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Ask Slashdot: Moving From *nix To Windows Automation?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's setting-expectation-levels department:
Zubinix writes "I have a background in doing automation in a Unix/Linux environment using scripting languages such as perl and bash shell, as well as ssh for remote scripting. My next project will be in the Windows environment so what approach and methodology is best for developing, say, the automation required for a test system? I don't want to use things like Cygwin, as I need to integrate with Windows applications such as Exchange and Sharepoint. Is there a list of should and should not dos when it comes to Windows automation?"

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How Far and Fast Can the Commercial Space World Grow?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's in-direct-proportion-to-the-benjamins department:
coondoggie writes "The development of the commercial space industry has in the past been slow and deliberate, but that seems like it's about to change with a whirlwind of developments that could shape or break its immediate future. Today the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics is holding a hearing to go over the Federal Aviation Administration's 2012 budget request, which includes close to $27 million — nearly a 75% increase over 2010 — in the budget for the group tasked with overseeing commercial space development. They're also evaluating the need for a longer regulatory ban. Also this week the Government Accountability Office issued a review of the issues the commercial space industry and the FAA face (PDF) going forward "

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Smithsonian Unveils 'Art of Games' Voting Results
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's toys-for-bob-got-robbed department:
AndrewGOO9 writes "The Smithsonian American Art Museum, in recognizing that electronic games are a part of our artistic history has now unveiled the 80 games out of a proposed pool of 240 that will be included in The Art of Video Games exhibit running from March 16, 2012 to September 30, 2012. While the winning games (PDF), as voted by gamers and art enthusiasts alike, are all stand-out titles, it goes without saying that this a huge step in the recognition of video games as artisitic masterpieces."

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Simulating Societies At the Global Scale
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-hard-could-that-be department:
An anonymous reader writes "Teams of European researchers are vying to create a distributed supercomputer of unprecedented scale to analyze the data that streams in from hundreds of devices and feeds (mobile, social data, market data, medical input, etc) and use it to 'run global-scale simulations of social systems.'"

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White House Explains Transport-Energy Future
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-a-bike department:
blair1q writes "Today on the White House Blog, the President (ok, his staff) released an infographic showing various facts about transportation energy, and how current gas prices need not be so worrisome. Highlights include rapidly increasing domestic production and rapidly decreasing prices for electric-car batteries, requesting Congress to shift tax breaks from oil producers to wind/solar/geothermal energy producers, and increasing domestic oil production (yes, there's a conflict there)."

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Writing Linux Kernel Functions In CUDA With KGPU
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's easy-as-pie department:
An anonymous reader writes "Until today, GPGPU computing was a userspace privilege because of NVIDIA's closed-source policy and AMD's semi-open state. KGPU is a workaround to enable Linux kernel functionality written in CUDA. Instead of figuring out GPU specs via reverse-engineering, it simply uses a userspace helper to do CUDA-related work for kernelspace requesters. A demo in its current source repository is a modified eCryptfs, which is an encrypted filesystem used by Ubuntu and other distributions. With the accelerated performance of a GPU AES cipher in the Linux kernel, eCryptfs can get a 3x uncached read speedup and near 4x write speedup on an Intel X25-M 80G SSD. However, both the GPU cipher-based eCryptfs and the CPU cipher-based one are changed to use ECB cipher mode for parallelism. A CTR, counter mode, cipher may be much more secure, although the real vanilla eCryptfs uses CBC mode. Anyway, GPU vendors should think about opening their drivers and computing libraries, or at least providing a mechanism to make it easy to do GPU computing inside an OS kernel, given the fact that GPUs are so widely deployed and the potential future of heterogeneous operating systems."

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NoScript Anywhere In Development For Android
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-if-only-it-worked-on-my-tv department:
CaffeineAddiction writes "NoScript Anywhere (NSA) is the nickname for the next major iteration of the NoScript security add-on (NoScript 3), whose guts are being turned upside down in order to match Mozilla's Electrolysis multiprocessing architecture and implement a porting for Firefox 4 Mobile, available on Android and Maemo smartphones and tablets."

