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KDE Publishes Manifesto
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ok-i-guess department:
Several readers sent word that KDE has published a manifesto. According to its official announcement, the KDE community's growth over the past 15 years has "created a need for clarity about what pulls us together as a community." It continues, "The KDE Manifesto is not intended to change the organization or the way it works. Its aim is only to describe how the KDE Community sees itself. What binds us together are certain values and their practical implications, without regard for who a person is or what background and skills they bring." The manifesto opens boldly, saying, "We are a community of technologists, designers, writers and advocates who work to ensure freedom for all people through our software." It comes along with more detailed descriptions of the benefits and principles of a KDE project.

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Will the Desktop PC Live Forever?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's there-can-be-only-one department:
concealment points out a rebuttal from PCWorld of the increasingly common claims that we live in a post-PC world.
"It's an intriguing proposition, but don't count on mobile devices killing off your desktop PC any time soon. While mobile gear is certainly convenient when you're trying to conduct business on the go, it's nowhere near as convenient as a desktop when you're trying to complete serious work in an office environment. Sure, your phone, tablet or even laptop might conveniently fit in your pocket or backpack, but all these devices are fraught with compromises, whether it's computing power, screen size, or, well, a really expensive price tag."

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Microsoft's Hand-Gesture Sensor Bracelet
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-you-build-in-a-laser-pistol department:
another random user tips this quote from the BBC:
"A wrist-worn sensor that creates 3D-models of the user's hand movements in real-time has been built by Microsoft. The Digits prototype is part of an effort to create a mobile device that would allow its owner to control a range of equipment using hand gestures. The firm said it could be used as a virtual TV control, a way to operate a smartphone while it is in the user's pocket, and to play video games. It is designed to be less cumbersome and uncomfortable than sensor gloves. However, some experts question whether consumers would want to wear such a device during their day-to-day activities."
ACM has the research paper (PDF) describing this device and its use.

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Humble eBook Bundle Lets You Pay What You Want For eBooks
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's everybody-needs-books department:
Following on the success of the various Humble Bundles for DRM-free video games, the organization has just launched its first Humble eBook Bundle. It includes Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Invasion by Mercedes Lackey, Stranger Things Happen, and Magic for Beginners, both by Kelly Link. If you choose to pay more than the average (about $11 at this writing), you also get Old Man's War by John Scalzi, and Signal to Noise, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. The books are available in PDF, MOBI, and ePub formats, without DRM. As with all the Humble Bundles, you can choose how much you'd like to pay, and how the proceeds are split between any of the authors and/or among three charities.

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Curiosity Spies Unidentified, Metallic Object On Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's littering-on-another-planet department:
MrSeb writes "A few hundred million miles away on the surface of the Red Planet, Mars rover Curiosity has photographed an unidentified, shiny, metallic object. Now, before you get too excited, the most likely explanation is that bright object is part of the rover that has fallen off — or perhaps some debris from MSL Curiosity's landing on Mars, nine weeks ago. There is the distinct possibility, however, that this object is actually native to Mars, which would be far more exciting. It could be the tip of a larger object, or perhaps some kind of exotic, metallic Martian pebble (a piece of metal ore, perhaps). Close-up imagery will now be captured and analyzed, and within the next few days we should know if it's simply a piece of Curiosity — or something a whole lot more exciting."

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Firefox 16 Released: More HTML5 Support
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
Today Mozilla released the final version of Firefox 16, which includes a number of new tools for developers. "A number of HTML5 code has been 'unprefixed,' which means that Mozilla has decided it has matured enough to run in the browser without causing instability. The newly unshackled HTML5 includes CSS3 Animations, Transforms, Transitions, Image Values, Values and Units, and IndexedDB. Two Web APIs that Mozilla helped to create, Battery API and Vibration API, are also now unprefixed. These changes help keep Firefox competitive, but it also sends a signal to developers that Mozilla thinks these are good enough to begin baking into their sites. It's a strong endorsement of the 'future-Web' tech." Here's the complete change list and the download page.

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Russian Officials Consider Ban On W-iFi Use For Kids
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-can-still-be-young-at-heart department:
dsinc writes that Russia's "Communications and Press Ministry has proposed banning children from using Wi-Fi networks in public, potentially making cafes, restaurants and other locations providing the service responsible for enforcing the law. An official with the ministry's Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, known as Roskomnadzor, said the ban should apply to people under 18 years old. Locations providing Wi-Fi access would be held legally responsible for implementing the rule, and failing to meet the proposed measure would result in a fine ranging from 20,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles ($640 to $1,600), Vedomosti reported Thursday." The law, ostensibly to "shield" children, would apply to a fairly broad definition of child — anyone under 18.

