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HSA Foundation Formed By AMD, ARM, Ti, Imagination, and MediaTek
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-never-have-too-many-foundations department:
New submitter Phopojijo writes "To wrap up his 'Programmers Guide to a Universe of Possibility' keynote during the 2012 AMD Fusion Developer Summit, Phil Rogers of AMD announced the establishment of the Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation. The foundation has been instituted to create and maintain open standards to ease programming for a wide variety of processing resources including discrete and integrated GPUs. Founding members include ARM, Texas Instruments, Imagination, MediaTek, Texas Instruments, as well as AMD. Parallels can be drawn between this and AMD's 'virtual gorilla' initiative back from the late 1990's."

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Pro-ACTA Site Says 'Get the Facts'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's just-the-facts-ma'am department:
Glyn Moody writes "We hear a lot about politicians and countries rejecting ACTA, but not so much from the treaty's supporters. Here's a new site, called 'ACTA Facts,' which invites Europeans to 'get the facts' on how wonderful ACTA really is. Judging by its content, this one will be about as successful as Microsoft's 'Get the Facts' campaign a few years ago, which tried to dissuade people from using GNU/Linux. For example, a new report linked to by the site claims that ACTA could 'boost European output by a total of €50 billion, and create as many as 960,000 new jobs.' Unfortunately, that's based on numerous flawed assumptions, including the idea that countries like China and India are going to rush to join ACTA, when the treaty is actually designed as a weapon against them, as they have already noticed."

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iOS Tops Android For Number of New App Projects From Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's easier-to-code-for-just-the-one-button department:
Analytics firm Flurry recently posted a report comparing the new projects being undertaken by developers for mobile apps on Android and iOS. According to their data, significantly more projects are started for iOS than for Android. The gap has been slowly shrinking over the past few quarters, but it's still bigger than it was a year ago. "For every 10 apps that developers build, roughly 7 are for iOS. While Google made some gains in Q1 2012, edging up to over 30% for the first time in a year, we believe this is largely due to seasonality, as Apple traditionally experiences a spike in developer support leading up to the holiday season." The iPad's dominance of the tablet market is one of several reasons for the gap. "In Flurry’s estimation, the fragmentation of the Android platform is increasing the cost and complexity of app development, perhaps curbing third-party investment in software."

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Police Using YouTube To Tell Their Own Stories
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-watches-the-watchers-who-watch-the-watchers department:
stevegee58 writes "Posting videos to YouTube allegedly showing police misconduct has become commonplace these days. Now police themselves are posting their own videos to refute misconduct claims. 'After a dozen Occupy Minnesota protesters were arrested at a downtown demonstration, the group quickly took to the Internet, posting video that activists said showed police treating them roughly and never warning them to leave. But Minneapolis police knew warnings had been given. And they had their own video to prove it. So they posted the footage on YouTube, an example of how law enforcement agencies nationwide are embracing online video to cast doubt on false claims and offer their own perspective to the public.'"

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Diablo 3 Banhammer Dropped Just Before RMAH Goes Live
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-do-not-envy-their-customer-service-reps department:
eldavojohn writes "One thing Diablo 3 has that many other games do not is a 'Real Money Auction House' (RMAH), which went live today for players with two factor authentication. Of course, mere hours before that, Blizzard publicly announced they would follow through on their promises. Accounts they have identified as cheaters and botters have been banned 'by the thousands.' No official number is out, but the news is indicating that as people get off of work and return home to their bot-wives and bot-kids they may find themselves without a valid Battle.net account (possibly tied to other games like SCII and WoW). Blizzard has also included many fixes to remove/dissuade many other exploits but if their past arcane attitude toward the 'gamers of the game' is any indication, thousands will be unhappy."

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TSMC To Spend $10B Building Factory for 450mm Wafers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's those-are-some-small-cookies department:
An anonymous reader writes "With demand for processors growing and costs rising, using larger wafers for manufacturing is highly desirable, but a very expensive transition to make. TSMC just announced it has received approval from the Taiwan government to build a new factory for 450mm wafers, with the total cost of the project expected to be between $8-10 billion. The move to larger wafers isn't without its risks, though. Building new facilities to handle production is the easy part. The industry as a whole has to overcome some major technical hurdles before 450mm becomes a viable replacement for the tried and tested 300mm process. TSMC's chairman Morris Chang has stated the next five years will be filled with technical challenges, suggesting 450mm wafers may not be viable until at least 2017."

