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AMD Gives ARM License a Miss, Will Stick To x86
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 04:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's we're-just-friends-honestly department:
CWmike writes "Advanced Micro Devices has shot down rumors that it is pursuing an ARM license, saying it will stick to developing chips for tablets around the x86 architecture. 'We've made a big bet on APUs, which are x86,' said John Taylor, a marketing director at AMD, referring to accelerated processing units. AMD has been criticized for a lethargic approach to entering the fast-growing tablet market, which is dominated by ARM."

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Black Hat, DEFCON Founder Named CSO of ICANN
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's they-like-people-who-like-upper-case department:
ancientribe writes "Jeff Moss, aka 'The Dark Tangent,' and founder of the Black Hat security conference and DEFCON, the world's largest hacker conference, has been named VP and CSO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Moss will take on the position of Black Hat Conference Chair, where he will continue to play a key role in the development of conference and training content."

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Hotel Tracks Towels With RFID Chips
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's please-put-down-the-towel department:
nonprofiteer writes "An unnamed hotel is now putting RFID tags in their towels: 'The Honolulu hotel (the hotels have asked to remain anonymous, just to keep you guessing) says it was taking a bath to the tune of 4,000 pool towels per month, a number that it has reduced to just 750 (a savings of $16,000 per month). And that's just at the pool.' It's unclear what they do if the towel flies to the Midwest."

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Mystery Air Crash Black Box Found Sans Memory Part
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's curiouser-and-curiouser department:
coondoggie writes "The ongoing undersea search of the Air France Flight 447 wreckage had yielded one of the key items investigators were looking for this week: the flight data recorder. Unfortunately, their hopes for more information about the crash were set back, as the robot subs scouring the ocean floor retrieved the box only to find its memory part missing."

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ARIN Implements DNSSEC
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's takes-a-while-to-get-through-customs department:
wmbetts writes with this quote from an announcement by the American Registry for Internet Numbers:
"On 27 April, ARIN placed Delegation Signer (DS) records into in-addr.arpa and ip6.arpa. Now DNSSEC validation will occur from the root down if you properly set up your DNSSEC-aware recursive resolver. For most DNSSEC-aware recursive resolver operators, nothing needs to be done for this change to be in effect as long as you have configured your DNSSEC-aware server to use ICANN's trust anchor for the root zone."

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80% Improvement In Solar Cell Efficiency
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's watt-a-breakthrough department:
An anonymous reader writes "Chemistry researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory say they've improved the efficiency of typical solar cells by a whopping 80% by creating a 3-D nanocone-based solar cell platform. The technology tackles the problem of poor transport of charges generated by solar photons. These charges — 'negative electrons and positive holes' — typically become trapped by defects in bulk materials and degrade performance. 'We designed the three-dimensional structure to provide an intrinsic electric field distribution that promotes efficient charge transport and high efficiency in converting energy from sunlight into electricity.' Bottom line, they say, is they've boosted the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by 80 percent."

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Department of Justice: FBI Too Focused On Child Porn
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's perhaps-not-the-wording-they-would-have-chosen department:
itwbennett writes "The Department of Justice has issued a scathing report (PDF) on the ineffectiveness of the FBI in investigating and countering cyber attacks. The shortcomings are partly attributed to lack of training and lack of communication, but the biggest issue is the allocation of effort. From the report: 'Overall, we determined that in FY 2009 the FBI used 19 percent of its cyber agents on national security intrusion investigations, 31 percent to address criminal-based intrusions, and 41 percent to investigate online child pornography matters."

