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

+ - 238 Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?

Submitted by schnell
schnell (163007) writes "The increasing prevalence of online news paywalls and "nag walls" (e.g. you can only read so many articles per month) has forced me to divide those websites into two categories: those that offer content that is unique or good enough to pay for vs. those that don't. Examples of the former for me included The Economist and Foreign Policy, while other previous favorite sites The New York Times and even my hometown Seattle Times have lost my online readership entirely. I also have a secret third category — sites that don't currently pay/nag wall, but I would pay for if I had to — Ars Technica and Long Form come to mind. What news/aggregation sites are other Slashdotters out there willing to pay for, and why? What sites that don't charge today would you pay for if you had to? Or, knowing this crowd, are the majority just opposed to paying for any web news content on principle?"

+ - 163 Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Companies are doggedly pursuing the next big thing in technology, but nothing seems to be pointing to the right way these days, claims the legendary Steve Wozniak. The reason? 'You tend to deal with the past,' replicating what you know in a new form. Consider the notion of computing eyeware like Google Glass: 'People have been marrying eyewear with TV inputs for 20 years,' Wozniak says. True innovation, Wozniak claims, becomes more human, more personal. People use technology more the less it feels like technology. 'The software gets more accepted when it works in human ways — meaning in noncomputer ways.' Here, Wozniak says, is the key to technology's role in the education system."

+ - 230 HP denies access to Service Packs and Firmware for out-of-warranty customers.

Submitted by joshitnc
joshitnc (3525909) writes "In a move that is sure to put a wedge between HP and their customers, today, HP has issued an email informing all existing HP customers that they would no longer be able to access or download service packs, firmware patches and bug-fixes for their server hardware without a valid support agreement in place, stating:

"You are receiving this communication because you have been identified as a customer using HP ProLiant Servers and HP Services.

HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers. We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. HP, as an industry leader, is well positioned to provide reliable support services across the globe with proprietary tools, HP trained engineers, and genuine certified HP parts. Only HP customers and authorized channel partners may download and use support materials. In line with this commitment, starting in February 2014, Hewlett-Packard Company will change the way firmware updates and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) on HP ProLiant server products are accessed. Select server firmware and SPP on these products will only be accessed through the HP Support Center to customers with an active support agreement, HP CarePack, or warranty linked to their HP Support Center User ID and for the specific products being updated. We encourage you to review your current support coverage to ensure you have the appropriate coverage to maintain uninterrupted access to firmware updates and SPP for these products."


If a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than 3 years to identify them, should the consumer have to pay for the vendor to fix the these defects?"

+ - 165 Hewlett Packard Turns Buggy Software and Firmware Into a Revenue Stream!

Submitted by neversleepy
neversleepy (3525847) writes "In the face of ever declining server sales. And in a move certian to affect many readers here, Hewlett Packard decides to provide updates to firmware and critical OS drivers only to customers who pay a premium for a CarePack, extended service contract. If this affects you negatively, try telling Hewlett Packard what you think about payola for hardware bug fixes.

Or maybe, the time is right to abandon vanity servers?"

+ - 165 Alleged Silk Road Founder Indicted Again, This Time in New York->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Wired reports, "Federal authorities today announced a Grand Jury indictment against Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder and owner of the underground drug emporium Silk Road. The indictment, in New York, includes one count for narcotics conspiracy, one count of running a criminal enterprise, one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and one count of money laundering, according to the indictment. It’s the second indictment for the the 29-year-old, who was arrested last October in San Francisco. Ulbricht was previously charged in New York at the time of his arrest, but authorities had until December to obtain an indictment against him based on new evidence seized. They sought an extension of that time and announced the indictment today. Ulbricht had been previously indicted in Maryland on charges of conspiring to have a former administrator of Silk Road murdered in exchange for $80,000. ""
Link to Original Source

+ - 209 DARPA Open Source Catalog->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "http://www.darpa.mil/OpenCatal... "The DARPA Open Catalog organizes publically releasable material from DARPA programs, beginning with the XDATA program in the Information Innovation Office (I2O). XDATA is developing an open source software library for big data. DARPA has an open source strategy through XDATA and other I2O programs to help increase the impact of government investments. ""
Link to Original Source

+ - 303 Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory to Win at 'Jeopardy'

