Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Submission + - File-Sharing for Personal Use Declared Legal in Portugal (torrentfreak.com)

M0j0_j0j0 writes: After receiving 2000 complaints regarding "illegal file sharing" from ACAPOR on P2P network the Portuguese justice refused to take the case into court on the premise that file sharing is not illegal on the territory, if, files are for personal and not commercial use. The court also stated that the complaints had as a sole evidence the IP address of users, and that it is a wrong statement to assume an IP address is directly related to one individual. Torrent freak has a piece in English with more details here and the original source in Portuguese here

Submission + - Google Maps App for iOS: When's It Coming? (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "The controversy over Apple’s native mapping software hadn’t stopped some 100 million iOS users from downloading the latest version of the software by Sept. 24. But Apple dumping Google Maps in favor of its own app, along with that app’s widely-viewed-as-subpar performance, has left smartphone and tablet users wondering when Google will issue a Google Maps app for Apple’s App Store, akin to what it did with YouTube.

The apparent answer: be prepared to wait a bit.

“We have not done anything yet,” Google executive chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt told an audience in Tokyo, according to Reuters.

The New York Times spoke with unnamed sources within Google, who said that Google is indeed developing a maps application for iOS with a target launch date of the end of 2012, but that the search-engine giant had been “caught off guard” by Apple’s decision to switch map apps."

Submission + - TSA Petition is back up! (whitehouse.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: The TSA petition that was taken down last Thursday (http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/08/12/1521240/white-house-pulls-down-tsa-petition) has been recreated. Your help is needed to sign and push the petition back to its former glory.

Submission + - Could you hack into Mars rover Curiosity? (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "NASA’s Curiosity rover has now been on the surface of Mars for just over a week. It hasn’t moved an inch after landing, instead focusing on orienting itself (and NASA’s scientists) by taking instrument readings and snapping images of its surroundings. The first beautiful full-color images of Gale Crater are starting to trickle in, and NASA has already picked out some interesting rock formations that it will investigate further in the next few days (pictures below). Over the weekend and continuing throughout today, however, Curiosity is attempting something very risky indeed: A firmware upgrade. This got me thinking: If NASA can transmit new software to a Mars rover that's hundreds of millions of miles away... why can't a hacker do the same thing? In short, there's no reason a hacker couldn't take control of Curiosity, or lock NASA out. All you would need is your own massive 230-foot dish antenna and a 400-kilowatt transmitter — or, perhaps more realistically, you could hack into NASA's computer systems, which is exactly what Chinese hackers did 13 times in 2011."

Submission + - Mexican hotel chain outsources IT to US (computerworld.com)

cweditor writes: Grupo Posadas has five data centers supporting more than 100 hotels and other lines of business, but it's moving almost all of those operations to a service provider in Texas. Could cloud service providers help the US become a destination for tech outsourcing instead of an exporter of tech jobs? One stumbling block: The US finds itself on the receiving end of protectionist legislation in other countries that discourages use of non-domestic IT service providers, says the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Apple's Mountain Lion: Three million downloads in 4 Days (pcr-online.biz)

YokimaSun writes: Apple just seem to be unstoppable at the moment with the release of Mountain Lion which is by far most successful OS X release in Apple’s history. Mountain Lion boasts over 200 new features including iCloud integration, AirPlay Mirroring, system-wide sharing, and soon Facebook Integration which will come in a later update. The upgrade price of $19.99 also has a massive bearing on why its so popular. Just a shame that Macbooks are so heavily priced.

Submission + - Apollo Moon flags still standing, images show (bbc.co.uk)

TheNextCorner writes: "Images taken by a Nasa spacecraft show that the American flags planted in the Moon's soil by Apollo astronauts are mostly still standing.

Each of the Apollo missions planted an American flag in the soil at their landing sites.

Scientists had previously examined photos of the Apollo landing sites for the flags, and had seen what looked like shadows cast by them on the lunar surface.

Now, researchers have studied photos of the landing sites taken at different points during the day (and under different illuminations) and have observed shadows circling the points where the flags are thought to be."


Submission + - Yahoo Layoffs Begin, CEO Sends Employees Apologetic Letter (ibtimes.com)

redletterdave writes: "As expected, Yahoo began laying off more than 2,000 employees on Wednesday morning — roughly 14 percent of the company's total workforce — in its effort to slim down and pivot its focus in a new direction. The mass layoff marks the sixth time in four years — and under three different CEOs, no less — that Yahoo has dumped employees, but this one will the company's biggest in its 17-year history. Scott Thompson, Yahoo's CEO, sent an apologetic letter to all his employees this morning explaining the changes."