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Ask Slashdot: How To Encourage Better Research Software?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mo'-money-mo'-problems department:
An anonymous reader writes "There is a huge amount of largely overlapping but often incompatible medical imaging research software — funded by the US taxpayer (i.e. NITRC or I Do Imaging). I imagine the situation may be similar in other fields, but it is pronounced here because of the glut of NIH funding. One reason is historical: most of the well-funded, big, software-producing labs/centers have been running for 20 or more years, since long before the advent of git, hg, and related sites promoting efficient code review and exchange; so they have established codebases. Another reason is probably territorialism and politics. As a taxpayer, this situation seems wasteful. It's great that the software is being released at all, but the duplication of effort means quality is much lower than it could be given the large number of people involved (easily in the thousands, just counting a few developer mailing list subscriptions). No one seems to ask: why are we funding X different packages that do 80% of the same things, but none of them well?"

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The Chemical-Free Chemistry Kit
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's think-of-the-increasingly-stupid-children department:
eldavojohn writes "It's known that home chemistry sets are in danger of going extinct, which has spurred set makers to add the label 'Chemical Free!' on modern chemistry sets (NSFW warning — JAYFK stands for Journal of Are You *expletive* Kidding). The kit for ages 10+ provides 60 chemistry activities that are mind-bogglingly chemical free. The pedantic blog entry points out the many questions that arise when the set promises 'fun activities' like growing plants and crystals — sans chemicals! That would be quite the feat to accomplish without the evilest of chemicals: dihydrogen monoxide. While this rebuttal is done in jest, this set's intentions do highlight the chilling growth of a new mentality: Chemicals are bad. Despite their omnipresence from the beginning of time, they are no longer safe. Even real researchers are starting to notice the possible voluntary stunting of science education that is occurring in the name of overreaching safety."

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Using AI To Identify Innuendo
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's giggity-gadgets department:
angry tapir writes "Turning seemingly normal comments into sexual innuendo by adding the words 'That's what she said' is a cultural phenomenon. This has led some to wonder whether it is possible to determine when it is appropriate to add those magic four words to a sentence. As it turns out, identifying humor through software is hard. Two researchers at the University of Washington, however, were willing to give it their best shot. In a recently released paper entitled 'That's What She Said: Double Entendre Identification,' the researchers describe what they've found and introduce their new approach to the problem: 'Double Entendre via Noun Transfer' or DEviaNT for short." It's good to know that someone is trying to make sure the human race gets a sufficiently lewd AI one day.

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Verizon Plans Location Warning Sticker
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's problem-solved-boys-good-work department:
nonprofiteer writes "After all the location tracking drama, Verizon tells Congress that 'it's going to start slapping a surgeon-general-type warning on the phones it sells: Using this device could be hazardous to your location privacy, and may result in your being tracked!' The actual warning (PDF) is a little drier — illustration with story."

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RIM Collapse Beginning?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's friction-catching-up-with-inertia department:
jfruhlinger writes "After the announcement of disappointing BlackBerry sales last quarter, RIM shares started to plummet. Blogger Chris Nerney wonders if this isn't the beginning of the company's death spiral, with the exodus away from RIM's BlackBerry platform too far along to stop and the company too small to compete with huge rivals like Apple and Google."

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Endeavour Launch Delayed For At Least 48 Hours
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's safety-first department:
shuz writes "At 10:15 am Eastern time the launch of Endeavour has been scrubbed for a minimum of 48 hours. The scrub is due to two failed Auxiliary Power Unit heaters."
The delay is surely a disappointment to the biggest crowds since the Apollo days; let's hope it gets back on track more quickly than Discovery did for its final launch.

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The Importance of Lunch
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's food-for-thought department:
theodp writes "I've been on teams that eat together every day,' writes Joel-on-Software Spolsky, 'and it's awesome. I've been on teams that don't, and lunch every day is, at best, lonely.' Spolsky is firmly in the camp that believes where and with whom we eat lunch is a much bigger deal than most people care to admit. 'There's a lot of stuff that's accidental about Fog Creek and Stack Exchange,' he concludes, 'but lunch is not one of them. Ten years ago Michael and I set out with the rather ambitious goal of making a great place to work. Eating together is a critical part of what it means to be human and what it means to have a humane workplace, and that's been a part of our values from day one.'"

