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Console Manufacturers Want the Impossible?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's also-known-as-a-computer department:
Phopojijo writes "Consoles have not really been able to profitably scale over the last decade or so. Capital is sacrificed to gain control over their marketshare and, even with the excessive lifespan of this recent generation, cannot generate enough revenue with that control to be worth it. Have we surpassed the point where closed platforms can be profitable and will we need to settle on an industry body, such as W3C or Khronos, to fix a standard for companies to manage slices of and compete within?"

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Canadian Man Pleads Guilty In Celebrity Hacking and Harrassment Case
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 11:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's probably-shouldn't-have-done-that department:
FuzzNugget writes "A 25-year-old man from Abbotsford, British Columbia has plead guilty to several charges involving the unauthorized access to a computer and phone belonging to singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who also hails from BC. It's alleged that after obtaining nude photos from the singer's computer and phone, he attempted to sell them to media outlets. The allegations also include releasing a fake sex tape claming to be of the celebrity. As a result, he was charged with a number of offenses, from unauthorized use of computer to (oddly) fraudulently obtaining telecommunications services, mischief to data, identity fraud, and possession of stolen property. It will be interesting to watch this unfold and see how Canada's laws on computer-based crimes compare to those of the U.S., particularly the notorious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act."

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PETA Wants To Sue Anonymous HuffPo Commenters
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 08:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's turns-out-they-were-dogs department:
MarkWhittington writes, quoting himself: "PETA is incensed over an article in the Huffington Post that details that organization's unsettling practice of euthanizing animals in a Virginia facility that many have assumed is a no kill shelter. According to the New York Post, PETA wants to sue some of the people who have left comments on the article. The problem is that, following the practice of many on the Internet, many of the comments are under assumed names or are anonymous. PETA is attempting to discover the true identities of their critics so that it can sue them for defamation."

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Australian Intelligence HQ Blueprints Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 06:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's found-the-exhaust-port department:
SandmanWAIX writes "In an embarrassing revelation today it appears as though the blueprints to the new Australian federal intelligence agency ASIO headquarters have been stolen, reportedly by a cyber attack originating from China. Several other governmental departments have been reported as being breached also. The blueprints which have been compromised include the security system, comms network, floor plan and server locations of the new ASIO headquarters located in the Australian capital city, Canberra."

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Multiple Studies Show Used Electronics Exports To Third World Mostly Good
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's one-spoiled-teenager's-trash department:
retroworks writes "Bloomberg News reporter Adam Minter writes in today's Opinion section that several studies show that there's nothing really remarkable or scandalous about exports of used equipment to developing nations. 'Some is recycled; some is repaired and refurbished for reuse; and some is thrown into landfills or incinerators. Almost none of it, however, is "dumped" overseas.' Minter begins with the most recent study (PDF), released by the U.S. International Trade Commission in March 2013. Several other studies from Peru, Nigeria, Ghana and China show there was never an incentive for overseas buyers to pay money to import junk, and that most of the junk filmed by activists in the dumps in those nations was used for years (Nigeria has had TV since the 1970s). 'A 2011 study by the United Nations Environment Program determined that only 9 percent of the used electronics imported by Nigeria — a country that is regularly depicted as a dumping ground for foreign e-waste — didn't work or were unrepairable, and thus bound for a recycler or a dump. The other 91 percent were reusable and bound for consumers who couldn't afford new products.' The one data source Bloomberg cannot find is a data point for the widely reported 'statistic' that 80-90% of used electronics imported by Africans are burned or dumped. In the comment section, two advocates for legislation banning the exports object to the survey methodology of one of the studies. But the source of the original statistic, reported by Greenpeace and Basel Action Network in their fundraising campaigns, remains a mystery."

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Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's fast-and-fancy department:
New nekohayo writes "While Wayland/Weston 1.1 brought support to the Raspberry Pi merely a month ago, work has recently been done to bring true hardware-accelerated compositing capabilities to the RPi's graphics stack using Weston. The Raspberry Pi foundation has made an announcement about the work that has been done with Collabora to make this happen. X.org/Wayland developer Daniel Stone has written a blog post about this, including a video demonstrating the improved reactivity and performance. Developer Pekka Paalanen also provided additional technical details about the implementation."

