By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-waiting-on-that-android-based-toaster department
writes "Today Samsung joined Nikon in announcing an Android-powered camera. The Samsung Galaxy Camera weighs 305g, features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, 21x super zoom lens, a quad-core 1.4GHz SoC (probably Exynos 4), 8GB of internal storage, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This compares with the Nikon S800c which also has a 16MP CMOS sensor, along with a 7x zoom f/2 lens and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Since neither unit has shipped, we don't know anything yet about how good they are as cameras, but we do know that the companies are trying to regain some of the ground they've lost to smartphones by integrating sharing right into their cameras. For photographers, there are a couple of critical questions about these new models: First is whether these cameras will have enough additional functionality to justify the added cost and weight when most people already have a serviceable camera in their phone. Second, and more importantly, there is still a big question mark hanging over Nikon and Samsung's long-term intentions for Android. If Android cameras are just standard point-and-shoots with a smartphone OS bolted on for sharing, that'll be a wasted opportunity. It would have been easier to create a camera that instantly tethered to a smartphone instead, and let the phone do all the work. There is an exciting possibility, if Nikon and Samsung do this correctly and allow low-level access to the camera functions via Android, to really unleash the power of Android to enable new photographic solutions."
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By Soulskill from Slashdot's enough-for-everybody-so-please-share department
writes "NASA today said its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite has unearthed a 'bonanza of new-found supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot DOGs, or dust-obscured galaxies.' NASA said the latest discoveries help astronomers better understand how galaxies and the behemoth black holes at their centers grow and evolve together."
The news was released in a press conference, and io9 has a comprehensive write-up about everything that was covered
, including the Q&A session. Pretty pictures here
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By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
writes "Of all the open source content management systems used for building websites, Drupal has a reputation for being one of the most flexible and powerful available, but not the easiest for web designers to use. Drupal version 7 has made some strides in alleviating those flaws, but there is still much progress to be made. During the past few years, a number of books have been published that explain how Drupal designers can do custom theming, but they tend to focus on the technical details of the theme layer, and not the practice of web design when using Drupal as a foundation. That rich yet neglected subject area is the focus of a new book, Drupal for Designers: The Context You Need Without the Jargon You Don't." Keep reading to see what Michael has to say about the book.
Drupal for Designers
author Dani Nordin
pages 328 pages
publisher O'Reilly Media
reviewer Michael J. Ross
summary How to design and manage Drupal projects.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's surprise-surprise department
One of the interesting tidbits that came out of last week's billion-dollar verdict
in Apple v. Samsung was that the jury's foreman, a patent holder himself, was instrumental
in leading the other members through the various complicated infringement claims. Now, Groklaw analyzes an interview the man gave with Bloomberg News
(video), in which his statements reveal a basic misunderstanding of what qualifies as prior art
. Quoting Groklaw:"In discussing the first patent on the list, he says they got into a discussion about the prior art that was presented at trial. Here's why they discounted it: 'The software on the Apple side could not be placed into the processor on the prior art and vice versa. That means they are not interchangeable. That changed everything right there.' That isn't disqualifying for prior art. It doesn't have to run on the same processor. It doesn't have to run at all. It can be words on a piece of paper. (If you don't believe little old me, here's a lawyer noticing the video too now.) ... The foreman, in answering criticisms, says that the jury paid close attention to the jury instructions. But looking at this one, did they? I'm sure they meant to, and I'm also sure they did their best according to what they understood. But this was an error, and it's one I don't think the judge can ignore, if anyone brings it to her attention."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's to-be-fair-so-do-i department
derekmead writes "Hot on the heels of the U.S. Air Force's most recent failed test of an unmanned hypersonic vehicle, Russia now says it wants to jump into the hypersonic game with a long-range bomber. Will Russia's newest Bear fly at 4,500 miles an hour? The Russian military sure hopes so. 'I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans,' Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Russian television. 'The question is will we copy the Americans' 40-year experience and create a [Northrop] B-2 analog or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon, and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor.' The Russians want their plane operational by 2020, which doesn't seem particularly realistic — we are talking about five times the speed of sound here, and Russia is just starting engine development. The U.S., meanwhile, has been investing in its Waverider program since 2004, and the last test of the X-51A scramjet-powered missile failed after just 15 seconds."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's for-some-definitions-of-open department
alphadogg writes in with an excerpt from Network World:"Five leading Internet standards bodies have joined together to articulate a set of guidelines for the creation of open standards that they say will foster continued innovation, competition and interoperability in the Internet industry. The IEEE, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the IETF, the Internet Society and the World Wide Web Consortium hammered out the language for their five basic principles for standards development over the course of the last few months. Dubbed 'OpenStand,' these lofty principles are envisioned as a modern paradigm for global, open standards development processes. The OpenStand principles are in sharp contrast to the more formal, government-driven efforts of rival standards bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union, which is an arm of the United Nations, and the International Organization for Standardization, a group of national standards bodies."
