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A New C Standard Is On the Way
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-guidelines department:
Esther Schindler writes "Last year, Danny Kalev — a former member of the C++ standards committed — explained the new features in C++. Now, in C11: A New C Standard Aiming at Safer Programming, he shares an overview of the changes in C — 13 years after the ratification of the C99 standard. Kalev describes the goodies in C11, including multi-threading support, safer standard libraries, and better compliance with other industry standards."

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Google Vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Interviews
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's A-or-B department:
jfruh writes "You might be a bit jealous of Andrew Weiss: fresh out of college, he got interviews with both Microsoft and Google. He discusses (to the extent NDAs allow) the differences between the two experiences, ranging from the silly (Google's famous gourmet cafeteria vs. Microsoft's gaming room) to the serious (Google's technical emphasis vs. Microsoft's focus on explanatory and consulting skills.)"

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Are Patent Wars Worth the Price Tag?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face department:
ericjones12398 writes "It's beginning to feel like a TV series, a weekly patent war drama. Apple and Samsung have consistently been going back and forth with claims of IP infringement, to the point where who is accusing who of what is exhausting to follow. The question I would like to ask and try to answer is what the opportunity costs are of pursuing litigation versus just toughing it out? Would it be more economic for both companies to live and let live, or is there value to be captured in legal finger pointing? My best guess would be that this isn't about stopping sales this quarter or next, nor is it about defending the small-scale tech features that merely mildly differentiate. It's instead about momentum and branding. Winning these cases is PR that says, we are the leaders in smartphone technology, we are the innovators."

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Canadian DOJ Warned About Unconstitutionality of Copyright Digital Lock Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-rules department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian House of Commons may have passed the Canadian DMCA, but
the constitutional
concerns with the copyright bill and its digital lock rules will likely
linger for years. Michael Geist has obtained
internal government documents
that indicate that the Department of
Justice issued a legal opinion warning about the potential for
constitutional violations. The DOJ legal opinion warned of the need to
link circumvention with copyright infringement and of the particular
danger of not providing the blind with an exception. The Canadian law
misses the mark on both counts with no link to infringement and an
exception that blind groups say is 'nullified' by strict conditions."


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Fundamentalist Schools Using "Nessie" To Disprove Evolution
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tell-them-about-the-banana department:
The debate between creationists and proponents of evolution isn't ending any time soon, but now some creationists have a secret weapon, "Nessie!"
Certain fundamentalist schools in Louisiana plan to teach children that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid to disprove Darwin's theory of evolution. From the article: "One ACE textbook – Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc – reads: 'Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the "Loch Ness Monster" in Scotland? "Nessie" for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.' Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur. It's unclear if the movie Godzilla was the inspiration for this lesson."

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Ask Slashdot: Low Cost Way To Maximize SQL Server Uptime?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bang-for-your-buck department:
jdray writes "My wife and I own a mid-sized restaurant with a couple of Point of Sale (POS) terminals. The software, which runs on Windows and .NET, uses SQL Server on the back end. With an upgrade to the next major release of the software imminent, I'm considering upgrading the infrastructure it runs on to better ensure uptime (we're open seven days a week). We can't afford several thousand dollars' worth of server infrastructure (two cluster nodes and some shared storage, or some such), so I thought I'd ask Slashdot for some suggestions on enabling maximum uptime. I considered a single server node running VMWare with a limp-mode failover to a VMWare instance on a desktop, but I'm not sure how to set up a monitoring infrastructure to automate that, and manual failover isn't much of an option with non-tech staff. What suggestions do you have?"

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Sandia's Floating, Dust-Free, Spinning Heatsink
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cooler-cool department:
An anonymous reader writes "Sandia Research Laboratory believes it has come up with a much more efficient solution than heatsink-fan cooling a CPU that simply combines the heatsink and fan components into a single unit. What you effectively get is a spinning heatsink. The new design is called the Sandia Cooler. It spins at just 2,000 RPM and sits a thousandth of an inch above the processor. Sandia claim this setup is extremely efficient at drawing heat away from the chip, in the order of 30x more efficient than your typical heatsink-fan setup. The Sandia Cooler works by using a hydrodynamic air bearing. What that means is when it spins up the cooler actually becomes self supporting and floats above the chip (hence the thousandth of an inch clearance). Cool air is drawn down the center of the cooler and then ejected at the edges of the fins taking the heat with it. And as the whole unit spins, you aren't going to get dust build up (ever)."

