unable to sit their medical board exams. Still others are unable to sit exams that they are required to pass in order to work — Pearson Vue's incompetence has actually prevented people from going out and making a paycheck." This reminds me of a friend of mine who had to wait half a year to re-take his bar exam, because of a software glitch on the part of ExamSoft's software.

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Book Review: The New Digital Age
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen begin their new nonfiction book, The New Digital Age, with a rather bold pronouncement: 'The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history.' Subsequent chapters deal with how that experiment will alter life in decades to come, as more and more people around the world connect to the Internet via cheap mobile phones and other devices." Keep reading to see what Nerval's Lobster has to say about the book. The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
author Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
pages 336
publisher Knopf
rating 7/10
reviewer Nerval's Lobster
ISBN 0307957136
summary A survey of how the coming technological revolutions could look.

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WWDC Sells Out In 2 Minutes; Ticket On eBay 45 Minutes Later
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's makes-you-crave-them-fortnightly department:
alphadogg writes "The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference sold out in just two minutes today, blowing away last year's record of two hours. Tickets went on sale today at 10 a.m. PDT, as was announced yesterday, when Apple said its event would be held June 10-14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Apple WWDC runs neck-and-neck with the annual Google I/O event in the race for hottest tech show. The Google event, slated for May 15-17 at Moscone Center, sold out in 45 minutes this year. While transferring tickets for WWDC is generally not allowed, an ambitious eBay seller is attempting to get $10K for the $1,600 ticket."

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Washington AG Slams T-Mobile Over Deceptive 'No-Contract' Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-we-meant-was department:
zacharye writes "Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday ordered UNcarrier T-Mobile to correct 'deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.' T-Mobile, which recently did away with standard cell phone service contracts and typical smartphone subsidies, is accused of misleading consumers by advertising no-contract wireless plans despite requiring that customers sign an agreement that makes them responsible for the full cost of their handsets should they cancel service prematurely ..."

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Washinton AG Slams T-Mobile Over Deceptive 'No-Contract' Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-we-meant-was department:
zacharye writes "Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday ordered UNcarrier T-Mobile to correct 'deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.' T-Mobile, which recently did away with standard cell phone service contracts and typical smartphone subsidies, is accused of misleading consumers by advertising no-contract wireless plans despite requiring that customers sign an agreement that makes them responsible for the full cost of their handsets should they cancel service prematurely ..."

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Two Changes To Quirky Could Change The World
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's buy-cheap-sell-dear department:
"Quirky.com has generated a lot of buzz," writes frequent contributor Bennett Haselton, "but it's hard to see how it could ever be more than a novelty unless they change two key features of their process. Fortunately, they already have
all the infrastructure in place for bringing inventions to fruition, so that with these two changes, Quirky really could deliver on their early promise to change the way products
get invented." Read on for Bennett's thoughts — which seem more sensible than quirky.

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Scientists May Have Detected Neutrinos From Another Galaxy
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's taste-nearly-identical department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "A experiment called IceCube — consisting of sensitive light detectors buried deep in the Antarctic ice — has detected two ultra-high-energy neutrinos, each with over a peta-electronVolt of energy (a quadrillion times the energy of a visible light photon), the highest energy neutrinos ever seen. The two events, nicknamed Bert and Ernie, have a 99% chance of originating outside our galaxy, likely created either by a supermassive black hole or an exploding gamma-ray burst."

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Recovering Data From Broken Hard Drives and SSDs (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 10:30 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's after-the-sledgehammer-falls department:
Russell Chozick owns a small company in Austin. TX, called Flashback Data that recovers data from messed-up hard drives. And SSDs and Flash memory, too. How badly damaged does a drive have to be to defeat Russell and his crew? Apparently, smashed to bits. Not long aqo we did a video about a company that destroys data on hard drives, and we've had at least one Ask Slashdot where the question was, "What's the Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?" In today's video, Russell is talking about the opposite of destruction -- except that he destroys data upon request, too. Obviously, checking the wrong box on a customer order form could cause big problems at Flashback Data, couldn't it? Let's hope they never do that -- and let's hope we all back up all of our data so we never need to use a data recovery service. You do back up all your data, don't you?

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Texas Company's Antique Computers Are For Production, Not Display
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's commute-by-horseback-numb-with-ether department:
concealment writes "Sparkler Filters up north in Conroe [Texas] still uses an IBM 402 in conjunction with a Model 129 key punch – with the punch cards and all – to do company accounting work and inventory. The company makes industrial filters for chemical plants and grease traps. Lutricia Wood is the head accountant at Sparkler and the data processing manager. She went to business school over 40 years ago in Houston, and started at Sparkler in 1973. Back then punch cards were still somewhat state of the art."

See kottke.org for an eye-popping view of one of the "programs" — imagine debugging that.

