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The Military

+ - 354 There is Plenty to Cut at the Pentagon 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
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.”"
Chrome

+ - 255 Google Releases Chrome 25 With Voice Recognition Support

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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 google.com/chrome."

+ - 160 Ask Slashdot: How to deal with a company that appears unconcerned that their use 3

Submitted by jetkins
jetkins (1049838) 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?"
Displays

+ - 156 Carmack On VR Latency->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For a while now, John Carmack has been pushing to bring virtual reality technology back to the gaming world. VR was largely abandoned over a decade ago when it became apparent that the hardware just wasn't ready to support it. In 2013, things are different; cheap displays with a high pixel density and powerful processors designed for small systems are making virtual reality a... reality. One of the last obstacles to be conquered is latency — the delay between moving your head and seeing your perspective change in the virtual world. In a lengthy and highly-technical post at #AltDevBlogADay, Carmack has outlined a number of strategies for mitigating and reducing latency. With information and experience like this being shared with the game development community at large, it shouldn't be long until VR makes a permanent place for itself in our gaming lives."
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Piracy

+ - 172 Copyright Alert System to launch Monday->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Starting next week, most U.S. Internet users will be subject to a new copyright enforcement system that could force them to complete educational programs, and even slow their Internet speeds to a crawl.

A source with direct knowledge of the Copyright Alert System (CAS), who asked to not to be named, has told the Daily Dot that the five participating Internet service providers (ISPs) will start the controversial program Monday.

The ISPs—industry giants AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon—will launch their versions of the CAS on different days throughout the week. Comcast is expected to be the first, on Monday."

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Education

+ - 145 Columbia University study slams traditional online classes

Submitted by
lpress
lpress writes "A Columbia University study of the efficacy of "traditional online classes" concluded that “the online format had a significantly negative relationship with both course persistence and course grade, indicating that the typical student had difficulty adapting to online courses.”

A review of the study reports that online results were poor across the board, but there the results were not homogeneous. For example “males, Black students, and students with lower levels of academic preparation experienced significantly stronger negative coefficients for online learning compared with their counterparts". Some courses — social science and professional school classes — also fared poorly online.

The study concludes with four policy recommendations to cope with the problems they found, but only one — wholesale improvement of courses seems viable and we may be learning how to do that in MOOCs."
Android

+ - 248 HTC Required by FTC Patch Vulnerabilities on Smartphones and Tablets->

Submitted by
haberb
haberb writes "I always thought my HTC phones were of average or above average quality, and certainly no less secure than an vanilla android install, but it turns out someone was still not impressed.

Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for its smartphones and tablet computers, introducing security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk.

Perhaps this will push HTC to release some of the ICS upgrades they promised a few months ago but never delivered, or perhaps the reason they fell through in the first place?"
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Government

+ - 117 Will Cars Eventually Need a Do-Not-Track Option?->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Earlier this month, a very public argument erupted between Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and New York Times reporter John Broder, who claimed in a Feb. 8 column that his electric-powered Model S sedan had ground to a halt on a lonely stretch of Connecticut highway, starved for power. Musk retaliated by publishing the data from Broder's test drive, which suggested the reporter had driven the vehicle at faster speeds than he had claimed in the article (which would have drained the battery at a quicker rate) and failed to fully charge the car at available stations. Musk seems to have let the whole thing drop, but the whole brouhaha raises a point that perhaps deserves further exploration: the rising use of sensors in cars, and whether an automobile company—or any other entity, for that matter—has the right to take data from those sensors and use it for their own ends without the owner's permission. (For his part, Musk has claimed that Tesla only turns on data logging with “explicit written permission from customers.”) What do you think, Slashdot? Do we need the equivalent of a "Do Not Track" option for cars?"
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China

+ - 172 Growing Public Unrest Leads China to Admit to "Cancer Villages"-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
Bitcoin

+ - 225 The Internet Archive to Pay Salaries in Bitcoin, Requests Donations->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Bitcoin is gaining popularity among mainstream sites lately and the latest to adopt the digital currency as a medium of donations and payments is the Internet Archive. Ready to accept donation in the form of Bitcoin, the Internet Archive announced that it wants to do so to pay some part of employees’ salaries, if they choose to, in Bitcoin. The Archive, known for its storage of digital documents especially the previous version of webpages, is looking to start part salary payments in Bitcoin by April 2013 if everything goes well."
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Patents

+ - 132 X-Plane Inventor Discusses Patent Trolls->

Submitted by ShoulderOfOrion
ShoulderOfOrion (646118) writes "Austin Meyer, creator of the X-Plane PC flight simulator, holds a podcast discussion with an editor of the online aviation website Avweb. The latter half of the podcast discusses Meyer's battles with a patent troll, his views on the patent system in general, and his intent to fight the troll and change the system. It also discusses the impact the patent battle is having on the X-Plane flight simulator, particularly on Android. The patent conversation starts at 11:50 on the podcast."
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AMD

+ - 210 New GPU Testing Methodology Puts Multi-GPU Solutions in Question->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "A big shift in the way graphics cards and gaming performance are tested has been occurring over the last few months with many review sites now using frame times rather than just average frame rates to compare products. Another unique testing methodology called Frame Rating has been started by PC Perspective that uses video capture equipment capable of recording uncompressed high resolution output direct from the graphics card, a colored bar overlay system and post-processing on that recorded video to evaluate performance as it is seen by the end user. The benefit is that there is literally no software interference between the data points and what the user sees making it is as close to an "experience metric" as any developed. Interestingly, multi-GPU solutions like SLI and CrossFire have VERY different results when viewed in this light, with AMD's offering clearly presenting a poorer, and more stuttery, animation."
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Crime

+ - 188 Apple now working with the NYPD to curb iPhone thefts-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Back in late 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attributed the increase in statistical city-wide crime to Apple, noting that thieves had a propensity to target folks using iPhones and iPads. As an illustration of the problem, there were 3,890 more Apple product thefts than in 2012 than there were in 2011.

