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Sony

Sony Selling Off VAIO Computer Business 204

Posted by timothy
from the turns-out-it-wasn't-vaioable dept.
Kensai7 writes "Confirming reports from earlier in the week, Sony has announced plans to sell off its VAIO computer division to a Japanese investment fund. Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will take control of the operation for an undisclosed fee, and Sony will 'cease planning, design and development of PC products.' For a variety of reasons 'including the drastic changes in the global PC industry,' Sony says 'the optimal solution is to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and to transfer its PC business to a new company.'" I have some nostalgia for the tiny old VAIO laptops; I wish more companies incorporated the swiveling camera that they came with.
NASA

NASA Pondering Two Public Contests To Build Small Space Exploration Satellites 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the build-it-for-us dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today said it was looking into developing two new Centennial Challenge competitions that would let the public design, build and deliver small satellites known as Cubesats capable of operations and experiments near the moon and beyond. The first challenge will focus on finding innovative ways to allow deep space communications with small spacecraft, while the second focuses on primary propulsion for small spacecraft."
Programming

HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack" 573

Posted by samzenpus
from the lets-try-this-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I have been working on an HTML5 app for Panasonic VIERA TVs, specifically a client for the Plex Media Server. After paying $129 for the developer program, version 1.0 was submitted for inclusion in their VIERA Connect marketplace several weeks ago. After a few requested tweaks, they inquired about how the client communicated with the Plex Server. As many/most web developers do, I used jQuery and its $.ajax call (which is just a wrapper for XMLHttpRequest()). They insisted this was not standard Javascript, and after several communications with them, they replied back with "A workaround like this is considered a hack.". I'm stunned that anyone familiar with HTML would consider jQuery a hack. I've been patient in attempting to explain how jQuery works, but I am getting nowhere. Any thoughts on how I can better explain jQuery to an app reviewer? Yes, I know I can write my app without any Javascript library, but I am really hoping avoid that."
Biotech

Designer Seeds Thought To Be Latest Target By Chinese 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-seeds dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Economic espionage is nothing new but one of the biggest areas being targeted now is agriculture. Here's a story about a FBI investigation to track down theft of seeds from research farms. 'The case of the missing corn seeds first broke in May 2011 when a manager at a DuPont research farm in east-central Iowa noticed a man on his knees, digging up the field. When confronted, the man, Mo Hailong, who was with his colleague Wang Lei, appeared flushed. Mr. Mo told the manager that he worked for the University of Iowa and was traveling to a conference nearby. When the manager paused to answered his cellphone, the two men sped off in a car, racing through a ditch to get away, federal authorities said.'"
Government

Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-be-grandstanding dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The author of the Patriot Act has warned that the legal justification for the NSA's wholesale domestic surveillance program will disappear next summer if the White House doesn't restrict the way the NSA uses its power. Section 215 of the Patriot Act will expire during the summer of 2015 and will not be renewed unless the White House changes the shocking scale of the surveillance programs for which the National Security Administration uses the authorization, according to James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), an original author of the Patriot Act and its two reauthorizations, stated Washington insider-news source The Hill. 'Unless Section 215 gets fixed, you, Mr. Cole, and the intelligence community will get absolutely nothing, because I am confident there are not the votes in this Congress to reauthorize it,' Sensenbrenner warned Deputy Attorney General James Cole during the Feb. 4 hearing. Provisions of Section 215, which allows the NSA to collect metadata about phone calls made within the U.S., give the government a 'very useful tool' to track connections among Americans that might be relevant to counterterrorism investigations, Cole told the House Judiciary Committee. The scale of the surveillance and lengths to which the NSA has pushed its limits was a "shock" according to Sensenbrenner, who also wrote the USA Freedom Act, a bill to restrict the scope of both Section 215 and the NSA programs, which has attracted 130 co-sponsors. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate."
Networking

Utah Bill Would Prevent Regional Fiber Networks From Growing 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-obstructing-my-internet dept.
symbolset writes "On the heels of the smackdown received by cable lobbyists in Kansas, Ars reports out of Utah that the cable companies aren't giving up hopes of preventing competition through legislation. The bill, called Interlocal Entity Service Prohibition, would prevent a regional fiber consortium from building infrastructure outside the boundaries of its member cities and towns — a direct attack on Google's work in Provo and the UTOPIA network. Utah is the third state to be involved in the Google Fiber rollout of gigabit fiber to the home."

