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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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+ - NVIDIA Intros SHIELD Game Console, Makes GRID Cloud Service Official

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "After a month of anticipation, NVIDIA announced its SHIELD at GDC. Yes – “SHIELD”. Unlike the portable and tablet to come before it, the latest SHIELD is a dedicated set-top box that acts as a media player and game console. It’s an inch thick, five inches high, features Tegra X1 under-the-hood, includes a controller, and costs $199. This is the most intriguing SHIELD yet."

+ - Making CS Education an Issue Like Climate Change: Mission Accomplished?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Code is the New Literacy, declared tech-backed Code.org in a star-studded video two years ago as it teamed with politicians, educators, billionaires, tech giants, and the NSF to make CS education "an issue like climate change". And as the billionaire-bankrolled nonprofit celebrates its second birthday, it would appear that the mission's been accomplished. Last December saw K-12 educators in the U.S. and Russia clamor to make sure their kids get with the program(ming). Heck, Arkansas went so far as to declare a high school CS education state of emergency, New York City has tapped Code.org, the NSF, Google, and Microsoft to tag-team-teach schoolkids CS before, during, and after school, and AmeriCorps VISTA Members will soon be fighting the war on poverty using Google's CS First Curriculum. Hey, Harold Hill and Lyle Lanley could only dream of such success!"

+ - Either everyone is cyber-secure or no one is

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Bruce Schneier on The Democratization of Cyberattack

When I was working with the Guardian on the Snowden documents, the one top-secret program the NSA desperately did not want us to expose was QUANTUM. This is the NSA's program for what is called packet injection--basically, a technology that allows the agency to hack into computers.

Turns out, though, that the NSA was not alone in its use of this technology. The Chinese government uses packet injection to attack computers. The cyberweapons manufacturer Hacking Team sells packet injection technology to any government willing to pay for it. Criminals use it. And there are hacker tools that give the capability to individuals as well.

All of these existed before I wrote about QUANTUM. By using its knowledge to attack others rather than to build up the internet's defenses, the NSA has worked to ensure that anyone can use packet injection to hack into computers.

"

+ - Has the Supreme Court made patent reform legislation unnecessary?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As Congress gears up again to seriously consider patent litigation abuse—starting with the introduction of H.R. 9 (the "Innovation Act") last month—opponents of reform are arguing that recent Supreme Court cases have addressed concerns. Give the decisions time to work their way through the system, they assert.

A recent hearing on the subject before a US House Judiciary Committee (HJC) Subcommittee shined some light on the matter. And, as HJC Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a long-time leader in Internet and intellectual property issues, put it succinctly in his opening remarks:

"We've heard this before, and though I believe that the Court has taken several positive steps in the right direction, their decisions can't take the place of a clear, updated and modernized statute. In fact, many of the provisions in the Innovation Act do not necessarily lend themselves to being solved by case law, but by actual law—Congressional legislation.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists Create Artificial Sunlight Real Enough To Trick the Brain 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Navanshu Agarwal writes that Italian scientists have developed an artificial LED sunlight system that looks just like real daylight streaming through a skylight. The LED skylight uses a thin coating of nanoparticles to recreate the effect that makes the sky blue, known as Rayleigh Scattering that doesn’t just light up a room but produces the texture and feel of sunlight. Paolo Di Trapani, one of the scientists who worked on the device believes that the skylight will allow developers of the future to not just build up, but also far down below the ground- without any of the dinginess that currently keeps us above ground.

CoeLux hopes to treat seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Each year, some 10 million Americans, mostly women, find themselves sinking into a heavy malaise during the wintertime. CoeLux hopes its LED bulbs, which create the illusion of infinitely tall, bright blue skies, will help trick the brains of people with SAD, ridding them of their blues."

+ - AMD Enters Virtual Reality Fray With LiquidVR SDK At GDC-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD is jumping into the virtual reality arena and announced today that its new LiquidVR SDK will help developers customize VR content for AMD hardware. The upcoming LiquidVR SDK makes a number of technologies available which help address obstacles in content, comfort and compatibility that together take the industry a major step closer to true, life-like presence across all VR games, applications, and experiences," AMD representatives said in a statement. Oculus is one of the VR companies that will be working with AMD's LiquidVR SDK and it seems to like what it's seen so far. "Achieving presence in a virtual world continues to be one of the most important elements to delivering amazing VR," said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus. "We're excited to have AMD working with us on their part of the latency equation, introducing support for new features like asynchronous timewarp and late latching, and compatibility improvements that ensure that Oculus' users have a great experience on AMD hardware."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: What smarthpone for the surveillence-aware late adopter? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Hello all,

I am a computer programmer and systems administrator, I am very tech literate — that being said I am also a skeptic when it comes to the necessity of a smartphone and the actual usefulness it will impart on MY life. Conversely, I am all too aware of the negative impact the smartphone will have on my life, mainly it compromises my privacy [more than a dumb phone does]. As a result, I've stuck to my dumb phone. But increasingly lately I feel that I can enhance my privacy by upgrading to a smartphone and using encrypted voice and text apps [and making config changes on the device as necessary].

Another crucial reason for my delayed adoption: I hate touch screens; I don't believe touch screens are "revolutionary"; I don't want to "learn" how to use touch screens. (I'm a backend developer. The fancier and shinier the UI, the less impressed I am.)

The ONLY interest I have in smartphones at this time is the encrypted voice and text apps. I do not need games, or facebook/twitter or email or even an internet browser — I don't like to do those things except on a traditional computer and I don't plan to change my day-to-day lifestyle any time soon except for adopting encrypted voice calls and text messages on a routine basis.

