Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

Operating Systems

Why Are Operating System Version Names So Absurd? 460

Posted by timothy
from the bet-you-can-think-of-a-few-reasons dept.
jfruh writes "Apple's spent more than a decade on version 10 — or, rather, X — of its flagship operating system, with .x versions named after big cats (and many of them, it turns out, after the same big cats). Ubuntu Linux is scrambling to find ever more obscure animals to alliteratively name its versions after. And let's not even talk about Windows, whose current shipping OS is sold as Windows 7 but is really Windows NT 6.1. Why is this area of software marketing so ridiculous?"
Intel

Intel Encodes Data In Flickering LEDs (and Shows Off Other Bright Ideas) 65

Posted by timothy
from the hidden-in-the-noise dept.
darien writes "On the day before the Intel Developer Forum opens in San Francisco, Intel has been showing off some of its current research projects, including a system for encoding data in apparently steady light sources, a Kinect-based projected 'touch interface' that works on any surface and an ambitious signage concept that could revolutionise your weekly shop." My favorite thing about light-based networking is that it's the basis of a certain strain of (all too plausible, all too often) conspiracy theory. ("The modern LED 'eco-friendly' light bulb is also a two-way communications device." — easy to believe, since many of them can be. )
Networking

Samsung Expected To Sue Apple Over iPhone 5 LTE Networking 283

Posted by timothy
from the knock-down-drag-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Geek.com: "The courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung seems to be far from over, and come tomorrow Apple is in for a major headache as soon as it makes the iPhone 5 official. That's because Samsung is poised to sue the company over patents it owns relating to LTE connectivity the new smartphone is expected to use. All Samsung needs to confirm is that the iPhone 5 is shipping with 4G LTE and it can then apparently set its lawyers into action. As is typical with these patent lawsuits, Samsung will most likely seek an import ban meaning the iPhone 5 may not be able to leave its manufacturing plants and make it to the U.S. to fulfill pre-orders. If such a thing ruling was made, Apple would most likely do a deal that meant it no longer pursued Samsung product bans, and might even forget about that billion dollar payout." Samsung's not the only one hoping to gain some leverage: itwbennett writes, "Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad 3 may violate a pair of patents bought by HTC back in April 2011 that cover methods used in 4G devices for faster downloads. International Trade Commission judge Thomas Pender said it would take 'clear and convincing' evidence to renounce the U.S. patents."
Transportation

FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight" 372

Posted by timothy
from the especially-the-angry-birds-phase dept.
hypnosec writes "American Airlines has announced that it has received permission from FAA to allow its pilots to use iPads in the cockpit during 'all phases of flight.' According to the airlines, the tablet will enable pilots to store documentation in electronic form on the iPad which otherwise weighs 15.876 kg (35 pounds) when in printed form. Use of the digital documentation will enable the airlines to save as much as U.S. $1.2 million of fuel each year." That number sounds both awfully low and awfully specific.
Supercomputing

A Look Inside Oak Ridge Lab's Supercomputing Facility 59

Posted by timothy
from the plus-a-fun-museum dept.
1sockchuck writes "Three of the world's most powerful supercomputers live in adjacent aisles within a single data center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Inside this facility, technicians are busy installing new GPUs into the Jaguar supercomputer, the final step in its transformation into a more powerful system that will be known as Titan. The Oak Ridge team expects the GPU-accelerated machine to reach 20 petaflops, which should make it the fastest supercomputer in the Top 500. Data Center Knowledge has a story and photos looking at this unique facility, which also houses the Kraken machine from the University of Tennessee and NOAA's Gaea supercomputer."
Math

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Found Calculators? 302

Posted by timothy
from the compare-them-for-accuracy dept.
New submitter Covalent writes "I'm a science teacher and have, over the years, accumulated a number of lost graphing calculators (mostly TI-83s). After trying to locate the owners, I have given up and have been loaning them out to students as needed. I want to something more nerd-worthy with them, though. I would feel wrong for selling them. What is the best use for bunch of old calculators?"
Privacy

Activision Blizzard Secretly Watermarking World of Warcraft Users 272

Posted by timothy
from the information-theory dept.
New submitter kgkoutzis writes "A few days ago I noticed some weird artifacts covering the screenshots I captured using the WoW game client application. I sharpened the images and found a repeating pattern secretly embedded inside. I posted this information on the OwnedCore forum and after an amazing three-day cooperation marathon, we managed to prove that all our WoW screenshots, since at least 2008, contain a custom watermark. This watermark includes our user IDs, the time the screenshot was captured and the IP address of the server we were on at the time. It can be used to track down activities which are against Blizzard's Terms of Service, like hacking the game or running a private server. The users were never notified by the ToS that this watermarking was going on so, for four years now, we have all been publicly sharing our account and realm information for hackers to decode and exploit. You can find more information on how to access the watermark in the aforementioned forum post which is still quite active."
Open Source

Torque 3D To Be Released On Github Under the MIT License 54

Posted by timothy
from the tux-racer-reboot-please dept.
New submitter iamnothing writes "Eric Preisz, CEO of GarageGames, announces, 'Eleven years ago, The GarageGames founders did an incredibly innovative thing when they sold a full source game engine for $100. We are excited to continue in their footsteps by announcing that we will be releasing Torque 3D as the best open source game technology in the world. Once again, GarageGames will be changing game development.'"
Cellphones

