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The Internet

+ - 159 Undersea Cable Re-Routed to Connect Remote Island->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Human Right has successfully lobbied infrastructure company eFive to modify the planned route of a 10,000 km long undersea cable connecting Africa to South America. The 4,200 people on the island of St. Helena, one of the most isolated places in the world, will be getting high speed Internet access.

Previously, the route missed the island by a mere 500 km, which would have been a lost opportunity for an island with limited connectivity. With the support of advocates in St. Helena, A Human Right launched the “Move This Cable, Connect St. Helena” campaign in January of 2012. The initiative was brought to the floor of the UK Parliament, and ultimately to the attention of the leadership at eFive."

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+ - 181 Russian officials are considering a plan to ban children from using WiFi-> 1

Submitted by dsinc
dsinc (319470) writes "The Communications and Press Ministry has proposed banning children from using Wi-Fi networks in public, potentially making cafes, restaurants and other locations providing the service responsible for enforcing the law.

An official with the ministry’s Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, known as Roskomnadzor, said the ban should apply to people under 18 years old.

Locations providing Wi-Fi access would be held legally responsible for implementing the rule, and failing to meet the proposed measure would result in a fine ranging from 20,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles ($640 to $1,600), Vedomosti reported Thursday."

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NASA

+ - 166 Curiosity discovers unidentified, metallic object on Mars-> 1

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "A few hundred million miles away on the surface of the Red Planet, Mars rover Curiosity has discovered an unidentified, shiny, metallic object. Now, before you get too excited, the most likely explanation is that bright object is part of the rover that has fallen off — or perhaps some debris from MSL Curiosity’s landing on Mars, nine weeks ago. There is the distinct possibility, however, that this object is actually native to Mars, which would be far more exciting. It could be the tip of a larger object, or perhaps some kind of exotic, metallic Martian pebble (a piece of metal ore, perhaps). Close-up imagery will now be captured and analyzed, and within the next few days we should know if it's simply a piece of Curiosity — or something a whole lot more exciting indeed."
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Operating Systems

+ - 215 OS upgrades powered by Git->

Submitted by JamieKitson
JamieKitson (757690) writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git. bod"
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Robotics

+ - 225 Water-Prospecting Polaris Lunar Rover Prototype Built->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Astrobotic Technology Inc., a spin-off company of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has debuted its full-size flight prototype of its Polaris lunar water-prospecting robot. Polaris is specially designed to work in the permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s poles. Scheduled to be sent to the Moon using a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the solar-powered rover is a contender in the US$20 million Google Lunar X Prize and is tasked with seeking ice deposits that could be used by future colonists."
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Handhelds

+ - 114 Snes/Nes & Megadrive Perfect Gaming On a Handheld

Submitted by YokimaSun
YokimaSun (930294) writes "DCEmu have an article about a Handheld thats been released that will play original Nes, Snes and Megadrive(genesis) Carts. Instead of emulating on consoles such as the PSP or Nintendo Wii, you can play the games on original hardware but whilst on the go. The Handheld comes with 2 joypads and even connects to the TV. It has a decent 8 hours of battery usage and if your lucky enough to own a flash cart for either the Snes or Megadrive this could very much be the ultimate system for you."
Canada

+ - 156 Can Google base ads on e-mails sent to Gmail accounts?->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "A new lawsuit targets Google for reading e-mails to target ads, according to TechCrunch. But the issue isn't that Google is reading e-mails from registered users; rather, the company is using e-mails sent from other services to Google users to target ads as well.

Google has gotten the side-eye a few times in the past for using e-mail content to serve context-based ads to its Gmail users. And for those Gmail users, Google's hide is covered: the terms of service explicitly state that users' e-mail content determines what ads they see."

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Hardware

+ - 149 How to add 5.5 petabytes and get banned from Costco during a hard drive crisis->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "“We buy lots and lots of hard drives . . . . [They] are the single biggest cost in the entire company.”

Those are the words of Backblaze Founder and CEO Gleb Budman, whose company offers unlimited cloud backup for just $5 a month, and fills 50TB worth of new storage a day in its custom-built, open source pod architecture. So one might imagine the cloud storage startup was pretty upset when flooding in Thailand caused a global shortage on internal hard drives last year.

Backblaze details much the process in a Tuesday-morning blog post, including the hijinks that followed as the company got creative trying to figure out ways around the new hard drive limits. Maps were drawn, employees were cut off from purchasing hard drives at Costco — both in-person throughout Silicon Valley and online (despite some great efforts to avoid detection, such as paying for hard drives online using gift cards) — and friends and family across the country were conscripted into a hard-drive-buying army."

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Hardware

+ - 173 10 reasons why the desktop PC will live forever->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "It's an intruiguing proposition, but don't count on mobile devices killing off your desktop PC any time soon. While mobile gear is certainly convenient when you're trying to conduct business on the go, it's nowhere near as convenient as a desktop when you're trying to complete serious work in an office environment.

