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+ - Face it, Tesla's going to win in every state 1

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Unless you've been in a coma for a while you're aware that many dealer associations have been causing headaches for Tesla in multiple states. The reason? They are scared. Tesla's new, different, and shaking up the ridiculously old way of doing things. But the thing is, Tesla keeps winning. Now Ward's commenter Jim Ziegler, president of Ziegler Supersystems in Atlanta, wrote an opinion piece that basically says Tesla's going to prevail in every state against dealer lawsuits. He says Tesla's basically busy defending what are nuisance suits. This leads to the question of whether there will be some sort of sweeping federal action in Tesla's favor."

+ - Rambus' tiny diffractive camera adds eyes to any digital device->

Submitted by LeDopore
LeDopore (898286) writes "Patrick Thibodeau from Computerworld writes about a technology I'm developing:

There's a type of camera technology emerging with a view of the world similar to what a honey bee sees. The images appear blurry and hazy, but if you're a bee, good enough for finding flowers and people to sting.

We use a spiral diffraction grating plus computation instead of a lens, which lets us shrink our sensor much smaller than any sane conventional optical system. The grating is only 200 microns in diameter, and the whole sensor can be made using only standard CMOS techniques, meaning it will cost only a trivial amount to add low-resolution eyes to any digital device."
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+ - Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police-> 4

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "By Craig Timberg September 17 at 9:51 PM
Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user data.

The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal dilemma: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that makes it almost impossible for the company – or anyone else but the device’s owner – to gain access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails, recordings or other documents. Apple once kept possession of encryption keys that unlocked devices for legally binding police requests, but will no longer do so for iOS8, it said in a new guide for law enforcement.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”"

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+ - Ask Slashdot: Alternate software for use on smartboards?

Submitted by SmarterThanMe
SmarterThanMe (1679358) writes "Teacher here, you can call me Mr. SmarterThanMe. I have a fancy smartboard installed in my room. Smartboards allow me to show students a whole range of other stuff other than just whatever I'm writing. I can prepare instructions and activities before the lesson and just move through the boards. I can pull up some students' work and display it through the projector. I can bring up some stimulus for use in a writing task. So much better than blackboards.

Except the software that comes bundled with this particular brand of smartboard is ridiculously clunky. Without naming this particular piece of software, and highlighting it's shortfalls, has anyone got any suggestions on alternatives (open source or otherwise)?

The main features that I'd like are:
  • Handwriting recognition
  • The ability to make and use templates
  • Grids or guides or *something* to be able to teach measurement

I have gold star stickers for any good suggestions. Thanks in advance."

Comment: Take a Hint from Atoms (Score 1) 818

by darenw (#47847933) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

One thing they haven't tried yet is hexagonal packing. Any physicist, chemist or minerologist can tell you hexagonal is denser packing than rectangles.

Even better, pack in those passengers in three dimensions, Face Centered Cubic lattices and all that. Of course, this works best for spherical passengers.

+ - IT Jobs Take Summer Swan Dive 1

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The IT job hiring bump earlier this year wasn't sustained in July and August, when numbers slumped considerably, InfoWorld reports. 'So much for the light at the end of the IT jobs tunnel. According to job data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as analyzed by Janco Associates, the IT professional job market has all but lost the head of steam it built up earlier this year. A mere 3,400 IT jobs were added in August, down from 4,600 added for July and way down from the 13,800 added in April of this year. Overall, IT hiring in 2014 got off to a weak start, then surged, only to stumble again.' Anybody out there finding the IT job market discouraging of late and care to share their experiences?"

+ - Army can't track spending on $4 billion system to track spending

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Our government in action: An inspector general has found that the Army was unable to track the spending on a project designed to help the Army track spending.

As of this February, the Army had spent $725.7 million on the system, which is ultimately expected to cost about $4.3 billion. The problem, according to the IG, is that the Army has failed to comply with a variety of federal laws that require agencies to standardize reporting and prepare auditable financial statements. “This occurred because DOD and Army management did not have adequate controls, including procedures and annual reviews, in place to ensure GCSS-Army compliance with Treasury and DOD guidance,” the IG report concludes.

"

+ - Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

Submitted by AthanasiusKircher
AthanasiusKircher (1333179) writes "In recent years, emphasis on standardized testing and basic skills has forced many schools to cut back on things like arts and extracurricular activities. A study out this week from Northwestern University hints that schools may be hurting "at-risk" kids even more by cutting such programs. Just two years of music lessons were shown to have significant effects on brain activity and language processing which the researchers argue could help close achievement gaps between at-risk students and more affluent students. Aside from better brain response to language observed in the lab, practical effects of the interventions were readily apparent: 'Leaders at Harmony Project approached the researchers after the non-profit observed that their students were performing much better than other public school students in the area. Since 2008, over 90 percent of high school seniors who participated in Harmony Project’s free music lessons went on to college, even though the high school dropout rates in the surrounding Los Angeles areas can reach up to 50 percent.' Note that this is only one of several ongoing studies showing significant cognitive benefits for music training among at-risk students; an article last year from The Atlantic gives a more detailed summary of related research."

