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How Today's Low-Power X86 & ARM CPUs Compare To Intel's Old NetBurst CPUs
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's old-versus-new department:
An anonymous reader writes: In trying to offer a unique look at how Intel x86 CPU performance has evolved since their start, Phoronix celebrated their 11th birthday by comparing modern CPUs to old Socket 478 CPUs with the NetBurst Celeron and Pentium 4C on an Intel 875P+ICH5R motherboard. These old NetBurst processors were compared to modern Core and Atom processors from Haswell, Broadwell, Bay Trail and other generations. There were also some AMD CPUs and the NVIDIA Tegra K1 ARM processor. Surprisingly, in a few Linux tests the NetBurst CPUs performed better than AMD E-Series APUs and an Atom Bay Trail. However, for most workloads, the 45+ other CPUs tested ended up being multiple times faster; for the systems where the power consumption was monitored, the power efficiency was obviously multiple times better.

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US Army Website Hacked By Syrian Electronic Army
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's change-your-password department:
swinferno writes: On Monday afternoon, the Syrian Electronic Army claimed on Twitter to have successfully hacked the website of the United States Army, army.mil. Various screenshots that appeared on Twitter reportedly showed pro-Assad propaganda on the site before it crashed. "Today an element of the Army.mil service provider's content was compromised. After this came to our attention, the Army took appropriate preventive measures to ensure there was no breach of Army data by taking down the website temporarily," spokesman Brig. Gen. Malcom B. Frost said in a statement.

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Computer Modeling Failed During the Ebola Outbreak
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 06:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-to-blame department:
the_newsbeagle writes: Last fall, the trajectory of the Ebola outbreak looked downright terrifying: Computational epidemiologists at Virginia Tech predicted 175,000 cases in Liberia by the end of 2014, while the CDC predicted 1.4 million cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone. They were way off. The actual tally as of January 2015: A total of 20,712 cases in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone combined, and in all three countries, the epidemic was dying down. But the modelers argue that this really wasn't a failure, because their predictions served as worst-case scenarios that mobilized international efforts.

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Robotic Assistive Devices For Independent Living
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lending-a-robotic-hand department:
Hallie Siegel writes: Kavita Krishnaswamy has extreme physical disabilities that severely limit her mobility. She also has drive and a keen mind. I met her last month at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), where she attended via BEAM. In this article, Kavita shares her Phd research to develop robotic assistive devices that give independence to people with severe disabilities. Interesting work on the need for 'multi-modal' interfaces — ie. interfaces that allow the users to interact with the assistive device in different ways, including speech recognition and brain-computer interface.

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TSA Fails To Find Links To Terrorism of Airport Workers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 03:32 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's more-good-news department:
schwit1 writes: An audit of the TSA has found that the agency failed to uncover the terrorist connections of 73 aviation workers when it did background checks of them. According to a report released Monday, the people were employed by major airlines, airport vendors and other employers, and were not identified because the agency lacked access to terrorism-related information from within the government. The agency's "multi-layered process to vet aviation workers for potential links to terrorism was generally effective. In addition to initially vetting every application for new credentials, TSA recurrently vetted aviation workers with access to secured areas of commercial airports every time the Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist was updated," the report found. "However, our testing showed that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting policy." This report comes on the heels of an internal TSA investigation that found 95% of agents testing airport checkpoints were able to bring weapons through.

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New Redesigned Citi Bikes To Hit NYC Streets This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-wheels department:
New submitter Robertoswins writes: 1,000 new redesigned Citi Bikes will be hitting the streets of New York City this summer with a slimmer redesign. Designed by Olympic racing bike designer Ben Serrota the new bikes will start rolling out in a week. Another 1,400 units of the new Bikes will be added during the company's expansion into Brooklyn and Queens later this year.

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EasyJet Turning To Drones For Aircraft Inspections
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's checking-out-the-machine department:
itwbennett writes: Would you trust your aircraft inspection to a drone? Budget airline easyJet is testing just such a system, aimed at reducing the amount of time an aircraft is out of service. Instead of having humans perform on-site visual inspections, the drone will "fly around an aircraft snapping images, which will then be fed to engineers for analysis."

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Microsoft Will Help Iowa Caucuses Go High-Tech
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's smoothing-things-out department:
jfruh writes: Poltical party caucuses are one of the quirkier aspects of American political life: local party members gather in small rooms across the state, discuss their preferences, and send a report of how many delegates for each candidate will attend later county and statewide caucuses to ultimately choose delegates to the national convention. It's also a system with a lot of room for error in reporting, as local precinct leaders have traditionally sent in reports of votes via telephone touch-tone menus and paper mail. In 2016, Microsoft will help both Democrats and Republicans streamline the process in a fashion that will hopefully avoid the embarrassing result from 2012, when Mitt Romney was declared the winner on caucus night only for Rick Santorum to emerge as the true victor when all votes were counted weeks later.

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Combating Climate Risks With 3D Printing
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 12:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's printing-a-better-tomorrow department:
Lasrick writes: While security risks that emanate from climate change will not always require military responses, the technological innovations that 3D printing makes possible can significantly improve the tools available for both militaries and civilian institutions when responding to, preparing for, and mitigating those risks. These benefits come in five main forms, and this article details what they are and how each may work: Rapid response and prototyping; Democratization of preparedness and response; De-globalizing hazards; Increasing accessibility; Enhancing energy efficiency. The authors clearly believe that 3D printing will be a key tool in mitigating effects from natural disasters: "If the United States, including the Department of Defense, truly believes that climate change presents 'immediate risks to national security,' then developing all the tools necessary to combat those risks should be a high priority. 3D printing, given its potential utility in helping us adapt to and mitigate climate risks, and doing so cost-effectively, is one tool that deserves close attention."

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WWDC 2015 Roundup
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 12:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
Here's an overview of the main announcements and new products unveiled at WWDC today.

The latest OS X will be named OS X El Capitan. Features include: Natural language searches and auto-arrange windows. You can make the cursor bigger by shaking the mouse and pin sites in Safari now. 1.4x faster than Yosemite. Available to developers today, public beta in July, out for free in the fall.

Metal, the graphics API is coming to Mac. "Metal combines the compute power of OpenCL and the graphics power of OpenGL in a high-performance API that does both." Up to 40% greater rendering efficiency.

iOS 9: New Siri UI. There’s an API for search. Siri and Spotlight are getting more integrated. Siri getting better at prediction with a far lower word error rate. You can make checklists, draw and sketch inside of Notes. Maps gets some love. New app called News "We think this offers the best mobile reading experience ever." Like Flipboard it pulls in news articles from your favorite sites. HomeKit now supports window shades, motion sensors, security systems, and remote access via iCloud. Public Beta for iOS 9.

Apple Pay: All four major credit card companies and over 1 million locations supporting Apple Pay as of next month. Apple Pay reader developed by Square, for peer-to-peer transactions. Apple Pay coming to the UK next month support in 250,000 locations including the London transportation system. Passbook is being renamed "Wallet."

iPad: Shortcuts for app-switching, split-screen multitasking and QuickType. Put two fingers down on the keyboard and it becomes a trackpad. Side by side apps. Picture in picture available on iPad Air and up, Mini 2 and up.

CarPlay: Now works wirelessly and supports apps by the automaker.

Swift 2,the latest version of Apple’s programing language . Swift will be open source.

