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What Is the Most Influential Programming Book?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-of-class department:
First time accepted submitter AlexDomo writes "If you could go back in time and tell yourself to read a specific book at the beginning of your career as a developer, which book would it be? Since it was first posed back in 2008, this question has now become the second most popular question of all time on StackOverflow. The top 5 results are: Code Complete (2nd Edition), The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, The C Programming Language, and Introduction to Algorithms."

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Cryogenic Truck Services Remote Telescopes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's telescope-repair-option department:
coondoggie writes "Moving a 115-ton telescope down a mountain and 40 miles on the back of a humongous truck to a servicing facility is no task for the timid. It's a job the caretakers of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility , no longer have to worry about thanks to a new custom designed truck that can transport and service ALMA's temperature-sensitive astronomical equipment without removing a telescope from the working array at 16,500 feet in the Chilean mountains."

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The Register Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's down-time department:
First time accepted submitter rjmx writes "Looks like The Register has been hacked. It's front page has been replaced with a page in tasteful red and black, apparently by a Turkish hacker."

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NSA Makes Contribution To Apache Hadoop Project
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's need-a-hand? department:
An anonymous reader writes "The National Security Agency has submitted a new database, Accumulo, to the Apache Foundation for incubation. Accumulo is based on the original BigTable paper with some extensions such as the ability to provide cell-level security. It appears there are some hurdles that must be cleared concerning copyright before the project could be accepted."

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Laptops In the Classroom Don't Increase Grades
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's work-easier-not-smarter department:
blitzkrieg3 writes "Classrooms all around the country are being fitted with one to one laptop programs, networking hardware, digital projectors, and other technology in order to stay competitive in the 21st century. Kyrene school district spent $3 million modernizing their classrooms. The problem? The increase in spending doesn't lead to an increase in test scores. Policy makers calling for high tech classrooms, including former execs from HP, Apple, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, want to increase technology investment despite the results. Others are not so sure, or think it is an outright waste of money."

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Lucasfilm Unveils "Sandcrawler" Singapore Office
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's breaks-over-jawa department:
An anonymous reader writes "The massive, slow moving Sandcrawlers from George Lucas' Star Wars films inspired the form of Lucasfilm's new regional headquarters in Singapore. Designed by Aedas, the Sandcrawler Building will house a 100 seat theater, Lucasfilm Singapore offices, a public podium and other employee spaces. Neither rusty nor slow moving in this case, the glassy and streamlined building will combine a high performance facade with lush gardens and foliage that spills over terraces, resulting in a highly efficient commercial space. With construction already underway, we can look forward to this real life Star Wars manifestation sometime in 2012."

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Lenovo To Offer $200 Budget Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's discount-computing department:
First time accepted submitter khellendros1984 writes "Amazon's not the only big-name company planning on a budget-level tablet release; Lenovo recently announced their Ideapad A1 tablet as competition. It includes a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, along with other features more commonly seen on higher-priced tablets, such as dual cameras, bluetooth, GPS, wifi, and a MicroSD slot. Is this the start of the Android tablet price avalanche?"

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Facebook Testing Translate Feature For Comments?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's button-of-babel department:
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook may be testing a translation feature that could overcome the language barrier many users experience on the social network. If a comment posted on a Page is in a language that is different than the one your Facebook account is set to, a Translate button may show up just below it beside the existing Like button. Clicking on the button will translate the comment to your account language. After translation, an Original button appears instead, and if you click that it will revert the comment to the original version (and presumably offer the Translation button again)."

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Google Patents Glove For "Seeing With Your Hand"
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's touching-is-believing department:
theodp writes "Is Google Couch Search about to go Beta? GeekWire reports that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is among the inventors listed on a patent issued to the search giant this week for 'Seeing With Your Hand', using a glove with sensors for viewing a room or controlling a computer with gestures. From the patent: 'When a small object is lost, for example, underneath a couch, humans naturally put their hands under the couch to locate the lost object by touch. While gathering information by touch is in some cases an acceptable substitute for seeing, in many situations it may be desirable to 'see' the inaccessible environment to better gather information.'"

