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Turning Data Science Into a Spectator 'Sport'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's instant-replay-not-necessary department:
vu1986 writes "Kaggle has a 'predictive-modeling competition platform that makes public the competitors in invite-only private competitions. Think of it like watching a major tournament in golf or tennis, where you can watch the best in the world shoot it out to see whose algorithms are king. Kaggle's tagline is "We're making data science a sport." Maybe now it can make data science a spectator sport.'"

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Europe Sets Sights On Asteroid Tracking Radars
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bruce-willis-bat-signal department:
coondoggie writes "The European Space Agency today said it would develop a radar system that will be capable of tracking space hazards such as asteroids and orbital debris. ESA and France's Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales — research center will work with five other partners in France, Spain and Switzerland to this month design a test surveillance radar and develop a $6 million demonstrator model."

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Microsoft Patent Details Whole-Room Projection Game Environment
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's holosuite-0.1 department:
Mackadoodledoo writes "Details of an immersive video games display system that projects images of the title's environment around a player's room have been revealed in a U.S. patent belonging to Microsoft."

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Apple Announces iPhone 5
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-would-have-guessed department:
Today Phil Schiller took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where he announced the long-expected iPhone 5. The casing is made entirely of glass and aluminum, and it's 7.6mm thick, which is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S. It weighs in at 112 grams, which is 20% lighter than the 4S. Schiller confirmed that the iPhone 5 has a 4" display, with a resolution of 1136x640. It's a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is the same width as a 4S, but it's taller. To accommodate older apps, they either center the app or add black bars to make it look right. The new device also has LTE support. Tim Cook spoke earlier about the iPad, making some interesting claims: "Yes, we are in a post-PC world." He also claimed 68% tablet market share for the iPad, and says iPads account for 91% of tablet-based web traffic. The event is continuing, and we'll update this post as further announcements appear. A real-time liveblog is being quickly updated at Ars Technica

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EVE Online CSM and Diplomat Killed in Libyan Consulate Attacks
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's small-world department:
New submitter overmoderated writes first with news of an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. From the article: "The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on their car, a Libyan official said, as they were rushed from a consular building stormed by militants denouncing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad."

An anonymous reader adds: "Sean Smith, a.k.a. Vile Rat, an EVE Online CSM member, and diplomat for the GoonFleet corporation, was one of the four killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last night. He was 34. A fundraiser is being organized for his children by the Something Awful forums."

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Confusion and Criticism Over ENCODE's Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's everyone-had-too-many-cheetos department:
As_I_Please writes "In response to the previous report of the ENCODE project discovering 'biochemical functions for 80 percent of the genome,' many scientists have questioned what was meant by 'function.' Ars Technica Science Editor John Timmer wrote an article calling ENCODE's definition of functionality 'broad to the point of being meaningless. At worst, it was actively misleading.' Nature magazine also has a followup discussing the ambiguity surrounding the 80% figure and claims about junk DNA."

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Mesa Finally An OpenGL Implementation (On Intel Hardware)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's after-dnf-it-had-to-happen department:
Mesa 3D has famously always not been technically OpenGL (lacking certification), but times are changing: "This is a great day for Mesa and open-source graphics drivers. Just a tad over a month ago, I submitted OpenGL ES 2.0 conformance test results to Khronos for Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge GPUs with Mesa 8.0.4. There were no objections during the 30 day review period, so we are now officially conformant! Finally being on that list is pretty cool. Not only is this great news for my team at Intel, but it's terrific news for Mesa. Mesa has had a long history with OpenGL, the ARB, and Khronos. This is, however, the first time that Mesa has ever, in any way, been listed as a conformant implementation. This is a big boost to Mesa's credibility."

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Foxconn Says Vocational Students Aren't Being 'Forced' To Work
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is-is department:
jones_supa writes "Foxconn has responded to the criticism regarding Chinese internship students being forced to work for them. In a statement to Washington Post, Foxconn said that its 'short-term internship program' is in line with Chinese labor laws and that interns comprise 2.7% of its labor force in China. Schools, not Foxconn, recruit students into the programs, the company said, and the programs are supervised by local government authorities and teachers assigned to monitor the students' work. Foxconn has also set up a hotline for interns and outlined procedures that allow them to resign from the program."

Related, an anonymous reader pointed at an undercover report on working conditions at Foxconn.

