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Political Ideology Shapes How People Perceive Temperature
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's and-who-wants-t'-know? department:
benfrog writes "In what likely isn't that much of a surprise, a study has shown that political ideology shapes how we perceive temperature changes (but not drought/flooding conditions). (An abstract of the study is here. 8,000 individuals were asked about temperatures and drought/flood events in recent years, then their political leanings. Answers regarding drought/flood events tended to follow the actual changes in conditions, while answers regarding temperature tended to follow people's political beliefs."

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Google Releases Android 4.1 SDK
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's on-their-dentist's-advice department:
hypnosec writes "Google has released the full SDK for its latest edition of Android, Jelly Bean, which was unveiled during Google I/O. Google has already released the source code of Jelly Bean earlier. Google announced through a blog post that developers can develop application against the API level 16 using the new Jelly Bean APIs. Developers would be able to develop apps that will run on Nexus 7 tablets. Jelly Bean is touted as one of the best from Google and it promises a smoother and more responsive UI across the system."

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Microsoft Apologizes For Inserting Naughty Phrase Into Linux Kernel
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's brogrammers-at-work department:
netbuzz writes "Microsoft has apologized and promised to rectify the fact that one of its developers slipped a sexist phrase into Linux kernel code supporting Microsoft's HyperV virtualization environment. In that code, the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor reads '0xB16B00B5,' or a slightly camouflaged 'BIG BOOBS.' After Linux developer/blogger Matthew Garrett criticized Microsoft for the stunt, the predictable debate over sexism in the technology world ensued. Microsoft issued a statement to Network World apologizing and added, 'We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'"

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Joseph Palaia Answers Your Questions About Building Lunar Machines and Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's listen-up department:
Last week you asked Joseph Palaia, Chief Operating Officer & Director of research laboratory Earthrise Space, Inc. about living on Mars one day and building moon machines with students. Below you'll find his answers to your inquiries.

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Apple Expanding NC Green Data Center
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's runs-entirely-on-moonshine department:
The North Carolina data center that Apple has touted as especially earth-friendly (for having biogas-fueled generators, for one thing) will soon have a smaller companion; Apple is expanding its presence, according to filings reported over at Slash DataCenter, with another 21,000-plus square foot facility at the same site. "Apple also plans to build a hydrogen fuel-cell facility in the area, at least based on other filed permits. That would complement the solar-array installations under construction. Apple has claimed that some 60 percent of the data center facility’s power will be generated onsite. As it stands now, the Maiden facility already incorporates energy-efficient design elements, including real-time energy monitoring and analytics."

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Canonical Unveils WebApps For Ubuntu
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's dislocation-dislocation-dislocation department:
nk497 writes "Canonical has revealed a system to make web apps behave more like native applications in Ubuntu. The Ubuntu WebApps feature will 'allow applications that normally run in the web browser to have some functionality outside that browser, within the Ubuntu desktop,' product manager Pete Goddall said. Basically, sites can be pinned to the launcher — which sounds a bit like IE9's pinning system, but WebApps can also interact with the OS, displaying notifications for new messages in Gmail, interacting with Last.FM via Ubuntu's sound controls, and when right clicking on photos, including Facebook as an upload option. WebApps will land in 12.10 in October, but there will also be an add-on version for people staying on long-term support version 12.04."

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Meet the Robisons and Their Low-Cost RepRap Kit (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's today-3D-tomorrow-4D-with-5D-the-day-after department:
It seems like less than an hour since Slashdot ran a Report From HOPE: The State of Community Fabrication. Now we have a video about a Massachusetts mother and son team we met at HOPE that had so much trouble with commercial RepRap machines that they designed their own and started marketing it under the name Robison Industries, a company they seem to be starting on the fly that uses their local hackerspace as its manufacturing location. Interested in RepRap? Maybe not yet, but as devotees of the concept point out, nobody outside a small circle of geeks was interested in personal computers at first, but they're ubiquitous today. Will we all have 3D printers on our desks in a few years? Good question. round us up in 2020 or 2025 at our local hackerspace and we may have an answer for you.

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Report From HOPE: The State of Community Fabrication
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's car-piracy-for-fun-and-profit department:
Four years ago, there were around ten hackerspaces across America;
today, Hackerspaces (Techshops, Makerspaces) are within driving
distance of a good chunk of the population. The RepRap can be assembled for a
moderate price, and those with a bit more cash to burn can get one
preassembled from multiple sources. Makerfaires are held in most major
cities, sites like Instructables and Hackaday are thriving, and all
things "Maker" are cool. Far McKon was at HOPE 9 giving an update on
how far community fabrication has come since his 2008 presentation
at the The Last HOPE
(mp3 of the talk), what threats lie on the
horizon, and where we might find ourselves in another four years.

