Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

Technology

+ - 107 Microchips, lollipops and echolocation: New ways to help the blind see->

Submitted by
ericjones12398
ericjones12398 writes "Two men in the United Kingdom who had lost their vision after birth due to a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa, wherein light-sensitive cells in the eye stop working, just received the gift of sight due to an innovative new microchip implant. Surgeons partially restored vision to both men by implanting tiny electronic chips (0.12 by 0.12 inches) in a thin sheet of tissue at the back of the men’s eyes. When switched on, the chips perform the duties of the malfunctioning photoreceptors, converting light into electrical impulses that travel to the brain. A thin cable threaded beneath the skin connects the chip to a battery back, which sits under the skin near the ear.
These chips were designed by Retina Implant AG, a medical technology company in Germany, and have been implanted in at least ten patients so far as part of clinical trials. The current implants cannot help people with glaucoma or other conditions that degrade the optic nerve, and they do not offer the blind crisp and colorful images, but rather offer blurred outlines. Even so, these indistinct images are a vast improvement over complete blindness, and with the proper training, allow patients to distinguish food, tools, and sometimes people’s faces."

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - 112 Drone Flights Increasingly Rapidly in U.S. Airspace->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "Drones are already being tested in civilian airspace, and they're about to become a lot more popular. The first major milestone of the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (.pdf) says that within 90 days of passagethe agency has to permit “local government and public safety agencies” to fly drones that exceed neither 4.4 pounds nor 400-foot altitudes.President Obama signed the $63 billion funding bill Feb. 14, which means the 90 days are now up.

So-called civilian drones are becoming big, big business. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a drone industry lobbying group that boasts over 500 corporate members in 55 countries, took credit for language responsible for the FAA’s expedited approval of agencies that are eager to build up drone fleets beginning this year. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that nearly 50 companies are tinkering on some 150 different civilian unmanned systems, from micro drones to airliner-sized giants, all specifically designed to carry surveillance gear, not explosives. Some estimates have the American drone market in 2016 pulling down $6 billion in sales. So, too, will it come as no great shock to hear theFAAgot it together for today’s deadline."

Link to Original Source
Hardware

+ - 327 An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Tim Heffernan writes that when "The Fifty," as it’s known in company circles, broke down three years ago, there was talk of retiring it for good. Instead, Alcoa decided to overhaul their 50,000-ton, 6-story high forging press, now scheduled to resume service early this year. "What sets the Fifty apart is its extraordinary scale," writes Heffernan. "Its 14 major structural components, cast in ductile iron, weigh as much as 250 tons each; those yard-thick steel bolts are also 78 feet long; all told, the machine weighs 16 million pounds, and when activated its eight main hydraulic cylinders deliver up to 50,000 tons of compressive force." The Fifty could bench-press the battleship Iowa, with 860 tons to spare but it's the Fifty's amazing precision—its tolerances are measured in thousandths of an inch—that gives it such far-reaching utility. Every manned US military aircraft now flying uses parts forged by the Fifty as does every commercial aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing making the Jet Age possible. "On a plane, a pound of weight saved is a pound of thrust gained—or a pound of lift, or a pound of cargo," writes Heffernan. "Without the ultra-strong, ultra-light components that only forging can produce, they’d all be pushing much smaller envelopes." The now-forgotten Heavy Press Program (PDF), inaugurated in 1950 and completed in 1957, resulted in four presses (including the Fifty) and six extruders—giant toothpaste tubes squeezing out long, complex metal structures such as wing ribs and missile bodies. "Today, America lacks the ability to make anything like the Heavy Press Program machines," concludes Heffernan adding that "The Fifty" will be supplying bulkheads through 2034 for the Joint Strike Fighter. "Big machines are the product of big visions, and they make big visions real. How about a Heavy Fusion Program?""

+ - 121 IAEA, Iran begins new nuke talks->

Submitted by
Jetra
Jetra writes "With the US checking Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems that Iran wants to join the Atomic Age, testing multipoint explosives to detonate a charge. As always, Iran denies such claims. This could either go one of three ways, Nuclear Annihilation, Atomic Power, or a Cold War between Iran and the Middleeast. Isreal warns that it will destroy all silos unless tensions are eased by other countries such as US, UK, Japan, and Russia."
Link to Original Source

+ - 117 Plastic Logic Shows Off a Color ePaper Screen->

Submitted by Nate the greatest
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "I'm sure you've heard about the color E-ink screen which was rumored to be used on the next Kindle. As of today E-ink no longer has that market niche to themselves.

