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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 33 declined, 10 accepted (43 total, 23.26% accepted)

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Submission + - Young Climate Activists Sue Obama over Climate Change Inaction (cnn.com)

EmagGeek writes: I'm just going to leave this here: A recent lawsuit against Obama alleges he has a legal duty to act against the rock-solid proven fact of climate change, and these young climate activists are taking him to task on it.

Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh became a climate change activist at age 6 when he saw an environmental documentary. He asked his mom to find a way for him to speak at a rally. Now 15, the long-haired, hip-hop-savvy Coloradan is one of 21 young activists joining climate scientist James Hansen in suing the Obama administration for failing to ditch fossil fuels. "It's basically a bunch of kids saying you're not doing your job," he told me here at the U.N. COP21 climate change summit in Paris." You're failing, you know. F-minus.

Submission + - Full Text of Trans-Pacific Partnership Released (Officially, this time) (mfat.govt.nz)

EmagGeek writes: The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, has been officially released, and is available for the public to see. According to CNN, The TPP is a 12-nation deal that touches on 40% of the global economy. The provisions of the deal would knock down tariffs and import quotas, making it cheaper to import and export, and open new Asia-Pacific markets. Negotiations have been going on for years, led by the United States and Japan — with China conspicuously absent from the list of signees.

Submission + - Apple Pulls Blockchain from App Store, Leaving Apple Users Walletless (pcmag.com)

EmagGeek writes: Apple this week yanked a bitcoin app from its App Store, prompting an angry screed from the developer, who accused Cupertino of trying to squash a "revolutionary new payment system."

The move is mystifying, Blockchain said, because its app has been in the App Store without incident for two years and secured more than 120,000 downloads. "The only thing that has changed is that bitcoin has become competitive to Apple's own payment system," Blockchain said. "By removing the blockchain app, the only bitcoin wallet application on the App store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy handed manner."

This move effectively bans Bitcoin on Apple devices, as Blockchain was the only bitcoin wallet app available in the iTunes store.

Submission + - How do you convince an ISP to come bury cable in your neighborhood?

EmagGeek writes: I live in a semi-rural micropolitan area that generally has good access choices for high speed Internet. However, there are holes in the coverage in our area, and I live in one of them. There is infrastructure nearby, but because our subdivision covenants require all utilities to be underground, telecoms won't even consider upgrading to modern technology. The result is that we're all stuck with legacy DSL (which AT&T has happily re-branded as U-Verse even though it isn't) as our only choice for wireline access.

There is a competing cable company in the area, also with infrastructure nearby, but similarly they are reluctant to even discuss burying new cable in our 22-home subdivision.

Has anyone been in this same predicament and been able to convince a nearby ISP to run new lines? If so, how did you do it? Our neighborhood association could really use some pointers on this because we hit a new brick wall with every new approach we try — stopping just short of burying our own cable and hoping they'll at least be willing to run a line to the pole at the end of the street and drop it into our box.

Submission + - Cray-1 vs. AMD 7990, Then vs. Now (edn.com)

EmagGeek writes: In 1976, a Cray-1 supercomputer cost $36M (in 2013 dollars) and could execute floating point math at 160 MFLOP. The supercomputer had a 5.2V power supply that delivered almost 800 amps to the circuitry. The machine was the size of a small Volkswagen and required a refrigeration system to dissipate the 4000 watts of electricity it took to run.

The fastest PC video card on the market today costs $1000 and can execute floating point math at 8,200,000 MFLOP, consumes energy at a rate of just less than 400 watts, and is about the size of a paperback book.

50,000 times faster, 1/36,000 the price, 1/10th the energy, and about 1/5,000 the volume. It's interesting how they had to solve the enormous power requirements of supercomputers at the time, and how they have continued to solve them over the years as power densities have increased.

Submission + - Did Large Eyes Lead To Neanderthals' Demise? (slashdot.org)

EmagGeek writes: "Bigger eyes and a corresponding greater allocation of the brain to process visual information is the most recent theory about the reasons that led to the extinction of Neanderthals, our closest relatives. Neanderthals split from the primate line that gave rise to modern humans about 400,000 years ago. This group then moved to Eurasia and completely disappeared from the world about 30,000 years back. Other studies have shown that Neanderthals might have lived near the Arctic Circle around 31,000 to 34,000 years ago."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - EFF Accepts Chair Endowment to Fight Patent Trolls, Funded by Patent Troll (experts-exchange.com)

EmagGeek writes: "In an astonishing piece of irony, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has accepted an endowment from billionaire investor Mark Cuban to fund a "chair to eliminate stupid patents." One might thing the EFF would have a good system for vetting potential donors for possible conflicts of interest, but apparently missed the fact that Mark Cuban, who reportedly owns a 7.4% stake in patent troll Vringo, is currently embroiled in several patent trolling lawsuits against the likes of Google and Target.

