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+ - Nokia had production ready web tablet 13 years ago, killed just before launch->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Sad story: Nokia created M510 tablet running EPOC (later to be renamed as Symbian) thirteen years ago. It was fully production ready and they produced thousand units just before it was cancelled because market research proved there wasn't demand for the device. The team got devices for themselves and the rest were destroyed and the team was fired. The lesson: Don't try to be pioneer if you're relying on market research studies."
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+ - Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space 1

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Iapetus, Saturn’s third largest moon, was first photographed by the Cassini spacecraft on 31 December 2004. The images created something of a stir. Clearly visible was a narrow, steep ridge of mountains that stretch almost halfway around the moon’s equator. The question that has since puzzled astronomers is how this mountain range got there. Now evidence is mounting that this mountain range is not the result of tectonic or volcanic activity, like mountain ranges on other planets. Instead, astronomers are increasingly convinced that this mountain range fell from space. The latest evidence is a study of the shape of the mountains using 3-D images generated from Cassini data. They show that the angle of the mountainsides is close to the angle of repose, that’s the greatest angle that a granular material can form before it landslides. That’s not proof but it certainly consistent with this exotic formation theory. So how might this have happened? Astronomers think that early in its life, Iapetus must have been hit by another moon, sending huge volumes of ejecta into orbit. Some of this condensed into a new moon that escaped into space. However, the rest formed an unstable ring that gradually spiralled in towards the moon, eventually depositing the material in a narrow ridge around the equator. Cassini’s next encounter with Iapetus will be in 2015 which should give astronomers another chance to study the strangest mountain range in the Solar System."

+ - Maynard Launches As Lightweight Wayland Desktop For The Pi->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Maynard has been announced as a joint Collabora and Raspberry Pi Foundation venture to create a lightweight Wayland desktop suitable for running on the Rasbperry Pi. Maynard can run on the Raspberry Pi as well as conventional desktops while being very lightweight, except it goes without support for XWayland to run legacy X11 apps and it also doesn't handle GTK apps well."
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+ - How do you revoke and re-issue a biometric credential?->

Submitted by technicalnotebook
technicalnotebook (1812518) writes "An interesting thought to come out of all the media surrounding Heartbleed over the last week. What would happen if the main mechanism of authentication used today was biometric authentication... this is not something that could simply be revoked and re-issued if your credentials were compromised.

So I thought I would pose this to the brains trust that is Slashdot, what *could* we do if something similar to Heartbleed happened following the more mainstream adoption of biometric authentication (assuming that in certain cases the credentials were stored server-side rather than locally for verification).

Interesting puzzle to ponder (and I would love to hear Slashdotter's thoughts)."

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+ - SageMathCloud's new Storage Architecture->

Submitted by phatsphere
phatsphere (642799) writes "William Stein summarizes his experience of creating a highly scalable, continuously backuped and replicated storage infrastructure for SMC, based on ZFS, bup, rsync & co:

Consistency and availability are competing requirements. It is trivial to keep the files in a SageMathCloud project consistent if we store it in exactly one place; however, when the machine that project is on goes down for any reason, the project stops working, [...]. By making many copies of the files in a project, it's fairly easy to ensure that the project is always available, even if network switches in multiple data centers completely fail, etc. Unfortunately, if there are too many users and the synchronization itself puts too heavy of a load on the overall system, then machines will fail more frequently, and though projects are available, files do not stay consistent and data is lost to the user.

and boldly summarizes

The architecture that we have built could scale up to a million users.