Plastic Logic held a press conference in Russia this morning where they unveiled a new color screen that uses their plastic based screen tech. The resolution is low (75ppi), but if the video is any sign then this might be an better screen than the 9.7" Triton color E-ink screen used on the Jetbook Color.

And that's not all Plastic Logic showed off this morning. They also developed a frontlight for their screen and they can play video at 12 frames per second. But best of all PL cut one of their screens in half just to show that it could still work."

Link to Original Source

+ - 112 Ron Paul effectively ending presidential campaign->

Submitted by Dainsanefh
Dainsanefh (2009638) writes "Ron Paul, Mitt Romney’s lone remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination, announced Monday that he would stop spending money on the party’s 11 remaining primaries, in effect suspending his campaign.

Apart from President Obama and Romney, Paul has raised more money than any other White House contender this year – more than $36 million. His calls for strict adherence to the Constitution and his no-nonsense manner have spawned a vocal and well organized group of followers, but not enough to give him a realistic shot at the presidency."

Link to Original Source
Digital

+ - 174 Photographers, you're being replaced by software->

Submitted by Mrs. Grundy
Mrs. Grundy (680212) writes "CGI software, even open-source software like Blender, continues to improve in quality, speed and easy-of-use. Photographer Mark Meyer wonders how long it will be before large segments of the photography industry are replaced by software and become the latest casualty to fall to outsourcing. Some imagery once the domain of photographers has already moved to CGI. Is any segment of the photography market safe? Will we soon accept digital renderings in places where we used to expect photographs?"
Link to Original Source
Cloud

+ - 118 Cloud Storage's Real-World Limitations->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "With numerous cloud storage providers — free for the first few gigabytes, relatively cheap thereafter — vying for attention, it seems like we're entering a brave new world of widespread cloud adoption. It therefore seems almost churlish to point out two very concrete limitations that make cloud storage not so magical in practice: slow upload speeds and broadband data caps."
Link to Original Source

+ - 128 Kodaks basement lab housed 3.5 pounds of highly enriched (weapons grade) uranium->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Rochester (NY) Democrat-Chronicle has the interesting story (http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120511/NEWS01/305120021/Kodak-Park-nuclear-reactor) of the Eastman Kodak Co.'s Californium Neutron Flux Multiplier, which was housed in Building 82 of Kodak Park in Rochester, NY.

The multiplier contained 3½ pounds of highly enriched (weapons-grade) uranium. Kodak used it to check chemicals and other materials for impurities, as well as for tests related to neutron radiography, an imaging technique."

Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 101 Is 'Windows' A Liability To Microsoft's Mobile Future?->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "Microsoft's best hope on mobile may be to re-brand Windows, as Microsoft's biggest marketing problem with its smartphones and tablets may be the name 'Windows,' which consumers equate with 'hassles,' writes Woody Leonhard. 'It certainly seems to me that moving the "Windows" brand to smartphones hasn't bought Microsoft one iota of market traction. Quite the opposite. ... The impending mass confusion about Windows RT and Windows 8 won't work in Microsoft's favor, either. In fact, it looks like the "Windows RT" name alone will draw fire and brimstone.'"
Link to Original Source
Power

+ - 146 Solyndra for sale: Company's high-tech plant, gear to be sold->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "For sale: manufacturing and office facility with 411,618 square feet, state of the art electrical, air, and power distribution systems — and a troubled past. As part of its bankruptcy proceedings, Solyndra is reportedly very close to landing a buyer for its mammoth, high-tech production plant in Fremont, Calif. The listing agent recently gave Fox News a tour of what the new owners will get for their multi-million dollar investment. Now the once-bustling offices, conference rooms, and cubicles are eerily quiet as the facility is "decommissioned," according to Greg Matter with Jones Lang LaSalle realty. One wonders about the conversations held, and emails written, in the corner office formerly occupied by CEO Brian Harrison."
Link to Original Source
Chrome

+ - 222 Windows RT Browser Restrictions Draw Antitrust Attention->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last week we heard complaints from Mozilla that Windows RT would restrict users' choice in web browsers, unfairly favoring Internet Explorer over alternative like Firefox and Chrome. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the situation is now on the Senate Judiciary Committee's radar, and they will look into claims that Microsoft is engaging in anti-competitive behavior. That said, it could be a difficult case to make, since the Windows RT is destined for ARM-based tablets, and Apple currently dominates that market. 'When it comes to proving abuse of monopoly power, an important question is determining the market in which a monopolist has power — the relevant market, in antitrust legal terms. In the DOJ case, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings of fact concluded Microsoft had a monopoly in the market for "Intel-compatible PC operating systems." Windows on ARM doesn't run on x86 chips, so by Jackson's standards, Windows RT hasn't been judged to be part of Microsoft's monopoly.' Microsoft addressed some of these issues in a blog post in February."
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - 141 Why Voting Machines Still Suck-> 2

