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HP Delays WebOS Decision
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-second-thought department:
itwbennett writes "Following Tuesday's report that HP is looking to sell WebOS, CEO Meg Whitman and HP employees gathered for a late-afternoon meeting. According to The Verge, Whitman told those gathered at the meeting 'It's really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision,' adding that a decision would come in the next three to four weeks."

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IT's Next Hot Job: Hadoop Guru
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's specialize-or-adapt department:
gManZboy writes "JPMorgan Chase and other companies at this year's Hadoop World conference came begging for job applicants: They say they can't find enough IT pros with certain skills, including Hadoop MapReduce. That spells high pay. As for Hadoop's staying power as a career path (a la SQL 30 years ago,) IBM, Microsoft and Oracle have all embraced Hadoop this year. Maybe the best news of all: 'Intelligent technologists will pick up Hadoop very quickly.'"

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How Do I Get Back a Passion For Programming?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you've-lost-that-loving-feeling department:
bigsexyjoe writes "I am a somewhat experienced software developer who is pretty much an office drone. I used to enjoy writing code. I even enjoyed writing routine code before it became routine. But now I just come in day in and day out. I work for manipulative jerks. I don't care about the product I create. I don't enjoy coding anymore. I'm not great at interviewing. I don't have an impressive resume. I stick in more advanced stuff into my code when I can, but that is always on the sly. So my question is how do I get back the enjoyment I used to have writing code?"

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Tying Molecules In Knots
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's nimble-fingers department:
Med-trump writes "Scientists report that they have made a non-DNA molecular knot. They created a 160-atom-loop with five crossing points, a molecular pentafoil knot. The researchers used a technique known as 'self-assembly' to prepare the knot in a chemical reaction. Apparently 85% of the elasticity of natural rubber is due to knot-like entanglements in the rubber molecules chains."

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Microsoft Killing Silverlight?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's so-long-farewell-Auf-wiedersehen-goodbye department:
SharkLaser writes "Silverlight 5 might be last version released by Microsoft. Several industry insiders and partners for the last few weeks have heard from their own Microsoft sources that there won't be new versions released after Silverlight 5. Status on service packs and support for Silverlight is unclear, as Microsoft haven't yet released lifecycle support end date even for the previous Silverlight 4. By their support page they will give full year head-up before ending support. With Adobe ending development of Flash for mobile browsers and Microsoft ending development of Silverlight, HTML5 video looks a lot more promising. But will content providers be able to give out their material without DRM and how does HTML5 perform with non-video side of Flash and Silverlight?"

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End Bonuses For Bankers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's end-of-the-gravy department:
theodp writes "NYU risk engineering prof Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a suggestion that won't sit too well with the banksters. In his NY Times op-ed, Taleb writes: 'I have a solution for the problem of bankers who take risks that threaten the general public: Eliminate bonuses.' The problem with the bonus system, Taleb explains, is that it provides an incentive to take risks: 'The asymmetric nature of the bonus (an incentive for success without a corresponding disincentive for failure) causes hidden risks to accumulate in the financial system and become a catalyst for disaster. This violates the fundamental rules of capitalism; Adam Smith himself was wary of the effect of limiting liability, a bedrock principle of the modern corporation.'"

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Ballistic Clipboard Holds Papers, Stops Bullets
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's extreme-office-products department:
Zothecula writes "Although police officers in most countries are issued bulletproof vests, they don't necessarily wear them at all times — would you want to heave one of those things around for an entire shift? What they do often carry, however, are clipboards. Taking the "every little bit helps" approach, Ohio's IMPACT Armor Technologies has put two and two together, and come up with something that should actually offer some protection — a Ballistic Clipboard."

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A Cognitive Teardown of Angry Birds
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's i-really-hate-birds department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The 50 million individuals who have downloaded 'Angry Birds' play roughly 200 million minutes of the game a day, which translates into 1.2 billion hours a year, more than ten times the 100 million hours spent creating Wikipedia over the entire life span of the online encyclopedia. Why is this seemly simple game so massively compelling? Charles L. Mauro performs a cognitive teardown of the user experience of Angry Birds and concludes that the game is engaging, in fact addictive, due to the carefully scripted expansion of the user's mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology. The birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user's mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased ... For example, why are tiny bananas suddenly strewn about in some play sequences and not in others? Why do the houses containing pigs shake ever so slightly at the beginning of each game play sequence? Why is the game's play space showing a cross section of underground rocks and dirt? One can spend a lot of time processing these little clues, consciously or subconsciously. 'Creating truly engaging software experiences is far more complex than one might assume, even in the simplest of computer games,' writes Mauro. 'You go Birds! Your success certainly makes others Angry and envious.'"

