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Government

The Amazon Rainforest Wants Its TLD Back From Amazon.com 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-it-back dept.
terrancem writes "The Seattle-based Amazon.com has applied for its brand to be a generic top-level domain name (.amazon), but South American governments argue this would prevent the use of this internet address for environmental protection, the promotion of indigenous rights and other public interest uses. Along with dozens of other disputed claims to names including ".patagonia" and ".shangrila", the issue cuts to the heart of debates about the purpose and governance of the internet."
Music

Smithsonian Releases 128-Year-Old Recording of Alexander Graham Bell 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the oldest-school-record dept.
redletterdave writes "Thanks to a newly developed audio extraction technology called optical scanning, the Smithsonian was able to recover the voice of Alexander Graham Bell from one of his hundreds of discs he donated to the museum, which were once considered 'mute artifacts.' Since many of the collected recordings are very fragile due to their age and experimental nature, optical scanning is a non-invasive procedure that creates a high-resolution digital map of the disc or cylinder, which is then reconstructed and used to simulate the motion of a stylus moving through its grooves to reproduce the original audio content. Bell, who created this recording on a wax and cardboard disc on April 15, 1885, can be heard clearly saying, 'In witness whereof — hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.'"
The Almighty Buck

Elon Musk Hates 405 Freeway Traffic, Pays Money To Speed Construction 431

Posted by samzenpus
from the hurry-up dept.
S810 writes "Elon Musk, one of the main people behind PayPal, Space Exploration Technologies and Tesla Motors, has paid $50,000 to help Los Angeles speed up construction of the 405 Freeway, making it better and says that he will pay more if needed. From the article: 'Musk said he is open to pay the cost of adding workers to the widening project "as a contribution to the city and my own happiness. If it can actually make a difference, I would gladly contribute funds and ideas. I've super had it." — Musk quips that it's easier getting rockets into orbit than navigating his commute between home in Bel-Air and his Space Exploration Technologies factory in Hawthorne.' For those who aren't familiar with this issue, the 405 Freeway runs from the northern end of the San Fernando Valley all the way down to El Toro and runs by LAX. Residents are getting frustrated that this widening project is over budget and well over the anticipated time frame that it was supposed to completed by."
Businesses

Electronic Arts Slashes Workforce 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the survival-of-the-fittest dept.
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Electronic Arts has been slashing jobs in recent weeks and according to Kotaku the size of the layoffs has reached as much as 10 percent of its workforce. The game maker says it's making the move to align its workforce closer to mobile and new technologies. For the console dinosaur that's trying to fight extinction by evolving into a bigger mobile player, this process has been a painful transition with a number of employees ending up in the tar pit - as well as its CEO."
Hardware

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up a System Integration Room At VAR? 70

Posted by timothy
from the don't-forget-all-the-little-screwdrivers dept.
o2binbuzios writes "Due to an office move, I have a chance to do a clean-sheet design for an integration room at a fairly large VAR ($100M+ ). I'm looking for some ideas or best practice to support 100-120 square meters (~50 x 30 ft). I'm particularly interested in ideas around efficient workflow, ways to manage cabling and electrical, and 'environmental' solutions that make it a pleasant place to work. There will be a central bench with 6-8 stations (3-4 per side) with engineers and techs who may be configuring stacks of up to 10 devices at a time that could range from servers, to network elements, to SAN & NAS devices and more. I've been looking for a paper that seems like it must exist — but I'm happy to gather good ideas one at a time or in bunches here on Slashdot."
Bug

Pearson Vue Now On Day 5 of Massive Outage 151

Posted by timothy
from the failure-to-fail-gracefully-compounds-the-problem dept.
Reader Patrick In Chicago is one of a few readers to write with this unpleasant news: "Computer-based testing provider Pearson Vue is now in day 5 of a global outage, preventing test-takers worldwide from sitting for exams. I was personally turned away from a Cisco exam on Wednesday morning because Pearson was unable to deliver. Countless people have posted to Pearson Vue's Facebook page detailing various states of panic. There are people who have certifications expiring. Others are unable to sit their medical board exams. Still others are unable to sit exams that they are required to pass in order to work — Pearson Vue's incompetence has actually prevented people from going out and making a paycheck." This reminds me of a friend of mine who had to wait half a year to re-take his bar exam, because of a software glitch on the part of ExamSoft's software.
Books