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Thunderbolt On Windows: Hardware and Performance Explored
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-so-shocking department:
MojoKid writes "Intel's Light Peak technology eventually matured into what now is known in the market as Thunderbolt, which debuted initially as an Apple I/O exclusive last year. Light Peak was being developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple. It wasn't a huge surprise that Apple got an early exclusivity agreement, but there were actually a number of other partners on board as well, including Aja, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, LaCie, Promise and Western Digital. On the Windows front, Thunderbolt is still in its infancy and though there are still a few bugs to work out of systems and solutions, Thunderbolt capable motherboards and devices for Windows are starting to come to market. Performance-wise in Windows, the Promise RAID DAS system tested here offers near 1GB/s of peak read throughput and 500MB/s for writes, which certainly does leave even USB 3.0 SuperSpeed throughput in the dust."

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Spokeo Fined $800K By FTC For Marketing Its Services To Employers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ftc-wearing-the-daddypants-today department:
nonprofiteer writes "Spokeo was one of the first public-facing person-profiling companies to attract the ire of those profiled. Taglined 'not your grandmother's phonebook,' it offers up profiles pulled from public records, social networking sites, etc, including your address, worth of your home, who's in your family, your estimated wealth, your hobbies and interests, and more. People freaked out when they first discovered it. Apparently, the company was selling reports to employers, but not following principles set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Federal Trade Commission is fining them $800,000. FTC also chastises them for writing fake positive reviews around the Web."

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NASA Rover May Contaminate Its Samples of Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's no-problem-just-launch-another-one department:
sciencehabit writes "The Curiosity rover will definitely find evidence of an advanced civilization if it lands safely on Mars. That's because rock samples the rover drills are likely to be contaminated with bits of Teflon from the rover's machinery, NASA announced during a press teleconference. The bits of Teflon can then mix with the sample, which will be vaporized for analysis. The problem for the scientists is that Teflon is two-thirds carbon — the same element they are looking for on Mars."
Fortunately, this problem isn't a showstopper: "...there are still mitigation steps to take if SAM's analysis is potentially compromised. Contaminant production appears to be stronger in the drill's percussion mode, when it pounds powerfully and rapidly on Martian rock. So ratcheting the percussion down, or switching over to the more gentle rotary mode, may make the issue more manageable. If that doesn't work, the MSL team could just take the drill out of commission, solely scooping soil instead of also boring into rock. Curiosity could still access the interior of some Martian rocks by rolling over them with its wheels, Grotzinger said. But all in all, he's confident that the team will figure things out in the next month or two."

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Google Blockly — a Language With a Difference
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's less-than-elegant-language-names department:
mikejuk writes "There are aspects of Google that increasingly don't make sense. First they dump App Inventor — a graphical language for Android apps — in a fit of spring cleaning and closures — and now they have launched another Scratch like graphical language, Blockly. However Blockly is different. It works like Scratch or App inventor but it is written in JavaScript. This means it can be included in any web page or web app very easily. This, in turn, means that it can be used for education, getting people to learn to program, or as an easy-to-use script generator for the app. The FAQ gives the example of automating GMail filters and management. The additional difference is that Blockly can compile its programs to JavaScript, Dart or Python so you can take the script and develop it further. This is a really good idea. As long as Google doesn't throw this one out in a fit of reorganization and spring cleaning, it's a welcome new language."

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'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's today's-bizarro-news-continues department:
Ian Lamont writes "Shiva Ayyadurai, who famously claims to have invented email as a teenager in the 1970s, is back. A statement attributed to Noam Chomsky offers support for Ayyadurai's claim while attacking 'industry insiders' for stating otherwise. The statement reads: 'Given the term email was not used prior to 1978, and there was no intention to emulate "...a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system," as late as December 1977, there is no controversy here, except the one created by industry insiders, who have a vested interest to protect a false branding that BBN is the "inventor of email," which the facts obliterate.'"

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Hungarian Sequencing Company Vets DNA For 'Gypsy Or Jew' Genes
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's borat-plus-hitler-plus-gattica department:
ananyo writes "Hungary's Medical Research Council (ETT), which advises the government on health policy, has asked public prosecutors to investigate a genetic-diagnostic company that certified that a member of parliament did not have Roma or Jewish heritage. The MP in question is a member of the far-right Jobbik party, which won 17% of the votes in the general election of April 2010. He apparently requested the certificate from the firm Nagy Gén Diagnostic and Research. The company produced the document in September 2010, a few weeks before local elections. Nagy Gén scanned 18 positions in the MP's genome for variants that it says are characteristic of Roma and Jewish ethnic groups; its report concludes that Roma and Jewish ancestry can be ruled out." Adds anonyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited." Just when you think the world is too modern for such things, modernity gets hijacked by flim-flam.