Comment: Re:That's it, that's the end of Slashdot (Score 1) 232

by T.Hobbes (#38770624) Attached to: Is Facebook Becoming a Central Bank?

slashcode is free

Someone should start something anew. Run it themselves, like Taco used to do.

I don't have the energy or time or personality to run the thing, but I'd be a happy viewer and contributor.

There's enough of a market for it it to pay for the running costs. Someone just has to step up.

Comment: Re:Dick Morris (Score 1) 1005

by T.Hobbes (#38757466) Attached to: Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

+6 Insightful

I've long held this view myself. If we're serious about this, we should face it head on and defend the right to send files to one another as we please. The line I would draw is between commercial and noncommercial copying.

Copying someone else's work and making a profit off of it should be illegal. That, effectively, is what copyright law protected up until digital copying became a reality. Copyright violators used to be well-capitalized businessmen running their own printing presses. They were in it for the profit and could reasonably be said to be directly taking profit from the copyright holder.

Today, everyone is, or can be with trivial effort, a copyright violator. With that, the motive behind copyright violation has shifted from profiteering to sharing.

Not-for-profit sharing of copyrighted material should be legal. Such sharing results in wider dissemination of cultural works. It also does not directly take profit from the copyright holder: a free download is not equivalent to a sale.

As for the perceived threat to artists, you are right to point out that most of what we consder classic art did not depend on copyright for its creation. I would add two things:

  • Great artists are often driven to create. The popular image of a starving artist exists because many artists do do this: many artists ignore commercialism and wages entirely and live very poorly, simply to be able to devote their time to their work. Put another way, it is crass to assume that the quality or quantity of art produced is directly dependent on money that is spent on it.
  • Nevertheless, there exist ways for all types of art to make money. Many here have heard of these ideas, but here they are again:
    • Movies are better in theaters because of the screen & speakers, and the joy of the collective experience; people will always pay for that.
    • Music is fundamentally different when seen live; there will always be a market for live performances
    • Books are, to many, easier and better to read in the physical format. This may change, though, as e-readers improve
    • All cultural creators can still, of course, make money through the old methods: commissions, merchandising, as well as new methods, like self-publishing (Cory Doctorow has some interesting writings on his own experiences with this)

Fundamentally, though, we as a community have to move away from nit-picking takedowns like these, and address the issue head on. Copyright should be abolished for non-commercial copying.

Biotech

The Birth of Quantum Biology 108

Posted by Zonk
from the i-am-an-exo-necro-extra-quantum-biologist dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Just when you finally have grasped the concept of quantum mechanics, it's time to wake up and to see the arrival of a nascent field named quantum biology. This is the scientific study of biological processes in terms of quantum mechanics and it uses today's high-performance computers to precisely model these processes. And this is what researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) are doing, using powerful computer models to reveal biological mechanisms. Right now, they're working on a "nanoswitch" that might be used for a variety of applications, such as targeted drug delivery to sensors."
Wii

+ - Wii Security Flaws

Submitted by prinneh
prinneh (1045586) writes "http://www.youtube.com/v/uTx2MAOspS4

Aside from being linguistic Comedy Gold, the news and theories discussed in the presentation by tmbinc surely are the best news this year :)

While he states that homebrew is not currently a possibility, this is not a final verdict (If I understand his version of English correctly).

What do you think?
Both the excitement of eventually being able to copy your Wii games, but also how you think this might affect the console "war"."
Christmas Cheer

The Physics of Santa 172

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tachyons-and-jeffries-tubes-oh-my dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "If you don't believe that Santa Claus can deliver presents to millions of homes in a single night, Larry Silverberg, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), explains that Santa's society of elves has an understanding of physics and engineering that exceeds our own. In fact, Santa Claus and his crew really can deliver presents in one night because of their advanced knowledge of electromagnetic waves, the space/time continuum, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and computer science. For example, he doesn't carry presents. He uses a nano-toymaker to fabricate toys grown atom by atom inside the children's homes. Very entertaining reading... Here is a link to additional details and pictures of Santa and his elves flying over New Zealand."

NY Times Review of PS3 237

Posted by Hemos
from the not-so-much-with-the-liking dept.
An anonymous reader noted that the NY Times has done a fairly negative review of the PS3. It would seem that there have been a fair number of these; it's pretty evident at this point that Sony's launch of the PS3 was not exactly well planned out; issues are still rolling in but the real test will be how it does over the holidays and into the next year.

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