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What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-the-flamewar-begin department:
An anonymous reader writes With 23% of the year remaining, Linux Voice has donned flameproof clothing to subjectively examine what it feels have been the best distros of the year so far, including choices for beginners, desktop fashionistas and performance fetishists, before revealing a surprising overall winner.

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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's making-the-most-of-it department:
kstatefan40 writes I am closing on a house next week which is connected to Google Fiber. I am ecstatic to have a gigabit connection, but the previous homeowner had them install the jack in an awful location. I'm going to be in a situation where I am paying for more than I can technically achieve over wireless. I have purchased a couple of 600mbps powerline adapters, but those still won't fully use the gigabit connection. Is there a better way to achieve a truly gigabit internal connection without substantial structural or wiring modifications?

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US Remains Top Country For Global Workers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-number-one department:
Nerval's Lobster writes The Boston Consulting Group and The Network recently surveyed 200,000 people in 189 countries to figure out the global willingness to work abroad. Their conclusion? People will indeed set down professional roots in another country—although younger workers seem far more willing to expatriate than their older peers. Where do the majority of global workers want to head? The United States, which 42 percent of respondents listed as their top potential work destination, followed by the U.K. (37 percent), Canada (35 percent), Germany (33 percent), Switzerland (29 percent), and France (29 percent). But citizens in the United States seemed a bit more reluctant to return the favor—less than 50 percent said they either lived abroad or would consider doing so for work. That's in sharp contrast to countries such as France, where a significant majority of citizens seemed willing to explore jobs in other nations. Of course, those who work in tech already know that globalization is a huge issue.

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Co-Founder of PayPal Peter Thiel: Society Is Hostile To Science and Technology
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's burn-the-witch department:
dcblogs writes Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, billionaire investor and author, says "we live in a financial, capitalistic age, we do not live in a scientific or technological age. We live in a period were people generally dislike science and technology. Our culture dislikes it, our government dislikes it. The easiest way to see "how hostile our society is to technology" is to look at Hollywood. Movies "all show technology that doesn't work, that ... kills people, that it is bad for the world," said Thiel. He argues that corporations and the U.S. government are failing at complex planning.

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Ross Ulbricht's Lawyer Says FBI's Hack of Silk Road Was "Criminal"
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do department:
First time accepted submitter apexcp writes Trading blows with the prosecution, defendants for accused Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht continues to press for the exclusion of evidence seized during what he says is an illegal hack an awful lot like the one that got Weev 15 months in prison. "The government posits two standards of behavior: one for private citizens, who must adhere to a strict standard of conduct construed by the government, and the other for the government, which, with its elastic ability to effect electronic intrusion, can deliberately, cavalierly, and unrepentantly transgress those same standards. Yet neither law nor the Constitution permits rank government lawlessness without consequences."

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Co-Founder of PayPal Peter Thiel: Society Is Hostile To Science and Technology
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's burn-the-witch department:
dcblogs writes Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, billionaire investor and author, says "we live in a financial, capitalistic age, we do not live in a scientific or technological age. We live in a period were people generally dislike science and technology. Our culture dislikes it, our government dislikes it. The easiest way to see "how hostile our society is to technology" is to look at Hollywood. Movies "all show technology that doesn't work, that ... kills people, that it is bad for the world," said Thiel. He argues that corporations and the U.S. government are failing at complex planning.

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AT&T To Repay $80 Million In Shady Phone Bill Charges
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-up department:
First time accepted submitter dibdublin writes The Federal Trade Commission announced today that AT&T will pay $105 million for hiding extra charges in cellphone bills. The best part of the news? $80 million of it will go back into the pockets of people bilked by AT&T. The FTC announcement reads in part: "As part of a $105 million settlement with federal and state law enforcement officials, AT&T Mobility LLC will pay $80 million to the Federal Trade Commission to provide refunds to consumers the company unlawfully billed for unauthorized third-party charges, a practice known as mobile cramming. The refunds are part of a multi-agency settlement that also includes $20 million in penalties and fees paid to 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a $5 million penalty to the Federal Communications Commission."