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "USA Today reports that Arthur Chu, an insurance compliance analyst and aspiring actor, has won $102,800 in four Jeopardy! appearances using a strategy —- jumping around the board instead of running categories straight down, betting odd amounts on Daily Doubles and doing a final wager to tie — that has fans calling him a "villain" and "smug". Arthur's in-game strategy of searching for the Daily Double that has made him such a target. Typically, contestants choose a single category and progressively move from the lowest amount up to the highest, giving viewers an easy-to-understand escalation of difficulty. But Arthur has his sights solely set on finding those hidden Daily Doubles, which are usually located on the three highest-paying rungs in the categories (the category itself is random). That means, rather than building up in difficulty, he begins at the most difficult questions. Once the two most difficult questions have been taken off the board in one column, he quickly jumps to another category. It's a grating experience for the viewer, who isn't given enough to time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area. "The more unpredictable you are, the more you put your opponents off-balance, the longer you can keep an initial advantage," says Chu. "It greatly increases your chance of winning the game if you can pull it off, and I saw no reason not to do it." Another contra-intuitive move Chu has made is playing for a tie rather than to win in "Final Jeopardy" because that allows you advance to the next round which is the most important thing, not the amount of money you win in one game. "In terms of influence on the game, Arthur looks like a trendsetter of things to come," says Eric Levenson. "Hopefully that has more to do with his game theory than with his aggressive button-pressing.""

+ - 207 Greenland's fastest glacier sets new speed record->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "The latest observations of Jakobshavn Glacier show that Greenland’s largest glacier is moving ice from land into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. Researchers from the University of Washington and the German Space Agency measured the speed of the glacier in 2012 and 2013. The results were published Feb. 3 in The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union.

Jakobshavn Glacier, which is widely believed to be the glacier that produced the large iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912, drains the Greenland ice sheet into a deep-ocean fjord on the west coast of the island. This speedup of Jakobshavn means that the glacier is adding more and more ice to the ocean, contributing to sea-level rise.

“We are now seeing summer speeds more than four times what they were in the 1990s, on a glacier which at that time was believed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, glacier in Greenland,” said lead author Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the UW’s Polar Science Center.

The new observations show that in summer of 2012 the glacier reached a record speed of more than 10 miles (17 km) per year, or more than 150 feet (46 m) per day. These appear to be the fastest flow rates recorded for any glacier or ice stream in Greenland or Antarctica, researchers said."

Link to Original Source

+ - 164 Getting Young Women Interested in Open Source 1

Submitted by Jason Baker
Jason Baker (3502325) writes "It seems like a perennial question: "How do we get more women involved in tech?" The open source community, like any other part of the technology industry, is grappling with finding solutions that are more than just talking the talk of diversity, but actually make some demonstrable difference in the numbers. While there have been numerous success stories, the gender gap is still rampant. The answer, at least to one freelance entrepreneur, is providing strong role models of women using open source to have fun and make money. But is that enough to make a difference?"

+ - 180 Asus Announces Intel Haswell-Powered "Chromebox" Small Form Factor PCs->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Asus stepped out this morning with something new for the Chrome OS powered hardware crowd, called a "Chromebox" small form factor PC. Just as Google has been evangelizing with its Chromebook notebook initiative, the pitch for these Chromebox systems is that they're capable of doing everything you need to do in today's connected world. While not everyone will totally agree with that marketing pitch — gaming, 3D modeling, and a host of specialized tasks are better suited for a well equipped Windows PC — there's certainly a market for these types of devices. They're low cost, fairly well equipped, and able to handle a wide variety of daily computing chores. There are two SKUs being released in the U.S. The first starts at $179 and sports an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, and the second features an Intel Core i3 4010U CPU (no mention of price just yet), both of which are based on Intel's 4th generation Haswell CPU architecture. Beyond the processor, these fan-less boxes come with two SO-DIMM memory slots with 2GB or 4GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, a 16GB SSD, a GbE LAN port, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2-in-1 memory card reader, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, a DisplayPort, an audio jack, and a Kensington Lock. ASUS also includes a VESA mount kit with each Chromebox, and Google tosses in 100GB of Google Drive space free for two years."
Link to Original Source

+ - 169 Government to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For decades, the focus of auto safety has primarily been on surviving the traumatic impact of crashes through features like air bags and seat belts. But now the focus has shifted to avoiding crashes by developing technology to make future vehicles "smart" enough to detect and respond to threats, such as an oncoming vehicle.

The technology, known as "vehicle-to-vehicle," or "V2V," lets cars "talk" to each other and exchange safety data, such as speed and position. If a nearby car abruptly changes lanes and moves into another car's blind spot, the car would be alerted.