Book Review: The New Digital Age 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen begin their new nonfiction book, The New Digital Age, with a rather bold pronouncement: 'The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history.' Subsequent chapters deal with how that experiment will alter life in decades to come, as more and more people around the world connect to the Internet via cheap mobile phones and other devices." Keep reading to see what Nerval's Lobster has to say about the book.
Apple

WWDC Sells Out In 2 Minutes; Ticket On eBay 45 Minutes Later 162

Posted by timothy
from the makes-you-crave-them-fortnightly dept.
alphadogg writes "The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference sold out in just two minutes today, blowing away last year's record of two hours. Tickets went on sale today at 10 a.m. PDT, as was announced yesterday, when Apple said its event would be held June 10-14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Apple WWDC runs neck-and-neck with the annual Google I/O event in the race for hottest tech show. The Google event, slated for May 15-17 at Moscone Center, sold out in 45 minutes this year. While transferring tickets for WWDC is generally not allowed, an ambitious eBay seller is attempting to get $10K for the $1,600 ticket."
Cellphones

Washington AG Slams T-Mobile Over Deceptive 'No-Contract' Ads 371

Posted by timothy
from the what-we-meant-was dept.
zacharye writes "Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Thursday ordered UNcarrier T-Mobile to correct 'deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.' T-Mobile, which recently did away with standard cell phone service contracts and typical smartphone subsidies, is accused of misleading consumers by advertising no-contract wireless plans despite requiring that customers sign an agreement that makes them responsible for the full cost of their handsets should they cancel service prematurely ..."
Businesses

Two Changes To Quirky Could Change The World 103

Posted by timothy
from the buy-cheap-sell-dear dept.
"Quirky.com has generated a lot of buzz," writes frequent contributor Bennett Haselton, "but it's hard to see how it could ever be more than a novelty unless they change two key features of their process. Fortunately, they already have all the infrastructure in place for bringing inventions to fruition, so that with these two changes, Quirky really could deliver on their early promise to change the way products get invented." Read on for Bennett's thoughts — which seem more sensible than quirky.
Space

Scientists May Have Detected Neutrinos From Another Galaxy 151

Posted by timothy
from the taste-nearly-identical dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "A experiment called IceCube — consisting of sensitive light detectors buried deep in the Antarctic ice — has detected two ultra-high-energy neutrinos, each with over a peta-electronVolt of energy (a quadrillion times the energy of a visible light photon), the highest energy neutrinos ever seen. The two events, nicknamed Bert and Ernie, have a 99% chance of originating outside our galaxy, likely created either by a supermassive black hole or an exploding gamma-ray burst."
Security

Recovering Data From Broken Hard Drives and SSDs (Video) 173

Posted by Roblimo
from the after-the-sledgehammer-falls dept.
Russell Chozick owns a small company in Austin. TX, called Flashback Data that recovers data from messed-up hard drives. And SSDs and Flash memory, too. How badly damaged does a drive have to be to defeat Russell and his crew? Apparently, smashed to bits. Not long aqo we did a video about a company that destroys data on hard drives, and we've had at least one Ask Slashdot where the question was, "What's the Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?" In today's video, Russell is talking about the opposite of destruction -- except that he destroys data upon request, too. Obviously, checking the wrong box on a customer order form could cause big problems at Flashback Data, couldn't it? Let's hope they never do that -- and let's hope we all back up all of our data so we never need to use a data recovery service. You do back up all your data, don't you?
Input Devices

Texas Company's Antique Computers Are For Production, Not Display 289

Posted by timothy
from the commute-by-horseback-numb-with-ether dept.
concealment writes "Sparkler Filters up north in Conroe [Texas] still uses an IBM 402 in conjunction with a Model 129 key punch – with the punch cards and all – to do company accounting work and inventory. The company makes industrial filters for chemical plants and grease traps. Lutricia Wood is the head accountant at Sparkler and the data processing manager. She went to business school over 40 years ago in Houston, and started at Sparkler in 1973. Back then punch cards were still somewhat state of the art." See kottke.org for an eye-popping view of one of the "programs" — imagine debugging that.
Wireless Networking

