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Drinking Too Much? Blame Your Glass
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's fetch-the-libertarian-paternalists department:
sciencehabit writes "Before you down that pint, check the shape of your glass—you might be drinking more beer than you realize. According to a new study of British beer drinkers, an optical illusion caused by the shape of a curved glass can dramatically increase the speed at which we swill. The researchers recruited 160 Brits, and asked them to watch a nature documentary while they drank beer from straight or curved glasses. The group drinking a full glass of lager out of curved flute glasses drank significantly faster than the other group--possibly because the curved glasses impaired their ability to pace themselves while drinking."

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Windows Has a Future In RAM: AgigaTech Samples DDR3+Flash DIMM
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's wake-up-call-to-ram department:
An anonymous reader writes "AgigaTech appears to be the first company to produce a non-volatile SDRAM DIMM — an SDRAM memory module that retains its contents even without power supply. The modules combine DDR2/3 SDRAM with NAND Flash as well as a data transfer controller and an ultracapacitor-based power source to support a data transfer from the SDRAM to Flash and vice versa. If this memory makes it into production, this is something that I instantly will want and will stand in line for."

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Gottfrid Svartholm Warg Arrested In Cambodia
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hear-the-spiders-are-delicious department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, alias "anakata,"
was arrested two days ago (Original, Swedish) in Pnohm Pehn, Cambodia and may soon be facing extradition to Sweden (alternate sources: Aftonbladet (Swedish), IDG (Swedish)). He was sentenced to one year in prison for his involvement in The Pirate Bay in 2009 and failed to appear at the prison to serve his sentence. On a related note, the domain freeanakata.se seems to have been registered today although it currently isn't resolving."


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4K UHDTV Hardware On Display in Berlin, And On Sale In Korea
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's brought-to-you-by-shiseido department:
First the spec, and now the hardware: MrSeb writes "After five years of trying to convince us that 3D TVs are the future, it seems TV makers are finally ready to move on — to 4K UHDTV. At the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Sony, Toshiba, and LG are all showing off 84-inch 4K (3840×2160) TVs. These aren't just vaporware, either: LG's TV is on sale now in Korea (and later this month in the US), Sony's is due later this year, and Toshiba will follow in the new year. Be warned, though: all three will cost more than $20,000 when they go on sale in the US — oh, and there's still no 4K Blu-ray spec, and no such thing as 4K broadcast TV. In other display-related news, Panasonic is showing off a humongous 145-inch 8K (7680x4320) plasma TV, and some cute 20-inch 4K displays — but unfortunately neither are likely to find their way to your living room or office in the near future."

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US Army To Train Rats To Save Soldiers' Lives
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what's-in-it-for-them? department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Department of Defense currently relies on dogs as the animal of choice for explosives detection but training dogs is expensive and takes a long time. Now the US Army is sponsoring a project to develop and test a rugged, automated and low-cost system for training rats to detect improvised explosive devices and mines. "The automated system we're developing is designed to inexpensively train rats to detect buried explosives to solve an immediate Army need for safer and lower-cost mine removal," says senior research engineer William Gressick. Trained rats would also create new opportunities to detect anything from mines to humans buried in earthquake rubble because rats can search smaller spaces than a dog can, and are easier to transport. Rats have already been trained by the National Police in Colombia to detect seven different kinds of explosives including ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, gunpowder and TNT but the Rugged Automated Training System (Rats) research sponsored by the US. Army Research Laboratory, plans to produce systems for worldwide use since mines are widespread throughout much of Africa, Asia, and Central America and demining operations are expected to continue for decades to restore mined land to civilian use. "Beyond this application, the system will facilitate the use of rats in other search tasks such as homeland security and search-and-rescue operations" adds Gressick. "In the long-term, the system is likely to benefit both official and humanitarian organizations.""

< article continued at Slashdot >

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BBC Keeps Android Flash Alive In the UK
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's media-as-well-as-the-media department:
judgecorp writes "Although Adobe wants to can mobile Flash, the Android Flash app has returned to the Google Play store in the UK after disappearing earlier this month. It has come back because of pressure from large organisations, in particular the BBC, whose popular iPlayer video on demand service uses Flash. The Android app is back, apparently or as long as it takes the BBC to move to HTML5."

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Russia's New Secure Android Tablet Keeps Data From Google
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 11:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's da-ist-gut department:
wiredmikey writes "It seems Russia's defense ministry doesn't trust Google's tablet computers: a new Android device presented to a top Russian government official boasts encryption and works with software and a global positioning system made in Russia, the AFP reports. The OS has all the functional capabilities of an Android operating system but none of its hidden features that send users' private data to Google, addressing concerns that data stored by Google could slip into the hands of the US government and expose some of their most secret and sensitive communications. Two versions of the tablet will supposedly be made — one for consumers and one for defense needs."

