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+ - 102 Google debuts the Chromebit, a Chromebook dongle->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today Google unveiled a new device: the Chromebit. It's a small compute stick that contains the Rockchip 3288 processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB of storage — much like a low-end Chromebook. It connects to a TV or monitor through an HDMI port. (It also has a USB port for power and plugging in peripherals.) Google says the Chromebit is their solution for turning any display into a computer, and it will cost under $100. Google also announced a couple of new Chromebooks as well. Haier and Hisense models will cost $150, and a ASUS model with a rotating display will cost $250."
Link to Original Source

+ - 158 We're Living In The Golden Age Of Star Trek Webseries Right Now

Submitted by DakotaSmith
DakotaSmith (937647) writes ""We're Living In The Golden Age Of Star Trek Webseries Right Now"

If you're a true geek, you already know about Star Trek Continues and Star Trek: Phase II .

(If you're a true geek and you don't know, run — do not walk run — to watch "Lolani". Your brain and — and more importantly, your heart — will love you for the rest of your life.)

But there's more to it than that. A lot more.

How about the years'-long wait for Act IV of Starship Exeter : "The Tressaurian Intersection"?

Or Yorktown: "A Time to Heal" — an attempt to resurrect an aborted fan film from 1978 starring George Takei?

For fans of old-school Star Trek (the ones who pre-date "Trekker" and wear "Trekkie" as a badge of honor) only since 1969 has there been a better time to watch Star Trek: The Original Series.

(Oh, and there's plenty content out there for you "Trekkers" and NextGen-era fans. It all varies in quality, but it doesn't take much effort to find them. This is truly a Golden Age. It'll have a place in the history books, alongside the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Television. Recognize it and enjoy it while it lasts.)"

+ - 133 Pentagon Personnel Now Talking on 'NSA-Proof' Smartphones ->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Defense Department has rolled out supersecret smartphones for work and maybe play, made by anti-government-surveillance firm Silent Circle, according to company officials.

Silent Circle, founded by a former Navy Seal and the inventor of privacy-minded PGP encryption, is known for decrying federal efforts to bug smartphones. And for its spy-resistant "blackphone."

Apparently, troops don't like busybodies either. As part of limited trials, U.S. military personnel are using the device, encrypted with secret code down to its hardware, to communicate "for both unclassified and classified" work, Silent Circle Chairman Mike Janke told Nextgov."

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+ - 134 Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint from Nintendo

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Well, we saw this one coming. Just a couple of days after computer science student Erik Roystan Ross released a free recreation of the first level of Nintendo's 1996 Super Mario 64, Nintendo filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint. It was sent to the content distribution network CloudFlare and the complaint asked to immediately disable public access to the page hosting the remade game. CloudFlare forwarded the complaint to the person hosting Ross' game, after which the hosting provider (a friend of Ross) had to take the game down. Nintendo also sent Ross takedown notices for his downloadable desktop versions of the Bob-Omb Battlefield. Nintendo is famously protective of its copyright, taking issue even with "Let's Play" videos posted on YouTube and threatening to shut down live-streamed Super Smash Bros tournaments."

+ - 102 California has become the first state to get over 5% of its power from solar->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "While the rest of the nation's solar power generation hovers around 1%, California clocked in with a record 5% of power coming from utility-grade (1MW or more) solar power sources, according to a report from Mercom Capital Group and the Energy Information Administration. That's three times the next closest state, Arizona. At the same time, 22 states have yet to deploy even one utility-grade solar power plant, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. Meanwhile, the rest of the world saw a 14% uptick in solar power installations in 2014 for a total of 54.5GW of capacity, and that figure is expected to grow even faster in 2015. While China still leads the world in new solar capacity, Japan and the U.S. come in as a close second and third, respectively. In the U.S. distributed solar and utility-grade solar installations are soaring as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) is set to expire next year. The U.S. is expected to deploy 8.5GW of new solar capacity in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group."
Link to Original Source