"In March, Vringo merged with Innovate/Protect, which is basically a patent troll. It ended up owning search-monetization patents from Lycos. It's using those patents in lawsuits with Google, AOL, Gannett, Target and IAC, according to a Vringo press release.

Suing Google over years-old patents that aren't being used is absurd. But that might be the appeal to Cuban.""

Submission + - Firefox with NoScript Defeats Wikipedia Blackout (mozilla.org)

EmagGeek writes: "So, just for kicks this morning, I loaded Wikipedia to see what the blackout looked like. I saw that the content loaded before a black cover page was added, making it obvious they were just using a script to cover the content after it loaded. So, I enabled NoScript for Wikipedia and voila! I can now see English Wikipedia during the blackout."

Submission + - What's a good Tablet/App Combination for Note-Taki

" rel="nofollow">EmagGeek writes: "My wife recently started back to school to finish her 4-year degree, and one of the things that we've been considering is procuring for her some kind of tablet that would enable her to take notes in class and save them electronically. This would obviate the need to carry around a bunch of paper, and could even be used to store e-textbooks so she doesn't have to lug 30lbs of books around campus.

At minimum, she would have to be able to write freehand on the tablet with a fine-point stylus, just like she would write on paper with a pen. We've seen what we call those "fat finger" styli and found that they are not good for fine writing.

Having become frustrated with the offerings we've tried so far, I thought I would ping the Slashdot Community. Any suggestions?"

Submission + - Strategic Domain Choices Yield 20GB in Misdirected (cnn.com)

EmagGeek writes: ""Two researchers who set up doppelganger domains to mimic legitimate domains belonging to Fortune 500 companies say they managed to vacuum up 20 gigabytes of misaddressed e-mail over six months.

The intercepted correspondence included employee usernames and passwords, sensitive security information about the configuration of corporate network architecture that would be useful to hackers, affidavits and other documents related to litigation in which the companies were embroiled, and trade secrets, such as contracts for business transactions."

-- All the more reason to make sure you buy every typo for your domain as well."

Submission + - iPhones found secretly tracking users' locations (cnn.com)

EmagGeek writes: "Apple devices appear to be tracking their owners' locations and storing data about people's whereabouts without their knowledge, according to a report posted Wednesday on a site called iPhone Tracker.

The unauthorized surveillance started in June 2010, when the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system was released, according to two researchers who say they discovered a hidden tracking file and posted it out of concern for users.

Apple has not responded to the allegations."

Submission + - Researchers discover new turbine drive method (ecnmag.com)

EmagGeek writes: "Recently Ephemeral Chimera Laboratories (ECL), specialists in commercialization efforts for novel and radical technologies, announced they are in the process of commercializing a radical bioelectromechanical power system that promises to end energy dependence worldwide. ECL’s novel BB/CB-DERS combines a biological organism with electromechanical energy-harvesting technology to deliver what may eventually become a major source of energy for home and industry once the company has completed its efforts."

Submission + - 9th Circuit: Gov't can track you in secret w/ GPS (time.com)

EmagGeek writes: "Even Time Magazine Online thinks that it's scary that "Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements."

"The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant."

I guess if you can't afford to put gates and access control around your property, then you have fewer rights than those who can."

Submission + - Measuring Proficiency in the Engineering Workplace

EmagGeek writes: "The current and most common paradigm for reviewing employee performance seems to be the standard annual review of accomplishments against the employee's goals and objectives for the review period. In my company, compensation is determined mostly by the outcome of the goal and objective review. However, titles and ranks (and therefore promotions and career advancement — or ending) are determined by a completely separate set of criteria, among them being engineering expertise. We do not currently have an established way to objectively measure employee proficiency, so I was curious if you've experienced being rated for your engineering proficiency, and if so, how was that accomplished, and also whether you have been promoted or demoted or received an adjustment in compensation as a result of it."

Submission + - Researchers Create 4nm Transistor with 7 Atoms (dailytech.com)

EmagGeek writes: "University researchers have created a transistor by replacing just seven atoms of silicon with phosphorous. The seven-atom transistor has very hopeful implications for the future of quantum cryptography, nuclear and weather modeling, and other applications.

"The significance of this achievement is that we are not just moving atoms around or looking at them through a microscope," says Professor Michelle Simmons, a co-author of a paper on the subject that is being published by Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is entitled "Spectroscopy of Few-Electron Single-Crystal Silicon Quantum Dots".

"We are manipulating individual atoms and placing them with atomic precision, in order to make a working electronic device," elaborated Simmons. "We have replaced just seven individual silicon atoms with phosphorus atoms. That is amazing exactness"."

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas