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Samsung Buys Sony's Stake In LCD Joint Venture
Posted by News Fetcher on December 26 '11 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-your-lcds-are-belong-to-us department:
First time accepted submitter rtoz writes "Samsung Electronics has decided to buy out Sony's entire stake in their Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) joint venture S-LCD Samsung will pay Sony 1.08 trillion won ($939m; £600m) in cash for Sony's entire stake (50% – 1 shares) in S-LCD Corp., a venture formed in 2004 to make TV panels. After acquisition, Samsung Electronics' stake in S-LCD will be 100%. The move comes as Sony has been restructuring its TV business, which has been making a loss for the past seven years."

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New Car Anti-Theft Device Profiles Your Rear End
Posted by News Fetcher on December 26 '11 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's top-to-bottom department:
Hugh Pickens writes "A car-seat identifier developed at Japan's Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology by Associate Professor Shigeomi Koshimizu can recognize a person by his or her rear end with 98 percent accuracy when the person takes a seat in his car. The bucket seat's lower section is lined with 360 pressure sensors that measure pressure on a scale from 0 to 256, sending information to a laptop, which aggregates the information, generates the key data and produces a precise map of the seated person's rear profile. Researchers say traditional biometric techniques such as iris scanners and fingerprint readers cause stress to people undergoing identity checks, while the simple act of getting seated carries less psychological baggage. Koshimizu wants to see his work available commercially as an anti-theft product in two to three years if automakers agree to collaborate. He sees possibilities of this device being used beyond auto-theft identity protection to a device for security identification in office settings, where users log on to their PCs as they sit down."

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Anti-Whaling Group Using Drones To Find Whalers
Posted by News Fetcher on December 26 '11 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watching-the-yushin department:
FatLittleMonkey writes "Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd is using aerial drones to find and the track factory ships used by Japanese whalers. The group claims the tactic shortened the Japanese whaling season last year by a month, saving 200 whales, and this year they've spotted the factory ship even earlier."

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The Chinese Town Where Old Christmas Lights Go
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's end-of-the-line department:
retroworks writes "Shanghai based reporter Adam Minter visits where recycled Christmas Tree lighting goes in China. Visiting Shijao, the town known as the Mecca for Christmas tree light recycling, he finds good news. The recycling practices in China have really cleaned up. Plastic casings, which were once burned, are now recycled into shoe soles in a wet process. Minter concludes that even if you try to recycle your wire in the U.S., the special equipment and processes for Christmas light recycling have been perfected in China 'to the benefit of the environment, and pocketbooks, in both countries.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Best Kit For a Home Media Server?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 08:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's serving-your-collection department:
First time accepted submitter parkejr writes "I started off building a media library a few years ago with an old PC running Ubuntu. Folders for photos, ogg vorbis music from my CD collection, and x264 encoded mkv movies. I have a high spec machine for encoding, but over the years I've moved the server to a bigger case, with 8 TB of disk capacity, and reverted back to Debian, but still running with the same AMD Sempron processor and 2GB RAM. It's working well, it's also the family mail server, and the kids are starting to use it for network storage, and it runs both link and twonkyserver, but my disks are almost full, and there are no more internal slots. The obvious option to me is to add in a couple of SATA PCI cards, to give me 4 more drives, and buy an externally powered enclosure, but that doesn't feel very elegant. I'm a bit of an amateur, so I'd like some advice. Should I start looking at a rack system? Something that can accommodate, say, 10 3.5" drives (I'm thinking long term, and some redundancy)? Also, what about location — I could run some cat6 to the garage and move it out of the house, in case noise is an issue. Finally, what about file format, file system, and OS/software? I'm currently running with ext3 and Debian Squeeze. Happy with my audio encoding choice, but not sure about x264 and mkv. I'd also consider different media server software, too. Any comments appreciated."

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Satellite Piece Crashes Through Man's Roof
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's return-to-sender department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes "A Siberian resident miraculously escaped serious injury or even death when a fragment of a Russian communication satellite crashed through the roof of his house. A Meridian satellite that was launched Friday from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia on board a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket crashed near the Siberian city of Tobolsk minutes after lift-off. A titanium ball of about five kg fell on to the roof of a house in Ordyn district."

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The Looming Library Lending Battle
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's price-of-lending department:
smitty777 writes "The NY Times is running a piece on the tug of war between publishers and libraries for e-book lending. With the In one corner are the publishers, who claim that unlimited lending of e-books 'without friction is not a sustainable business model for us.' For example, Harper Collins claims in this corporate statement that unlimited lending would lead to a decrease in royalties for both the publisher and the writers. The NTY author further states that 'To keep their overall revenue from taking a hit from lost sales to individuals, publishers need to reintroduce more inconvenience for the borrower or raise the price for the library purchaser.' Their current solution is to limit the number of readings to 26 before a book license must be renewed. In the other corner are the libraries, who are happy that e-books are luring people back to libraries, bringing with them desperately needed additional funding. With e-book sales going extremely well this year and the introduction of more capable e-readers, this debate is likely to get worse before it gets better. The Guardian also has an interesting related piece on the pricing practices of the Big Six publishers."

