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Open Source

+ - 180 DIY Web-Controlled Robot that takes 1 hour to build->

Submitted by
fixpert
fixpert writes "We hooked up Pinoccio (an Open Source, wireless Arduino-compatible microcontroller) to a Pololu 3pi Robot to create an unmanned rover that can be driven via the Web. We posted a quick video where you can see us driving our Web Rover in Nevada all the way from Brazil. We used the iPhone's built-in accelerometer as a super-intuitive interface for driving the bot. You can read all about the project — how we built it, what you need to make your own (including source code), and a simulator of the accelerometer interface that you can play with. We're hoping to make Pinoccio the perfect platform for Software Developers to learn how to hack on DIY hardware."
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Google

+ - 237 More details on Google Pixels found in ChromeOS source->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Details on the Google Pixel have been found in the ChromeOS source code. The device will have a 2056x1700 touchscreen, an Intel IvyBridge Celeron CPU, LTE support and a back-lit keyboard. It's also interesting to note that Sergey Brin has posted a picture of a jellyfish that's similar (colorwise) to the jellyfish in the Google Pixel video. The Pixel is codenamed Link in the ChromeOS source code which contains many references to the device."
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Twitter

+ - 110 Twitter, American Express Letting People Purchase Goods via Hashtag->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "What could possibly go wrong with this? American Express has announced a partnership with Twitter, giving customers the ability to sync “eligible cards” with the social network. Tweeting special product hashtags (i.e., #uselessjunk) will purchase a product via that synced card. American Express will then send a purchase-confirmation Tweet, and the usual shipping-and-handling of the product will commence. For Twitter, the partnership also holds significant advantages. If this initial foray succeeds, it could potentially evolve into a workable e-commerce model, and thus a separate stream of revenue for the social network aside from advertising. Also, research has shown that people tend to spend more money when using credit cards as opposed to cash. It’s also quite possible that a streamlined online purchase mechanism—think any number of e-commerce Websites’ “Buy Now” buttons—could compel potential customers to buy more often and in larger amounts."
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Piracy

+ - 110 Alleged Operator of Demonoid Released From Jail->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last August, BitTorrent tracker Demonoid was taken down by law enforcement in the Ukraine. This followed raids in Mexico to arrest the people who ran the site. Panama is somehow involved, too. However, a recent review filed by the U.S. Trade Representative reveals that the criminal case against the main (alleged) operator of Demonoid has stalled, and the person has been released from imprisonment. 'For how long the alleged Demonoid operator was imprisoned is not mentioned. However, the criminal case is ongoing according to the copyright holders, who further mention that it’s now proceeding in Ukraine.'"
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Microsoft

+ - 127 Third biggest investor objects to Dell buy out->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "One of the country’s biggest mutual fund managers signaled its opposition to Dell‘s proposed $24.4 billion sale on Tuesday, as another investor disclosed a major step in a campaign to fight the deal.

T. Rowe Price said in a statement that it was opposed to the $13.65-a-share takeover bid being offered by the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell, and the investment firm Silver Lake. With a stake of about 4.4 percent, T. Rowe Price is Dell’s third-biggest shareholder.

The second-biggest shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, meanwhile disclosed in a regulatory filing that it had retained D.F. King, a big proxy solicitation firm, as an adviser. It also confirmed that it held about 8.44 percent of Dell’s shares, trailing only Mr. Dell."

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Censorship

+ - 215 Philippine cybercrime law put on indefinite hold->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Supreme Court of the Philippines has put an indefinite hold on a controversial law that would, among other things, ban cybersex and porn.

A host of groups, particularly journalists, had resoundingly criticized the law, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, as broad and out of touch with how the Internet works. The Philippines’ National Union of Journalists, for example, called its definition of libel “a threat not only against the media and other communicators but anyone in the general public who has access to a computer and the Internet.”"

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+ - 95 Ask Slashdot: Should there be a National Tax to Subsidize Scientific Research? 3

Submitted by
Josh-Levin
Josh-Levin writes "Scientific research in the US is hurting. Now there is talk of shutting the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven. I know that the Federal Government is short of money, but cutting back on scientific research is eating our seed corn.

Since basic research has been fundamental to all those hi-tech device we all enjoy, I think there should be a fixed Federal excise tax on hi-tech devices, the proceeds to go to scientific research. There shall be safeguards to prevent this tax money from being used for anything but scientific research.

