mattydread23 writes "The new Office 365 app for Android, launched a week ago, has a super nice UI, but lacks a bunch of basic features and has some really weird oversights — including a classic Microsoft dialog box that offers a choice that makes no sense. 'Overall, it still feels like Microsoft is still trying to funnel people toward its own Windows Phone if they want a better experience. In fact, in a question on an FAQ about how the Android Office app compares to the Windows Phone Office app, Microsoft says this: “Office Mobile on Windows Phone 8 provides a richer, more integrated experience,” and goes on to specify how. That’s a losing strategy when so many other apps — many of them free — offer a richer experience on Android and iOS.' "
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iwritethings writes "The Sol, a rugged-looking laptop with built-in foldable solar panels is designed for use in the military, education and developing countries where electricity is scarce. The Canada-based makers behind the Sol claim that the device can run directly off solar energy or can harness the sun's rays to charge the laptop's battery in under two hours. Once fully charged, the battery is expected to last between eight and 10 hours. While the concept of solar charging gadgets isn't new, this type of battery life is unprecedented. There's no word on when Sol will launch, but its headed to Ghana first, and it will run Ubuntu Linux."
gregor-e writes "Comcast is said to be preparing to snoop on your internet browsing to detect when you attempt to download a copyright-protected item. On detection, Comcast will pop up a helpful window that contains information about where you can obtain a legal version of whatever you're downloading. 'While sources familiar with the new initiative emphasized that it is being seen as a complement to CAS [a.k.a. six strikes] and not a replacement, the very emergence of an alternative raises questions as to the viability of CAS, which has been criticized for myriad reasons ranging from the questionable strategic rationale of punishing subscribers to an implementation that has been characterized as scattershot. How the two systems would coexist is unclear.'" Comcast will be inviting other ISPs to join its new system as well.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "South Korea continues to pull out all the stops on the long road to a high-tech utopia. Last year, the city Yeosu hosted the Expo 2012, an international exhibition that highlighted emerging technology and design that attracted 8 million visitors over three months. Today, the nation has finally unveiled the world's first road-powered electric vehicle network for regular use. Here's how it works: the network runs on newly-built roads that have electric cables and wires embedded below the surface. This allows for the magnetic-resonance transfer of energy to the network's vehicles, which not only already run on small batteries (about a third of the size of a typical electric vehicle) but also do not require the plug-in-and-recharge process common to other electric cars."
EliSowash writes "In response to recent reports of safety concerns around third-party chargers for iDevices, Apple announced today that beginning August 16, 2013, you can trade in your third-party adapter and purchase an official Apple charger at a 'special price' — $10 USD. From their website: 'To qualify, you must turn in at least one USB power adapter and bring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to an Apple Retail Store or participating Apple Authorized Service Provider for serial number validation. The special pricing on Apple USB power adapters is limited to one adapter for each iPhone, iPad, and iPod you own and is valid until October 18, 2013.'"
miller60 writes "On July 1, 2012 the leap second time-handling bug caused many Linux servers to get stuck in a loop. Large data centers saw power usage spike, sometimes by megawatts. The resulting "server storm" prompted Facebook to develop new software for data center infrastructure management (DCIM) to manage its infrastructure, providing real-time data on everything from the servers to the generators. The incident also offered insights into the value of flexible power design in its server farmss, which kept the status updates flowing as the company nearly maxed out its power capacity."
coolnumbr12 writes "The world's first 3D-printed rifle, named 'The Grizzly' after Canadian-built tanks used in World War II, was fired in June, but the first shot fractured the barrel receiver. The creator, a Canadian man who simply goes by 'Matthew,' refined his design and posted a video Friday on YouTube of Grizzly 2.0 successfully firing 3 rounds of Winchester bullets. The video description says the Grizzly 2.0 fired 14 rounds before it cracked. The new rifle was also safe enough for Matthew to fire it by hand rather than the string system used in the first test."
holy_calamity writes "The two encryption systems used to secure the most important connections and digital files could become useless within years, reports MIT Technology Review, due to progress towards solving the discrete logarithm problem. Both RSA and Diffie-Hellman encryption rely on there being no efficient algorithm for that problem, but French math professor Antoine Joux has published two papers in the last six months that suggest one could soon be found. Security researchers that noticed Joux's work recommend companies large and small begin planning to move to elliptic curve cryptography, something the NSA has said is best practice for years. Unfortunately, key patents for implementing elliptic curve cryptography are controlled by BlackBerry."
kdryer39 writes "Like to tempt fate? Then you might want to check out Send Me To Heaven, the Android app that uses your phone's accelerometers to track how high it travels when thrown upward. Assuming you don't fumble your handset on its return trip, its distance will join that of other daredevils on the game's leaderboards. That's all there is to it. Really." I can't wait for the desktop version.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In a new Gizmodo column, Andreas Goeldi calls it the 'frosted glass' effect: when a prominent tech company's latest upgrade to its flagship operating system features frosted-glass highlights as its primary innovation, you know that company is facing a period of severe stagnation. That's what happened to Microsoft around the time of Windows Vista, Goeldi wrote, and Apple's going down the same road with iOS 7. In light of what he views as Apple's sclerosis, it wasn't difficult for him to abandon his iPhone in favor of a Google Android ecosystem. But is Apple really becoming the next Microsoft? In short: no. Apple seems to recognize everything that seemed to elude Microsoft's corporate thinking six years ago: namely, that even the most successful companies need to keep breaking into new categories, and keep innovating, if they want to stay ahead of hungry rivals. Rumors have persisted for quite some time that Apple is prepping big pushes into wearable electronics and televisions, both of which could prove lucrative strategies if executed correctly. Goeldi faults iOS 7 for its frosted-glass effects, which he compares to those of Vista; but similar graphical elements aside, it's unlikely that iOS 7 will run into the same complaints over hardware requirements, compatibility, security, and so much more that greeted Vista upon its release. In fact, iOS 7 isn't even finished."
mask.of.sanity writes "A backdoor has existed for at least seven months in a platform sold by OpenX, the self-described global leader of digital advertising which counts the New York Post, Coca Cola, Bloomberg and EA among its customers. The backdoor was contained within the official OpenX package and recently removed. Security researchers say it meant those who downloaded the compromised software could have provided attackers full access to their web sites."
You may have read about this on Slashdot: Three researchers were going to present a paper next week at the USENIX Security '13 conference about security holes they found in one of Volkswagen's anti-theft systems, but a British court said they couldn't. One of the presenters works at a British university, and the court may have jurisdiction over him. The other two are not U.K. residents, and the Usenix conference is being held in Washington D.C., so jurisdiction questions are flying thick and fast. Amusingly, whether the paper is published and presented or not, the security holes and crack codes it is supposed to contain have been available on the Internet for quite a while, so bad guys who want to learn about them most likely have done so already. Then, last week, we heard that one of the presenters was going to show up at the conference and possibly ignore the injunction. Meanwhile, USENIX co-executive director Casey Henderson and EFF intellectual property director Corynne McSherry talked with Slashdot's Timothy Lord via Zoom and discussed this situation, and how this sort of problem might be prevented in the future.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 23 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Improvements include the addition of a share button, mixed content blocker, and network monitor on the desktop side (release notes). The new desktop version was available on the organization's FTP servers last night, but that was just the initial release of the installers. Firefox 23 has now officially been released over on Firefox.com and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play."
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Premier hacker conference Def Con, which just wrapped up its 21st year, played host to security professionals who all had very different opinions on what the NSA is up to. In fact, the only thing everyone could agree on is that the PRISM revelations came as no surprise. Even if it isn't news to this crowd, it is still a significant development in the general climate of government surveillance and national security. And at Def Con, where government recruitment was hampered this year by conference founder Jeff Moss's requesting that feds stay away, it seemed like a good idea to walk around asking people if they would still want to work for the NSA."
ideonexus writes "The National Rifle Association has launched a website defending the use of lead ammunition against scientists and environmental organizations who argue that lead bullets are poisoning the environment and tainting game meat with a known neurotoxin. The rise and fall of lead levels from gasoline and lead-based paint are strongly correlated to the rise and fall of crime rates in communities around the world."
dcblogs writes "The Director of National Intelligence is soliciting help to develop a superconducting computer. The goal of the government's solicitation is 'to demonstrate a small-scale computer based on superconducting logic and cryogenic memory that is energy efficient, scalable, and able to solve interesting problems.' The NSA, in particular, has had a long interest in superconducting technology, but 'significant technical obstacles prevented exploration of superconducting computing,' the government said in its solicitation. Those innovations include cryogenic memory designs that allow operation of memory and logic in close proximity within the cold environment, as well as much faster switching speeds. U.S. intelligence agencies don't disclose the size of their systems, but the NSA is building a data center in Utah with a 65 MW power supply."