Federal transportation officials did not announce when the new regulations would go into effect but said they hope to propose the new V2V rules before President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017"

Link to Original Source

+ - 162 Who's Writing Linux These Days?->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "IEEE Spectrum reports, "About once a year, the Linux Foundation analyzes the online repository that holds the source code of the kernel, or core, of the Linux operating system. As well as tracking the increasing complexity of the ever-evolving kernel over a series of releases from versions 3.0 to 3.10, the report also reveals who is contributing code, and the dominant role corporations now play in what began as an all-volunteer project in 1991. While volunteer contributors still represent a plurality among developers, over 80 percent of code is contributed by people who are paid for their work. ""
Link to Original Source

+ - 160 AMD Open-Sources "VCE" Video Encode Engine->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "AMD's latest feature added to their open-source Radeon DRM graphics driver is VCE video encoding via a large code drop that happened this morning. A patched kernel and Mesa will now allow the Radeon driver with their latest-generation hardware to provide low-latency H.264 video encoding on the GPU rather than CPU. The support is still being tuned and it only supports the VCE2 engine but the patches can be found on the mailing list until they land in the trunk in the coming months."
Link to Original Source

+ - 141 Only Apollo Camera to Make Return Trip to the Moon to Be Auctioned->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Sometimes history is preserved by accident rather than design. Thanks to a malfunction during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971 that prevented it from being abandoned with its fellows, the only camera used on the surface of the Moon and brought back to Earth will be auctioned by Westlicht Photographica Auction in Vienna. The motor-driven camera is a Hasselblad 500 "EL DATA CAMERA HEDC," also known as a Hasselblad Data Camera (HDC), that was specially designed for use on the Moon. It’s currently in the hands of a private collector and goes on the block in March."
Link to Original Source

+ - 148 What Was Your Dumb Dot-Com Job Title In 1999?->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "If you're of a certain age — over 35, say — the rediscovery of the fabled Slashdot PT Cruiser may have elicited a certain nostalgia for the dot-com boom of the late '90s and early '00s. So I have a question for Slashdotters who worked in tech back then: what was your inane title during the bubble? I've compiled some of the sillier ones, although some of the titles that were considered strange and goofy in 1999, like "cheif privacy officer," are pretty standard today. I also found that some of the titles that were used as examples of dot-com excess — "guru of cool," "duke of fun" — may have been made up afterwards, as I couldn't find any specific individuals who claimed to have these titles."
Link to Original Source

+ - 166 India to build world's largest solar plant->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "India has pledged to build the world’s most powerful solar plant. With a nominal capacity of 4,000 megawatts, comparable to that of four full-size nuclear reactors, the ‘ultra mega' project will be more than ten times larger than any other solar project built so far, and it will spread over 77 square kilometres of land — greater than the island of Manhattan.
Six state-owned companies have formed a joint venture to execute the project, which they say can be completed in seven years at a projected cost of US$4.4 billion. The proposed location is near Sambhar Salt Lake in the northern state of Rajasthan."

Link to Original Source

+ - 146 Mozilla Makes Sync More Straightforward For Firefox

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Some users of Firefox may have been ripping their hair off for the overly complex bookmark and password synchronization feature, which involved pairing devices with separate keys. Mozilla has recognized the headaches and is now opting instead to utilize a simple e-mail and password combination similar to Google Chrome. In the old system, users were forced to store an auto-generated authorization code, which, if lost, would render their bookmarks, passwords and browsing history inaccessible. Mozilla is currently testing the new approach of Firefox Sync in Nightly builds."

+ - 156 Typo On British NHS Exposes Users To Malware ->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "A mistyped link on an site run by Britain's NHS led to a site which installed malware on users' systems. The typo appears to have been bought up on Sunday by a person in the Czech Republic, and the erroneous domain was later seen serving advertising and malware. Seems like an interesting variation on typo-squatting..."
Link to Original Source

+ - 213 Study showing PirateBay Blockade has no effect published

Submitted by Neelix21
Neelix21 (143043) writes "Last week a Dutch court decided that the blockade of the PirateBay website was ineffective and disproportionate. The academic study that measured this effect has now been published:

This paper studies the effectiveness of this approach towards online copyright enforcement, using both a consumer survey and a newly developed non-infringing technology for BitTorrent monitoring. While a small group of respondents download less from illegal sources or claim to have stopped doing so, no impact is found on the percentage of the Dutch population downloading from illegal sources.

The torrent monitoring technique also shows that if you are downloading a public torrent, anyone can find out."

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