I hope that Slashdot members who respond to this posting will flesh out this idea. How much money is needed, and how big is the hi-tech market? What should the tax rate be? (If it were 10%, it could be termed a "Techo-Tithe".) Who should be exempt? Should it be used only for terrestrial research, or should it include the space program? For products that are partially hi-tech, such as automobiles, should there be a reduced rate based on the hi-tech content of the product?

Ideally, the tax would be paid by the consumer, so that it is visible. Every time you by a computer, a smart phone, or a digital camera, you will know that your tax will subsidize the research behind the next generation of devices, which may be spintronic or optical rather than electronic.

I hope that this discussion will result in a "We the People" petition to the White House (see https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/how-why/introduction) to ask that such a tax be implemented. We need 150 signatures to make such a petition visible, and 100,000 signatures to make sure the President sees it. Please, readers, do not initiate such a petition on your own, until the Slashdot discussion has reached some sort of consensus. We will want to do it right the first time."
Earth

+ - 156 North Dakota Proposes Ban on Natural Gas Flaring after One Year->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A North Dakota lawmaker has proposed a bill that would ban flaring at oil and natural gas sites after one year of that site's operation. ISS footage has revealed that now large swaths of North Dakota are illuminated at night due simply to flaring from Bakken oil and natural gas drilling. Democratic Sen. Tim Mathern, proposer of the bill, said "It’s bringing a higher quality of life to western North Dakota, it’s putting an end to waste (and) it’s addressing the issue of climate change" and "This is taking a, what I’d call, a step-wise approach in addressing health and waste." In 2011, waste from global flaring equivocated to a fourth of the United State's natural gas consumption. The major difference between this bill and current law is that no exemptions whatsoever will be made. Mathern claimed that 30 percent of natural gas is flared in western North Dakota compared to the national average which is in single digits."
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Chrome

+ - 158 Has the local browser cache become useless? 1

Submitted by lesincompetent
lesincompetent (2836253) writes "Think about it. In this age of high end hardware and relatively high bandwidth, storing things on a device many orders of magnitude slower than any other is something we should get rid of. Even for static content: is it really worth the disk I\O effort? How much page loading time am i saving? Not to mention the fact that browser caches are among the first causes of system littering. It's been many years now since the last time i had a browser with disk caching enabled on any of my systems (besides chrome, unfortunately, because you can't deactivate it.)"
Canada

+ - 99 Canadian Internet Surveillance Bill Could Come Back in New Form->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced yesterday that the government will not be proceeding with Bill C-30, the lawful access/Internet surveillance legislation. Yet despite the celebration of the Canadian Internet community, Michael Geist notes that the law could return. On the same day the government put the bill out its misery, it introduced Bill C-55 on warrantless wiretapping. Although the bill is ostensibly a response to last year's R v. Tse decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, much of the bill is lifted directly from Bill C-30. Moreover, there will be other ways to revive the more troublesome Internet surveillance provisions. Christopher Parsons points to lawful intercept requirements in the forthcoming spectrum auction, while many others have discussed Bill C-12, which includes provisions that encourage personal information disclosure without court oversight. Of course, cynics might also point to the 2007 pledge from then-Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to not introduce mandatory disclosure of personal information without a warrant. That position was dropped soon after a new minister took over the portfolio."
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News

+ - 129 Listen to Baby Ants Talking ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Complex, socially-tiered societies require complex communication. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that eusocial animals like ants are also incredibly communicative—more so than we previously understood, according to a new study in Current Biology. Many ants begin communicating acoustically from a very young age, in fact, in such a way that scientists suggest may be very important to their survival.

As explained in an article by Carrie Arnold at ScienceNow, scientists believed until only recently that ants communicated only through pheromones, leaving, for example, scent trails behind them for other ants to follow—hence the phenomenon of single-file marching ants. (They can also, newer research suggests, use magnetic and vibrational landmarks to guide themselves around.)"

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Android

+ - 166 Android phones are connecting without carrier networks->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "While the cellphone network in Haiti survived the devastating earthquake in 2010, the added load of international aid workers who arrived in the aftermath caused it to crash. Josh Thomas and Jeff Robble, both working at Mitre, saw this problem and created a working prototype backup network using only the Wi-Fi chips on Android smartphones. This capability won’t be shipped on new mobile phones anytime soon, but it is a really interesting open innovation project to understand and follow, and for some an Android project to which they might contribute.

