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Microsoft Puts Datacenter In a Barn
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
aesoteric writes "Microsoft has announced that it will open a new datacenter in Washington State housed in a 'modern' barn-like structure that is 'virtually transparent to ambient outdoor conditions'. It was not the first time Microsoft had toyed with the idea of a datacenter without walls. In September 2008, it successfully ran a stack of HP servers in a tent for seven months, apparently with no failures."

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Google Ready To Rule NFC-Based Mobile Payments?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
itwbennett writes "Google may seem like an odd pioneer for mobile payments, says blogger Ryan Faas, but according to recent reports, the company is developing its own NFC payment solution. Here's why Faas thinks Google has a leg up in this emerging market: 'Google does have a lot of clout when it comes to NFC because the recent launch of the Nexus S and Gingerbread (the most recent Android release) offer the first truly widespread smartphone/NFC integration. That could give Google significant bargaining power. It also makes a certain sense to expect Google to try to lead in this area when you consider that the company is hyping mobile search and recommendation features.'"

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First Pictures of Chinese Stealth Fighter
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
Frosty Piss writes "The first clear pictures of what appears to be a Chinese stealth fighter prototype have been published online The photographs, published on several unofficial Chinese and foreign defense-related websites, appear to show a J-20 prototype making a high-speed taxi test — usually one of the last steps before an aircraft makes its first flight—according to experts on aviation and China's military. Several experts said the prototype's body appeared to borrow from the F-22 and other U.S. stealth aircraft. The U.S. cut funding for the F-22 in 2009 in favor of the F-35, a smaller, cheaper stealth fighter that made its first test flight in 2006 and is expected to be fully deployed by around 2014."

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Deferred IT Maintenance Is a Ticking Time Bomb
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
snydeq writes "The underfunding of routine hardware replacement purchases and the degradation of aging enterprise apps pose systemic risk for many IT organizations, thanks to a ballooning 'deferred IT maintenance debt' in the decade since Y2K fears pushed enterprises to invest heavily in essential system upgrades, InfoWorld's Bill Snyder reports. And with sysadmins 'scrambling to keep systems up and running with budgets that barely cover the basics,' this 'IT debt' promises only to increase in the coming years, especially as IT continues to defer routine maintenance in favor of new 'cost-saving' initiatives, particularly around the cloud."

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Linux 2.6.37 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
diegocg writes "Version 2.6.37 of the Linux kernel has been released. This version includes SMP scalability improvements for Ext4 and XFS, the removal of the Big Kernel Lock, support for per-cgroup IO throttling, a networking block device based on top of the Ceph clustered filesystem, several Btrfs improvements, more efficient static probes, perf support to probe modules, LZO compression in the hibernation image, PPP over IPv4 support, several networking microoptimizations and many other small changes, improvements and new drivers for devices like the Brocade BNA 10GB ethernet, Topcliff PCH gigabit, Atheros CARL9170, Atheros AR6003 and RealTek RTL8712U. The fanotify API has also been enabled. See the full changelog for more details."

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IBM's Jeopardy Strategy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
jfruhlinger writes "Developing a computer that could play chess once seemed like a worthy AI goal — but it turned out to be something of a dead end, as chess is very abstract and simple when compared to the real world. Will creating a game-show-playing computer lead to more interesting results? IBM hopes so, and its Watson machine will tackle problems in parallel processing, data searching, and natural language comprehension in an attempt to beat Jeopardy legends Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. " IBM announced the man vs. machine competition last month.

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Securing the Smart Grid
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
brothke writes "Securing the Smart Grid: Next Generation Power Grid Security, authors Tony Flick and Justin Morehouse provide a comprehensive and first-rate overview of smart grid technology and what is needed to ensure that it is developed and deployed in a secure and safe manner. An issue is that smart grid has significant amount of hype around it, including the promise that it will make energy more affordable, effective and green. With that, promises around security and privacy are often hard to obtain." Read on for the rest of Ben's review.

