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Nokia Puts 41MPixel Camera In a (Symbian) Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that-internal-memory-is-going-to-go-fast department:
judgecorp writes "We aren't sure what's the strangest thing about Nokia's new offering, the fact that it's got a 41 Megapixel camera or the fact that it runs Symbian. It has a very high resolution sensor and uses oversampling, apparently producing good results in low light. Users can either save a mazimum of 38Mpixels, or else zoom and crop for normal resolution images. Observers expected a maximum of one more Symbian phone before Nokia shifts over to Windows Phone. This suggests either a longer life for Symbian — or maybe Symbian was just an easier platform to make a show-stopping device that may turn out to be more of a concept phone."

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IBM Touts Quantum Computing Breakthrough
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's or-they-don't-it's-indeterminate department:
Lucas123 writes "IBM today claimed to have been able to reduce error rates and retain the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits or quibits long enough to perform a gate operation, opening the door to new microfabrication techniques that allows engineers to begin designing a quantum computer. While still a long ways off, the creation of a quantum computer would mean data processing power would be exponentially increased over what is possible with today's silicon-based computing."

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Facebook Tests 'Safe' User Tag For Disasters
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's or-you-could-post-a-comment-on-slashdot department:
aesoteric writes "Facebook has embarked on a nationwide test of a new disaster message board for users across Japan. The feature allows users to mark themselves as being 'safe' in the event of a disaster. Doing so introduces a 'safe' insignia next to their name on their profile. The Facebook announcement appeared to be geoblocked."

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Advertisers Co-Opting The Lorax With Half-Truths About Conservation
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's he-who-controls-the-past department:
pigrabbitbear writes with an interesting opinion on the "green" marketing surrounding The Lorax movie adaptation. From the article: "There may be all kinds of reasons to defend the Lorax — Dr. Seuss's wondrous children's fable that's also a seminal book about conservation — from the wrath of Lou Dobbs and Fox News and others to whom the children's book-turned-Disney film is little more than liberal propaganda. ... For adults dealing with the real world of compromise, the Lorax is loved and hated for being such a ridiculously staunch environmentalist. Dude refuses to give an inch, which isn’t realistic, but certainly makes him a compelling character. That character is now being used as a shill for the CX-5, a small SUV that’s being billed as fuel-efficient and eco-friendly. What has the poor Lorax become?"

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Asus Transformer Drops Quad-core In Favor of Dual-core
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 02:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's four-cores-good-two-cores-better department:
MrSeb writes with this news from Extreme Tech: "In a move that will shock and disgust bleeding-edge technophiles everywhere, Asus has announced at Mobile World Congress 2012 that its new Transformer Pads — the high-end Infinity Series — will use the recently-announced dual-core Qualcomm S4 SoC. The critically acclaimed Transformer Prime, the Infinity Series' predecessor which was released at the end of 2011, used the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Why the sudden about-face? Well, the fact that quad-core processors don't really have a use case in mobile devices is one reason — but it doesn't hurt that the Krait cores in the S4 are significantly faster than the four Cortex-A9 cores in the Tegra 3, too. The S4 is also the first 28nm SoC, while Tegra 3 is still on 40nm, which means a smaller and cheaper package, and lower power consumption to boot. The S4 is also the first SoC with built-in LTE, which was probably a rather nice sweetener for Asus."

The Snapdragon S4 "Krait" CPU is still a bit shrounded in mystery as far as hard specs (Qualcomm has never been one to release docs), but it appears to be similar to the Cortex-A15 in performance; how they stand up to Intel's new Medfield designs remains to be seen.

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Apple Threatens To Pull Siri Clone From App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on February 28 '12 at 12:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's larry-wall-is-full-of-lies department:
daria42 writes "Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies, but that doesn't mean the company is letting it all hang loose. Overnight the U.K. company which produces a speech recognition app called Evi, which mimics many of the functions of Apple's Siri, confirmed Apple had approached his company letting it know that Evi was being reviewed for possible breaches of Apple's App Store policies. The reason? A clause in the policy which bans apps too similar to Apple's existing software. It does appear to matter to Apple that Siri doesn't function that well in the U.K., because of a lack of good localisation."

Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.

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Flatworms Defy Aging Through Cell Division Tricks
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 09:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ail-hail-the-immortal-flatworm department:
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from The University of Nottingham have demonstrated how a species of flatworm overcomes the ageing process to be potentially immortal. The discovery, published (abstract; full text PDF) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is part of a project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Medical Research Council and may shed light on the possibilities of alleviating ageing and age-related characteristics in human cells."

After finding the gene for telomerase synthesis in the worms, the researches were able to observe that the worms "...dramatically increase the activity of this gene when they regenerate, allowing stem cells to maintain their telomeres as they divide to replace missing tissues."