Sure, your phone, tablet or even laptop might conveniently fit in your pocket or backpack, but all these devices are fraught with compromises, whether it's computing power, screen size, or, well, a really expensive price tag."

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Android

+ - 106 ZTE to launch Android-powered TV box->

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE is planning to launch an Android-powered digital set-top box with 3D capabilities "in the near future". A Bloomberg report Monday said ZTE's set-top box support 3D television content as well as boast video-calling capabilities and HTML 5 for displaying Internet content. As part of its TV push, the company also announced it has reached an agreement with Nagra, the digital TV division of Kudelski Group. Nagra has 70 percent share of Europe's cable TV devices and 18 percent of the global market. With this partnership, ZTE will be able to sell set-top boxes to customers of Nagra, the report said. This is not ZTE's first foray into Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services. In March, the company announced it had the third-largest share in the global IPTV set-top box market. It was second in IPTV middleware with 11 percent share, behind first-place Microsoft and its 22.9 percent share, it added."
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Google

+ - 125 Google doesn't support OpenDocument Format->

Submitted by
rysiek
rysiek writes "After killing off support for old Microsoft formats, Google apparently decided to turn against OpenDocument Format (used by LibreOffice, OpenOffice and many other office suites).

The support for ODF is lacking from Chromebooks, Android phones, Google Drive and QuickOffice. However, Microsoft's controversial OOXML seems to be supported well."

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Android

+ - 130 Why Is Google Killing The Open Document Formats?->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Google has zero support for Open Document Format across all its products including Android, Chrome OS, Google Drive and QuickOffice. You are forced to use Microsoft's OOXML. I am left with puzzling questions why is Google not supporting ODF and locking users into an incompatible and vendor-locked OOXML format? Will Google endorse open standards and Open Document Formats or its users will be forced to use Microsoft's OOXML? I"
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News

+ - 121 UK Begins GBP35m Research Into 5G Mobile Broadband->

Submitted by
Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK writes "The government of the United Kingdom has established a new £35 million partnership between international mobile phone operators, telecoms equipment makers and the University of Surrey (England) that looks set to help research and develop the 5th generation of ultrafast mobile broadband (5G) products and services.

At this stage it's still far too early to know precisely what any official 5G standard could end up looking like, although top transfer speeds of 10 to 100Gbps (Gigabits per second) are being debated."

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Microsoft

+ - 216 Microsoft Patents 1826 Choropleth Map Technique

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "A newly-granted Microsoft patent for Variable Formatting of Cells covers the use of 'variable formatting for cells in computer spreadsheets, tables, and other documents', such as using the spectrum from a first color to a second color to represent the values in or associated with each cell. Which is really not a heck of a lot different from how Baron Pierre Charles Dupin created what's believed to be the first choropleth map way back in 1826, when he used shadings from black to white to illustrate the distribution and intensity of illiteracy in France. BTW, beginning in March, the U.S. will switch from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system of granting patents. Hey, what could go wrong?"
Security

+ - 127 Civil Rights Captcha employs an empathy test to ward off spambots->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Loathe it as we do, the captcha goes a long way to preventing websites from being inundated with spam comments produced by nefarious software. However, there’s room for improvement, and rather than tasking a user with a series of random words which must be entered in order to be allowed to comment on a website, the Civil Rights Captcha employs an empathy test to measure whether you pass muster. The Civil Rights Captcha is the brainchild of Civil Rights Defenders, a Sweden-based international human rights organization. The organization states that it has created the new captcha in order to provide a simpler and more effective method of keeping websites spam-free, in addition to drawing attention to the importance of human rights."
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AMD

+ - 95 AMD's new tablet platform combines Radeon graphics, USB 3.0->

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "AMD has released a new APU designed specifically for tablets and hybrid devices. Dubbed the Z-60, this low-power offering uses the same microarchitecture as AMD's existing budget processors but cuts the thermal envelope by almost 25%, allowing the chip to slip into systems just 10 mm thick. In addition to dual CPU cores, the Z-60 features Radeon integrated graphics and a decoding block that's fully supported by Windows 8's video pipeline. The accompanying platform hub supports conventional Serial ATA drives and USB 3.0 devices, perks you won't find in Intel's equivalent Atom processor, and ones that seem particularly applicable to notebook/tablet hybrids."
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PC Games (Games)

+ - 99 What PC Gamers Think About PC Game Critics->

Submitted by DaneM
DaneM (810927) writes "Have you ever wondered why the Metacritic rating for a given "AAA" (high-budget) PC game is often the opposite of the "User" rating for that same game? In this (short) blog post, the "critic top 20" games are compared to the "user top 20" games, and observations are made on the contrasts therein. Do Slashdotters think this is basic ineptitude on the part of critics, sample bias, bribery, or something else? How many new games have you blown all your spare cash on at a critic's recommendation, only to find that it's utter crap?"
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