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Among Others Wins Hugo For Best Novel
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's congratulations-to-all department:
The 2012 Hugo Award ceremony has completed at Chicon 7, and Among Others by Jo Walton has been given the award for Best Novel. The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson won for Best Novella, and The Paper Menagerie won for Best Short Story. Doctor Who had three nominations for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), and ended up taking home the award for the episode "The Doctor's Wife," which was written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark. Season 1 of Game of Thrones won Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), edging out Hugo and Captain America. Ursula Vernon was awarded the Best Graphic Story Hugo for Digger. See below for the full list of winners.

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Ubuntu Gnome Remix 12.10 Arrives For Testing
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mixing-it-up department:
sfcrazy writes "The first ISO (alpha) images of Gnome Shell edition of Ubuntu is now available for download and testing. The Gnome edition of Ubuntu will bring back a lot of hard-core Gnome Shell fans who were looking elsewhere to get the pure Gnome Shell experience. Both Fedora and openSUSE are doing a great job at offering Gnome 3 Shell experience and the arrival of Ubuntu GNOME Remix will give the project the audience it needed."

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How Apple's Story Is Like Breaking Bad
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's holiday-news-cycle department:
theodp writes "Over at CNN, Omar L. Gallaga explains how Apple's story is like Breaking Bad , the TV drama whose protagonist — high school chemistry teacher Walter White — decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine to provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks but reinvents himself as a brilliant, feared meth chemist who grows more ambitious, ruthless and cocky with each victory. 'Like Steve Jobs,' writes Gallaga, 'Walter White's cancer awakens a panic in him to hurry up and leave a legacy through his work.' Gallaga continues: 'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'"

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Are App.net's Crowdfunders Being Taken For a Ride?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's money-for-nothing department:
snydeq writes "At least 10,000 people believe in App.net's vision of a messaging platform for Web apps — but it's unclear whether those people will be peers or sharecroppers, writes Simon Phipps. 'Last week App.net reached the milestone of 10,000 users who signed up for a new — mostly yet to be written — social network that looks like an early reimplementation of Twitter. Signing up people to claim user names on an (not vaporware) alpha Web service may not seem surprising or novel, but this time there's a difference: Everyone who signed up for App.net paid $50 for the privilege,' Phipps writes. 'App.net has used the crowdfunding approach, but it's not the same kind of project. While superficially similar — there's an offer of immediate use of its Twitter-clone service and reservation of the user ID of your choice — it's much more speculative. It's crowdsourcing the seed capital for a new venture, crowdsourcing the design, crowdsourcing the testing, and crowdsourcing most of the software that interacts with the venture, all without actually giving anyone but the founder a true stake in the outcome.'"

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NASA Craft To Leave Vesta Heads For Dwarf Planet Ceres
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's moving-to-better-quarters department:
DevotedSkeptic writes "NASA's Dawn probe is gearing up to depart the giant asteroid Vesta next week and begin the long trek to the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. The Dawn spacecraft is slated to leave Vesta on the night of Sept. 4 (early morning Sept. 5 EDT), ending a 14-month stay at the 330-mile-wide (530 kilometers) body. The journey to Ceres should take roughly 2.5 years, with Dawn reaching the dwarf planet in early 2015, researchers said. 'Thrust is engaged, and we are now climbing away from Vesta atop a blue-green pillar of xenon ions,' Dawn chief engineer and mission director Marc Rayman, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. 'We are feeling somewhat wistful about concluding a fantastically productive and exciting exploration of Vesta, but now have our sights set on dwarf planet Ceres.'"

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Twitter Based "Ted" System Warns of Earthquakes Earlier
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's whole-lotta-shaking-going-on department:
hypnosec writes "Twitter based system has managed to detect the earthquake off the Philippines before any other advanced spotting systems being used by Seismologists. US Geological Survey uses the micro-blogging site to quickly gather information about earthquakes around the globe through the use of a system – Twitter Earthquake Detection (Ted) which put behind USGS' own sensors on Friday when it came to detecting 7.6 magnitude earthquake off the Philippine coast. The Ted system gathers earth-quake related messages (Tweets) in real-time from Twitter. The system takes into consideration various parameters like place, time, keywords, photographs of affected places where tremors have been detected. Online information posted by people, Tweets in this case, can be picked up faster by researchers as compared to scientific alerts that may take up to 20 minutes."

