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Obama Asks FCC To Make Carriers Unlock All Mobile Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '13 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's time-to-regulate department:
New submitter globaljustin writes "According to a Washington Post report: 'Several months after calling for legislation to unlock cellphones, the White House filed a petition (PDF) with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday asking that all wireless carriers be required to unlock all mobile devices so that users can easily switch between carriers. ... the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said that allowing unlocked devices would increase competition and consumer choice, while also putting the burden of changing networks on companies rather than consumers.' This move should be met with universal acclaim from cell phone users, right?"

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A New Way To Fund Open Source Software Projects, Bug Fixes and Feature Requests
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '13 at 01:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's charge-10-cents-per-compile department:
Lemeowski writes "Open source software projects are seeing some success on fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But Warren Konkel believes open source software needs a better funding model that's more aligned with how software is built. So Konkel, who was the first hire at LivingSocial, teamed up with his friend David Rappo, a producer for games including Guitar Hero and Skylander, and founded Bountysource, a crowdfunding and bounty site specifically designed to help developers raise money for their OSS projects, bug fixes and feature requests. In this interview, Konkel talks about how he recently snagged a $1.1 million investment in Bountysource, gives developers tips on launching a fundraising effort for their OSS project, and more."

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DARPA Launches Military Spaceplane Project
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'll-order-a-dozen department:
RocketAcademy writes "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a new program to develop a reusable first-stage launch vehicle. Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) would be capable of flying 10 times in 10 days, with a small ground crew, reaching speeds of Mach 10, and deploying a small upper stage to place a 3,000-pound satellite into orbit. The XS-1 program is complementary to the Air Force's Boeing X-37, which is a reusable upper stage. The X-37 is currently launched by an expendable Atlas rocket but could be launched by a vehicle derived from XS-1 in the future. Military planners have dreamed of a two-stage, fully reusable Military Spaceplane for several years, but funding has not materialized up to now."

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Sailfish OS Gains Two-Way Android Compatibility
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's made-with-actual-sailfish department:
DeviceGuru writes "Jolla announced (PDF) that its Sailfish OS is now fully compatible with Android, letting the Linux-based mobile OS run Android apps, as well as operate on hardware configured for Android. This makes the MeeGo-based Sailfish OS the first alternative mobile Linux OS to achieve the feat. Jolla also announced that a second batch of pre-orders for its Sailfish-based Jolla phones will open later this week, after having sold out its first batch in August."

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Multi-Display Gaming Artifacts Shown With AMD, 4K Affected Too
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bleeding-edge-throwing-clots department:
Vigile writes "Multi-display gaming has really found a niche in the world of high-end PC gaming, starting when AMD released Eyefinity in 2009 in three-panel configurations. AMD expanded out to six-screen options in 2010 and NVIDIA followed shortly thereafter with a similar multi-screen solution called Surround. Over the last 12 months or so, GPU performance testing has gone through a sort of revolution as the move from software measurement to hardware capture measurement has taken hold. PC Perspective has done testing with this new technology on AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA Surround configurations at 5760x1080 resolution and found there were some substantial anomalies in the AMD captures. The AMD cards exhibited dropped frames, interleaved frames (jumping back and forth between buffers) and even stepped, non-horizontal vertical sync tearing. The result is a much lower observed frame rate than software like FRAPS would indicate and these problems will also be found when using the current top-end, dual-head 4K PC displays since they emulate Eyefinity and Surround for setup."

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GitHub Adds Support For Diffing 3D Files
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 07:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-waiting-on-4D-file-diffs department:
An anonymous reader writes "A few months after releasing support for viewing models in .STL format, GitHub just added support for viewing changes to .STL formatted 3D models directly in the browser. 'How does this work? We take both versions of the model, and using binary space partitioning, we compute the added, removed, and unchanged parts. This is done using csgtool, a C library paired with a Ruby gem via FFI. These pieces are cached and displayed by the 3D viewer we already have, though we color them differently and play with their transparency to help illustrate the changes.'"

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WeChat IM Application Could Disclose Your Password To Attackers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 06:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's conveniently-facilitates-account-sharing department:
New submitter soulflyz writes "Security researchers found some security issues in WeChat, a popular instant messaging application developed by the Chinese company Tencet. By exploiting these vulnerabilities, any other application installed on the user's phone can force WeChat to send the user's password hash (in plain MD5 format) to an external web server, controlled by the attacker. Android versions of WeChat up to 4.5.1 are confirmed to be vulnerable, but similar issues could interest also other versions of the application. According to recent statistics, WeChat should have about 300 million registered users."

