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Businesses

+ - 199 Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business in China

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The WSJ reports that widespread disruptions to Google in China over the weekend halting use of everything from Google's search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses.The source of the disruptions couldn't be determined but Internet experts pointed to China's Internet censorship efforts, which have been ratcheted up ahead of the 18th Party Congress. "There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access," says David Wolf, citing recent articles in foreign media about corruption and wealth in China spurred by the party congress and the fall of former party star Bo Xilai, "that's their primary concern, people getting news either through Google or through its services." Beijing risks a backlash if it were to block Google outright on a long-term basis, says Wolf and such a move could put Beijing in violation of its free-trade commitment under the World Trade Organization and make China a less-attractive place to do business. "If China insists in the medium and long term of creating another Great Firewall between the China cloud and the rest of the world, China will be an increasingly untenable place to do business.""

+ - 188 X-Ray Laser for creating supercharged particles->

Submitted by William Robinson
William Robinson (875390) writes "Scientists have found way to use X-Ray Laser for creating supercharged particles. The specific tuning of the laser's properties can cause atoms and molecules to resonate. The resonance excites the atoms and causes them to shake off electrons at a rate that otherwise would require higher energies. This could be used to create highly charged plasma."
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+ - 168 Help OED Find First Reference to 'FAQ'->

Submitted by northernboy
northernboy (661897) writes "The Oxford English Dictionary needs your help! In order to authoritatively document the history and usage of the English language, the editors are seeking references to the first appearance of the term 'FAQ'. While I really wanted to post their appeal for a reliable reference to the first usage of 'cooties' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3zbY069E9g&list=PL07253E5BE6882EC9&index=5&feature=plpp_video) I felt that the Slashdot editors were more likely to post this item if it were in support of the more noble cause of identifying the first usage of FAQ, as we know it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VxBIwL38V0&list=PL07253E5BE6882EC9&index=7&feature=plpp_video).

Surely someone in the Slashdot community has access to a documented first sighti
ng of the term FAQ?

Please dig deep into your archives, and help the editors of the Oxford English D
ictionary today!"

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Space

+ - 139 Global warming felt by space junk, satellites->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "From msnbc.msn.com, "Rising carbon dioxide levels at the edge of space are apparently reducing the pull that Earth's atmosphere has on satellites and space junk, researchers say. The findings suggest that man made increases in carbon dioxide might be having effects on the Earth that are larger than expected, scientists added... in the highest reaches of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide can actually have a cooling effect. The main effects of carbon dioxide up there come from its collisions with oxygen atoms. These impacts excite carbon dioxide molecules, making them radiate heat. The density of carbon dioxide is too thin above altitudes of about 30 miles (50 kilometers) for the molecules to recapture this heat. Cooling the upper atmosphere causes it to contract, exerting less drag on satellites."

Notice: Your tin foil hats may need to be turned in for bunkers against falling space debris."

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Graphics

+ - 158 Ivan Sutherland wins Kyoto Prize->

Submitted by cstacy
cstacy (534252) writes "The Inamori Foundation has awarded the Kyoto Prize to graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland, for developing Sketchpad in 1963. The award recognizes significant technical, scientific and artistic contributions to the “betterment of mankind, and honors Sutherland him for nearly 50 years of demonstrating that computer graphics could be used “for both technical and artistic purposes.”"
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Piracy

+ - 303 Dictionary App auto-posts false accusations on users' Twitter Accounts-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Certain iPhone and iPad applications from a Japanese company have broken software piracy detection mechanisms that are sending out tweets on the user's own Twitter account saying, "How about we all stop using pirated iOS apps? I promise to stop. I really will. #softwarepirateconfession" The trouble is, it is sending these out on accounts of users who actually paid up to $50 or more for the software and who are legally using it. The app is asking for access to user's Twitter accounts, but does not give the reason why it is asking, so the author of the pocketables.com article concludes (rightly, I think) that things are being done deliberately.

Would you want your legally purchased software to send out messages to all of your contacts on Twitter or on other social networks saying that you were a software pirate? Would you excuse the writers of the software if it was just an error in their piracy detection measures? Your opinions would be quite interesting. In the meantime, search for the hashtag #softwarepirateconfession on Twitter to see the many instances of this piracy feature operating and/or misfiring."

