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IOS

Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 7 Slow? 488

Posted by timothy
from the mine-still-seems-hypothetical dept.
New submitter PopHollywood writes "Is iOS 7 slower than version 6? After upgrading, myself and a few others notice slow, choppy experience when scrolling, changing apps, etc. Is this common?" For those using iOS in general, what's been your experience with the new upgrade?
Upgrades

Post-post PC: Materials and Technologies That Could Revive Enthusiast Computing 128

Posted by timothy
from the more-conflict-minerals-mean-more-fun dept.
Dputiger writes "Given the recent emphasis on mobile computing and the difficulty of scaling large cores, it's easy to think that enthusiast computing is dead. Easy — but not necessarily true. There are multiple ways to attack the problem of continued scaling, including new semiconductor materials, specialized co-processor units that implement software applications in silicon, and enhanced cooling techniques to reduce on-die hot spots."
IOS

Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7 663

Posted by timothy
from the there-there's-smoke dept.
beltsbear writes "Your formerly working clone Lightning cable could stop working with the latest iOS update. Previously the beta version allowed these cables to charge with a warning message but the final release actually stops many cables from working. Apples Lightning connector system is locked with authentication chips that can verify if a cable is authorized by Apple. Many users with clone cables are now without the ability to charge their iPhones."
Encryption

RSA Warns Developers Not To Use RSA Products 128

Posted by timothy
from the surely-they-have-some-alternatives-to-suggest dept.
rroman writes "RSA has recommended developers not to use Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator (RNG), which has been known to be weak and slow since 2006. The funny thing is, that even though this has been known for so long, it is the default RNG in BSafe cryptographic toolkit, which is product of RSA."
Government

Letter to "Extended Family" Assures That NSA Will "Weather This Storm" 286

Posted by timothy
from the hello-mother-hello-father-nsa-reads-hiawatha dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The National Security Agency sent a letter to its employees, affiliates and contractors to reassure them that the NSA is not really an abusive and unchecked spying agency engaged in illegal activity." Whatever you think of the commentary, you can read the original, attached to the linked story.
Space

Linking Mass Extinctions To the Sun's Journey In the Milky Way 199

Posted by timothy
from the arms-are-for-hugging-and-mass-extinction dept.
schwit1 writes "In a paper published today on the Los Alamos astro-ph preprint service, astronomers propose that as many as eleven past extinction events can be linked to the Sun's passage through the spiral arms of the Milky Way. (You can download the paper here [pdf].) From the paper: 'A correlation was found between the times at which the Sun crosses the spiral arms and six known mass extinction events. Furthermore, we identify five additional historical mass extinction events that might be explained by the motion of the Sun around our Galaxy. These five additional significant drops in marine genera that we find include significant reductions in diversity at 415, 322, 300, 145 and 33 Myr ago. Our simulations indicate that the Sun has spent ~60% of its time passing through our Galaxy's various spiral arms.'"
Facebook

Facebook Launches Advanced AI Effort To Find Meaning In Your Posts 125

Posted by timothy
from the how-do-you-feel-about-facebook-launches-ai-effort? dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Tom Simonite reports at MIT Technology News that a new research group within Facebook is working on an emerging and powerful approach to artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which uses simulated networks of brain cells to process data. Applying this method to data shared on Facebook could allow for novel features, and perhaps boost the company's ad targeting. Deep learning has shown already potential to enable software to do things such as work out the emotions or events described in text even if they aren't explicitly referenced, recognize objects in photos, and make sophisticated predictions about people's likely future behavior. Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, says that one obvious place to use deep learning is to improve the news feed, the personalized list of recent updates he calls Facebook's 'killer app.' Facebook already uses conventional machine learning techniques to prune the 1,500 updates that average Facebook users could possibly see down to 30 to 60 that are judged to be most likely to be important to them. 'The data set is increasing in size, people are getting more friends, and with the advent of mobile, people are online more frequently,' says Schroepfer. 'It's not that I look at my news feed once at the end of the day; I constantly pull out my phone while I'm waiting for my friend, or I'm at the coffee shop. We have five minutes to really delight you.'"
Printer