sl4shd0rk writes "The Japanese Fukishima crisis took a turn for the worse this week as it was found a barrier built to contain contaminated water has been breached; a leak defined by 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium. This is yet another problem on top of a spate of errors plaguing the 2011 nuclear disaster site. Nuclear regulatory official Shinji Kinjo has cited Tokyo Electric Power Company as having a 'weak sense of crisis' as well as hinted at previous bunglings by TEPCO as the reason one cannot 'just leave it up to Tepco alone.' If Nuclear energy is ever to move forward, these types of disasters need to be eliminated."
schwit1 writes with an excerpt from an AP story on some interesting technology afloat: "Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier. Some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that have the ability to take off vertically. The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters.Though the ship — dubbed 'Izumo' — has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan. For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China."
Freddybear writes "According to measurements from NASA solar observatories, the sun's magnetic field is about to reverse polarity. The event is predicted to occur within the next three to four months and will have effects throughout the solar system. These magnetic reversals happen regularly about every eleven years as part of the solar cycle."
nk497 writes "Flash memory could soon be a thing of the past, according to U.S. startup Crossbar, which claims it's close to bringing resistive RAM (RRAM) to the market. Crossbar is touting impressive specs for the RRAM technology, promising 20 times the write performance at a fraction of the power consumption and size of the current best-in-class NAND flash modules — and squeezing terabytes of storage capacity onto a single chip the size of a postage stamp. The company also claims its technology can retain data for up to 20 years, compared with the standard one to three years with NAND flash."
reifman writes "Zillow quietly released boundary data for more than 7,000 neighborhoods in the U.S. via the Creative Commons attribute-sharealike license but few people know how to integrate this data into their applications. This tutorial describes how to import the data and integrate it with Google Maps and HTML5 Geolocation."
An anonymous reader writes to this short feature featuring "Andrew 'Bunnie' Huang on why he decided to build an open source laptop, how the slowing of Moore's Law is making it easier for individuals and small outfits to compete against major corporations in the computer hardware market and what hobbyist hardware makers in the U.S. could learn from China's Shanzhai, famed for their cheap clones of the iPhone and other popular handsets."
First time accepted submitter sal_park writes "According to a report from German computer scientist D. Kriesel, some Xerox WorkCentre copiers and scanners may alter numbers that appear in scanned documents. Having analyzed the output of two such devices, the Xerox WorkCentre 7535 and 7556, Kriesel found that "patches of the pixel data are randomly replaced in a very subtle and dangerous way": in particular, some numbers appearing in a document may be replaced by other numbers when it is scanned."
Lucas123 writes "Samsung has announced it is mass producing the industry's first three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory that breaks through current planar NAND scaling limits, offering gains in both density and non-volatile memory performance. The first iteration of the V-NAND is a 24-layer, 128Gbit chip that will eventually be used in embedded flash and solid-state drive applications, Samsung said. It provides 2 to 10 times higher reliability and twice the write performance of conventional 10nm-class floating gate NAND flash memory. Initial device capacities will range from 128GB to 1TB, 'depending on customer demand.' 'In the future, they could go considerably higher than that,' said Steve Weinger, director of NAND Marketing for Samsung Semiconductor. Samsung's process uses cell structure based on 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) technology and vertical interconnect process technology to link the 3D cell array. By applying the latter technologies, Samsung's 3D V-NAND can provide over twice the scaling of current 20nm-class planar NAND flash."
wabrandsma writes "From the Washington Post: 'You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony. As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.'"
colinneagle writes "File-sharing advocates are seeking to spread the Missionary Church of Kopimism, a religion steeped in file sharing as a philosophical concept, to Russia in an effort to overturn the country's controversial new anti-piracy law. Activists in several parts of Russia — Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Khabarovsk — are applying to form an officially recognized church of Kopimism, which they hope will enable them to challenge the anti-piracy law. ... Activists are reportedly planning to file lawsuits challenging the law as soon as the applications are filed. However, Russian lawyers and lawmakers told a Russian news site that the country's separation of church and state will make it difficult to make any progress through this approach. Kopimism was legally recognized by Sweden's government, where the religion was first founded, in January 2012."