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Android Approved By Pentagon
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-the-greenlight department:
sfcrazy writes "The Pentagon has approved a version of Android running on Dell hardware to be used by DoD officials, along with the BlackBerry. The approval of Android by the DoD is a major setback for Apple's iPhone. This doesn't mean that DoD employees can use any Android phone. The Pentagon has approved only Dell's hardware running Android 2.2. Interestingly Dell recently discontinued its Streak phone which runs Android 2.2. Dell is now offering Dell Venue which runs on Android 2.2. So, this is the phone which DoD employees can use."

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Go Daddy Loses Over 21,000 Domains In One Day
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's reaping-what-you-sow department:
First time accepted submitter expo53d writes "CNET reports that yesterday 21,054 domains where pulled off Domaincontrol.com, a subsidiary of GoDady. While this maybe a coincidence, it is likely to be caused by GoDady's controversial support for SOPA. It seems that GoDady's attempts at remedying the problem were of no use."

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Anonymous Hacks US Think Tank Stratfor
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's looking-behind-the-curtain department:
Frankie70 writes "At 11:45 PST on Christmas Eve, hacking collective Anonymous disclosed that not only has it hacked the Stratfor website (since confirmed by Friedman himself), but has also obtained the full client list of over 4000 individuals and corporations, including their credit cards (which supposedly have been used to make $1 million in 'donations'), as well as over 200 GB of email correspondence."

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Amazon Patents Deducing Religion From Gift Wrap
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's judging-a-gift-by-its-cover department:
theodp writes "If you're the giver or recipient of presents gift-wrapped by Amazon, you may want to take a gander at U.S. Patent No. 8,060,463, granted to Amazon last month for Mining of User Event Data to Identify Users with Common Interests. Among other things, Amazon explains the invention can be used to identify recipients of gifts as Christian or Jewish based on wrapping paper. From the patent: 'The gift wrap used by such other users when purchasing gifts for this user, such as when the gift wrap evidences the user's religion (in the case of Christmas or Hanukkah gift wrap, for example.)'"

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The Science of Santa
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ho-ho-hypothesis department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "For decades, mystified scientists have chalked up Santa's power to the inexplicable wonder of magic, but North Carolina State University aerospace engineer Larry Silverberg, team leader on a first-of-its-kind visiting scholars program at Santa's Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL), says that Santa is, in fact, a scientific genius and that Silverberg looks forward to Christmas each year, so he can ponder the remarkable accomplishments of one of the greatest pioneers in his field. 'Santa is not just a jolly old elf,' says Silverberg. 'He really has an understanding of engineering, technology, science that's far beyond our own.' It all starts at the North Pole where Santa has an elaborate technical setup that rivals the nerve center of the CIA including an underground antenna that listens to children's thoughts. 'He takes those signals and finds out whether the child has been naughty or nice, and ultimately, what present the child wants.' Santa's mastery of nanotechnology allows Santa to grow presents on the spot eschewing the necessity of carrying them on the sleigh which would be prohibitive because of the weight. Then there's Santa's sleigh itself, an advanced aerodynamic structure equipped with laser sensors to find the optimal path, and covered by a nanostructured 'skin' that is porous and contains its own low-pressure system, which holds the air flowing around the airborne sled onto the body, reducing drag by as much as 90 percent. Finally there's Santa's greatest invention, the relativity cloud, that bends time and space to allow for his round-the-world Christmas journey and explains why Santa is so seldom seen. 'Relativity clouds are controllable domains – rips in time – that allow him months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth. The presents are truly delivered in a wink of an eye.'"

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Google and Mozilla: Partners, Not Competitors
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-big-happy-family department:
Much has been said about the (perceived) rivalry between Chrome and Firefox, but Google engineer Peter Kasting had enough when he read an article trying to discern Google's true motives for signing a new Firefox search deal. Kasting posted to Google+ to clarify what value the company sees in funding a "rival" browser. Quoting:
"People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads. It's very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. That's it. It's completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether instead the web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way the web gets better. Job done. The end. So it's very easy to see why Google would be willing to fund Mozilla: Like Google, Mozilla is clearly committed to the betterment of the web, and they're spending their resources to make a great, open-source web browser. Chrome is not all things to all people; Firefox is an important product because it can be a different product with different design decisions and serve different users well."

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Television White Space Spectrum Approved For Use By FCC
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '11 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-wireless-acronym-time department:
New submitter ptmartin01 writes "The unused spectrum now assigned to television broadcast has been made available for public use by the FCC. This is going to be used for wireless applications (PDF) with implications that it will generate as much investment as the previous Wi-Fi spectrum. It also happens to be the last available spectrum to be exploited."

