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Programming

Study: Happiness Improves Developers' Problem Solving Skills 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-happy dept.
itwbennett writes "Researchers at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy have found that happier programmers (or, more specifically, computer science students at the university) were significantly more likely to score higher on a problem solving assessment. The researchers first measured the emotional states of study participants using a measure devised by psychologists called the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience Affect Balance (SPANE-B) score. They then tested participants' creativity (ability to write creative photo captions) and problem-solving ability (playing the Tower of London game). The results: happiness didn't affect creativity, but did improve problem-solving ability."
Music

Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter 413

Posted by samzenpus
from the I've-been-a-miner-for-a-format-of-gold dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jose Pagliery reports at CNN that the 68-year-old rock star unveiled his startup, Pono, at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas raising $1.4 million in a single day. Young has developed a portable music player that stores high-resolution recordings and promises to deliver all the delicate details that get chopped out of modern-day formats, like MP3s and CDs. 'Pono' is Hawaiian for righteous. 'What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist's intention, and the soul of music. That's why he's been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music.' With 128 GB of space, the PonoPlayer can carry about 3,200 tracks of high-resolution recordings while an MP3 player of the same size can hold maybe 10 times that many songs. Young says the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint and only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording. But isn't FLAC already lossless? What makes Pono better?"
Hardware

NVIDIA Unveils Lineup of GeForce 800M Series Mobile GPUs, Many With Maxwell 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
MojoKid writes "The power efficiency of NVIDA's Maxwell architecture make it ideal for mobile applications, so today's announcement by NVIDIA of a new top-to-bottom line-up of mobile GPUs—most of them featuring the Maxwell architecture—should come as no surprise. Though a couple of Kepler and even Fermi-based GPUs still exist in NVIDIA's new line-up, the heart of the product stack leverages Maxwell. The entry-level parts in the GeForce 800M series consist of the GeForce GT 820M, 830M, and 840M. The 820M is a Fermi-based GPU, but the 830M and 840M are new chips that leverage Maxwell. The meat of the GeForce GTX 800M series consist of Kepler-based GPUs, though Maxwell is employed in the more mainstream parts. NVIDIA is claiming the GeForce GTX 880M will be fastest mobile GPU available, but the entire GTX line-up will offer significantly higher performance then any integrated graphics solution. The GeForce GTX 860M and 850M are essentially identical to the desktop GeForce GTX 750 Ti, save for different frequencies and memory configurations. There are a number of notebooks featuring NVIDIA's GeForce 800M series GPUs coming down the pipeline from companies like Alienware, Asus, Gigabyte, Lenovo, MSI and Razer, though others are sure the follow suit. Some of the machines will be available immediately."
Games

Wildstar To Launch On June 3 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the movin'-on-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Carbine Studios, a game company founded by former Blizzard developers, has been working on a new sci-fi MMORPG called Wildstar. The game has now gotten a release date: June 3rd. Rock, Paper, Shotgun's preview described the game thus: 'it's trying to out-MMO every other MMO. Not with big talk of moving narratives or ever-changing worlds, but by ramping up the unreal theme pack nature of its peers and predecessors. This is a game where you're constantly presented with a legion of things to do, numbers to increase, boxes to tick, things to collect, factions to impress, points to earn, monsters air-dropped in to battle without warning and/or preferably all of the above simultaneously. It might even be too much, too overwhelming in its parade of sideshows.'"
Android

Replicant OS Developers Find Backdoor In Samsung Galaxy Devices 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the caught-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Developers of the Free Software Foundation-endorsed Replicant OS have uncovered a backdoor through Android on Samsung Galaxy devices and the Nexus S. The research indicates the proprietary Android versions have a blob handling communication with the modem using Samsung's IPC protocol and in turn there's a set of commands that allow the modem to do remote I/O operations on the phone's storage. Replicant's open-source version of Android does away with the Samsung library to fend off the potential backdoor issue."
Movies

Movie and TV GUIs: Cracking the Code 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-looking-forward-to-seeing-that-independence-day-virus dept.
rjmarvin writes "We've all seen the code displayed in hacking scenes from movies and TV, but now a new industry is growing around custom-building realistic software and dummy code. Twisted Media, a Chicago-based design team, started doing fake computer graphics back in 2007 for the TNT show Leverage, and is now working on three prime-time shows on top of films like Gravity and the upcoming Divergent. They design and create realistic interfaces and codebases for futuristic software. British computer scientist John Graham-Cumming has drawn attention to entertainment background code by explaining what the displayed code actually does on his blog, but now that the public is more aware, studios are paying for fake code that's actually convincing."
The Internet