The App Store: Over 100 billion app downloads, and $30 billion paid to developers.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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How American Students Can Get a University Degree For Free In Germany
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-the-cheap department:
HughPickens.com writes: BBC reports that Germany has abandoned tuition fees altogether for German and international students alike and more than 4,600 US students are fully enrolled at Germany universities, an increase of 20% over three years. "When I found out that just like Germans I'm studying for free, it was sort of mind blowing," says Katherine Burlingame who decided to get her Master's degree at a university in the East German town of Cottbus. "I realized how easy the admission process was and how there was no tuition fee. This was a wow moment for me." When Katherine came to Germany in 2012 she spoke two words of German: 'hallo' and 'danke'. She arrived in an East German town which had, since the 1950s, taught the majority of its residents Russian rather than English. "At first I was just doing hand gestures and a lot of people had compassion because they saw that I was trying and that I cared." She did not need German, however, in her Master's program, which was filled with students from 50 different countries but taught entirely in English. In fact, German universities have drastically increased all-English classes to more than 1,150 programs across many fields.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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You'll Totally Believe Why These Startups Failed
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 10:51 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-the-best-idea department:
Nerval's Lobster writes: If you ever wanted a glimpse into what dooms startups, look no further than autopsy.io, a website that lists the reasons why many newborn tech firms imploded. The website offers entrepreneurs the ability to self-explain why their startup didn't quite make it; in a bid to separate real-life stories from entertaining fictions, the application form asks for a link to a blog post or medium article "that tells the story of the failure," along with the founder(s) Twitter handle and Crunchbase or Angel.co profile. Some of the reasons listed for failure are maddeningly opaque, such as UniSport's "for a number of reasons" or PlayCafe's "we didn't reach enough users." Others are bleakly hilarious; as the founders of Zillionears, self-billed as a "creative pre-sale platform for musicians," confessed: "People really didn't really LIKE anything about our product." If you're thinking of launching your own company, or you work for a wet-behind-the-ears startup, it's worth scanning the list to see if any of these potential crises are brewing in your setup.

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Interviews: Ask Kim Dotcom a Question
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 10:01 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's go-ahead-and-ask department:
He was the founder of Megaupload, its successor Mega, New Zealand's Internet Party, and is the world's greatest Modern Warfare 3 player. He was born Kim Schmitz, but you know him better as Kim Dotcom. While he's had a number of run-ins with the law over the years, The U.S. government is currently charging him with criminal copyright violation and racketeering in association with his Megaupload site. Dotcom has recently won a court battle in New Zealand blocking the U.S. from seizing $67 million in assets. Even though he has a lot on his plate, Kim has agreed to take some time to answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

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Report: Evidence of Healthcare Breaches Lurks On Infected Medical Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 09:17 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ounce-of-prevention-is-worth-something-something department:
chicksdaddy writes: Evidence that serious and widespread breaches of hospital- and healthcare networks is likely to be hiding on compromised and infect medical devices in clinical settings, including medical imaging machines, blood gas analyzers and more, according to a report by the firm TrapX. In the report, which will be released this week, the company details incidents of medical devices and management stations infected with malicious software at three, separate customer engagements. According to the report, medical devices – in particular so-called picture archive and communications systems (PACS) radiologic imaging systems – are all but invisible to security monitoring systems and provide a ready platform for malware infections to lurk on hospital networks, and for malicious actors to launch attacks on other, high value IT assets.

Malware at a TrapX customer site spread from a unmonitored PACS system to a key nurse's workstation. The result: confidential hospital data was secreted off the network to a server hosted in Guiyang, China. Communications went out encrypted using port 443 (SSL), resulting in the leak of an unknown number of patient records. "The medical devices themselves create far broader exposure to the healthcare institutions than standard information technology assets," the report concludes. One contributing factor to the breaches: Windows 2000 is the OS of choice for "many medical devices." The version that TrapX obtained "did not seem to have been updated or patched in a long time," the company writes.


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South Korea Tracks Mobile Phones Over MERS Outbreak
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's adapting-to-the-new-normal department:
An anonymous reader tips news that South Korea has stepped up its efforts to fight an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after the number of known cases keeps increasing rapidly. World health officials are not recommending general travel restrictions, but members of the public are being advised not to do so. Nearly 2,000 schools have been closed, and 2,300 people are in quarantine. The South Korean government is also taking the unusual step of using mobile phones to track which citizens may have been in contact with confirmed MERS patients. The outbreak in South Korea has been traced back to a man who went to multiple medical centers in mid-May seeking treatment for his symptoms. The government is apologizing for its slow response to the situation, and hoping the economic damage won't be too bad.