I know back in the early days of smartphones some handsets had physical keyboards. Are these types of devices still actively manufactured or do I need to buy a very old model? I would rather buy a recent model if possible.

Does anyone know of a Android phone with a physical keyboard compatible with recent popular crypto apps? Am I asking for too much?"

+ - European Data Protection Reform is Badly Broken->

Submitted by jrepin
jrepin (667425) writes "New leaked documents show that European countries, pushed by Germany, are systematically working to destroy the fabric of European privacy legislation. Under the current proposals, far from being provided with security fit for the digital age, Europe’s citizens right to data protection would be devoid of meaning.

According to the leaked proposals, crucial privacy protections have been drastically undermined, including the right to be asked for consent, the right to know how your data are used and the right to object to your data being used, minimum standards of behaviour for companies exploiting individuals’ data. In several places, the text would not likely pass judicial scrutiny under Europe’s human rights framework."

Link to Original Source

+ - NVIDIA Fixes Old Compiz Bug

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "NVIDIA has fixed a long-standing issue in the Ubuntu Unity desktop by patching Compiz. When opening the window of a new application, it would go black or become transparent on NVIDIA hardware. There has been bug reports dating back to Ubuntu 12.10 times. The problem was caused by Compiz, which had some leftover code from a port. An NVIDIA developer posted on Launchpad and said that the NVIDIA team has been looking at this issue and they also proposed a patch. "Our interpretation of the specification is that creating two GLX pixmaps pointing at the same drawable is not allowed, because it can lead to poorly defined behavior if the properties of both GLX drawables don't match. Our driver prevents this, but Compiz appears to try to do this.", wrote NVIDIA's Arthur Huillet. The Compiz patch has been accepted upstream."

+ - Inside The North Korean Data Smuggling Movement->

Submitted by Sparrowvsrevolution
Sparrowvsrevolution (1926150) writes "A new Wired magazine story goes inside the North Korean rebel movement seeking to overthrow Kim Jong-un by smuggling USB drives into the country packed with foreign television and movies. As the story describes, one group has stashed USB drives in Chinese cargo trucks. Another has passed them over from tourist boats that meet with fishermen mid-river. Others arrange USB handoffs at the Chinese border in the middle of the night with walkie talkies, laser pointers, and bountiful bribes.

Even Kim assassination comedy The Interview, which the North Korean government allegedly hacked Sony to prevent from being released, has made it into the country: Chinese traders’ trucks carried 20 copies of the film across the border the day after Christmas, just two days after its online release."

Link to Original Source

+ - Steam after death?

Submitted by kuzb
kuzb (724081) writes "I'm a gamer. I probably will be until the day it's not possible anymore. Like many others, I've got heavy investment in my steam library which now encompasses hundreds of titles and represents thousands of dollars. As a gamer, the games I've acquired are as important to me as any other item which might have sentimental value to someone else.

It got me thinking, what happens to all this media when I die? What happens with other services where I have media? Is it legal for me to will this content to someone else, or do all the rights to such content just vanish?"

+ - New Seagate Shingled hard drive teardown

Submitted by Peter Desnoyers
Peter Desnoyers (11115) writes "Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives are starting to hit the market, promising larger drives without heroic (and expensive) measures such as helium fill, but at a cost — data can no longer be over-written in place, requiring SSD-like algorithms to handle random writes.

At the USENIX File and Storage Technologies conference in February, researchers from Northeastern University (disclaimer — I'm one of them)
dissected shingled drive performance both figuratively and literally, using both micro-benchmarks and a window cut in the drive to uncover the secrets of Seagate's first line of publicly-available
SMR drives.

TLDR: It's a pretty good desktop drive — with write cache enabled (the default for non-server setups) and an intermittent workload it performs quite well, handling bursts of random writes (up to a few tens of GB total) far faster than a conventional drive — but only if it has long powered-on idle periods for garbage collection. Reads and large writes run at about the same speed as on a conventional drive, and at $280 it costs less than a pair of decent 4TB drives. For heavily-loaded server applications, though, you might want to wait for the next generation.

Videos (in 16x slow motion) showing the drive in action — sequential read after deliberately fragmenting the drive, and a few thousand random writes."

+ - Feds admit Stingray can disrupt bystanders' communications

Submitted by linuxwrangler
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "The government has fought hard to keep details about use and effects of the controversial Stingray device secret. But this Wired article points to recently released documents in which the government admits that the device can cause collatoral damage to other network users. The controversy has heated to the point that Florida senator Bill Nelson has made combative statments that such devices will inevitably force lawmakers to come up with new ways to protect privacy — a comment that is even more remarkable considering that the Stingray is produced by Harris Corporation which is headquartered in Nelson's home state."

+ - Wireless Charging at Starbucks

Submitted by sentiblue
sentiblue (3535839) writes "Hey Slashdotters.... So I've seen the wireless charging stations being deployed at quite many Starbucks locations and I see that the device is a little adpater that plugs into the charging port of the phone and then that adapter has to be placed on top of a designated circle on the table to get charged.

I don't understand the incentive of doing this, let alone the cost to develop it! The term wireless is supposed to give you a reasonable range of operation that allows you to move your device.

So if you use a cable to charge a phone, you can actually place the phone anywhere in the radius of the cable length. With this wireless charging option, you actually have to place the phone right on top of the circle... allowing you device to only spin around that exact spot. If you move the device any more than that, it will not charge.

What's the point? I don't get it!"

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