+ - Lifeform out of the "Tree of Life" found off the coast of Australia->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A mushroom-shaped sea animal discovered off the Tasmanian coast back in 1986 has defied classification in the tree of life

A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom. The organisms, which were originally collected in 1986, are described in the academic journal Plos One. Such a situation has occurred only a handful of times in the last 100 years

The authors of the paper recognise two new species of mushroom-shaped animal: Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides. Measuring only a few millimetres in size, the animals consist of a flattened disc and a stalk with a mouth on the end. The authors of the article note several similarities with the bizarre and enigmatic soft-bodied life forms that lived between 635 and 540 million years ago — the span of Earth history known as the Ediacaran Period. Those organisms, too, have proven difficult to categorise and some researchers have even suggested they were failed experiments in multi-cellular life

During a scientific cruise in 1986, scientists collected organisms at water depths of 400m and 1,000m on the south-east Australian continental slope, near Tasmania. But the two types of mushroom-shaped organisms were recognised only recently, after sorting of the bulk samples collected during the expedition. "Finding something like this is extremely rare, it's maybe only happened about four times in the last 100 years," said co-author Jorgen Olesen from the University of Copenhagen

The new organisms are multicellular but mostly non-symmetrical, with a dense layer of gelatinous material between the outer skin cell and inner stomach cell layers. The researchers did find some similarities to other animal groupings, such as the Cnidaria — the phylum that comprises corals and jellyfish — and the Ctenophora, which includes the marine organisms known as comb jellies. But the new organisms did not fulfil all the criteria required for inclusion in either of those categories. Dr Olesen said the new animals could either be a very early branch on the tree of life, or be intermediate between two different animal phyla

One way to resolve the question surrounding Dendrogramma's affinities would be to examine its DNA, but new specimens will need to be found. The original samples were first preserved in formaldehyde and later transferred to 80% alcohol, a mode of treatment that prevents analysis of genetic material. Accordingly, the team's paper in Plos One calls for researchers around the world to keep an eye out for other examples. "We published this paper in part as a cry for help," said Dr Olesen. "There might be somebody out there who can help place it""

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+ - White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The White House has named long-time Google executive Megan Smith as the government's new CTO, in charge of improving technology and the use of data across agencies. Smith most recently served as vice president at Google's tech lab, Google[x]. She previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, helped design early smartphone technologies at General Magic and worked on multimedia products at Apple Japan in Tokyo. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, and just might be, as noted in a previous Slashdot post, the first US CTO worthy of the title. Also on Thursday, the White House named Alexander Macgillivray, a former general counsel and head of public policy at Twitter, as deputy U.S. CTO."
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+ - Privacy Vulnerabilities in Coursera, Including Student Email Addresses

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Coursera, the online education platform with over 9 million students, appears to have some serious privacy shortcomings. According to one of Stanford's instructors, 'any teacher can dump the entire user database, including over nine million names and email addresses.' Also, 'if you are logged into your Coursera account, any website that you visit can list your course enrollments.' The attack even has a working proof of concept. A week after the problems were reported, Coursera still hasn't fixed them."

+ - Hypersonic Missile Testing Should be Banned Now, Before They Actually Work-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Mark Gubrud has a fascinating piece arguing for the US to lead the way in calling for a ban on the testing of hypersonic missiles, a technology that the US has been developing for decades. China has also started testing these weapons, which proponents optimistically claim would not be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Russia, India, and a few other countries are also joining in the fray, so a ban on testing would stop an arms race in its tracks. Good discussion of the two types of hypersonic technology, and whether that technology has civilian applications."
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+ - MS urging people to ignore strong passwords-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft appears to be making a concerted effort to get people to ignore decades of advice on complex passwords. Wired has a piece about Cormac Herley, a Principal Researcher at MS, saying "burdening users with choosing stronger passwords seems like a big waste of effort." http://www.wired.com/2014/08/p... (Original paper "strength above that needed to withstand online guessing is effectively wasted": http://research.microsoft.com/...).
Separately, Roger Grimes, a Principal Analyst at MS, has an opinion piece in Infoworld “Why you don't need long, complex passwords” arguing that password guessers “aren’t even measurable noise in most environments.” http://www.infoworld.com/d/sec..."

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