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Lawsuit Claims Windows Phone 7 Spies On Users
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 04:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stop-looking-at-me department:
jfruhlinger writes "Microsoft wants to emulate the success of the iPhone, but they probably didn't want to follow in Apple's footsteps this way: a class action lawsuit claims that Windows Phone 7 is collecting location data on users, even when they request that it stop. But a look at the internals shows that Microsoft might not be acting as Big Brother-ish as it appears."

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Mars Rover Begins "Whole New Mission"
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 03:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-to-the-beginning department:
sighted writes "NASA reports that the seemingly-unstoppable robotic geologist Opportunity is finding things at Endeavour crater that it has never seen before, adding new life to a mission that has already been epic. Observations 'suggest that rock exposures on Endeavour's rim date from early in Martian history and include clay minerals that form in less-acidic wet conditions, possibly more favorable for life.' In a teleconference today, one mission scientist compared this new phase of exploration to a 'whole new mission.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Can You Identify This UAV?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 02:46 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's it's-from-the-fuuuuuture department:
garymortimer writes "It's not as sexy as the Beast of Kandahar RQ 170 Sentinel, or as well known as a Predator. But we think the bird-shaped drone that crashed in Pakistan last week might be a U.S. special forces tool. At first it was thought to be a homemade job, but packs with FMC (which means 'Fully Mission Capable') written on them, and an American date style as well, really points to something else. sUAS News is not AvWeek or Flight International so getting scoops is tricky whilst holding down a day job. Our exclusive pictures of the damaged C130 that struck an RQ170 was pretty good for us. We would love to identify this drone. Maybe it is just a homebrew job, maybe it's not. It's not a Festo Smartbird, though, the most popular choice of pundits."

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New Prices For Google Apps Engine
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 02:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-the-good-kind-of-new-prices department:
First time accepted submitter oker writes "Yesterday Google has announced Apps Engine to enter production mode shortly as a fully supported product. Unfortunately it also means new pricing model, which is less appealing since free quotas has been lowered and you need to pay at least $9 per month if you go for paid version."

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First Von Neumann Architecture Quantum Computer
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 01:46 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's my-kids-better-be-smarter-than-I-am department:
holy_calamity writes "The first computers with a von Neumann architecture, where a processor has access to RAM, appeared in the 1940s. Now the first quantum computing system with a von Neumann design has been made, at University of California Santa Barbara. Their quantum processor made up of two superconducting quantum bits can use a 2-bit "quantum RAM" to save entangled bit values into."

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Judge Nixes, Lowers Oracle's $1.3B Award Against SAP
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 01:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's larry-will-still-be-ok department:
itwbennett writes "Federal judge Phyllis Hamilton has overturned the $1.3 billion judgment Oracle won against SAP and has approved SAP's request that Oracle accept a lower award, which would negate the need for a new trial." Oracle is in the habit of asking for awards in the billions; with that model, they really can make it up on volume.

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EPIC Uncovers: Mobile Scanners Not 'Certified People Scanners'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 12:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's move-along-citizens-oh-wait department:
OverTheGeicoE writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center received more FOIA documents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding mobile x-ray scanners (a.k.a. Z Backscatter Vans). We've discussed these devices befor. Perhaps the most interesting part is slide #11 ('Disclaimer About Scanning People') on page 6 of this PDF explaining that the radiation output of these devices is too high to comply with ANSI N43.17. In other words, they output too much radiation even by TSA's questionable standards for airport body scanners. Regardless, the slide ends with the author stating that the ANSI standard 'is not applicable to covert operations.' What might that assertion have meant to the presentation's intended audience?"

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Battle of the SATA 3.0 Controllers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 12:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's more-like-a-skirmish department:
Deathspawner writes "Think that all SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) controllers are alike? As Techgage explores, that's not the case. While most SATA 3.0 controllers do deliver the performance promised, the most popular offering on the market does not — at least where bandwidth-busting SSDs are concerned. The controller comes from Marvell, and was bundled on all motherboards prior to AMD and Intel launching their own SATA 3.0 solutions. In some cases, Marvell's controller is half as fast as the others, making it no better than a SATA 2.0 controller. For those with motherboards using a Marvell controller, the solutions are few; build a new PC, or invest in a super-expensive add-in card."

