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Comment: Re:Innovation (Score 1) 449

by Sir Mal Fet (#38807159) Attached to: Ubuntu 12.04 To Include Head-Up Display Menus

here have been small pushes in this direction (e.g. the Ubiquity add-on for Firefox [mozillalabs.com] would let you type commands (like "map XXX" or "email page to XXX") and get immediately useful results), but for it to really work, from a user perspective, it has to be available in every application so that it's worth the cost to learn the new style.

I thought exactly the same when I saw the video, this is ubiquity for the whole OS. I have been a ubiquity user for a long time, in fact if you want to try it out there is still a version in development, and I simply can't live without it. So my advice would be to try out the system and *then* criticize the hell out of it, it might be great.

Also, I think that since most users of linux are already CLI power users, this seems like a great tool for the real users of Ubuntu, not the objective market that M. Shuttleworth thinks he has, but for the real one: linux users who don't want too much hassle when configuring the desktop.

Piracy

+ - President Obama pledges to kill SOPA->

Submitted by
EliSowash
EliSowash writes "With Wikipedia, Reddit, and a host of other sites readying themselves for a blackout tomorrow, President Barack Obama has stepped in and said he would not support SOPA. California congressman Darrell Issa, who has been opposed to the bill from the beginning, praised the Internet action that has swept like a virus across the Web the past week. “The voice of the Internet community has been heard,” said Issa. “Much more education for members of Congress about the workings of the Internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal.”"
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Science

+ - Multicellular life made in months->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "The origin of multicellular life, one of the most important developments in Earth’s history, could have occurred with surprising speed, US researchers have shown. In the lab, a single-celled yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) took less than 60 days to evolve into many-celled clusters that behaved as individuals. The clusters even developed a primitive division of labour, with some cells dying so that others could grow and reproduce.

Multicellular life has evolved independently at least 25 times, but these transitions are so ancient that they have been hard to study.

The researchers wanted to see if they could evolve multicellularity in a single-celled organism, using gravity as the selective pressure. In a tube of liquid, clusters of yeast cells settle at the bottom more quickly than single cells. By culturing only the cells that sank, they selected for those that stick together. After many rounds of selection over 60 days, the yeast had evolved into 'snowflakes' comprising dozens of cells.

Many single-celled organisms, including yeast, often form clumps of genetically distinct cells. But Ratcliff’s snowflakes were made up of genetically identical cells that had budded off and stuck together. Many other multicellular organisms may well have evolved through a similar 'divide-and-stick' process."

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Apple

+ - iTunes Match Available in most of Latin America, N->

Submitted by Sir Mal Fet
Sir Mal Fet (1402403) writes "iTunes Match, Apple's service that allows re-downloading all your music, ripped CDs, and other music files across all your libraries using the iCloud service, has been made available in most of Latin America, the Netherlands, and the Baltic states. A nice review of one user can be found here. So fellow slashdotters, is it worth the $25/year? Do you use the service?"
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Firefox

+ - Notes on Reducing Firefox's Memory Consumption->

Submitted by Skuto
Skuto (171945) writes "At yesterdays linux.conf.au Browser miniconference in Ballarat, Australia, Mozilla engineer Nicholas Nethercote gave a detailed presentation about the history of Firefox's memory consumption. The 37 slides-with-notes explain in gritty detail what caused Firefox 4's memory usage to be higher than expected, how many leaks and accidental memory use bugs were tracked down with Valgrind plugins, as well as the pitfalls of common memory allocation strategies. Current work is now focused on reducing the memory usage of popular add-ons such as AdBlock, GreaseMonkey and Firebug.
Required reading for people working on large software projects, or those who missed that Firefox is now one of the most memory-efficient browsers in heavy usage."

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Censorship

+ - English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout->

Submitted by intellitech
intellitech (1912116) writes "Yesterday, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate — that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia. This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made."
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Math

+ - Scientists Uncover the Mathematics Of Serial Kille

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Andrei Chikatilo, “The Butcher of Rostov,” was one of the most prolific serial killers in modern history committing at least 52 murders between 1978 and 1990 before he was caught, tried and executed. The pattern of his murders, though, was irregular with long periods of no activity, interrupted by several murders within a short period of time. Hoping to gain insight into serial killings to prevent similar murders, Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury at UCLA built a mathematical model of the time pattern of the activity of Chikatilo and found the distribution of the intervals between murders follows a power law with the exponent of 1.4. The basis of their analysis is the hypothesis that “similar to epileptic seizures, the psychotic affects, causing a serial killer to commit murder, arise from simultaneous firing of large number of neurons in the brain.” In modeling the behavior the authors didn't find that "the killer commits murder right at the moment when neural excitation reaches a certain threshold. He needs time to plan and prepare his crime” so they built delay into their model. The killings eventually have a sedative effect, pushing the neuronal activity below the “killing threshold” – which is why there are large intervals of time between groups of murders. "There is at least qualitative agreement between theory and observation (PDF)," conclude the authors. "Stats can’t tell you who the perp is, but they’re getting better and better at figuring out where and when the next crime might happen," writes criminal lawyer Nathaniel Burney adding that "catching a serial killer by focusing resources based on when and where he’s likely to strike next is a hell of a lot better than relying on the junk science of behavioral profiling.""