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KDE 4.6.3 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-and-shiny department:
jrepin writes "KDE has released a series of updates to the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, the KDE Applications and the KDE Frameworks. This update is the second in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.6 series. 4.6.3 brings many bugfixes and translation updates."

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Does Microsoft Need Bug Bounties?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-deep-are-their-coffers department:
Gunkerty Jeb writes "The threats and attacks may have changed in the last decade, but one thing has remained constant: software giant Microsoft doesn't pay for vulnerabilities. Never has. Never will. Even as rivals like Mozilla and Google have introduced bug bounty program, the Redmond giant has stuck doggedly with a position it articulated almost a decade ago, refusing to offer monetary rewards for information on software holes. But security experts say that position may have to change."

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One-Way Sound Walls Proven Possible
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-sound-walls-make-good-neighbors department:
disco_tracy writes "Imagine a room where a band is playing. Neighbors can't hear the music, but if someone outside the room is talking, the musicians can hear it. The concept — a kind of one-way mirror for sound — seems imaginary, but two Italian scientists recently pushed this kind of sound manipulating technology closer to reality (abstract)."

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CNET Sued Over LimeWire Client Downloads
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's seeing-what-sticks department:
suraj.sun writes with this quote from Ars Technica:
"Alki David, the wealthy film producer and entrepreneur behind sites like FilmOn, has sued CNET and its owner, CBS, for providing hundreds of millions of downloads of LimeWire P2P software over the last decade. He argues that CNET had 'direct participation in massive copyright infringement on peer-to-peer systems, such as LimeWire, that are used to copy and distribute songs, films and other artistic works,' and that CNET's Download.com was the 'main distributor' of the software. P2P software isn't illegal, though companies that use it to induce or encourage copyright infringement can be held liable. The principle, most famously articulated by the US Supreme Court in the Grokster shutdown, was extended to LimeWire last year when a federal judge shut down most of the company's activity."

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Scientists Afflict Computers With Schizophrenia
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's some-syfy-exec-just-found-his-next-awful-movie department:
An anonymous reader writes "Computer networks that can't forget fast enough can show symptoms of of virtual schizophrenia, giving researchers new clues to the inner workings of schizophrenic brains, say researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Yale University. In their experiments, the scientists used a virtual neural network to simulate an excessive release of dopamine in the brain and found that the network recalled memories in a distinctly schizophrenic-like fashion. The results bolster a hypothesis known in schizophrenia circles as the hyperlearning hypothesis, which posits that people suffering from schizophrenia have brains that lose the ability to forget or ignore as much as they normally would. Without forgetting, they lose the ability to extract what's meaningful out of the immensity of stimuli the brain encounters."

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Crashed Helicopter Sparks Concern Over Stealth Secrets
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-to-da-meme department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The crash of a helicopter involved in the raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani hideout has prompted intense speculation about whether the aircraft was specially modified to fly stealthily — and whether its remains could offer hostile governments clues to sensitive US military technology. Remnants of the helicopter, including a nearly intact piece of its tail, suggested that the aircraft involved in the raid wasn't the typical Black Hawk flown by special-operations forces. Aviation experts who scrutinized photos of the scene say the tail had unusual features that suggested the helicopter had been extensively modified to fly quietly, while appearing less visible to radar. 'The odds are fair — based on my knowledge of the subject area — the vast majority of the special MH-60s aircraft were purpose-built to make those aircraft as stealthy as they could possibly be,' says aviation expert Jay Miller, adding that the remnants of the aircraft suggested extensive use of nonmetallic composite parts, which reflect less radar energy. Experts also say the tail rotor's design suggested an effort to reduce the 'acoustic signature' (video) of the helicopters to make them fly more quietly."

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A Court's Weak Argument For Blocking IP Subpoenas
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's justice-or-justish department:
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes to point out some unfortunate holes in a judge's recent ruling that was largely welcomed 'round these parts:
"A federal judge has ruled that a Canadian adult film producer cannot subpoena the identities of ISP users that were alleged to be sharing its copyrighted movies. Regardless of whether one supports the conclusion, the judge's reasoning was pretty weak. But the real hurdle is convincing people that a non-lawyer is entitled to call out a federal judge on their logic in the first place."
Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.

