CWmike writes "President Barack Obama has ordered all major government agencies to make two key services available on mobile phones within a year, in an effort to embrace a growing trend toward Web surfing on mobile devices. Obama, in a directive issued Wednesday, also ordered federal agencies to create websites to report on their mobile progress. The websites are due within 90 days. Innovators in the private sector and the government have used the Internet and powerful computers to improve customer service, but 'it is time for the federal government to do more,' Obama said in the memo. 'For far too long, the American people have been forced to navigate a labyrinth of information across different government programs in order to find the services they need.'"
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
pigrabbitbear writes "Who's driving a lot of neuro research? The military. Much of it is health related, like figuring out how to make prosthetics work more seamlessly and helping diagnose brain injuries. But the military's involvement highlights the basic ethical quandary of neurological development: When our brains pretty much define who we are, what happens when you start adding tech in there? And what happens when you take it away? Jonathan Moreno is quite possibly the top bioethicist in the country, and along with Michael Tennison, recently penned a fascinating essay on the role and ethics of using neuroscience for national security. He also recently updated his book Mind Wars, a seminal look into the military's work with the brain. In this interview he discusses brain implants, drones, and what will happen when military tech hits the civilian world."
nk497 writes "Last year, Eric Schmidt slammed British computer science teaching, saying the UK was wasting its computing heritage — since then, the Government has agreed to re-examine how the subject is taught. 'Rebooting computer science education is not straightforward,' Schmidt said. 'Scrapping the existing curriculum was a good first step — the equivalent of pulling the plug out of the wall. The question is now how to power up.' To help, Schmidt has now promised funding from Google to train 100 teachers as well as give classrooms Raspberry Pis, via charity Teach First."
alphadogg writes "An Ohio startup company has raised $200 million to fund gigabit-per-second broadband projects in six university communities across the U.S., the company announced Wednesday. Gigabit Squared will work with the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U), a coalition of 30 universities focused on improved broadband, to select six communities in which to build the ultra-fast broadband networks, they said. The two organizations will select winning communities between November and the first quarter of 2013, Mark Ansboury, president of Gigabit Squared, said. The new project comes at an important time, when many commercial broadband providers have stopped deploying next-generation networks, said Blair Levin, executive director of Gig.U and lead author of the FCC's 2010 national broadband plan."
angry tapir writes "The creator of the Bredolab malware has received a four-year prison sentence in Armenia for using his botnet to launch DDoS attacks that damaged multiple computer systems owned by private individuals and organizations. G. Avanesov was sentenced by the Court of First Instance of Armenia's Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun administrative districts for offenses under Part 3 of the Article 253 of the country's Criminal Code — intentionally causing damage to a computer system with severe consequences."
ananyo writes "After 35 years, astronomer Jill Tarter is retiring from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) — a field she helped pioneer and popularize, most recently at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Tarter, who inspired the late Carl Sagan to create the fictional character Ellie Arroway, heroine of the book and movie Contact, says she will instead focus her efforts on what she calls 'the search for intelligent funding.'"
First time accepted submitter ziegenberg writes "The lunar rover 'Asimov' developed by the Part-Time Scientists, and due to land in 2014, will be the first autonomously navigated rover on the Moon. Its autonomous navigation system is a major technological leap. While the Russian Moon rovers Lunokhod 1 and 2 in the early 70s were fully controlled from Earth, today's Mars rovers like NASA's Mars Exploration Rover 'Opportunity,' which has been tirelessly exploring the Red Planet since 2004, are autonomous. However, Opportunity requires nearly three minutes to process a pair of images — a delay that causes it to move at an average speed of just 1 cm/sec or less. New developments by the technology partnership between the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics and the PTS have created, for the first time, an autonomous navigation system for a rover that has the capacity to process multiple images per second. The technology boosts a stereo camera that Asimov will use to calculate its own motion, generate a 2.5-dimensional environmental model, evaluate the site and determine a collision-free path — all in real time."
markjhood2003 writes "Fresh on the heels of Slashdot's discussion of the lack of browser choice on mobile devices comes the announcement of Yahoo's new web browser Axis. According to VentureBeat, the browser runs on iPad and iPhone as a separate standalone browser and as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, with support for Android and Windows Phone coming soon. It actually appears to bring some innovation to mobile search, displaying results and queries on the same page for more productive navigation between the two."