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Data-Mine Your Own Facebook Data With Wolfram Alpha
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 08:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's regurgitate-it-again-ad-infinitum-ibid department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Ever wanted to mine your own Facebook data? Wolfram Alpha is offering you the chance. Wolfram Alpha bills itself as a 'computational knowledge engine.' In contrast to other search engines such as Google and Bing, which return pages of blue hyperlinks in response to queries, Wolfram Alpha offers up objective data: type in the name of a person, for example, and you might receive their dates of birth and death, a timeline, and a graph of Wikipedia page hits. Now Wolfram Alpha's offering a new feature that can spit back years of your personal Facebook data sliced, diced, visualized and analyzed."

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Steve Jobs Reincarnated As a Warrior-Philosopher, Thai Group Says
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's in-death-as-in-life department:
Velcroman1 writes "When Apple founder Steve Jobs died after a long fight with cancer last year, software engineer Tony Tseung sent an email to a Buddhist group in Thailand to find out what happened to his old boss now that he's no longer of this world. This month, Tseung received his answer. Jobs has been reincarnated as a celestial warrior-philosopher, the Dhammakaya group said in a special television broadcast, and he's living in a mystical glass palace hovering above his old office at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters."

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Ask Slashdot: Keeping Personal Tech Cool In Extreme Heat?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's we'd-like-to-know-in-middle-texas-too department:
An anonymous reader writes "I live in the Middle East. Summer temperatures occasionally reach 60C/140F, well over the operating specs for most consumer tech. Quite a number of work and residential compounds are secured, prohibiting everything from computers to cameras to phones to USB sticks to car remote controls. When I know that I'm visiting one of those compounds, I end up leaving all the tech I can at home or in the office, and only bringing a cell phone, and leaving it in my car. However, "only a cell phone" has quickly morphed into "only two cell phones, a car MP3 player and remote, and .... ooh, shiny... a new tablet... and an electric razor just in case I have to touch up before a party in a compound." I'm wondering what kind of technologies we have for keeping all this tech cool for four hours in the car. Overnight events might last longer, but won't be as hot."

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The True Challenges of Desktop Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's editing-video-would-be-nice department:
olau writes "Hot on the heels on the opinion piece on how Mac OS X killed Linux on the desktop is a more levelheaded analysis by another GNOME old-timer Christian Schaller who doesn't think Mac OS X killed anything. In fact, in spite of the hype surrounding Mac OS X, it seems to barely have made a dent in the overall market, he argues. Instead he points to a much longer list of thorny issues that Linux historically has faced as a contender to Microsoft's double-monopoly on the OS and the Office suite."

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Java Exploit Patched? Not So Fast
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's few-beans-short department:
PCM2 writes "The Register reports that Security Explorations' Adam Gowdiak says there is still an exploitable vulnerability in the Java SE 7 Update 7 that Oracle shipped as an emergency patch yesterday. 'As in the case of the earlier vulnerabilities, Gowdiak says, this flaw allows an attacker to bypass the Java security sandbox completely, making it possible to install malware or execute malicious code on affected systems.'"

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Going All-Google To Replace Your PC and TV Service
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's owning-things-is-so-90s department:
GMGruman writes "James Curnow writes 'Google's vision of computing involves tossing your PC or Mac and moving to a cloud-centric, all-Google ecosystem. Call it the Googleplex: a mix of the Chrome OS-based Chromebox PC or Chromebook laptop, one or more Android tablets — perhaps a 10-inch model for work and a 7-inch Nexus 7 for entertainment on the go — and a Nexus Q home entertainment system that you control via an Android device.' So he takes the 'Googleplex' for a test drive to see how well it delivers on the Android/Chrome OS vision."

But what about throwing xbmc or MythTV onto an old (or cheap new) box with a couple of huge drives (HDTV's being glorified monitors and all)?

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DNA Analysis Suggests Humans Interbred With Denisovans
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's star-trek-romance department:
ananyo writes "Tens of thousands of years ago modern humans crossed paths with the group of hominins known as the Neandertals. Researchers now think they also met another, less-known group called the Denisovans. The only trace that we have found, however, is a single finger bone and two teeth, but those fragments have been enough to cradle wisps of Denisovan DNA across thousands of years inside a Siberian cave. Now a team of scientists has been able to reconstruct their entire genome from these meager fragments. The analysis supports the idea that Neandertals and Denisovans were more closely related to one another than either was to modern humans and also suggests new ways that early humans may have spread across the globe."

wombatmobile linked to an article that focuses on the new techniques used to sequence the DNA of the bone fragments in question.

