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Are We Too Reliant On GPS?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
RedEaredSlider writes "A new report from the Royal Academy of Engineering in London suggests developed nations have become too reliant on GPS systems. The report from the Academy focuses on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and their vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include deliberate or accidental interference, both man-made (such as jamming) and natural (such as solar flares). While most people equate GPS systems with the tiny screens which get drivers from point A to point B, the report says society's reliance on the technology goes well beyond that. The Academy says the range of applications using the technology is so vast that without adequate independent backup, signal failure or interference could potentially affect safety systems and other critical parts of the economy."

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HP To Put WebOS On PCs In 2012
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
Stenchwarrior writes "Hewlett-Packard's chief executive officer Leo Apotheker announced that WebOS will be on every PC that HP ships in 2012. A move to attract more developers and push the operating system from mobile devices onto desktops. Apotheker made the announcement during a presentation to HP's staff in India, according to a report by Bloomberg. It's not likely that WebOS will supplant existing operating systems on PCs, but rather would run on top of Windows to be able to launch WebOS apps. HP had previously announced its plans to push WebOS on to PC's last month, but, at the time, the company didn't reveal the scope of its commitment to the operating system. We now know that HP means each and every PC it sells starting in 2012 will have WebOS installed."

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Book Review: Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
brothke writes "One can sum up all of Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking in two sentences from page 297, where author Christopher Hadnagy writes 'tools are an important aspect of social engineering, but they do not make the social engineer. A tool alone is useless; but the knowledge of how to leverage and utilize that tool is invaluable.' Far too many people think that information security and data protection is simply about running tools, without understanding how to use them. In this tremendous book, Hadnagy shows how crucial the human element is within information security." Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review.

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Senate Passes Landmark Patent Reform Bill
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
inkscapee writes "The US Senate is congratulating itself for passing a 'landmark' piece of patent reform legislation. Some key elements are 'first to file' instead of first to invent, and ending fee diversion, which means fees paid to the Patent Office will actually fund the Patent Office. Curiously, this practice has resulted in a backlog of 700,000 patent applications. The House is reportedly working on a similar bill, and soon harmony and rationality will triumph."

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How the PC Is Making Consoles Look Out of Date
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "What has been clear from this year's Game Developers Conference is that consoles are beginning to show their age. With nothing beyond a possible Nintendo update on the horizon, developers at this year's GDC have turned their eyes to the PC. The article includes three videos that give a fantastic insight into where PC graphics are headed, including a version of Epic's Unreal engine, Crytek's Cryengine 3, and DICE's Frostbite 2 engine. Considering that these leaps in eye candy are only possible with the current state of PC graphics, we wonder how long consoles will be the target platform for development of blockbuster games."

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Leslie Valiant Wins 'Nobel Prize' of Computing
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 11:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
autospa writes "ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery today named Leslie G. Valiant of Harvard University the winner of the 2010 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his fundamental contributions to the development of computational learning theory and to the broader theory of computer science. Valiant brought together machine learning and computational complexity, leading to advances in artificial intelligence as well as computing practices such as natural language processing, handwriting recognition, and computer vision. He also launched several subfields of theoretical computer science, and developed models for parallel computing. The Turing Award, widely considered the 'Nobel Prize in Computing,' is named for the British mathematician Alan M. Turing. The award carries a $250,000 prize, with financial support provided by Intel Corporation and Google Inc."

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A Bittersweet Finale For Discovery Space Shuttle
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
Julie188 writes "The shuttle Discovery re-entered the Earth's atmosphere for the last time Wednesday to close out the space plane's 39th and final voyage. And so marks the beginning of the end for America's shuttle program. Everything about the last flight felt epic, from how it overcame a down-to-the-last-second problem to launch on its final mission in February, to its sunny final landing this week. As it coasted to a stop, Discovery's odometer stood at some 5,750 orbits covering nearly 150 million miles, during 39 flights spanning a full year in space — a record unrivaled in the history of manned rockets."