Fluffeh writes "Apple and Samsung just can't come to an agreement, even when the two CEOs have been ordered by a court to hash it out over a two-day period. U.S. Judge Judy Koh had ordered the sit down prior to court proceedings between the two giants, but the talks resulted in nothing more than each side confirming its position. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook said, 'I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it,' he also said, 'if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we'd be assured [they are inventing their own products] and get a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred.' Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew, with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions."
An anonymous reader writes "First we had a superhydrophobic spray that meant no dirt or sweat could stick to your clothes. Then a hydrophobic nanocoating was created for circuit boards to make them water resistant. Now MIT has gone a step further and solved one of the ongoing problems of using condiments: they've figured out how to make a food-safe superhydrophobic coating for food packaging. It means ketchup and mayonnaise will no longer be stuck to the insides of the bottle, and therefore there will no longer be any waste. What's amusing is this seems to be a happy accident. The MIT team was actually investigating slippery coatings to stop gas and oil lines clogging as well as how to stop a surface from having ice form on it. Now their lab is filled with condiments for continued testing of their food-safe version."
An anonymous reader writes "By taking skin cells and turning them into stem cells, a technique that is already well known, researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Technology were able to generate beating heart cells — a medical first. 'We have shown that it's possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young — the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born,' Lior Gepstein, study author and professor of medicine said."
redletterdave writes "On Wednesday, Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz and his legal team visited the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand, to demand access to the data stored on his computers and hard drives that were confiscated during the police raid, and also requested a judicial review of the general legality of the search warrants police used to raid his mansion. Dotcom's lawyer, Paul Davison, argued that his client needs the data for a few reasons: To mount a 'proper defense' case, to fight possibly being extradited to the U.S., and also to show that 'excessive police action' was used during the raid. Dotcom could prove this in court because the entire raid was recorded by CCTV data, which is stored on Dotcom's confiscated computers. Even though the FBI demanded Dotcom turn over the passwords for Megaupload's encrypted data, he refuses to give up any passwords until he can regain access to his seized property."
bonch writes "Researches at Northwestern University have developed an inexpensive solar cell intended to solve the problems of current solar cell designs, such as high cost, low efficiency, and toxic production materials (abstract). Based on the Grätzel cell, the new cell uses millions of light-absorbing nanoparticles and delivers the highest conversion efficiency reported for a dye-sensitized solar cell."
Hugh Pickens writes "The Oakland Tribune reports that when Berkeley police Chief Michael Meehan's son's cell phone was stolen from a school locker in January, ten police officers were sent to track down the stolen iPhone, with some working overtime at taxpayer expense. 'If your cell phone was stolen or my cell phone was stolen, I don't think any officer would be investigating it,' says Michael Sherman, vice chairman of the Berkeley Police Review Commission, a city watchdog group. 'They have more important things to do. We have crime in the streets.' But the kicker is that even with all those cops swarming around, looking for an iPhone equipped with the Find My iPhone tracking software, police were not able to locate the phone. 'If 10 cops who know a neighborhood can't find an iPhone that's broadcasting its location, that shouldn't give you a lot of confidence in your own vigilante recovery of a stolen iProduct,' writes Alexis Madrigal. 'Just saying. Consider this a PSA: just buy a new phone.'"
New submitter Direwolf20 writes "The Red Power 2 mod for Minecraft has recently been updated, and it adds a fully emulated 6502 processor that can be programmed in assembly, but comes with a Forth interpreter. From the article: 'Eloraam calls it the 65EL02, because "it supports all the 6502, 65C02, and part of the 65C816 instruction set" as well as "a set of completely new instructions and two addressing modes. Since the 65EL02 is an 8-bit CPU, Eloraam didn't have as many options for programming environments as we have on today's 64-bit computers. While it's possible to program the 65EL02 in assembly language, for general use she chose to implement a Forth interpreter. Further technical information about RedPower Control's 65EL02 is available on Eloraam's blog RP Control Internals, and on the RedPower wiki's page for Red Power Control.' (Fair disclosure: The video linked in the article is mine.)"