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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Communications

How To Communicate Faster-Than-Light 265

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tiny-wormholes-of-course dept.
higuita writes "With faster technologies showing up everyday, people need to prepare in advance the problems of faster-than-light communication. The main problem is that packages will arrive to the destination before they are sent, forcing a huge redesign of most protocols. Read here the first draft RFC. Any network expert is free to help fine tune this draft."
Australia

WikiLeaks Party Launching This Week 52

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the we-have-a-leak-in-parliment dept.
PuZZleDucK writes "The ABC (audio) and the Canberra Times (text) are reporting on Greg Barns and Julian Assange teaming up to form the WikiLeaks Party. From the article: 'Mr Barns said on Monday he had agreed to be the WikiLeaks Party campaign director following conversations with Mr Assange, who has announced he will run for a Senate seat in Victoria in the September 14 federal election. "The party will offer a refreshing change from the Australian government culture of secrecy, whether Labor or Liberal," he said.'"
Graphics

NVIDIA Launches GeForce 700M Mobile GPUs With Improved Power Management 35

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-with-fewer-burns dept.
MojoKid writes "Every year, AMD and NVIDIA re-brand their GPU product lines, regardless of whether the underlying hardware has changed. This annual maneuver is a sop to OEMs, who like yearly refreshes and higher numbers. The big introduction NVIDIA is making this year is what it calls GPU Boost 2.0. When NVIDIA launched the GTX Titan in February, it discussed a new iteration of GPU Boost technology that measured GPU temperature rather than estimating TDP. This new approach gave NVIDIA finer-grained control over clock speeds and thermal thresholds, thereby allowing for better dynamic overclocking. That technology is coming to the GeForce 700M mobile family. In notebooks, GPU Boost 2.0 is a combination of thermal and application monitoring. GPU Boost 2.0 is designed to reflect an important fact of 3D gaming — no two applications use the same amount of power. The variance can be significant, even within the same game. It's therefore possible for the GPU to adjust clocks dynamically in order to maximize frame rates. Put the two together, and NVIDIA believes it can substantially improve FPS speeds without compromising thermals or electrical safe operating margins."
Microsoft

Windows Phone Actually Gaining Market Share In Some Countries 114

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the some-countries-still-have-idiots dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Last week, research firm IDC issued a report suggesting that Windows Phone shipments exceeded those of the iPhone in seven countries around the world, including Argentina, India, Poland, and Russia. The data startled some people — Daring Fireball's John Gruber, for example, blogged his skepticism. As the story gained a bit more momentum, The New York Times' Nick Wingfield reached out to IDC analyst Kevin Restivo for a bit more clarification: 'IDC's numbers also reflect only the official number of cellphones imported into the countries,' he wrote. 'Mr. Restivo said that in some countries, like Argentina, high government taxes mean there is a very significant gray market in cellphones, which IDC doesn't track.' Now new survey data from Kantar Worldpanel uggests that Windows Phone is indeed gaining some sort of momentum in some parts of the world: Android was responsible for 51.2 percent of smartphone sales in the U.S. for the quarter ended February 2013, followed in second by Apple's iOS with 43.5 percent, with Windows Phone edging up into third place with 4.1 percent. BlackBerry trailed in fourth with 0.7 percent, down significantly from its 3.6 percent market-share last year. That doesn't mean that Windows Phone will prove any sort of champion in the near term, but maybe the platform isn't totally on life support."
Programming

Erlang Getting Too-Big-To-Fail Process Flag 35

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the c-processes-don't-deserve-that-memory-anyway dept.
From Joe Armstrong comes news that Erlang will soon feature a new process flag for those processes that just really need memory, or else: "Too big to fail processes behave like regular processes until they get too big and memory congestion occurs. If a memory allocation error is triggered when a too_big_to_fail process needs more memory, then a random smaller process is killed, and the system reattempts memory allocation for the too_big_to_fail process. An interesting situation can occur if the too big to fail process has killed all other processes and still cannot get enough memory. In this case the node running the process tries to memory steal from other nodes." Read below for your FREE logged-in-reader's-eye view of the special rot-39 version!
Education