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Will Facebook Become the Net's SSO?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 11:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
lordDallan writes "Simson Garfinkel at MIT Technology Review muses on the idea of your Facebook account becoming an 'Internet Driver's License', ruminating on the idea of an individual's Facebook login becoming their single sign on for the web. I say NO THANKS!!"

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When Smart People Make Bad Employees
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
theodp writes "Writing for Forbes, CS-grad-turned-big-time-VC Ben Horowitz gives three examples of how the smartest people in a company can also be the worst employees: 1. The Heretic, who convincingly builds a case that the company is hopeless and run by a bunch of morons; 2. The Flake, who is brilliant but totally unreliable; 3. The Jerk, who is so belligerent in his communication style that people just stop talking when he is in the room. So, can an employee who fits one of these poisonous descriptions, but nonetheless can make a massive positive contribution to a company, ever be tolerated? Quoting John Madden's take on Terrell Owens, Horowitz gives a cautious yes: 'If you hold the bus for everyone on the team, then you'll be so late that you'll miss the game, so you can't do that. The bus must leave on time. However, sometimes you'll have a player that's so good that you hold the bus for him, but only him.' Ever work with a person who's so good that he/she gets his/her own set of rules? Ever been that person yourself?"

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Doctor Marries Doctor's Daughter, TARDIS Explodes
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 10:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
techmuse writes "In a veritable Who's Who of Doctor Who, 10th Doctor David Tennant is marrying Georgia Moffett, the daughter of 5th Doctor Peter Davison, who played the Doctor's daughter in an episode of Doctor Who. Except that the Doctor's daughter was a clone of the Doctor, which meant that she really was Who. So a newer Doctor is marrying an older Doctor's daughter, who is a clone of the newer doctor, but only has half the DNA of the older Doctor."

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Swedish Firm Proposes City Buildings On Rails
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
Lanxon writes "A Swedish architecture firm that came up with a plan to roll buildings through a city on rails has won third prize in a competition to develop the Norwegian city of Åndalsnes. The company, Jagnafalt Milton, suggested that existing and new railroads could be built to provide the base for buildings that could be positioned differently depending on the seasons and on the weather. It proposed designs for rail-mounted single- and double-berth cabins, along with a two-story suite, reports Wired."

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Apple Creating Cloud-Based Mac?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 09:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
hostedftp writes "In speculation news making the rounds — Apple's recent activities in the Cloud has been leading to conclusions of the what the innovative giant plans to unleash in 2011. The most recent news of Apple applying and securing a patent for a network-boosted OS has made speculators believe Apple is going to launch a Cloud-based operating system for the Mac."

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First PlayStation 3 Custom Firmware Created
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
Stoobalou writes "Hot on the heels of the discovery of the the PlayStation 3 private root key, and its subsequent leakage by iPhone hacker Geohot, the first custom firmware for the formerly inpenetrable console has been released. A code wrangler known only as Kakaroto reckons he has created the world's first custom firmware for the popular console — although if you're expecting it to help you play pirated games, you might be a little disappointed."

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Smart Grid Brings Powerline Broadband Back?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
judgecorp writes "The UK is giving powerline broadband a serious trial once again, in up to 1000 homes in Liverpool. The technology was once hailed as an alternative to ADSL, delivered over the electricity mains, but lost out because of radio interference and price. The UK government is backing the installation of smart meters across the country, and it seems a new generation of 200Mbps powerline broadband could ride on that, cutting the installation costs. What about the interference issues? A recent FAQ from the regulator, Ofcom, says it has not found any eficdence of a breach of EMC rules, but is keeping an eye on it."

