By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's code-freedom-day department
puddingebola writes "HP done gone and released the open source version of webOS. From the article: 'Gone are the days of HP's TouchPad and Palm ambitions, but HP is moving ahead with its plans to make webOS, its beleaguered mobile operating system, live on as open-source supported platform. Today it's launching the beta release... The release will have 54 components available as open source, the blog says, some 450,000 lines of code under the Apache 2.0 license.'"
There are two flavors: an OpenEmbedded
based version for targeting mobile device (kudos there!), and a desktop build
which runs Luna
as an application on the desktop (how long until someone writes a rootless version?). More info at the Open webOS project overview
page, with source code over at GitHubRead Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's warning-electro-bracelet-may-explode department
writes with news on work toward flexible batteries good enough for Real World use (you have to power this flexible electrionics somehow). From the article: "LG Chem ... has devised a cable-type lithium-ion battery that's just a few millimeters in diameter, and is flexible enough to be tied in knots, worn as a bracelet, or woven into textiles. The underlying chemistry of the cable-type battery is the same as the lithium-ion battery in your smartphone or laptop — there's an anode, a lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathode, an electrolyte — but instead of being laminated together in layers, they're twisted into a hollow, flexible, spring-like helix. flexible batteries have been created before — but they've all just standard, flat, laminated batteries made from sub-optimum materials, such as polymers. As such, as they have very low energy density, and they're only bendy in the same way that a thin sheet of plastic is bendy. LG Chem's cable-type batteries have the same voltage and energy density as your smartphone battery — but they're thin and highly flexible to boot. LG Chem has already powered an iPod Shuffle for 10 hours using a knotted 25cm length of cable-type battery."
< article continued at Slashdot
>Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
MassDosage writes "After nearly 15 years or of writing code professionally it was refreshing to take a figurative step back and read a book aimed at people getting started with computer programming. As the title suggests, Think Like A Programmer tries to get to the core of the special way that good programmers think and how, when faced with large and complex problems, they successfully churn out software to solve these challenges in elegant and creative ways. The author has taught computer science for about as long as I've been programming and this shows in his writing. He has clearly seen a lot of different people progress from newbie programmers to craftsmen (and craftswomen) and has managed to distill a lot of what makes this possible in what is a clear, well-written and insightful book."
Read below for the rest of Mass Dosage's review. Think Like A Programmer
author V. Anton Spraul
publisher No Starch Press
reviewer Mass Dosage
summary An Introduction to Creative Problem SolvingRead Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ignore-the-exploit-over-there department
kungfugleek writes "Throughout the launch of subscription-free MMO Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has stated that the player-experience is their top priority and, if necessary, they would suspend digital sales to protect their servers from crushing loads. While the launch has been considerably more stable than most big-budget MMO's in recent months, some players, especially those in Europe, have experienced trouble logging in and getting booted from servers. So yesterday, ArenaNet held true to their word, and temporarily suspended digital sales from their website. Personally, I think this is an incredible show of customer-centered focus. To turn down purchases, especially first-party purchases, where the seller gets a higher percentage of the sale, during a major title's first week of sales, would be inconceivable by other companies. Is this a bad move for ArenaNet? Will there be enough of a long-term payout to make up for the lost sales? And does this put pressure on other major studios to follow suit in the face of overwhelming customer response?"
New submitter charlieman writes with related news: "Yesterday ArenaNet banned players for exploiting an error in their new game Guild Wars 2
. The so called exploit was in fact an error on ArenaNet's side, leaving weapons at a low price from some vendors. Players saw this and started making profits buying and selling the items.
Should players be penalized for errors committed by the game developers? Taking in account that the game is fairly new, the economy hasn't stabilized yet and most don't know the value of things. Today they've given these players a 'second chance', but shouldn't they be apologizing instead?"Read Replies (0)
The Case Against DNA
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's everything-in-moderation department
writes "Thanks to fast-paced television crime shows such as CSI, we have come to regard DNA evidence as incontestable. But BBC reports that David Butler has every right to be cynical about the use of DNA evidence by the police. Butler spent eight months in prison, on remand, facing murder charges after his DNA was allegedly found on the victim. 'I think in the current climate [DNA] has made police lazy,' says Butler. 'It doesn't matter how many times someone like me writes to them, imploring they look at the evidence... they put every hope they had in the DNA result.' The police had accused Butler of murdering a woman, Anne Marie Foy, in 2005 — his DNA sample was on record after he had willingly given it to them as part of an investigation into a burglary at his mother's home some years earlier. But Butler has a rare skin condition, which means he sheds flakes of skin, leaving behind much larger traces of DNA than the average person. Butler worked as a taxi driver, and so it was possible for his DNA to be transferred from his taxi via money or another person, onto the murder victim. The case eventually went to trial and Butler was acquitted after CCTV evidence allegedly placing Butler in the area where the murder took place was disproved. Professor Allan Jamieson, head of the Glasgow-based Forensic Institute, has become a familiar thorn in the side of prosecutors seeking to rely on DNA evidence and has appeared as an expert witness for the defense in several important DNA-centered trials, most notably that of Sean Hoey, who was cleared of carrying out the 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people. Jamieson's main concern about the growing use of DNA in court cases is that a number of important factors — human error, contamination, simple accident — can suggest guilt where there is none. 'Does anyone realize how easy it is to leave a couple of cells of your DNA somewhere?' says Jamieson. 'You could shake my hand and I could put that hand down hundreds of miles away and leave your cells behind. In many cases, the question is not "Is it my DNA?", but 'How did it get there?"'"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's solid-color-rectangles department