Bringing Speed Reading To the Web 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-you-can-skip-reading-the-articles-that-much-quicker dept.
vencs writes "With the latest cycle of speed reading fad catching on all over, there bloomed a rather neat technique called Spritzing (an online implementation of Rapid Serial Visual Presentation). Even before the company released its SDK, many clones popped up, offering bookmarklets that do the same task. It's a cool (though situational) tool for going through text articles quickly (400-600 wpm)."
Portables

Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down? 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-waiting-on-one-steam-machine-per-child dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from OLPC News about whether the One Laptop Per Child project can expect to continue much longer: "Here is a question for you: 8 years on, would you recommend anyone start a new deployment with XO-1 laptops? With the hardware now long past its life expectancy, spare parts hard to find, and zero support from the One Laptop Per Child organization, its time to face reality. The XO-1 laptop is history. Sadly, so is Sugar. Once the flagship of OLPC's creativity in redrawing the human-computer interaction, few are coding for it and new XO variants are mostly Android/Gnome+Fedora dual boots. Finally, OLPC Boston is completely gone. No staff, no consultants, not even a physical office. Nicholas Negroponte long ago moved onto the global literacy X-Prize project." A response from OLPC says their mission is "far from over." They add, "OLPC also has outsourced many of the software and development units because the organization is becoming more hardware and OS agnostic, concentrating on its core values – education."
Technology

Silicon Valley's Youth Problem 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-many-people-want-to-be-a-rock-star dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times has an article about the strange cultural rift around tech innovation in Silicon Valley. The companies getting all the press are the ones developing shiny new apps and attempting to reinvent their industry. This attention — and all the money that follows it — is drawing in many young, talented engineers. The result is that getting people to develop needed and useful existing technologies is a harder sell. 'For better or worse, these are the kinds of companies that seem to be winning the recruiting race, and if the traditional lament at Ivy League schools has been that the best talent goes to Wall Street, a newer one is taking shape: Why do these smart, quantitatively trained engineers, who could help cure cancer or fix healthcare.gov, want to work for a sexting app?' This is more evidence that the tech bubble is continuing to inflate: '[I]n the last 10 years in particular, there has been an exacerbation of the qualities for which it's been both feted and mocked: Valuations are absurdly high for companies with no revenue. The founders are younger; the pace is faster.'"
Bitcoin

The Future of Cryptocurrencies 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the start-mining-Americoins-and-Mexicoins-and-Coinadas dept.
kierny writes "Today, Bitcoin, tomorrow, the dollar? Former Central Intelligence Agency CTO Gus Hunt says governments will learn from today's crypto currencies and use them to fashion future government-protected monetary systems. But along the way, expect first-movers such as Bitcoin to fall, in a repeat of the fate of AltaVista, Napster, and other early innovators. But the prospect of fashioning a better, more stable crypto currency system — and the likelihood that Bitcoin may one day burn — is good news for anyone who cares about crypto currencies, as well as the future and reliability of our monetary systems."
Space

Monster Hypergiant Star Discovered 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
astroengine writes "A gargantuan star, measuring 1,300 times the size of our sun, has been uncovered 12,000 light-years from Earth — it is one of the ten biggest stars known to exist in our galaxy. The yellow hypergiant even dwarfs the famous stellar heavyweight Betelgeuse by 50 percent. While its hulking mass may be impressive, astronomers have also realized that HR 5171 is a double star with a smaller stellar sibling physically touching the surface of the larger star as they orbit one another. 'The new observations also showed that this star has a very close binary partner, which was a real surprise,' said Olivier Chesneau, of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur in Nice, France. 'The two stars are so close that they touch and the whole system resembles a gigantic peanut.'"
Science

Physicist Proposes a New Type of Computing 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the marble-based-computation dept.
SpankiMonki writes "Joshua Turner, a physicist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has proposed using the orbits of electrons around the nucleus of an atom as a new means to generate the binary states used in computing. Turner calls his idea orbital computing. Turner points to recent discoveries (including a new material that allows rapid switching of its electron states and new low-power terahertz laser technology) that could lead to the development of a computer with vastly improved performance over current technologies."
Government

How the NSA Plans To Infect 'Millions' of Computers With Malware 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the sudo-apt-get-install-nsa-malware dept.
Advocatus Diaboli sends news from The Intercept about leaked documents which show that the NSA is significantly expanding its efforts to build an automated system to compromise computers remotely. From the article: "The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to 'allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.' In a top-secret presentation, dated August 2009, the NSA describes a pre-programmed part of the covert infrastructure called the 'Expert System,' which is designed to operate 'like the brain.' The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and 'decides' what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines."
Power

Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down 712

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the could-but-won't-because-reality dept.
cartechboy writes "What's $50 billion among friends, right? At least Felix Kramer and Gil Friend are thinking big, so there is that. The pair have published an somewhat audacious proposal to spend $50 billion dollars to buy up and then shut down every single private and public coal company operating in the United States. The scientific benefits: eliminating acid rain, airborne emissions, etc). The shutdown proposal includes the costs of retraining for the approximately 87,000 coal-industry workers who would lose their jobs over the proposed 10-year phaseout of coal. Since Kramer and Friend don't have $50 billion, they suggest the concept could be funded as a public service and if governments can't do it maybe some rich guys can — and the names Gates, Buffett and Bloomberg come up. Any takers?"
Bitcoin

US Court Freezes Assets of Mt. Gox CEO 132

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the should-have-stuck-to-magic-cards dept.
jfruh writes "Mt. Gox has managed to enter court-protected bankruptcy in the United States, but Gregory Greene, who lost $25,000 in the bitcoin company's collapse, has convinced a court in Chicago to freeze the assets of Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles and two companies associated with him. 'Money is moving around as we speak, bitcoins are moving around accounts associated with Mt. Gox,' said Greene's lawyer. 'Something is not right so we urgently need to get to the bottom of this quickly.'" The Mt Gox stole the missing bitcoins theory.
Space

First Mathematical Model of 13th Century 'Big Bang' Cosmology 60

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the pesky-time-traveling-physicists dept.
KentuckyFC writes "The 13th century thinker Robert Grosseteste is sometimes credited with predicting the Big Bang theory of cosmological expansion some eight centuries ahead of modern cosmologists. His theory, written in about 1225, is that the Universe began with a Big Bang-like explosion in which light expands in all directions giving matter its three-dimensional form. The expansion eventually stops when matter reaches a minimum density and this sets the boundary of the Universe. The boundary itself emits light towards the center of the universe and this interacts with matter, causing other nested spheres to form, corresponding to the fixed stars, the elements of earth, fire, water and so on. Now a team of physicists and experts on medieval philosophy have translated Grosseteste's theory into the modern language of mathematics and simulated it on computer. They say Grosseteste's theory produces universes of remarkable complexity but that only a tiny fraction of the parameter space corresponds to a universe of nested spheres like the one he predicted. What's interesting is that modern cosmologists face exactly the same problem. Their models predict many different kinds of universes and have to be fine-tuned to fit the universe we actually live in. 'The sensitivity to initial conditions resonates with contemporary cosmological discussion and reveals a subtlety of the medieval model which historians of science could never have deduced from the text alone,' conclude the team."
The Internet

As the Web Turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee Calls For A Web Magna Carta 80

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dream-machines-realized dept.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee's "Information Management: A Proposal," containing the ideas that led to the World Wide Web. From its humble beginnings as a way to store linked documents at CERN to... well, you're reading this now. To celebrate, the W3C is encouraging people to post their birthday greetings. Quoting Tim Berners-Lee: "In the following quarter-century, the Web has changed the world in ways that I never could have imagined. There have been many exciting advances. It has generated billions of dollars in economic growth, turned data into the gold of the 21st century, unleashed innovation in education and healthcare, whittled away geographic and social boundaries, revolutionised the media, and forced a reinvention of politics in many countries by enabling constant two-way dialogue between the rulers and the ruled." Martin S. and JestersGrind both wrote in to note that Tim Berners-Lee is calling for the creation of a Web Magna Carta. Again Quoting Tim Berners-Lee "It's time for us to make a big communal decision," he said. "In front of us are two roads - which way are we going to go? Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control - more and more surveillance? Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it's so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?" How has the rise of the web affected your life? Also check out the CERN line mode browser simulation of the first web site.
Education

How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the water-twice-a-day-plant-in-full-sunlight dept.
itwbennett writes "The MOOC (massive open online course) failure rate is notoriously high — only 1% of people who take the beginning computer science programming class, CS50, that Harvard offers over the EdX online platform complete it. A new effort in St. Louis called LaunchCode is changing that — and solving the city's programmer shortage. For the past several weeks, about 300 hardy souls have been gathering in a downtown St. Louis library to listen to the CS50 lectures and work together on the various programming problem sets. But the support offered by the all-volunteer run LaunchCode doesn't end with meet space. They're also doing an end-around on the traditional coder hiring process by pairing the students who complete the course with experienced programmers in one of more than a 100 tech companies who are looking for talent."
Mars