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Steve Jobs, Before the iPad, On Why Tablets Suck
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 11:46 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that-was-ithen-this-is-inow department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Edible Apple: "Apple didn't release the first tablet computer or even come up with the idea for tablet computing itself. If anything, Microsoft, and Bill Gates in particular, were championing tablet computers years before the iPad was released. In this video clip from the first All Things D conference in 2003, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs explains to Walt Mossberg why Apple, at the time, wasn't keen on tablets and more specifically, why Jobs felt that stylus computing and handwriting recognition were inherent failures."

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Solar Company Folds After $0.5B In Subsidies
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's all-these-lovely-broken-windows department:
First time accepted submitter dusanv writes "Solyndra, a Silicon Valley solar energy firm, subsidized to the tune of $500 million and held as a 'gleaming example of green technology,' announced bankruptcy yesterday. 1,100 employees fired."

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Windows 8 Desktop 'Just Another App'?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's let's-talk-now-about-bundling department:
CWmike writes "Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, said this week that Windows 8 will let users treat the traditional desktop as 'just another app' that loads only on command. When it unveiled Windows 8's UI in June, Microsoft said it would feature a 'touch-first' interface to compete in the fast-growing tablet market. Underneath that, however, would be a traditional Windows-style desktop. 'Having both of [the] user interfaces [work] together harmoniously is an important part of Windows 8,' Sinofsky said in a blog post on Wednesday. The Metro-style UI — the one inspired by Windows Phone 7's tile-based design — will be the first to show up when a user boots a device. At that point, users reach a crossroads. 'If you want to stay permanently immersed in that Metro world, you will never see the desktop — we won't even load it (literally the code will not be loaded) unless you explicitly choose to go there,' Sinofsky said. 'If you don't want to do ... 'PC' things, then you don't have to and you're not paying for them in memory, battery life or hardware requirements.' If using a conventional PC with keyboard and mouse, Windows 8 users will run an 'app' to load the desktop, he said. 'Essentially, you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app.'"

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Is Tablet Success Bound To Their Crackability?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's don't-you-dare-unlock-that-bootloader department:
Hitting the front page for the first time, rippeltippel writes "The Economist recently published an article about HP quitting the tablet market. Nothing new I said, until I read 'the announcement showed that the firm had finally seen the light about the tablet market — namely, that there is no such thing.' But are the games closed with the iPad as a clear winner? Possibly not: 'hackers have embraced the Nook, "rooting" its underlying Linux software ... so it can run many more applications from Google's online app store and elsewhere.'
A review on Amazon's Kindle tablet page reads: 'They've cracked it — this is the future.' Can it possibly be read as 'Crackable tablets are the future of tablets?'"


Smartphone vendors seem to have gotten the message: users want to control the software on their phones. It is a shame that Palm/HP, who were one of the only vendors open from the start, more or less lost the game. Unfortunately it seems that tablet and ebook reader vendors have yet to get the message.

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Domino's Plans Pizza On the Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's extra-cheese department:
It may be more PR stunt than a viable expansion plan, but the Japanese arm of Domino's Pizza is making plans for a lunar store. Construction firm Maeda Corp has drawn-up the plans for the dome shaped restaurant and figures it will take 70 tons of materials and pizza-making equipment. Even with the cost cutting measure or using mineral deposits on the moon to make the concrete, Domino's estimates the costs at Y1.67 trillion ($21.7 billion). In 2001 rival chain Pizza Hut made a delivery to the International Space Station, but Domino's hopes to become the preferred pizza of space with the moon store plan.

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Warrantless Wiretapping Cases At the 9th Circuit
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-good-peaceniks-causing-trouble department:
sunbird writes "The EFF argued several critical cases yesterday before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both Hepting v. AT&T and Jewel v. National Security Agency raise important questions regarding whether the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program (pdf summary of evidence), disclosed by whistleblower Mark Klein and implemented by AT&T and other telecoms, violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The full text of the Klein declaration and redacted exhibits are publicly available (pdf). ... The Klein evidence establishes that AT&T cut into the fiber optic cables in San Francisco to route a complete copy of internet and phone traffic to the 'SG3' secure room operated by the NSA. The trial court dismissed the Hepting lawsuit (pdf order) based on the 2008 Congressional grant of immunity to telecoms. Similarly, the trial court in Jewel dismissed (pdf order) the lawsuit against the government agencies and officials based on the state secrets privilege. Both cases were argued together before the same panel of judges. The audio of the oral argument will be available after noon PDT [17:00 GMT] today."

