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Ubuntu One Gets iPhone App For Contact Sync
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 03:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's plays-nicely-with-others deptartment:
oneone writes "Canonical is bringing its Ubuntu One cloud service (which we discussed last month) to handheld devices with a new mobile contact synchronization feature that is powered by Funambol. Canonical's Ubuntu One application for the iPhone is now available from the iTunes Music Store. Android and other mobile operating systems will be supported with Funambol's standard client application. The mobile sync feature is currently in the beta testing stage but will be generally available to Ubuntu One subscribers when Ubuntu 10.04 is released later this month. Canonical says that it is boosting its Ubuntu One server infrastructure in order to support what it anticipates will be record loads."

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Game CEO Sees "Gamification" of Work and Military
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's browsing-slashdot-gives-you-rested-xp deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The CEO of Unity discusses 'gamification' — applying game design and technology to real-world applications beyond 'gamespace.' The military is using game design theory for some training programs — not just 'the 3-D, realistic, virtual world experiences, but also the built-in use of frustration and reward.' (And similar training packages were adopted by Unilever, the giant corporation which owns Ben & Jerry's ice cream.) Medical professionals have licensed a 'Google Earth for the human body,' and game design is also being used to build tax software. ('It has to be the most boring field, but I mean that's the point. You can make it slightly challenging and give people little reasons to play these tax tools — beyond, you know, not going to prison!') While some companies conduct team-building exercises using Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, others use game technology to standardize their in-house employee training programs. The interviewer adds, 'I know I'd feel better about job training if it felt more like killing zombies.'"

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Microsoft Announces End of the Line For Itanium Support
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's development-dollars-well-spent deptartment:
WrongSizeGlass writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Microsoft has announced on its Windows Server blog the end of its support for Itanium. 'Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2, and Visual Studio 2010 will represent the last versions to support Intel's Itanium architecture.' Does this mean the end of Itanium? Will it be missed, or was it destined to be another DEC Alpha waiting for its last sunset?"

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Blu-ray Proposes Incompatible BD-XL and IH-BD Formats
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-that-time-again deptartment:
adeelarshad82 writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association announced upcoming specifications for high-capacity write-once and rewritable discs. The BDA proposed two new formats, BDXL, the name given to new 100GB and 128GB discs; and IH-BD, a so-called 'Intra-Hybrid' disc that will incorporate both read-only and rewritable layers. Specifications for both disc types will be published during the upcoming months. Both formats will be incompatible with existing hardware; however, new players designed to take advantage of the new formats will be able to play back existing Blu-ray discs, which are available in both 25 and 50GB capacity points."

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Compliance Is Wasted Money, Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's missing-the-point deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "Enterprises are spending huge amounts of money on compliance programs related to PCI-DSS, HIPAA and other regulations, but those funds may be misdirected in light of the priorities of most information security programs, a new study has found. A paper by Forrester Research, commissioned by Microsoft and RSA, the security division of EMC, found that even though corporate intellectual property comprises 62 percent of a given company's data assets, most of the focus of their security programs is on compliance with various regulations. The study found that enterprise security managers know what their companies' true data assets are, but find that their security programs are driven mainly by compliance, rather than protection (PDF)."

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"Midori" Concepts Materialize In<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's creeping-in deptartment:
dp619 writes "Concepts outlined in Microsoft's internal 'Midori' OS documents are materializing in .NET, according to an SD Times report. Midori is a new operating system project that is designed for distributed concurrency. Microsoft has assigned some of its all-star programmers to the project, while recruiting others. It is also working on other projects to replace Windows that make the OS act more like a hypervisor."

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Geomagnetic Storm In Progress
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sky-is-falling deptartment:
shogun writes "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports a strong geomagnetic storm is in progress. The shuttle, ISS and GPS systems may be affected." They think this storm was caused by a weak solar flare on April 3rd. As you may expect, this has caused some unusually impressive northern lights since it started. What you may not expect is a photograph from Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the International Space Station showing the aurora from orbit. He apparently tweets a lot of pictures from space. He and his crewmates have taken over 100,000 pictures since coming aboard the ISS.