Although the principles generally seem reasonable, they made no stand against patents in standards: "Standards specifications are made accessible to all for implementation and deployment. Affirming standards organizations have defined procedures to develop specifications that can be implemented under fair terms. Given market diversity, fair terms may vary from royalty-free to fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND)."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's finding-terrorists-under-the-sea department
writes with news of a drone that's helping weather forecasters this hurricane season. From the article: "Hurricane prediction is not always an exact science — back in 2005, Hurricane Rita was projected to hit Houston, but missed the region entirely — but the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) is already on the case. A few weeks ago today, the agency launched an experimental Wave Glider robot named Alex into the ocean, hoping the unmanned drone can forecast the direction of future storms. The Wave Glider, which is completely powered by the waves and the sun thanks to solar panels and a unique thrust engine, contains a GPS unit, satellite communications systems, and sensors for measuring water temperature, wind speed, and various wave characteristics. With its ability to withstand strong winds and thrashing waters — which are typically prohibitive for humans and even aerial vehicles — and its ability to theoretically drift in the ocean endlessly without refueling, a single Wave Glider could be used to monitor not just one storm, but several hurricanes occurring over an entire seasonal period. The NOAA hopes to soon use more Wave Glider robots like Alex to help determine more accurate hurricane watches and warnings."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-one-went-to-prison-in-wargames department
hypnosec writes "Raynaldo Rivera, aged 20, suspected member of LulzSec, has been arrested for his alleged role in the breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment last year. The first suspect, Cody Kretsinger, has already pleaded guilty and was indicted last September according to the FBI. Rivera, who also goes by names 'neuron,' 'royal,' and 'wildicv', surrendered to authorities and he has been charged with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. The LulzSec member may be facing 15 years in prison if convicted."
On the member who pleased guilty: "Kretsinger, who pleaded guilty to the same two charges now facing Rivera, is slated to be sentenced on October 25. A federal prosecutor said he would likely receive substantially less than the 15-year maximum prison term carried by those offenses."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-we'll-say-don't-again department
writes "Paul Ohm writes in Harvard Business Review that businesses today are building perfect digital dossiers of their customers, massive data stores containing thousands of facts about every member of our society. He says these databases will grow to connect every individual to at least one closely guarded secret. 'This might be a secret about a medical condition, family history, or personal preference. It is a secret that, if revealed, would cause more than embarrassment or shame; it would lead to serious, concrete, devastating harm,' writes Ohm. 'And these companies are combining their data stores, which will give rise to a single, massive database. I call this the Database of Ruin. Once we have created this database, it is unlikely we will ever be able to tear it apart.' Consider the most famous recent example of big data's utility in invading personal privacy: Target's analytics team can determine which shoppers are pregnant, and even predict their delivery dates, by detecting subtle shifts in purchasing habits. 'In the absence of intervention, soon companies will know things about us that we do not even know about ourselves. This is the exciting possibility of Big Data, but for privacy, it is a recipe for disaster.' According to Ohm, if we stick to our current path, the Database of Ruin will become an inevitable fixture of our future landscape, one that will be littered with lives ruined by the exploitation of data assembled for profit. The only way we avoid this is if companies learn to say, 'no' to some of the privacy-invading innovations they're pursuing. 'The lesson is plain: compete vigorously and beat your competitors in every legitimate way, except when it comes to privacy invasion. Too many companies have learned this lesson the hard way, launching invasive new services that have triggered class action lawsuits, Congressional inquiries, and media firestorms.'"Read Replies (0)