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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Facebook

This App Lets You Piggyback Facebook's Free Internet To Access Any Site 67

Posted by timothy
from the bits-is-bits dept.
sarahnaomi writes In countries like Zambia, Tanzania, or Kenya, where very few have access to the Internet, Facebook is bringing its own version of the net: Internet.org, an app that gives mobile users free access to certain sites such as Google, Wikipedia and, of course, Facebook. While the initiative has clearly positive goals, it's also been criticized as an "imperialistic" push for Facebook colonies, where novice Internet.org users will grow up thinking their restricted version of the web is the real internet. To fight against that possibility, a 20-year-old developer from Paraguay is working on an app that tunnels the "regular" internet through Facebook Messenger, one of the services free to use on Internet.org's app. This allows Internet.org users to establish a link to the outside, unrestricted internet, circumventing restrictions.
Mozilla

Firefox To Mandate Extension Signing 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the changing-things-up dept.
First time accepted submitter x0ra writes In a recent blog post, Mozilla announced its intention to require extensions to be signed in Firefox, without any possible user override. From the post: "For developers hosting their add-ons on AMO, this means that they will have to either test on Developer Edition, Nightly, or one of the unbranded builds. The rest of the submission and review process will remain unchanged, except that extensions will be automatically signed once they pass review. For other developers, this is a larger change. For testing development versions, they’ll have the same options available as AMO add-on developers. For release versions, however, we’re introducing the required step of uploading the extension file to AMO for signing. For most cases, this step will be automatic, but in cases where the extension doesn’t pass these tests, there will be the option to request a manual code review."
Transportation

U-2 Caused Widespread Shutdown of US Flights Out of LAX 128

Posted by timothy
from the that-bono-is-such-a-ham dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Reuters reports that last week's computer glitch at a California air traffic control center that led officials to halt takeoffs at Los Angeles International Airport was caused by a U-2 spy plane still in use by the US military, passing through air space monitored by the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center that appears to have overloaded ERAM, a computer system at the center. According to NBC News, computers at the center began operations to prevent the U-2 from colliding with other aircraft, even though the U-2 was flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet and other airplanes passing through the region's air space were miles below. FAA technical specialists resolved the specific issue that triggered the problem on Wednesday, and the FAA has put in place mitigation measures as engineers complete development of software changes," said the agency in a statement. "The FAA will fully analyze the event to resolve any underlying issues that contributed to the incident and prevent a reoccurrence." The U.S. Air Force is still flying U-2s, but plans to retire them within the next few years. The U-2 was slated for retirement in 2006 in favor of the unmanned Global Hawk Block 30 system, before the Air Force pulled an about-face two years ago and declared the Global Hawk too expensive and insufficient for the needs of combatant commanders."
Android

Ouya Dropping 'Free-to-Play' Requirement 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the free-as-in-pay-me dept.
itwbennett writes: "One of the Ouya micro-consoles's selling points has been that you can sample every game for free. That requirement is going away soon. In a recent blog post, Ouya's Bob Mills said, 'In the coming weeks, we're going to let devs choose if they want to charge up front for their games. Now they'll be able to choose between a free-to-try or paid model.' Good news for developers, perhaps not as good for customers. 'Maybe this new policy will attract new developers that can offer something compelling enough to be a system seller,' writes blogger Peter Smith."
Books

XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Has Already Become a Best-Seller 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-before-it-was-big dept.
destinyland writes "Wednesday the geeky cartoonist behind XKCD announced that he'd publish a new book answering hypothetical science questions in September. And within 24 hours, his as-yet-unpublished work had become Amazon's #2 best-selling book. 'Ironically, this book is titled What If?,' jokes one blogger, noting it resembles an XKCD comic where 'In our yet-to-happen future, this book decides to travel backwards through time, stopping off in March of 2014 to inform Amazon's best-seller list that yes, in our coming timeline this book will be widely read...' Randall Munroe's new book will be collecting his favorite 'What If...' questions, but will also contain his never-before published answers to some questions that he'd found 'particularly neat.'"
Cellphones

Samsung Creates Phone With Curved Display 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-there's-a-right-way-and-a-wrong-way-to-pocket-your-phone dept.
iONiUM writes "Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy Round phone with a curved 5.7" display. It comes with a hefty $1,000 USD price tag. This is a follow-up to the 55" curved TVs it began selling in June, and is most likely an intermediate form in the development of fold-able phones. Considering the recent LG announcement of mass OLED flexible screen production, it seems we are getting close to flexible phones. One question I wonder: will Apple follow suit? So far there has been no indication they are even attempting flexible/bendable screens."
Google

Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-fallout-map dept.
mdsolar writes in with news that Goolge has released Street View pictures from inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima disaster. "Google Inc. (GOOG) today released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Google, operator of the world's biggest Web search engine, entered Namie this month at the invitation of the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, and produced the 360-degree imagery for the Google Maps and Google Earth services, it said in an e-mailed statement. All of Namie's 21,000 residents were forced to flee after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town, causing the world's worst nuclear accident after Chernobyl. Baba asked Mountain View, California-based Google to map the town to create a permanent record of its state two years after the evacuation, he said in a Google blog post."
IOS

Ask Slashdot: What Features Belong In a 'Smartwatch'? 322

Posted by Soulskill
from the anything-james-bond-had dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "If the rumors are true, and Apple is indeed hard at work on a newfangled timepiece (dubbed the 'iWatch'), what unique features could such a device offer a public already overloaded with all sorts of handheld devices? Answer that question, and you're perhaps one step closer to figuring out why Apple — again, if the rumors are true — decided to devote millions of dollars and the precious hours of some very smart people in the effort. This article suggests voice control (via Siri), biometrics, mobile payments, and other possible features, but there must be loads of others that someone could think up."

Comment: Re:well that article sucks (Score 2) 190

by 0137 (#40568355) Attached to: Dark Matter Filament Finally Found

This is incorrect. No mainstream models of dark matter are based directly in string theory. It's hard to demonstrate directly that this is the case but if you'll do a search for 'string' in the dark matter wiki article you'll see no mentions barring one at the end, a tangential mention under the 'alternate theories' section.

Also I think you overstate the case when calling dark matter a 'questionable' theory. It is widely accepted among cosmologists, at least as a tentative explanation that fits the available data.

Comment: Re:But which constant isn't? (Score 1) 273

by 0137 (#37940586) Attached to: Fine Structure Constant May Not Be So Constant

what you are saying isn't strictly speaking meaningful. all physical constants are relational. which you pick as 'fundamental' versus 'derived' is at some point arbitrary. if this article was about the speed of light, you could just as well ask which constant isn't, the length of a unit of space or the duration of a unit of time?

United States

Marking 10 Years Since 9/11/2001 804

Posted by timothy
from the keep-calm-and-carry-on dept.
10 years ago today, coordinated terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. killed nearly 3,000 people. It wasn't the first terrorist attack directed against the U.S., or even on U.S. soil, but it was the deadliest, and came at a time of relative peace. Probably most people reading this remember where and how they heard the news. We've often discussed the consequences of the attack: security cordons, ID checks and metal detectors where none existed before, a reexamination of how U.S. policy affects international perception and attitudes, and the encroachment of surveillance policies and technology, to name a few. Today, we don’t want to inundate you with links to tributes and retrospectives, so we’ll offer the only thing we can: a look back at how the day unfolded here. Our thoughts are with everyone who lost friends and family members.

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