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In-Depth Look At HTML5
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers a four-part series devoted to the new features of HTML5. Each article examines the evolving spec in-depth, focusing on canvas, video, audio, and graphics for display options, including the <canvas> and <video> tags, Scalable Vector Graphics, and WebGL; local data storage, including Web Storage, Web Database, and other APIs designed to transform Web pages into local applications; data communications, for cross-document messaging, WebSockets, and other HTML5 APIs that improve website and browser interactivity; and forms, for increasing control over data input and validation."

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NVIDIA To Push Into Supercomputing
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
RedEaredSlider writes "NVIDIA outlined a plan to become 'the computing company,' moving well beyond its traditional focus on graphics and into high-profile areas such as supercomputing. NVIDIA is making heavy investments in several fields. Its Tegra product will be featured in several mobile devices, including a number of tablets that have either hit the market already or are planned for release this year. Its GeForce lineup is gaming-focused while Quadro is all about computer-aided design workstations. The Tesla product line is at the center of NVIDIA's supercomputing push."

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Cloud Gaming With Ray Tracing
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Since real-time ray tracing on a single desktop machine is still too slow for gaming, Intel has worked on a research project that puts the heavy workload up into the cloud, relying on multiple 32-core chips working together. That enables new special effects for games, like realistic reflections (e.g. on cars or the scope of a sniper rifle), glass simulations and multi-screen surveillance stations. The research paper also takes a closer look at various sources of latencies that become relevant in a cloud-based gaming approach."

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Stopping the Horror of 'Reply All'
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
theodp writes "The WSJ's Elizabeth Bernstein reports that Reply All is still the button everyone loves to hate. 'This shouldn't still be happening,' Bernstein says of those heart-stopping moments (YouTube) when one realizes that he or she's hit 'reply all' and fired off a rant for all to see. 'After almost two decades of constant, grinding email use, we should all be too tech-savvy to keep making the same mortifying mistake, too careful to keep putting our relationships and careers on the line because of sloppiness.' Vendors have made some attempts to stop people from shooting themselves in the foot and perhaps even starting a Reply All email storm. Outlook allows users to elect to get a warning if they try to email to more than 50 people. Gmail offers an Undo Send button, which can be enabled by setting a delay in your out-bound emails, from 5-30 seconds, after which you're SOL. And AOL is considering showing faces, rather than just names, in the To field in a new email product. 'I wonder if the Reply All problem would occur if you saw 100 faces in the email,' AOL's Bill Wetherell says."

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Ex-Microsoft CTO Writes $625 Cookbook
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
carusoj writes "Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's first CTO, made his mark in the tech world. Now he's cemented his place in the world of cooking and food science with the publication of a groundbreaking six-volume, 2,438-page cookbook. Some of the techniques in Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine are intimidating, to put it mildly, calling for such daunting ingredients as liquid nitrogen and equipment such as centrifuges and rotor-stator homogenizers. But Myhrvold and his co-authors insist that the majority of recipes can be made in a conventional home kitchen — with a few recommended, inexpensive extras such as a digital gram scale and water bath for sous vide cooking." Dear Bosses: When you see the centrifuge on my March expense report, please note that this is a legitmate business expense. If you're still curious, we ran a story a couple years ago on Nathan's Kitchen Lab.

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Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
0ryan0 writes "Utah lawmakers passed a bill today to force public school teachers to teach that the USA is a republic, not a democracy, because a "Democracy" would have "Democrat" in it." The good news must be that all issues of unemployment, finance and social service must be resolved in Utah for their legislature to spend time on this. It must be a utopia!

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Ask Slashdot: Privacy Paranoia
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
dvbuser writes "The privacy debate is well known these days — organizations that track every click, geolocation, image, you name it. So now I sit here today monitoring my IP blockers, obfuscation algorithms, tor relay and each packet that goes in or out of every device that I operate. I even wear a hat always when I go outdoors, never carry a cell phone, and never look up (well, not all of that is true). But is it really that bad? Am I simply going to wind up completely out of touch with the modern world, where the next generation so boldly (for want of a better word) goes? What's wrong with targeted advertising? And if the feds can track my every movement — who cares? Sure, I don't want to be a victim of identity theft, and I like to download some p0rn every now and then, but I don't want to exclude myself from society, or spend copious hours trying to preserve it, merely from paranoia or at the very least from an overbearing sense of privacy. What does the average Slashdotter do to preserve their privacy (or what's left of it) while still making the most out of what the web has to offer?"