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The Danger In Exempting Wireless From Net Neutrality
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's share-the-air department:
nmpost writes "Nearly two years ago, the FCC outlined its rules for net neutrality. Notably absent were rules for wireless networks. There are several legitimate reasons that the same rules applied to wired networks can not apply to wireless networks. However, the same danger lies in leaving wireless networks unguarded against the whims of its administrators. As we move more and more towards a wireless dominated internet, those dangers will become more pronounced. We are going to need a massive investment in infrastructure in this country regardless of net neutrality rules. Demand for wireless is going to continue to grow for many years to come, and providers are not going to be able to let up. Data caps and throttling are understandable now as demand is far outpacing infrastructure growth. Eventually, demand will slow, and these practices will have to be addressed. This is where allowing internet providers to regulate themselves becomes an issue. Self regulation usually does not end well for the consumer. Imagine allowing power plants and oil refineries to determine what chemicals they could pour into the air. Would they have the population's best interest at heart when making that determination? In the future when the infrastructure can match the demand, what will stop internet providers from picking winners and losers over their wireless networks? As conglomerates like Comcast gobble up content providers like NBC, a conflict of interest begins to emerge. There would be nothing from stopping one of the big wireless providers like AT&T or Verizon from scooping up a content provider and prioritizing its data speed over the network."

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Will Developers Finally Start Coding On the iPad?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's changing-the-way-things-are-done department:
An anonymous reader writes "It's not so long since Apple silently dropped the restriction about iOS apps for programming — iPad owners can now code in Lua with Codea or with Python for iOS. Yesterday, a new app called Kodiak PHP brought another IDE to the iPad, this time for PHP coders. Pandodaily's Nathaniel Mott describes it as a full-blooded software development tool with comparison to other iOS apps. Cult of Mac reports that the demise of the Mac might be closer than we think, but are developers really ready to use the on-screen keyboard to do some serious work?"

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CDC Says 10,000 At Risk of Hantavirus In Yosemite Outbreak
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's come-for-the-view-stay-for-the-sickness department:
An anonymous reader writes "Some 10,000 people who stayed in tent cabins at Yosemite National Park this summer may be at risk for the deadly rodent-borne hantavirus according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control."

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Space Station Spacewalkers Stymied By Stubborn Bolt
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stripped-threads department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Reuters reports that astronauts at the International Space Station ran into problems after removing the station's 100-kg power-switching unit, one of four used in a system that distributes electrical power generated by the station's solar array wings, and were stymied after repeated attempts to attach the new device failed when a bolt jammed, preventing astronauts from hooking it up into the station's power grid. Japanese Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide got the bolt to turn nine times but engineers need 15 turns to secure the power-switching unit. 'We're kind of at a loss of what else we can try,' said astronaut Jack Fischer at NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston after more than an hour of trouble-shooting. 'If you guys have any thoughts or ideas or brilliant schemes on what we can do, let us know.' Hoshide suggested using a tool that provides more force on bolts, but NASA engineers are reluctant to try anything that could make the situation worse and as the spacewalk slipped past seven hours, flight controllers told the astronauts to tether the unit in place, clean up their tools and head back into the station's airlock. NASA officials says the failure to secure the new unit won't disrupt station operations but it will force engineers to carefully distribute electrical power from three operating units to various station systems and says another attempt to install the power distributor could come as early as next week if engineers can figure out what to do with the stubborn bolt. 'We're going to figure it out another day,' says Fischer."

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Torvalds Takes Issue With De Icaza's Linux Desktop Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-to-blame department:
An anonymous reader writes "Linux creator Linus Torvalds has poured scorn on claims made by the co-founder of the GNOME Desktop project, Miguel de Icaza, that he (Torvalds) was in any way to blame for the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives. De Icaza wrote in his personal blog: 'Linus, despite being a low-level kernel guy, set the tone for our community years ago when he dismissed binary compatibility for device drivers. The kernel people might have some valid reasons for it, and might have forced the industry to play by their rules, but the Desktop people did not have the power that the kernel people did. But we did keep the attitude.'"

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California To License Self-Driving Cars
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's how's-my-driving department:
DevotedSkeptic writes "Californian senators have passed a bill that looks set to make the state the second in the US to approve self-driving cars on its roads. The bill was passed unanimously by state senators, and now hits the desk of governor Jerry Brown, who's expected to sign it into law. It calls on the California Department of Motor Vehicles to start developing standards and licensing procedures for autonomous vehicles. 'This bill would require the department to adopt safety standards and performance requirements to ensure the safe operation and testing of 'autonomous vehicles', as defined, on the public roads in this state,' it reads."

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FCC To Review the Relative Value of Low, High, and Super-high Spectrum Licenses
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's price-check department:
MrSeb writes "The FCC is reviewing the rules it has for spectrum license ownership, particularly on how much spectrum any one company can hold. The FCC is considering this rework because the rules do not currently account for the properties of different frequencies of spectrum. There are three main classes of spectrum for cellular wireless networks: low band, high band, and super high band — but at the moment, they are all valued equally. Given that low band spectrum is valued favorably against high band and super high band spectrum in the market, and that AT&T and Verizon have by far the most low band spectrum, it makes sense for the FCC to adjust its rules in order to more accurately determine how much spectrum any one company needs."