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Businesses

+ - 167 Amid Fiscal Uncertainty Venture Capital is Way Down in Silicon Valley

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "With the 'fiscal cliff' just weeks away, Chris O'Brien writes that venture capital fundraising in silicon valley is down, the amount invested is down, the number of folks investing in venture capital is down, and the number of VC firms and partners are down. "The people I talked to in the industry sounded grim even as they tried to make the case for optimism," writes O'Brien. "Still, it remains difficult to identify a clear path for turning things around for the battered venture capitalists who make Silicon Valley hum." So what's wrong with the VC industry? The problems are many and complex but they can be boiled down to one thing: Not enough exits. For the size of venture capital being raised and invested, there simply aren't enough initial public offerings of stock or mergers and acquisitions to generate the returns that funds need. Venture insiders blame the global economic uncertainty. They believe that is part of the reason that giant corporations, which have amassed huge piles of cash, are just sitting on it, rather then using it to acquire startups. "The numbers are way down," said Ray Rothrock, a partner at Venrock. "All these companies with these fantastic balance sheets, and nobody is really buying anything. With all the uncertainty they're facing with the economy and taxes, buying little companies is way down on their list.""
Media

+ - 163 Director General of BBC resigns over "Poor Journalism"->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "George Entwistle, the new Director General of the BBC who had been on the job for a mere 54 days, has voluntarily resigned over a BBC program that featured 'Poor Journalism'. The program in question was 'Newsnight', which typically features hard-hitting investigative journalism similar to American programs like '60 Minutes'. On Friday night, Newsnight accused a prominent Conservative MP and former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, Lord Alistair McAlpine, of having sexually abused a number of young boys at Bryn Estyn Children’s Home in the 70s and 80s. Only after Newsnight aired with the allegations in the UK did the BBC realize that 'the wrong photographs were shown' to the alleged sexual abuse victims, who are now adults, and that Lord Alistair McAlpine had nothing whatsoever to do with the abuses committed. Newsnight's 'Poor Journalism' caused George Entwistle, the Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation, to resign voluntarily over the scandal caused by the erroneous allegations. This example of an important media chief 'resigning voluntarily due to bad journalism' is interesting, because many TV, Web and Print journalists make 'serious mistakes' in their coverage at some point or the other, and quite often no heads roll whatsoever as a result."
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+ - 129 Color-Screen TI-84 Plus Calculator Leaked-> 1

Submitted by
KermMartian
KermMartian writes "It has been nearly two decades since Texas Instruments released the TI-82 graphing calculator, and as the TI-83, TI-83+, and TI-84+ were created in the intervening years, these 6MHz machines have only become more absurdly retro, complete with 96x64-pixel monochome LCDs and a $120 price tag. However, a student member of a popular graphing calculator hacking site has leaked pictures and details about a new color-screen TI-84+ calculator, verified to be coming soon from Texas Instruments. With the lukewarm reception to TI's Nspire line, it seems to be an attempt to compete with Casio's popular color-screen Prizm calculator. Imagine the graphs (and games!) on this new 320x240 canvas."
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Government

+ - 196 Support Forums Reveal SCADA Infections->

Submitted by
chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes "We hear a lot about vulnerabilities in industrial control system (ICS) software. But what about real evidence of compromised SCADA and industrial control systems?
According to security researcher Michael Toecker (@mtoecker), a consultant at the firm Digital Bond, the evidence for infected systems with links to industrial automation and control systems is right under our eyes: buried in public support forums.
Toecker audited support sites like bleepingcomputer.com, picking through data dumps from free malware scanning tools like HijackThis and DDS. He found scans of infected systems that were running specialized ICS software like Schweitzer Engineering Labs (SEL) AcSELerator Software and GE Power’s EnerVista Software (used to configure GE electric power protection products).
The infected end user systems could be the pathway to compromising critical infrastructure, including electrical infrastructure. “With access to a protection relay through a laptop, a malicious program could alter settings in the configuration file, inject bad data designed to halt the relay, or even send commands directly to the relay when a connection was made,” Toecker wrote."

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+ - 122 Twisted light waves don't carry data->

Submitted by dgharmon
dgharmon (2564621) writes ""The new technique aims to exploit this orbital angular momentum, essentially encoding more data as a "twist" in the light waves .. In a paper in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Lund University's Ove Edfors and Anders Johansson argued that what was going on was a version of "multiple input, multiple output" — or Mimo — data transmission, a technique first outlined in the 1970s""
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Android

+ - 168 Apple and HTC Settle Patent Dispute->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
Jealous much, Samsung and Google?"