At the time, Mayor Bloomberg's press secretary Marc La Vorgna explained that "if you just took away the jump in Apple", crime in New York City would have been down year over year. Indeed, the number of major crimes reported in 2011 in NYC came in at 104,948 compared to 108.432 in 2012. If you exclude Apple related thefts from the figures, then the crime rate in 2012 is essentially the same as it was in 2011.

In light of that, a new report from the New York Post details that Apple is now working with the NYPD in an effort to curb iPhone and other Apple related thefts."

Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 185 Flies Get Drunk in Order to Survive->

Submitted by Copper Nikus
Copper Nikus (1615089) writes "In yet another fascinating example of insects being smarter than we give them credit for, this arstechnica article describes how fruit flies are able to fight back against deadly wasps by using alcohol. From the article:

A study in today's issue of Science suggests fruit flies are capable of medicating not only themselves but their offspring as well. And their medication of choice? Alcohol. The threat for these flies is any of a number of small, parasitic wasps. These wasps lay eggs on the larva or pupa of the flies, and their offspring feed on the animal internally, often killing them in the process. (Flies have larval stages, during which we call them maggots, and pupate just as butterflies do before emerging in their adult form.) Once infected, there isn't much one of the larva can do to get rid of the parasite. Its one option: booze. Fruit flies, as their name implies, like to dine on fruit, especially during the larval stages. In many cases, that involves ingesting the alcohol that's produced by natural fermentation of rotting fruit (this can approach 20 percent alcohol content). Some species of flies have developed the ability to tolerate this alcohol as they chew through the fruit as maggots. But for most of the wasp species, even moderate levels of alcohol are toxic."

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The Internet

+ - 135 North Korea to enable mobile internet access - for visitors only->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that the reclusive country of North Korea is planning to enable 3G mobile internet access. It will not be available to the country's estimated 1 million mobile users, however. The service will be available only to international visitors, who have only been allowed to bring their own mobile devices into the country since January of this year. The decision comes shortly after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said enabling 3G internet in the country would be "very easy" during his recent visit there. Currently, North Korean citizens can only access a small number of state-controlled sites. Might this decision open the door for some of them to surreptitiously access the open net?"
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EU

+ - 252 France Plans 20 Billion National Broadband Plan->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "France is planning a €20 billion programme to get super-fast broadband to its rural population About half the funds will come from government investment, and President Holland believes the work will create 10,000 jobs. Half the population should have fast broadband in the next five years, and the whole country in ten years. France is at a disadvantage for broadband as it is a large country with a lot of rural areas. However, it also has a more left-leaning government willing to take on infrastructure projects."
Link to Original Source
HP

+ - 112 HP's first 'Project Moonshot' server due next quarter->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Hewlett-Packard's first low-power server for hyperscale computing environments, developed under a project it calls Moonshot, will go on sale next quarter, CEO Meg Whitman said this week. Project Moonshot is an effort to build low-power servers based on alternatives to Intel's Xeon processors for use in mega data centers like those operated by Facebook and Google. HP announced the project in 2011, and the first server platform it talked about, known as Redstone, was to be based on an ARM-type processor from Calxeda."
Link to Original Source
PlayStation (Games)

+ - 190 How game streaming went from shaky webcams to the PS4->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A slightly different take on Sony's PS4 semi-launch this week. This article traces the history and growing trend of capturing/recording and streaming your gameplay on the internet, from the early days of Let's Play articles with screenshots to today, where pro-gamers make money by playing live on Twitch.tv, and the technology is built into the PlayStation 4: "Multiplayer video games have been around since the beginning — just look at Pong. Sony’s real breakthrough with the PS4 might not be the specs, but its ability to turn every game you play into a multiplayer one.""
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - 263 Homeland Security Stole Michael Arrington's Boat-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, lives near Seattle and bought a boat there. He ordered it from a company based near him, but across the border in Canada. Yesterday, the company tried to deliver it to him, and it had to clear customs. An agent for the Department of Homeland Security asked him to sign a form. The form contained information about the bought, including its cost. The price was correct, but it was in U.S. dollars rather than Canadian dollars. Since the form contained legal warnings about making sure everything on it is true and accurate, Arrington suggested to the agent that they correct the error. She responded by seizing the boat. 'As in, demanded that we get off the boat, demanded the keys and took physical control of it. What struck me the most about the situation is how excited she got about seizing the boat. Like she was just itching for something like this to happen. This was a very happy day for her. ... A person with a gun and a government badge asked me to swear in writing that a lie was true today. And when I didn’t do what she wanted she simply took my boat and asked me to leave.'"
Link to Original Source
Android

+ - 282 Pwnie Express releases network hacking Kit->

Submitted by puddingebola
puddingebola (2036796) writes "From the article, "The folks at security tools company Pwnie Express have built a tablet that can bash the heck out of corporate networks. Called the Pwn Pad, it’s a full-fledged hacking toolkit built atop Google’s Android operating system.
Some important hacking tools have already been ported to Android, but Pwnie Express says that they’ve added some new ones. Most importantly, this is the first time that they’ve been able to get popular wireless hacking tools like Aircrack-ng and Kismet to work on an Android device."

Pwnie Express the price is $795."

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