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Microsoft Kills Skype For Asterisk
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 01:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's we're-not-evil-any-more department:
Avalon73 writes "I've been using Skype for Asterisk (Digium's native Skype client for their PBX software) since it was in beta 2 years ago. Today, I received an email from Digium stating that Skype (read: Microsoft) has decided to end the agreement that made the integration possible, and Digium will stop selling the module on July 26th. Support for us existing users will be there for the next 2 years, with Skype's option to renew at that time, but I'll believe that when I see it. So much for Microsoft's promise not to screw over the existing Skype user base."

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T-Mobile Joins the Capped Data Bandwagon
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's progress-means-everyone-gets-less department:
NicknamesAreStupid writes "It looks like T-Mobile is following the lead of Verizon and AT&T in shifting from unlimited data plans to tiered pricing. It starts with their family plans which may be cheaper than unlimited depending on your family's usage. Was this done for its customers' families or for its future parent, AT&T?"

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Using Fractal Interconnects To Improve Electronic Eyes
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's fixing-g'kar's-eyesight department:
An anonymous reader writes "Electronic eyes today remind me of Frankenstein with the way they jab electrodes from each pixel into the optic nerve and hope for the best. Some researchers claim to have solved this problem by growing fractal electrodes that mimic the way real eyes connect retinal cells to the optic nerve. If they are right — and their research will find out over the next year — then next-generation eEyes could enable the blind to not just detect objects, but to see again normally."

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Fedora 15 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ooo-shiny-new-features department:
halfline writes " Fedora 15 was released today. It features GNOME 3 (with its substantially redone UI) and the systemd init system by default."

The release also brings the latest KDE and XFCE versions, improved Btrfs support, amd a switch from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice. Installation images are available from the usual sources.

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Major Release of Miro Aims to Compete With iTunes
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's the-enemy-of-drm-is-my-friend department:
ravrore writes "Miro 4 was released today, a major update to the popular multi-patform FOSS video player. The new version adds music support, local network stream and transfer, music purchasing, and Android syncing. Miro is positioning itself as the open iTunes for Android users. 'We believe the open media world can be just as integrated and usable as the closed, top-down, DRM'ed systems of companies like Apple. And we want to prove it,' says Nicholas Reville, Executive Director of Participatory Culture Foundation, which creates Miro."

It looks like the project still has a few rough edges, but is definitely getting there.

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TEPCO Confirms Partial Meltdown of No.2 and No.3 Reactors
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's that's-not-very-good department:
blau writes with an article in NHK World. From the article "The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says findings show that fuel meltdowns may have occurred at the No.2 and No.3 reactors within days of the March 11th earthquake. But it says both reactors are now stable at relatively low temperatures."

TEPCO is also now blaming the tsunami for most of the damage rather than the earthquake.

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Draft Horses Used To Lay Fiber-Optic Cable
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's doing-it-the-old-fashioned-way department:
mysqlrocks writes "In Vermont, FairPoint Communications has enlisted draft horses to help lay fiber-optic cable in remote locations. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has pledged to bring bring broadband to every last mile by 2013, including many remote areas that have been neglected in the past. Private companies have been unwilling to invest in the expensive infrastructure needed to reach these areas. However, Vermont's congressional delegation helped to secure $410 million in federal money earmarked for broadband development and Vermont has partnered with private companies, like FairPoint, to bring high-speed Internet access to all Vermonters. From the article: 'The difficulty of getting cable to "every last mile," is where Fred, the cable-carrying draft horse, comes in. "Hopefully it pays off," says Hastings. "We could maybe get a four-wheeler in here," he continues, gesturing to the cleared swath of boggy, fern-studded terrain that he's working in today. But definitely not a truck, and Fred's impact is nearly invisible. Residents rarely complain about a draft horse tromping through their yards.'"

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Duke Nukem Forever Goes Gold
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's but-will-it-run-on-the-hurd department:
An anonymous reader writes with enthusiasm "Duke Nukem Forever has finally gone gold!"

Looks like it'll be on shelves around June 10th with a demo available for Duke Nukem First Access Club members available June 3rd. Can it really be true?

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Civil Society Statement To the E-G8 and G8
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's with-liberty-and-internet-for-all department:
jrepin writes "The signatories of this statement are representatives of civil society from around the world working towards the promotion of Internet freedom, digital rights, and open communication. The French Presidency of the G8 is holding a G8 internet meeting -- the eG8 Forum -- immediately before the G8 Summit in Deauville, with a view to shaping the agenda of the G8 Summit regarding key global internet policy. This meeting is significant because this is the first year that the internet's role in society and the economy is explicitly on the G8 agenda. We believe that G8 Member States should use the e-G8 meeting as an opportunity to publicly commit to expanding internet access for all, combating digital censorship and surveillance, limiting online intermediary liability, and upholding principles of net neutrality."

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Amazon Gags On Gaga
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's ga-ga-ga-ga-ga-ga department:
theodp writes "Having hawked Google Chrome over the weekend with an ad that aired on SNL, Lady Gaga turned her attention Monday to hyping Amazon's Cloud Player service. Fans were delighted to learn that they could download Gaga's entire 'Born This Way' album for a mere $0.99, until technical difficulties set in. 'Amazon is experiencing high volume and downloads are delayed,' Amazon said in a statement. 'If customers order today, they will get the full Lady Gaga, Born This Way album for $0.99. Thanks for your patience.' Some frustrated users meted out one-star ratings for the album as their way of protesting Amazon's slow service, lowering the album's rating to three stars. So, was that karma for upstaging Donald Knuth at the Googleplex?"