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It's an Internet-Connected Wheelchair (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 01:00 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's the-internet-of-things-keeps-rolling-along department:
If you're in a wheelchair, wouldn't it be nice to have your chair automatically alert a caregiver if changes in your heart rate or another vital sign showed that you might be having a problem? And how about helping you rate sidewalks and handicapped parking spaces to help fellow wheelchair users get around more comfortably? Steven Hawking endorses the idea, and the Connected Wheelchair Project, in this short video. (You can see our interviewee, David Hughes, at 0:58 and again at 1:38.) This is an Intel project, in conjunction with Wake Forest University, run by student interns. | Besides helping wheelchair-dependent people live a better life, the Connected Wheelchair Project may help prevent Medicare fraud, says Hughes in our video interview with him. Falsified requests for durable medical goods are a huge drain on Medicare's budget. What if a connected wheelchair spent all of its time far from the home of the person to whom it was assigned? That would be a red flag, and investigators could follow up to see if that wheelchair was in legitimate hands or was part of a scam. | The Connected Wheelchair is still proof-of-concept, not a commercial product. Will it see production? Hard to say. This may never be a profitable product, but Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has said that that this project is an example of how “the Internet of Things can help change lives.” (Alternate Video Link)

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Texas Ebola Patient Dies
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's patient-zero department:
BarbaraHudson writes Thomas Duncan, the ebola patient being treated in Texas, has died. "It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 am," hospital spokesman Wendell Watson said in an emailed statement. If he had survived, he could have faced criminal charges in both the US and Liberia for saying on an airport screening questionnaire that he had had no contact with an Ebola patient.

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DC Entertainment Bringing Batman Experience To Gear VR and Oculus Rift
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-look-around department:
muterobert writes It's been announced that Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, and OTOY are collaborating to recreate the iconic Batcave from Batman: The Animated Series in virtual reality for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. OTOY is providing what they call "holographic video" technology to render the scene in a way that's true to the Batcave of the classic 90s show.

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Gmail Security Is a Problem For Tor Users In Repressive Countries
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-see-what-you-got department:
blottsie writes Google is a long-time contributor to the Tor Project. But a security feature in Gmail poses a potential problem for Tor users who live under dangerous regimes or otherwise need to protect their anonymity, reports Joseph Cox at the Daily Dot. The email service kicks users out of their login session if it detects logins from IP addresses originating in other countries, then requires a user to enter a PIN code sent to a cellphone. Unless the user has a burner phone, this could potentially betray his or her identity to authorities.

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Killer Whales Caught On Tape Speaking Dolphin
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's losing-the-accent department:
sciencehabit writes Two years ago, scientists showed that dolphins imitate the sounds of whales. Now, it seems, whales have returned the favor. Researchers analyzed the vocal repertoires of 10 captive orcas, three of which lived with bottlenose dolphins and the rest with their own kind. Of the 1551 vocalizations these seven latter orcas made, more than 95% were the typical pulsed calls of killer whales. In contrast, the three orcas that had only dolphins as pals busily whistled and emitted dolphinlike click trains and terminal buzzes, the scientists report in the October issue of The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The findings make orcas one of the few species of animals that, like humans, is capable of vocal learning (video)—a talent considered a key underpinning of language."

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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's some-day-soon department:
vinces99 writes Fusion energy almost sounds too good to be true – zero greenhouse gas emissions, no long-lived radioactive waste, a nearly unlimited fuel supply. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy is that the economics haven't penciled out. Fusion power designs aren't cheap enough to outperform systems that use fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. University of Washington engineers hope to change that. They have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output. The team published its reactor design and cost-analysis findings last spring and will present results Oct. 17 at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Fusion Energy Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Unresponsive Manufacturer Who Doesn't Fix Bugs?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's complain-until-your-problem-is-their-problem department:
moofo writes: I've had huge problems with a security appliance since its installation. Specifically, the VPN SSL client is causing a problem for the majority of my remote clients. The company acknowledged the bug, but they are jerking me around, and no resolution is in sight. I tried third-party clients, but I'm wary of using them since they are not distributed by the manufacturer, and they require some maintenance to keep working properly.

