By EditorDavid from Slashdot's breaking-records department
An anonymous reader writes: Today is Record Store Day, an event which includes exclusive vinyl releases distributed only through record stores. But besides complaints about scalpers hoarding the limited-edition releases, musicians and labels say the event monopolizes all of the available production capacity for pressing vinyl records, creating delays as long as six months and inflating vinyl record prices as high as $30. "The bottleneck persists even though plants work around the clock for months to accommodate the surge in orders leading up to Record Store Day," writes the New Yorker, noting that the demand for vinyl records has now increased six-fold over the last eight years.
Part of the problem appears to be big labels. (One insisted on printing 2,100 copies of their 1974 novelty hit "Kung Fu Fighting" for the independent record store event, the New Yorker notes, "meaning that an up-and-coming band's new album could, in theory, be delayed.") Meanwhile, with current techniques, one production plant still has to scrap up to 20% of the records it presses due to quality issues -- although in the last four months, two companies have introduced new faster technologies for pressing vinyl records.
This year's records include a Dr. Who track called "Genesis of the Daleks" and a track from the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" soundtrack on a vinyl picture disc, as well as releases from Anthrax, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, the Flaming Lips, and even Devo members Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale. Metallica -- this year's "ambassador" for the event -- plans to stream a live performance at Rasputin Records in Berkeley California.)Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's please-buy-new-idevice department
Apple says it expects its users to replace their iPhone and Apple Watch after (more like, every) three years. The company adds that it expects a Mac user to replace their computer after four years. The iPhone maker shared the expectations in a recently released document as part of its latest environmental push. In the document, Apple underscores how much its products contribute to the greenhouse gas lifecycle. The Guardian reports: Within a new question and answer section Apple said: "Years of use, which are based on first owners, are assumed to be four years for OS X and tvOS devices and three years for iOS and watchOS devices." That assessment doesn't take into account the recycling of devices, their reconditioning and their resale, of course, but when you buy a new iPhone 6S for $649 (starting price, off-contract), Apple expects it to last three years, something many suspected. Apple has been accused of intentionally slowing down iPhones every time a new one is released, although there is little evidence to support the theory.Also see: Apple's Recycling Initiatives Recover $40 Million In GoldRead Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's prepare-goodbye-letter-for-fossil-fuels department
James Hakner, writing for Phys.org: The worldwide reliance on burning fossil fuels to create energy could be phased out in a decade, according to an article published by a major energy think tank in the UK. Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, believes that the next great energy revolution could take place in a fraction of the time of major changes in the past. But it would take a collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-scalar effort to get there, he warns. And that effort must learn from the trials and tribulations from previous energy systems and technology transitions. In a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Research & Social Science, Professor Sovacool analyses energy transitions throughout history and argues that only looking towards the past can often paint an overly bleak and unnecessary picture. Moving from wood to coal in Europe, for example, took between 96 and 160 years, whereas electricity took 47 to 69 years to enter into mainstream use. But this time the future could be different, he says -- the scarcity of resources, the threat of climate change and vastly improved technological learning and innovation could greatly accelerate a global shift to a cleaner energy future.There's no doubt that we will soon reach a point wherein solar and wind will be readily available and feasible to the vast majority but, the decade timeframe feels like a stretch. We must acknowledge the financial and political challenges that we face today. Private and government-backed companies have invested billions of dollars into plants that turn fossil fuels into electricity. Ditching these plants means losing a lot of capital and owing investors with plenty of explanations. There are several forces at play here.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's unfriendly-fire department
An anonymous reader writes: At least 12 different drones have been shot from the sky in the United States, including drone shootings in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky, and New Jersey. Now the FAA is confirming that drone shooting is a federal offense, citing regulations against aircraft sabotage. An aviation attorney (teaching drone law at New York's Vaughn College of Aeonautics) tells Forbes this means penalties of up to 20 years in prison for interfering with the "authorized" operation of an aircraft, while threatening a drone or a drone operator would also be a federal crime subject to five years in prison.