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How Companies Are Using Data From Foursquare
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 08:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's where-did-you-go-today? department:
wjousts writes: Technology Review reports on how businesses use data from all those Foursquare check-ins. "Merchants can analyze various metrics over time, including how many check-ins are recorded each day, who the most recent and most frequent visitors are, how visitors who check in break down by gender, and what time of day the most people check in; businesses with multiple locations can aggregate statistics to fit their needs. Foursquare provides the same platform 'for Joe's coffee shop and Starbucks,' says Eric Friedman, Foursquare's director of business development, but companies use the tools and data in different ways, depending on their specific objectives. "

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IPv6 Traffic Volumes Are Low, But Nobody Knows How Low
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's I'm-waiting-for-IPv8 department:
netbuzz writes "As the June 8 World IPv6 Day experiment draws near, there is universal agreement that little IPv6 traffic is traversing the Internet at the moment. The event is designed in part to increase that volume. However, it will be difficult for Internet policymakers, engineers and the user community at large to tell how the upgrade to IPv6 is progressing because no one has accurate or comprehensive statistics about how much Internet traffic is IPv6 versus IPv4."
And in case you don't know much about IPv6 and why it matters, dave.io has kindly provided "a primer on the IPv6 transition: why it's cool, how to get started with it and what's changed."

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Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's let-the-sun-shine-in department:
RayTomes writes "The Obama administration has provided a loan guarantee of $737 million to construct the first large-scale solar power plant that stores energy and provides electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
This solar power project, a heliostat rather than a photovoltaic system, with a molten salt system to store power as heat for times when the sun isn't shining, will be constructed in Nevada and, says the article, is expected to create "600 construction jobs and 45 permanent positions."

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US Intelligence Agency to Compile Mountain of Metaphors
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bright-ideas department:
coondoggie writes "Researchers with the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity want to build a repository of metaphors. You read that right. Not just American/English metaphors mind you but those of Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers. Why metaphors? 'Metaphors have been known since Aristotle as poetic or rhetorical devices that are unique, creative instances of language artistry (for example: The world is a stage; Time is money). Over the last 30 years, metaphors have been shown to be pervasive in everyday language and to reveal how people in a culture define and understand the world around them,' IARPA says."

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AMD Releases FirePro V5900 and V7900 Workstation GPUs
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 06:30 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's ever-faster-until-we-reach-oblivion department:
primesuspect writes "Today AMD released two new workstation GPUs: The FirePro V5900 and V7900, aimed at the mid- and high-end workstation card market."

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Skylon Spaceplane Design Passes Key Review
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 06:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's single-stage-to-orbit-is-our-grail department:
gbjbaanb writes "A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review. Skylon is a design for a spaceplane that uses engines that work as normal jets near the ground and switch to rocket propulsion in the upper atmosphere. The concept means the plane will not have to carry as much fuel and so will not need disposable stages. It is estimated (by its developers) that the Skylon will drop the cost of delivering payloads to orbit from $15,000 per kilo to $1000."

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New Siemens SCADA Vulnerabilities Kept Secret, Says Schneier
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 05:30 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's watch-those-centrifuges-spin-out-of-control department:
From the article: SCADA systems -- computer systems that control industrial processes -- are one of the ways a computer hack can directly affect the real world. Here, the fears multiply. It's not bad guys deleting your files, or getting your personal information and taking out credit cards in your name; it's bad guys spewing chemicals into the atmosphere and dumping raw sewage into waterways. It's Stuxnet: centrifuges spinning out of control and destroying themselves. Never mind how realistic the threat is, it's scarier."
What worries Bruce Schneier most is that industry leader Siemens is keeping its SCADA vulnerabilities secret, at least in part due to pressure from the Department of Homeland Security .

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Mandatory Automotive Black Boxes May Be On the Way
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pesky-privacy-laws-be-damned department:
Attila Dimedici writes "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to announce a new regulation requiring all vehicles to contain a 'black box.' Not only that, but the devices would be designed to make it difficult (possibly illegal) to modify what information these devices collect or to disbale them even though the courts have ruled that the owner of the vehicle owns the data. The courts have also ruled that authorities may access that data (to what degree and whether a warrant is necessary depends on the state)."

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New Bill Pushes For Warrants To Access Cloud Data
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 03:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's unless-you're-in-that-cloud-naked department:
mask.of.sanity writes "A bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy in the US Senate would require authorities to obtain a court-issued search warrant before retrieving a person's email and other content stored in cloud services. The law would update a 28 year old law, which Leahy also introduced, that does not require warrants for data access. The Bill will not prevent the FBI from accessing data without a warrant under terrorism and intellgence clauses."

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Cooperative Cars Battle It Out In Holland
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '11 at 12:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's chill-guys-what's-with-the-aggression department:
An anonymous reader writes "The first cooperative platooning competition, where vehicles use radio communication in addition to sensors, was held in Helmond, Holland a week ago. By using wireless communication the awareness range of each vehicle is extended, enabling vehicles to travel closer together which increases road capacity while at the same time avoiding the shockwave effects responsible for traffic jams. The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge distinguishes itself from earlier platooning demos (e.g. the PATH project) by having a completely heterogeneous mix of vehicles and systems built by multiple researcher and student teams. Using wireless communication to coordinate vehicles raises concerns about the safety of such systems, would you trust WiFi to drive your car?"

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