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

Chrome

+ - 121 IE And Firefox Gain, While Chrome Loses Users For Third Month In A Row 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "November 2012 wasn’t too crazy a month for browsers, but there were some notable milestones. It was the first full month of IE10 availability. Mozilla launched Firefox 17 and Google released Chrome 23. Between October and November, Internet Explorer gained an impressive 0.63 percentage points. Firefox meanwhile regained its recent losses, grabbing 0.45 percentage points, while Chrome fell a whopping 1.31 percentage points (more than in September and October combined). Safari gained 0.04 percentage points and even Opera managed to pick up 0.07 percentage points."
Bitcoin

+ - 97 Bitcoin GPU Miners still going strong->

Submitted by
ASDFnz
ASDFnz writes "One of the predictions that I posted might happen when the mining reward dropped from 50 BTC to 25 is that GPU Miners will get switched off because the price in electricity to run them would far outweigh the bitcoin reward they generate, I proposed that this would lead to a drop in the bitcoin network computation speed.

Well, I was wrong.

If you have a look at the graph provided by the great team over at http://bitcoin.sipa.be/ you will see that today, the 3rd of December 2012 a full 4 days after the reward drop the network computation speed is actually growing."

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Microsoft

+ - 175 Windows 8 adoption as slow as Vista->

Submitted by Billly Gates
Billly Gates (198444) writes "Computerworld recently published an article after Microsoft claimed $40 million copies were sold making it the most popular version of Windows ever made! Many of us had our doubts with stories of Microsoft and retailers blaming OEMs for low projections. Netmarketshare says otherwise as actual usage shows it only slighter higher than Vista with Windows 7 HUGELY more popular. Is Microsoft counting every new PC sale a Windows 8 one including corps who are imaging each device with Windows 7?"
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Apple

+ - 270 Some Apple iMac's "Assembled in America"-> 1

Submitted by whisper_jeff
whisper_jeff (680366) writes "A number of newly-purchased standard units are showing an "Assembled in America" notation. While the markings don't necessarily mean that Apple is in the midst of transferring its entire assembly operation from China to the U.S., it does indicate that at least a few of the new iMacs were substantially assembled domestically."
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Hardware

+ - 200 "self-healing" NAND flash memory that can survive over 100 million cycles->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Taiwan-based Macronix has found a solution for a weakness in flash memory fadeout. A limitation of flash memory is simply that eventually it cannot be used; the more cells in the memory chips are erased, the less useful to store data. The write-erase cycles degrade insulation; eventually the cell fails. "Flash wears out after being programmed and erased about 10,000 times," said the IEEE Spectrum. Engineers at Macronix have a solution that moves flash memory over to a new life. They propose a "self-healing" NAND flash memory solution that can survive over 100 million cycles."
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Moon

+ - 105 Golden Spike Co. may announce private lunar expedition at December 6 event->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "A mysterious space enterprise, called the Golden Spike Company, is going to make an announcement about its future plans at a press conference at the National Press Club on December 6. Golden Spike is reported to be the commercial space company that plans to undertake a private expedition to the moon by 2020."
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Hardware

+ - 114 Ask Slashdot: System Builder Guides You Like?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I don't keep up on the latest hardware iterations, so by the time it comes to build a new rig I'm way out of date. I've used Ars Technica's system builder's guides as a starting point for years, but the site seem to have abandoned them. Are there any other sites doing comparable system builder guides?"
Patents

+ - 136 New Proposal to Disneyify Inventive Activity in the United States-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Joshua Simmons authored an article for the N.Y.U. Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law (abstract and paper available). The article is a comparison of the developments in copyright law and patent law in the nineteenth century that resulted in copyright law developing a work made for hire doctrine while patent law only developed a patch work of judge-made employment doctrines. The article theorizes that patent law did not develop an inventions made for hire doctrine, because inventive activity was almost exclusively perceived to be performed by individuals. It goes on to suggest that, as patentable inventions today are generally perceived to be invented collaboratively, the Patent Act should be amended to borrow from the Copyright Act and adopt a principle similar to the work made for hire doctrine."
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Education

+ - 211 Khan Academy: The Future of Taxpayer Reeducation? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has launched a website and gone social on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to educate taxpayers on why they must make good on pension promises to state workers. And, in addition to Squeezy the Pension Python, Gov. Quinn is enlisting the help of Khan Academy, the tax-exempt, future-of-education organization funded by tax-free millions from Google, Bill Gates, and others, to help convince taxpayers that a state-pension-promise is a promise. In the Khan Academy video commissioned by the Governor, Illinois Pension Obligations, Sal Khan concedes that the annual annuity payouts for IL state employee retirees do look 'pretty reasonable' — e.g., $43,591 for the average teacher, $117,558 for a judge — but goes on to argue that 'in all fairness, this was promised to these people,' who he speculates 'probably took lower compensation while they were working,' 'probably stayed in the jobs longer,' and 'probably sacrificed other things' to get these 'great benefits.' 'We’re delighted to have his [Khan's] help in enlightening Illinois citizens about how the pension problem came to be,' said the Governor. Of course, not everything can be explained in one video — perhaps other contributing factors like 'pension spiking', lobbyists' maneuvers, sweetheart deals, creative job reclassification, golden parachutes, bruising investment losses, and other wacky pension games will be taught in Illinois Pension Obligations II!"

