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Antarctica's Ice Flow Fully Mapped For the First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-out-all-that-ice department:
tvlinux writes "Antarctica is a big continent, so mapping all of its ice flow isn't exactly a piece of cake. But for the first time scientists have been able to get the complete picture of the southernmost continent's ice flow, from the South Pole to the shoreline. From the article: '"This is like seeing a map of all the oceans' currents for the first time. It's a game changer for glaciology," said Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California (UC), Irvine. Rignot is lead author of a paper about the ice flow published online Thursday in Science Express. "We are seeing amazing flows from the heart of the continent that had never been described before."'"

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Hand-Mounted Sonar For the Blind
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's daredevil-approved department:
GeekTech.in writes "The Tacit, a wrist mounted sonar device with haptic feedback, is like strapping a bat to your wrist to help you see. It makes use of two sonar ping sensors to measure the distance to the nearest obstacle, the relative distance to an object is then fed back to the user using two servos which apply pressure to the back of the wrist."

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GE's World War II Era "Copper Man" Gets His Due
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's iron-upgrade-now-available department:
An anonymous reader writes "GE's 'Copper Man' is a quarter-inch-thick, electroplated copper mannequin from the early '40s that the Army used to evaluate the thermal-insulating quality of protective clothing issued to B-17 and B-24 airmen. At the request of the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine recently agreed to donate its oldest Copper Man for permanent display."

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The 2011 Hugo Awards
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-story-ever department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Hugo Award is the leading prize for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy writing. Named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories magazine, the awards have been given out since 1955. This years winners were announced Saturday during the Hugo Awards Ceremony in Reno, Nevada."

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More Stanford Computing Courses Go Free
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-your-learning-on department:
mikejuk writes "Following on the recent Slashdot item on the availability of a free Stanford AI course there is news that two other Stanford Computer Science courses are also joining in this 'bold experiment in distributed education' in which students not only have access to lecture videos and other course materials but will actively participate by submitting assignments and getting regular feedback on their progress. The subjects are Machine Learning with Andrew Ng and Database with Jennifer Widom. This open approach looks as if it might be a success with well over 100,000 prospective students signing up to the AI course alone."

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Former Wikileaks Spokesman Destroyed Documents
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shredding-the-leaks department:
bs0d3 writes "Former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims to have destroyed more than 3,500 unpublished files that had been sent from unknown informants and are now apparently lost irrevocably. Among the files destroyed are the US gov's 'no-fly list' and inside information from 20 right wing organizations. Daniel Domscheit-Berg is now known as one of the founders of openleaks."

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Google Launches Identity Verification Badge Scheme
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's papers-please department:
theodp writes "CNET reports that rather than backing down after complaints about its insistence that Google+ user accounts be opened under a real name, Google has upped the ante and will pin 'verification badges' on users in an effort to assure people that 'the person you're adding to a circle is really who they claim to be.' In a Friday night post, Google employee Wen-Ai Yu explained that the Google+ team is initially 'focused on verifying public figures, celebrities, and people who have been added to a large number of Circles, but we're working on expanding this to more folks.'"

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Verizon Employees End Strike
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-to-business department:
An anonymous reader writes "Verizon today announced that the approximately 45,000 wireline employees represented by the CWA and IBEW that have ben on strike will return to work beginning Monday night, August 22nd, without new collective bargaining agreements. Since the strike began two weeks ago, Verizon has been battling criminal acts of sabotage against its network facilities and union picketers intimidating non-union replacement workers and illegally blocking garage and work center entrances. One union picketer even went as far as to instruct his young daughter to stand in front of a Verizon truck to illegally block it from coming back to a Verizon work center in New Jersey. Verizon said the wireline employees now on strike would be working under the terms of the contracts that expired on Saturday, August 6th. The contracts will be extended with no specific deadline for achieving new collective bargaining agreements so that the parties can take the time required to resolve the critical issues, the company said."