writes "Did images of Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone 8 smartphones leak a few days early? That's the question after a Twitter feed, @evleaks, posted a set of images early on Aug. 31. The first, it claimed, was of the '4.3-inch Nokia Lumia 820,' while the second purported to show the '4.5-inch Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView.' Corporate-sanctioned leaks are a fairly regular thing in the tech world, but they tend to follow well-defined patterns: a public-relations executive — wait, sorry, 'unnamed source' — will email a journalist with an image of an upcoming device, for example, or a disgruntled former engineer will data-dump information onto their blog. Glossy publicity images originating from a new, relatively unknown Twitter feed is less common, although the Twitter feed in question has leaked other images in the past."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-can-trust-us department
plover writes "The NY Times has a story about FinSpy, a commercial spyware package sold 'only for law enforcement purposes,' being used by governments to spy on dissidents, journalists, and others. Two U.S. computer experts, Morgan Marquis-Boire from Google, and Bill Marczak, a PhD student in Computer Science, have been tracking it down around the world. 'The software proved to be the stuff of a spy film: it can grab images of computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The two men said they discovered mobile versions of the spyware customized for all major mobile phones. But what made the software especially sophisticated was how well it avoided detection. Its creators specifically engineered it to elude antivirus software made by Kaspersky Lab, Symantec, F-Secure and others.'"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-on-again department
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Geek.com:"PS3 gamers may now never get access to the content in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC. That's the news coming out of Bethesda via their forums. Administrator and global community lead Gstaff posted an update on the state of PS3 DLC for the game, and it's not looking great. Gstaff explains that releasing sizeable DLC is a complex issue, and it seems like for the PS3 it might be just a bit too complex. No detail is given as to what the specific problem is, but Bethesda is preparing PS3 gamers for the reality that Dawnguard, and for that matter any other Skyrim DLC, may never reach the platform. I'd like to know what the exact problem is they can't overcome, but I'd also like to know if this is a failing on Bethesda's part or a shortcoming of the PS3 architecture. Maybe Sony should pay Bethesda a visit and see what's going on."
In other Skyrim
news, a mod for the game that attempted to recreate J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth has received a Cease & Desist letter from Warner Bros
, causing development to stop
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-for-you-one-for-me-one-for-you-one-for-me department
writes "A court in Tokyo has ruled that Samsung Electronics did not infringe on a patent relating to transferring media content between devices. Tokyo District Judge Tamotsu Shoji dismissed the case filed by Apple in August, finding that Samsung was not in violation of Apple patents related to synchronizing music and video data between devices and servers."
This particular battle is just one front in a patent war that spans ten countries and dozens of cases
. Samsung also confirmed it was ready and willing to sue Apple if an LTE iPhone ever hits the market
. Meanwhile, Apple was granted a number of new patents on Tuesday, including one for changing settings on a wireless device
depending on its location (#8,254,902
). For example, sound and light from the device could be disabled when entering a movie theater, or communications with other devices could be disabled in a science laboratory.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-the-lights-on department
writes "When the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland seized the world record for the highest-energy collisions in 2010, it also sealed the fate of the leading US particle collider. The Tevatron, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, was closed the following year to save money. Now, physicists at another US physics facility, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, are trying to avoid a similar end. On 13 August, researchers at the ALICE heavy-ion experiment at the LHC at CERN, Europe's particle-physics lab near Geneva, announced that they had created the hottest-ever man-made plasma of quarks and gluons. This eclipsed the record temperature achieved at RHIC two years earlier by 38%, and raised uncomfortable questions about RHIC's future. Tribble still hopes to avoid having to close any of the three facilities. In 2005, he notes, a similar crisis was averted after an advisory committee laid out the dire consequences of flat funding for the future of US nuclear science. In the end, Congress came through with the budgetary increases required. 'What we want to do here is to spell out what will be lost under different budgets,' he says. His committee is planning to hold a final meeting in November, in time to influence the budget requests from US funding agencies for the next fiscal year."Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sign-your-life-away department
Back in 1969 insurance companies weren't very optimistic about the odds of an astronaut making it back to earth after being launched in a rocket to the moon. The cost of life insurance for the Apollo 11 crew was astronomically high so they came up with a clever solution. A month before launch, the astronauts signed hundreds of autographs that were to be sold if they didn't make it back
. From the article: "About a month before Apollo 11 was set to launch, the three astronauts entered quarantine. And, during free moments in the following weeks, each of the astronauts signed hundreds of covers.
They gave them to a friend. And on important days — the day of the launch, the day the astronauts landed on the moon — their friend got them to the post office and got them postmarked, and then distributed them to the astronauts' families.
It was life insurance in the form of autographs."Read Replies (0)