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

+ - 237 Best phone carrier in the US 1

Submitted by
martypantsROK
martypantsROK writes "After nearly seven years of living abroad, I'm planning to return to the USA in early 2013. Last time I lived there, smart phones weren't out yet, dropped calls were common and poor reception (can you hear me now?) was an ad campaign. I'm used to South Korea's wicked speeds, both internet and wireless networks, and wondering what the slashdot community believes to be best carrier in the USA. Which is fastest? Which offers the best deal for unlimited data? Nationwide roaming and coverage? Prices? Service?"
Oracle

+ - 187 Nokia bets big on mapping->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Nokia and Oracle have joined forces on mapping, with details of the deal to be announced at the Oracle OpenWorld conference. To differentiate its smartphones from the competition, Nokia is betting big on location as well as imaging technology. Oracle is expected to add Nokia's mapping technology to its applications. Part of Nokia's location strategy is signing deals for the use of its Navteq mapping technology with as many companies as possible. Besides the deal with Oracle, Nokia has recently announced contracts with car makers BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Korean Hyundai, which will all use Navteq map data in some of their vehicles. Garmin will also start using Nokia data on transit services and walking routes to power a new Urban Guidance feature, which will be available as part of its Navigon app for Android and iOS. Nokia's most important partner on navigation, though, is Microsoft. All smartphones based on Windows Phone 8 will have Nokia's Drive application as standard, while Microsoft's Bing Maps geographical search engine uses Nokia data."
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IT

+ - 189 Dysfunctional IT Relationships-> 1

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "In large technology departments, dysfunctional relationships breed like mushrooms in a dank basement. 'Your dev and ops teams are no longer on speaking terms, while your junior and senior developers can't seem to agree on anything. IT and legal are constantly at each other's throats. Storage wonks are ready to declare war on the database admins, while sys admins seem to be on everyone's bad side.' InfoWorld's Dan Tynan takes a look at how to rectify tensions that often arise when conflicting demands are placed on the same IT systems. How does your IT department handle friction?"
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NASA

+ - 155 Former Apple, NASA engineers wed to brew up insane coffee system->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "What do you get when you combine work experience at Apple, NASA, MIT and BMW with an expert industrial designer? One helluva cup of coffee apparently. This is no run-of-the-mill coffee brewing system either, unless you have the $11,000 the new Blossom One Limited system costs."
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Programming

+ - 201 TypeScript - Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Everyone seems to have a replacement for JavaScript — Google even has two. Now Microsoft has revealed that Anders Hejlsberg, the father of C# among other languages, has been working on a replacement and it has released a preview of TypeScript. The good news is that it is compatible with JavaScript — you can simply load JavaScript code and run it. JavaScript programs are TypeScript programs.To improve on JavaScript, TypeScript lets you include annotations that allow the compiler to understand what objects and functions support. The annotations are removed by the compiler, making it a zero overhead facility.
It also adds a full class construct to make it more like traditional object oriented languages. Not every JavaScript programmer will be pleased about the shift in emphasis, but the way it compiles to a JavaScript constructor is fairly transparent.
At this early stage it is difficult to see the development as good. It isn't particularly good for JavaScript developers who already have alternatives, and it isn't good for C# developers who now have confirmation that Ander Hejlsberg is looking elsewhere for his future."

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Cloud

+ - 162 RightScale, Scalr, enStratus: Comparing the APIs->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Back in May, I took a look at three cloud management platforms: RightScale, Scalr, and enStratus. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that people from two of those companies—RightScale and Scalr—took note of the article and replied in the comments, offering some clarification on their offerings. (And they were very civil: thank you!)

What I’d like to do next is re-visit these platforms, but focus directly on the APIs that the three offer—not so much coding, but a high-level picture of them. How do they stack up? What features do they have? How do they fit with standards? And what can you expect from the long-term?"

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China

+ - 178 Washington confirms Chinese hack attack on White House computer 3

Submitted by clam666
clam666 (1178429) writes "White House sources partly confirmed an alarming report that U.S. government computers — reportedly including systems used by the military for nuclear commands — were breached by Chinese hackers.