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OS Upgrades Powered By Git
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sounds-like-a-good-idea department:
JamieKitson writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git."

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Insurance For Cybercriminals, or Giant Sting?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's needs-scott-joplin-soundtrack department:
tsu doh nimh writes "Brian Krebs follows up on a recent Slashdot discussion about a cybercrime gang that is recruiting botmasters to help with concerted heists against U.S. financial institutions. The story looks at the underground's skeptical response to this campaign, which is being led by a criminal hacker named vorVzakone ('thief in law'), who has released a series of videos about himself. vorVzakone also is offering a service called 'insurance from criminal prosecution,' in which miscreants can purchase protection from goons who specialize in bribing or intimidating Russian/Eastern European police into scuttling cybercrime investigations. For $100,000, the service also claims to have people willing to go to jail in place of the insured. Many in the criminal underground view the entire scheme as an elaborate police sting operation."

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Ask Slashdot: Video Monitors For Areas That Are Off the Grid?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hey-expletive-you-expletive-expletive department:
An anonymous reader writes "I have a cottage at the end of a long dirt road, no electricity nor internet, and recently some (insert expletive here) wads are using the area as a trash dump: countertops, sofas, metal scraps, tvs — all the stuff they don't want to pay to dump at the landfill. I can't block the road because it's a fire access. But I would really like to have a way to catch who is doing this. Are there any a) waterproof, b) self-contained, c) self-powered, and (ideally) d) inexpensive video-recording units out there? Are there any other creative ways to get the guys? I was thinking of something like a device that will cycle, so that the last week of video is recorded. It could take photos or video, and as long as it's small enough that I could camouflage it well, I suspect I'd be able to figure this out soon. And any idea of what my legal rights are to videotape or record?" Hunters have been doing this for years (with film, and now digital) to figure out prey patterns with cameras that are built for concealment; what else would you recommend?

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How To Add 5.5 Petabytes and Get Banned From Costco
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-need-the-executive-membership department:
concealment writes with this extract from GigaOm: " We buy lots and lots of hard drives . . . . [They] are the single biggest cost in the entire company.' Those are the words of Backblaze Founder and CEO Gleb Budman, whose company offers unlimited cloud backup for just $5 a month, and fills 50TB worth of new storage a day in its custom-built, open source pod architecture. So one might imagine the cloud storage startup was pretty upset when flooding in Thailand caused a global shortage on internal hard drives last year. Backblaze details much the process in a Tuesday-morning blog post, including the hijinks that followed as the company got creative trying to figure out ways around the new hard drive limits. Maps were drawn, employees were cut off from purchasing hard drives at Costco — both in-person throughout Silicon Valley and online (despite some great efforts to avoid detection, such as paying for hard drives online using gift cards) — and friends and family across the country were conscripted into a hard-drive-buying army."

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Can Google Base Ads On E-mails Sent To Gmail Accounts?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's can-and-do department:
concealment writes "A new lawsuit targets Google for reading e-mails to target ads, according to TechCrunch. But the issue isn't that Google is reading e-mails from registered users; rather, the company is using e-mails sent from other services to Google users to target ads as well. Google has gotten the side-eye a few times in the past for using e-mail content to serve context-based ads to its Gmail users. And for those Gmail users, Google's hide is covered: the terms of service explicitly state that users' e-mail content determines what ads they see."

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Halliburton's Missing Radioactive Cylinder Found
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's in-the-junk-drawer-after-all department:
First time accepted submitter Tator Tot writes "A small radioactive cylinder that went missing from a Halliburton Co. truck last month was found on a Texas road late Thursday, the company said, ending a weeks-long hunt that involved local, state and federal authorities."

