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The Fastest ISPs In the US
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greased-lightning department:
adeelarshad82 writes "For a second year in a row PCMag partnered with Speedtest to find out the fastest ISPs in the U.S. The results were a product of 110,000 tests ran between January 1, 2012 and September 19, 2012. Collecting data for both download and upload speeds for each test, Speednet was able to calculate an index score for a better one-to-one comparison, where downloads counted for 80 percent and uploads 20 percent. Moreover, rather than testing the upload and download speed of a single file, the tests used multiple broadband threads to measure the total capacity of the "pipe." While the results at the nationwide level were fairly obvious with Verizon FiOS crushing its opposition, the results at regional level were a lot more interesting and competitive."

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White House Confirms Chinese Cyberattack
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's testing-the-waters department:
First time accepted submitter clam666 writes "White House sources partly confirmed that U.S. government computers — reportedly including systems used by the military for nuclear commands — were breached by Chinese hackers. From the article: 'The attempted hack used "spear phishing," in which an attacker sends an email to a specific target that uses familiar phrases in hopes that the recipient will follow links or download attachments that unleash the hacker's malware.

None of the White House’s secure, classified computer systems were affected, said the official, who reached out to POLITICO after the Free Beacon story appeared — without having been asked for comment. Nor had there been any attempted breach of a classified system, according to the official.'"


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New York Plans World's Largest Ferris Wheel
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-you-build-it-they-will-ride department:
justelite writes "It is an old trend to build "The World's largest..." something. One of the latest somethings is a 630-foot tall Ferris wheel planned for Staten Island. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 'The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City even unlike any other on the planet.' Designed to carry 1,440 passengers at a time, it's expected to draw 4.5 million people a year to a setting that also would include a 100-shop outlet mall and a 200-room hotel."

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New Cell-To-Cell Communication Process Could Revolutionize Bioengineering
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we-can-make-him-better department:
Zothecula writes "The internet has revolutionized global communications and now researchers at Standford University are looking to provide a similar boost to bioengineering with a new process dubbed "Bi-Fi." The technology uses an innocuous virus called M13 to increase the complexity and amount of information that can be sent from cell to cell. The researchers say the Bi-Fi could help bio-engineers create complex, multicellular communities that work together to carry out important biological functions."

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Supreme Court Won't Hear Body-Scanner Appeal
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's scan-me department:
stevegee58 writes "After a long string of legal setbacks, the case brought by Jonathan Corbett challenging TSA's use of full body scanners and enhanced pat-downs has come to and end. Today the Supreme Court declined to hear the case so current TSA practices will stand. The TSA started allowing the use of the advanced imaging technology in October 2010."

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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ask-and-you-shall-hear department:
He co-founded Apple Computer, he's a programmer and engineer who invented the Apple I and Apple II computers, he's one of our most influential readers, he is known simply as Woz. To kick-off our 15th anniversary month, Woz has agreed to take some time to answer a few of your questions; as with other Slashdot interviews, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please ask them in separate posts. We'll be running a number of other special interviews this month, so keep your eyes open.

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Oracle Open World: Ellison Preaches Cloud Religion
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's silver-lining department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Oracle CEO Larry Ellison used his opening keynote at Oracle Open World (OOW) to unveil several initiatives to accelerate the cloud, including its own private cloud, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and its latest database version—which, coincidentally, can be stored in memory within Oracle's latest Exadata database machines. Ellison also paid tribute to Oracle hardware partner Fujitsu, which had earlier announced 'Project Athena': a server designed with a UltraSPARC chip that (he claimed) can run the Oracle database 'faster than any microprocessor on the planet.' Ellison opened OpenWorld with four key announcements: that Oracle is now offering infrastructure as a service; that it will complement the IaaS offering by allowing customers to run that same infrastructure behind their corporate firewall as a private cloud; the launch of Oracle database 12C (where the 'c' stands for 'cloud'); and, finally, the new Exadata servers, which barely use disk drives at all in-favor of in-memory storage, with flash memory as a fallback."

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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dream-shop department:
First time accepted submitter weiserfireman writes "For the first time in our company's 60 year history, we are going to be building a new facility from scratch. We are a CNC Machine shop with 40 employees and 20 CNC machines, crammed into a 12,000 sq foot building. We are going to build a new 30,000 sq foot building. I am the only IT person. I support all the computer systems, as well as all the fire/security/phone systems. My Boss has asked for my input on what infrastructure to include in the new building to support current and future technology. 1st on my list is a telecommunications equipment room. Our current building doesn't have one. I have been researching this topic on the Internet, and I have a list of a lot of different things, all of them are nice, but I know I am going to have a limited budget. If you were in my shoes, what priorities what features would you design into the building?"