+ - 233 The Promo Bay Blocked by UK ISPs->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Pirate Bay’s artist promotion platform – the Promo Bay website, despite being perfectly legal, is being blocked by several UK Internet service providers including BT, Virgin Media it has been revealed. The Promo Bay was launched this week as a promotion platform for content creators like filmmakers, musicians enabling them to showcase their talent and work to thousands of people across the web. Even though the idea is novel, The Promo Bay has somehow found itself on a block list alongside the Pirate Bay because of which the site is facing the blockade."
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Nintendo

+ - 105 Engeniux creates first Autonomous Game Console->

Submitted by
jvilla1983
jvilla1983 writes "Engeniux, formally Envizions who was known for creating and bringing to market the Envizions EVO Smart Console has been hard at work creating the world's first Autonomous Game Console, OTON. Claims by Engeniux state that it will be able to generate games and levels on the fly and will allow users to create their own games and content for free. The OTON will come with a rear laser projector for gaming or presentations on the go. OTON, based on a custom version of Ubuntu, will also be able to play Linux, Android and built randomly by the OTON framework.

The unit is the product of 3 years of development and experimentation by Derrick Samuels and others into what the future of gaming would be like."

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+ - 166 McAfee's blog claims that he's been captured->

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "A blog being maintained for the past three weeks by antivirus pioneer John McAfee and others is claiming to have received “an unconfirmed report” that McAfee has been captured near the border of Belize and Mexico. However, authorities in Belize say that report is not true and that the whereabouts of McAfee, wanted for questioning as a “person of interest” after the Nov. 11 murder of his neighbor, remain unknown."
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Privacy

+ - 195 Julian Assange: "Online Totalitarianism is Near, Entire Nations are Intercepted"-> 2

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "Russia Today's correspondents have visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange has been holed up for nearly 6 months now. In the 12 minute long interview with RT, Assange has many interesting things to say about privacy, and government data interception in particular. A small excerpt: >> Russia Today — 'So you’ve written this book ‘Cypherpunks. Freedom and the Future of the Internet’ based on one of the programs that you’ve made for RT. In it, you say that the internet can enslave us. I don’t really get that, because the internet it’s a thing, it’s a soulless thing. Who are the actual enslavers behind it?' >> Julian Assange — 'The people who control the interception of the internet and, to some degree also, physically control the big data warehouses and the international fiber-optic lines. We all think of the internet as some kind of Platonic Realm where we can throw out ideas and communications and web pages and books and they exist somewhere out there. Actually, they exist on web servers in New York or Nairobi or Beijing, and information comes to us through satellite connections or through fiber-optic cables. So whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that’s the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned – intercepting entire nations, not individuals. The US National Security Agency has been doing this for some 20-30 years. But it has now spread to mid-size nations, even Gaddafi’s Libya was employing the EAGLE system, which is produced by French company AMESYS, pushed there in 2009, advertised in its international documentation as a nationwide interception system. So what’s happened over the last 10 years is the ever-decreasing cost of intercepting each individual now to the degree where it is cheaper to intercept every individual rather that it is to pick particular people to spy upon.'"
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Android

+ - 217 PengPod raises more than $50,000, plans to ship Linux powered tablets soon->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Quoted liliputing

"PengPodPengPod plans to start shipping 7 and 10 inch tablets with support for Linux as well as Google Android in January. The company, founded by Neal Peacock, has been raising money to help support software development for the tablets — and Peacock just wrote in to let us know the project has surpassed its initial $49,000 fundraising goal. In other words, the campaign will be fully funded and backers that pledged $120 or more should get their tablets starting in January if all goes according to plan.""

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Japan

+ - 130 Tunnel collapsed in Japan and Vehicles got trapped in Fire.->

Submitted by
rtoz
rtoz writes "At least seven people were feared dead after part of a highway tunnel (4.7-km Sasago Tunnel) collapsed Sunday in eastern Japan, trapping them in their vehicles and starting a fire that filled the tunnel with thick, black smoke. Government officials said fear of an additional collapse had prevented rescuers from reaching the two trapped vehicles.

Watch CCTV Footage showing inside Scene of the collapsed Tunnel"

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+ - 145 Alcoholic fly larvae need fix for learning->

Submitted by mphall21
mphall21 (1332405) writes "A report says alcoholic fly larvae learn better when mildly intoxicated, showing that alcohol abuse can have lasting effects on the brain.

'Our evidence supports the long-ago proposed idea that functional ethanol tolerance is produced by adaptations that counter the effects of ethanol, and that these adaptations help the nervous system function more normally when ethanol is present," says Brooks Robinson of The University of Texas at Austin. "However, when ethanol is withheld, the adaptations persist to give the nervous system abnormal properties that manifest themselves as symptoms of withdrawal.'"

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Medicine

+ - 185 No more "Asperger's Syndrome"->

Submitted by cstacy
cstacy (534252) writes "The American Psychiatric Association is dropping Asperger's Syndrome from the upcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5).
It's symptoms will be included under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes everything from severe autism such as children who do not talk or interact, to milder forms of autism. Asperger's disorder is impairment in social interaction and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities and interests, without significant delay in language or cognitive development. Often the person has high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lacks social skills. DSM-5 comes out in May and will be the first major rewrite in 19 years."

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