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ARM Announces 64-Bit Cortex-A50 Architecture
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 06:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's intel-to-re-release-itanic department:
MojoKid writes "ARM debuted its new 64-bit microarchitecture today and announced the upcoming launch of a new set of Cortex processors, due in 2014. The two new chip architectures, dubbed the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57, are the most advanced CPUs the British company has ever built, and are integral to AMD's plans to drive dense server applications beginning in 2014. The new ARMv8 architecture adds 64-bit memory addressing, increases the number of general purpose registers to 30, and increases the size of the vector registers for NEON/SIMD operations. The Cortex-A57 and A-53 are both aimed at the mobile market. Partners that've already signed on to build ARMv8-based hardware include Samsung, AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, and STMicro."

The 64-bit ARM ISA is pretty interesting: it's more of wholesale overhaul than a set of additions to the 32-bit ISA.

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Pumpkin Carving For the Digital Age: Pumpktris
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 04:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's also-electrocutes-neighborhood-vandals department:
antdude writes "Pumpktris is a fully playable version of Tetris built into a pumpkin, with 128 Light Emitting Diode (LEDs) for the display and the stem serving as a game controller."

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Ask Slashdot: Is TSA's PreCheck System Easy To Game?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's it's-probably-a-crime department:
OverTheGeicoE writes "TSA has had a preferred traveler program, PreCheck, for a while now. Frequent fliers and other individuals with prior approval from DHS can avoid some minor annoyances of airport security, like removing shoes and light jackets, but not all of the time. TSA likes to be random and unpredictable, so PreCheck participants don't always get the full benefits of PreCheck. Apparently the decision about PreCheck is made when the boarding pass is printed, and a traveler's PreCheck authorization is encoded, unencrypted, on the boarding pass barcode. In theory, one could use a barcode-reading Web site (like this one, perhaps) to translate a barcode into text to determine your screening level before a flight. One might even be able to modify the boarding pass using PhotoShop or the GIMP to, for example, get the screening level of your choice. I haven't been able to verify this information, but I bet Slashdot can. Is TSA's PreCheck system really that easy to game? If you have an old boarding pass lying around, can you read the barcode and verify that the information in TFA is correct?"

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EFF And Others Push For Open Wifi APs Everywhere
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 03:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's feels-so-dirty department:
netbuzz writes "Forging ahead with an initiative that proved controversial when introduced last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and nine other groups today are advancing the Open Wireless Movement to encourage ubiquitous sharing of Internet access. 'We envision a world where sharing one's Internet connection is the norm,' said EFF Activist Adi Kamdar, in a press release. 'A world of open wireless would encourage privacy, promote innovation, and benefit the public good, giving us network access whenever we need it. And everyone — users, businesses, developers, and Internet service providers — can get involved to help make it happen.'"

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Irked By Cyberspying, Georgia Outs Russia-based Hacker
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's turnabout-is-fair-play department:
coondoggie writes "In one of the photos, the dark-haired, bearded hacker is peering into his computer's screen, perhaps puzzled at what's happening. Minutes later, he cuts his computer's connection, realizing he has been discovered. In an unprecedented move, the country of Georgia — irritated by persistent cyber-spying attacks — has published two photos of a Russia-based hacker who, the Georgians allege, waged a persistent, months-long campaign that stole confidential information from Georgian government ministries, parliament, banks and NGOs."

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Glow-In-The-Dark Smart Highways Coming To the Netherlands In 2013
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's current-highways-suddenly-seem-stupid department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Netherlands is moving forward with plans to build 'smart' highways that can become more easily visible in the dark or communicate weather conditions to drivers. Work will begin as early as next year. 'Special paint will also be used to paint markers like snowflakes across the road's surface — when temperatures fall to a certain point, these images will become visible, indicating that the surface will likely be slippery. Roosegaarde says this technology has been around for years, on things like baby food — the studio has just up-scaled it. The first few hundred meters of glow in the dark, weather-indicating road will be installed in the province of Brabant in mid-2013, followed by priority induction lanes for electric vehicles, interactive lights that switch on as cars pass and wind-powered lights within the next five years.'"

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EFF Wants Ubuntu To Disable Online Search By Default
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's just-works-vs.-just-works-correctly department:
sfcrazy writes "Ubuntu 12.10 met with some controversy before and after its launch about the inclusion of Amazon product listings alongside local search results. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has raised concerns around data leaks and Amazon Ads. The EFF has asked Canonical to update Ubuntu so it disables 'Include online search results' by default. 'Users should be able to install Ubuntu and immediately start using it without having to worry about leaking search queries or sending potentially private information to third party companies. Since many users might find this feature useful, consider displaying a dialog the first time a user logs in that asks if they would like to opt-in.'"

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Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Due In 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wait-what department:
Jason Levine writes "Disney will acquire Lucasfilm, including the Star Wars trilogy. Additionally, Star Wars: Episode 7 is due to be released in 2015, with more feature films on the way. George Lucas said, 'For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I've always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I'm confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.'"