I mostly submitted it because I just loved the phrase "The attack originated in the form of a spear phish, which involves a spoofed inbound email with either a link to a malicious website or a weaponized document attachment such as a .pdf, Microsoft Excel file or Word document"

Damn those weaponized Excel files."
Data Storage

+ - 148 Gas Shortage Could Pop WD's Helium-Drive Plans->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "U.S. federal reserves of helium gas are at an all-time low after a 15-year wholesale sell off, which could effect WD's plans to begin manufacturing hard drives filled with the second lightest element. The U.S. reserves, created after WWI, are stored in natural underground rock formations in the Texas Panhandle. Those reserves feed the majority of the world's annual demand of 6.2 billion cubic feet. As supply dwindled, the government had hoped private industry would explore and bring its own sources of helium on line, but that has yet to happen. As a result, the price of helium, which is used in manufacturing semiconductors and cooling super magnets in MRIs and even CERN's Large Hadron Collider, has doubled in the past 10 years."
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Science

+ - 142 Bi-Fi: New Cell-to-Cell Communication Process Could Revolutionize Bioengineering->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The internet has revolutionized global communications and now researchers at Standford University are looking to provide a similar boost to bioengineering with a new process dubbed “Bi-Fi.” The technology uses an innocuous virus called M13 to increase the complexity and amount of information that can be sent from cell to cell. The researchers say the Bi-Fi could help bioengineers create complex, multicellular communities that work together to carry out important biological functions."
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IT

+ - 166 Child Death Sparks Post-PC Era at Seattle Hospital-> 2

Submitted by kye4u
kye4u (2686257) writes "The wall street journal reports that 'At Seattle Children’s Hospital, the death of an infant spurred its CIO, Wes Wright, to install a new generation of PCs providing faster boot-up times. Called zero clients because they contain no conventional operating system of their own and instead rely almost entirely on data and applications transmitted from a server, the new devices can shave almost an hour per day of wasted time per employee. Wright won’t be going back to traditional PCs, even for employees who don’t handle critical cases. “The speed and ubiquity the staff now has – if I took that away I’d have a riot on my hands,” Wright tells CIO Journal.' The CIO claims that making the switch to dumb terminals will save the hospital 6 million over 5 years. I don't see that savings. Is the hospital really better off?"
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The Military

+ - 224 The US Navy's awesome electromagnetic railgun programme->

Submitted by RougeFive
RougeFive (1066452) writes "Imagine a warship weapon that can launch projectiles at Mach 10 without explosives (more than three times the muzzle speed of an M16 rifle), that has a range 220 miles and that uses the enormous speed to destroy the target by causing as much damage as a Tomahawk missile. Meet the US Navy's electromagnetic railgun programme."
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Apple

+ - 166 EU says Apple's Warranty Advertisements are Unacceptable-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The European Union believes that Apple should be investigated for the way that it advertises warranties on their products. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding wrote to the member countries which is 27 to ask them to check whether Apple retailers failed to let buyers know about the right to a minimum 2-year warranty for products such as the iPhone and iPad under EU law."
Link to Original Source

+ - 148 Babylon 5's Michael O'Hare dies, aged 60->

Submitted by
Dynamoo
Dynamoo writes "Michael O'Hare, Jeffrey Sinclair from Babylon 5, died last Friday after suffering a heart attack. He is the fourth actor with a major role in the show to pass away, after Richard Biggs (2004) Andreas Katsulas (2006) and Jeff Conaway (2011). While paying respects to O'Hare, show creator J. Michael Straczynski remarked "I can only assume from all this that someone in the afterlife has begun pre-production on a Babylon 5 movie...""
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Crime

+ - 166 The first Robocop could be a telepresence robot->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Telepresence robots are already making their way into space and operating rooms and onto the battlefield, but Jeremy Robbins, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, wants to get telepresence robots (or telebots) on the mean streets to combat crime. He’s enlisted the help of researchers at Florida International University (FIU) to develop telerobotics systems that would let disabled law enforcement officers get back onto the beat using robots originally conceived for military applications."
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Japan

+ - 150 Japan set to punish illegal downloads->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "Such activity has been illegal since 2010, but until now had not invoked the penalties.

In theory the new download punishments can be enforced if a user is found to have copied a single pirated file.

The Recording Industry Association of Japan had pushed for the move, suggesting that illegal media downloads outnumbered legal ones by about a factor of 10.

The figure is based on a 2010 study which suggested that people in the country downloaded about 4.36 billion illegally pirated music and video files and 440 million purchased ones that year."

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A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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