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+ - Google Chrome drops DOM Level 2 support->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The latest version of Chrome silently dropped DOM Level 2 support and removed the createAttributeNS and setAttributeNodeNS. While they are arguing this is based on usage counter data and these methods are only used in 1 of a million pageviews, after all standards is what makes the web possible. It is not that it was necessary to fix some security issue, but they had working code for this functionality and dropped it although they know this is still used."
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+ - Understanding Aereo->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On April 22, 2014 the Supreme Court will hear argument in American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc. The question before the Court is whether Aereo Inc.'s business of streaming live broadcast television over the internet violates the Copyright Act. A new Article in the New York University Law Review explains Aereo's legal argument, and how the company has managed to make a plausible claim that by using tens of thousands of tiny antennas, one per subscribe, its service does not technically violate the Copyright Act."
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+ - IRS: give us machine-readable tax formulas

Submitted by johndoe42
johndoe42 (179131) writes "Now that tax day is almost over, it's time to ask the IRS to make it less painful. All of the commercial tax software is awful, overpriced, and incompatible with everything else. Some people have tried to do better: OpenTaxSolver and a rather large Excel spreadsheet are tedious manual translations of the IRS's forms. I'm sure that many programmers would try to make much friendlier tax software if they didn't have to deal with translating all of the IRS instructions. Let's petition the IRS to publish computerized formulas so that this can happen."

+ - Utah cops warrantlessly search prescription drug records->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The warrantless search of Utah's database chronicling every controlled substance dispensed by a pharmacist resulted in charges against one paramedic that have nothing to do with the original investigation. Instead, the authorities discovered an employee whose records exhibited "the appearance of Opioid dependence" and lodged prescription fraud charges against paramedic Ryan Pyle. Now Pyle faces a maximum five-year prison sentence if convicted of the felony. "To me, it's outrageous government conduct," Pyle's attorney, Rebecca Skordas, said in a telephone interview Monday."
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+ - PowerVR "Wizard" GPU Is First Mobile Gaming GPU With Hardware Ray Tracing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Imagination Technologies, the people who make the PowerVR line of mobile GPUs, have unveiled a new mobile gaming GPU ("Wizard") that does realtime ray tracing in hardware, at gaming frame rates. It has long been predicted that 3D games would eventually begin to employ true ray tracing to create computationally expensive visual effects like realistic reflections, refractions, shadows and lighting in realtime games. The PowerVR "Wizard" GPU is the first mobile GPU that can do just that in hardware. It remains to be seen how many commercial game engines, game development studios and mobile games will decide to make use of this new interesting new hardware capability. The question whether rival GPU manufacturers like Nvidia or AMD will also jump on the ray tracing bandwagon and put hardware ray tracing units in their future GPUs is also open at this point. If the hardware ray tracing trend catches on, however, and the hardware needed for it becomes mainstream, and more powerful in time, it could make for interesting virtual experiences like "true photoreal VR" when used in conjunction with a VR headset like the Oculus Rift for example."
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+ - OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

Submitted by Iarwain Ben-adar
Iarwain Ben-adar (2393286) writes "The OpenBSD has started a cleanup of their in-tree OpenSSL library. Improvements include removing "exploit mitigation countermeasures", fixing bugs, removal of questionable entropy additions, and many more. If you support the effort of these guys who are responsible for the venerable OpenSSH library, consider a donation to the OpenBSD Foundation. Maybe someday we'll see a "portable" version of this new OpenSSL fork. Or not.

+ - This is Amazon's smartphone: First photos ever of the Kindle phone->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "BGR has spoken with multiple trusted sources and confirmed much of what has been reported thus far. We have also exclusively learned many new details surrounding Amazon’s upcoming smartphone, which is set to debut in the coming months. Finally, we have obtained exclusive photos of a prototype of the unreleased device, giving the world its first look at Amazon’s hotly anticipated phone..."
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+ - US Government confiscates passport of citizen while overseas, doesn't say why-> 1

Submitted by Faizdog
Faizdog (243703) writes "The US State Department has confiscated the passport of a US citizen who is overseas. Due to that, he is in a precarious situation regarding his legal status.

The State Dept. has given no explanation for their actions.

Federal law requires that US citizens be granted a hearing before their passports are revoked. According to the man’s attorneys: “Having a passport is part of a citizen’s right to international travel, because without a passport you’re not able to move about or return to the US they can revoke it if they believe it has been obtained fraudulently. But here, there isn’t any allegation of wrongdoing.”

How does one answer the question “papers please?” when they government has taken your papers?"

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy