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DRM

+ - 224 Blizzard in trouble over Diablo III DRM->

Submitted by The_Myth
The_Myth (84113) writes "Blizzard appears to be under investigation in Korea, France and Germany over Diablo III requiring an "always connected" internet connection to play. The limitations on being unable to onsell or return Diablo III and the lack of capacity on Battle.Net have caught the attention of consumer advocacy groups who are preparing for potential class action lawsuits. Who knew that piracy could potentially cost a game publisher less than legal settlements?"
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Microsoft

+ - 235 Microsoft Unvailes New Ipad Challenging Tablet ->

Submitted by SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ (2576405) writes "Microsoft today unveiled its newest piece of technology; The Surface Tablet, a tablet computer meant to challenge the popular Ipad computers created by Apple. The company showed off a tablet that is about the same weight and thickness as an iPad, with a 10.6-inch screen. "The device has a built-in “kickstand” that allows it to be propped up for watching movies, and a thin detachable cover that will serve double duty as a keyboard." The tablet will run a version of Microsoft 8 with the intention of companion hardware being used for innovations on the product. The presentation of the new tablet was to the way in which Apple traditionally opens a new product; giving the media only a few days notice and withholding the exact location of the announcement until only hours before presenting. The announcement thus far has not affected Microsoft stock."
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Amiga

+ - 140 How Icaros Desktop brings the Amiga experience to x86 PCs->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Icaros Desktop is an effort to build a modern Amiga-compatible operating system to standard x86 hardware. It's a distribution built atop AROS, which is an open source effort to create a system compatible at the API level with the AmigaOS 3.x series. I recently had a chat to the creator of Icaros, Paolo Besser, about the creation of the OS and why Amiga continues to inspire people today."
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Microsoft

+ - 457 Microsoft announces Surface tablet, with kickstand and fold-out keyboard-> 7

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "At its much-discussed “big unveil” this evening, Microsoft did indeed launch a tablet — but rumors that the device would showcase a Barnes & Noble partnership were misplaced. Instead, Microsoft showed a vision for a next-gen PC that combines the portability of a tablet with a minimalistic fold-out keyboard and integrated kickstand. Microsoft’s idea for the tablet (confusingly called Surface) is a device that integrates a better keyboard option than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That’s where the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in. At 3mm thick, it adds virtually nothing to the device’s size, but it opens up a world of inputs. There are two covers available — the Touch Cover (very thin) and the Type Cover (with proper, tactile keys). Microsoft is touting the device’s magnesium body, vapor-deposited construction, full PC functionality, and additional features like being the first tablet to showcase a 2×2 MIMO wireless antenna. Windows RT (ARM) and x86 versions are both in the works, with the x86 version apparently having a higher quality screen. No word on hardware specs yet; Microsoft is claiming it “rivals the best ultrabooks” and uses less power than the Core i5. I'm a little bit dubious on that front — and also dubious about how Microsoft's hardware partners will receive this new, rather competitive offering..."
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China

+ - 216 China to Build World's Tallest Tower in 90 Days->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Even since the current world’s tallest builing – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – was completed, there has been a constant battle to build the world’s next tallest building. The current record holder stands tall at 828 meters and took five years to build, but a Chinese company called Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) aims to smash that record by building the 838 meter Sky City tower, in Changsa, China in a mere 90 days. BSB plans to use prefab building techniques to construct the tower in record time."
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Security

+ - 196 Schneier: Stuxnet cyberattack by US a 'destabilizing and dangerous' action->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Revelations by The New York Times that President Barack Obama in his role as commander in chief ordered the Stuxnet cyberattack against Iran's uranium-enrichment facility two years ago in cahoots with Israel is generating controversy, with Washington in an uproar over national-security leaks. But the important question is whether this covert action of sabotage against Iran, the first known major cyberattack authorized by a U.S. president, is the right course for the country to take. Are secret cyberattacks helping the U.S. solve geopolitical problems or actually making things worse? Bruce Schneier, whose most recent book is "Liars and Outliers," argues the U.S. made a mistake with Stuxnet, and he discusses why it's important for the world to tackle cyber-arms control now."
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+ - 140 Best solution to run an email discussion forum