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Signs of Dark Matter From Minnesota Mine
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's revenge-of-the-wimps department:
thomst writes "Juan Collar, team leader of COGENT, an experimental effort to detect WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), recently presented a paper detailing 15 months of data collected via a pure germanium detector located deep in a Minnesota mine which seems to confirm similar results reported by a European effort called DAMA/LIBRA. The results are particularly intriguing, because they appear to show a seasonal variation in the density of WIMPs that accords with models which predict Earth should encounter more WIMPs in Summer (when its path around the Sun moves in the same direction as the Milky Way revolves) than in Winter (when it goes the opposite direction). The most interesting thing about the COGENT experiment is that the mass of the WIMP candidates it records is significantly less than most particle physicists had predicted, according to popular models. (Ron Cowen wrote an earlier article about COGENT last year that goes into a lot more detail about how COGENT works, what its team expects it to find, and why.)"

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Tech Experts Look To Help Save the Postal Service
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ice-delivery-men-feeling-left-out department:
An anonymous reader writes "Some of the folks responsible for developing and promoting e-mail, e-commerce and social media are banding together in an attempt to save the US Postal Service, the institution arguably most threatened by the technological developments of the past few years. As mail volume continues to plummet and more Americans use the Internet to pay bills and keep in touch, Google executives, social media experts and some of the most passionate tech evangelists are planning to meet in Crystal City in mid-June to sort out how to save and remake the nation's mail delivery service. The conference, PostalVision 2020, is designed to bring together the people who understand what this technology has done, is doing and will do to digital commerce and communication in America. USPS anticipates losing about $7 billion during the fiscal year that ends in September and is in the process of eliminating 7,500 postmaster and administrative positions to save money."

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A $25 PC On a USB Stick
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's when-did-the-future-get-here department:
KPexEA writes with this excerpt from geek.com:
"[Game developer David] Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has an HDMI port on one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into an HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port, giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25. The hardware being offered is no slouch either. It uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0, allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. ... We can expect it to run a range of Linux distributions, but it looks like Ubuntu may be the distro it ships with. That means it will handle web browsing, run office applications, and give the user a fully functional computer to play with as soon as it's plugged in. All that and it can be carried in your pocket or on a key chain."

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Sony To Offer Free Identity Theft Monitoring
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's should-be-an-easy-script-to-write department:
olsmeister writes "Several weeks after having the PlayStation Network hacked, and apologizing to users for the breach, Sony is offering $1 million in identity theft protection for users who sign up before June 18th. The protection is being offered through Debix and is called AllClear ID Plus. This appears to be some kind of custom plan especially for Sony, as their normal offerings are called AllClear ID Free and AllClear ID Pro."

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Star Wars MMO Estimated To Cost $100M
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
donniebaseball23 writes "EA's BioWare is developing its first-ever MMORPG in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the publisher is betting big that the project will be a huge success. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter says development alone cost an estimated $80 million, with marketing and distribution adding in another $20 million. The good news is it shouldn't take much to break even. 'We estimate that EA will cover its direct operating costs and break even at 500,000 subscribers (this is exceedingly conservative, and the actual figure is probably closer to 350,000), meaning that with 1.5 million paying subscribers, EA will have 1 million profitable subs,' Pachter noted."
They're now aiming for a release late this year, but acknowledged the possibility that it could slip to January 2012. If you're curious about the current state of the gameplay, Eurogamer and Rock, Paper, Shotgun (PvE, PvP) both posted write-ups of some recent hands-on time.

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Oracle's Android Claims Cut By 98%
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '11 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's can't-we-call-in-some-tactical-hurricanes? department:
tomhudson writes "Groklaw is reporting that Oracle was ordered to reduce its claims against Google from 132 to 3. In a further ruling, the judge has ordered that 129 of those claims will be permanently barred against all past and current products. Additionally, the judge has asked both sides if, in their opinion, after they have reduced the number of claims, whether a trial is still worth holding, or if the case is now moot."

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