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18-Year-Old Student Discovers Comet Break-Up
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's patience-and-a-sweet-telescope department:
astroengine writes "It's an event that any professional astronomer would consider to be a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. But for one 18-year-old British student, witnessing the fragmentation of a comet she was studying became the highlight of a summer work experience program using the Faulkes Telescope Project. However, that was just the icing on the cake; Hannah Blyth of St. Johns College, Cardiff, also assisted in the discovery of over 20 previously unknown asteroids, two of which she discovered herself. It is extremely rare to spot a fragmenting comet, but for an amateur (let alone an 18-year-old student on work experience), this is an incredible achievement."

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The UK Government's Struggle With Digital Rights
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '11 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's regulating-a-series-of-tubes department:
With his first accepted submission, Ajehals sends this excerpt from a post by the UK Pirate Party:
"... at every turn, the coalition has been exposed as having no coherent policy on digital rights. Nothing illustrates this better than its zig-zag course on Internet filtering and website blocking. ... As if any further confirmation was needed that the government's policy on digital rights, and freedom of speech is entirely made up on the fly, along came the riots and a classic knee-jerk reaction to the use of social media. ... one of the few concrete parts of David Cameron’s statement to the recalled House of Commons was a full on attack on social media. It was carefully worded, but the thrust was that the Prime Minister thought further action is necessary to combat the 'ill' done by status updates. At this point things took a turn for the authoritarian, with MP Louise Mensch saying it was 'acceptable to shut Twitter and Facebook off for an hour or two.' ... Worse still, it has been recently revealed that the Government actually asked Ofcom to make Digital Economy Act appeals harder. It also wants to rule out a public consultation – once again trying to do deals away from the public eye. I suspect it is actually this fear of the power technology can give us to hold our representatives to account that drives alarm about the Internet in the corridors of power."

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Apple's iCloud Runs On Microsoft Azure
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we-put-a-cloud-in-your-cloud department:
Front page first-timer ge7 writes "Apple's recently announced cloud storage and cloud service platform, iCloud, runs on their main competitor Microsoft's Azure platform and Amazon services. According to The Reg's sources, 'Microsoft insiders see the iCloud deal as a validation of Azure. iCloud puts Azure into a different league, given the brand love for Apple and the Apple management's fanatical attitude to perfection. It is a "huge consumer brand, a great opportunity to get Azure under a very visible workload." ... Apple has had a recent unpleasant experience in providing online services: in a famous memo, Steve Jobs admitted his company had "more to learn about internet services" following the outages and failures of his precursor to iCloud for email, contacts, calendar, photos and other files on MobileMe.'"

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Tapping Subway Trains For Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 07:02 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's make-them-pedal department:
An anonymous reader writes "Industrial flywheel manufacturer Vycon Energy believes that they can tap the immense amount of kinetic energy carried by moving subway trains to subsidize city power systems. Not only would this reduce emissions, but it would also help to avoid peak power emergencies. This energy could the be used to start the trains up again — a 10-car subway train in New York's system requires a jolt of three to four megawatts of power for 30 seconds to get up to cruising speed — that's enough energy to power 1,300 average U.S. homes."

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Weak Typing — the Lost Art of the Keyboard
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 04:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-dint-knwo-hwat-oyure-tlakig-aoutb department:
mikejuk writes "How do you type? Hunt and peck? Two thumbs? Touch type? Two thumbs touch type? For the first time since the computer was invented, the standard QWERTY keyboard is challenged by new ways of inputing text. And yet even the iPad virtual keyboard has two useless dimples on the F and J keys. Perhaps it isn't time to give up on the home keys just yet."