Microsoft Ad Campaign Puts a Hotspot Inside a Magazine 194

Posted by timothy
from the now-there's-a-premium dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is putting in real Wi-Fi hardware hotspots inside some copies of the latest issue of Forbes magazine. The unique Office 365 promotion was revealed in a post on the Slickdeals.net message board. The WiFi router, when activated, offers 15 days of free WiFi service via T-Mobile's network on up to five devices at once." Which is more impressive: Wi-Fi hotspot in 2013, or E-ink display in 2008?
Education

Old Educational Computer Resurrected As a Spreadsheet 37

Posted by timothy
from the next-week-punchcards dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Back in the '60s, Bell Labs created a 'paper computer' called CARDIAC so students could learn the fundamentals of computers. Dr. Dobb's recreates the paper computer in an Excel spreadsheet and hints they will show how it gets ported to an FPGA in future installments."
Databases

MySQL Founders Reunite To Form SkySQL 215

Posted by timothy
from the together-again-at-last dept.
mikejuk writes "The founders of the original MySQL, the open-source database, are getting back together in a merger between Monty Program and SkySQL. SkySQL was created by around two dozen former MySQL executives and investors after Oracle bought MySQL from Sun. Widenius started Monty Program AB and created the MariaDB database from some of MySQL's open source code. The merger will provide a stronger rival to MySQL, so reassuring users who are worried about Oracle's future plans for the database."
Medicine

Harvard To Close New England Primate Research Center 100

Posted by timothy
from the monkey-changes-everything dept.
sciencehabit writes "Citing an increasingly bleak outlook for federal research funding, Harvard Medical School is shutting down its major primate center, which has recently experienced the departure of several key scientists and an investigation into its handling of animals. In the announcement, which surprised many primate researchers, the school said it will not seek to renew the New England Primate Research Center's (NEPRC's) 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will 'wind down operations' at the center in Southborough, Massachusetts, over the next 2 years. The center, which has a nearly 50-year history, had done groundbreaking work on an AIDS vaccine and developed animal models for diseases such as Parkinson's, among other accomplishments."
Linux Business

Ubuntu Releases 13.04, Sticks To 6-Month Release Rhythm 177

Posted by timothy
from the 'cause-that's-how-they-roll-or-rather-don't dept.
Barence writes "Ubuntu has shelved the idea of moving to rolling releases, and will continue to release a new version every six months. Earlier this year, Ubuntu developers discussed the idea of moving to rolling releases, with new features added to the OS as and when they were ready. However, In an interview with PC Pro, Canonical CEO Jane Silber said the developers had taken a 'cold, hard look at our long-standing practices' and decided to stay with twice-yearly releases. It has, however, cut support on non-LTS releases from 18 to nine months." Today, the Ubuntu team have released the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 13.04 ("Raring Ringtail"), along with variants like Kubuntu 13.04.
Music

DMCA Safe Harbor May Not Apply To Old Copyrighted Works 139

Posted by timothy
from the no-escape-clause dept.
tlhIngan writes "On Tuesday, the New York appellate court denied Grooveshark the DMCA safe harbor protection on songs like Johnny B. Goode. What happened was due to an oddity in the law, the DMCA does not apply to state-licensed copyrighted works (those copyrighted before February 15, 1972). What happened was Congress overhauled copyright law to make it a Federal matter, but all works prior to that date still come under common-law and state statutes. The end result is that Grooveshark does not have DMCA safe harbor protection for older works and may be sued for copyright infringement (barring other agreements, e.g., UMG and YouTube), even though they fully comply with the DMCA otherwise, taking down copyrighted materials. Grooveshark is a "music locker" service allowing users to upload music for others to listen to."
Advertising

