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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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+ - FTC targets group that made billions of robocalls->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Given the amount of time the FTC and others have put into curing the robocall problem, it is disheartening to hear that a group of companies for almost a year have been making billions of illegal robocalls. The Federal Trade Commission and 10 state attorneys general today said they have settled charges against a Florida-based cruise line company and seven other companies that averaged 12 million to 15 million illegal sales calls a day between October 2011 through July 2012, according to the joint complaint filed by the FTC and the states"
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+ - NASA scientists reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine non-biologically in lab->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Scientists over at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California have reproduced non-biologically the three basic components of life found in both DNA and RAN — uracil, cytosine, and thymine — in lab. For their experiment scientists deposited an ice sample containing pyrimidine — a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen — on a cold substrate in a chamber with space-like conditions such as very high vacuum, extremely low temperatures, and harsh radiation and irradiated the sample with high-energy ultraviolet (UV) photons from a hydrogen lamp. Researchers discovered that such an arrangement produces these essential ingredients of life including uracil, cytosine, and thymine."
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+ - Would You Need a License to Drive a Self-Driving Car?->

Submitted by agent elevator
agent elevator (1075679) writes "Not as strange a question as it seems, writes Mark Harris at IEEE Spectrum : 'Self-driving cars promise a future where you can watch television, sip cocktails, or snooze all the way home. But what happens when something goes wrong? Today’s drivers have not been taught how to cope with runaway acceleration, unexpected braking, or a car that wants to steer into a wall.' The California DMV is considering something that would be similar to requirements for robocar test-driver training."
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+ - Massive Exoplanet Evolved in Extreme 4-Star System->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "For only the second time, an exoplanet living with an expansive family of four stars has been revealed. The exoplanet, which is a huge gaseous world 10 times the mass of Jupiter, was previously known to occupy a 3-star system, but a fourth star (a red dwarf) has now been found, revealing quadruple star systems possessing planets are more common than we thought. “About four percent of solar-type stars are in quadruple systems, which is up from previous estimates because observational techniques are steadily improving,” said co-author Andrei Tokovinin of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The whole 4-star family is collectively known as 30 Ari, located some 136 light-years from Earth — in our interstellar backyard. The exoplanet orbits the primary star of the system once every 335 days. The primary star has a new-found binary partner (which the exoplanet does not orbit) and this pair are locked in an orbital dance with a secondary binary, separated by a distance of 1,670 astronomical unit (AU), where 1 AU is the average distance between the Earth and sun."
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+ - Paul Allen helps find sunken Japanese WWII battleship Musashi off Philippines->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and his research team have found a massive Japanese World War II battleship off the Philippines near where it sank more than 70 years ago, his representatives said Wednesday.

The apparent discovery of the wreckage of the Musashi, one of the largest battleships in history, comes as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the war’s end.

Allen and the team aboard his superyacht M/Y Octopus found the ship on Sunday, more than eight years after their search began, Allen’s publicity agency Edelman said in a statement.

Detailed images captured by a high-definition camera mounted on the underwater probe confirmed the wreckage as that of the Musashi, it said.

Japanese experts said they were eager to study the images to try to confirm the ship’s identity.

Allen’s team found the battleship in the Sibuyan Sea, using an autonomous underwater vehicle in its third dive after narrowing down the search area using detailed undersea topographical data and other locator devices, the statement said.

“The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction,” Allen said."

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+ - New Wolfenstein Game Announced: The Old Blood->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Last year, Wolfenstein: The New Order was well received, and showed that old school shooters still can do extremely well in the current market and actually be a lot of fun. Now, Bethesda Softworks is already announcing a standalone prequel to The New Order, called Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. It's back to the roots for B.J. Blazkowicz, and you embark on a perilous journey "deep within Bavaria", with the goal of infiltrating the Castle Wolfenstein. Just like last years' game, The Old Blood has been developed by Swedish company MachineGames on the same platform including id Tech 5 engine. The release date is May 5th and the game will be available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4."
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+ - SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails to Take Off->

Submitted by speedplane
speedplane (552872) writes "As was previously discussed on Slashdot, back in September SpaceX challenged a patent owned by Blue Origin. The technology concerned landing rockets at sea. Yesterday, the judges in the case issued their opinion stating that they are unable to initiate review of the patent on the grounds brought by SpaceX.