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Crime Writer Makes a Killing With 99 Cent E-Books
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Joe Konrath has an interesting interview with independent writer John Locke who currently holds the coveted #1 spot in the Amazon Top 100 and has sold just over 350,000 downloads on Kindle of his 99 cent books since January 1st of this year, which, with a royalty rate of 35%, is an annual income well over $500k. Locke says that 99 cents is the magic number and adds that when he lowered the price of his book The List from $2.99 to 99 cents, he started selling 20 times as many copies — about 800 a day, turning his loss lead into his biggest earner. 'These days the buying public looks at a $9.95 eBook and pauses. It's not an automatic sale,' says Locke. 'And the reason it's not is because the buyer knows when an eBook is priced ten times higher than it has to be. And so the buyer pauses. And it is in this pause—this golden, sweet-scented pause—that we independent authors gain the advantage, because we offer incredible value.' Kevin Kelly predicts that within 5 years all digital books will cost 99 cents. 'I don't think publishers are ready for how low book prices will go,' writes Kelly. 'It seems insane, dangerous, life threatening, but inevitable.'"

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Can You Beat a Computer At Rock-Paper-Scissors?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 03:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
tekgoblin writes "The New York Times has created a game that uses artificial intelligence to outsmart you. It uses a simple game called Rock-Paper-Scissors which is pretty much known by everyone on the planet by now. The computer tries to mimic human reasoning by building on simple rules and statistical averages. So based on the rules of the game and your previous moves, the computer tries to make predictions on your next move. The game has 2 modes, the first being Novice, where the computer learns the game from scratch, and Veteran, where the computer has experience of over 200,000 rounds of previous experience."

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Pocket Wars and Cores
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '11 at 01:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "If I were to ask you what is the most popular processor used in phones and pads, and you said, 'ARM,' you would be correct. Now comes the trick question, 'Who make ARM processors?' Not the ARM Holdings company. They design processors and license their designs to manufacturers. They also have a reputation for creating very low power designs. Interestingly, while almost everyone else was out ramping clocks and power consumption (until they hit a wall), ARM was chugging along addressing the low power end of the market. Now that low-power is all the rage, due to phones and pads, ARM has become quite a bit more popular."

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Animated Series Uses Kinect For Motion Capture
Posted by News Fetcher on March 08 '11 at 10:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
baxpace writes "Thanks to all of the recent breakthroughs of Kinect hacks that have emerged, a new animated series is now in development that incorporates many open source middleware and wrappers available to us all in order to create an entire series with motion capture software using the Kinect, OpenNI, Brekel, MotionBuilder and Maya."

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Trumpet Winsock Creator Made Little Money
Posted by News Fetcher on March 08 '11 at 07:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
omast writes "It appears that Peter Tattam, creator of Trumpet Winsock, got very little for this piece of software. For those of you who do not remember — or did not need it because were already outside the MS Windows world — Trumpet Winsock was a shareware program that provided TCP/IP functionality to Windows machines back in 1994-1995. It allowed millions to connect to the Internet back then; I was one of them. According to the article, Tattam made very little money from the program as it was widely distributed but rarely paid for."

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Researcher Blows $15K By Reporting Bug To Google
Posted by News Fetcher on March 08 '11 at 05:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
CWmike writes "A security researcher lost a sure $15,000 at this week's Pwn2Own hacking contest because he had earlier a reported the bug to Google, which has patched the vulnerability in its Android Market. 'I missed out money wise,' said Jon Oberheide, co-founder and CTO of Duo Security, a developer of two-factor authentication software. 'But it was good that Google is rewarding researchers. And now I have my first Android vulnerability that qualified for a bounty.' Google cut a check to Oberheide for $1,337."

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