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IBM Chief: All CEOs Reluctant To Invest In R&D
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's evolving-into-pakleds department:
theodp writes "In his Centennial Conversation at the Computer History Museum, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano emphasized the importance of investing in R&D, even in a down economy. 'Shareholder expectations for higher returns don't diminish when the economy stutters,' said Sam. 'And yet, Tom Watson Sr. actually increased research investment during the Great Depression.' Palmisano added, 'I will tell you that my own instinctive reflex isn't to continue investing $6 billion a year during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In that regard, I'm like all CEOs.'"

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Ask Slashdot: What Will IT Look Like In 10 Years?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '11 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's reply-cloudy-ask-again department:
An anonymous reader writes "The IT industry is a lot different than it was 10 years ago; it underwent a huge boom in terms of labor and services required to keep up with the times. Now, we are entering a consolidation phase. The cloud makes it easier for companies to host e-mail, so now instead of organizations having their own Exchange guy, they will outsource it to the cloud. Instead of having a bunch of network engineers, they will deploy wireless and no longer need cabling or current levels of network engineering services. What do you think the long-term consequences of this will be? What skills do you think will be useful in 10 years? Is IT going to put its own out of work, like we did with the post office and libraries?"

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25,000 Danish Hospital Staff Moving To LibreOffice
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's freeing-up-the-budget department:
An anonymous reader writes with news that 25,000 staff across 13 hospitals in Denmark will be switching to LibreOffice over the course of the next year.
"The group of hospitals is phasing out a proprietary alternative, 'for long term strategic reasons,' which at the same time saves the group some 40 million Kroner [about $7.7 million] worth of proprietary licenses. The ditching of the proprietary alternative is a consequence of the group's move to virtual desktops, allowing staff members to log in on any PC or thin client. The group found that deploying this new desktop infrastructure would 'trigger unacceptably high costs' for proprietary office licenses... The move is Europe's second largest migration project involving public administrations using an open source office suite."

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Sequencing the Weed Genome
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 07:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's department-of..-wait-no..-i'm-hungry department:
GNUman writes "Maybe soon we'll be able to genetically modify humans so that a specific action (e.g., tapping your nose, pinching your ear) triggers the release of THC directly from your own cells. From the Nature blog post: 'At last, the field of genomics has something to offer Cheech and Chong. DNA sequencing hit a new high last night with the midnight release of the Cannabis sativa genome. The raw sequence was posted on Amazon's EC2 public cloud computing service by a young company called Medicinal Genomics, which aims to explore the genomes of therapeutic plants.'"

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New RIM Streaming Music: $5 For 50 Songs?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's opinions-are-like-music-services department:
jfruhlinger writes with news that Research In Motion will soon jump into the music service market. The service will be available through BlackBerry Messenger, and will offer users 50 songs for $5/month, which they can then share with other people who own BlackBerries.
"So why would anyone pay $5 a month to get 50 songs on their phone, when they can pay $10 a month and get an unlimited number of songs, that work on lots of different devices, from services like Rdio and Rhapsody? Reasonable question! But RIM seems to be assuming that its subscribers won’t ask. Instead it is playing up the notion that BBM Music will be about 'personalizing' your phone, in the same way that ringtones supposedly did a decade ago. Ringtones, as you’ll recall, let buyers play a few seconds of a song, and sold for a couple bucks, while full songs from Apple’s iTunes went for 99 cents. And for a few years, the music companies and the wireless carriers sold lots and lots of ringtones."

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PS Vita Specs Announced
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hamsters-with-crash-helmets department:
An anonymous reader writes "Sony has announced the hardware specs for the PS Vita and the details have confirmed most fans' hopes instead of their fears. The heart of the system is an ARM-developed Cortex A9 chip with four cores and a PowerVR SGX GPU. The screen is a 5-inch OLED capacitive touch-screen (with multi-touch) and a resolution of 960 x 544. The system will include 512MB of RAM and an additional 128MB of discrete VRAM. There will be front and rear cameras capable of 60fps at VGA resolution (640 x 480)."