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Intel and AMD May Both Delay Next-Generation CPUs
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's make-it-so department:
MojoKid writes "AMD and Intel are both preparing to launch new CPU architectures between now and the end of the year, but rumors have surfaced that suggest the two companies may delay their product introductions, albeit for different reasons. Various unnamed PC manufacturers have apparently reported that Intel may push back the introduction of its Ivy Bridge processor from the end of 2011 to late Q1/early Q2 2012. Meanwhile, on the other side of the CPU pasture, there are rumors that AMD's Bulldozer might slip once again. Apparently AMD hasn't officially confirmed that it shipped its upcoming server-class Bulldozer products for revenue during August. This is possible, but seems somewhat unlikely. The CPU's anticipated launch date is close enough that the company should already know if it can launch the product."

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Sony Attacks Microsoft's Publishing Policies
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ooo-cat-fight department:
winston18 writes "Sony's vice president of publisher relations has gone on record as saying that Microsoft is protecting an inferior technology with their policies regarding content on Xbox Live Arcade and multiplatform titles. The comments stem from Microsoft's admission that they reserve the right to deny titles on Xbox Live if they launch on the PlayStation Network first."

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The iPhone's Role In Crippling T-Mobile
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's doubles-as-a-ninja-star department:
GMGruman writes "The feds may be blocking AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile, but T-Mobile is in poor shape to continue as is. Parent company Deutsche Telekom's decision not to invest in U.S. spectrum a decade ago constrained T-Mobile's ability to grow, especially through 4G networks now finally emerging. But from a customer point of view, it was the iPhone that has threatened the company the most. Or, more precisely, its lack of the iPhone."

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Kernel.org Attackers Didn't Know What They Had
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-never-appreciate-it-until-it's-gone department:
Trailrunner7 writes "The attack that compromised some high-value servers belonging to kernel.org — but not the Linux kernel source code — may have been the work of hackers who simply got lucky and didn't realize the value of the servers that they had gotten their hands on. The attackers made a couple of mistakes that enabled the administrators at kernel.org to discover the breach and stop it before any major damage occurred. First, they used a known Linux rootkit called Phalanx that the admins were able to detect. And second, the attackers set up SSH backdoors on the compromised servers, which the admins also discovered. Had the hackers been specifically targeting the kernel.org servers, the attack probably would've looked quite different."
A few blog posts in the wake of the attack have agreed with the initial announcement; while it was embarrassing, the integrity of the kernel source is not in question.

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Ask Slashdot: Best Second Major For a Mechanical Engineer?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's underwater-basketweaving department:
Scarred Intellect writes "After attending DigiPen Institute of Technology and deciding that I liked the idea of programming more than programming itself (I still do enjoy it a bit); after getting my AA at a community college with no direction; after much tinkering with engines growing up; after 4 years of service in the US Marine Corps infantry; I have finally decided what I want to do when I grow up: mechanical engineering. The reason is simple: I believe our automobiles can be a lot better (in terms of engine/propulsion) than they are now. Better technology exists, and there's more technology to develop for them. I've taken an intense interest in biodiesel and other clean, alternative energy methods (fuel cells being one of my favorites — second is solar, with wind being last). I figure mechanical engineering will give me a broad understanding of the more specific engineering disciplines. My uncle, also a mechanical engineer, suggested I get a second major in computer science to complement ME. It sounds like a good idea to me; I could mate mechanical processes with computer controls pretty effectively. It should take me 3 to 4 years to complete. What do you think? Is ME + CS a good option, or would ME work better with something else? I'll almost definitely have a math minor coming out of this."

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Google To Shut Down 10 Products
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-are-the-weakest-links department:
Google announced yesterday that it is closing a number of its current products and merging others into similar services. Many of them will continue to be available in the near future to facilitate the transition. The list of affected services includes Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip, Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki, and Subscriber Links. Google's Alan Eustace wrote. "This will make things much simpler for our users, improving the overall Google experience. It will also mean we can devote more resources to high impact products—the ones that improve the lives of billions of people. All the Googlers working on these projects will be moved over to higher-impact products. As for our users, we’ll communicate directly with them as we make these changes, giving sufficient time to make the transition and enabling them to take their data with them." The link contains brief descriptions of how each service is getting phased out.

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