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EPIC Files Motion About Ignored Body Scanner Ruling
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's naked-ambition department:
OverTheGeicoE writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a motion in court yesterday regarding the court's ignored year-old ruling on EPIC vs. DHS. EPIC is asking the court to require DHS to start taking public comment within 60 days or, as an alternative, forbid DHS from using body scanners in primary airport screening altogether. If the court orders the latter, that would give EPIC what it originally sought in its lawsuit. Meanwhile, for what it's worth, the related petition on whitehouse.gov has a little more than half the signatures it needs to get an official 'response.' The signing period ends on August 9."

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Asking Slashdot: Converting an SUV Into an Hybrid Diesel-Electric?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's confuse-both-sides-of-the-spectrum department:
joaommp writes "So, my team has started a project to convert an SUV into an hybrid diesel-electric vehicle — basically, an electric vehicle with a diesel engine working as a range extender. We've now setup a campaign on Indiegogo to help with the project costs (we are a non-profit team) and later we'd like to, if the project is successful, be able to provide conversion kits and additional kits for elements of the transformation, like the HUD, for example. Why an SUV conversion? Because a lot of people like SUVs (sense of safety, overcompensation, etc) but they're un-economic and environment unfriendly. I'd like to ask all slashdotters if they have any advice or tips for this project. We already have the project well defined but more input is greatly appreciated before we begin tearing apart the beast. So, if you could help providing additional advice and information, it would be awesome."

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Ubuntu Unity Ported To Fedora Using OpenSUSE
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's say-that-three-times-fast department:
sfcrazy writes "The general tendency within the open source community is to a whole new wheel to push your own cart. A majority of open source projects are suffering from duplication. Luckily, we just noticed a great example of such collaboration (or using resources by different competing projects) within the distro community. Ubuntu's popular Unity shell is being ported to Fedora (the distro which leads the development of Gnome shell and its also the breeding ground of many latest technologies which are used by the rest of the GNU/Linux world). Interestingly developers users openSUSE's build service to create this port. openSUSE leads the development of Gnome and KDE along with LibreOffice." Calling Unity "popular" seems like a stretch, but it's certainly where a lot of Ubuntu work has been lavished; the cooperation that open source code fosters at least lets whoever wants to use or develop it do so.

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Al Franken Calls for Tight Rules on Facial Recognition Software
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's let's-ask-binney-about-this department:
angry tapir writes "The U.S. Congress may need to pass legislation that limits the way government agencies and private companies use facial recognition technology to identify people, according to U.S. Senator Al Franken, who chairs the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's privacy subcommittee. The growing use of facial recognition technology raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns, according to the senator, who has called on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Facebook to change the way they use facial recognition technology."

Derrick Harris of GigaOM says "My gut instinct is to call Senator Al Franken a well-meaning fool when it comes to his latest outcry," but concedes that in this case "he actually has a point." Harris writes in an editorial
that "If you've heard about Alessandro Acquisti's work with the technology, you know why this possibility should be a little scary. Snap a photo of someone with a smartphone, analyze an image against a database of social media or Flickr pics and, voila, you have a name. From there, it's easy to get someone's age, hometown, interests, news coverage, you name it."

Related: judgecorp writes "YouTube has added a tool which automatically detects and anonymises faces in uploaded videos. YouTube parent Google says it is intended to allow dissidents in places like Syria to share videos without risking reprisals form the government — but it warned that this is not an exact science, so users should check videos through before making them public."

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Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-pursue-that-which-retreats-from-us department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Rebecca Greenfield writes that Google's Nexus tablet with its taped sides and fussy plastic takes effort to open, eliciting what some would call 'wrap rage,' the linguist-approved word for the anger associated with opening a factory sealed product, and as a montage of frustrated Google Nexus 7 owners struggling to open their new tablets' packaging proves there is at least one thing Apple gets that Google does not: boxes. In comparison to the minutes-long process that it takes to get to Google's well-reviewed tablet, opening an iPad takes a simple slide of a cover — a lid that 'comes off easily, but not too easily,' as Random Tech's Anthony Kay puts it. Apple boxes aren't beloved by accident. The company thinks about the way a box informs a product and takes boxing seriously for a reason. 'Not only does the box give people warm and fuzzy associations with the product from the get-go, but also, people form emotional attachments to the actual pieces of cardboard. Instead of tossing them like the trash that they are, people have been known to keep their iBoxes,' writes Greenfield. 'Instead of forgotten in a dump or recycling facility, the boxes sit on shelves serving as a constant reminder of the beauty within.'"

