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Submission + - Pimp my Android tablet! (

capsfan100 writes: "At Christmas I got an $89 Android tablet by MID. The 7" tablet has sufficient RAM, etc. The battery, however, was rather pathetic out of the box. It's already fading, so we know where this is headed — decent tablet, but it constantly needs the plug.
How would you take this "old" tablet and turn it into a rockin' stereo component? Is there a ROM build out there titled Pimp My Tablet Into An MP3 Player? The current music app can lookup lyrics on-line. I'd like to keep that feature. Any ideas on a good app for syncing music videos with my *ahem* random music collection? Any fun, off-beat party apps this middle-aged suburban dad hasn't heard of?
Since the Android security nightmare is so well documented, I'd rather not use services that require passwords. I also need top-notch security and monitoring software so I can see what my kids and their friends are doing with it next year when I'm not home while keeping them anonymous and safe on-line.
As for my living room stereo system, how best to mount a sleek MP3 tablet? I was thinking velcro, but it would ruin the feel. Maybe a wall mount arm like my HDTV has? We want to be able to unplug it and move around the room, so I'll need to upgrade the speakers to wireless. Any thoughts there?
I'm not afraid of the command line — indeed, I insist on one — but no Gentoo-type projects, thank you. Just a good sleek and secure ROM for optimal tunage with all the top apps the kids are using today. Help me out Slashdot — Pimp my Android tablet!"


Submission + - Hector Xavier Monsegur aka Sabu Dodges Sentencing, Again (

hypnosec writes: Ex-LulzSec leader, Hector Xavier Monsegur aka Sabu, has been handed over another sentencing delay possibly because of his continued cooperation with the US government that let to arrest of several Lulzsec members. Sabu plead guilty to all counts of bank fraud and identity theft offences and was to receive 124 years of imprisonment but was granted a six-month breather back in August 2012 after the US Government requested District Attorney to consider adjournment of Monsegur's trial "in light of the defendant's ongoing cooperation with the Government." New reports indicate that Sabu has dodged the sentencing for the second time with no dates set for the next hearing. No further information has been provided stating the reason for the delay.

Submission + - Canon's Mixed Reality headset aims to change the way consumers shop (

Press2ToContinue writes: With products like Google’s Glass, the Oculus Rift, and even certain features found on the Nintendo 3DS, augmented, mixed, and virtual reality are starting to make some headway in the consumer space. Canon, best known for its cameras, is looking to break into the mixed reality scene with its new head-mounted display.

The core of the setup is the Canon HMD (head-mounted display) which works in conjunction with various sensors — optical and magnetic, as well as visual markers — to help create the mixed reality environment. The HMD employs two cameras located in front of each eye that captures video and shoots it off to an off-board, tethered computer. The computer then combines the real-world visuals with computer-generated visuals, and beams that back to two monitors placed in front of the eyes within the HMD. The unit combines with a development platform, dubbed the MR Platform, which allows companies to create mixed reality images to display on the HMD.


Submission + - How close is Iran, really, to nuclear weapons ( 1

Lasrick writes: Reuters blog post by Yousaf Butt explains the science, or lack thereof, behind recent claims that Iran is closer to building the bomb. Butt has been writing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, most recently blasting the unsourced AP "Iranian graph" that claimed to show nuclear testing activity as well as the Washington Post story about Iran's alleged order of 100,000 magnets for their centrifuges. Important read.

Submission + - Nikon Agrees to Pay Microsoft "Android Tax" on Smart Cameras ( 3

walterbyrd writes: "Remember Nikon Corp.'s (TYO:7731) Android-powered smart cameras like the Coolpix S800c? Well it appears that adding Google Inc.'s free operating system isn't going to be quite so free — Microsoft Corp. has successfully shaken down the Japanese camera maker for a licensing fee."

Submission + - Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can detect flowers' electric fields (

An anonymous reader writes: Results indicate floral electric fields improve the bees' ability to discriminate between different flowers. When used with visual signals, electrical cues can enhance the bee's memory of floral rewards. Researchers suggest this method of signalling provides rapid and dynamic communication between plants and pollinators..."What the pollen needs to 'know' is when to 'jump' onto the 'vehicle' — the bee — and when to get off it. So it's a selective adhesion type of question," Prof Robert told BBC Nature.

Submission + - Minix 3.2.1 Released (

kthreadd writes: Minix, originally designed as an example for teaching operating system theory which was both inspiration and cause for the creation of Linux has just been released as version 3.2.1. Major new features include full support for shared libraries and improved support for USB devices such as keyboards, mice and mass storage devices. The system has received many performance improvements and several userland tools have been imported from NetBSD.