Startup Founder Plays Tech Press Like a Fiddle 135

Posted by timothy
from the plucky-entrepreneurs dept.
theodp writes "Steinar Skipsnes came up with a unique way to get more women into tech. Make them up. Posing as 'Sarah Hanson,' a 19-year-old woman who claimed to have auctioned off 10% of her future income in return for $125,000 to fund her Senior Living Map startup, Skipsnes pitched the story via email to generate press coverage. It worked — VentureBeat, HuffPo, Yahoo!, AOL, GeekWire, and others took the bait. But after doubts were aired about the story, Skipsnes fessed up to concocting the too-good-to-be-true hoax about the female teen entrepreneur to appeal to the interests of the tech press. 'I started to think "what if I took the elements of what the press loves and created a story?"' Skipsnes explained. "So I did.'"
Medicine

Device Keeps Liver Alive Outside Body For 24 Hours 62

Posted by timothy
from the pure-whiskey dept.
kkleiner writes "A new device will keep a liver alive outside of the human body for up to 24 hours. Developed at Oxford, the OrganOx circulates oxygenated red bloods cells and nutrients through the liver while maintaining the proper temperature. Doctors estimate that this new technique could double the number of livers available, saving the lives of thousands who die every year awaiting transplant."
United Kingdom

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg 'Kills' Snoopers Charter 47

Posted by timothy
from the just-glancing dept.
judgecorp writes "The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has effectively 'killed' the Communications Data Bill which would have required service providers to share personal communications data with the police. Clegg has withdrawn the support of the Liberal Democrat Party (part of the Coalition in power in the UK) from the so-called 'Snooper's Charter.' The announcement is timed to block the measure from the Queen's Speech on 8 May, which introduces the next programme of planned legislation."
Government

House Judiciary Chairman Plans Comprehensive Review of US Copyright Law 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-second-look dept.
SEWilco writes in with news that U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte plans on conducting "...a comprehensive review of US copyright law over the coming months.""In a speech given in celebration of World Intellectual Property Day at the Library of Congress today, Goodlatte mentioned a few examples of the sorts of problems that he hopes to address in such a review: 'The Internet has enabled copyright owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners. Efforts to digitize our history so that all have access to it face questions about copyright ownership by those who are hard, if not impossible, to locate. There are concerns about statutory license and damage mechanisms. Federal judges are forced to make decisions using laws that are difficult to apply today. Even the Copyright Office itself faces challenges in meeting the growing needs of its customers - the American public.'"
Ubuntu

Shuttleworth Calls Ubuntu Performance Art, Calls Out Critics 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-am-so-great dept.
darthcamaro writes "Mark Shuttleworth has taken a lot of heat for Ubuntu's decision to use Unity, to move away from Wayland and about its stance on the community distros like Kubuntu. In a new interview Shuttleworth shoots back claiming no matter what he does people will always find fault due to...'competitive pressures.'"
United Kingdom

No Porn From Public WiFi Hotspots In the UK Proposed 390

Posted by samzenpus
from the waiting-for-the-bus dept.
whoever57 writes "Prime Minister David Cameron is proposing that porn should not be available through WiFi hotspots in public areas. Exactly how this will be implemented has not been identified, even to the extent of whether the ISP or the hotspot operator should implement the blocking. From the article: ' The Prime Minister said: “We are promoting good, clean, WiFi in local cafes and elsewhere to make sure that people have confidence in public WiFi systems so that they are not going to see things they shouldn’t.” His intervention comes after a long-running campaign from children’s charities to ensure a blanket ban on unacceptable sites on public WiFi networks.'"
Government

An Open Letter To Google Chairman Eric Schmidt On Drones 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-the-other-hand dept.
savuporo writes "A DC Area Drone User Group has posted an open letter in response to recent comments by Eric Schmidt about banning drones from private use. The closing section reads: 'Personally owned flying robots today have the power to change the balance of power between individuals and large bureaucracies in much the same way the Internet did in the past. And just as the military researchers who developed GPS for guiding munitions could never have imagined their technology would be used in the future to help people conduct health surveys in the world's poorest countries or help people find dates in the world's richest, there is a whole world of socially positive and banal applications for drones that are yet to be discovered. We should embrace this chance that technology provides instead of strangling these opportunities in their infancy. Our hope is that you and the rest of Google's leadership will embrace this pro-technology agenda in the future rather than seeking to stifle it. We would welcome the opportunity to speak further with you about this topic.'"

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