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Naming and Shaming Toxic Web Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's running-this-requires-access-to-your-neural-patterns deptartment:
itwbennett writes "Stanford Law School has released a wiki called WhatApp?, where users can rate all manner of web apps, browsers, mobile platforms, mobile apps, and social network apps on their security, privacy, and openness. Currently, the wiki 'lists some 200+ apps, but most of them have not been reviewed yet. So they need a lot of help,' writes blogger Dan Tynan. 'To review an app you select it from the list, then fill out a 9-question form rating its privacy, security, and openness, ranging from 5 (very private, secure, and open) to 1 (a steaming pile of vulnerabilities and violations).'"

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2010 Salary Survey Highlights IT Woes
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's and-what-happened-to-my-toy-budget deptartment:
CWmike writes "Trapped between flat salaries and ever-increasing workloads, IT professionals are about to explode. That's the top takeaway from Computerworld's 2010 survey of nearly 5,000 IT workers. 'Bonuses and benefits are way down, and workloads and work hours have increased. Meanwhile, salaries are stagnant (rising just a microscopic 0.7% on average), and — not surprisingly — satisfaction is on the wane.' Another finding of note is the shrinking female IT workforce. Have a look-see at how IT fared in your neck of the woods with this smart look-up tool."

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Wikileaks Releases Video of Journalist Killings
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rules-of-engagement deptartment:
linguizic writes "Today Wikileaks released a video of the US military firing large caliber weapons into a crowd that included a photojournalist and a driver for Reuters, and at a van containing two children who were involved in a rescue. Wikileaks maintains that this video was covered up by the US military when Reuters asked for an official investigation. This is the same video that has supposedly made the editors of Wikileaks a target of the State Department and/or the CIA, as was discussed a couple weeks ago." Needless to say, this video is probably not work safe (language and violence), and not for the faint of heart.

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iPad Review
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's can-i-expense-this-thing deptartment:
This weekend saw the delivery of iPads into hundreds of thousands of filthy hands. I managed to get my hands on a 32GB unit and put it through its paces for a battery charge and a half, and wanted to take a few minutes to share some notes with you. But if you don't care to read the whole review, let me give you a hint: I am typing this review on my laptop.

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Amazon Reviewers Take on the Classics
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eye-of-the-beholder deptartment:
Not everyone is a fan of great literature. In particular, reviewers on Amazon can be quite critical of some of the best loved classics. Jeanette DeMain takes a look at some of the most hated famous books according to some short tempered reviewers. One of my favorites is the review of Charlotte's Web which in part reads, "Absolutely pointless book to read. I felt no feelings towards any of the characters. I really didn't care that Wilbur won first prize. And how in the world does a pig and a spider become friends? It's beyond me. The back of a cereal box has more excitement than this book. I was forced to read it at least five times and have found it grueling. Even as a child I found the plot very far-fetched. It is because of this horrid book that I eat sausage every morning and tell my dad to kill every spider I see..."

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Twitter Predicts Box Office Results
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tweet-to-the-bank deptartment:
netjockey2 writes "In a study published by HP entitled 'Predicting the future with Social Media,' Researchers Sitaram Asur and Bernardo A. Huberman 'demonstrate how the content of social networks can be used to predict events in the real world.' In particular, they say they are 'using threads from Twitter.com to predict box office revenues of films.'"

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Microsoft Sues UK's Datel Over Controllers
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's you-gotta-be-kidding-me deptartment:
nathanielinbrazil writes "Microsoft has sued a British manufacturer over the infringement of four of its patents for Xbox game controllers. The suit was filed in Seattle, Washington, and Datel has yet to response. Datel is a United Kingdom company with a US unit and has produced two specific controllers — the TurboFire and WildFire — that Microsoft wants stopped." The infringing patents are over "portions of a gaming controller" and "portion of a gaming input device having an illuminated region."

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Microsoft and Apple Rumble Into Middle Age
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's lookit-those-pot-bellies deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Bill Briggs writes on MSNBC that the two tech titans are rumbling into middle age as Microsoft marked its 35th birthday on Sunday and Apple turned 34 late last week. But while Microsoft, to some, appears a tad flabby in the middle — a Chrysler Town & Country driver with a 9 pm bedtime, Apple, in some eyes, looks sleeker and younger — a hipster in ragtop Beemer packed with chic friends sporting mobile toys. "The difference between the two companies is that Apple has been fearless about transformational change while Microsoft has been reluctant to leave its past behind," says Casey Ayers, president of MegatonApps. "Microsoft has always been loath to change and risk alienating some of its customers, but its inability to leave the past behind has left their product line bloated and dysfunctional." On current accounting ledgers, Microsoft overshadows Apple: Microsoft's market cap is $255.75 billion; Apple's is $213.98 billion. But Apple is getting awfully big — awfully fast — in Microsoft's rearview mirror. Consider that a decade ago Microsoft's market cap was almost $590 billion and Apple's was about $16 billion. So while Apple cheered its opening weekend of iPad sales, what wish should Microsoft have made when it blew out its birthday candles Sunday? "More than anything, Microsoft's birthday wish should be for fearless leadership," says Ayers. "Without someone at the top who feels an urgency to constantly innovate in meaningful ways, Microsoft will shrink and become less relevant with each birthday to come.""