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For Mac Developers, Armageddon Comes Tomorrow
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
kdawson writes "David Gewirtz's blog post over at ZDNet warns of an imminent price collapse for traditional Mac applications, starting tomorrow when the Mac App Store opens. The larger questions: what will Mac price plunges of 90%-95% mean for the PC software market? For the Mac's market share? Quoting: 'The Mac software market is about as old-school as you get. Developers have been creating, shipping, and selling products through traditional channels and at traditional price points for decades. ... Mac software has historically been priced on a parity with other desktop software. That means small products are about $20. Utilities run in the $50-60 range. Games in the $50 range. Productivity packages and creative tools in the hundreds, and specialty software — well, the sky's the limit. Tomorrow, the sky will fall. Tomorrow, the iOS developers move in and the traditional Mac developers better stick their heads between their legs and kiss those price points goodbye.'"

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Houston We Have a Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
thanosk writes "NASA has started releasing the transcripts from the early NASA missions and started with releasing the transcripts of the Apollo 13 mission and the famous 'Houston we have a problem' quote"

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Spoofed White House Card Dupes Many Gov't Employees, Steals Data
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
tsu doh nimh writes "A run-of-the-mill malware-laced e-mail that spoofed seasons greetings from The White House siphoned gigabytes of sensitive documents from dozens of victims over the holidays, including a number of government employees and contractors who work on cybersecurity matters, writes krebsonsecurity.com. The story looks at several victims who fell for the attack, and suggests it may be related to a series of similar document-harvesting runs throughout 2010. Government security vendor NetWitness notes that these types of incidents are blurring the lines between online financial fraud and espionage attacks."

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Why BioWare's Star Wars MMO May Already Be Too Late
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 03:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
Since the announcement of Star Wars: The Old Republic, many gamers have been hopeful that its high budget, respected development team and rich universe will be enough to provide a real challenge to the WoW juggernaut. An opinion piece at 1Up makes the case that BioWare's opportunity to do so may have already passed. Quoting: "While EA and BioWare Austin have the horsepower needed to at least draw even with World of Warcraft though, what we've seen so far has been worryingly conventional — even generic — given the millions being poured into development. Take the opening areas around Tython, which Mike Nelson describes in his most recent preview as being 'rudimentary,' owing to their somewhat generic, grind-driven quest design. Running around killing a set number of 'Flesh Raiders' in a relatively quiet village doesn't seem particularly epic, but that's the route BioWare Austin seems to be taking with the opening areas for the Jedi — what will surely be the most popular classes when The Old Republic is released. ... the real concern, though, is not so much in the quest design as in BioWare Austin's apparent willingness to play follow the leader. Whenever something becomes a big hit — be it a movie, game or book — there's always a mad scramble to replicate the formula; in World of Warcraft's case, that mad scramble has been going for six years now. "

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MIT Media Lab Researcher Prints Playable Flute
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '11 at 02:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
conner_bw writes "What if making an acoustic instrument was a matter of hitting 'print'? MIT Media Lab researcher Amit Zoran did just that. He created a flute using the Objet Geometries Connex500 3D printer. The instrument is playable and the results are surprisingly good for a first attempt. As an aside, rumour has it that Amit has a bumper sticker that reads: My other printer prints food."

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Samsung Develops Power-Sipping DDR4 Memory
Posted by News Fetcher on January 04 '11 at 11:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
Alex writes with this excerpt from TechSpot: "Samsung Electronics has announced that it completed development of the industry's first DDR4 DRAM module last month, using 30nm class process technology, and provided 1.2V 2GB DDR4 unbuffered dual in-line memory modules (UDIMM) to a controller maker for testing. The new DDR4 DRAM module can achieve data transfer rates of 2.133Gbps at 1.2V, compared to 1.35V and 1.5V DDR3 DRAM at an equivalent 30nm-class process technology, with speeds of up to 1.6Gbps. In a notebook, the DDR4 module reduces power consumption by 40 percent compared to a 1.5V DDR3 module. The module makes use of Pseudo Open Drain (POD) technology, which allows DDR4 DRAM to consume just half the electric current of DDR3 when reading and writing data."

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