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 291

by Sir Mal Fet (#38580112) Attached to: Chile Forbids Carriers From Selling Network-Locked Phones
The nice thing about how the law has impacted the market is that NO company even thought about selling the phones at full price. Under the new law, you either receive an unlocked phone at a subsidized price by signing an 18-month contract, or you buy an unlocked, provider free phone. In case you want to switch providers mid-contract, you can: a) pay a penalty fee (which is more or less the remaining price of the phone considering how long you've been on contract), or b) give back the phone. I don't think it's a bad deal at all.
Windows

+ - What's Keeping You on XP? 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "PC World reports that Windows XP lost more than 11 percent of its share from September to December 2011 to post a December average of 46.5 percent, a new low for the aged OS as users have gotten Microsoft's message that the operating system should be retired. Figures indicate that Windows 7 will become the most widely used version in April, several months earlier than previous estimates. Two months ago, as Microsoft quietly celebrated the 10th anniversary of XP's retail launch, the company touted the motto "Standing still is falling behind" to promote Windows 7 and demote XP and in July, Microsoft told customers it was "time to move on" from XP, reminding everyone that the OS would exit all support in April 2014. Before that, the Internet Explorer (IE) team had dismissed XP as the "lowest common denominator" when they explained why it wouldn't run IE9. The deadline for ditching Windows XP is in April 2014, when Microsoft stops patching the operating system. "Enterprises don't want to run an OS when there's no security fixes," says Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner Research rejecting the idea that Microsoft would extend the end-of-life date for Windows XP to please the 10% who have no plans to leave the OS. "The longer they let them run XP, the more enterprises will slow down their migration.""

+ - Law That Allows Summary Closing of Websites Passed->

Submitted by Sir Mal Fet
Sir Mal Fet (1402403) writes "In a very polemic move by the Spanish parliament, the infamous 'Sinde' law, already discussed here, was passed on December 31st. Albeit modified from their original version, the law will allow the Spanish government to request ISPs to summary close a website due to copyright infringment (Original in Spanish, Google translation). If the ISP refuses, then it's passed to court where a judge can order the website closed. It seems it's one good, one bad over there. The law is in public consult until March, and No Les Votes, a Spanish organization that opposes the law, has already started a campaign to boicot it (Original in Spanish; Google translation)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Canada Welcomes Hemingway to the Public Domain->

Submitted by bs0d3
bs0d3 (2439278) writes "As Public Domain Day has passed, we had a good look at what could have entered the Public Domain in America if we had pre-1978 copyright laws. Works ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Return of the King — the final installment in his Lord of Rings trilogy to Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash would be free to use. Under the law that existed until 1978.. Up to 85% of all copyrighted works from 1983 might have been entering the public domain on January 1, 2012. This isn't the same story for the rest of the world though. As the US and EU have long lasting, stern, copyright laws; the law in Canada is a little less intense. While Europe marks the entry of James Joyce into its public domain, Joyce has been in the public domain in Canada for the past 20 years. In Canada, the term is life of the author plus 50 years, consistent with international law. In the U.S. and Europe, the term exceeds international requirements by requiring 70 years, meaning many works take two more decades to enter the public domain. Wallace McLean offers his annual list of new entrants into the Canadian public domain, which notably includes Ernest Hemingway."
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Technology

+ - Geo-physicist Tries to Recreate an Ice Age Ecosyst->

Submitted by formaggio
formaggio (1827252) writes "Russian geo-physicist Sergei Zimov has come up with an effective way to stop the escape of nearly 500 billion tons of methane seeping out of the ground and threatening global agriculture and climate, and he’s doing it by recreating the last ice age across 160 sq km of Siberian “desert" in a project he calls the Pleistocene Park. His plans even include cloning the wooly mammoth."
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Science

+ - Humility encourages helpfulness, study shows->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Psychologists have found evidence that ‘humble’ people have a higher propensity to give up time for other people compared to ‘arrogant’ people. The research, which supports intuitive understanding on the matter, was conducted by researchers from Baptist institute, Baylor University. It was recently published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

"The findings are surprising because in nearly 30 years of research on helping behaviour, very few studies have shown any effect of personality variables on helping,""

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