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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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Vatican Attack Provides Insight Into Anonymous
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's casting-the-first-e-stone department:
Hugh Pickens writes "John Markoff writes that an unsuccessful campaign against the Vatican by Anonymous, which did not receive wide attention at the time, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance, and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective and may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack. The attack, called Operation Pharisee in a reference to the sect that Jesus called hypocrites, was initially organized by hackers in South America and Mexico and was designed to disrupt Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests. First the hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own website and social sites like Twitter and Flickr calling on volunteers to download free attack software and imploring them to 'stop child abuse' by joining the cause. It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, then a core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church's World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside. In this case, the scanning software failed to turn up any gaps so the hackers turned to a brute-force approach of a distributed denial-of-service, On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day but did not crash the site. 'Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,' says Cole Stryker, an author who has researched the movement. 'You have four or five guys who really know what they're doing and are able to pull off some of the more serious hacks, and then thousands of people spreading the word, or turning their computers over to participate in a DDoS attack.'"

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World's First Quadruple Limb Transplant Fails
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-this-time department:
New submitter smoothjazz writes "The world's first quadruple limb transplant failed, according to Hacettepe University. Doctors had to remove the arms and legs that had been transplanted last Friday onto evket Çavdar, 27, because of tissue incompatibility. From the article: 'Doctors had first removed one leg from the patient after his heart and vascular system failed to sustain the limb and then the other leg and two arms. "The science council (of the hospital) decided to remove the organs one by one due to additional metabolic complications in the following process," the hospital said in a statement.

"Our patient is now in the intensive care unit. The critical process is still continuing," it added.'"


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Police Find Apple Branded Stoves In China
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's seems-legit-to-me department:
An anonymous reader writes "Just when you thought the Apple knockoff trade in China couldn't get any more ridiculous, Chinese Police recently seized 681 "Apple iPhone" branded gas stoves in the city of Wuhan. Yep, that's right, some folks are peddling gas grills and are trying to made the product more appealing by stamping an Apple logo alongside the 'iPhone' moniker on the front."

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Active Video Games Don't Make Kids Exercise More
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lazy-is-as-lazy-does department:
redletterdave writes "Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, designed every kid's dream study: they passed out Wii consoles to 78 kids who didn't already have one, and gave half the kids their choice of active game — such as Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution-Hottest Party 3 — and the other half their choice of inactive game, such as Disney Sing-It Pop Hits or Super Mario Galaxy. The research team tracked the youngsters for 13 weeks, testing their physical activity levels with a motion-measuring accelerometer. Participants wore the devices on a belt during four different week-long periods throughout the study, which allowed the research team to determine when they were sedentary or lightly exercising and when they were engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Accelerometer logs showed that throughout the study period, kids with the active games didn't get any more exercise than those given inactive video games. There was also no difference in minutes spent doing light physical activity or being sedentary during any week the researchers monitored."

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Lawyers For Mining Companies Threaten Scientific Journals
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-can't-handle-the-truth department:
An anonymous reader writes "ScienceInsider got hold of a threatening letter that lawyers for the mining industry sent to various scientific journals concerning data from the US 'Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study'. Many occupational health researchers believe the study will show a link between diesel exhaust and cancer. A handful of scientists have commented on the letter and it's implications."

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Facebook Denies Accessing Users' Text Messages
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it-was-the-other-guys department:
quantr writes "Facebook is being accused of snooping on its users' text messages, but the social network says the accusations are inaccurate and misleading. The company is among a wide-ranging group of Web entities, including Flickr and YouTube, that are using smartphone apps to access text message data and other personal information, according to a Sunday Times report (behind a paywall). The newspaper said Facebook 'admitted' to reading users' text messages during a test of its own messaging service. The report also says information such as user location, contacts list, and browser history are often accessed and sometimes transmitted to third-party companies, including advertisers."

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Open Letter By Eric S. Raymond To Chris Dodd
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's listen-up department:
An anonymous reader writes "ESR, one of the finest engineers behind the open source movement and much of the software we use everyday, writes an open letter to U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd. ESR points out the concerns of 'the actual engineers who built the Internet and keep it running, who write the software you rely on every day of your life in the 21st century' about politicians attempts to lock down our Internet or our tools. A portion of the letter reads: 'I can best introduce you to our concerns by quoting another of our philosopher/elders, John Gilmore. He said: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

To understand that, you have to grasp that “the Internet” isn’t just a network of wires and switches, it’s also a sort of reactive social organism composed of the people who keep those wires humming and those switches clicking. John Gilmore is one of them. I’m another. And there are some things we will not stand having done to our network.'"


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What Beer Can Teach Us About Emerging Technologies
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cause-of-and-solution-to department:
cold fjord writes that Assistant Professor and lecturer Dave Conz has an interesting article at Slate, from which: "I believe beer is the perfect lens through which to examine innovation, which is why I teach a senior capstone course at Arizona State University called the Cultural and Chemical History of Beer. ... Home brewing is part of a broad spectrum of DIY activities including amateur astronomy, backyard biodiesel brewing, experimental architecture, open-source 3-D printing, even urban farming. ... Many of these pastimes can lead to new ideas, processes, and apparatus that might not otherwise exist. Depending on your hobby and your town, these activities can be officially encouraged, discouraged, unregulated, or illegal. For example, it's illegal to make biodiesel fuel at home in the city of Phoenix ... but not regulated in the bordering towns of Scottsdale, Chandler, or Tempe."

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UK To Dim Highway Lights To Save Money
Posted by News Fetcher on February 27 '12 at 03:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's those-greedy-corporations-just-don't-care-about-safety department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that street lights on thousands of miles of major roads in England will be dimmed during quiet periods to save money and reduce carbon emissions. The Highways Agency has already turned off the lights on more than 80 miles of the motorway network and will soon begin a survey of where this can be done on the 2,500 miles of A roads it controls. Nigel Parry, of the Institution of Lighting Professionals, says that technology enabled lights can be controlled individually and remotely. 'The idea is that when traffic is busy, such as during the morning and evening rush hour, you have them at their brightest. When the traffic disappears you can dim them. You can maintain safety and use half as much energy.'"

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