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Red Hat Becomes First $2B Open-Source Company
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 11:54 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's playing-upon-the-gullibility-of-venture-capitalists department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Red Hat just became the first open-source company to make a cool 2 billion bucks. Not bad considering Red Hat became the first billion dollar Linux company only four years ago. Red Hat did it the old-fashioned way: They earned the money instead of playing upon the gullibility of venture capitalists. Red Hat's total revenue for its fourth quarter was $544 million. That's up 17 percent in U.S. dollars year-over-year, or 21 percent measured constant currency. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $480 million, up 18 percent in U.S. dollars year-over-year, or 22 percent measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue in the quarter was 88 percent of total revenue. Analysts estimated Red Hat would make $534 million. Looking ahead for its 2016 FY Red Hat expects to see between $2.380 billion to $2.420 billion. At this rate, Red Hat should easily become the first $3 billion open-source company.

While Red Hat's president and CEO Jim Whitehurst credits the "hybrid cloud infrastructures," Red Hat's subscription revenue can largely be ascribed to Red Hat's flagship product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Still, RHEL, which is now available on Microsoft Azure, is becoming a prominent cloud operating system.

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Computer Use Could Help Predict Early-Stage Alzheimer's
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 11:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's battling-Alzheimer's department:
An anonymous reader cites an article on The Stack: Infrequent use of a computer in later life could be an early sign of reduced cognitive ability, according to research from Oregon Health and Science University. A study, which involved 27 'cognitively-healthy' adults aged 65 or older, used MRI scans to measure the volume of the hippocampus -- a small area of the brain with a key role in memory function used to pick up early biomarkers of dementia and Alzheimer's. Data was also collected on computer use among participants via mouse movement detection software. Results showed an additional hour of computer use each day was linked to a 0.025% larger hippocampal volume(PDF), thus indicating that lower computer usage could be help predict cognitive decline.

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Whistleblower: NSA Is So Overwhelmed With Data, It's No Longer Effective
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 10:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's biting-more-than-they-can-chew department:
An anonymous reader cites ZDNet's Zack Whittaker report: William Binney, a former NSA official who spent more than three decades at the agency, said the US government's mass surveillance programs have become so engorged with data that they are no longer effective, losing vital intelligence in the fray. That, he said, can -- and has -- led to terrorist attacks succeeding. Binney said that an analyst today can run one simple query across the NSA's various databases, only to become immediately overloaded with information. With about four billion people -- around two-thirds of the world's population -- under the NSA and partner agencies' watchful eyes, according to his estimates, there is too much data being collected. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why NSA wants to dump the phone records it gathered over the past 14 years.

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NVIDIA Announces New Quadro M6000 With 24GB Memory Buffer For Heavy Workloads
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 10:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's memory-hunger department:
Reader MojoKid writes: Some might say there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to computing, and that's especially true for workstation graphics professionals who need varying levels of performance and memory space. For that reason, NVIDIA is now offering a version of its Quadro M6000 graphics card with 24GB of GDDR5 memory, twice as much memory as much as the original model. According to NVIDIA, customers rendering datasets larger than 12GB can experience up to 5X faster performance compared to the previous Quadro M6000. Like the 12GB version, the new 24GB Quadro M6000 is based on NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture. It has 3,072 CUDA cores, a 384-bit memory bus, four DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, a single DVI-I connectors, and a maximum power consumption rating of 250W. In addition to the doubling the memory buffer, NVIDIA added a few other features, including more GPU clock options, greater software temperature control to keep the GPU temp below the point where throttling occurs, and a new under-power boot message if the card is ever under powered.

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China Is On an Epic Solar Power Binge
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 10:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's offsetting-carbon-emission-damage department:
An anonymous reader links to an article on MIT Technology Review: It's worth taking a minute to appreciate the sheer scale of what China is doing in solar right now. In 2015, the country added more than 15 gigawatts of new solar capacity, surpassing Germany as the world's largest solar power market. China now has 43.2 gigawatts of solar capacity, compared with38.4 gigawatts in Germany and 27.8 in the United States. According to new projections, it seems that trend is going to continue. Under its 13th Five Year Plan, China will nearly triple solar capacity by 2020, adding 15 to 20 gigawatts of solar capacity each year for the next five years, according to Nur Bekri, director of the National Energy Administration. That will bring the country's installed solar power to more than 140 gigawatts. To put that in context, world solar capacity topped 200 gigawatts last year and is expected to reach 321 gigawatts by the end of 2016.