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New Round of Server Take-Downs Fells Grum Botnet
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's until-the-zombie-sequel department:
judgecorp writes "The Grum botnet has been finally put out of action by a co-ordinated international effort. After Dutch servers were taken out, the remaining C&C servers in Russia and Panama were removed, with help from ISPs and their upstream providers."

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Australian Consumer Group Wants Geo-IP Blocking Banned
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's I-bet-most-americans-agree department:
daria42 writes "Live outside the US? Then you're probably used to being blocked from watching Hulu, frustrated by not being able to buy the eBooks you want from Amazon and most of all, annoyed about paying significantly higher prices than Americans for exactly the same software, games and content online, all based on your IP address. This week Australian consumer group Choice called for an Australian ban on geo-IP-blocking, saying it created significant barriers to the free flow of goods and services. Maybe other countries' consumer groups should follow suit, in the quest for a fair go?"

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JavaScript For the Rest of Us
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's error-messages-go-universal department:
First time accepted submitter my2iu writes "The JavaScript programming language is both widely available and very powerful. Unfortunately, since only 6% of the world's population are native English speakers, the other 94% of the world are forced to learn English before they can start using JavaScript. Babylscript is an open source project that aims to translate JavaScript to all the world's languages, including French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. The project has recently completed its 12th translation, enough so that the native languages of over 50% of the world's population are now supported!"

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An Olympic Games For Enhanced Athletes?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's also-a-high-altitude-olympics department:
ananyo writes "With the Olympics due to kick off on 27 July in London, Nature has taken a look at how far science would be able to push human athletic abilities if all restrictions on doping were lifted. The article mentions anabolic steroids (up to 38% increase in strength), IGF-1 (4% increase in sprinting capacity), EPO/blood doping (34% increase in stamina), gene doping and various drugs and supplements, as well as more 'extreme' measures such as surgery and prosthesis. Hugh Herr, a biomechanical engineer at MIT, says performance-enhancing technologies will one day demand an Olympics all their own. But is that time already upon us?"

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Obama Wants $1 Billion For "Master Teachers Corps"
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's teaching-the-teachers department:
theodp writes "The White House has unveiled a proposal to create a national elite teachers corps to reward the nation's best educators in science, technology, engineering and math. In the first year, as many as 2,500 teachers in those subjects would get $20,000 stipends on top of their base salaries in exchange for a multiyear commitment to the STEM Master Teacher Corps. The Obama administration plans to expand the corps to 10,000 nationwide over the next four years, with the ultimate goal that the elite group of teachers will pass their knowledge and skills on to their colleagues to help bolster the quality of teaching nationwide."

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High-Performance Monolithic Graphene Transistors Created
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fresh-out-of-the-lab department:
MrSeb writes "Hardly a day goes by without a top-level research group announcing some kind of graphene-related breakthrough, but this one's a biggy: Researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany have created high-performance monolithic graphene transistors using a simple lithographic etching process. This could be the missing step that finally paves the way to post-silicon electronics. In theory, according to early demos from the likes of IBM and UCLA, graphene transistors should be capable of switching at speeds between 100GHz and a few terahertz. The problem is, graphene doesn't have a bandgap — it isn't a natural semiconductor, like silicon — and so it is proving very hard to build transistors out of the stuff. Until now! The researchers say that current performance "corresponds well with textbook predictions for the cutoff frequency of a metal-semiconductor field-effect transistor," but they also point out that very simple changes could increase performance 'by a factor of ~30.'"

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Small, Big-Brained Animals Dodge Extinction
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '12 at 12:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's alive-and-dumb department:
ananyo writes "Large-brained animals may be less likely to go extinct in a changing world, perhaps because they can use their greater intelligence to adapt their behavior to new conditions, according to an analysis presented to a meeting of conservation biologists this week. Plotting brain size against body size creates a tidy curve. But some species have bigger or smaller brains than the curve would predict for their body size. And a bigger brain-to-body-size ratio usually means a smarter animal. The researchers looked at the sizes of such deviations from the curve and their relationships to the fates of two groups of mammalian species — 'palaeo' and 'modern'. Analysis of each group produced similar results: species that weighed less than 10 kilograms and had big brains for their body size were less likely to have gone extinct or be placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list for endangered species. For species larger than about 10 kilograms, the advantage of having a large brain seems to be swamped by the disadvantage of being big — such as attracting the unwelcome attention of humans."

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