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Argentina Censors Over a Million Blogs
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-cry-for-them department:
In his first accepted submission, bs0d3 writes "A judge in Argentina ordered ISPs to block two websites — leakymails.com and leakymails.blogspot.com. According to Google, many ISPs have simply blocked the IP 216.239.32.2 instead of using a targeted DNS filter. Over a million blogs are hosted by Blogger at this IP. Freedom of speech advocate Jillian York wrote, 'IP blocking is a blunt method of filtering content that can erase from view large swaths of innocuous sites by virtue of the fact that they are hosted on the same IP address as the site that was intended to be censored. One such example of overblocking by IP address can be found in India, where the IP blocking of a Hindu Unity website (blocked by an order from Mumbai police) resulted in the blocking of several other, unrelated sites."

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Genome Researchers Wants Your Genes
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-say-intelligence-genes-i-say-smarty-pants department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) is looking for smart volunteers to donate their genes for analysis. They are seeking subjects with high intelligence; you can only qualify if you got a high score in SAT/ACT/GRE or got awards in competitions like Math/Physics Olympiads or TopCoder. They're also launching a drive to recruit US participants. Their first stop (PDF) appears to have been Google, which has run into trouble with the Chinese government. Also worth noting: BGI is registered in China as an 'Institutional Organization,' which by law requires it to report to a supervising governmental office or agency."

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Jailbroken Devices Compromised By Charging Stations
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's charged-with-computer-fraud department:
mask.of.sanity writes "Data can be stolen from Windows, Android and Apple devices by unassuming power charging towers. In an attack demonstrated at the Defcon hacking conference, mobile phone charging units were rigged to pull data from phones plugged into them. Researchers found many jailbroken and modified devices activated USB functions when they were plugged in, or simply rebooted."

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Bookstores May Boycott New Amazon-Published Books
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-embracing-the-future department:
destinyland writes "Amazon has begun signing their own authors and then publishing the books themselves, leaving booksellers 'wary' as Amazon 'tries to have it all,' according to a Boston newspaper. The co-owner of an independent bookstore near Cambridge considered boycotting Amazon's new line of books, complaining, 'They are a huge competitor, and they don't collect sales tax, giving them an unfair advantage.' A children's bookstore noted that 'the pie is getting cut into fewer pieces. I'd be nervous if I were an adult book publisher.' Borders bookstore has already declared bankruptcy, leaving The Daily Show to joke that bookstores should simply become 'digital downloading' stations — or a 'living history' museum where future generations can learn what a 'magazine rack' was."

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HP TouchPad To Be Liquidated At Fire Sale Prices
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's impulse-windfall department:
Hugh Pickens writes "According to an article by Tony Bradley, news is spreading quickly online that HP is going to clear out its vast TouchPad inventory by dropping the price to an offer you can't refuse. Rumor has it that beginning Saturday the 16Gb TouchPad will be $99, and the 32Gb TouchPad will be a measly $149. 'It is actually a fairly capable tablet. It's just not an iPad 2,' writes Bradley. 'For $500 it was a joke. For $300 it was still a shady deal. For $99 it's a steal.' HP has learned the hard way, and quickly pulled the plug on its tablet, proving that HP never had a solid tablet or mobile strategy and that it was really just looking for an excuse to get out. 'The reality is that my Best Buy is swimming in unsold HP TouchPad inventory,' adds Bradley. 'I went out tonight and picked mine up at the regular $400 price to beat the rush. Situations like this are why they invented price matching. I can just go back with my receipt once the fire sale starts and get the price adjusted and the difference refunded.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Best Wi-Fi Solution For a Hotel?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we'll-keep-a-flickering-led-on-for-you department:
dynamo52 writes "I have been tasked with replacing a managed Wi-Fi system for a mid-sized hotel. They have already selected Comcast to provide a 100mbps connection, which unfortunately must come in at one corner of the ~5-acre property. The hotel plans to provide this service for free, so there is no need for any type of billing management system, though it should be secured enough that the parking lot does not become a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Additionally, there is no ethernet infrastructure in place. The existing APs (hidden away in proprietary encasements) seem to be connected via telephone lines and the owners have strongly indicated they would prefer that no new wiring be installed. Have any Slashdotters implemented similar systems? Specifically, what hardware did you use and what special considerations should I take in designing this system?"

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