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Apple Yanks Mac Virus Immunity Claims From Website
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-hard-to-be-humble department:
redletterdave writes "Apple quietly switched out a statement that claimed its Mac computers were completely immune to viruses with a less-forward statement: 'It's built to be safe.' The PR shift comes in the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan, which affected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in early April. From the article: 'Apple strives for perfection, but stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale. Jobs used his reality distortion field to "rally the troops," so to speak, but "Mountain Lion" will ensure Apple can tout its closed, highly-secure operating system for the foreseeable future in a much more realistic sense. Just because a product isn't impervious to sickness doesn't mean it isn't "insanely great."'"

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Voice Algorithms Spot Parkinson's Disease
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's diagnostic-discourse department:
another random user writes "Mathematician Max Little discovered that Parkinson's symptoms can be detected by computer algorithms that analyze voice recordings. Now he is looking for volunteers to contribute to a vast voice bank to help the database to learn even more. He is aiming to record up to 10,000 voices and has set up local numbers in 10 countries around the world."

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How the Militarization of the Internet is Changing Warfare
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you've-got-war-mail department:
puddingebola writes in with a link to a New York Times article about how the militarization of the internet is changing contemporary warfare. "The decision by the United States and Israel to develop and then deploy the Stuxnet computer worm against an Iranian nuclear facility late in George W. Bush's presidency marked a significant and dangerous turning point in the gradual militarization of the Internet. Washington has begun to cross the Rubicon. If it continues, contemporary warfare will change fundamentally as we move into hazardous and uncharted territory. It is one thing to write viruses and lock them away safely for future use should circumstances dictate it. It is quite another to deploy them in peacetime. Stuxnet has effectively fired the starting gun in a new arms race that is very likely to lead to the spread of similar and still more powerful offensive cyber-weaponry across the Internet. Unlike nuclear or chemical weapons, however, countries are developing cyber-weapons outside any regulatory framework."

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Gamera II Team Smashes Previous Best Human-Powered Helicopter Flight Time
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pedal-faster department:
Zothecula writes "For over 30 years, the $250,000 for the American Helicopter Society's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition prize has looked decidedly secure, but Gamera II has changed all that. Last week, Clark School of Engineering team pilots came close to breaking one of the competition's major milestones. Ph.D. candidate from Kyle Gluesenkamp from the School's mechanical engineering department, hand-cranking and pedaling like his life depended on it, managed to keep the huge quad-rotor craft aloft for 50 seconds, an impressive new world record that's currently awaiting validation by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA)." We previously covered their attempt to break the record last May.

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Jimmy Wales Calls UK Government To Halt O'Dwyer Extradition
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-it-in-house department:
judgecorp writes "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has called on the UK government to stop the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer. O'Dwyer was accused of infringing copyright with his site TVShack, but charges were dismissed in the UK, Wales has set up a petition and calling this the start of a new 'Internet war' following the successful opposition to SOPA earlier this year."

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Space Command Creator Launches Real Life Space Command
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's but-is-there-a-decoder-ring? department:
An anonymous reader writes "Space Command creator Marc Scott Zicree just launched the Space Cadet Program. In the Cadet Program fans can sign up to be a part of a real life Space Command, be able to join a weekly conference call with Marc Scott Zicree, and get other perks."

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Are We Failing To Prepare Children For Leadership In the US?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's growing-up-fast department:
Vulcan195 writes "Would you let your 3-yr play with a real saw? You would if you were a parent in Switzerland. Suzanne Lucas (a US mom residing in Switzerland) writes about the contrasts between the US and Swiss ways of instilling wisdom. She writes: 'Every Friday, whether rain, shine, snow, or heat, my 3-yr old goes into the forest for four hours with 10 other school children. In addition to playing with saws and files, they roast their own hot dogs over an open fire. If a child drops a hot dog, the teacher picks it up, brushes the dirt off, and hands it back.' She suggests that such kids grow up and lead the ones who were coddled (e.g. US kids) during their early years."