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Augmented HDR Vision For Welders (And Others)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's reverse-engineered-predator-tech department:

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Malware Used in Aramco Attack Likely Work of Amateurs
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's insult-injury department:
wiredmikey writes with this excerpt from Security Week: "The Disttrack/Shamoon malware, while destructive, appears to be the work of amateurs and not elite and sophisticated developers, according to the latest analysis. The malware proved that it was possible for developers to subvert legitimate kernel-mode applications for malicious purposes, but it appears that the malware could have been even more destructive and dangerous, if it had not been for a series of programming mistakes in the code, according to recent analysis from Kaspersky Lab. Other suggestions that the developers behind the Shamoon malware are not high-profile programmers include the fact that The command-and-control server is hard-coded as two addresses, which limits the tool since if the address ever changes, the infected machine can no longer receive instructions. The developers were most likely motivated by political reasons, as the malware overwrote existing files with a fragment of an image of a burning American flag. The Malware has also been reported to be linked to the recent Saudi Aramco attack, which some reports have suggested that insiders may have been partly involved. Saudi Aramco hasn't officially said what type of malware hit its systems."

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University Team Builds Lego and Raspberry Pi Cluster
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 07:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's build-a-beowulf-wait-a-minute department:
hypnosec writes about a neat little hack using Lego, Raspberry Pis, and Scratch to construct a "supercomputer." From the article: "A team of computational engineers over at the University of Southampton led by Professor Simon Cox have built a supercomputer using Raspberry Pi and Lego. The supercomputer comprises of 64 processors, 1TB of storage (16GB SD Cards in each of the Raspberry Pis) and can be powered on using just a single 13 Amp mains socket. MPI is used for communications between the nodes through the Ethernet port. The team managed to build the core of the supercomputer for under £2500. Named 'Iridis-Pi' after University of Southampton's supercomputer Iridis, software for the supercomputer was built using Python and Scratch. Professor Cox used the free plug-in 'Python Tools for Visual Studio' to develop code for the Raspberry Pi."

Lots of pictures of the thing, and a howto on making your own.

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Injured Bald Eagle Gets New 3-D Printed Beak
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's terrorist-your-game-is-through department:
An anonymous reader writes "A bald eagle that lost its beak to a poacher's gun receives a 3-D printed beak prosthetic like a dental implant."

More (with pictures): "Mr Calvin, a founder of the Boise-based Kinetic Engineering Group, made a mold of Beauty's shattered upper mandible, laser-scanned it, fine-tuned it in a 3D modeling program, and created a prosthetic beak from a nylon-based polymer."

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Around 200,000 Tons of Deep Water Horizon Oil and Gas Consumed By Bacteria
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 06:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's sludge-monster-rises-from-gulf department:
SchrodingerZ writes "The University of Rochester and Texas A&M University have determined that in the five months following the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, bacteria have consumed over 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas. The researched was published in the journal; Environmental Science and Technology (abstract available, full text pay-walled). 'A significant amount of the oil and gas that was released was retained within the ocean water more than one-half mile below the sea surface. It appears that the hydrocarbon-eating bacteria did a good job of removing the majority of the material that was retained in these layers," said co-author John Kessler of the University of Rochester.' The paper debuts for the first time 'the rate at which the bacteria ate the oil and gas changed as this disaster progressed, information that is fundamental to understanding both this spill and predicting the behavior of future spills'. It was also noted that the oil and gas consumption rate was correlated with the addition of dispersants at the wellhead . Still an estimated 40% of the oil and natural gas from the spill is still in the Gulf today."

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Discworld Fan Film Possibly the Largest Scale Fan Film Ever
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 05:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's hunt-for-in-the-pir-discworld department:
An anonymous reader writes "After clocking in at $82,000 on their Kickstarter campaign, two Troll Bridge trailers have been released online showing helicopter shots in New Zealand and a large scale bridge set that was built and shot on. A Behind the Scenes has also been released demonstrating what fans are now actually capable of given decent crowd-funding. The film has finished shooting and is expected to be released next year. Sir Terry Pratchett has been apparently thrilled with the progress."

But can it beat Star Wreck for best production award?

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GAO Slams DHS Over BioWatch Biological Defense System
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 05:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's your-taxes-at-work department:
Mansing writes "Citizens need to evaluate if they are indeed safer for all the 'security precautions' put into place. 'The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has rushed to acquire a new, multibillion-dollar version of the BioWatch system for detecting biological attacks without establishing whether it was needed or would work, according to a new report by a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress. ... The existing system's repeated false alarms have triggered tense, high-stakes deliberations over whether to order mass evacuations, distribute emergency medicines or shut down major venues.' Is this just more money funneled to U.S. companies, or is this really keeping the U.S. safer? Are the same types of 'security precautions' being instituted in Spain and the UK? Or is this preying on fear a uniquely U.S. phenomenon?"