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Linux 3.6 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's brand-new department:
diegocg writes "Linux 3.6 has been released. It includes new features in Btrfs: subvolume quotas, quota groups and snapshot diffs (aka "send/receive"). It also includes support for suspending to disk and memory at the same time, a TCP "Fast Open" mode, a "TCP small queues" feature to fight bufferbloat; support for safe swapping over NFS/NBD, better Ext4 quota support, support for the PCIe D3cold power state; and VFIO, which allows safe access from guest drivers to bare-metal host devices. Here's the full changelog."

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The Explosive Growth of 3D Printing
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's print-em-if-you-got-em department:
MojoKid writes "If you've ever attended a World Maker Faire, the first thing that strikes you is how organic the whole scene is. Inventors, creators, and engineers from all walks of life have their gadgets, science projects, and creations on display for all to see. Some of the creations you see on display range from downright amazing to completely bizarre. One of the big attractions, a technology area that has experienced explosive growth, is the land of 3D Printing. MakerBot took the open source RepRap 3D replicator project mainstream back in 2009 with the release of the Cup Cake CNC machine, then came the Thing-o-Matic and then a little bot called Replicator. With each iteration, improvements in process and technology are bringing better, more capable 3D printers to market, from MakerBot's new Replicator 2, to new players in the field like Solidoodle, Up!3D, Ultimaker, and Tinkerines. To watch a 3D printer in action is like witnessing art, science and engineering all working together in glorious unison."

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US Agricultural Economists Say Bacon Shortage Is Hogwash
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hold-on-tight department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes "The economics of the current drought are likely to nose up prices for bacon and other pork products next year, by as much as 10 percent. But U.S. agricultural economists are dismissing reports of a global bacon shortage that lent sizzle to headlines and Twitter feeds last week. Simply put, the talk of scarcity is hogwash. 'Use of the word 'shortage' caused visions of (1970s-style) gasoline lines in a lot of people's heads, and that's not the case,' said Steve Meyer, president of Iowa-based Paragon Economics and a consultant to the National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board. 'If the definition of shortage is that you can't find it on the shelves, then no, the concern is not valid. If the concern is higher cost for it, then yes.'"

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Obama Blocks Chinese Wind Farms In Oregon Over National Security
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-wind-for-you department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Reuters reports that President Barack Obama has invoked a little-used law to block a privately owned Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a Navy military site in Oregon due to national security concerns. 'There is credible evidence that leads me to believe' that Ralls Corp, Sany Group and the two Sany Group executives who own Ralls 'might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,' said Obama in issuing his decision. The military uses the Oregon naval facility to test unmanned drones and the EA-18G 'Growler.' The electronic warfare aircraft accompanies US fighter bombers on missions and protectively jams enemy radar, destroying them with missiles along the way. At the Oregon site, the planes fly as low as 60 m and at almost 480 km/h. The administration would not say what risks the wind farm purchases presented but the Treasury Department said the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, known as CFIUS, made its recommendation to Obama after receiving an analysis of the potential threats from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The last time a president used the law to block a transaction was in 1990, when George H.W. Bush voided the sale of an aerospace company, Mamco Manufacturing, to a Chinese agency."

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Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's go-directly-to-jail department:
eldavojohn writes "Although downloading songs without paying for them in Japan used to be a civil offense starting in 2010, it is now a crime with new penalties of up to two years in prison or fines of up to two million yen ($25,700). The lobbying group behind this push for more extreme penalties is none other than the RIAJ (the Japanese RIAA). The BBC notes this applies to both music and video downloads which may put anime studios in a particularly uncomfortable position."

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Thanks For Reading: 15 Years of News For Nerds
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 03:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's some-of-you-weren't-even-born department:
Slashdot turns 15 this month! You may have noticed that we’ve swapped out the usual logo for the first of the reader-contributed designs we'll be featuring this month. (If you think you have a better idea, we'd love to see it; all artists whose designs we choose to run will get Slashdot anniversary T-shirts, and one will get a Nexus 7 tablet.) We're also happy to announce an overdue feature here on Slashdot: a blog with information from the developers and editors. We'll use it to provide updates and background information about the site's development (for instance, new features or fixed bugs, or changes in the user interface), and try to answer reader questions about the site at greater length than the FAQ. Shameless tease: today, you can read about the launch of Slashdot mobile in the inaugural post. We might use the blog to expound on story choice or to make non-critical announcements, too. You probably don't come to Slashdot generally to read about Slashdot, though, so don't worry &mdash the blog will live safely and quietly in the background until you want to read it. Since this is a new feature, we're still working out exactly how it should best be used, so feel free to make suggestions below on what you'd like to see. Between now and the end of October, look for a passel of other treats, too, starting with an interview with Woz later today. We hope you'll get together with other readers at one of the many parties planned for later this month, also. Slashdot exists for and because of everyone who reads the site; thank you for being part of it.

