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Intel Encodes Data In Flickering LEDs (and Shows Off Other Bright Ideas)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hidden-in-the-noise department:
darien writes "On the day before the Intel Developer Forum opens in San Francisco, Intel has been showing off some of its current research projects, including a system for encoding data in apparently steady light sources, a Kinect-based projected 'touch interface' that works on any surface and an ambitious signage concept that could revolutionise your weekly shop." My favorite thing about light-based networking is that it's the basis of a certain strain of (all too plausible, all too often) conspiracy theory. ("The modern LED 'eco-friendly' light bulb is also a two-way communications device." — easy to believe, since many of them can be. )

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Amateur Astronomers Spot Jovian Blast
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that-is-awesome department:
RocketAcademy writes " Spaceweather.com reports an explosion on Jupiter, which was detected by two amateur astronomers. According to Spaceweather.com, the event occurred at 11:35 Universal Time on September 10. Dan Peterson of Racine, Wisconsin, observing through a 12-inch Meade telescope, observed a white flash lasting for 1.5-2 seconds. George Hall of Dallas, Texas was capturing a video of Jupiter at the time, which also captured the event. It's believed that the explosion was due to a comet or small asteroid collision. Similar events were observed in the past, in June and August 2010."

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Samsung Expected To Sue Apple Over iPhone 5 LTE Networking
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's knock-down-drag-out department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Geek.com: "The courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung seems to be far from over, and come tomorrow Apple is in for a major headache as soon as it makes the iPhone 5 official. That's because Samsung is poised to sue the company over patents it owns relating to LTE connectivity the new smartphone is expected to use. All Samsung needs to confirm is that the iPhone 5 is shipping with 4G LTE and it can then apparently set its lawyers into action. As is typical with these patent lawsuits, Samsung will most likely seek an import ban meaning the iPhone 5 may not be able to leave its manufacturing plants and make it to the US to fulfill pre-orders. If such a thing ruling was made, Apple would most likely do a deal that meant it no longer pursued Samsung product bans, and might even forget about that billion dollar payout." Samsung's not the only one hoping to gain some leverage: itwbennett writes "Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad 3 may violate a pair of patents bought by HTC back in April 2011 that cover methods used in 4g devices for faster downloads. International Trade Commission judge Thomas Pender said it would take 'clear and convincing' evidence to renounce the U.S. patents."

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FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight"
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's especially-the-angry-birds-phase department:
hypnosec writes "American Airlines has announced that it has received the permission from FAA to allow its pilots to use iPads in the cockpit during 'all phases of flight.' According to the airlines, the tablet will enable pilots to store documentation in electronic form on the iPad which otherwise weighs 15.875 kg (35 pounds) when in printed form. Use of the digital documentation will enable the airlines to save as much as US $1.2 million of fuel each year." That number sounds both awfully low and awfully specific.

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A Look Inside Oak Ridge Lab's Supercomputing Facility
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's plus-a-fun-museum department:
1sockchuck writes "Three of the world's most powerful supercomputers live in adjacent aisles within a single data center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Inside this facility, technicians are busy installing new GPUs into the Jaguar supercomputer, the final step in its transformation into a more powerful system that will be known as Titan. The Oak Ridge team expects the GPU-accelerated machine to reach 20 petaflops, which should make it the fastest supercomputer in the Top 500. Data Center Knowledge has a story and photos looking at this unique facility, which also houses the Kraken machine from the University of Tennessee and NOAA's Gaea supercomputer."

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Found Calculators?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's compare-them-for-accuracy department:
First time accepted submitter Covalent writes "I'm a science teacher and have, over the years, accumulated a number of lost graphing calculators (mostly TI-83s). After trying to locate the owners, I have given up and have been loaning them out to students as needed. I want to something more nerd-worthy with them, though. I would feel wrong for selling them. What is the best use for bunch of old calculators?"

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Activision Blizzard Secretly Watermarking World of Warcraft Users
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's information-theory department:
First time accepted submitter kgkoutzis writes "A few days ago I noticed some weird artifacts covering the screenshots I captured using the WoW game client application. I sharpened the images and found a repeating pattern secretly embedded inside. I posted this information on the OwnedCore forum and after an amazing three-day cooperation marathon, we managed to prove that all our WoW screenshots, since at least 2008, contain a custom watermark. This watermark includes our user IDs, the time the screenshot was captured and the IP address of the server we were on at the time. It can be used to track down activities which are against Blizzard's Terms of Service, like hacking the game or running a private server. The users were never notified by the ToS that this watermarking was going on so, for four years now, we have all been publicly sharing our account and realm information for hackers to decode and exploit. You can find more information on how to access the watermark in the aforementioned forum post which is still quite active."