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Microsoft Ad Campaign Puts a Hotspot Inside a Magazine
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-there's-a-premium department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is putting in real Wi-Fi hardware hotspots inside some copies of the latest issue of Forbes magazine. The unique Office 365 promotion was revealed in a post on the Slickdeals.net message board. The WiFi router, when activated, offers 15 days of free WiFi service via T-Mobile's network on up to five devices at once." Which is more impressive: Wi-Fi hotspot in 2013, or E-ink display in 2008?

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Old Educational Computer Resurrected As a Spreadsheet
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-week-punchcards department:
An anonymous reader writes "Back in the '60s, Bell Labs created a 'paper computer' called CARDIAC so students could learn the fundamentals of computers. Dr. Dobb's recreates the paper computer in an Excel spreadsheet and hints they will show how it gets ported to an FPGA in future installments."

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MySQL Founders Reunite To Form SkySQL
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's together-again-at-last department:
mikejuk writes "The founders of the original MySQL, the open-source database, are getting back together in a merger between Monty Program and SkySQL. SkySQL was created by around two dozen former MySQL executives and investors after Oracle bought MySQL from Sun. Widenius started Monty Program AB and created the MariaDB database from some of MySQL's open source code. The merger will provide a stronger rival to MySQL, so reassuring users who are worried about Oracle's future plans for the database."

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Harvard To Close New England Primate Research Center
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's monkey-changes-everything department:
sciencehabit writes "Citing an increasingly bleak outlook for federal research funding, Harvard Medical School is shutting down its major primate center, which has recently experienced the departure of several key scientists and an investigation into its handling of animals. In the announcement, which surprised many primate researchers, the school said it will not seek to renew the New England Primate Research Center's (NEPRC's) 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will 'wind down operations' at the center in Southborough, Massachusetts, over the next 2 years. The center, which has a nearly 50-year history, had done groundbreaking work on an AIDS vaccine and developed animal models for diseases such as Parkinson's, among other accomplishments."

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Ubuntu Releases 13.04, Sticks To 6-Month Release Rhythm
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's 'cause-that's-how-they-roll-or-rather-don't department:
Barence writes "Ubuntu has shelved the idea of moving to rolling releases, and will continue to release a new version every six months. Earlier this year, Ubuntu developers discussed the idea of moving to rolling releases, with new features added to the OS as and when they were ready. However, In an interview with PC Pro, Canonical CEO Jane Silber said the developers had taken a 'cold, hard look at our long-standing practices' and decided to stay with twice-yearly releases. It has, however, cut support on non-LTS releases from 18 to nine months." Today, the Ubuntu team have released the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 13.04 ("Raring Ringtail"), along with variants like Kubuntu 13.04.

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DMCA Safe Harbor May Not Apply To Old Copyrighted Works
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-escape-clause department:
tlhIngan writes "On Tuesday, the New York appellate court denied Grooveshark the DMCA safe harbor protection on songs like Johnny B. Goode. What happened was due to an oddity in the law, the DMCA does not apply to state-licensed copyrighted works (those copyrighted before February 15, 1972). What happened was Congress overhauled copyright law to make it a Federal matter, but all works prior to that date still come under common-law and state statutes. The end result is that Grooveshark does not have DMCA safe harbor protection for older works and may be sued for copyright infringement (barring other agreements, e.g., UMG and YouTube), even though they fully comply with the DMCA otherwise, taking down copyrighted materials. Grooveshark is a "music locker" service allowing users to upload music for others to listen to."

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Startup Founder Plays Tech Press Like a Fiddle
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's plucky-entrepreneurs department:
theodp writes "Steinar Skipsnes came up with a unique way to get more women into tech. Make them up. Posing as 'Sarah Hanson,' a 19-year-old woman who claimed to have auctioned off 10% of her future income in return for $125,000 to fund her Senior Living Map startup, Skipsnes pitched the story via email to generate press coverage. It worked — VentureBeat, HuffPo, Yahoo!, AOL, GeekWire, and others took the bait. But after doubts were aired about the story, Skipsnes fessed up to concocting the too-good-to-be-true hoax about the female teen entrepreneur to appeal to the interests of the tech press. 'I started to think "what if I took the elements of what the press loves and created a story?"' Skipsnes explained. "So I did.'"

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Device Keeps Liver Alive Outside Body For 24 Hours
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pure-whiskey department:
kkleiner writes "A new device will keep a liver alive outside of the human body for up to 24 hours. Developed at Oxford, the OrganOx circulates oxygenated red bloods cells and nutrients through the liver while maintaining the proper temperature. Doctors estimate that this new technique could double the number of livers available, saving the lives of thousands who die every year awaiting transplant."

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British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg 'Kills' Snoopers Charter
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '13 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-glancing department:
judgecorp writes "The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has effectively 'killed' the Communications Data Bill which would have required service providers to share personal communications data with the police. Clegg has withdrawn the support of the Liberal Democrat Party (part of the Coalition in power in the UK) from the so-called 'Snooper's Charter.' The announcement is timed to block the measure from the Queen's Speech on 8 May, which introduces the next programme of planned legislation."

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