IAU To Uwingu: You Can't Name That Martian Crater Either 125

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the chewbacca-already-named-them-on-mardi-gras dept.
RocketAcademy writes "The International Astronomical Union has thrown a tantrum over a plan to crowdsource names for craters on Mars. The IAU gives official scientific names to craters, but it has only bothered with craters that have 'scientific significance.' The science-funding platform Uwingu has launched a campaign to come up with popular names for the remaining craters. For as little as $5, a member of the public can name one of the craters on Uwingu's map, with the proceeds going to fund space science and education. This caused the IAU to issue a statement condemning such crowdsourcing efforts. The IAU pointed out that it did allow the public to vote on names for two of Pluto's moons, in the past. In that case, however, the IAU rejected the winning name (Vulcan)." Last year, the IAU got into a spat with Uwingu over naming exoplanets. Sounds like the old name a star scam, on Mars.
Data Storage

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data? 983

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the upload-it-to-ftp-and-... dept.
Sean0michael writes "Recently I had a friend lose their entire electronic collection of music and movies by erasing a RAID array on their home server. He had 20TB of data on his rack at home that had survived a dozen hard drive failures over the years. But he didn't have a good way to backup that much data, so he never took one. Now he wishes he had.

Asking around among our tech-savvy friends though, no one has a good answer to the question, 'how would you backup 20TB of data?'. It's not like you could just plug in an external drive, and using any cloud service would be terribly expensive. Blu-Ray discs can hold a lot of data, but that's a lot of time (and money) spent burning discs that you likely will never need. Tape drives are another possibility, but are they right for this kind of problem? I don' t know. There might be something else out there, but I still have no feasible solution.

So I ask fellow slashdotters: for a home user, how do you backup 20TB of Data?"
Even Amazon Glacier is pretty pricey for that much data.
Science

Turing's Theory of Chemical Morphogenesis Validated 60 Years After His Death 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the how-does-it-feel-to-be-a-robot dept.
cold fjord writes "Phys.org reports, "Alan Turing's accomplishments in computer science are well known, but lesser known is his impact on biology and chemistry. In his only paper on biology (PDF), Turing proposed a theory of morphogenesis, or how identical copies of a single cell differentiate, for example, into an organism with arms and legs, a head and tail. Now, 60 years after Turing's death, researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory in cell-like structures. The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, March 10.""
Privacy

Calif. Court Orders Preservation of Disputed NSA Phone Records 28

Posted by timothy
from the until-they're-good-and-ripe dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from a report at PC World: "A court in California has prohibited the destruction of phone records collected by the government until further orders, raising a potential conflict with an order last week by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in Washington, D.C. Judge Jeffrey S. White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered Monday the retention of the call details in two lawsuits that have challenged the U.S. National Security Agency's program for the collection of telephone metadata. A number of lawsuits challenging the NSA program have been filed by privacy and other groups ... On Friday, Reggie B. Walton, presiding judge of the FISC, denied a motion from the Department of Justice that the current five-year limit for holding phone metadata should be extended indefinitely as it could be required as evidence in the civil lawsuits challenging the program."
Security

Large DDoS Attack Brings WordPress Pingback Abuse Back Into Spotlight 58

Posted by timothy
from the pressure-cooker dept.
angry tapir writes "Attackers have abused the WordPress pingback feature, which allows sites to cross-reference blog posts, to launch a large-scale, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, according to researchers from Web security firm Sucuri. The attack involved over 162,000 legitimate WordPress websites being forced to send hundreds of requests per second to a popular WordPress site, preventing access to it for many hours. The attack exploited an issue with the XML-RPC (XML remote procedure call) implementation in WordPress that's used for features like pingback, trackback, remote access from mobile devices and others, and brought back into the spotlight the denial-of-service risks associated with this functionality that have been known since 2007."
GUI

Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome 240

Posted by timothy
from the your-aura-is-always-with-you dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google's Chromium team is working on an alternative of Gtk+ for the browser, called Aura. Elliot Glaysher, a Google developer explains, 'We aim to launch the Aura graphics stack on Linux in M35. Aura is a cross-platform graphics system, and the Aura frontend will replace the current GTK+ frontend.' The Free Software community is debating: is Google trying to do Canonical? Couldn't Google just switch to Qt, which is becoming an industry standard?"

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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