Dell, Raymond Unveil 'One Smartwatch Per Child'; Icahn Erupts 34

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the brought-to-you-by-the-open-sauce-foundation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As Dell's (DELL:NASDAQ GS) board reviews three competing proposals for taking the company private, including a $24.4 billion deal led by founder and CEO Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, the company has announced it is entering the suddenly crowded smartwatch sweepstakes along with Apple, Google, and Samsung. The twist is that Dell's product will target the low end of the market — the extreme low end, in the words of CEO Dell, because 'that's where most of the world's customers are'. Dell's smartwatch, projected to cost just 19.99 USD ($319.99 before Dell's mail-in rebate) will allow children in developing countries to communicate via voice and text, collaborate on school activities, and perform native-to-English voice and text translations with the help of Dell's new ARM supercomputer. Dell says premium models will also perform translations in the reverse direction, i.e. English-to-native. Open Source advocate Eric S. Raymond, who joined Dell for the conference call, stated 'this is the beginning of what I call the Bazaar Wrist model of the mobile Internet. It'll be a battle of ideas against what I call the Office Tower Wrist model that Apple and Google will be selling.' Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who recently launched a rival bid for Dell, labeled the product an 'a pig in the poke' as well as a 'distraction and extreme waste of shareholder value', adding that his $7.44 Wal-Mart watch 'works just great for me and probably anyone else'."
ISS

Soyuz Breaks Speed Record To ISS 58

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the battling-space-dragons dept.
Zothecula writes "A manned Soyuz spacecraft set a record for traveling to the International Space Station (ISS), arriving six hours after launch instead of the usual two days. Soyuz 34 lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, March 28 at 4:43 p.m. EDT (08:43 GMT) and docked with the ISS at 10: 28 PM EDT (03:28 GMT). It was able to catch up and match trajectories with the ISS in only four orbits using new techniques previously tested in ISS rendezvouses with Russian unmanned Progress cargo ships."
Businesses

National "Take Your Computer To Work" Day 40

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today marks the inaugural 'Take Your Computer to Work Day'. First conceived by security researchers Michael Gough and Ian Robertson (the Thoughtful Hackers), this day has exploded in popularity and has now become a world-wide phenomenon. Says Mr. Robertson of its introduction, 'We always hear stories of how much productivity people gain by using their own mobile phones and tablets at work – by some studies, as much as 110%. We thought, wow, that is so smart and has absolutely no downsides. The next logical extension of that is to offer all our workers to bring in any of their computers, so we did.' 'The results were absolutely astonishing', said Mr. Gough. 'We were seeing user productivity up at least 0.5 times with Commodore 64's alone. Our database searches got faster with home-built white-box servers, and our janitorial staff was able to clean the restrooms twice as fast thanks to their TRS-80's.'"
Hardware

Scientists Create World's First 3D-Printed 3D Printer 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the matryoshka-machines dept.
MikeChino writes "Researchers at Germany's Doppelbock University just opened the door to the future of rapid prototyping technology by developing the world's first 3D-printed 3D printer. Dubbed the Ecophage, the duplicitous device is capable of using readily available materials to create copies of itself – albeit at a slightly smaller scale. Best of all, it's outfitted with a built-in material re-processor that can convert virtually any carbon-based substance into filament for 3d-printing."
Books

Remote Island Adopts Dothraki Language 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-is-known dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The tiny island of Tristan da Cunha is officially the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world with few connections to the outside and access only by sea when the notoriously stormy south Atlantic co-operates which is not often. Entertainment options are limited and LARPing in Game of Thrones style has become massively popular, so much so that the islanders have declared Dothraki to be an official language, alongside English."
Transportation

Virgin Launches Glass-Bottomed Plane 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the every-seat-is-a-window-seat dept.
Em Adespoton writes "Virgin has recently created the technology required to produce the world's first glass-bottomed plane. This technological innovation coincides with the start of Virgin Atlantic Airways' first ever domestic service to Scotland. They hope to trial the glass bottom technology with other Virgin airlines in time and have asked other Virgin companies to support this innovative trial and launch their new domestic Scottish route."
Science

CERN Gives Away Higgs Boson Particles To 10 Lucky Winners 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-get-a-particle-and-you-get-one-and-you-get-one dept.
redletterdave writes "In an unprecedented move sure to shake up the world of particle physics, CERN announced on Monday that it will give away its newly-discovered Higgs boson particles in a lottery. But given the rarity of Higgs boson particles – only one particle is created out of one million million collisions – CERN will only be able to reward 10 lucky winners. 'At CERN, we have always believed in sharing the results of our research, and the time has come to make that tangible,' said CERN director of research Sergio Bertolucci. 'This is our way of saying thanks for the incredible level of enthusiasm that has greeted this discovery.'"
GNU is Not Unix

Systemd Ditches GNU C Library for Their Own 92

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the watch-the-world-fork dept.
In his typical fashion of replacing perfectly working software with useless broken-by-design crap, our dearest Lennart has decided that the time has come for systemd to gain an email program. He determined that the GNU libc was insufficient for the task of a dbus-enabled cpu hogging email client, leading to the new systemd libc: " Technically, this move makes perfectly sense, too. We are sick of supporting unstable glibc APIs and ABIs, and we believe that we greatly benefit from the fact that we now finally have everything the OS userspace consists of in one single repository. Of course, this new libc is not available to Ubuntu and other Linux distributions that have not yet adopted systemd. However, after deliberately choosing a home-grown display server (Wayland) over the generally accepted one (Mir) we decided creating an incompatible libc would be the best approach to create a strong platform following a strict release cadence."

On the bright side "We also renamed the API call creat() to create()..."

Science

New Director Chosen At Fermilab 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the every-planet-has-a-north dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It appears that Fermilab has chosen a a new director. They refuse to release the name of the new director, only referring to him as 'The Doctor'. Citing their primary reasons for choosing him: 'It was his extensive experience, as well as his vague yet somehow still impressive educational background, that tipped the scales in the Doctor's favor, members of the committee said. This despite the fact that none of the members could determine with any certainty exactly what the new lab director's doctorate is in. "After facing down Daleks, Cybermen and the Master, I can't think of anyone more qualified to take on a congressional budget committee," outgoing director Pier Oddonesaid said. "I think the Doctor is a perfect choice."'"
Science

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain That Humans Didn't Ride Dinosaurs? 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-they-probably-did dept.
p00kiethebear writes "I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend who treats me right in every way. We've been together for almost a year now and everything seemed to be going perfectly until this morning. Over breakfast we were discussing dinosaurs and she told me a story about how her grandfather, fifty years ago, dated footprints of a dinosaurs and a man that were right next to each other to be within the same epoch of history. I laughed when she said this and then realized that she wasn't joking. She believes dinosaurs and humans walked at the same time together. The odd thing is that she's not religious, it's just what her archaeologist grandfather taught her. More important than just backing up evidence to the contrary, how do I explain this to her without crushing her childhood dreams? Is it even worth discussing it further with her?"
Technology

Radio Shack TRS-80 Vs. Commodore 64: Battle of the Titans 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the winners-and-losers dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The one and only Jeff Cogswell is back with a new article comparing the two biggest competitors in the home-computing business: the Commodore 64 and the Radio Shack TRS-80. What does he have to say about these absolutely cutting-edge machines? The TRS-80 simply can't stand up to the awe-inspiring Commodore 64, which features the latest processor from MOS Technology, the 6510. Best of all, the C-64s graphics processor can display up to 16 colors simultaneously, and it can create a full screen made up of 320 x 200 'dots.' But the TRS-80 has some good points, as well, including a whopping 512 K of memory (not that you'll ever use that much, anyway). As Cogswell writes: 'Let's cover these two bad boys and provide a totally unbiased review unencumbered by any alleged kickbacks (including a brand new daisy wheel printer and a case of Schiltz Beer) from Commodore, the maker of the awesome machine known as the Commodore 64.'"
Image

YouTube's Ready To Select a Winner 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the this-is-it dept.
Proudrooster writes "From YouTube. 'Thanks for all your great entries. YouTube finally has enough videos to begin selecting a winner. We've been thrilled with all of the diverse, creative entries we've seen so far, and we can't wait to begin the process of selecting the best video (video). We'll be announcing the winner in 10 years. All videos will be deleted within the next 24 hours. What do you think is the #bestvideo on YouTube?"
The Internet

Fairy Penguins Send First Email 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the talk-to-the-animals dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australian researchers have successfully connected a Tasmanian colony of fairy penguins to the internet. The research effort was part of the Interspecies Internet initiative, promoted by Google's chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf and former Genesis lead singer Peter Gabriel in a TED talk earlier this year."
Microsoft

Linus Torvalds To Head Windows 9 Project 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the trying-something-new dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and a champion of free and open source software has finally called it a day and has agreed to join Microsoft as the project head of the upcoming Windows 9 project. According to Bloomberg, Linus will be working on a new Kernel design for Microsoft that will make, usually vulnerable, Windows OS virtually impossible to be infected by viruses and malware."
Google

Google Bumps Up Search a Notch With Google Nose BETA 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the smelling-is-believing dept.
coastin writes "The folks at Google Labs have launched a new way to search with Google Nose BETA. The new condensation in search will have you "Coming to your senses" where you can go beyond type, talk, and touch for a new notation of sensation. Get acquainted with Your internet sommelier, expertly curated Knowledge Panels pair images, descriptions, and aromas. Take a whiff of the Google Aromabase — 15M+ scentibytes. Don't ask, don't smell! For when you're wary of your query — SafeSearch included. What's that smell? Google Nose BETA leverages new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available with: Street Sense (vehicles have inhaled and indexed millions of atmospheric miles), Android Ambient Odor Detection (collects smells via the world's most sensible mobile operating system), and SMELLCD 1.8+ (high-resolution compatible for precise and controlled odors)"
Open Source

Open Sauce Foundation Created 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-as-in-ketchup dept.
First time accepted submitter TekTek writes "In response to the growing proliferation of the use of "secret sauce" as a vehicle for entrepreneurs', venture capitalists', and investment bankers' thinly veiled proprietary machinations, a global consortium of premium condiment manufacturers has launched the Open Sauce Foundation (OSF). Founding members include McIlhenny Company (producer of Tabasco brand pepper sauce), Huy Fong Foods (producer of "Rooster Brand" Sriracha sauce), and Kikkoman (producer of Kikkoman brand Soy Sauce). The new foundation's stated aim is not only to uphold the virtues of buying worthy sauce manufacturers' products, but to demonstrate to the tech, financial, and media communities that "Open" companies, and condiments, can, and do, assume leadership roles in their respective markets."
Encryption

A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative 261

Posted by timothy
from the is-he-gonna-shift-or-is-he-gonna-kill-us? dept.
We appreciate all the support we've gotten over the years from Slashdot's logged-in users. They take part actively in discussions, and in exchange for their active interest in the site, we like to give a few perks over and above what our beloved anonymous readers get. But we never want to deprive anonymous readers of the actual features of the site — whether you're a logged-in account holder, anonymous, a subscriber, or have a username but are browsing anonymously at any given moment, Slashdot has always been freely available to read for anyone with a browser and an uncensored Internet connection. It's a balance we try to maintain, too, Sure, we'd like you to login, and we think it has some worthwhile benefits (like tracking comment responses, building karma, and using the Zoo system to keep track of your friends and foes), but we'll never force you to. Today, we're building on this approach, by introducing a feature that benefits every logged-in user, but still leaves the page free to read for all. We'll be phasing in over the next few days a button that logged-in users and subscribers can click to decrypt the text of each Slashdot posting with the trivial transform known as Rot13. Read more, below!
Privacy

Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Ahead of Phone Tracking ? 259

Posted by samzenpus
from the watching-the-watchers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the last few years there has been a significant upsurge in subverting the cellular network for law enforcement purposes. Besides old school tapping, phones are have become the ideal informant: they can report a fairly accurate location and can be remotely turned into covert listening devices. This is often done without a warrant. How can I default the RF transmitter to off, be notified when the network is paging my IMSI and manually re-enable it (or not) if I opt to acknowledge the incoming call or SMS? How do I prevent GPS data from ever being gathered or sent ?"
Games

Indies the Biggest Stars At Game Developers Conference 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the everyone-loves-an-underdog dept.
RougeFemme writes "Indies beat out mainstream studios for most of the Game Developers Choice Awards. FTL: Faster Than Light, an independent game financed by a Kickstarter campaign, won the award for Best Debut. Because of the growing success of the indies, Eric Zimmerman, game designer and instructor at the NYU Game Center, is canceling the Game Design Challenge that he's held at the conference for the last 10 years. 'The idea of doing strange, bizarre, experimental games is no longer strange, bizarre or experimental.'"

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