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Spanish Company Tests 'Right To Be Forgotten' Against Google
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 07:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's with-a-side-of-bacon department:
suraj.sun writes with an excerpt from an article over at Ars Technica: "Los Alfaques, a bucolic campground near the Spanish town of Tarragona, isn't happy with Google. That's because searches for 'camping Alfaques' bring up horrific images of charred human flesh — not good for business when you're trying to sell people on the idea of relaxation. The campground believes it has the right to demand that Google stop showing 'negative' links, even though the links aren't mistakes at all. Are such lawsuits an aberration, or the future of Europe's Internet experience in the wake of its new 'right to be forgotten' proposals? Legal scholars like Jeffrey Rosen remain skeptical that such a right won't lead to all sorts of problems for free expression. But in Spain, the debate continues. Last week, Los Alfaques lost its case — but only because it needed to sue (U.S.-based) Google directly. Mario Gianni, the owner of Los Alfaques, is currently deciding whether such a suit is worth pursuing."

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Suggestions For Music Hosting?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 05:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's why-apple-icloud-of-course department:
First time accepted submitter achbed writes "In conjunction with a friend of mine, I'm operating a small(ish) site that contains a large quantity of music (mp3/ogg) that we pay streaming licenses for. The site currently has about 35GB of files, and pulls down an average of about 3TB a month of bandwidth — and we're just getting started. We've been unable to find any hosting packages out there that are not of the 'unlimited' variety (meaning they can kick us at any time because we're using too much) that are not costing an insane amount of money. Our current 'main page' host charges about $0.50/GB/mo, which for this much data equates to $500 a month per TB. As we are expecting growth, this is quickly going to become a major problem, as were doing this out of our own pockets (that are not that deep). Does anyone have good leads on businesses that provide significant bandwidth (5-10TB/month) for inexpensive money? Or are we going to have to accept a price in the thousands per month to run this kind of site, with 'going viral' providing a significant risk to our pockets?"

$500 for what works out to under 5Mbps (95th pecentile mojo) seems a bit steep. These guys want to enter the 20+Mbps realm; I've done some high bandwidth hosting before, but it seems like you enter a different world when you need more than 10Mbps.

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Publisher Pulls Supports; 'Research Works Act' Killed
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 04:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's those-bits-aren't-free department:
crabel writes "It appears the dreaded Research Works Act is dead. The bill would have prevented agencies of the federal government from requiring public access to federally subsidized research. After Elsevier pulled its support, it was decided that no legislative action will be taken on the bill."

A glimmer of hope as well: "Meanwhile, attention has shifted to another proposed bill: the reintroduced Federal Research Public Access Act, which would require public access." Elesvier has vowed to battle it, however.

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AMD's Piledriver To Hit 4GHz+ With Resonant Clock Mesh
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's inventing-a-better-sliderule department:
MojoKid writes about some interesting news from AMD. From the article: "Advanced Micro Devices plans to use resonant clock mesh (PDF) technology developed by Cyclos Semiconductor to push its Piledriver processor architecture to 4GHz and beyond, the company announced at the International Solid State Circuits Conferences (ISSCC) in San Francisco. Cyclos is the only supplier of resonant clock mesh IP, which AMD has licensed and implemented into its x86 Piledriver core for Opteron server processors and Accelerated Processing Units. Resonant clock mesh technology will not only lead to higher clocked processors, but also significant power savings. According to Cyclos, the new technology is capable of reducing power consumption by 10 percent or bumping up clockspeeds by 10 percent without altering the TDP."

Unfortunately, aside from a fuzzy whitepaper, actual technical details are all behind IEEE and other paywalls with useless abstracts.

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Siri To Power Mercedes-Benz Car Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's siri-flip-that-guy-the-bird department:
redletterdave writes "Mercedes-Benz unveiled plans on Monday to use Siri, Apple's AI personal assistant exclusive to the iPhone 4S, to power its electronics system called 'Drive Kit Plus,' which will essentially let drivers access their iPhone apps while driving using voice commands. With Siri, Mercedes drivers will have a hands-free solution to listen to music, change channels on the radio, send texts, or make calls. 'Drive Kit Plus' will also come pre-installed with a number of social networks, so drivers will even be able to update their Twitter accounts and post messages to Facebook. Siri will also be integrated with Garmin's GPS system, so drivers can navigate and get directions with simple voice commands. With this move, Mercedes-Benz earns the distinction of being the first carmaker to integrate Apple technology into its vehicles' in-car systems."

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Need To Find a Hackerspace In Africa? Check This Map
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's just-in-case department:
pigrabbitbear writes "These days you can crowd-map just about anything, from Hurricane Irene to what you eat for breakfast, as long as you either have a phone or a basic internet hook-up. One of the largest and most used platforms for crowd-sourced mapping is Ushahidi (Swahili for 'witness'), an open-sourced platform has been used for tracking and mobilizing movement around more serious topics. Ushahidi was used in developing Syria Tracker, a crowd-sourcing of reported deaths in the conflict in Syria. Now the Ushahidi platform is putting technology hubs in Africa on the map. The map, simply named Tech Hubs in Africa, was launched by Bongohive, a self described non-profit technology and innovation hub located in Lasaka, Zambia for one purpose: To have likeminded organizations across Africa — notorious for low levels of tech infrastructure — begin plotting the locations of tech hubs available around the continent right now."

