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Ubuntu

Canonical Seeks $32 Million To Make Ubuntu Smartphone 267

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-the-man dept.
nk497 writes "Canonical has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $32 million in 30 days to make its own smartphone, called Ubuntu Edge, that can also hook up to a monitor and be used as a PC. If it meets its funding target on Indiegogo, the Ubuntu Edge is scheduled to arrive in May 2014. To get one, backers must contribute $600 (£394) on the first day or $810 (£532) thereafter. Canonical will only make 40,000 of the devices."
Games

Ben Heck's Plan To Make Gaming Open To All 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the man-with-the-plan dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Legendary DIY gaming guru Ben Heck has given a new interview in which he talks about the Access Controller, his modular controller for consoles that lets disabled gamers play with one hand, and how he plans to update it for the next generation of consoles: 'I'm sure I will. At the very least people are going to want the accessibility controllers I build...People have already asked about them for the next-gen consoles, and that was at E3. When I was there, the thing I looked at the most was the controllers. The Xbox One looks pretty similar to what we have at the moment, but they finally fixed the D-pad.'"
The Internet

RMS, Aaron Swartz Among 2013 Internet Hall of Fame Inductees 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the barry-bonds-given-the-cold-shoulder-again dept.
gnujoshua writes "The Internet Hall of Fame inducted 32 new members, today. This years class had a number of 'policy innovators' and activists including Aaron Swartz (posthumous), John Perry Barlow, Jimmy Wales, and Richard M. Stallman. Stallman had this to say upon his induction: 'Now that we have made the Internet work, the next task is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy.'"
Displays

Ask Slashdot: Does LED Backlight PWM Drive You Crazy? 532

Posted by timothy
from the it's-how-they-send-messages dept.
jones_supa writes "I would like to raise some discussion about a hardware issue that has increasingly started to bug me: backlight flicker, from which many LED-backlit monitors suffer. As you might know, the backlight and its dimming is driven by a pulse width modulated square wave, essentially flicking the LEDs on and off rapidly. Back in the CRT days a 100Hz picture was deluxe, due to the long afterglow of the display phosphor. LEDs, however, shut off immediately and my watering eyes and headache tell that we should be using frequencies in multiple kHz there. Unfortunately we too often fall behind that. As one spark of hope, the display review site PRAD has already started to include backlight signal captures to help assessing the problem. However with laptops and various mobile gadgets, finding this kind of information is practically impossible. This issue sort of lingers in the background but likely impacts the well-being of many, and certainly deserves more attention." So do LEDs bother your eyes? I think CRTs gave me headaches far more often than has any form of flat panel display, at least partly because of the whining noise that CRTs emit.
Red Hat Software

Can Red Hat Do For OpenStack What It Did For Linux? 118

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-it-pretty dept.
Brandon Butler writes "Red Hat made its first $1 billion commercializing Linux. Now, it hopes to make even more doing the same for OpenStack. Red Hat executives say OpenStack – the open source cloud computing platform – is just like Linux. The code just needs to be massaged into a commercially-hardened package before enterprises will really use it. But just because Red Hat successfully commercialized Linux does not guarantee its OpenStack effort will go as well. Proponents say businesses will trust Red Hat as an OpenStack distribution company because of its work in the Linux world. But others say building a private cloud takes a lot more than just throwing some code on top of a RHEL OS."
The Military

Israeli Army Retweeting 1967 War As It Happened 317

Posted by samzenpus
from the 6-days-in-140-characters dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This is a new one, twitter as a form of historical reenactment: 'Israel's army is giving a "live" blow-by-blow account of the 1967 Six Day War, tweeting each air strike at the exact time it occurred 46 years ago ... @IDF1967 "is an official Israel Defence Forces account that is aimed at re-tweeting the events of the Six Day War in live time", ... The account was tweeting key events in the battle against the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria that took place from June 5 to 10, 1967 and includes pictures and videos, the army said. The tweets are mostly in Hebrew, with some translated into English. "In response to repeated provocations by Egypt, the State of Israel and the IDF are going to war. We will not sit idly as the enemy forces tighten the noose around our necks," the opening tweet said around 8.00am (1500 AEST) on Wednesday when Israel landed its first preemptive air strike 46 years ago.'"
Space

Planetary Resources To Build Crowdfunded Public Space Telescope 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-you-have-money-of-your-own dept.
kkleiner writes "Planetary Resources, the company that set its sights on mining asteroids, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1M to crowdsource the world's first publicly accessible space telescope. In an interview, co-founder and co-chairman Peter Diamandis stated that the ARKYD 100 telescope is a means of 'extending the optic nerve of humanity.' The company hopes that the campaign, which is supported by Richard Branson, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Seth Green, will make an orbiting telescope available to the public to help schools and museums in their educational efforts to inspire great enthusiasm in space."
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Do You Trust When a Vendor Tells You To Buy New Parts? 156

Posted by timothy
from the don't-clench dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Roughly 85 percent of IT managers polled by Forrester said they would hold onto networking infrastructure longer, but vendors retire products prematurely in an effort to force customers to upgrade. In a response that may seem familiar to anyone who's ever been pressured into buying a maintenance contract—either by an enterprise vendor or a major electronics retailer—over 80 percent of the 304 respondents said they don't like the misrepresented cost savings, new fees, and inflexible pricing models—but buy the products anyway. One of the survey's interesting points is that IT decision makers aren't willing to contradict the vendor. The uncertainty seems to come from the fact that the vendor may in fact be right—and a customer who contradicts what they're saying may end up shouldering the blame if the equipment goes south. It's the 'you never got fired for buying IBM' argument, applied to the networking space. The problem, of course, is that the vendor often works for its own agenda. Do you upgrade when the vendor (or reseller) suggests you do so? Or do you stick to your own way of doing things?"
Books