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Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's passing-on-the-mega-death-ray-may-have-been-wrong-too department:
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking yesterday at TechCrunch Disrupt, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company's stock performance was disappointing. He also made an interesting remark about Facebook's development efforts over the past couple of years: 'The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native. It just wasn't ready.' According to Mashable, 'the benefits of cross-platform development weren't enough to outweigh the downsides of HTML5, which pulls in data much more slowly than native code, and is much less stable. ... Now, Zuckerberg says, Facebook is focused on continuing to improve the native mobile experience on iOS, as well as bringing a native app to Android.'"

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Author Threatens To Sue Book Reviewers Over Trademark Infringement
Posted by News Fetcher on September 12 '12 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let-me-know-how-that-works-out-for-you department:
Nate the greatest writes "Do you know what is crazier than sending DMCA notices to a site like Lendink which doesn't host any content? It's when an author threatens to sue book reviewers over trademarks. Jazan Wild, a comics creator, is sending out threatening emails to any and all book blogs who review a recently published book called Carnival of Souls. The book was written by Melissa Marr, and it happens to use a title which Jazan Wild owns the registered trademark. He's also suing the publisher for trademark infringement, but HarperCollins is laughing it off. The book blog Bookalicious posted the email they got from Jazan. Needless to say they did not take down the review."

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Playing At the World: a Huge New History of Gaming
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-off-my-lawn department:
New submitter disconj writes "Over at Wired, Ethan Gilsdorf interviews Jon Peterson, author of the new book Playing at the World. Gilsdorf calls it 'a must read,' though he cautions it 'is not intended for a general audience. It's a book for geeks, about geeks.' It is apparently an insanely-detailed history of role-playing games and wargames, including everything from Prussian kriegsspiel up to Dungeons & Dragons and the beginning of computer RPGs (but none of that heathen stuff after 1980). Peterson says in the interview that he wanted to write a history of these games 'worthy of the future they are creating.' He apparently spent five years on the project, including unearthing a huge trove of previously-unknown historical documents."

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Russia Builds World's Largest Nuclear Powered Ice-Breaker
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-thought-the-nuclear-wessels-were-in-alameda department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Eve Conant reports that Russia's dream to dominate the Arctic will soon get a boost with a $1.1 billion nuclear-powered icebreaker 170 meters long and 34 meters wide. It's designed to navigate both shallow rivers and the freezing depths of the Northern Sea. Powered by two 'RITM-200' compact pressurized water reactors generating 60MWe, the world's largest 'universal' nuclear icebreaker is designed to blast through ice more than 4 meters thick and tow tankers of up to 70,000 tons displacement through Arctic ice fields. Why the effort and cost? 'Climate change is a pivotal factor in accelerating Russia's interest in icebreakers,' says Charles Ebinger. 'With climate change we are seeing a major change in the Northern Sea Route, which is a transport route along Russia's northern coast from Europe to Asia. Just in the last few years, with less and less permanent sea ice, maritime traffic across the Russian Arctic has risen exponentially.' The expectation is that the melt will continue, but there are still sections of route that would require icebreakers to keep it open year round. Icebreakers are an excellent example of a special purpose vehicle that is very poorly designed for operation outside its specific envelope. The key element is the rounded bow, a shape best suited to riding up on ice shelves and crushing them from above, causing the ships to roll from side to side in the waves when sailing on open water, making for a very seasick ride for the crew. Russia is the only country in the world currently building nuclear icebreakers, and has a fleet of about half a dozen in operation, along with a larger fleet of less powerful, diesel-powered icebreakers. The U.S. has been relying on a Russian diesel icebreaker to deliver supplies to Antarctica due to our own shrinking fleet of the cold-water, diesel-fueled vessels."

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Exposing the Machinery of the Resistome
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 09:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's right-click-add-to-dictionary department:
aarondubrow writes "2011 Nobel Prize Winner, Bruce Beutler, is using the Ranger supercomputer at The University of Texas at Austin for an ambitious new project to discover all of the genes involved in the mammalian immune response – the so-called 'resistome.' Over several years, Beutler's lab will sequence the protein coding portions of genes in 8,000 mice to detect the impact of mutations on immunity. This means scanning, enriching and sequencing 500 billion base pairs every week. The project represents a 'Big Data' problem of the highest order."

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