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia decries the government's lack of attention to e-voting technology, despite ongoing flaws and clear indications that the government makes 'extremely good use of technology when it suits them — such as spying on their own citizenry or developing missiles that can travel hundreds of miles and hit a shoebox. ... Lapses persist everywhere, from systems that can be compromised by someone with an eighth-grade education and $26 to voting machines that helpfully hack themselves.' Venezia writes. 'Years continue to go by without any sort of controls, regulations, or reliable testing of electronic voting systems that are used by millions of Americans to cast their ballots. State governments have a much firmer grasp on how to interface with car computer systems to fail an inspection if ODB-II error codes are logged than they do with electronic voting.'"
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - 173 Kickstarter leaves project ideas exposed->

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "“Crowd-funding” startup Kickstarter is taking a public-relations hit today after it was reported that some 70,000 not-yet-public project ideas were left exposed on the company’s Web site for more than two weeks. Kickstarter insists that no financial information was compromised and that only a few dozen of the projects were actually accessed. “Obviously our users' data is incredibly important to us,” the company said in a blog post. “Even though limited information was made accessible through this bug, it is completely unacceptable.”"
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 139 UK to give peer-reviewed science libel protection->

Submitted by
scibri
scibri writes "England is finally getting around to updating its nototiously plaintiff-friendly libel laws, which have been extensively criticised for stifling scientific debate in the past few years, such as in the case of Simon Singh. The government introduced a defamation bill last week that would extend explicit protection to to statements in scientific or academic journals — providing the work was properly peer reviewed. The protection would also extend to reports of academic and scientific conferences.

The proposed legislation is popular among the UK's researchers and journalists, but a similar law on whistleblower protection has had mixed reviews in the US."

Link to Original Source

+ - 179 Publishers SAGE & OUP win copyright case against Georgia State University->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Atlanta Journal Constitution (http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/judge-rules-largely-for-1437124.html) is reporting that a federal judge has ruled in favor of Georgia State University on 69 of 74 copyright claims filed by Cambridge University Press (http://www.cambridge.org/), Oxford University Press(http://www.oup.com/) and SAGE Publications (http://www.sagepub.com/) .

In a 350-page ruling, Senior US District Judge Orinda Evans found that "fair use protected a Georgia State University professor's decision to allow students to access an excerpt online through the university's Electronic Reserves System."

While the 69 of the 74 claims were rejected, the judge also found that five violations did occur "when the publisher lost money because a professor had provided free electronic access to selected chapters in textbooks." SAGE Publications (http://www.sagepub.com/) prevailed on four of these five claims, while Oxford University Press (http://www.oup.com/) won the fifth claim. Cambridge University Press (http://www.cambridge.org/) lost all its claims."

Link to Original Source

+ - 230 Finland: Open WiFi Owner Not Liable for Infringement->

Submitted by mjrauhal
mjrauhal (144713) writes "In Finland, the operator of an open WiFi access point was found not guilty for copyright infringement allegedly committed over said access point. The operation of such access points would have become legally risky were this decided otherwise. Appeal by the Finnish Anti-Piracy Centre is still possible for this district court ruling."
Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - 118 Minneapolis Airport Installing 1800 high-definition surveillance cameras->

Submitted by bzzfzz
bzzfzz (1542813) writes "The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) is beginning a $20 million dollar upgrade of its surveillance system. The upgrade will include 1800 high-definition cameras, facial recognition systems, and digital archiving to replace the analog tape system in use since the 1980s. The system will serve both security and operational goals. The MAC asserts that improved camera technology yields improved security as though the connection between the two is so strong that no proof is required."
Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - 273 UK In Danger From Electromagnetic Bomb, Says Defence Secretary->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Britain must build defences against an EMP bomb, the UK Secretary of Defence Phillip Hammond told a conference today. Electromagnetic Pulse devices mimic the result of a solar flare or a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, creating a storm of electromagnetic radiation, which can break mobile networks and satellite systems. Any preparation for olar storms must also consider the possibility of deliberate electromagnetic events, warns Hammond."
Link to Original Source

White dwarf seeks red giant for binary relationship.

Working...