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Are Rich People Less Moral?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-begging-the-question-at-all department:
sciencehabit writes "New research suggests that the upper classes are more likely to behave dishonorably than those lower on the economic spectrum. The rich are more likely to cheat, steal, and even disobey traffic laws than those with less money and power (abstract). Curiously, in one experiment, Prius drivers also behaved badly, regardless of their wealth."

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Will Tablet Price War Mean a Larger Amazon Tablet?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's well-it-won't-mean-a-smaller-one department:
An anonymous reader writes "PC Magazine reports that even while Amazon was building their Kindle Fire tablet, it was already planning on a much larger model that 'will be its marquee product and the hopeful cornerstone of its tablet strategy.' Amazon's already begun offering $30 discounts on refurbished 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets, matching last week's new aggressive pricing from Barnes and Noble on their color touchscreen Nook. But PCMag argues that the 7-inch color Kindle was simply a 'beta' release of the larger device to come. 'In no way was Amazon being dishonest with its customers... To be truly fair, many people may never want a screen larger than seven inches because of the associated weight and bulk.' But the author argues that its real purpose may have been as a test run to gather important real-world data for their ultimate war with the iPad. 'After all, as industry insiders joke, all first-generation products, whether hardware or software, are really "beta" programs disguised as initial launches.'"

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Ship Anchor Damages African Undersea Cables
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-then-on-again department:
New submitter Bastian227 writes "A ship anchoring in a restricted area disrupted an East African high-speed Internet connection. The damaged fiber optic cable is one of three new undersea cables in the area off Kenyan coast. Repairs could take up to 14 days. 'The Teams cable had been rerouting data from three other cables severed 10 days ago in the Red Sea between Djibouti and the Middle East. Together, the four fiber-optic cables channel thousands of gigabytes of information per second and form the backbone of East Africa's telecom infrastructure. Telecom companies were reeling over the weekend as engineers attempted to reroute data south along the East African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope.'"

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Reasons Behind the Demise of Kodak
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ran-out-of-moments department:
pbahra tips a story that goes into the reasons behind Kodak's decline and fall. Quoting:
"With digital, a significant shift in mind-set occurred in the meanings associated with cameras. Rather than being identified as a piece of purely photographic equipment, digital cameras came to be seen as electronic gadgets. The implications of this shift were enormous. With digital devices, newcomers such as Sony were able to bypass one of Kodak’s massive strengths: its distribution network. Instead, digital cameras became available in electronic retail outlets next to other gadgets. Kodak was now playing on Sony’s and other entrants’ turf rather than its own. Similarly, Kodak’s brand came to be associated with traditional photography rather than digital."

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Asus PadFone Combines Smartphone, Tablet, Keyboard
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's modular-computing department:
crookedvulture writes "Asus is showing off a bunch of new devices at the Mobile World Congress in Spain, including a budget Transformer model and an Infinity Series graced with a 10", 1920x1200 display. In addition to the tablets, there's the novel PadFone hybrid. This Snapdragon-powered smartphone has a 4.3" screen with a generous 960x540 resolution. If you want more screen real estate, the PadFone slides into the back of a tablet docking station that offers a 10", 1280x800 display alongside an auxiliary battery. That combo can in turn be plugged into an external keyboard with a full-sized SD slot, USB port, and other perks. The only problem is those auxiliary components are thicker and heavier than Asus' standalone tablets, which offer the same functionality, sans smartphone."

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US Military Working On 'Optionally-Manned' Bomber
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's contract-paid-by-skynet department:
An anonymous reader writes "Despite massive budget deficits, the U.S. military is working towards a stealthy and 'optionally-manned' bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The craft is intended to replace the 1960s B-52, 1970s B-1 and 1990s B-2 bombers. The new aircraft is meant to be a big part of the U.S. 'pivot' to the Pacific. With China sporting anti-ship weapons that could sink U.S. carriers from a distance, a new bomber is now a top priority."

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France's Bold Drunk-Driving Legislation - Every Car To Carry a Breathalyzer
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-you'll-get-people-trying-to-beat-their-high-score department:
Zothecula writes "It is a great irony that alcohol should be legislated into becoming man's most commonly used recreational drug, as it's the only drug that causes more harm to others than to the user. This is most evident on our roads, where even in first world countries with low road tolls, alcohol still accounts for between a third and a half of road deaths. Now France is to attempt a novel solution — from July of this year, it will become law in France to have a working breathalyzer in every car on the road, with enforcement beginning November 1."

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