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Apple Claims Samsung and Motorola Patent Monopoly
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's patent-vs-patent department:
esocid writes with a bit in Daily Tech about the ongoing spat between Apple and the rest of the mobile world. From the article: "Apple lawyers are crying foul about Samsung, and ... Motorola's allegedly 'anticompetitive,' use of patents. ... Apparently Apple is irate about these companies' countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications, many of which are governed by the 'fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory' (F/RAND) principle, as they were developed as part of industry standards. ... Apple takes issue with the fact that Motorola in its countersuit declines to differentiate the 7 F/RAND patents in its 18 patent collection. ... Regardless of what Florian Mueller says, it's hard to dispute that the 'rules' of F/RAND are largely community dictated and ambiguous."

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Drunkeness and Sexual Harassment Alleged At Microsoft UK
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's vps-just-wanna-have-fun-man department:
rtfa-troll writes "A picture of vodka fountains, indefinite amounts of Jaegermeister, and sexual harassment is emerging from Microsoft. The former second in command at Microsoft UK was accused of sexual misconduct involving at least five separate women. A Microsoft internal investigation was unable to prove the allegations but decided to fire Simon Negus for having 'behaved dishonestly, and thereby acted in a manner calculated or likely to destroy trust and confidence between him and Microsoft' and sue him £75k. Now Negus, who already as a new job as COO at Upstream Systems has struck back with a £10 million false dismissal suit alleging a culture of drunken parties and claiming that other (Male) management at Microsoft were so drunk they followed a female Microsoft UK manager into the ladies' lavatories. I guess we can now guess why senior managers go away to Microsoft vowing never to buy anything and come back with signed contracts; presumably it was just lying there next to them in the morning and they were too afraid to ask what happened."

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European Firms Assisted Gaddafi's Internet Monitoring Regime
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's we-love-freedom-here department:
riverat1 writes "The Next Web has a story on Muammar Gaddafi's monitoring of the internet and other telecommunications. As you might expect, the monitoring was intense. The story names companies that supplied the monitoring software, most notably Amesys, a unit of the French company Bull SA. There is a more detailed story behind the paywall at the Wall Street Journal."
Boeing's Narus division may also have been involved (collecting very important Analytics and nothing suspicious of course).

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Anonymous Claims Responsibility For WikiLeaks Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bored-teenagers-being-idiots department:
mask.of.sanity writes "Anonymous members have taken responsibility for launching a denial of service attack against WikiLeaks this week using a custom-built tool that exploits an SQL server flaw. Field tests of the tool dubbed RefRef were launched against several websites including WikiLeaks, Pastebin and 4Chan. In a Twitter account linked to the Anonymous blog, the users were described as hacktivists with 'a personal vendetta against WikiLeaks,' adding that 'we are sorry we took you down. We are even.'"

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First Complete Lizard Genome Sequenced
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's reptiles-are-from-space department:
iamrmani writes with an article in the International Business Times about the recent gene sequencing of a lizard. From the article: "Researchers have managed to sequence the genes of the green anole lizard, which is the first non-bird species of reptile to have its genome sequenced and assembled. The findings, which researchers have obtained after assembling and analyzing more than 20 mammalian genomes, may go a long way in understanding the evolution of animals and humans."

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Sony To Sell 3D Head-Mounted Display
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's personal-theater department:
angry tapir writes "Sony says it will start selling a head mounted display that provides a 3D theater for music videos, movies and games, targeting people who prefer solitary entertainment rather than sitting in front of a TV with family or friends. Sony Corp said on Wednesday that the 60,000 yen ($A730) "HMZ personal 3D viewer" is set to go on sale on November 11 in Japan, and is planned for the US and Europe, perhaps in time for Christmas, although dates have not yet been set. HMZ uses Sony's own OLED screen"

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