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Comcast Begins Native IPv6 Deployment To End Users
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's 18-quintillion-addresses department:
First time accepted submitter Daaelarius writes "Comcast has begun deployment of Native IPv6 access to end users. The deployment is starting out small with a single market, but is expected to expand rapidly. They have provided ... more in depth technical details."

Finally; native dual-stack IPv6 for home customers. Perhaps we can avoid a post-exhaustion future of NAT-upon-NAT and use restrictions.

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Asus Unveils Quad-Core Transformer Prime Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 09:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's shiny-gadgets-are-shiny department:
MojoKid writes with an article in Hot Hardware about the fancy new Asus tablet/laptop hybrid. Quoting thearticle: "Asus and nVidia have collectively taken the wraps off the next-generation version of Asus's well-received Transformer tablet line. The new system aims to carve out a slice of the premium tablet market that Apple's iPad has dominated for so long. On paper and in pictures, the Prime impresses. The Transformer Prime incorporates NVIDIA's new Kal-El (Tegra 3) processor and is one of NVIDIA Tegra 3's upper-end launch systems. The new ARM-based CPU contains a fifth 'companion core' to reduce and manage idle power consumption and contains 12 GPU cores, up from the eight GPUs in Tegra 2. NVIDIA claims that Tegra 3's GPU is up to 3x faster than Tegra 2, thanks to additional architectural enhancements. Asus is also rolling out a new LCD they're calling 'Super IPS+.' The display's normal brightness tops out at ~500 nits, but the Prime offers an alternate Super IPS mode that pushes display brightness up to 600 nits for use in bright outdoor environments."

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Adobe Ends Development of Flash On Mobile Browsers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's gnash-developers-weep-over-wasted-time department:
larry bagina writes "Jason Perlow of ZDNet is reporting that Adobe will stop developing Flash for mobile browsers and focus on AIR and HTML5 tools. I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if 750 voices screamed out in terror and were laid off. But that noise was overshadowed by everybody else celebrating."

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ICANN Begins "Land Rush" For .XXX Web Domains
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's campbells-soup-xxx department:
Velcroman1 writes "The World Wide Web red-light district is poised to explode. After more than a decade of debate, rejections and legal challenges, the Internet's governing body began accepting applications for .xxx websites from the adult entertainment industry on Tuesday, Nov. 8 — otherwise called the 'begin printing money phase.' The so-called 'landrush' phase signifies the true launch of .xxx websites, following the Sept. 5 date when ICM Registry began accepting .xxx applications from trademarked companies — those looking to use a .xxx address and those seeking to prevent their company from appearing on a .xxx website."

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Gadget Allows You to Keep Bees In Your Apartment
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 07:02 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-could-possibly-go-wrong? department:
greenrainbow writes "Philips just unveiled a new concept for an urban beehive that would allow anyone to become an amateur bee keeper – even those who live in apartments with no backyards. Best of all you pull a little string and all the fresh honey you want comes out. Hopefully no bees come with it!"

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Faster Algorithm for Sphere Packing Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's one-thousand-clown-bearings department:
sciencehabit writes with an article in Science about a new way to pack spheres into a cylinder. From the article: "One day, physicist Ho-Kei Chan of Trinity College Dublin was playing with steel ball bearings, trying to pack them into a little cylindrical tube in the most efficient way possible. It's a tricky problem that can take even a powerful computer a week to calculate. But after thinking about it for a while, Chan has figured out a way to simplify the math. The advance could help engineers pack all sorts of spheres more efficiently, from nano-sized buckyballs to Christmas tree ornaments. Another potential application is liquid crystal displays such as those used in televisions and computer monitors. If scientists could make liquid crystal molecules obey these rules, they could potentially create a whole new class of liquid crystals."

One caveat is that the diameter of the cylinder can be at most 2.7013 times larger than the diameter of the spheres being packed.