Slate notes that "This is bad news if you were planning to invest in the DroneDefender, a goofy-looking gun that promised to disrupt intrusive drones by bombarding them 'with radio waves that disrupt [their] remote control and GPS signals'." And Popular Science adds that "It also poses a complication for some local and state laws, like Utah's proposed HB 420, which would let police shoot down drones in emergency situations." Meanwhile, police in the Netherlands are actually training eagles to attack drones. And last week in South Africa, a drone crashed through the window of an office building and hit an unarmed office worker on the head.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cable-management department
An anonymous reader writes: When Google Fiber first launched in Kansas, its main goal was to provide high-speed internet and cable services for reasonable prices. Now, Google wants to beam wireless broadband directly into homes all across America. They haven't figured out all of the logistics, but the technology would solve the "last mile problem," which is typically addressed by the slow, pricey process of connecting a series of cables into homes. Google Fiber is currently working on connecting wireless towers to existing fiber lines by experimenting with different wireless technologies. Alphabet, Google's parent company, will be able to build a nationwide network able to compete with ATT, Verizon and Comcast -- if it develops such a solution. Google Access CEO, who oversees Fiber, said the plan is to develop "abundant and ubiquitous networks" that will provide "some real benefit to the internet as a whole."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's reuse-and-recycle department
An anonymous reader writes: Apple released its latest annual environmental report yesterday with numbers detailing how much the company has been able to recover from old devices. Business Insider notes that Apple was able to recover over 61 million pounds of steel, aluminum, glass, and other materials from its computers and iPhones. This includes a total of 2,204 pounds of gold worth $40 million at current prices ($1,229.80 per troy ounce of gold). Cult of Mac ran the figures quoted by Apple through today's metal prices, and came up with individual figures for copper ($6.4 million), aluminum ($3.2 million), silver ($1.6 million), nickel ($160,426), zinc ($109,503), and lead ($33,999). Last month, Apple unveiled an iPhone recycling robot, named Liam, that salvages old parts.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's returning-champion department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: One reason Ubuntu is increasing its lead is that Jujo, Canonical's application modeling and deployment DevOps tool, has been gaining in popularity. In the latest OpenStack user survey, we see that OpenStack is finally gaining real momentum in private clouds. We also see that Ubuntu Linux is continuing to dominate OpenStack. As Canonical cloud marketing manager Bill Bauman said, "Ubuntu OpenStack continues to dominate the majority of deployments with 55 percent of production OpenStack clouds. The previous survey showed Ubuntu OpenStack at 33 percent of production clouds. Ubuntu has seen almost 67 percent growth in an area where Ubuntu was already the market leader. These numbers are a huge testament to the community support Ubuntu OpenStack receives every day." The Cloud Market's latest analysis of operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) shows Ubuntu with just over 215,000 instances. Ubuntu is followed by Amazon's own Amazon Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI), with 86,000 instances. Further back, you'll find Windows with 26,000 instances. In fourth and fifth place, respectively, you'll find Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with 16,500 instances and then CentOS with 12,500 instances.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's who's-the-better-scientist department
ClickOnThis quotes a report from CNN: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mocked Bill Nye on Thursday, using the premier of a film that criticizes climate change scientists to call into question Nye's credentials. "Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am," the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said, according to The Hill. "He's a kids' show actor, he's not a scientist." Palin, who was speaking at the Washington premiere of the anti-climate change film "Climate Hustle," targeted Nye during a rant against the "alarmism" of climate change activists. Palin urged parents to teach their children to "ask those questions and not just believe what Bill Nye the Science Guy is trying to tell them" about climate change. Just because Bill Nye may be best known for his role in the popular educational TV series "Bill Nye the Science Guy," doesn't mean he isn't a scientist. In fact, he graduated from Cornell University's School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. From Wikipedia: In the early 2000s, Nye assisted in the development of a small sundial that was included in the Mars Exploration Rover missions. He holds several U.S. patents, including one for ballet pointe shoes and another for an educational magnifying glass created by filling a clear plastic bag with water.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hungry-hungry-hippos department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Mitel announced that it would acquire Polycom in a cash-and-stock deal with a total value of $1.96 billion, creating a company with combined sales of $2.5 billion and 7,700 employees. Polycom's acquisition by Mitel comes at a key time in the world of enterprise communications and collaboration. On one hand, it is a time of massive change and evolution. For years a lot of the services that companies used were based on legacy networking, but in the last decade there has been a big shift to IP-based networks for many of these services. However, at the same time the whole space has been massively disrupted by startups that are upsetting by tapping into the next phase of digital services -- the internet. Companies like Microsoft by way of services like Skype and Yammer, and smaller startups like Slack, are overturning the whole idea of how people who are not in the same office floor can communicate and collaborate for work. These solutions are way cheaper than a lot of the legacy offerings; they tap into the cloud-based services that are now ubiquitous to share and work on files; and they are also built in very user-friendly ways, based around tech that ordinary consumers are using. Both companies compete against the likes of Cisco and Avaya. Mitel is perhaps best known for its IP telephony solutions, including PBX systems, while Polycom is a leader in conferencing services. They also cover SIP technology, and customers span 82% of Fortune 500 companies.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's zombie-legislation department
An anonymous reader writes: The bill released Thursday by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein to force U.S. companies to build backdoors into their encryption systems has been further dissected by experts. In less than 24 hours after the Court Orders Act of 2016 draft was released, 43,000 signatures have been added to a petition calling for the bill to be withdrawn. Bruce Schneier, the writer of the books on modern cryptography, said the bill would make most of what the NSA does illegal, unless no such agency is willing to backdoor its own encrypted communications. "This is the most braindead piece of legislation I've ever seen," Schneier told The Register. "The person who wrote this either has no idea how technology works or just doesn't care." Schneier says cryptographic code will be affected by this legislation, as well as "lossy compression algorithms" that are used to reduce the size of images for sending through email, which won't work in reverse and add back the data removed. Files that can't be decrypted on demand to their original state, and files that can't be decompressed back to their exact originals, all look the same to this draft now. He said even deleted data could be covered in this legislation.Read Replies (0)