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Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-blame-gravity department:
centre21 writes "I've been reading about solar-powered aircraft all over the Internet, as well as solar power in general. But I'm wondering: is it more than just solar cell efficiency that's preventing the creation of a solar-powered airliner? Conspiracy views aside (which may be valid), it seems to me that if I were running an airline the size of United or American, eliminating the need for jet fuel as a cost would be highly appealing. So, I'm asking: what stands in the way of creating true solar-powered airliners?"

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New York Data Centers Battle Floods, Utility Outages
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bunker-in-tight department:
miller60 writes "At least three data center buildings in lower Manhattan are struggling with power problems amid widespread flooding and utility outages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Flooded basements at two sites took out diesel fuel pumps, leaving them unable to refuel generators on higher levels. One of these was Datagram, which knocked out Buzzfeed and the Gawker network of sites. At 111 8th Avenue, some tenants lost power when Equinix briefly experienced generator problems."
The NY Times has a running list of Sandy-related problems, including 5,700 more flight cancellations, 6 million people without power, rising water levels at a nuclear plant, official disaster declarations from President Obama, and a death toll of 38.

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Windows Phone 8 Having Trouble Attracting Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's have-you-tried-bacon department:
colinneagle writes "Microsoft has promised that cross-platform development across the 8s – from Windows 8 on a desktop to Windows Phone 8 – will be a simple matter, but that's still not enough to get some developers moving on Windows Phone 8 support. The Windows Phone platform has made a remarkable recovery since its reset with version 7. Since then, WP7 has grown to 100,000 apps. But that pales in comparison to the 675,000 in Google Play and 700,000 in the Apple App Store. Granted, there's a ton of redundancy – how many weather or newsfeed apps does one person need? – but it points to availability and developer support. A report from VentureBeat points out what should be obvious: that while developers like Windows 8, they aren't as excited about Windows Phone 8 software because they have already made huge investments in other platforms and don't want to support another platform. A survey by IDC and Appcelerator found 78% of Android developers were 'very interested' in programming for Android smartphones, a slight drop from the 83% in a prior survey. Interest in the iPhone and iPad remained undiminished, with 89% and 88% interest, respectively."

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Google's Nexus 4, 7, 10 Strategy: Openness At All Costs
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's is-openness-with-limits-openness-at-all? department:
MrSeb writes "There have been plenty of rumors about how the Nexus program was going to grow and change with this year's announcement. Now that we have all the details, it looks like almost none of them were right. There is no Nexus certification program, and the dream of multiple Nexus phones seems well and truly dead. What we do have is a range of device sizes with the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. However, the Nexus program has been altered in one important way: we know what Nexus means now. There can no longer be any doubt: a Nexus device is about openness first and foremost. Last year the technology sphere was busily discussing whether or not the Verizon Galaxy Nexus was a 'true' Nexus device. This year we have an answer: a Nexus controlled by a carrier is no Nexus. Rather than get in bed with Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T to produce an LTE version of the Nexus 4, we have HSPA+ only. Even the new Nexus 7 with mobile data is limited to this enhanced 3G standard. And then there's the pricing: The super high-resolution (2560×1600) Nexus 10 tablet starts at just $399; The Nexus 7 is dropping in price to $199 for a 16GB tablet; The Nexus 4 with 16GB of storage is going to sell for $349, exactly the same as the old Galaxy Nexus was until yesterday. To put this into perspective, the LG Optimus G, which the Nexus 4 is based on, sells for $550 without subsidy. Google is pushing the idea of openness with the Nexus devices, but it's not an entirely altruistic endeavor. By giving us cheap and open devices, Google is making sure it's in control — not the carriers. That's better for the consumers, but it's also better for Google."

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Using Magnets To Interact With Your Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's I-mostly-use-gravity-instead department:
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from MAKE's blog: "Tangible interface designer and inventor Andrea Bianchi, along with his colleague, Ian Oakley (University of Madeira / Carnegie Mellon Europe), have come with a novel approach to interacting with a mobile device. Using the magnetometer built into most modern smartphones, Bianchi and Oakley have created a series of tangible user interface demonstrations that go beyond what's achievable with capacitive touch displays."

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48-Core Chips Could Redefine Mobile Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's absolute-power department:
CWmike writes "Intel researchers are working on a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets, but it could be five to 10 years before it hits the market. Having a 48-core chip in a small mobile device would open up a whole new world of possibilities. 'If we're going to have this technology in five to 10 years, we could finally do things that take way too much processing power today,' said analyst Patrick Moorhead. 'This could really open up our concept of what is a computer... The phone would be smart enough to not just be a computer but it could be my computer.' Enric Herrero, a research scientist at Intel Labs in Barcelona, explained that with the prototype chip someone could, for instance, be encrypting an email while also working on other power-intensive apps at the same time — without hiccups. Same for HD video. Intel's Tanausu Ramirez said it could also boost battery life. 'The chip also can take the energy and split it up and distribute it between different applications,' he said. Justin Rattner, Intel's CTO, told Computerworld that a 48-core chip for small mobile devices could hit the market 'much sooner' than the researchers' 10-year prediction."