Submission + - Is it worth paying extra for fast SD cards? ( 1

Barence writes: "Are faster grades of SD memory card worth the extra cash? PC Pro has conducted in-depth speed tests on different grades of SD card to find out if they're worth the premium. In camera tests, two top-end SD cards outshone the rest by far, while class 4 cards dawdled for more than a second between shots. However, with the buffer on modern DSLRs able to handle 20 full-res shots or more, it's unlikely an expensive card will make any difference to anyone other than professionals shooting bursts of fast-action shots.

What about for expanding tablet or laptop memory? A regular class 4 or 6 card that’s capable of recording HD video will also be fast enough to play it back on a tablet. The only advantage of a faster card for media is that syncing with your PC will be quicker. However, a faster card is recommended if you're using it to supplement the memory of an Ultrabook or MacBook Air."

Submission + - Free Open Source Emoji Project on KickStarter (

Kagetsuki writes: There's a project on KickStarter for a Free and Open set of emoji [the grapical emoticon glyph set which has a block reserved in Unicode]. Currently there are no full sets of Emoji that are completely free (as in beer and and freedom), so if this project gets funded it will be the first and only set of emoji that can, say, be distributed with FLOSS Linux/BSD/GNU systems. Not to mention anyone will be able to incorporate them into any project without any restrictive conditions. Check it out at .

Submission + - Microsoft Azure total outage for secured storage ( 2

rtfa-troll writes: There has been worldwide (all locations) total outage of storage in Microsoft's Azure cloud. Apparently "Microsoft unwittingly let an online security certificate expire Friday, triggering a worldwide outage in an online service that stores data for a wide range of business customers." according to the San Francisco Chronicle (also Yahoo and the Register). Perhaps too much time has been spent sucking up to storage vendros and not enough looking after the customers? This comes directly after a week long outage of one of Microsoft's SQL server components in Azure. This is not the first time that we have discussed major outages on Azure and probably won't be the last. It's certainly also not the first time that we have discussed Microsoft cloud systems making user's data unavailable.

Submission + - The PunkSPIDER Project Controversy ( 1

punk2176 writes: "Recently I started a free and open source project known as the PunkSPIDER project and presented it at ShmooCon 2013. If you haven't heard of it, it's at heart, a project with the goal of pushing for improved global website security. In order to do this we built a Hadoop distributed computing cluster along with a website vulneraility scanner that can use the cluster. Once we finished that we open sourced the code to our scanner and unleashed it on the Internet. The results of our scans are provided to the public for free in an easy-to-use search engine. The results so far aren't pretty.

In short after having found tons of vulnerabilities, we've been blowing up. Social media users either love or hate us. Critics have been claiming that the results of our scans can be used for evil by script kiddies. We argue that these results will, more importantly, be used by website owners to check the security of their own websites or website users to check the security of sites to which they entrust their sensitive data. Due to the controversy around the project The Register asked us for our response and published an article about it. I'm curious to see what the Slashdot community thinks — do you think we are doing the right thing?"


Submission + - Microsoft Getting Cooler 1

jones_supa writes: Microsoft is getting hip again, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, but Google with Android still the coolest kid in school, Apple doing great as well. The polling organization asked the US's finest 18 and 29-year-olds what the coolest tech brands are, allowing them to give a 'thumb up' for brands they liked. Interestingly, for the first time in a long while around half answered Microsoft. The opinion was that Microsoft is cooler now than it was a year or two ago. 'It's more customizable, and not as rigid as an Apple phone, where you have to buy all the products from Apple. If you want a ringtone, you don't have to pay iTunes. I know Apple is the cool, hip brand right now, but if Microsoft keeps coming out with new tech I'm sure it'll be back soon.', Josh Johnson, a 24-year-old media arts student at the University of South Carolina commented. Although 'coolness' remains, at best, an amorphous concept, consumer perceptions are pivotal in determining the longevity of products, particularly in the fast-moving consumer electronics industry. The survey 'definitely shows that Microsoft's efforts are paying off, but we'll have to see how cool translates into customers,' said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg.

Submission + - Federally funded research to be publicly available within 1 year of publication (

Z80xxc! writes: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a "policy memorandum" today requiring any federal agency with over $100 million in R&D expenditures each year to develop plans for making all research funded by that agency freely available to the public within one year of publication in any peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The full memorandum is available on the White House website. It appears that this policy would not only apply to federal agencies conducting research, but also to any university, private corporation, or other entity conducting research that arises from federal funding. For those in academia and the public at large, this is a huge step towards free open access to publicly funded research.