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Torque 3D To Be Released On Github Under the MIT License
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tux-racer-reboot-please department:
First time accepted submitter iamnothing writes "Eric Preisz, CEO of GarageGames announces: 'Eleven years ago, The GarageGames founders did an incredibly innovative thing when they sold a full source game engine for $100. We are excited to continue in their footsteps by announcing that we will be releasing Torque 3D as the best open source game technology in the world. Once again, GarageGames will be changing game development.'"

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UK Finally Gets 4G Networking
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-upping-dan-savage department:
judgecorp writes "The UK has finally got its first 4G network, provided by EE, a new brand from Everything Everywhere, the company formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK. The network will cover 20 million people (about a third of the UK population) in 16 cities by the end of 2012, but right now only engineers are on the network. It will support phones including the expected iPhone 5, and the Nokia Lumia 920."

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More Warnings About High-Frequency Trading
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's financial-chicken department:
bfwebster writes "From The Big Picture (a great finance/econ blog) comes a link to this New York Times article on some of the risks and problems of high-frequency trading on financial markets and a couple of 'gadflies' who are pushing hard to get some changes and reforms in how Wall Street handles HFT. Key question: when is fast trading too fast?"

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Amazon Now Discounting HarperCollins EBooks
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's publishing-industry-found-crying-in-corner department:
Nate the greatest writes "Late last week 3 publishers and the Dept of Justice finalized an agreement to settle the claims that the publishers conspired to raise ebook prices. One of the terms of the agreement was that publishers were going to have to allow ebook retailers like Amazon to set the price of ebooks. Today it looks like the new prices have gone into effect. Amazon, B&N, and a small indie ebookstore called BooksonBoard are all offering HarperCollins ebooks at a discount. B&N and Amazon seem to be using the same price book, while BoB is having a 24% off sale."

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MediaFire Restores Virus Researcher's Account But Not Individual Files
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bad-robot department:
chicksdaddy writes "The cloud-based hosting firm MediaFire has reversed a decision to suspend the account of virus researcher Mila Parkour after Naked Security raised questions about copyright violation complaints made against her by the mysterious firm LeakID. In an email to Parkour on Friday, MediaFire's director of customer support, Daniel Goebel, said that the company was restoring Parkour's access to her MediaFire account and apologized for the interruption in service. MediaFire also said it was asking LeakID, the Paris-based firm that accused Parkour of sharing copyrighted material, to 'confirm the status of the counterclaim [Parkour] submitted.' However, the firm is still blocking access to files that LeakID alleged were violating the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a strict copyright enforcement law in the U.S."

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Nature Lover Vladimir Putin Flies With the Cranes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's sarah-palin-vs-putin-rearing-his-ugly-wings department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Russian President Vladimir Putin is a nature lover. In 2007, the bare-chested president rode a horse through Siberia. In 2008, he fired a tranquilizer gun at a rare Siberian tiger. In 2010, he used a crossbow to shoot darts at an enormous whale in a fog-shrouded bay to collect tissue samples. Now Der Spiegel reports that on his way east to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Putin stopped at the Arctic Circle to fulfill a mission for which the Kremlin says he prepared assiduously for a year and a half: helping to save an endangered species of crane. In a meadow some 2,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, Putin donned a white jumpsuit and black aviator goggles before swinging himself into the seat of an ultralight aircraft and as loudspeakers played the recorded call of a mother crane, Putin lifted off and a group of orphaned white Siberian cranes followed, allowing the aircraft to lead them south toward their winter habitat. On the first attempt, only one of the young cranes followed him up, which Putin said was because a high tail wind had caused the hang glider to accelerate too fast. On the second attempt, five birds followed Putin, but only two stuck with him for the full 15-minute flight. Putin's flight, given many minutes of airtime on Russian television, provoked an array of contemptuous jokes on the Internet, one of the most popular being: 'So Putin is off to wintering with cranes. Does this mean he's not going to be back before spring?' The Russian president, however, hit back at critics telling reporters at the conclusion of APEC summit that, 'It's true that not all flew right away, but the ones that didn't fly were the weak cranes' apparently alluding to the errant ways of those involved in protests that have hit Russia over the last year."