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Film Studios Seeking Complete Block of Newzbin2 in the UK
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 06:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's tunisia-land-of-the-free department:
superglaze writes "Having got BT, one of the biggest ISPs in the UK, to block the Newzbin2 Usenet site, the Motion Picture Association is now trying to get the same result from all the other major service providers in the country. As this is likely to go through, it won't be long before most people in the UK will be unable to visit file-sharing sites at all, without using a proxy, VPN, or special client."

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Obama To Veto Anti-Net-Neutrality Legislation
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-can't-not-stop-that department:
An anonymous reader writes "In a statement of policy on Tuesday, the White House announced that President Obama will veto upcoming legislation that would undermine the FCC's net neutrality rules. According to the statement (PDF), the rules "reflected a constructive effort to build a consensus around what safeguards and protections were reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Internet continues to attract investment and to spur innovation.' The statement continued, 'It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.'"

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B&N Sought DoJ Inquiry Over Microsoft Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sanity-check-in-aisle-four department:
Meshach writes "There's an interesting story at the WSJ about how Barnes & Noble lobbied the Justice Department to open a new antitrust probe against Microsoft regarding their abuse of the patent system. B&N saw Microsoft filing a slew of frivolous patents in order to stop the development of handheld devices, potentially affecting their Nook reader. The article mentions how Microsoft has a similar racket going with various Android device manufacturers, but B&N does not have the cash reserves to support similar licensing, and is fighting back."
Reader qantr points out related news: Chinese telecoms firm Huawei has confirmed that Microsoft is demanding royalty payments over products running Android.

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Modern Warfare 3 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 12:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-with-gunnier-guns department:
Activision released the latest iteration of their blockbuster first-person shooter franchise yesterday, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, narrowly avoiding a whole year-long gap between this one and the last Call of Duty game. Still, analysts estimated pre-orders at 9 million worldwide, and expect the game to generate another billion dollars in sales, give or take. Reviews for the game range from "amazing" to "slightly less than amazing." Eurogamer sums it up simply: "Modern Warfare 3 is exactly the game you expect. It's conservative in every sense of the word, a paean to military superiority which never ventures far beyond gameplay parameters that were set in stone in 2007. ... With such a well-rehearsed recipe to follow, there's more room here for innovation than there is for improvement. There are plenty who would love to see Call of Duty dragged through the mud for its lack of new ideas, but the game itself is too confidently constructed, too generous with its pleasures, to deserve any lasting vitriol. This is a ferocious and satisfying game that knows exactly what players expect, and delivers on that promise with bullish confidence."

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Phobos-Grunt Launches To Retrieve a Sample of Phobos
Posted by News Fetcher on November 08 '11 at 11:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-get-'em department:
An anonymous reader writes with news that Russia's Phobos-Grunt spacecraft has launched, taking the first step on its mission to travel to Phobos, the larger of Mars' two moons. When (and if — see below) it lands on Phobos, the probe will collect a soil sample and attempt to return it to Earth.
"Russia’s Federal Space Agency said the craft separated successfully from the booster about 11 minutes later. ... The return vehicle is expected to carry up to 200 grams (7 ounces) of soil from Phobos back to Earth in August 2014. The $170 million endeavor would be Russia’s first interplanetary mission since Soviet times. A previous 1996 robotic mission to Mars ended in failure when the probe crashed in the Pacific following an engine failure."
Unfortunately, there appears to have been a problem with the launch. Details are uncertain at this point, but the probe reportedly made it to orbit intact, and the mission is not necessarily ruined.

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Stop Online Piracy Act Supports Blacklisting, Says EFF
Posted by News Fetcher on November 08 '11 at 09:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's by-any-other-name department:
hessian writes with this quote from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the Stop Online Piracy Act:
"Of course the word 'blacklist' does not appear in the bill's text — the folks who wrote it know Americans don't approve of blatant censorship. The early versions of PROTECT-IP, the Senate's counterpart to SOPA, did include an explicit Blacklist Provision, but this transparent attempt at extrajudicial censorship was so offensive that the Senate had to re-write that part of the bill. However, provisions that encourage unofficial blacklisting remained, and they are still alive and well in SOPA. First, the new law would allow the Attorney General to cut off sites from the Internet, essentially 'blacklisting' companies from doing business on the web. Under section 102, the Attorney General can seek a court order that would force search engines, DNS providers, servers, payment processors, and advertisers to stop doing business with allegedly infringing websites. Second, the bill encourages private corporations to create a literal target list—a process that is ripe for abuse."

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