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That Awkward Moment When 'Apple Mocked Good Hardware and Poor People'
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 09:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's things-that-make-Apple-sad department:
An anonymous reader quotes a DailyDot article: Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, took the stage in Cupertino, California, earlier this week to explain some of the new features and specs on the new iPad Pro. Between showing off a new display and camera, Schiller also took some digs at Windows and PC users, specifically calling out those users who are on computers more than five years old. Schiller said that 600 million people are using PCs that are over five years old. 'This is really sad,' he said. C. Custer, reporter for Tech in Asia also didn't like Schiller's remarks. He writes: If Apple's really targeting those 600 million old PC users, it seems to have done a pretty poor job. It's been more than five years since I saw the need to upgrade my primary computer, and nothing about the iPad Pro presentation made me rethink my position at all. But of course, Apple isn't really targeting those people. That was mostly just a cheap shot, a jibe at all of us poor fools who haven't yet seen the light. That's why the audience laughed knowingly, and even applauded. "Using the same machine for five years? How barbaric! Thank god we live in civilized society, where everyone throws their gadgets out and buys new ones every two years."

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Angola's Wikipedia Pirates Are Exposing Loopholes in Zero Rating
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 09:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's sharp-minds-bad-intentions department:
Reader Jason Koebler quotes a Motherboard article: Wikimedia and Facebook have given Angolans free access to their respective websites, but not to the rest of the internet. So, naturally, Angolans have taken to hiding pirated movies and music in Wikipedia articles and are also sharing links to these files on Facebook, creating a totally free and clandestine file sharing network in a country where mobile internet data is extremely expensive. It's undeniably a creative use of two services that were designed to give people in the developing world some access to the internet. But now that Angolans are causing headaches for Wikipedia editors and the Wikimedia Foundation, no one is sure what to do about it.

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Can NASA's Gryphon-X Project Save America?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 07:52 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's answer-has-two-letters department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, which advises both government and industry, has released an unusually fervent paper calling for NASA to push harder for funding for a massive cybersecurity project called Gryphon-X, which it claims has been lost in congressional confusion and administrative bureaucracy. Details are scarce as to how Gryphon-X could prevent cyber-incursions such as AnonSec's attempted drone sabotage in February, or even what new technologies might be on the table, but mentions that a significant new site would be built in Silicon Valley, and would include academic facilities. Extending Gryphon-X's scope far beyond NASA's security to a global role, the authors write that it would contain 'the fusion center, virtualization environment, and cyber-physical capabilities needed to analyze, prepare, and prevent threats like these from harming the nation, its organizations, or its people.'

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Intel Says It Will Move Away From 'Tick-Tock' Development Cycle
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 07:52 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's no-more-tick-tock department:
An anonymous reader writes: In its latest annual report, Intel says that it will be moving away from its decade-old "tick-tock" strategy (PDF) for developing new chips. From the company's 10-K filing, "We expect to lengthen the amount of time we will utilize our 14nm and our next generation 10nm process technologies, further optimizing our products and process technologies while meeting the yearly market cadence for product introductions." Anand Tech's Ian Cutress explains, "Intel's Tick-Tock strategy has been the bedrock of their microprocessor dominance of the last decade. Throughout the tenure, every other year Intel would upgrade their fabrication plants to be able to produce processors with a smaller feature set, improving die area, power consumption, and slight optimizations of the microarchitecture, and in the years between the upgrades would launch a new set of processors based on a wholly new (sometimes paradigm shifting) microarchitecture for large performance upgrades. However, due to the difficulty of implementing a 'tick', the ever decreasing process node size and complexity therein, as reported previously with 14nm and the introduction of Kaby Lake, Intel's latest filing would suggest that 10nm will follow a similar pattern as 14nm by introducing a third stage to the cadence."