UK Finally Gets 4G Networking 49

Posted by timothy
from the one-upping-dan-savage dept.
judgecorp writes "The UK has finally got its first 4G network, provided by EE, a new brand from Everything Everywhere, the company formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK. The network will cover 20 million people (about a third of the UK population) in 16 cities by the end of 2012, but right now only engineers are on the network. It will support phones including the expected iPhone 5, and the Nokia Lumia 920."
Networking

More Warnings About High-Frequency Trading 500

Posted by timothy
from the financial-chicken dept.
bfwebster writes "From The Big Picture (a great finance/econ blog) comes a link to this New York Times article on some of the risks and problems of high-frequency trading on financial markets and a couple of 'gadflies' who are pushing hard to get some changes and reforms in how Wall Street handles HFT. Key question: when is fast trading too fast?"
Books

Amazon Now Discounting HarperCollins EBooks 136

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the publishing-industry-found-crying-in-corner dept.
Nate the greatest writes "Late last week three publishers and the Department of Justice finalized an agreement to settle the claims that the publishers conspired to raise ebook prices. One of the terms of the agreement was that publishers were going to have to allow ebook retailers like Amazon to set the price of ebooks. Today it looks like the new prices have gone into effect. Amazon, B&N, and a small indie ebookstore called BooksonBoard are all offering HarperCollins ebooks at a discount. B&N and Amazon seem to be using the same price book, while BoB is having a 24% off sale."
Government

MediaFire Restores Virus Researcher's Account But Not Individual Files 72

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bad-robot dept.
chicksdaddy writes "The cloud-based hosting firm MediaFire has reversed a decision to suspend the account of virus researcher Mila Parkour after Naked Security raised questions about copyright violation complaints made against her by the mysterious firm LeakID. In an email to Parkour on Friday, MediaFire's director of customer support, Daniel Goebel, said that the company was restoring Parkour's access to her MediaFire account and apologized for the interruption in service. MediaFire also said it was asking LeakID, the Paris-based firm that accused Parkour of sharing copyrighted material, to 'confirm the status of the counterclaim [Parkour] submitted.' However, the firm is still blocking access to files that LeakID alleged were violating the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a strict copyright enforcement law in the U.S."
Earth

Nature Lover Vladimir Putin Flies With the Cranes 285

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sarah-palin-vs-putin-rearing-his-ugly-wings dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Russian President Vladimir Putin is a nature lover. In 2007, the bare-chested president rode a horse through Siberia. In 2008, he fired a tranquilizer gun at a rare Siberian tiger. In 2010, he used a crossbow to shoot darts at an enormous whale in a fog-shrouded bay to collect tissue samples. Now Der Spiegel reports that on his way east to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Putin stopped at the Arctic Circle to fulfill a mission for which the Kremlin says he prepared assiduously for a year and a half: helping to save an endangered species of crane. In a meadow some 2,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, Putin donned a white jumpsuit and black aviator goggles before swinging himself into the seat of an ultralight aircraft and as loudspeakers played the recorded call of a mother crane, Putin lifted off and a group of orphaned white Siberian cranes followed, allowing the aircraft to lead them south toward their winter habitat. On the first attempt, only one of the young cranes followed him up, which Putin said was because a high tail wind had caused the hang glider to accelerate too fast. On the second attempt, five birds followed Putin, but only two stuck with him for the full 15-minute flight. Putin's flight, given many minutes of airtime on Russian television, provoked an array of contemptuous jokes on the Internet, one of the most popular being: 'So Putin is off to wintering with cranes. Does this mean he's not going to be back before spring?' The Russian president, however, hit back at critics telling reporters at the conclusion of APEC summit that, 'It's true that not all flew right away, but the ones that didn't fly were the weak cranes' apparently alluding to the errant ways of those involved in protests that have hit Russia over the last year."
Privacy

Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Collecting and Storing User Information? 120

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the design-by-committee dept.
New submitter isaaccs writes "I'm a mobile developer at a startup. My experience is in building user-facing applications, but in this case, a component of an app I'm building involves observing and collecting certain pieces of user information and then storing them in a web service. This is for purposes of analysis and ultimately functionality, not persistence. This would include some obvious items like names and e-mail addresses, and some less obvious items involving user behavior. We aim to be completely transparent and honest about what it is we're collecting by way of our privacy disclosure. I'm an experienced developer, and I'm aware of a handful of considerations (e.g., the need to hash personal identifiers stored remotely), but I've seen quite a few startups caught with their pants down on security/privacy of what they've collected — and I'd like to avoid it to the degree reasonably possible given we can't afford to hire an expert on the topic. I'm seeking input from the community on best-practices for data collection and the remote storage of personal (not social security numbers, but names and birthdays) information. How would you like information collected about you to be stored? If you could write your own privacy policy, what would it contain? To be clear, I'm not requesting stack or infrastructural recommendations."
Science

Researchers Create Short-term Memories In Rat Brains 114

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the I-guess-I-really-am-a-terrorist dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers say they've found a way to store artificial short-term memories in isolated brain tissue. 'This is the first time anyone has found a way to store information over seconds about both temporal sequences and stimulus patterns directly in brain tissue,' says the study's lead. 'This paves the way for future research to identify the specific brain circuits that allow us to form short-term memories.' The peer-reviewed study can be found here (paywalled)."

Natural laws have no pity.

Working...