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Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Collecting and Storing User Information?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 08:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's design-by-committee department:
New submitter isaaccs writes "I'm a mobile developer at a startup. My experience is in building user-facing applications, but in this case, a component of an app I'm building involves observing and collecting certain pieces of user information and then storing them in a web service. This is for purposes of analysis and ultimately functionality, not persistence. This would include some obvious items like names and e-mail addresses, and some less obvious items involving user behavior. We aim to be completely transparent and honest about what it is we're collecting by way of our privacy disclosure. I'm an experienced developer, and I'm aware of a handful of considerations (e.g., the need to hash personal identifiers stored remotely), but I've seen quite a few startups caught with their pants down on security/privacy of what they've collected — and I'd like to avoid it to the degree reasonably possible given we can't afford to hire an expert on the topic. I'm seeking input from the community on best-practices for data collection and the remote storage of personal (not social security numbers, but names and birthdays) information. How would you like information collected about you to be stored? If you could write your own privacy policy, what would it contain? To be clear, I'm not requesting stack or infrastructural recommendations."

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Researchers Create Short-term Memories In Rat Brains
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 06:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's I-guess-I-really-am-a-terrorist department:
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers say they've found a way to store artificial short-term memories in isolated brain tissue. 'This is the first time anyone has found a way to store information over seconds about both temporal sequences andstimulus patterns directly in brain tissue,' says the study's lead. 'This paves the way for future research to identify the specific brain circuits that allow us to form short-term memories.' The peer-reviewed study can be found here (paywalled)."

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Amazon Blocks Arch Linux Handbook Author From Releasing Kindle Version
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 04:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's sharing-isn't-an-amazon-value department:
An anonymous reader writes "We've all heard the horror stories of Amazon swindling the user out of their content on the Kindle, but this time they've managed to do it preemptively: by blocking the GFDL licensed Arch Linux Handbook from the Kindle Store."

Reasons include: "We’ve reviewed the information you provided and have decided to block these books from being sold in the Kindle Store. The books closely match content that is freely available on the web and we are not confident that you hold exclusive publishing rights. This type of content can create a poor customer experience, and is not accepted. As a result, we have blocked the books listed below from being sold in the Kindle Store." The workaround: he uploaded a mobi copy to the Arch website.

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Complex Systems Theorists Predict We're About One Year From Global Food Riots
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 03:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's wait-for-the-sisko-riots-of-2024 department:
pigrabbitbear writes with conjecture on what triggers global unrest. Quoting the article: "In a 2011 paper, researchers at the Complex Systems Institute unveiled a model that accurately explained why the waves of unrest that swept the world in 2008 and 2011 crashed when they did. The number one determinant was soaring food prices. Their model identified a precise threshold for global food prices that, if breached, would lead to worldwide unrest."

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PostgreSQL 9.2 Out with Greatly Improved Scalability
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's rev-your-engines department:
The PostgreSQL project announced the release of PostgreSQL 9.2 today. The headliner: "With the addition of linear scalability to 64 cores, index-only scans and reductions in CPU power consumption, PostgreSQL 9.2 has significantly improved scalability and developer flexibility for the most demanding workloads. ... Up to 350,000 read queries per second (more than 4X faster) ... Index-only scans for data warehousing queries (2–20X faster) ... Up to 14,000 data writes per second (5X faster)" Additionally, there's now a JSON type (including the ability to retrieve row results in JSON directly from the database) ala the XML type (although lacking a broad set of utility functions). Minor, but probably a welcome relief to those who need them, 9.1 adds range restricted types. For the gory details, see the what's new page, or the full release notes.

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Possible Proof of ABC Conjecture
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 03:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's lord-of-the-proof department:
submeta writes "Shinichi Mochizuki of Kyoto University has released a paper which claims to prove the decades-old ABC conjecture, which involves the relationship between prime numbers, addition, and multiplication. His solution involves thinking of numbers not as members of sets (the standard interpretation), but instead as objects which exist in 'new, conceptual universes.' As one would expect, the proof is extremely dense and difficult to understand, even for experts in the field, so it may take a while to verify. However, Mochizuki has a strong reputation, so this is likely to get attention. Proof of the conjecture could potentially lead to a revolution in number theory, including a greatly simplified proof of Fermat's Last Theorem."

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The Fight To Reform Forensic Science
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's these-are-not-the-swabs-you-are-looking-for department:
carmendrahl writes "Despite a 2009 report from the National Academy of Sciences that found the science in crime labs wanting, very little reform of forensic science has taken place. At a session about the Innocence Project, a group that exonerates prisoners with DNA evidence, speakers called on chemists to join the fight for reform. But forensic chemists don't all agree on what needs reforming."

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