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OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's putting-the-band-together department:
Damek writes "The OpenZFS project launched today, the truly open source successor to the ZFS project. ZFS is an advanced filesystem in active development for over a decade. Recent development has continued in the open, and OpenZFS is the new formal name for this community of developers, users, and companies improving, using, and building on ZFS. Founded by members of the Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and illumos communities, including Matt Ahrens, one of the two original authors of ZFS, the OpenZFS community brings together over a hundred software developers from these platforms."

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Canadian Scientists Protest Political Sandbagging of Evidence-Based Policy
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's reality-has-a-well-known-liberal-bias department:
New submitter sandbagger writes "Stephen Harper and the Canadian government have made headlines several times for stifling opinions that dissent with their own. This also applies to respected, peer-reviewed science. Canadian scientists have chafed at being gagged and having evidence take a back seat when forming policy, so they're grabbing their slide rules and marching in protest. 'Hundreds of participants gathered in 17 cities for rallies on Monday. In Toronto some donned lab coats while in Vancouver protesters were seen wearing gags adorned with the Conservative Party logo – a reference to the alleged muzzling of federal scientists by political overseers. ... Dr. Gibbs and colleagues said they hoped the rallies would alert the public to scientists’ concerns that the federal government has shifted funding markedly toward commercially driven research at the expense of public-interest science. ... Dr. Gibbs said her group would consult with the Canadian research community and look to other countries in trying to craft recommended policies for science in government. In recent years explicit scientific integrity rules have been adopted by many U.S. federal departments and agencies, after accusations of censorship and politicization of science during the administration of former president George W. Bush. 'Canadian scientists are where American scientists were maybe a decade ago,' said Michael Halpern, a Washington, D.C.-based program manager with the Union of Concerned Scientists. 'They're trying to figure out how to protect themselves from a government that’s increasingly focused on message control over a more open discussion of the facts.'"

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Stronger Winds Explain Puzzling Growth of Sea Ice In Antarctica
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ice-goblin-theory-slides-into-obscurity department:
vinces99 writes "As NOAA announces a new record for the extent of sea ice in Antarctica, a new modeling study to be published in the Journal of Climate shows that stronger polar winds lead to an increase in Antarctic sea ice, even when Earth's overall climate is getting warmer. The study (abstract) by Jinlun Zhang, a University of Washington oceanographer, shows that stronger westerly winds swirling around the South Pole can explain 80 percent of the increase in Antarctic sea ice volume during the past three decades. The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole is not just stronger than it was when satellite records began in the 1970s, it also shoves the sea ice together to cause ridging. Stronger winds also drive ice faster, which leads to still more deformation and ridging. This creates thicker, longer-lasting ice, while exposing surrounding water and thin ice to the blistering cold winds that cause more ice growth. A computer simulation that includes detailed interactions between wind and sea shows that thick ice — more than 6 feet deep — increased by about 1 percent per year from 1979 to 2010, while the amount of thin ice stayed fairly constant. The end result is a thicker, slightly larger ice pack that lasts longer into the summer."

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Arrested Chinese Blogger "Confesses" On State TV, Praises Censorship
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'm-sure-we-can-take-that-at-face-value department:
Koreantoast writes "As part of a broader, chilling Chinese crackdown on Internet dissent, Chinese blogger Charles Xue appeared on Chinese state television in handcuffs on Sunday, denouncing his blog and praising government censorship. He 'confessed' to becoming drunk on the accumulated power of his Weibo blog, which peaked at 12 million followers, and confessed to recklessly spreading unverified rumors and slander, disrupting social harmony and becoming a vent of negative emotion on mainstream society. He also praised new government legislation cracking down on Internet freedom, stating how dangerous the Internet would be if left uncontrolled by the government. Xue was arrested on prostitution solicitation charges though his television confession did not discuss that. His arrest was also suspiciously around the same time as a broader government sweep that picked up other Chinese Internet activists."

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New Operating System Seeks To Replace Linux In the Cloud
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's chasing-the-penguins-out-of-the-sky department:
New submitter urdak writes "At CloudOpen in New Orleans, KVM veterans Avi Kivity and Dor Laor revealed their latest venture, a new open-source (BSD license) operating system named OSv. OSv can run existing Linux programs and runtime environments such as a JVM, but unlike Linux, OSv was designed from the ground up to run efficiently on virtual machines. For example, OSv avoids the traditional (but slow) userspace-kernel isolation, as on the cloud VMs normally run a single application. OSv is also much smaller than Linux, and breaks away from tradition by being written in C++11 (the language choice is explained in in this post)."

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Firefox 24 Arrives: WebRTC Support and NFC Sharing On Android
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 24 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Improvements include a new option to mass close tabs 'to the right,' as well as WebRTC support and NFC sharing on Android. Firefox 24 has now been released over on Firefox.com and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play. Compared to Firefox 23, this isn’t a big release for the desktop. Mac users will notice a new scrollbar style on OS X 10.7 and users of the browsers social features will appreciate the ability to tear-off chat windows by just dragging (full release notes: desktop, mobile)."