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"Twisted" OAM Beams Carry 2.5 Terabits Per Second
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greased-lightning department:
MrSeb writes "American and Israeli researchers have used twisted, vortex beams to transmit data at 2.5 terabits per second. As far as I can discern, this is the fastest wireless network ever created — by some margin. These twisted signals use orbital angular momentum (OAM) to cram much more data into a single stream, without using more spectrum. In current state-of-the-art transmission protocols (WiFi, LTE, COFDM), we only modulate the spin angular momentum (SAM) of radio waves, not the OAM. If you picture the Earth, SAM is our planet spinning on its axis, while OAM is our movement around the Sun. Basically, the breakthrough here is that researchers have created a wireless network protocol that uses both OAM and SAM. In this case, Alan Willner and fellow researchers from the University of Southern California, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tel Aviv University, twisted together eight ~300Gbps visible light data streams using OAM. For the networking nerds, Willner's OAM link has a spectral efficiency of 95.7 bits per hertz; LTE maxes out at 16.32 bits/Hz; 802.11n is 2.4 bits/Hz. Digital TV (DVB-T) is just 0.55 bits/Hz. In short, this might just be exactly what our congested wireless spectrum needs."

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Google's Own Nexus Tablet Leaks Into the Wild
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's show-me-the-details department:
lukehopewell1 writes "Days out from Google's I/O conference, training documents have been issued to resellers all over the world detailing Google's new Nexus tablet. It's a 7-inch device with an optimized Tegra 3 chip inside and it's going to be the first device to run Jelly Bean, the new version of Android, that, among other notable features, will see Google manage device updates. The device will be priced at $US199 and is aimed as a direct competitor to Amazon's Kindle Fire."

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Tech Manufacturing Is a Disaster Waiting To Happen
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's to-be-fair-so-is-everything-else department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Peter Cochrane writes that since globalization took hold, geographic diversity has become distorted along with the resilience of supply so we now have a concentration of limited sourcing and manufacture in the supply chain in just one geographic region, south-east Asia, amounting to a major disaster just waiting to happen. 'Examples of a growing supply-chain brittleness include manufacturers temporarily denuded of LCD screens, memory chips and batteries by fires, a tsunami, and industrial problems,' writes Cochrane. 'With only a few plants located in south-east Asia, we are running the gauntlet of man-made and natural disasters.' Today, PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones are produced by just 10 dominant contract manufacturers, spearheaded by Foxconn of Taiwan — which manufactures for Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, Nokia, Intel, Cisco, Nintendo and Amazon among others. The bad news is that many of the 10 big players in the IT field are not making good profits, so economic pressure could result in the 10 becoming seven."

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Sonic.net's CEO On Why ISPs Should Only Keep User Logs Two Weeks
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's privacy-has-value department:
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Dane Jasper's tiny Internet service provider Sonic.net briefly took the national spotlight last October, when it contested a Department of Justice order that it secretly hand over the data of privacy activist and WikiLeaks associate Jacob Appelbaum. But Sonic.net has actually been quietly implementing a much more fundamental privacy measure: For the past eighteen months it's only kept logs of user data for two weeks before deletion, compared with 18 to 36 months at Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and other ISPs. In a lengthy Q&A, he explains how he came to the decision to limit logging after a series of shakedowns by copyright lawyers attempting to embarrass users who had downloaded porn films, and he argues that it's time all ISPs adopt the two-week rule."

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Ask Slashdot: Jobs For Geeks In the Business/Financial World?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 12:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's do-your-best-gordon-gecko-impression department:
First time accepted submitter menphix writes "Hi there! I'm a software engineer in the bay area. I will be moving to Hong Kong where my wife works shortly. I understand that there will be a lot less opportunities to work for software companies there than in the bay area, but they do have a lot of business/financial companies in HK: investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, you name it! So I'm thinking maybe it'll be easier if I transition to work for those companies. Since I got my B.S. and M.S. both in computer science, I have no idea what those 'Wall Street jobs' are like, so I'm just wondering what you guys know about jobs in the business/financial world for geeks? Has anybody made the jump before?"

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Nintendo's Big-Screen 3DS XL Meets Lukewarm Reception
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '12 at 09:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's will-need-a-new-set-of-pants department:
MojoKid writes "Nintendo took the wraps off its new, super-sized 3DS XL handheld on Friday, but reactions have been anything but enthusiastic. The new DS offers a larger set of screens (4.88 inches top / 4.18" bottom), better battery life, and will ship with a copy of New Super Marios 2 but it's launching into a very different market than what the original DS XL faced in 2009. The 3DS XL's battery improvements aren't just icing on the cake — they're seen as remedying a critical problem with the current handheld. It also won't support the second circle pad added by the Circle Pad Pro, which implies Nintendo is ready to kill that peripheral altogether. The other major problem is that a larger screen isn't really what the 3DS needed in order to be more successful."

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