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Why Users Don't Trust Mobile Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-of-the-convenience-none-of-the-security department:
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes of the growing unease among consumers around mobile data privacy, and how this distrust will impact mobile app development. 'When every week seems to bring another news story about a data breach resulting in the theft of customer data, customers are growing increasingly jealous of their privacy. Given the unique nature of the data to be found on smartphones, it's only natural that they have begun to view mobile apps with a skeptical eye. If you're developing apps that use customers' mobile data, you need to do more than recognize these realities. You need to develop a policy that places secure, ethical, and appropriate handling of user data at the core of your application development process.'"

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$53 Million Pledged To Kickstarter Over Two Years
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's money-for-nothing department:
fangmcgee writes "Kickstarter, a website which collects donations for creative projects, said Thursday that it has received pledges of more than $53 million since its launch two years ago. 'Of the $53 million that has been pledged, $40 million has been collected by successfully funded projects and $6 million is still live (meaning pledged to projects that are still funding). The remaining $7 million is the amount of money not collected — pledged to projects that did not meet their funding goals. Of the $47 million pledged to projects whose funding has ended ($40M collected + $7M uncollected), approximately 85% of the funds ($40M) were collected. This 85% collection rate has stayed quite steady over the past two years.'"

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Is Canonical the Next Apple?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's three-years-to-success-six-years-to-evil-empire department:
An anonymous reader writes "With the release of 11.04 Natty Narwhal, Canonical is taking Ubuntu in a new direction, which puts cloud services and content like music at the forefront of the Ubuntu experience. Ubuntu is no longer 'Linux,' or 'desktop' or 'netbook'; it's just Ubuntu for clients and servers. Ubuntu has its own desktop in Unity, app store (Software Center), music service and personal cloud. If Ubuntu takes off, will it make Canonical the next Apple? Of course, Canonical doesn't sell computers, but then again Ubuntu can be used on any computer, even Macs."

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News Corp. Looking To Sell MySpace
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's betting-wrong department:
rudy_wayne writes "News Corp. is reportedly trying to sell MySpace for $100 million, a fraction of the $580 million it originally paid for the social network in 2005. Parties interested in acquiring MySpace include private equity firm THL Partners, Redscout Ventures and Criterion Capital, owner of social network Bebo (the company AOL bought for $850 million and then sold for $10 million). Chinese Internet holding company Tencent is also reportedly interested, and so is MySpace co-founder Chris De Wolfe. What's not yet clear is what any of these companies plan to do with MySpace if a sale goes through."
This follows news of massive layoffs and a rapidly shrinking userbase in recent months.

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Amazon EC2 Failure Post-Mortem
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ted-tripped-over-a-power-cord department:
CPE1704TKS tips news that Amazon has provided a post-mortem on why EC2 failed. Quoting:
"At 12:47 AM PDT on April 21st, a network change was performed as part of our normal AWS scaling activities in a single Availability Zone in the US East Region. The configuration change was to upgrade the capacity of the primary network. During the change, one of the standard steps is to shift traffic off of one of the redundant routers in the primary EBS network to allow the upgrade to happen. The traffic shift was executed incorrectly and rather than routing the traffic to the other router on the primary network, the traffic was routed onto the lower capacity redundant EBS network. For a portion of the EBS cluster in the affected Availability Zone, this meant that they did not have a functioning primary or secondary network because traffic was purposely shifted away from the primary network and the secondary network couldn't handle the traffic level it was receiving."

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If You're Going To Kill It, Open Source It
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's get-some-goodwill-for-your-investment department:
ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine is proposing big companies like Cisco and Sony consider 'open sourcing' their failed or discontinued products. The list includes Sony's AIBO and QRIO robots, IBM's Deep Blue chess computer, Ricochet Wireless, Potenco's Pull-Cord Generator, Palm, Microsoft's SPOT Watch, CISCO Flip Camera and more. MAKE is also encouraging everyone to post about what products they'd like to see open sourced."

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