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ITER Fusion Project Struggles To Put the Pieces Together
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's failure-to-fuse department:
ananyo writes "The world's largest scientific project is threatened with further delays, as agencies struggle to complete the design and sign contracts worth hundred of millions of euros with industrial partners. Sources familiar with the project warn that the complex system for buying ITER's many pieces could put the fusion reactor project even further behind schedule. Rather than providing cash, ITER's partners have pledged 'in kind' contributions of pieces of the machine. Magnets, instruments and reactor sections will arrive from around the world to be cobbled together at the central site in St-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France. Because no one body holds the purse strings, designs for the machine's components face a tortuous back-and-forth between the central ITER Organization and national 'domestic agencies', which ensure that local companies secure contracts for ITER's components. Managers say the project remains on schedule. But it would hardly be the first time that ITER had been delayed or faced budgetary difficulties."

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France Applies Tax Pressure To Google For Republishing News Snippets
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's department-of-rent-seeking department:
Qedward writes "France may introduce a law to make Google pay to republish news snippets if it doesn't strike a deal with French news publishers before the end of the year, the office of French President François Hollande said. French publishers want to share in the revenue that Google earns from advertising displayed alongside their news snippets in search results. Readers are often satisfied by reading the headline and summary published by Google News, and don't feel the need to click through to the news site, the publishers say. In this way, Google profits and the content creators don't. The publishers want to be able to charge Google to compensate them for ad revenue losses."

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NewsCorp/NDS Sets Up Operation To Expose Canadian Pirates; What Could Go Wrong?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's boarding-eh department:
Presto Vivace writes "Murdoch's Pirates is a business book that reads like a thriller. The chapter excerpted in the Sydney Morning Herald explains how Operation Duck, an effort to discover the identify Canadian pay TV pirates, went horribly wrong. 'By October 25 Oliver had been in Toronto four days and had programmed a swag of pirate cards, using a program he had ripped off another pirate hack. And he had been paid a lot of money. That evening, he met with two piracy dealers in a car and programmed a few cards for them with his portable programmer box, to demonstrate that it worked. The following night Oliver received a call from a friend in London, a partner in his old piracy ring, who was sleeping with a woman who worked for Federal Express. 'He told me, these guys [from the previous night] sent a parcel to Larry Rissler,' Oliver recalls. Rissler was a former FBI agent who headed the Office of Signal Integrity—the operational security division—of DirecTV, and he had been hunting Oliver for some time. One of the dealers Oliver had met was a Rissler informant and he had despatched a re-programmed smartcard by FedEx to his boss. The parcel would be with Rissler early the next morning—if it wasn't already there.'

The story reads like some perverse blend of James Bond and the Pink Panther. It is just amazing."


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Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty, Knocks Off Gawker Websites
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's stormy-weather department:
Black Parrot writes "Several news sites are reporting that the 1962 replica of the HMS bounty was lost at sea due to hurricane Sandy, about 90 miles off North Carolina. The latest news I find says 14 of 16 crew rescued, one drowned, and the Captain still missing." And on land, the combination of wind and water surges knocked off Gawker sites and the Huffington Post for a time, and forced the evacuation of NYU's Langone Medical Center. Did it affect you?

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Telling the Truth In Today's China
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's shame-about-the-government department:
eldavojohn writes "Inside the land of the Great Firewall censorship is rampant although rarely transparent. Foreign Policy has a lengthy but eyeopening recounting of what it's like being an editor for the only officially sanctioned English business publication inside the most populated country on Earth. Eveline Chao of the magazine 'China International Business' writes in her piece 'Me and My Censor' about her censor named Snow, the three taboo T's (Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen), a bizarre government aversion to flags and how she was 'offered red envelopes stuffed with cash at press junkets, sometimes discovered footprints on the toilet seats at work, and had to explain to the Chinese assistants more than once that they could not turn in articles copied word for word from existing pieces they found online.' Anecdotes abound in this piece including the story of a photojournalist who 'once ran a picture he'd taken in Taiwan alongside an article, but had failed to notice a small Taiwanese flag in the background. As a result, the entire staff of his newspaper had been immediately fired and the office shut down.' " (Read more, below.)

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An Open Standard For Wireless Charging?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tall-skinny-latte-power-surcharge department:
Charging portable devices without needing to carry a power adapter sounds handy, and it's slowly getting closer to widespread use. IPAQ2000 writes that AT&T, Google and Starbucks announced yesterday "that they have joined the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). Founded by Powermat Technologies and Procter & Gamble, the PMA's Honorary Chairman is Google's Vint Cerf – one of the fathers of the Internet — and its board now also includes AT&T, Duracell, Google and Starbucks. The U.S. Government's Energy Star and Federal Communications Commission – both PMA members — are board observers." (How does Starbucks come into it? They're "testing PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots in select Boston stores.")

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