Submitted by
John3
John3 writes "For the past 15+ years I've maintained The Hardlines Digest (URL omitted to reduce the /. effect), an email discussion list for members of the retail hardware and lumber business. Since the beginning I've run the list on a Windows box running Lyris Listmanager, and it's worked admirably over the years. However, the list now has over 2,600 members and Listmanager doesn't have a nice web interface for users that like to read via their browser. Listmanager also doesn't handle attachments and HTML formatting well for the daily "digest" version of the discussions. Finally, I'd really like to move hosting off-site so I don't need to maintain the server. The list members are hardware store owners and many are technically challenged, so I need to keep change to a minimum and make it easy for them to migrate. I've considered Google Groups and that seems to have most of the features I need. Are there any other low cost solutions for hosting a large discussion list?"
Science

+ - 165 Tracking Designer Drugs, Many At Once->

Submitted by LilaG
LilaG (2576095) writes "Drug tests spot banned substances based on their chemical structures, but a new breed of narcotics is designed to evade such tests. These synthetic marijuana drugs, found in "herbal incense," are mere chemical tweaks of each other, allowing them to escape detection each time researchers develop a new test for one of the compounds. Now chemists have developed a method that can screen for multiple designer drugs at once, without knowing their structures. The test may help law enforcement crack down on the substances.

The researchers used a technique called "mass defect filtering," which can detect related compounds all at once. That's because related compounds have almost equal numbers to the right of the decimal point in their molecular masses.

The researchers tested their technique on 32 herbal products with names like "Mr. Nice Guy" and "Hot Hawaiian." They found that every product contained one or more synthetic cannabinoid; all told, they identified nine different compounds in them — two illegal ones and seven that are not regulated.

The news story appears in Chemical & Engineering News and the original paper is (behind a paywall) in Analytical Chemistry."

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Technology

+ - 170 Ferrofluid tattoos vibrate your skin in response to calls and texts->

Submitted by
ericjones12398
ericjones12398 writes "Nokia is bringing tattoos into the high-tech world. The telecommunications giant recently filed a patent for the world's first smart tattoos. Made of ferromagnetic material, the tattoo would vibrate when your smartphone received incoming phone calls, texts and emails.
The tattoo is either cool or creepy depending on your attitude toward such things as tattoos and cyborg implants. But human cyborg technology is nothing new. Indeed, Nokia's vibrating magnetic tattoos are part of a broader trend in technology. No longer content to carry gadgets, there's a movement toward getting the conveniences of smartphones and other electronic devices embedded right in your body."

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Intel

+ - 138 Intel Announces Xeon Phi For "Exascale" Computing->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "At the International Supercomputing Conference today, Intel announced that Knights corner, the company's first commercial Many Integrated Core (MIC) product will ship commercially in 2012. The descendent of the processor formerly known as Larrabee also gets a new brand name--Xeon Phi. The idea behind Intel's new push is that the highly efficient Xeon E5 architecture (eight-core, 32nm Sandy Bridge) fuels the basic x86 cluster, while the Many Integrated Core CPUs that grew out of the failed Larrabee GPU offer unparalleled performance scaling and break new ground. The challenges Intel is trying to surmount are considerable. We've successfully pushed from teraflops to petaflops, but exaflops (or exascale computing) currently demands more processors and power than it's feasible to provide in the next 5-7 years. Intel's MIC is targeted at hammering away at that barrier and create new opportunities for supercomputing deployments."
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Government

+ - 180 US government spending $19 million to assign contractors a number->

Submitted by Sparticus789
Sparticus789 (2625955) writes "A GAO report shows that "The government handles more than $1 trillion a year in contracts and grants. Washington needs to assign a unique number to each one of them, to track all the businesses and other entities it deals with. For more than three decades, it has turned to one company — Dun & Bradstreet — for its numbering needs." The article goes on to say "the government is now spending roughly $19 million a year on the system that cost just $1 million annually one decade ago."