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NSA Bought Exploit Service From VUPEN
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's they-get-by-with-a-little-help-from-vupen department:
New submitter Reverand Dave writes "The U.S. government – particularly the National Security Agency – is often regarded as having advanced offensive cybersecurity capabilities. But that doesn't mean that they're above bringing in a little outside help when it's needed. A newly public contract shows that the NSA last year bought a subscription to the zero-day service sold by French security firm VUPEN. The contract, made public through a Freedom of Information Act request by MuckRock, an open government project that publishes a variety of such documents, shows that the NSA bought VUPEN's services on Sept. 14, 2012. The NSA contract is for a one-year subscription to the company's 'binary analysis and exploits service.'"

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Auction Houses To Be Removed From Diablo III
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's reversing-course department:
An anonymous reader writes "When Blizzard built Diablo III, one of the controversial features was the inclusion of an auction house for players to buy and sell gear. On one hand, it created a safe environment for trading, which had been rife with scams in Diablo II. On the other hand, gathering loot was one of the main points of the game, and the auction house trivialized that. According to an announcement on Battle.net, both the Real Money auction house and the Gold auction house will be removed from the game as part of Blizzard's revamp of the loot system in Diablo III. The target date is well ahead of us: March 18, 2014. Blizzard said, 'We feel that this move along with the Loot 2.0 system being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls will result in a much more rewarding game experience for our players.' Unexpected news, to be sure."

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True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sith-lords-need-checking-accounts-too department:
KentuckyFC writes "The banking system is closely regulated and monitored by central banks and other government agencies. But it has become common practice for banks to get around this by doing business in ways that don't show up on conventional balance sheets. This so-called shadow banking system is thought to be huge, but nobody knows exactly how big. Now three econophysicists have discovered that the size distribution of the world's largest financial firms significantly differs from the size distribution of smaller ones or indeed non-financial firms. And they hypothesize that the difference is the result of the hidden transactions that make up the shadow banking system. By this new measure, the shadow banking system has grown dramatically since the financial crisis and was worth over $100 trillion in 2012, significantly more than had been thought and more even than the GDP of the entire planet. Nothing to worry about, then."

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Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's build-some-space-rockets-while-you're-at-it department:
cartechboy writes "GM may sell the Chevy Volt, but it's not a sexy electric car like Tesla Model S. It's a plug-in hybrid with muddled marketing (whose owners love it even though they burn gasoline sometimes). Product exec Doug Parks says GM is developing an electric car that does 200 miles on one charge, with a price around $30,000. But he wouldn't say when, falling back on the old excuse: 'Electric car batteries are really, really expensive!' Tesla's still the only maker to offer an electric car with more than 200 miles of range, so it will be interesting to see whether GM can really build a true Tesla rival. If so, the marketing must be better than the Volt's. Otherwise, it won't matter how good the car is."

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GNOME 3.10 Is Now Properly Supported On Wayland
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-just-a-lawn-ornament department:
An anonymous reader writes "One week ahead of the GNOME 3.10 release, all of the basic Wayland support for GNOME has been merged. With today's GNOME Shell 3.9.92 release the Wayland branch was merged and there was also an updated Mutter Wayland release, besides earlier GNOME 3.9.x packages fostering the Wayland support. Fedora 20 is expected to ship with GNOME on Wayland as a technology preview. Additional details about the current GNOME Wayland support are available from the GNOME Wiki."

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Can Internet Pseudonymity Be Saved?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-may-comment-anonymously department:
jfruh writes "Imagine that you're a lawyer who also runs a popular sexual fetish podcast. Or that you're a blogger on political issues and you want to determine for yourself who you're going to get into political arguments with. Or you're a transgender woman who isn't out to your real-life associates but you want to explore your gender identity online. Or that you're a female gamer who wants to play World of Warcraft without being hit on or harassed. All of these people have perfectly good reasons for wanting to use a pseudonym online. And yet more and more websites are making it difficult or impossible to do so, often for perfectly legitimate reasons of improving civility and stopping anonymous abuse. How can pseudonymity — one of the key foundations of early internet communities — be saved?"

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Flies See the World In Slo-Mo, Say Researchers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '13 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sure-passes-quickly-as-the-decades-pass department:
An anonymous reader writes " The smaller an animal is, and the faster its metabolic rate, the slower time passes for it, scientists found. This means that across a wide range of species, time perception is directly related to size, with animals smaller than us seeing the world in slow motion.' No wonder it took so long to grow up!"

Here's the original paper.

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