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Toshiba To Test Sub-25-nm NAND Flash
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's who-wants-underwater-memory deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Toshiba plans to spend about $159.8 million this year to build a test production line for NAND flash memory chips of less than 25 nanometers. The company hopes to kick off mass production of the chip as early as 2012. The fabrication facility for this key NAND flash memory will be located at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture."

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DOD Report On 32 "Nuclear Accidents"
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-meant-to-do-that deptartment:
natebjones writes "Remember the time the US Air Force accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb on a family in South Carolina? That and 31 other nuclear accidents including: nuclear bombs inadvertently falling through bomb bay doors; the accidental firing of a retrorocket on an ICBM; the vast dispersal of radioactive debris; and the loss of enriched fissile material and nuclear bombs (which are 'still out there somewhere')."

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Discovery To Bring 'Plug and Play' Micro-Lab to IIS
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's well-isn't-that-special deptartment:
astroengine writes "In an effort to standardize the way we do microgravity experiments, a Kentucky-based non-profit organization has developed the "CubeLab" (a modular, miniature laboratory) that can be plugged into a rack of 15 other CubeLabs. The first set of micro-labs will be carried to the space station by shuttle Discovery on Monday morning's launch. The CubeLab's small design allows it to be easily shipped to and from the space station, providing a faster pace of experimentation. Also, its "plug and play" interface means installation is a breeze. Even better is the fact the CubeLabs are developed by Kentucky students, university researchers and enthusiasts. Now they've teamed up with the Houston-based NanoRacks LLC, could this be the future of space research collaboration?"

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Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 04:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's correlation-is-not-causation deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports on a study that has determined that young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their non-smoking peers. In the study, conducted with 20,000 Israeli Army recruits and veterans, the average IQ for a non-smoker was about 101, while the smokers' average was more than seven IQ points lower at about 94, and the IQs of young men who smoked more than a pack a day were lower still, at about 90. (These IQs all fall within the normal range.) 'In the health profession, we've generally thought that smokers are most likely the kind of people to have grown up in difficult neighborhoods, or who've been given less education at good schools,' says Prof. Mark Weiser of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychiatry, whose study was reported in a recent version of the journal Addiction. 'Because our study included subjects with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, we've been able to rule out socio-economics as a major factor. The government might want to rethink how it allocates its educational resources on smoking.' Prof. Weiser says that the study illuminates a general trend in epidemiological studies. 'People on the lower end of the average IQ tend to display poorer overall decision-making skills when it comes to their health,' says Weiser. 'Schoolchildren who have been found to have a lower IQ can be considered at risk to begin the habit, and can be targeted with special education and therapy to prevent them from starting or to break the habit after it sets in.'"

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Tsunami Warning From Space?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '10 at 01:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's that's-no-star deptartment:
Peter bayley writes "Tell me I'm crazy or tell me someone has already done it — but wouldn't a satellite equipped with a laser be a great way to warn people of tsunamis? I was pondering how to warn people in remote coastal areas once evidence of a seismic incident has been received by the monitoring stations that have now been set up following the large Boxing Day tsunami. The idea is to illuminate the areas that are likely to be at risk with a bright (but not dangerous) light. People would be told to head to higher ground if such a light appears in the sky. Put the satellite in a geosynchronous orbit. Make it tunable so that different colors can convey different meanings. You would be able to warn anyone, anywhere they can see the sky. The laser could be directed to illuminate only those areas at risk, skipping unnecessary areas to save power. Power could be varied so that it is visible day and night and through cloud (raise the power where the satellite detects cloud cover). I emailed some people at NOAA about it but they said it would stand on too many toes by circumventing local emergency service organizations in the various countries. I replied that countries could easily opt out, in which case the laser would be turned off for those countries — but received no further reply. Anyway, I thought the massed minds of Slashdot would relish the chance to demolish my idea."

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