Ultimaker Debuts Ultimaker 2 3D Printer With Open Source Cura Software 53

Posted by timothy
from the spit-out-the-knobs dept.
MojoKid writes "3D Printing start-up Ultimaker announced its second generation printer, the Ultimaker 2. The new printer features significant redesigns from the first iteration of the Ultimaker. The company says that the new machine is more accurate, more efficient, and it's even quieter at 49dB. Specifically, the Ultimaker 2 has a new CNC-milled case (that's all white with glowing sidewalls) with an OLED display, and its glass and aluminum build platform is designed to cool quickly so you can peel completed projects off more easily. The Ultimaker 2 can print with multiple materials, including PLA, ABS, and PVA, and is WiFi-compatible so you can print from a mobile device or computer. Ultimaker is also launching its Cura open source software, which the company claims can pre-process 3D files some 60 times faster than other open source applications and makes it easy to load and work with 3D files."
Programming

A C++ Library That Brings Legacy Fortran Codes To Supercomputers 157

Posted by timothy
from the fort-went-that-way dept.
gentryx writes "In scientific computing a huge pile of code is still written in Fortran. One reason for this is that codes often evolve over the course of decades and rewriting them from scratch is both risky and costly. While OpenMP and OpenACC are readily available for Fortran, only few tools support authors in porting their codes to MPI clusters, let alone supercomputers. A recent blog post details how LibGeoDecomp (Library for Geometric Decompostition codes), albeit written in C++, can be used to port such codes to state-of-the-art HPC systems. Source code modification is required, but mostly limited to restructuring into a new pattern of subroutines."
United States

Trans-Pacific Cable Plans Mired In US-China Geopolitical Rivalry 162

Posted by timothy
from the because-huawei-doesn't-respect-privacy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Attempts to build a new telecommunications cable between the US, New Zealand and Australia have become a nexus for the growing rivalry between the U.S. and China in the Pacific. The U.S. is reportedly creating a technology ring fence to match its military one and contain China's ambitions in the Pacific. The U.S. military could even help pay for any planned new cable to link its bases in American Samoa with its expanding military presence in Australia's Northern Territory. It has been made 'very clear' U.S. authorities would not allow significant Chinese investment in one cable project and it followed that they would not tolerate the use of Chinese gear in its construction. 'It was made very clear. These are cables connecting whole countries. These are very political things,' one insider said."
Data Storage

Never Underestimate the Bandwidth of a Suburban Filled With MicroSD Cards 208

Posted by timothy
from the eggs-in-one-basket dept.
toygeek writes "If you've been in IT long enough, you're bound to have heard the phrase 'Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with backup tapes.' These days moving data has become so much easier; We've surpassed baud rates and are into Gbps fiber on the backbones, and even in some homes. So, what's the modern equivalent to this, and what does it take to make the OC fiber connections cringe? Follow along as we theoretically stuff MicroSD cards into a Chevy Suburban and see what happens, and take sneakernet to a whole new level."
Hardware Hacking

Turning a Smart Phone Into a Microscope 43

Posted by timothy
from the now-it's-genius dept.
MTorrice writes "By attaching a lightweight, inexpensive device to the back of a smart phone, scientists can convert the phone into a sensitive fluorescence microscope. The attachment [paper abstract] allows the phone's camera to take pictures of single nanoparticles and viruses, possibly providing a portable diagnostic tool for health care workers in developing countries. For example, doctors in remote regions could use the technique to measure HIV viral loads in patients' blood samples, allowing the doctors to easily monitor disease progression and determine the best course of treatment."
Earth

PCBs Cause Birds To Sing a Different Tune 67

Posted by timothy
from the suddenly-their-passwords-don't-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Songbirds living along the Hudson River in New York state are exposed to levels of PCBs that don't kill them but do disrupt the songs they sing, reports a team of researchers from Cornell University. Their study reveals that birds residing in regions with higher environmental PCB contamination levels have higher total blood PCBs, which affects their singing behaviour: the team found these species' songs varied predictably based on their PCB load, and also based upon the type of PCBs. Thus, the scientists suggest that another of the many toxic effects of sublethal environmental PCB pollution are neurological effects that translate into observable behaviour changes that disrupt song quality used by birds to communicate."
Social Networks