The database only contains 625,000 entries, how many better ways are there to store this same amount of data?"

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AMD

+ - 165 CPUs of the future: AMD partners with ARM, Intel designs a brain on a chip->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "In the past week, both AMD and Intel have given us a tantalizing peek at their next-generation neuromorphic (brain-like) computer chips. These chips, it is hoped, will provide brain-like performance (i.e. processing power and massive parallelism way beyond current CPUs) while consuming minimal amounts of power. First, AMD last week announced that its future APUs will feature ARM Cortex cores, first to implement TrustZone (ARM Holdings' hardware DRM/security chip), but then eventually as part of a proper x86-ARM-GPU heterogeneous system architecture (HSA). It isn’t too crazy to think that a future AMD (or Texas Instruments) chip might have a few GPU cores, a few x86 CPU cores, and thousands of tiny ARM cores, all working in perfect, parallel, neuromorphic harmony — as long as the software toolchain is good enough that you don’t have to be some kind of autist to use all of those resources efficiently. Intel, on the other hand, today unveiled a neuromorphic chip design based on multi-input lateral spin valves (LSV) and memristors. LSVs are microscopic magnets that change their magnetism to match the spin of electrons being passed through them (spintronics). Memristors are electronic components that increase their resistance as electricity passes through them one way, and reduce their resistance when electricity flows in the opposite direction — and when no power flows, the memristor remembers its last resistance value (meaning it can store data). Unlike state-of-the-art CMOS transistors that require volts to switch on and off, the LSV neurons only require a handful of electrons to change their orientation, which equates to 20 millivolts. For some applications, Intel thinks its neuromorphic chip could be up to 300 times more energy efficient than the CMOS equivalent."
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Government

+ - 163 NASA and FAA team to streamline, regulate commercial space access->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA today said they signed an agreement to coordinate standards for commercial space travel of government and non-government astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station (ISS). The main goals of the agreement are to establish a framework for the emerging commercial US space industry to help streamline requirements and multiple sets of standards and ultimately to regulate public and crew safety."
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+ - 202 Samsung Galaxy S3 Face Unlock tricked by photograph->

Submitted by AlistairCharlton
AlistairCharlton (2525880) writes "Android's Face Unlock security on the Samsung Galaxy S3 can be tricked into unlocking the phone by showing it a photograph of the owner.

In a test carried out by IBTimes UK, we found that the Galaxy S3 cannot distinguish between a photograph and a real person, leading us to suggest users should select a more secure way of locking the phone, such as with a PIN or password."

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Games

+ - 165 Unity 3D Game Engine Adds Linux Support->

Submitted by dartttt
dartttt (1883852) writes "After more than 14,000 votes by Linux users and efforts by Brian Fargo, Unity 3D has added Linux support to their popular game engine. Starting with Unity 4.0, Linux will be supported as a publishing platform allowing Unity games to be played natively on Linux. Only standalone desktop games will be supported initially. There is no word on Linux support for game editor and web player."
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Movies

+ - 170 Ask Slashdot: Will The Hobbit at 48 fps be better than 24fps?-> 1

Submitted by kodiaktau
kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Film makers keep touting increased frame per second rate as improving viewing and cinema experience, however the number of theaters who actually support the equipment that can play the higher rate film. It makes me wonder if this is in the real interest of creating a better experience and art, or if it is a ploy by the media manufacturers to sell more expensive equipment and drive ticket prices up."
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Android

+ - 142 Android Malware Scam Nets $265K, Lands IT Execs in Jail->

Submitted by AZA43
AZA43 (1109189) writes "Tokyo police have arrested six men, including two IT executives and one former tech exec, in connection with an Android malware campaign that netted $265,000. The men created a piece of Android malware that they disguised as a video player and distributed through an adult website. The app stole personal information and attempted to extort money for data "protection services." The malware doesn't appear to be particularly sophisticated, but it convinced more than 200 horny Japanese dudes to shell out $1200 each. And the arrests are one of, if not the, first time a major police force brought down criminals who used Android malware to extort a significant chunk of cash."
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AI