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NCSoft Closes "City of Heroes" Publisher Paragon Studios
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's labor-day-surprise department:
samazon writes "Earlier today, City of Heroes community manager Andy Belford announced that NCSoft is shutting down Paragon Studios. Over 7,500 individuals were viewing the official CoH forums as of 3:00 PM EST, and this thread from Belford, AKA Zwilinger, notes that 'In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year.' A petition has already been created to save City of Heroes."

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HP Launches Beta of Open webOS
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 01:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's code-freedom-day department:
puddingebola writes "HP done gone and released the open source version of webOS. From the article: 'Gone are the days of HP's TouchPad and Palm ambitions, but HP is moving ahead with its plans to make webOS, its beleaguered mobile operating system, live on as open-source supported platform. Today it's launching the beta release... The release will have 54 components available as open source, the blog says, some 450,000 lines of code under the Apache 2.0 license.'"

There are two flavors: an OpenEmbedded based version for targeting mobile device (kudos there!), and a desktop build which runs Luna as an application on the desktop (how long until someone writes a rootless version?). More info at the Open webOS project overview page, with source code over at GitHub

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LG Builds Working Flexible Cable Battery
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's warning-electro-bracelet-may-explode department:
MrSeb writes with news on work toward flexible batteries good enough for Real World use (you have to power this flexible electrionics somehow). From the article: "LG Chem ... has devised a cable-type lithium-ion battery that's just a few millimeters in diameter, and is flexible enough to be tied in knots, worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles. The underlying chemistry of the cable-type battery is the same as the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone or laptop — there's an anode, a lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathode, an electrolyte — but instead of being laminated together in layers, they're twisted into a hollow, flexible, spring-like helix. flexible batteries have been created before — but they've all just standard, flat, laminated batteries made from sub-optimum materials, such as polymers. As such, as they have very low energy density, and they're only bendy in the same way that a thin sheet of plastic is bendy. LG Chem's cable-type batteries have the same voltage and energy density as your smartphone battery — but they're thin and highly flexible to boot. LG Chem has already powered an iPod Shuffle for 10 hours using a knotted 25cm length of cable-type battery."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Book Review: Think Like a Programmer
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
MassDosage writes "After nearly 15 years or of writing code professionally it was refreshing to take a figurative step back and read a book aimed at people getting started with computer programming. As the title suggests, Think Like A Programmer tries to get to the core of the special way that good programmers think and how, when faced with large and complex problems, they successfully churn out software to solve these challenges in elegant and creative ways. The author has taught computer science for about as long as I've been programming and this shows in his writing. He has clearly seen a lot of different people progress from newbie programmers to craftsmen (and craftswomen) and has managed to distill a lot of what makes this possible in what is a clear, well-written and insightful book." Read below for the rest of Mass Dosage's review. Think Like A Programmer
author V. Anton Spraul
pages 256
publisher No Starch Press
rating 8/10
reviewer Mass Dosage
ISBN 978-1-59327-424-5
summary An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving

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ArenaNet Suspends Digital Sales of Guild Wars 2
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ignore-the-exploit-over-there department:
kungfugleek writes "Throughout the launch of subscription-free MMO Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has stated that the player-experience is their top priority and, if necessary, they would suspend digital sales to protect their servers from crushing loads. While the launch has been considerably more stable than most big-budget MMO's in recent months, some players, especially those in Europe, have experienced trouble logging in and getting booted from servers. So yesterday, ArenaNet held true to their word, and temporarily suspended digital sales from their website. Personally, I think this is an incredible show of customer-centered focus. To turn down purchases, especially first-party purchases, where the seller gets a higher percentage of the sale, during a major title's first week of sales, would be inconceivable by other companies. Is this a bad move for ArenaNet? Will there be enough of a long-term payout to make up for the lost sales? And does this put pressure on other major studios to follow suit in the face of overwhelming customer response?"

New submitter charlieman writes with related news: "Yesterday ArenaNet banned players for exploiting an error in their new game Guild Wars 2. The so called exploit was in fact an error on ArenaNet's side, leaving weapons at a low price from some vendors. Players saw this and started making profits buying and selling the items.
Should players be penalized for errors committed by the game developers? Taking in account that the game is fairly new, the economy hasn't stabilized yet and most don't know the value of things. Today they've given these players a 'second chance', but shouldn't they be apologizing instead?"

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Police Probing Theft of Millions of Pounds of Maple Syrup From Strategic Reserve
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's greatest-heist-of-our-time department:
An anonymous reader writes with this bit from the Globe and Mail: "Quebec police are on the hunt for a sticky-fingered thief after millions of dollars of maple syrup vanished from a Quebec warehouse. The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check last week at the St-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, where the syrup is being held temporarily. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which is responsible for the global strategic maple syrup reserve, initially kept the news quiet, hoping it would help police solve the crime quickly."

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