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Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's copies-of-the-copies department:
First time accepted submitter jamiedolan writes "I've managed to consolidate most of my old data from the last decade onto drives attached to my main Windows 7 PC. Lots of files of all types from digital photos & scans to HD video files (also web site backup's mixed in which are the cause of such a high number of files). In more recent times I've organized files in a reasonable folder system and have an active / automated backup system. The problem is that I know that I have many old files that have been duplicated multiple times across my drives (many from doing quick backups of important data to an external drive that later got consolidate onto a single larger drive), chewing up space. I tried running a free de-dup program, but it ran for a week straight and was still 'processing' when I finally gave up on it. I have a fast system, i7 2.8Ghz with 16GB of ram, but currently have 4.9TB of data with a total of 4.2 million files. Manual sorting is out of the question due to the number of files and my old sloppy filing (folder) system. I do need to keep the data, nuking it is not a viable option.

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High Tech Companies Becoming Fools For the City
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's mass-transit-best-among-the-masses department:
theodp writes "Drawn by amenities and talent, the WSJ reports that tech firms are saying goodbye to office parks and opting for cities. Pinterest, Zynga, Yelp, Square, Twitter, and Salesforce.com are some of the more notable tech companies who are taking up residence in San Francisco. New York City's Silicon Alley is now home to more than 500 new start-up companies like Kickstarter and Tumblr, not to mention the gigantic Google satellite in the old Port Authority Building. London, Seattle, and even downtown Las Vegas are also seeing infusions of techies. So, why are tech companies eschewing Silicon Valley and going all Fool for the City? 'Silicon Valley proper is soul-crushing suburban sprawl,' Paul Graham presciently explained in 2006. 'It has fabulous weather, which makes it significantly better than the soul-crushing sprawl of most other American cities. But a competitor that managed to avoid sprawl would have real leverage.'"

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Space Sugar Discovered In Binary System Star
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 03:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sweetness-and-light department:
SchrodingerZ writes "Sweet tooths rejoice! 400 light years from Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus, sugar molecules have been confirmed in a gas cloud surrounding a young star. The star, IRAS 16293-2422, though early in its life is relativity close to the size of our Sun. It is part of a Binary star system. '"In the disk of gas and dust surrounding this newly formed star, we found glycolaldehyde, which is a simple form of sugar, not much different to the sugar we put in coffee," study lead author Jes Jorgensen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, said in a statement.' Glycolaldehyde has been found before in space, but never this close to a Sun-like planet. In fact 'the molecules are about the same distance away from the star as the planet Uranus is from our sun.' This discovery proves that the building blocks of life could have possibly existed in the earlier parts of our own solar system. This particular sugar reacts with propenal to form ribose, which is a major component for organic life on Earth."

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Google Patents Software To Identify Real-World Objects In Videos
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 12:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's confuse-them-with-scale-models department:
hypnosec writes "Google has been recently granted a patent that could not only improve online search but, also will possibly give the search engine giant an awful lot of information about the world. Google, through the software, wants to scan and analyze the content within videos, YouTube videos most probably, and look for objects in the real world, identify them, and make a catalogue out of those objects. The patent describes Google's technology of scanning a video, picking out landmarks, objects and context; and subsequent tagging and categorization."

Adds reader MojoKid: "The privacy implications of such an automated system are enormous. Facebook's own automatic facial recognition software was highly controversial when it debuted, and what Google has now patented puts Facebook to shame. The larger question, unaddressed in this patent, is whether we want our individual personal data to be tagged, filed, and logged without permission or choice."

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PAX Prime: An Extra Day In 2013, and Plans For Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 09:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's pax-australicus department:
PAX Prime, probably by far the largest ongoing event spawned by a web comic, is in progress right now in Seattle, with an attendance of 70,000 gamers (and a smaller number of dancing stormtroopers). Two big announcements about future PAX events were announced on Saturday. The first is that next year's event will be a four-day gathering rather than the thus-far usual three; the second is that, some time next year, PAX will make its first international foray, with an event in Australia — exact time and place to be determined.

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Frankenstein Code Stitches Code Bodies Together To Hide Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 07:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's vould-have-an-enormous-schwangstucker department:
mikejuk writes "A recent research technique manages to hide malware by stitching together bits of program that are already installed in the system to create the functionality required. Although the Frankenstein system is only a proof of concept, and the code created just did some simple tasks, sorting and XORing, without having the ability to replicate, computer scientists from University of Texas, Dallas, have proved that the method is viable. What it does is to scan the machine's disk for fragments of code, gadgets, that do simple standard tasks. Each task can have multiple gadgets that can be used to implement it and each gadget does a lot of irrelevant things as well as the main task. The code that you get when you stitch a collection of gadgets together is never the same and this makes it difficult to detect the malware using a signature. Compared to the existing techniques of hiding malware the Frankenstein approach has lots of advantages — the question is, is it already in use?" Except for the malware part, this has a certain familiar ring.

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Final Chapter of Pink Five To Be Released On January 2013
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '12 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's voting-for-anyone-but-lucas department:
An anonymous reader writes "After a successful funding run at Kickstarter, the final chapter of the Star Wars fan film Pink Five is committed to a release date of January 1, 2013. Great news for the followers of this great webseries."

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