+ - 102 IT troubles plague Federal Copyright Office->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "The IT department at the nation’s Copyright Office needs more than a little work. A report out this week from the watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office points out a number of different technical and management woes that see to start at the top – with the CIO (a position that has a number of problems in its own right) and flows down to the technology, or lack-thereof."
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+ - 154 Facebook Tracks All Site Vistors, Violating EU Law, Report Says->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "In a technical analysis of Facebook’s tracking practices, researchers at the University of Leuven in cooperation with researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel found that Facebook tracks everyone who visits its site, including people who don’t have an account, and even continues to track users and non-users who have opted out of targeted ads. The problem with these practices is that the cookies are placed without consent, which under EU law is only allowed if there is a strict necessity to do so."
Link to Original Source

+ - 187 The End of College? Not So Fast - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The advent of MOOCs, Khan Academy, and the hundreds of other learning sites that have popped up have many people predicting the decline of expensive, four-year universities. But Donald Heller writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education that most of the people making these claims don't have a good understanding of how actual students are interacting with online classes. He points out that it's a lot easier for a 40-year-old who's in a stable life position, and who has already experienced college-level education to to find great value in an MOOC. But things change when you're asking 18-20-year-olds to give up the structure and built-in motivation of a physical university to instead sit at their computer for hours at a time. (The extremely low pass rate for free online courses provides some evidence for this.) Heller also warns that prematurely hailing MOOCs as a replacement of colleges will only encourage governments and organizations to stop investing in institutions of higher learning, which could have dire consequences for overall education level."
Link to Original Source

+ - 113 Lebanese Cyberspies Hit Defense, Telecom, Media Firms Worldwide->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "For the past two years, a cyberespionage group that likely operates from Lebanon has hacked into hundreds of defense contractors, telecommunications operators, media groups and educational organizations from at least 10 countries, according to security researchers from Check Point Software Technologies. The researchers found evidence that the attackers started their operation in late 2012, but have managed to fly under the radar until now by carefully adapting their tools to avoid being detected by antivirus programs."
Link to Original Source

+ - 209 NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The NSA employs tens of thousands of people, and they're constantly recruiting more. They're looking for 1,600 new workers this year alone. Now that their reputation has taken a major hit with the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, they aren't sure they'll be able to meet that goal. Not only that, but the NSA has to compete with other companies, and they Snowden leaks made many of them more competitive: "Ever since the Snowden leaks, cybersecurity has been hot in Silicon Valley. In part that's because the industry no longer trusts the government as much as it once did. Companies want to develop their own security, and they're willing to pay top dollar to get the same people the NSA is trying to recruit." If academia's relationship with the NSA continues to cool, the agency could find itself struggling within a few years."
Link to Original Source

+ - 201 Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "When you become an actor, landing a role in a movie as big as Star Wars may seem like a dream come true. But Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit report at The Hollywood Reporter that six movies in, the Star Wars franchise has only spawned one megastar: Harrison Ford, unusual for a series of this magnitude. Neither Ewan McGregor nor Liam Neeson was helped by the franchise and the list of acting careers that never took off is even longer, from original stars Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher to Jake Lloyd (young Anakin Skywalker) and most notably Hayden Christensen, whose star was on the rise when he nabbed 2002's Attack of the Clones. Even Natalie Portman who already had a hot career before Episodes I-III, admitted she struggled after the exposure. "Everyone thought I was a horrible actress," says Portman. "I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me."

So what is the problem? "When you sign up for this, you're signing your life away, and you're keeping yourself from any other franchises out there," says an agent whose client is one of the stars of Episode VII. "They will not let you be in another franchise. They're going to be cranking out a new movie every year. These actors never get to read the script before signing on. They don't even know which [subsequent] one they are in. And then they become known for that role, and it's hard to see them in [another] kind of movie." Still, agents keep pursuing roles in the upcoming films even though newcomers can only command a meagar $65,000 to $125,000 for Episode VII. "It secures all involved a place in film history," says agent Sarah Fargo, "and guarantees a huge global audience, enhancing an actor's marketability.""