Although at first glance this would appear to be a Blue Origin win, looking closer, the judges explained that Blue Origin's patent lacks sufficient disclosure, effectively stating that the patent is invalid, but not on the specific grounds brought by SpaceX:

Because claim 14 lacks adequate structural support for some of the means-plus-function limitations, it is not amenable to construction. And without ascertaining the breadth of claim 14, we cannot undertake the necessary factual inquiry for evaluating obviousness with respect to differences between the claimed subject matter and the prior art.

If SpaceX wants to move forward against Blue Origin, this opinion bodes well for them, but they will need to take their case in front of a different court."
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+ - Stop Spocking Laurier!

Submitted by bellwould
bellwould (11363) writes "The Toronto Sun is reporting that Bank of Canada executives are urging Star Trek fans to stop altering Wilfred Laurier's face on the Canadian $5 bill to look like Spock. Although not illegal to draw on the bills, a Bank of Canada spokesperson points out that the markings may reduce effectiveness of the security features or worse, the money may not be accepted. C'mon now, would ever reject a $pock?"

+ - New Zealand spied on nearly two dozen Pacific countries->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "New documents from Edward Snowden indicate New Zealand undertook "full take" interception of communications from Pacific nations and forwarded the data to the NSA.

The data, collected by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau, was then fed into the NSA's XKeyscore search engine to allow analysts to trawl for intelligence.

The New Zealand link helped flesh out the NSA's ambitions to intercept communications globally."

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+ - Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough-> 1

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, handset manufacturers are making all the right noises about support for Windows 10, which will run on both ARM- and Intel-based phones and provide an experience very much like the desktop. But much of the same buzz surrounded Windows 8 and Windows 7 Phone. In fact, Microsoft has tried and repeatedly failed to take the mobile space by storm."
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+ - Are Google and Wikipedia in a mutually-destructive relationship?->

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "Who benefits from Google's increasing of Wikipedia data to support its search results? Mark Devlin, CEO of Newslines, a new crowdsourced news search engine, says the increasing co-dependency between the multi-billion dollar search corporation and its built-for-free partner hurts users experience, devalues web results and has turned unwitting Wikipedia editors into Google's slaves." And he offers evidence, unlike most WMF press releases.

Previously by Devlin: Stop Giving Wikipedia Money"

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+ - Apple, Microsoft and Google need just one mobile improvement -- battery life->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson (3799011) writes "Let’s face it, you’ve picked the mobile operating system you like. Whether you’ve opted for an iPhone, a Lumia handset or a device running Android, the chances are you’re not going to switch allegiances no matter what others may do or say to try to convince you otherwise. At the same time, few people would argue that their handset of choice is perfect.

You’ve picked your side when it comes to OS, but what about the handset itself? Apple, Samsung, HTC et al keep releasing slightly tweaked versions of last year’s handset, perhaps adding a faster processor, a larger screen and more memory. One thing is constantly overlooked, however — battery life. And it’s time for things to change."

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+ - Issues in regulating robocars, and the case for a light hand->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes "Governments and lawmakers across the world are debating how to best regulate autonomous cars, both for testing, and for operation. Robocar expert Brad Templeton argues that that there is a danger that regulations might be drafted long before the shape of the first commercial deployments of the technology take place."
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+ - Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "One of the knocks against Silicon Valley giants as "job creators" is that the companies themselves often only hire high-end employees; support staff like security guards and janitors are contracted out to staffing agencies and receive lower pay and fewer benefits, even if they work on-site full time. That now seems to be changing, with Apple and Google putting security gaurds on their own payroll."
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Comment: Re: Fuck it - everyone for themselves. (Score 1) 367

by ItsJustAPseudonym (#49142611) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt
Did you not read *per capita* in my post?

"Our top 1% is just as greedy as your top 1%."

Who is "our" and "your"? I'm in the States.

"Greed", as in U.S. companies exploiting cheap labor in China (due to the manipulation of the money-supply as you describe).

Please feel free to give me a fucking break.

Breadth-first search is the bulldozer of science. -- Randy Goebel

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