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Operating Systems

PlayStation 4 Will Be Running Modified FreeBSD 457

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-hood dept.
jones_supa writes "This discovery comes nicely alongside the celebration of FreeBSD's 20th birthday, for all the UNIX nerds. The operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It's not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86-64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD. BSDs in general currently lack manufacturer supported full-feature AMD graphics driver, which leads to the conclusion that Sony and AMD have likely co-developed a discrete driver for the PS4. Some pictures of the development kit boot loader (GRUB) have been published too."
Power

The Aging of Our Nuclear Power Plants Is Not So Graceful 436

Posted by samzenpus
from the tests-of-time dept.
Lasrick writes "This is a very thoughtful article on nuclear power plant aging: how operators use early retirement of plants to extract concessions from rate-payers and a discussion on how California's 'forward-looking planning process' has probably mitigated disruption from the closing of San Onofre."
Google

Google Preparing "Google Mine" For Organizing and Sharing Your Stuff On Google+ 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-google-for-your-google dept.
MojoKid writes "George Carlin said it best, we all 'need a place to put our stuff.' It seems the folks at Google understand this age old wisdom as well and as such will be launching a new service. Google Mine will reportedly soon be integrated with Google+ so that users can share their belongings with friends in circles they so designate. The new service will also allow G+ users to rate and review items as well, so that anyone in your Google+ stream that you allow, can see the items and your opinion of them. Reportedly there is also an Android app on the way for Mine, which seems like a natural of course, for sharing your stuff on the go. What's perhaps most interesting about the prospects of Google+ Mine could be the secondary benefit that Google receives from data 'mining' your shares on the items you own, use or want."
Google

FTC Reviews Google's Purchase of Navigation App Waze 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-closer-look dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google's acquisition of Waze has piqued the interest of the FTC and is now facing an antitrust review. "Google confirmed that it has been contacted by lawyers from the Federal Trade Commission over the company's '$1.1 billion acquisition of the mobile navigation company Waze, which closed in mid-June. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on details of the antitrust review by the FTC. Representatives of the agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.'"
Biotech

A Different Approach To Making Alternative Fuels Practical 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the step-by-step dept.
First time accepted submitter overmod writes "Browsing on a completely unrelated subject, I came across this New York Times description of Solazyme. From the article: '...in 2003, Mr. Wolfson packed up and moved from New York to Palo Alto, Calif., where Mr. Dillon lived. They started a company called Solazyme. In mythical Valley tradition, they worked in Mr. Dillon’s garage, growing algae in test tubes. And they found a small knot of investors attracted by the prospect of compressing a multimillion-year process into a matter of days. Now, a decade later, they have released into the marketplace their very first algae-derived oil produced at a commercial scale. Yet the destination for this oil — pale, odorless and dispensed from a small matte-gold bottle with an eyedropper — is not gas tanks, but the faces of women worried about their aging skin.' What I find interesting is the model they've adopted for short-term growth, which I would not have seen coming from a technology oriented toward biofuel production. Leads me to wonder what other nominally-green technologies that would otherwise be slow if not impossible to scale to workable businesses might have 'niche' applications, with high perceived marginal value, that could be used to boost capital, rather than relying on donations, grants, or nebulous save-the-planet goodwill."
Technology

Disney Research Creates Megastereo - Panoramas With Depth 48

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-a-good-look dept.
mikejuk writes "Disney Research has made a breakthrough in implementing the technique of acquiring depth information from a simple camera scan of a scene. For a perfect panorama you need to rotate the camera around its optical center, i.e. just rotate the camera. However, if you just rotate the camera about itself you don't get any parallax effects — which is why it makes the stitching together easier. If you want to get 3D information from the sequence of shots you need parallax. This means rotating the camera mounted on an offset arm or just moving the camera along an arc in your outstretched hand. The big problem with this method is that the parallax makes it more difficult to fit the mosaic together, and this is the problem that the research team has been working on. Using a range of different scanning methods the results can be converted into high resolution panoramas automatically complete with 3D information."
Government

Tennessee Official: Water Complaints Could be "Act of Terrorism" 407

Posted by samzenpus
from the deep-water dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director is threatening citizens with being listed as terrorists for giving official complaints. Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources said: 'But you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there's no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.' 'In terms of the comments made by a member of the Water Resources Division at the meeting, we are just receiving the information and looking into this on our end,' spokeswoman Meg Lockhart said. 'The department would like to fully assess what was said in the meeting. I am told that the meeting was far longer than the audio clip provided by SOCM and that Mr. Smith actually clarified his remarks. But again, we are looking into it.'"
Google