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Gamer Keeps Civilization II Game Going for 10 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lots-of-spare-time department:
Have you ever wondered what a game of Civilization 2 would look like after running for 10 years? According to one gamer it's a "hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation." "Lycerius" says that he's been playing the same game of Civ II off and on for over a decade. Some highlights of the marathon session include: 1700 years of war, the ice caps melting over 20 times, constant guerrilla uprisings, and "Roughly 90% of the world's population has died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm." It's too bad you can't build the Hanging Gardens more than once.

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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's au-contrair-mon-frere department:
Rick Zeman writes "According to the normally geek-friendly online store Newegg , installing Linux Mint is tantamount to breaking your new Lenovo laptop. Is it the purchaser's fault for not restoring the laptop to its original state of Windows-y goodness, or is NewEgg being too dogmatic trying to enforce a term that doesn't seem to exist?"

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The Space Command Team Answers Your Questions
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's set-phasers-to-inform department:
Last week you got a chance to ask the team behind Space Command about their project and all things sci-fi. Marc Zicree, Doug Drexler, David Raiklen, and Neil Johnson were nice enough to put down the blasters and answer a handful of your best questions. David even answered one of his own!
Read below to see what they had to say.

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House of Commons Could Force Social Networks To Identify Trolls
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's we've-found-a-troll-may-we-burn-her? department:
concertina226 writes with this news snipped from Techworld UK: "Websites such as Facebook and Twitter could be forced to unmask so-called internet trolls, under new government proposals in the Defamation Bill. The move comes after a British woman won a landmark case to force Facebook to reveal the identities of internet trolls. On 30 May, Nicola Brookes from Brighton was granted a High Court order after receiving 'vicious and depraved' taunts on Facebook. The bill, which is being debated in the House of Commons [Tuesday], will allow victims of online abuse to discover the identity of their persecutors and bring a case against them. The move also aims to protect websites from threats of litigation for inadvertently displaying defamatory comments."

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Famous 'Uncanny Valley' Essay Translated, Published In Full
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's he-looks-amazingly-realistic-too department:
An anonymous reader writes "IEEE has published an English translation of the 1970 essay in which Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori introduced the now-famous concept of the Uncanny Valley. The original essay was in Japanese, and IEEE says this is the first publication of a translation authorized and reviewed by Mori. They also have an interview with Mori, who still thinks that robot designers should not attempt to 'cross' the Uncanny Valley."

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Search Tracking Purports To Show Effect of Racism On '08 Election
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-they-just-don't-like-the-guy department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Garance Franke-Ruta writes about a new study of racially charged search terms on Google that aims to predict the effects of the Bradley effect, a theory proposed to explain observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some U.S. elections where a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. 'How much we are under-representing people who are intolerant and therefore unlikely to vote for Obama is an open question,' says Andrew Kohut, the president of Pew Research Center. 'I suspect not a great deal, but maybe some. And "maybe some" could be crucial in a tight election.' The study found that the percentage of an area's total Google searches from 2004-2007 that included the racially charged search for the word 'n****r' is a is a large and robust negative predictor of Obama's vote share. 'A one standard deviation increase in an area's racially charged search is associated with a 1.5 percentage point decrease in Obama's vote share, controlling for John Kerry's vote share,' writes Stephens-Davidowitz in the study. The results imply that, relative to the most racially tolerant areas in the United States, prejudice cost Obama between 3.1 percentage points and 5.0 percentage points (PDF) of the national popular vote in the 2008 election. This implies racial animus gave Obama's opponent roughly the equivalent of a home-state advantage, country-wide."

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FunnyJunk v. the Oatmeal: Copyright Infringement Complaints As Defamation
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-ask-l-ron's-successors-in-interest department:
An anonymous reader writes "Funny as it might sound, FunnyJunk's threat of litigation against The Oatmeal raises a very important issue: the extent to which artists can complain in public about perceived or actual infringement of their works by user-generated content websites. Does it matter if the content creator accused the website of condoning or participating in the infringement?" The short story is this: Numerous Oatmeal comics were posted without permission to FunnyJunk; Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman lambasted FunnyJunk in the form of a blog post. FunnyJunk responded with a suit (or rather the threat of a suit) accusing Inman of willful defamation, unless he ponies up $20,000, which he doesn't plan to do.

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Stroke Risk Spikes In Healthy Adults Who Don't Get Enough Sleep
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's use-this-fact-in-salary-negotiations department:
hessian writes "Attention, busy middle-aged folks. You may be healthy and thin, but if you habitually sleep less than six hours a night, you still could be boosting your risk of a stroke. That's the surprising conclusion of a new study being presented Monday at SLEEP 2012, the annual meeting of the nation's sleep experts."

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