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Self-Driving Cars To Transform Insurance and Other Industries
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's pizza-delivery-drivers-might-be-out-of-luck department:
MarkWhittington writes: The advent of commercially available self-driving cars is about five years away, but already some are thinking about how they will disrupt the economy and how society operates in general. One industry likely to suffer is that of auto insurance. Since the vast majority of auto accidents are caused by human error, having more autonomous vehicles on the road will almost assuredly result in fewer overall accidents. Further, once we've transitioned to a society that mostly gets around using self-driving vehicles, most accidents will be the result of hardware and software malfunctions. Insurance for self-driving cars would more resemble product liability coverage than the sort of auto insurance we have today. Indeed, the technology will also likely impact diverse industries such as auto mechanics, taxi services, and health care, as well as policing.

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Debunking the Batteriser's Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's guilty-as-charged department:
An anonymous reader writes: Last week we discussed news about the "Batteriser," a small device that fits around a battery and extends its lifetime. Many of us were skeptical, particularly with the claim that it could extend battery life up to 8x. Now, David L. Jones at the EEVBlog explains exactly why the device won't be as good as its creators claim. The technology itself, he says, does actually work at extending battery life, and has existed for a long time. What this company seems to have done is just shrink it down to a more useful size. Unfortunately, their claims about when a battery stop working and how much energy is left don't really hold up. Batteroo, the company making the Batteriser, claims products stop working when a battery's voltage drops below 1.3v, but a simple test of common household gadgets finds that to be untrue. Further, the percentage of energy left in the battery after this cutoff can vary wildly. Sometimes it will be 80%, but most of the time it won't, and it's frequently 20% or lower for Alkaline batteries. Jones writes, "I'm genuinely baffled as to why Batteroo would need to resort to claims like 8 times life. This thing would still sell like hot cakes if they claimed realistic practical figures. 50% increase in your battery life? – great, countless people would still buy it at the super low price point it's at."

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Writer: "Why I Defaulted On My Student Loans"
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's instead-of-paying-money,-consider-not-paying-money department:
schwit1 writes: There are some valid points raised in Lee Siegel's 1,100 word rant against college loans (if not so much against college education). There are also some bad ones. But two things are clear: the words "personal" and/or "responsibility" were used precisely zero times. Siegel, who described himself as "the author of five books who is writing a memoir about money," is hardly a glowing advertisement for the return on nearly a decade in university just to achieve a Master of Philosophy degree.

Siegel say, "As difficult as it has been, I’ve never looked back. The millions of young people today, who collectively owe over $1 trillion in loans, may want to consider my example. It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college. ... The rapacity of American colleges and universities is turning social mobility, the keystone of American freedom, into a commodified farce. If people groaning under the weight of student loans simply said, 'Enough,' then all the pieties about debt that have become absorbed into all the pieties about higher education might be brought into alignment with reality. Instead of guaranteeing loans, the government would have to guarantee a college education.


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Debian GNU/Linux 8.1 (Jessie) Officially Released
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
prisoninmate writes: The Debian Project has announced the immediate availability of the first maintenance release of Debian GNU/Linux 8 (Jessie). As expected, Debian GNU/Linux 8.1 comes with a new Linux kernel, version 3.16.7-ctk11, which fixes the well-known EXT4 data corruption issue caused by delayed and unwritten extents, blacklists queued TRIM on Samsung 850 Pro SSDs, adds support for XHCI on APM Mustang USB, and updates Crucial/Micron blacklist in libata.

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2014 Nebula Award Winners Announced
Posted by News Fetcher on June 08 '15 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's unpuppie-awards department:
Dave Knott writes: The winners of the 2014 Nebula awards (presented 2015) have been announced. The awards are voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and (along with the Hugos) are considered to be one of the two most prestigious awards in science fiction.

This year's winners are:

Best Novel: Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

Best Novella: Yesterday's Kin, Nancy Kress

Best Novelette: "A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i", Alaya Dawn Johnson

Best Short Story: "Jackalope Wives", Ursula Vernon

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson

2015 Damon Knight Grand Master Award: Larry Niven

Solstice Award: Joanna Russ (posthumous), Stanley Schmidt

Kevin O'Donnell Jr. Service Award: Jeffry Dwight


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