Google Fiber Adds 14th City: Lee's Summit 81

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-the-club dept.
symbolset writes "On Thursday night the Lee's Summit city council passed three resolutions to welcome Google Fiber to their community. This is the 12th community in the Kansas City Metro Area to welcome Google Fiber and the 14th city overall. The KC map now covers almost all of the KC metro area with parts in both Kansas and Missouri. 8 months into the rollout two fiberhoods have been completed, 30 more are underway and 50 more are to start by the end of summer. This covers most of the territory of both Kansas Citys ahead of schedule and completes before the end of winter so the timeline has been accelerated. As Google runs their fiber across town it appears they're putting backbones down the major thoroughfares to be trunks out to the wider communities. With Provo wired with fiber already, Austin to start next, it looks like Google Fiber's ambitions are not to deliver their symmetric gigabit uncapped, unfiltered, inexpensive fiber Internet to just a few privileged enclaves. They still have over 1,000 cities left to go who have already petitioned to be Google Fiber cities, so it's not like they're going to run out of work."
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs? 358

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-don't-know-who-you-are-anymore dept.
First time accepted submitter quintessentialk writes "I'm looking for a new engineering job. I'm in my early 30s, and have a degree and some experience. I don't have an online presence. Does it matter? Is a record of tweets, blog posts, articles, etc. expected for prospective employees these days? What if one is completely un-googleable (i.e., nothing comes up, good or bad)? Though I haven't been 'trying' to hide, I only rarely use my full name online and don't even have a consistent pseudonym. I don't have a website, and haven't blogged or tweeted. I'm currently in a field which does not publish. Should I start now, or is an first-time tweeter/blogger in 2013 worse than someone with no presence at all?"
Privacy

The Return of Surveillance Camera Man 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the smile-for-the-camera dept.
theodp writes "Remember Surveillance Camera Man, the anonymous guy who walked up to random people around Seattle and creeped them out by taking video of them without explanation? GeekWire reports that he's back with a new video compilation of his adventures in pushing people's privacy buttons, the latest installment in an apparent ongoing commentary on the pervasiveness of public surveillance, which has taken on a whole new twist with increased fretting over the recording capabilities of Google Glass and heightened concern over privacy in general, thanks to the NSA data surveillance controversy."
Privacy

Edward Snowden Leaves Hong Kong 536

Posted by samzenpus
from the hit-the-road-jack dept.
hazeii writes "Ed Snowden, the U.S. whistleblower responsible for exposing the degree to which the U.S. watches its own citizens (as well as the rest of the world) is reported as having left Hong Kong for Moscow. According to the South China Morning Post, he is on a commercial flight to Russia but intriguingly it seems this is not his final destination. It's not clear whether this move is in response to the U.S. request to extradite him."
Microsoft

Oracle and Microsoft To Announce Cloud Partnership Monday 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-go-together-like-peanut-butter-and-jellyfish dept.
symbolset writes "While some might liken the deal to the Empire joining up with the Trade Federation, there may be some interesting outcomes for this one. On Monday Microsoft and Oracle are expected to announce a 'cloud" partnership'. Although the two companies often seem to be at odds, two of their founders — Bill Gates and Larry Ellison — are partners in charity in the 'giving pledge.' Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship? 'Oracle is battling an image not of growing up, but of growing old. On Thursday the company announced lower than expected earnings, which it ascribed to a tough economy overseas. Cloud-based software grew well, but remains a small part of its overall revenue. The company also said it would raise its dividend and announced a big stock buyback, behaviors usually undertaken by tech companies when they begin to grow more slowly.'"
China

US Hacked Chinese University Network 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the plot-thickens dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reports that Tsinghua University, widely regarded as the mainland's top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by U.S. spies this year, according to information leaked by Edward Snowden. The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA. The university is home to one of the mainland's six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined. Universities in Hong Kong and the mainland were revealed as targets of NSA's cyber-snooping activities last week when Snowden claimed the Chinese University of Hong Kong had been hacked." The U.S. government is reportedly hacking into Chinese mobile phone companies as well for access to text messages. In related news, the U.S. has asked Hong Kong to extradite Snowden, and the petition to pardon him has met that 100,000 signature threshold required for an official response from the administration.
Software

Ask Slashdot: Most Secure Browser In an Age of Surveillance? 391

Posted by Soulskill
from the lynx-seems-pretty-safe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With the discovery that the NSA may be gathering extensive amounts of data, and the evidence suggesting makers of some of the most popular browsers may be in on the action, I am more than a little wary of which web browser to use. Thus, I pose a question to the community: is there a 'most secure' browser in terms of avoiding personal data collection? Assuming we all know by know how to 'safely' browse the internet (don't click on that ad offering to free your computer of infections) what can the lay person do have a modicum of protection, or at least peace of mind?"
Space

Planetary Resources Kickstarter Meets Its Initial Goal 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the glad-we-gave-those-billionaires-a-million-bucks dept.
symbolset writes "Most of you know about Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, and their Kickstarter campaign in the finest spirit of Heinlein's The Man Who Sold the Moon. The campaign has reached its minimum $1M goal to get funded with eight days left to go. In celebration, PR's CEO and Chief Asteroid Miner Chris Lewicki does an interview with Forbes where he discusses the future opportunities, the potential pitfalls, and the unlimited potential of private sector space exploitation. It's well worth the read. Planetary Resources' kickstarter has some worthy stretch goals that are well worth looking at, and the sort of supporter premiums that many Slashdotters will not want to miss. Only $175,000 more and they get a second ground station, at $2M they add exoplanet search capability. Both of these stretch goals are within reach."

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