The Smart Phone Ad-Hoc Networks (SPAN) project reconfigures the onboard Wi-Fi chip of a smartphone to act as a Wi-Fi router with other nearby similarly configured smartphones, creating an ad-hoc mesh network. These smartphones can then communicate with one another without an operational carrier network. SPAN intercepts all communications at the Global Handset Proxy so applications such as VoIP, Twitter, email etc., work normally."

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Programming

+ - 238 Can You Do The Regular Expression Crossword? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Programmers often say that regular expressions are fun ... but now they can be a whole lot of fun in a completely new way. Want to try your hand at a regular expression crossword?
The idea is simple enough — create a crossword style puzzle with regular expressions are the "clues". In case you don't know what a regular expression is — it is a way of specifying what characters are allowed using wild-card characters and more. For example a dot matches any single character, an * any number of characters and so on.
The regular expression crossword is more a sort of Sudoku style puzzle than crossword however because the clues determine the pattern the the entries in a row have to satisfy. It also has to use a hexagonal grid to provide three regular expressions to control each entry.
This particular regular expression crossword was part of this year's MIT Mystery Hunt, and if you don't know anything about it then good — because it could waste a lot of time. This annual event is crammed with a collection of very difficult problems and the regular expression crossword, created by Dan Gulotta from an idea by Palmer Mebane, was just a small part of the whole — and yes there is a solution.
http://www.coinheist.com/rubik/a_regular_crossword/grid.pdf"

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Security

+ - 119 Unintended and Malicious Applications of Augmented Reality->

Submitted by
Orome1
Orome1 writes "Augmented reality technologies overlay computer generated data on a live view of the real world. Anticipated application domains include entertainment, travel, education, collaboration, and law enforcement, among numerous others. Expect the wondrous, the compelling, and the creepy. We will see all three. This article combines augmented reality with reasonable assumptions of technological advancement, business incentives, and human nature to present a less optimistic, but probable, future augmented reality applications."
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Programming

+ - 185 Learn COBOL, Because It Will Outlive Us All-> 1

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Here's an old computer science joke: What's the difference between hardware and software? If you use hardware long enough, it breaks. If you use software long enough, it works. The truth behind that is the reason that so much decades-old COBOL code is out there still driving crucial applications and banks and other huge companies. Many attempts to replace COBOL applications flopped in the 1980s and '90s, and we're stuck with them for the foreseeable future — but the Baby Boomers who wrote all that code are now retiring en masse. So if you want a successful IT career, you should probably learn COBOL."
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Android

+ - 118 Turning A Kindle Fire HD Into A Power Tablet->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "The Kindle Fire HD is in theory a powerful device at a reasonable price — but its Android-based OS is so oriented towards Amazon's ecosystem that it can be tricky to unlock its full potential. Still, with a little savvy you can get underneath the covers, improving battery life, getting full access to cameras and other devices, and even listening to music you've purchased through iTunes."
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EU

+ - 107 EU Budget Cuts Remove Rural Broadband Support->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "The European central budget is being cut, and one casualty will be rural broadband plans, according to a blog post by Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Ditial Agenda. The whole budget for digital projects has been cut from €9.2 billion to €1bn. and rural broadband will get none. This is a big setback for a project which was originally supposed to ensure a minimum speed of 30MBPS across Europe by 2020."
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+ - 97 Watching Porn is Bad For Mobile Devices->

Submitted by
halls-of-valhalla
halls-of-valhalla writes "A web security firm called Blue Coat has discovered that nearly one-quarter of malware on mobile devices comes from porn websites. They found that less than 1% of mobile traffic is porn-related, however when users do visit porn sites their risk of downloading malware triples.

Part of the problem, Blue Coat said, is that the nature of mobile devices makes differentiating legitimate sites from malicious ones a tricky task. There is no way to hover over shortened URLs to reveal their true destination, for example.

Security experts predict that broader-based cybercrime schemes are likely to appear on smartphones and tablets soon. For now though, mobile attacks appear to be mirroring techniques used on traditional computers. In addition, major security firms have widely predicted that this will be the year mobile devices will finally emerge as a major target for cybercriminals."

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