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The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's finland-finland-finland department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Nokia has seen better days. The Finnish phone maker continues to struggle to gain traction in a marketplace dominated by Apple and Android, and its new flagship device, the Windows-powered Lumia 920, failed to impress investors when it was announced last month, subsequently causing the company's stock to dive. Now Tristan Louis argues that there are four good reasons Apple should dig into its deep pockets and buy Nokia. First Nokia has really powerful mapping technology. Apple Maps isn't very good, and Apple has been feeling the heat from a critical tech press but Nokia has been doing maps 'for a long time now, and they a href="http://www.cultofmac.com/194130/why-apple-should-buy-nokia-to-fix-their-mapping-disaster/">have access to even more data than Google." Next, Nokia has a treasure chest of patents and as Apple's recent smackdown of Samsung proves, the future of the mobile space 'will be dictated by the availability and ownership of patents.' Nokia's exhaustive portfolio of patents might be worth as much as $6 billion to $10 billion, a drop in the bucket from Apple's $100 billion war chest. Nokia could also help with TV . If Apple truly wants to dominate the TV arena, it'll have to beam shows and movies to iPhones or iPads in real time, and that's a field Nokia has some expertise in. Finally Microsoft has a lot riding on the release of Windows Phone 8, and Nokia is its primary launch partner. Buying Nokia would 'knock Microsoft on its heels,' says Forbes' Upbin."

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Quantum Particle Work Wins Nobel For French, US Scientists
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's watch-them-blow-it-all-on-fancy-shoes department:
thomst writes "Reuters is reporting that French scientist Serge Haroche and American David Wineland will share the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on measuring quantum particles. (The article is very skimpy on details.)" The Associated Press article carried by the Washington Post is also quite thin, but along with the Reuters story says the Haroche and Wineland were selected for demonstrating "how to observe individual quantum particles without destroying them."

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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Or Not You Own What You Own
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's industry-argues-"ownership"-hurts-revenues department:
Jafafa Hots writes "The Supreme Court is set to decide, in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, whether or not First Sale Doctrine applies to products made with parts sourced from outside the United States. If the Supreme Court upholds an appellate ruling, it would mean that the IP holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it. Your old used CDs, cell phone, books, or that Ford truck with foreign parts? It may not be yours to sell unless you get explicit permission and presumably pay royalties. 'It would be absurd to say anything manufactured abroad can't be bought or sold here,' said Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer and Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation who specializes in technology issues."

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Mesa 9.0 Released With Open Source OpenGL 3.1 Drivers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 03:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's death-to-directx department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Mesa developers released Mesa 9.0 with open-source OpenGL 3.1 driver support. This de facto OpenGL Linux implementation now supports the several year old OpenGL 3.1 specification for Intel hardware while the other drivers are still at OpenGL 3.0 or worse. Other features to Mesa 9.0 include completing MPEG1/MPEG2 video acceleration, early OpenCL support, bug-fixes, and new hardware support."

OpenGL 3.1 support is limited to Intel hardware, but at least ATI/AMD hardware supports some of OpenGL 3.1. A few features from OpenGL 4 were also added.

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Flaws Allow Every 3G Device To Be Tracked
Posted by News Fetcher on October 09 '12 at 01:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's police-departments-line-up-to-purchase department:
mask.of.sanity writes "New privacy threats have been uncovered by security researchers that could allow every device operating on 3G networks to be tracked. The vulnerabilities could be exploited with cheap commercial off-the-shelf technology to reveal the location of phones and other 3G-capable devices operating on all 3G compliant networks. It was similar, but different, to previous research that demonstrated how attackers could redirect a victim's outgoing traffic to different networks."

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Greenhouse Emissions Drop Less During Economic Downturn Than Expected
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '12 at 11:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's global-warming-is-a-lie-of-course department:
An anonymous reader writes with a quick bite from Nature World News: "The contribution of economic decline in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very low, reveals a new study. Researcher Richard York of the University of Oregon studied data collected between 1960 and 2008 from more than 150 nations in order to analyze the impact of economic decline on greenhouse gas emissions."

From the paper: "In Model 2, the percentage of the population living in urban areas and the percentage of GDP from the manufacturing sector were included as control variables. This model has lower data coverage than Model 1 (154 versus 160 nations, and 4,134 versus 5,630 nation-year observations) owing to missing data on the control variables. The coefficients, at 0.752 for growth and 0.346 for decline, are similar to those from Model 1 and, as in Model 1, are both significantly different from 0 and significantly different from each other."

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UK Broadband Plan Set To Clear EU Approval
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '12 at 08:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's faster-bits-for-all department:
judgecorp writes "The British government's plan to subsidize rural broadband in the UK is about to get approval from the European Union, even though every contract so far has been awarded to BT, according to sources. The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project has been examined under EU state aid rules, but apparently has passed despite all the money going to one dominant telecom operator"

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