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ForestWatchers Lets Anyone Monitor A Patch of Forest
Posted by News Fetcher on October 01 '12 at 01:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's first-one-to-spot-sasquatch-wins department:
teleyinex writes "ForestWatchers.net is a citizen project with the goal of making it possible for anyone (locals, volunteers, NGOs, governments, etc), anywhere in the world, to monitor selected patches of forest across the globe, almost in real-time, using a computer connected to the Internet. The project has recently released a first alpha web application (built using the open source crowdsourcing PyBossa framework) where volunteers can participate by classifying satellite images of one area of the Amazon basin."

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RockBox + Refurbished MP3 Players = Crowdsourced Audio Capture
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '12 at 10:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's like-y'do department:
An anonymous reader writes "Looking for an inexpensive means to capture audio from a dynamically moving crowd, I sampled many MP3 players' recording capabilities. Ultimately the best bang-for-the-buck was refurbished SanDisk Sansa Clip+ devices ($26/ea) loaded with (open source) RockBox firmware. The most massively multi-track event was a thorium conference in Chicago where many attendees wore a Clip+. Volunteers worked the room with cameras, and audio capture was decoupled from video capture. It looked like this. Despite having (higher quality) ZOOM H1n and wireless mics, I've continued to use the RockBox-ified Clip+ devices ... even if the H1n is running, the Clip+ serves as backup. There's no worry about interference or staying within wireless mic range. The devices have 4GB capacity, and RockBox allows WAV capture. They'll run at least 5 hours before the battery is depleted (with lots of storage left over). I would suggest sticking with 44kHz (mono) capture, as 48kHz is unreliable. To get an idea of their sound quality, here is a 10-person dinner conversation (about thorium molten salt nuclear reactors) in a very busy restaurant. I don't know how else I could have isolated everyone's dialog for so little money. (And I would NOT recommend Clip+ with factory firmware... they only support 22kHz and levels are too high for clipping on people's collars.)" This video incorporating much of that captured audio is worth watching for its content as well as the interesting repurposing.

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How Noah Kagan Got Fired From Facebook and Lost $100 Million
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '12 at 07:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-who's-counting department:
First time accepted submitter abhi2012 writes "Noah Kagan, a former Facebook product manager, has written a brutally honest article about how and why he got fired from Facebook in 2006 and what he learned from it.
The experience must be particularly painful, given that it eventually cost Kagan a $100 million fortune."


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BitCoin Gets a Futures Market
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '12 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's prices-are-information-units department:
fireballrus writes "There is one more way to use your BitCoins rather than buying weed or socks. Recently, a Bitcoin Exchange called ICBIT quietly introduced a futures market, obviously using Bitcoins as its main currency. Gold futures trade roughly at 137 BTC/tr.oz and Sweet Crude Oil at 7.3 BTC/bbl. This may play a positive role in the Bitcoin economy which needs more ways to actually use coins instead of mining them." While this sounds intriguing, I'd like to hear a good case for why BitCoin makes sense in this context.

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CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '12 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's sure-beats-at&t-for-my-phone-then department:
sfcrazy writes "There's some great news for CyanogenMod fans. The CM team has decided to drop ROM manager, which was the de facto standard of getting CyanogenMod updates."

Instead, the CM team is building its own updating method, explained (with screenshots) at Android Police.

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WTFM: Write the Freaking Manual
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '12 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-to-speak department:
theodp writes "Blogger Floopsy complains that he would love to RTFM, but can't do so if no one will WTFM. 'You spend hours, days, months, perhaps years refining your masterpiece,' Floopsy laments to creators of otherwise excellent programming language, framework, and projects. 'It is an expression of your life's work, heart and soul. Why, then, would you shortchange yourself by providing poor or no documentation for the rest of us?' One problem with new program languages, a wise CS instructor of mine noted in the early look-Ma-no-documentation days of C++, is that their creators are not typically professional writers and shy away from the effort it takes to produce even less-than-satisfactory manuals. But without these early efforts, he explained, the language or technology may never gain enough traction for the Big Dogs like O'Reilly to come in and write the professional-caliber books that are necessary for truly widespread adoption. So, how important is quality documentation to you as a creator or potential user of new technologies? And how useful do you find the documentation that tech giants like Google (Go), Twitter (Bootstrap), Facebook (iOS 6 Facebook Integration), Microsoft (Windows Store apps), and Apple (Create Apps for IOS 6) produce to promote their nascent technologies? Is it useful on its own, or do you have to turn to other 'store-bought' documentation to really understand how to get things done?"

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