Submission + - What's Not to Like About New iPad?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "With 3 million sold over the last week what’s not to like about the new iPad? Michelle Maltais at the LA Times does a good job of putting together a compendium of gripes about the new device, justified or otherwise. Most people thought that Siri on the new iPad was a gimme.- instead it has a scaled back version — dictation. "If you want Siri, buy an iPhone. Plain and simple." The new iPad is a little heavier than the iPad 2, thanks to the better graphics processor and more powerful battery. At one-tenth of a pound heavier that really doesn't sound like much, but it can start to matter if you hold your iPad in one hand for long periods or have any kind of repetitive stress injury. Apps designed for Retina display can be up to five times bigger and it's not just a problem for owners of the new iPad. Legacy owners of the original and iPad 2 who have these apps get to feel the pain too, since updates aren't device specific. The hot-selling device can reach up to 116 degrees during intensive use, according to a test by the Consumer Reports. PCWorld tested 43 tablets and found that the third-gen iPad takes the longest — almost six hours — to fully recharge its battery. You'll love the blistering speed of the 4G iPad, you won't love blowing through your monthly data allotment in just 24 hours if you use streaming video. A number of customers have been complaining on the Apple Support page about a weaker Wi-Fi connection that in some cases will hold a connection for only a few minutes. And last, whatever you do, don't drop the new iPad. From waist height, the damage to the third-gen iPad is fairly extensive. "Only a small portion of the screen survived.""

Submission + - Does handover for software developer imply training the replacement ?

An anonymous reader writes: If a software developers had documented all his code. The code is broken down in to components, classes, methods and blocks, each of which has associated documentation, including and architecture overview. Despite this can a company demand that an employee train a replacement on the core skills required for programming in a specific problem domain, such as networking, embedded, use of some third party API etc. Are there precedents and laws relating to this in the US and UK.

Submission + - French President wants to criminalize frequent visits to violent websites (techdirt.com)

Fluffeh writes: "In a recent speech about a suspect who died after being shot by police as he tried to make his getaway, French President Nicolas Sarkozy decided to use it as an opportunity to push for more anti-internet legislation, including a plan to criminalize visiting certain websites too often. Anyone who habitually visits Internet sites that advocate terrorism or carrying calls for hate or violence will be punished under criminal law."

Submission + - Facebook likes, then buys 750 IBM Patents (businessweek.com)

Fluffeh writes: "Facebook Inc. acquired 750 patents from IBM, adding intellectual property that may help it counter allegations of patent infringement, a person with knowledge of the transaction said. Facebook, the world’s biggest social-networking service, is bolstering its legal defenses amid a standoff with rivals that have more intellectual property. Yahoo! Inc. sued Facebook earlier this month, accusing it of infringing patents covering functions critical to websites. Facebook had 22 patent suits against it last year, according to LegalMetric.com."

Submission + - Do Women Make Better Bosses?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "David Mielach reports that a new study finds that women in management positions lead in a more democratic way, allowing employees to participate in decision-making and establishing interpersonal channels of communication. "In line with known gender differences in individual leadership, we find that in workplaces with more women managers, more individualized employee feedback is carried out,” says study author Eduardo Melero. "Likewise, we can see evidence, although weaker, that in these workplaces decisions are made more democratically and more interpersonal channels of communications are established." The research was based on data from the Workplace Employment Relationships Survey, a survey of workplaces in the United Kingdom. Melero analyzed this data by looking at the number of women in management positions in companies and the leadership tactics employed at those companies where he found increased communication between management and employees in companies with women in management positions led to more well-informed decisions, since employee feedback will be utilized in the decision-making process. "Women managers seem to be more inclined to use these types of practices, individually, as well as promoting them among the rest of the management team." Still correlation does not equal causation. "One might question the direction of the relation: is it women managers who are the behind these policies, or is it that more progressive organizations are more accessible for women leaders than other workplaces?""

Submission + - Apple 'Adaptive Streaming' Provides HD Audio Downloads for iCloud Users (cepro.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Looks like Apple finally might be caving to the pleas of those who have been clamoring for high-quality downloads from iTunes.

Apple is reportedly working on an "adaptive streaming" audio format to provide high- or low-quality files to users of its iCloud service. The service would adjust to the bandwidth and storage available on the receiving device.

According to reports, it's unclear if the files will convert to the smaller types such as AAC in real time, or if Apple will convert the master file to several different types upon submission to iTunes.

A source with inside knowledge of the process says Apple has asked a London studio to prepare audio files for a new streaming format that will adapt to bandwidth or hardware capabilities.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.