Submission + - Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

An anonymous reader writes: AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported and tweeted that Marissa Mayer (CEO since July 2012) has just sent an all-hands email ending Yahoo's policy of allowing remote employees. Hundreds of workers have been given the choice: start showing up for work at HQ (which would require relocation in many cases), or resign. (They can forget about Yahoo advice pieces like this). Mayer has also been putting her stamp on Yahoo's new home page, which was rolled out Wednesday. She's also been fixing the customer service 'hold' music. Oh yeah, and she recently gave birth to a baby boy.

Submission + - Rep. Judy Chu Starts "Intellectual Property" Caucus with Rep. Howard Coble (

cervesaebraciator writes: U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) will be starting a new caucus with the ostensible purpose of protecting the intellectual property rights of filmmakers, musicians and other artists. The new caucus, styled the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, will be formed along with Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC). Chu's office released a statement, including the following:

American innovation hinges on creativity – it is what allows our kids to dream big and our artists to create works that inspire us all. The jobs that result are thanks entirely to our willingness to foster creative talent, and an environment where it can thrive and prosper." [...] The Congressional Creative Rights Caucus will serve to educate Members of Congress and the general public about the importance of preserving and protecting the rights of the creative community in the U.S. American creators of motion pictures, music, software and other creative works rely on Congress to protect their copyrights, human rights, First Amendment rights and property rights.

Submission + - Carmakers Oppose opening up 5GHZ Spectrum Space for unlicensed WiFi (

s122604 writes: Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead.

The FCC announced that it plans to free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second.

The Military

Submission + - There is Plenty to Cut at the Pentagon 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "William D. Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, writes that although we have been bombarded with tales of woe about the potentially devastating impacts of cutting the Pentagon budget 8% under the sequester, examples of egregious waste and misplaced spending priorities at the Pentagon abound and one need look no further than the department's largest weapons program, the F-35 combat aircraft which has just been grounded again after a routine inspection revealed a crack on a turbine blade in the jet engine of an F-35 test aircraft in California. Even before it has moved into full-scale production, the plane has already increased in price by 75%, and it has so far failed to meet basic performance standards. By the Pentagon's own admission, building and operating three versions of the F-35 — one for the Air Force, one for the Navy and one for the Marines — will cost more than $1.4 trillion over its lifetime, making it the most expensive weapons program ever undertaken. And in an era in which aerial combat is of diminishing importance and upgraded versions of current generation US aircraft can more than do the job, it is not at all clear that we need to purchase more than 2,400 of these planes. Cutting the two most expensive versions of the F-35 will save over $60 billion in the next decade. But some say the F-35 program is too big to kill. The F-35 funnels business to a global network of contractors that includes Northrop Grumman and Kongsberg Gruppen ASA of Norway. It counts 1,300 suppliers in 45 states supporting 133,000 jobs — and more in nine other countries, according to Lockheed. “It’s got a lot of political protection,” says Winslow Wheeler, a director at the Project on Government Oversight’s Center for Defense Information in Washington. “In that environment, very, very few members of Congress are willing to say this is an unaffordable dog and we need to get rid of it.”"

Submission + - Google Releases Chrome 25 With Voice Recognition Support

An anonymous reader writes: Google on Thursday released Chrome version 25 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. While Chrome 24 was largely a stability release, Chrome 25 is all about features, including voice recognition support via the newly added Web Speech API and the blocking of silent extension installation. You can update to the latest release now using the browser's built-in silent updater, or download it directly from

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to deal with a company that appears unconcerned that their use 3

jetkins writes: As the owner of my own mail domain, I have the luxury of being able to create unique email addresses to use when registering with web sites and providers. So when I started to receive virus-infected emails recently, at an address that I created exclusively for use with a well-known provider of tools for the Systems Administration community (and which I have never used anywhere else), I knew immediately that either their systems or their subscriber list had been compromised.

I passed my concerns on to a couple of their employees whom I know socially, and they informed me that they had passed it up the food chain, but I have never received any sort of official response, nor seen any public notification or acceptance of this situation.

When I received another virus-infected email at that same address this week, I posted a polite note on their Facebook page. Again, nothing.

If it was a company in any other field, I might expect this degree of nonchalance, but given the fact that this company is staffed by — and primarily services — geeks, I'm a little taken aback by their apparent reticence.

So, since the polite, behind-the-scenes approach appears to have no effect, I now throw it out to the group consciousness: Am I being paranoid, or are these folks being unreasonable in refusing to accept or even acknowledge that a problem might exist? What would you recommend as my next course of action?