LinkedIn Accused of Hacking Customers' E-Mails To Slurp Up Contacts 210

Posted by timothy
from the unending-spam-source dept.
cold fjord writes with this Business Week report: "LinkedIn Corp. ... was sued by customers who claim the company appropriated their identities for marketing purposes by hacking into their external e-mail accounts and downloading contacts' addresses. The customers, who aim to lead a group suit against LinkedIn, asked a federal judge in San Jose, California, to bar the company from repeating the alleged violations and to force it to return any revenue stemming from its use of their identities to promote the site ... 'LinkedIn's own website contains hundreds of complaints regarding this practice,' they said in the complaint filed Sept. 17. ... LinkedIn required the members to provide an external e-mail address as their username on its site, then used the information to access their external e-mail accounts when they were left open ... 'LinkedIn pretends to be that user and downloads the e-mail addresses contained anywhere in that account to LinkedIn's servers,' they said. 'LinkedIn is able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external e-mail accounts or obtaining users' consent.'" "This puts an interesting twist on LinkedIn's recent call for transparency," adds cold fjord. (More at Bloomberg.)
Businesses

Robotics Research Lab Willow Garage Shutting Down? 23

Posted by timothy
from the land-safely-everyone dept.
New submitter moglito writes "Willow Garage is/was acknowledge by many to be one of the best places for robotics research these days. Besides developing the PR2 it made itself a name for creating the open-source Robot Operating System ROS. But now it seems to be shutting down. [From a posting on the Willow Garage site:] 'Scott Hassan, founder of both Willow Garage and Suitable Technologies, said, 'I am excited to bring together the teams of Willow Garage and Suitable Technologies to provide the most advanced remote presence technology to people around the world.' Willow Garage will continue to support customers of its PR2 personal robotics platform and sell its remaining stock of PR2 systems. Interest in PR2 systems or support should continue to be directed to Willow Garage through its portal at www.willowgarage.com.'"
ISS

How Long Can the ISS Last? 112

Posted by timothy
from the delaying-the-heat-death-of-this-part-of-the-universe dept.
R3d M3rcury writes with the story that "NASA and Boeing, along with other nations, are studying the feasibility of keeping the International Space Station in orbit until 2020 and possibly until 2028 — the 30 year anniversary of the launch of the first module." From the article: "To assess the long-term structural health of the station, Boeing engineers developed detailed computer models based on NASA's projected use -- the expected stresses caused by future dockings, reboosts, crew activity and thermal cycles -- and combined that with actual data from on-board accelerometers and strain gauges. ... "What we're looking at is theoretical crack growth," Pamela McVeigh, the engineer in charge of the Boeing structural analysis in Houston, told CBS News. "So the failure mode would be you'd have a crack beginning, probably (at) a bolt hole, and the crack would grow to another edge. So you'd lose like a flange on a C-beam, or an I-beam. The stiffness of your structure would then change, the bolt hole you that you were growing the crack out of, now that bolt wouldn't be effective."
Crime

Another British Bank Hit By KVM Crooks 75

Posted by timothy
from the willie-sutton's-smarter-cousins dept.
judgecorp writes "Another British bank — Barclays — has been hit by a fraud attempt using a stealthily-planted KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) device. Unlike the previous attempt on Santander, the crooks got away with £1.3 million, but were subsequently apprehended by the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crimes Unit."
Beer

Extreme Microbe Brewing: the Curse of Auto-Brewery Syndrome 110

Posted by timothy
from the certainly-not-what-I-want-my-gut-to-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a story excerpt that may inspire envy in some readers: "Most beer guts are the result of consuming fermented brew, but a new case study describes a rare syndrome that had one man's gut fermenting brew, not consuming it. It's called gut fermentation syndrome or auto-brewery syndrome, and it's 'a relatively unknown phenomenon in Western medicine' according to a study published in July's International Journal of Clinical Medicine. 'Only a few cases have been reported in the last three decades' according to Dr. Barbara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, and Dr. Justin McCarthy, a Lubbock gastroenterologist, the study's authors." (More at NPR.)

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