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Microsoft

+ - 287 Microsoft Surface Touch Cover "Splits within Days"-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports: 'Some early users of the Touch Cover of Microsoft's Surface tablet say one of the edges splits to expose a wire just days after they starting using it. A number of users on the Surface Forums site have reported the problem, which has also been experienced by Tom Warren, a writer on the Verge website and Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, a Windows developer. The defect is identical in each case: the cover, which has an integral keyboard, begins to split at its seam where the device attaches magnetically to the main computer. Microsoft did not respond to a request from The Guardian for information about how many reports there had been of the problem. Baxter-Reynolds was told to return his Touch Cover to Microsoft for a replacement, and Microsoft has been swapping faulty covers for users where it has retail stores. It's unclear whether the problems that people have encountered are due to a faulty batch or are a subtle problem that will become more apparent as more people use it for longer- but the fact that users in the US and the UK have reported the problem suggests that it is not isolated to a single manufacturing batch.'"
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Television

+ - 297 Sony DVR useless after Rovi stops TV Guide OnScreen->

Submitted by
speedlaw
speedlaw writes "Rovi has just announced that they are stopping the TV Guide OnScreen service as of April 13th, 2013-this was announced via the service itself. This is an on air listing service that provides listings over the air, as part of an OTA TV signal. Many devices, notably the Sony HDD 250 and 500 Digital Video Recorders, will no longer function without the clock-set data this stream provides. When Microsoft decided to stop supporting Windows 95, they didn't "brick" everyone's system. Worse, Sony never came out with another DVR in the US market. Why do we have to rent them ? How do we get Sony or Rovi to provide at least a software patch to set the clock so the DVR can at least retain 1980's VCR functionality ?

https://forum.sel.sony.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=15646&p=42468#p42468
Sony admits no fix.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/537711/sony-dhg-hdd250-500-official-thread too much information on TV Guide OnScreen.

The TV stations who broadcast the data have been ordered by Rovi to disconnect the data inserters and ship them back. I have a TiVo, and yes, I know all about HTPC, but this data stream was "lifetime listings" like TiVo has "lifetime listings"....now that Rovi is looking to cut, my two DVR units are about to brick....Slashdotters, help !"

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+ - 175 Adding forums to a website, what is the best way?

Submitted by
DustyMurray
DustyMurray writes "I am considering adding forums to my website, and am just getting confused by all the options. My first reaction is always DIY. You get better website integration, and it looks and feels 100% how you want it to look and feel. However looking at things like phpBB and Vanilla forums, I will be hard pressed to build a better user experience in a reasonable amount of time. Also these out-of-the-box solutions seem to be shouting "Easy to integrate with your website". So, considering this, how easy are these ready build forums really to integrate in your website. I remember one of my favorite site, going completely blabla when they started to use a generic forum instead. I even stopped going to them after a while... I definitely do not want that for my site.... So I want things like, looks and feels in integral part of the rest of my site. Want to be able to insert stuff on certain pages, so it's not either the forums, or my site... It must be a mix. And I do not want a second login system on my site. And last but not least, I definitely don't want to have this typical generic look that most forums sport, they just reek "out-of-the-box-very-vanilla".... So can all that be delivered with the out-of-the-box forums that exist today? And which one is the most flexible regarding these wishes."

+ - 241 Marine 'Treasure Trove' in Oceans may bring Revolutions in Medicine and Industry->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The Guardian reports: 'Scientists have pinpointed a new treasure trove in our oceans: micro-organisms that contain millions of previously unknown genes and thousands of new families of proteins. These tiny marine wonders offer a chance to exploit a vast pool of material that could be used to create innovative medicines, industrial solvents, chemical treatments and other processes, scientists say. Researchers have already created new enzymes for treating sewage and chemicals for making soaps from material they have found in ocean organisms. "The potential for marine biotechnology is almost infinite," says Curtis Suttle, professor of earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences at the University of British Columbia. "It has become clear that most of the biological and genetic diversity on Earth is – by far – tied up in marine ecosystems, and in particular in their microbial components. By weight, more than 95% of all living organisms found in the oceans are microbial. This is an incredible resource.""
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If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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