Rather than using the OpenGL ES hardware, the new compositor implementation uses the SoC's 2D scaler/compositing hardware which offers "a scaling throughput of 500 megapixels per second and blending throughput of 1 gigapixel per second. It runs independently of the OpenGL ES hardware, so we can continue to render 3D graphics at the full, very fast rate, even while compositing."

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Computer Network Piecing Together a Jigsaw of Ancient Jewish Lore
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's putting-it-together department:
First time accepted submitter aravenwood writes "The New York Times and the Times of Israel report today that artificial intelligence and a network of 100 computers in a basement in Tel Aviv University are being used to match 320,000 fragments of documents dating as far back as the 9th century in an attempt to reassemble the original documents. Since the trove of documents from the Jewish community of Cairo was discovered in 1896 only about 4000 of them have been pieced together, and the hope is that the new technique, which involves taking photographs of the fragments and using image recognition and other algorithms to match the language, spacing, and handwriting style of the text along with the shape of the fragment to other fragments could revolutionize not only the study of this trove documents, which has been split up into 67 different collections around the world since it's discovery, but also how humanities disciplines study documents like these. They expect to make 12 billion comparisons of different fragments before the project is completed — they have already perform 2.8 billion. Among the documents, some dating from 950, was the discovery of letters by Moses Maimonides and that Cairene Jews were involved in the import of flax, linen, and sheep cheese from Sicily."

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Electric Car Startup 'Better Place' Liquidating After $850 Million Investment
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shutting-it-down department:
awaissoft writes "Better Place hoped to transform the energy industry with electric cars and battery switching stations. Better Place wanted to make the world a better place by replacing gas stations with battery switching stations that would remove the driving mileage limitations from electric cars and eventually rid the world of fossil-fuel burning vehicles. But after six years and burning through $850 million, the company is filing for liquidation in an Israeli court. As reported by the Associated Press, Better Place's Board of Directors issued a written statement Sunday announcing that the company was winding down."

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Google Glass: What's With All the Hate?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's half-empty-glasses department:
An anonymous reader writes "Techcrunch takes a look at why so many people seem to make fun of Google Glass. From the article: 'Google Glass isn't even on sale yet and there is already a noticeable backlash against Google's first experiment in wearable computing. It's odd to see a product that was greeted with so much hype a year ago endure the love-hate cycle so quickly – even though there are only a few thousand units in the wild. Sure, we've done our share to popularize "glasshole" as a way to describe its users, but the backlash seems to go beyond the usual insidery tech circles.'"

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German Railways To Test Anti-Graffiti Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eye-in-the-sky department:
garymortimer writes "Germany's national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, plans to test small drones to try to reduce the amount of graffiti being sprayed on its property. The idea is to use airborne infra-red cameras to collect evidence, which could then be used to prosecute vandals who deface property at night. A company spokesman said drones would be tested at rail depots soon."

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CurvACE Gives Robots a Bug's Eye View
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bug-eyed department:
Zothecula writes "Robots are getting down to the size of insects, so it seems only natural that they should be getting insect eyes. A consortium of European researchers has developed the artificial Curved Artificial Compound Eye (CurvACE) which reproduces the architecture of the eyes of insects and other arthropods. The aim isn't just to provide machines with an unnerving bug-eyed stare, but to create a new class of sensors that exploit the wide field of vision and motion detecting properties of the compound eye."

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Artist Turns Volcano Into Naked-Eye Observatory
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's staring-at-the-stars department:
An anonymous reader writes "Unlike most Bond villains, 70-year-old James Turrell has turned a 389,000-year-old extinct volcano into something other than a secret hideout; he's turned it into a naked-eye observatory. From the article: 'Inside, the crater's naturally lit viewing rooms are precision-engineered to observe specific celestial events. While outside, Turrell has reformed the rim of the crater to create a beautiful "vaulting effect" of the sky in a way that we almost never see it. "I'm very interested in how we perceive, because that's how we construct the reality in which we live," Turrell says, "and I like to tweak that a little bit. I make structures that arrest and apprehend light for our perception."'"

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Xbox One: Cloud Will Quadruple the Power, Says Microsoft
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's silver-lining department:
New submitter geirlk writes "Toms Hardware reports that 'Group program manager of Xbox Incubation & Prototyping Jeff Henshaw recently told OXM that for every console Microsoft builds, it will provision the CPU and storage equivalent of three Xbox One consoles in the cloud. This allows developers to assume that there's roughly three times the resources immediately available to their game. Thus, developers can build bigger, persistent levels that are more inclusive for players.'"