I also talked to various executives at the company and besides giving me apologies, nothing good is coming my way. It's been more than two years (on a three-year subscription that I can't terminate early), and this is continually causing me trouble and aggravation. It also makes my internal customers unhappy. How do you deal with a manufacturer who doesn't fix bugs in a reasonable time frame?


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AMD Building New GPU Linux Kernel Driver To Unify With Catalyst Driver
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's playing-well-with-others department:
An anonymous reader writes: AMD is moving forward with their plans to develop a new open-source Linux driver model for their Radeon and FirePro graphics processors. Their unified Linux driver model is moving forward, albeit slightly different compared to what was planned early this year. They're now developing a new "AMDGPU" kernel driver to power both the open and closed-source graphics components. This new driver model will also only apply to future generations of AMD GPUs. Catalyst is not being open-sourced, but will be a self-contained user-space blob, and the DRM/libdrm/DDX components will be open-source and shared. This new model is more open-source friendly, places greater emphasis on their mainline kernel driver, and should help Catalyst support Mir and Wayland.

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US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-to-win-friends department:
Advocatus Diaboli tips news that the U.S. government is now arguing it doesn't need warrants to hack servers hosted on foreign soil. At issue is the current court case against Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht. We recently discussed how the FBI's account of how they obtained evidence from Silk Road servers didn't seem to mesh with reality. Now, government lawyers have responded in a new court filing (PDF). They say that even if the FBI had to hack those servers without a warrant, it doesn't matter, because the Fourth Amendment does not confer protection to servers hosted outside the U.S. They said, "Given that the SR Server was hosting a blatantly criminal website, it would have been reasonable for the FBI to 'hack' into it in order to search it, as any such 'hack' would simply have constituted a search of foreign property known to contain criminal evidence, for which a warrant was not necessary."

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The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-to-irritate-coworkers department:
HughPickens.com writes Adi Robertson argues that IBM's Model M keyboard, soon to turn 30 is still the only keyboard worth using for many people. Introduced in 1985 as part of the IBM 3161 terminal, the Model M was initially called the "IBM Enhanced Keyboard." A PC-compatible version appeared the following spring, and it officially became standard with the IBM Personal System / 2 in 1987. The layout of the Model M has been around so long that today it's simply taken for granted, but the keyboard's descendants have jettisoned one of the Model M's most iconic features — "buckling springs," designed to provide auditory and tactile feedback to the keyboard operator. "Model M owners sometimes ruefully post stories of spouses and coworkers who can't stand the incessant chatter. But fans say the springs' resistance and their audible "click" make it clear when a keypress is registered, reducing errors," writes Robertson. "Maybe more importantly, typing on the Model M is a special, tangible experience. Much like on a typewriter, the sharp click gives every letter a physical presence."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-enough-enmity-for-the-finns department:
ashshy writes: Swedish Internet services run both cheaper and faster than American ones. For example, many Swedes can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. It's all powered by a nationwide web of municipal networks in direct competition with ex-government telecom Telia's fiber backbone. The presence of regional government in the Swedish data stream makes many Americans uncomfortable, to say nothing of the very different histories between these backbone buildouts. The Motley Fool explains how the Swedish model developed, and why the U.S. is unlikely ever to follow suit.

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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-you-want-something-done-right department:
An anonymous reader writes: The next version of systemd is poised to introduce an experimental "systemd-consoled" that serves as a user-space console daemon. The consoled furthers the Linux developers' goal of eventually deprecating the VT subsystem found within the Linux kernel in favor of a user-space driven terminal that supports better localization, increased security, and greater robustness of the kernel's seldom touched and hairy CONFIG_VT'ed code.

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Chrome 38 Released: New APIs and 159 Security Fixes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
An anonymous reader writes: In addition to updating Chrome for iOS, Google has released Chrome 38 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. While Chrome 38 beta brought a slew of new features, the stable release is pretty much just a massive security update. This means that, with Chrome 38, Google isn't adding any features to the stable channel (full changelog). That said, Chrome 38 does address 159 security issues (including 113 "relatively minor ones"). Google spent $75,633.70 in bug bounties for this release.

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