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How One Dev Broke Node, and Thousands of Projects In 11 Lines of JavaScript
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 06:34 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's things-happen department:
An anonymous reader quotes an article written by Chris Williams for The Register: Programmers were left staring at broken builds and failed installations on Tuesday after someone toppled the Jenga tower of JavaScript. A couple of hours ago, Azer Koculu unpublished more than 250 of his modules from NPM, which is a popular package manager used by JavaScript projects to install dependencies. Koculu yanked his source code because, we're told, one of the modules was called Kik and that apparently attracted the attention of lawyers representing the instant-messaging app of the same name. According to Koculu, Kik's briefs told him to take down the module, he refused, so the lawyers went to NPM's admins claiming brand infringement. When NPM took Kik away from the developer, he was furious and unpublished all of his NPM-managed modules. 'This situation made me realize that NPM is someone's private land where corporate is more powerful than the people, and I do open source because Power To The People,' Koculu blogged. Unfortunately, one of those dependencies was left-pad. It pads out the lefthand-side of strings with zeroes or spaces. And thousands of projects including Node and Babel relied on it. With left-pad removed from NPM, these applications and widely used bits of open-source infrastructure were unable to obtain the dependency, and thus fell over.

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Unofficial Answers: Why Does YouTube Seem So Biased?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 06:34 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-random-hate-that's-all department:
Lauren Weinstein writes with some insight on an frustrating aspect of YouTube's video hosting service: "Why does Google's YouTube seem so biased against ordinary users who upload videos? I've unfairly had my videos blocked, received copyright strikes for my own materials, and even had my account suspended — and it's impossible to reach anyone at YouTube to complain!" No, YouTube isn't biased against you — not voluntarily, anyway. But it could definitely be argued that the copyright legal landscape — particularly in the mainstream entertainment industry — is indeed biased against the "little guys," and Google's YouTube must obey the laws as written. What's more, YouTube exists at the "bleeding edge" of the intersection of technology and law, where there's oh so much that goes bump in the night ...

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Music Streaming Sales Outstrip Digital Downloads For First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 05:08 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's always-a-renter-never-to-own department:
An anonymous reader writes with this news, which might worry you if you'd like your music (or videos, or books) to be safely stored on your local PC, phone, or offline storage: Music streaming has surpassed digital downloads in terms of revenue, according to a report released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its 'News and Notes on 2015' review shows that music streaming in the U.S. brought in 34.3% of the overall revenue for the year – generating $2.4 billion out of a total $7 billion. If the numbers are accurate, streaming beat music downloads by 0.3%. While this growth is an encouraging result for those in the industry backing streaming services like Spotify and the new Apple Music, many remain unconvinced of its value. RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman noted an 'alarming' disparity between the growth in the number of ad-supported streams, and the growth in revenues generated by these.

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US Army Creates Virtual Reality Dome To Assess Soldier Thinking During Combat
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 05:08 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-step-is-freezing-a-guy-for-a-year department:
HughPickens.com writes: Bryant Jordan reports at Defense Tech that the Cognitive Science and Applications Team at the US Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is creating a computer-generated reality "dome" to immerse warfighters in a virtual environment that not only tests their skills, but allows Army researchers to assess soldier cognitive abilities and study the impact of real-world operational situations on decision-making, spatial memory and wayfinding. The dome is a concave virtual-reality system that provides a full 180-degree horizontal field, using high-density, front-projection to create a high-resolution, visual world where the simulations will be modeled on real-world locations. "The integration of multiple input modalities, along with multisensory feedback, increases the realism, immersion and engagement on behalf of users subjected to prolonged, workload-intensive activities," says Dr. Caroline Mahoney. "These novel integrations provide unprecedented opportunities to monitor and optimize human behavior during real-world task execution, and to evaluate and predict the impact of innovative human-systems technologies on operational performance." In the virtual dome, users can interact and alter the environment through hand-held and weapon-based devices, which control movement, orientation and weapon aiming. Future additions to the dome will include whole-body motion tracking, low-frequency vibration and directional wind. Vibro-tactile collision feedback — which combines vibration and touch to help give participants a physical sense of constraints in a virtual environment — will also be included.