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NASA To Investigate Mysterious 'Space Ball'
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '11 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's that's-gonna-leave-a-mark department:
redletterdave writes "In mid-November, a hollow space ball fell from the sky and crashed into the earth in Namibia, the African nation situated above South Africa and west of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Authorities recovered the sphere in a grassy village north of Windhoek, the country's capital. The hollow ball, which appears to be made of 'two halves welded together,' has a rough surface, a 14-inch diameter and measures 43 inches around. The strange globe created a crater 13 inches deep and almost 12.5 feet wide, but was found almost 60 feet from the landing spot. Paul Ludik, the police forensics director investigating the case, says the dense ball weighs 13 pounds and is made of a 'metal alloy known to man.' NASA and the European Space Agency will both help investigate the strange occurrence."

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Ask Slashdot: How Best To Deal With a GPLv2 License Infringement?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '11 at 08:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's napalm-solves-many-problems department:
cultiv8 writes "I am a developer and released some code at one point under GPLv2. It's nothing huge — a small Drupal module that integrates a Drupal e-commerce system (i.e. Ubercart) with multiple Authorize.net accounts — but very useful for non-profits. Earlier today I discovered that a Drupal user was selling the module from their website for $49 and claiming it was their custom-made module. I'm no lawyer, but my perspective is this violates both the spirit and law of GPLv2, most specifically clause 2-b: 'You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.' Am I correct in my understanding of GPLv2? Do I have any recourse, and should I do anything about this? I don't care about money, I just don't want someone selling stuff that I released for free. How do most developers/organizations deal with licensing infringements of this type?"

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Russia, Europe Seek Divorce From U.S. Tech Vendors
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '11 at 05:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's keep-the-kids department:
dcblogs writes "The Russians are building a 10-petaflop supercomputer as part of a goal to build an exascale system by 2018-20, in the same timeframe as the US. The Russians, as well as Europe and China, want to reduce reliance on U.S. tech vendors and believe that exascale system development will lead to breakthroughs that could seed new tech industries. 'Exascale computing is a challenge, and indeed an opportunity for Europe to become a global HPC leader,' said Leonardo Flores Anover, who is the European Commission's project officer for the European Exascale Software Initiative. 'The goal is to foster the development of a European industrial capability,' he said. Think what Europe accomplished with Airbus. For Russia: 'You can expect to see Russia holding its own in the exascale race with little or no dependence on foreign manufacturers,' said Mike Bernhardt, who writes The Exascale Report. For now, Russia is relying on Intel and Nvidia."

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Linux-Powered Christmas Display Puts Rudolph To Shame
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '11 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's happy-humbug department:
xmas2003 writes "Over at Linux.com, Zonker writes about Alek's Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease.

This annual Internet tradition uses a hi/low-tech combo of LAMP'ed Redhat Web Servers, a 7+ year old Thinkpad running Unbuntu for the X10 control, and an old-school webpage design that could be politely described as Web 0.0 — wait until you see the animated cursor — D'OH! The site is free (and totally fun) as it also raises awareness and donations for Celiac Disease — over $70,000 to the University of Maryland.
Nifty pictures of the crazy christmas display can be seen on the Christmas Blog (notice Clifford Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg in post #220) plus watch videos of it in action with comedic history'
Nothing quite says Christmas like a giant, inflatable HULK wearing a Santa Hat... along with three wise men of Elmo, SpongeBob, and Homer Simpson. The Slashdot Effect of turning 21,000 Christmas lights ON & OFF this evening should provide quite a Christmas Eve show to Alek's neighbors... and also the International Space Station."


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The Bitcoin Strikes Back
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '11 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's digital-boom-and-bust department:
smitty777 writes "Slashdot readers are no doubt informed of the infamous crash of Bitcoin. In fact, its demise was followed closely here. Wired has a recent article tracking Bitcoin's climb out of chaos. Valued at $17 before the crash, it had lost 90% of its value due to the hacking incident, down to a low of $2. It climbed back up to $3 in December, and is currently valued at $4. From the article: 'Bitcoin boosters have traditionally suggested that Bitcoin is an alternative to [the world's] currencies. But we'll suggest an alternative explanation: that Bitcoin is not so much an alternative currency as a "metacurrency" that allows low-cost and regulation-free transfer of wealth between nations. In other words, Bitcoin's major competitors aren't national currencies, but wire-transfer services like Western Union.' Still, Bitcoin has significant obstacles to overcome, such as covert mining, criminal uses, and other security issues."

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Study Finds Online Cheating Is Infectious
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-we-blame-jenny-mccarthy-for-this department:
Freddybear writes "A study of online gamers in the Steam community finds that those who are friends with cheaters are more likely to begin cheating themselves. From the article: 'First up, cheats stick together. The data shows that cheaters are much more likely to be friends with other cheaters. Cheating also appears to be infectious. The likelihood of a fair player becoming labelled as a cheater in future is directly correlated with this person's number of friends who are cheaters. So if you know cheaters, you are more likely to become one yourself. Cheating spreads like flu through this community. Finally, being labelled as a cheat seems to significantly affect social standing. Once a person is labelled as a cheat, they tend to lose friends. Some even cut themselves off from friends by increasing their privacy settings.'"

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