+ - 170 Microsoft Announces Surface 3 Tablet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today Microsoft announced the latest device in their line of Windows tablets: the Surface 3. The tablet runs a full version of Windows (the troublesome "RT" line has been deprecated), and aims to compete with Apple's iPad. The Surface 3 has a 10.8" screen running at 1920x1280 (note the 3:2 ratio). It's 8.7mm thick and weighs 622 grams (1.27 lbs). They're somewhat vague about the battery life, but they say it will last up to 10 hours "based on video playback." They've also made it possible to charge the device with a standard micro-USB charger. The base device with 64GB storage, 2GB RAM, and Wi-Fi only will cost $500, and it'll scale up with more storage, more ram, and 4G LTE connectivity. The keyboard is still a separate $130 accessory as well."
Link to Original Source

+ - 195 World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Airlander 10 is the world's biggest aircraft. It's an airship that incorporates elements of blimps, planes, and hovercraft. Buoyed by a vast volume of helium, it's capable of cruising at a speed of 80 knots. It was built as a military venture, intended to be used for surveillance tasks. But as the war in Afghanistan wound down, government officials found they had no use for the airship. They ended up selling it back to the company who made it for $300,000 — after paying them $90 million to build it. Now, a small group of investors are trying to get it operational, in part to show people how safe the technology can be, and to hopefully spur construction of more airships. They say the Airlander 10 is capable of surviving a missile strike, but visions of the Hindenberg still loom large in our cultural memory."
Link to Original Source

+ - 176 Dark Energy Tested on a Tabletop->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dark energy has topped cosmologists’ “most wanted” list since 1998, when astronomers noticed that the expansion of the universe is speeding up rather than slowing down. The entity responsible — whatever it is — must be incredibly powerful, constituting nearly 70 percent of the universe. Figuring out the identity of this dark energy is “arguably the most important problem in physics,” said Clare Burrage of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

Now a team of physicists has directly tested one option for dark energy using not powerful telescopes or satellites, but a vacuum chamber fashioned on a tabletop."

Link to Original Source

+ - 176 UK IP Chief Wants ISPs to Police Piracy Proactively->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The UK's top IP advisor has published recommendations on how Internet service providers should deal with online piracy. Among other things, it's suggested that Internet services should search for and filter infringing content proactively. According to the report ISPs have a moral obligation to do more against online piracy.

Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has pushed various copyright related topics onto the political agenda since early last year.

Previously Weatherley suggested that search engines should blacklist pirate sites, kids should be educated on copyright ethics, and that persistent file-sharers should be thrown in jail."

Link to Original Source

+ - 144 Massive Power Outage Paralyzes Turkey->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "A massive power outage caused chaos and shut down public transport across Turkey on Tuesday, with the government refusing to rule out that the electricity system had been the victim of an attack. The nationwide power cut, the worst in 15 years, began shortly after 10:30 am (0730 GMT) in Istanbul, the state-run Anatolia news agency quoted the Turkey Electricity Transmission Company (TEIAS) as saying.

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the authorities were investigating whether the power outage was due to a technical failure or cyber-attack. "It is too early to say now if it is because of a technical reason, a manipulation, a faultplay, an operational mistake, or a cyber (attack). We are looking into it... We cannot say they are excluded possibilities.""

Link to Original Source

+ - 102 Neo: A new 64-bit processor core architecture eyeing up exascale computing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "National labs are already expressing early interest in the 64-bit Neo cores, which are 1/145 the size of a fourth generation Haswell core and 1/27 the size of a 32-bit ARM Cortex A-15. The 18-year old behind Neo expects to deliver a 256 core chip by the end of 2016 at the earliest using a 28 nanometer process, which will offer 65 gigaflops per watt. Successive generations will use 10 nanometer or 7 nanometer processes as those roll out. “Current proposals for exascale in 2022 are for 20 megawatts, but it’s definitely possible to do better than that within five years,” he noted."
Link to Original Source

+ - 103 Onion Omega - Tiny Linux+WiFi dev board designed for software developers->

Submitted by onionomega
onionomega (4063173) writes "Onion Omega lets you prototype hardware devices using familiar tools such as Git, pip, npm, and using high level programming languages such as Python, Javascript, PHP. The Onion Omega is fully integrated with the Onion Cloud, making it a breeze to connect physical devices to the Web to create Internet of Things applications."
Link to Original Source