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After Decades of Abuse, Microsoft Adds an Anti-Macro-Malware Feature To Office
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 03:36 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's fond-memories-of-weird-greenpeace-macro department:
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is finally addressing the elephant in the room in terms of security for Office users and has announced a new feature in the Office 2016 suite that will make it harder for attackers to exploit macro malware. Sysadmins can now use group policies to disable the execution of macro scripts that retrieve content off the Internet, a tactic used by malware developers to trick users into allowing the download & automatic installation of malware on their PCs. "Macro malware" as this category is known, is the preferred method of distribution for most malware these days, especially ransomware.

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In Major Cloud Expansion, Google To Open 12 More Data Centers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '16 at 02:12 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's dramatic-narrative-and-pr-speak department:
Mickeycaskill writes: Google is to open 12 new data centers in the latest stage of a bitter war with rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. The first two facilities to open will be in Oregon and Tokyo, both of which will open next year. The rest will follow in 2017. Google says the new locations will allow customers to run applications closer to home, boosting latency, and of course benefiting from any local data protection laws. At present, Google has just four cloud regions, meaning this expansion will quadruple its sphere of influence. "With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance," said Varun Sakalkar, Google Cloud's product manager. Two bits says those were not his exact words.

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SpaceX Sets April 8 For Next Dragon Launch
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '16 at 10:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's my-sister's-birthday department:
schwit1 writes: SpaceX has scheduled April 8 for the next Falcon 9 launch, set to carry its first Dragon capsule since the launch failure last year. Though this is the most important news contained by the article, its focus is instead on the various preparations that SpaceX is doing at its Texas test facility to prepare for this launch as well as the increased launch rate required for the company to catch up on its schedule. Note that the Dragon launch will also be significant in that it will be carrying Bigelow's inflatable test module for ISS, built for only $17 million in less than two years. NASA, ESA, or JAXA would have required at least half a billion and several years to have accomplished the same.

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Apache PDFBox Hits 2.0
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '16 at 08:41 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's file-formats-rule-the-world department:
mmoorebz writes: After three years of development and with over 150 contributors to the code, Apache PDFBox 2.0 has been released. With this release comes enhancements and improvements. The Apache PDFBox library is an open-source Java tool for working with PDF documents. The project allows creation and manipulation of PDF documents, and the ability to extract content from them. Support for forms in open-source PDF viewers is currently disappointing, and I hope this heralds improvement on that front.

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Researchers Propose Neural Network To Assess Your State of Mind From Your Voice
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '16 at 07:21 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's quick-send-help department:
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in Australia have proposed a system to analyse a user's voice and recognise how they are feeling, long term. The system uses a Deep Neural Network (DNN) to compare the user's tone of voice to those that he or she is talking to, in order to build up long-term data about potential cyclic changes in mood, rather than attempting to recognise whether someone is happy or sad in a particular moment.

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PlayStation VR Pre-Orders Sell Out In Minutes At Amazon
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '16 at 06:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's juicy-arbitrage department:
An anonymous reader writes: Once seen as the underdog, Sony's PlayStation VR headset continues to hold its own against PC-based competitors Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The company announced last week that they won't ship the PSVR headset until October, but they also announced an attractive $399 price compared to the Rift at $599 and Vive at $799. And it appears the company's existing addressable market of 36 million PS4 owners are ready to get on board; Amazon U.S. opened pre-orders for the PSVR Launch Bundle this morning and sold out of its stock allocation in less than 10 minutes. Walmart befell the same fate quickly thereafter, though several other retailers in the U.S. are still showing pre-order stock.

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Google Will Kill Its Chrome App Launcher For Windows, Mac, and Linux In July
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '16 at 04:31 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's wheat-from-chaff department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced plans to kill off the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July. The tool, which lets users launch Chrome apps even if the browser is not running, will continue to live on in Chrome OS. So why is Google removing the Chrome app launcher from Chrome? Well, it turns out Google has finally figured out what everyone all already knew: "we've found that users on Windows, Mac, and Linux prefer to launch their apps from within Chrome."

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