+ - 157 A Faster Jigsaw Solving Algorithm ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Andrew Gallagher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has improved the standard approach to automated jigsaw solving by copying what humans do in finding groups of pieces that best match and working outwards from there.
With a speed of 10,000 pieces per 24 hours it can solve large puzzles. Not only that but the type of jigsaw it solves is more difficult than the usual in that the pieces are square and can be placed in any orientation. It is so good it can even solve problems consisting of a number of mixed up puzzles without being told how many or their dimensions.
Of course as well as having fun beating humans at another recreational pastime the technique could be used to unscramble shredded documents as per the recent Darpa challenge."

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Censorship

+ - 295 Google Reveals 'Terrorism Video' Removals

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Google has revealed it removed about 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism over the second half of 2011 after complaints from the UK's Association of Chief Police Officers. The news was contained in its latest Transparency Report which discloses requests by international authorities to remove or hand over material. YouTube had also rejected many other state's requests for action. Overall, Google summed it had received 461 court orders covering a total of 6,989 items between July and December 2011. From those, it said 68% of the orders were complied with. Google added that it had received a further 546 informal requests covering 4,925 items, of which it had agreed to 43% of the cases. The BBC article lists some examples of videos that were either terminated or allowed to stay."
Canada

+ - 158 The Canadian DMCA Battle Concludes: How Thousands of Canadians Changed Copyright->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Nearly 15 years of debate over digital copyright reform will come to an end today as Bill C-11, the fourth legislative attempt at Canadian copyright reform, passes in the House of Commons. Many participants in the copyright debate view the bill with great disappointment, pointing to the government's decision to adopt restrictive digital lock rules as a signal that their views were ignored. Despite the loss on digital locks, the "Canadian copyfight" led to some dramatic changes to Canadian copyright with some important wins for Canadians who spoke out on copyright. The government expanded fair dealing and added provisions on time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, and user generated content in response to public pressure. It also included a cap on statutory damages, expanded education exceptions, and rejected SOPA-style amendments."
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+ - 145 FunnyJunk Sues The Oatmeal over TM and "Incitement to Cyber-Vandalism"->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "You may recall from last week the news item concerning FunnyJunk's extortion ... er ... threat of defamation lawsuit against The Oatmeal highlighting a fairly pervasive problem of rehosting content — in this case web comics. Instead of expediting a payment of $20,000 to FunnyJunk, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal decided to crowd source the money (with 8 days left he has only garnered 900% of his goal) and donate it to charity after sending a picture of it to FunnyJunk. Charles Carreon (the man who has FunnyJunk) has made statements of Inman like 'I really did not expect that he would marshal an army of people who would besiege my website and send me a string of obscene emails.' In an interview with Matthew Inman's not so favorite news site Carreon says 'So someone takes one of my letters and takes it apart. That doesn’t mean you can just declare netwar, that doesn’t mean you can encourage people to hack my website, to brute force my WordPress installation so I have to change my password. You can’t encourage people to violate my trademark and violate my twitter name and associate me with incompetence with stupidity, and douchebaggery. And if that’s where the world is going I will fight with every ounce of force in this 5’11 180 pound frame against it. I’ve got the energy, and I’ve got the time.' Well it appears that Carreon has filed suit over these matters alleging 'trademark infringement and incitement to cyber-vandalism.' Speaking of douchebaggery, Charles Carreon curiously fails to mention that he first incited all of his users to harass The Oatmeal anyway they can which they dutifully did. One last juicy detail is that Carreon is also suing the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society to which Inman's crowd sourced money is going. Luckily, Inman's lawyer appears to be fully competent and able to address Carreon's complaints."
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Censorship

+ - 230 China tries to get the UN to censor the net-> 1

Submitted by
Omnifarious
Omnifarious writes "China (along with other member nations) is trying to push a proposal through a little known UN agency called the International Telecommunications Union (aka ITU). This proposal contains a wide variety of problematic provisions that represent a huge power grab on the part of the UN, and a severe threat to a continued global and open Internet."
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