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Why Google's Display Ad Business Drew FTC Antitrust Probe
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sitting-in-the-corner department:
First time accepted submitter jahard writes "It's not clear yet whether the preliminary look will result in anything more. The FTC and the Justice Department don't investigate behemoths like Google on a lark, so there's at least a decent chance they'll find reason to look deeper. But according to several online ad sources, the evidence is mixed, and some–even at least one competitor–say Google is playing fair with its so-called 'stack' of ad technologies. Contacted for comment, Google provided only a terse statement: 'We have not heard anything from the FTC regarding any new antitrust investigation.'"

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German Brewers Warn Fracking Could Hurt Beer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 05:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's does-this-taste-funny-to-you? department:
Taco Cowboy writes "Those of you who like free beer, watch out ! he practice of fracking for shale gas, may ruin the beer you drink. Under the "Reinheitsgebot", or German purity law, brewers have to produce beer using only malt, hops, yeast and water. 'The water has to be pure and more than half Germany's brewers have their own wells which are situated outside areas that could be protected under the government's current planned legislation on fracking,' said a Brauer-Bund spokesman. The Brauer-Bund beer association is worried that fracking for shale gas, which involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure into the ground, could pollute water used for brewing and break a 500-year-old industry rule on water purity."

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US Entertainment Industry To Congress: Make It Legal For Us To Deploy Rootkits
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's for-your-protection department:
An anonymous reader writes "The hilariously named 'Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property' has finally released its report, an 84-page tome that's pretty bonkers. But there's a bit that stands out as particularly crazy: a proposal to legalize the use of malware in order to punish people believed to be copying illegally. The report proposes that software would be loaded on computers that would somehow figure out if you were a pirate, and if you were, it would lock your computer up and take all your files hostage until you call the police and confess your crime. This is the mechanism that crooks use when they deploy ransomware."

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Yahoo Joins Growing List of Bidders For Hulu
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '13 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-will-be-assimilated department:
An anonymous reader writes "It's reported that Yahoo has formally put in a bid to buy Hulu only a week after adding Tumblr to the family. From the article: 'Yahoo just spent $1.1 billion of its cash horde to acquire Tumblr, a blogging site with 300 million mostly young-ish visitors and 24 billion minutes of usage per month. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's team can slap a lot of tasteful, personalized native ads into the Tumblr content streams to monetize the fast growing site. It's the same way that Facebook and Twitter hope to get into the tens of billions in revenue league, but it's a long and winding road. Now Yahoo is taking a run at Hulu, with its 4 million subscribers paying $7.99 per month, original programming , and more than 70,000 full TV episodes. Hulu could immediately put Yahoo's video efforts and revenue in a different league.'"

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Richard III Suffered an Ignominious Burial, Researchers Find
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '13 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hold-the-pomp department:
An anonymous reader writes "Richard III may have been the King of England and the subject of a Shakespearean play, but even that couldn't keep him safe from ending up in a hastily-dug grave that ultimately became part of a parking lot, according to a new study published in the journal Antiquity."

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Microsoft Files Dispute Against Current Owner of XboxOne.com
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '13 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what's-in-a-name? department:
MojoKid writes "Microsoft might have one of the most talked-about products at the moment with the Xbox One, but would you believe it doesn't own the rights to the most obvious domain name to accompany it? Domain squatting is a real issue for companies about to launch a new product. If they register a domain before the official launch, people can find that and subsequently ruin the company's surprise. This particular case is different, however. The domain name wasn't registered just the other day. Instead, a UK resident registered the name XboxOne.com in December of 2011, long before Microsoft itself even likely had a definitive name for its upcoming console. So, what can a company do in this instance? File a dispute with the National Arbitration Forum, an ICANN-approved organization that specializes in dealing with these sorts of matters."

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NASA TESS Observatory Will Hunt For Alien Life On "Super-Earth" Exoplanets
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '13 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hello-neighbor department:
An anonymous reader writes "Kepler may be down, but now NASA has another planet-hunting tool in mind. The space agency is preparing the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) observatory in order to follow in Kepler's footsteps. NASA has been searching for alien planets for several years now. Learning about strange exoplanets such as enormous, hot 'Jupiters' and 'rogue planets' that actually cruise through space without a parent star certainly adds to the body of research concerning our universe. Yet what scientists are really interested in are the Earth-like planets that may hold the potential for life."

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