Book Review: The New Digital Age 68

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen begin their new nonfiction book, The New Digital Age, with a rather bold pronouncement: 'The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history.' Subsequent chapters deal with how that experiment will alter life in decades to come, as more and more people around the world connect to the Internet via cheap mobile phones and other devices." Keep reading to see what Nerval's Lobster has to say about the book.
United States

USPS Discriminates Against 'Atheist' Merchandise 1121

Posted by Soulskill
from the heathens-don't-need-shoes dept.
fish waffle writes "Suspecting that their strongly branded 'Atheist' products may be treated differently by more religiously-oriented postal regions, Kickstarter success Atheist Shoes conducted an experiment. They sent 178 packages to 89 people in different parts of the U.S., each person receiving one package prominently branded as 'Atheist' merchandise, and one not. The results: packages with the atheist label were nearly 10 times more likely to be 'lost,' and took on average 3 days longer to show up when they did. Control experiments were also done in Europe and Germany — it's definitely a USPS problem."
Government

Declassified LBJ Tapes Accuse Richard Nixon of Treason 536

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-don't-have-Nixon-to-kick-around-anymore dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "After the Watergate scandal taught Richard Nixon the consequences of recording White House conversations, none of his successors has dared to do it. But Nixon wasn't the first. He got the idea from his predecessor Lyndon Johnson, who felt there was an obligation to allow historians to eventually eavesdrop on his presidency. Now David Taylor reports on BBC that the latest set of declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls show that by the time of the Presidential election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence that Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks — or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had 'blood on his hands'. It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war that he knew would derail his campaign. Nixon therefore set up a clandestine back-channel to the South Vietnamese involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser. In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris. This was exactly what Nixon feared. Chennault was dispatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal. Meanwhile the FBI had bugged the ambassador's phone and transcripts of Chennault's calls were sent to the White House. Johnson was told by Defense Secretary Clark Clifford that the interference was illegal and threatened the chance for peace. The president gave Humphrey enough information to sink his opponent but by then, a few days from the election, Humphrey had been told he had closed the gap with Nixon and would win the presidency so Humphrey decided it would be too disruptive to the country to accuse the Republicans of treason, if the Democrats were going to win anyway. In the end Nixon won by less than 1% of the popular vote, escalated the war into Laos and Cambodia with the loss of an additional 22,000 American lives, and finally settled for a peace agreement in 1973 that was within grasp in 1968."
Google

Google's Punishment? Lecture Those They Snooped On 252

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sounds-about-right dept.
theodp writes "When Aaron Swartz tapped into MIT's network and scooped up data from one non-profit company, the U.S. Attorney threatened him with 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine. So what kind of jail time did 38 Attorneys General threaten Google with for using its Street View cars to scoop up passwords, e-mail and other personal information by tapping into the networks of their states' unsuspecting citizens? None. In agreeing to settle the case, the NY Times reports, Google is required to police its own employees on privacy issues, lecture the public on how to fend off privacy violations like the one Google perpetrated, and forfeit about 20% of one day's net income. Given the chance, one imagines that Aaron Swartz would have happily jumped at a comparable deal." The fine being $7 million. At least EPIC isn't as cynical and thinks the outcome was positive.
Businesses

Cablevision Suing Viacom Over Cable Bundling 138

Posted by timothy
from the but-the-m-comes-with-the-tv dept.
aws910 points to an L.A. Times article which explains that "Cablevision (a huge cable network) is suing Viacom (owner of MTV, Nickelodeon, etc), alleging that Viacom is violating U.S. federal anti-trust laws by requiring programming packages to be bundled. If they are victorious, it would be a tiny step closer to 'a la carte cable,' but not much — Cablevision just wants to make their own bundles, and not give the customer the freedom to choose which channels they get. Where can I get my "Kill your TV" bumper sticker?" The thing I care more about buying separately is no-TV internet service, which the major cable companies seem reluctant to admit is even possible.
Japan

Update — Sensors Do Not Pick Up North Korean Radioactivity 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-than-any-other-radiation-ever-created dept.
Update: 02/19 20:49 GMT by S : The story below has been retracted upon further examination of the research. There has been no detection of radioactivity.
gbrumfiel writes "A global network of sensors has picked up faint traces of radioactive gas that probably seeped from last week's underground nuclear test by North Korea. The detection of xenon-133 in Japan and Russia provides further evidence of the nuclear nature of the test, but offers no hint as to the type of weapon used. Atmospheric modelling by the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna shows that the gas likely seeped from North Korea's test site on 15 February, three days after the original test. That indicates that the test was well sealed deep underground."
Businesses

Email Trails Show Bankers Behaving Badly 251

Posted by samzenpus
from the sniffing-out-the-rats dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times is running a pair of stories about U.S. financial institutions being investigated by the Federal government and courts for alleged systemic and illegal activities that helped bring about the housing crisis and collapse of the world economy in 2008. Emails produced during courtroom discovery reveal that insiders at JP Morgan Chase knew that the bundles of securities they were marketing to investors were rotten with bad loans. And emails show the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (a division of McGraw-Hill) was determined to stop losing deals to its competitors by being too tough on the banks whose products they were evaluating."

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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