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Submission + - Google's New Social Networking Patent is Truly Comical

theodp writes: GeekWire reports on Google's just-granted patent on creating and sharing social network status updates in the form of comic strips, a la Bitstrips. Google also envisions an educational role for its new invention, which the search giant has dubbed the Self-Creation of Comic Strips in Social Networks and Other Communications. Google explains, "Aside from humor, such comic strips are also usable for education, for instance in summarizing a real-time conversation between two political leaders as it is happening. By posting such a comic strip on a social network facility such as a social network blog or tweet, others may more readily follow the flow of the conversation than if it had been summarized in plain text." Hey, as the wise Anchorman Ron Burgundy once said, "Instead of giving people the news they need, why not give them the news they want?"

Submission + - NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 Tested, Fastest Android 4.3 Slate Under $200 (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: NVIDIA officially took the wraps off of its Tegra Note mobile platform a few weeks back. If you’re unfamiliar with the Tegra Note, it’s a 7”, Android-based tablet, powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 SoC. The Tegra Note 7 also marks NVIDIA’s second foray into the consumer electronics market, with an in-house designed product; NVIDIA's SHIELD Android gaming device was the first out of the gate earlier this year. Though Tegra Note 7 on the surface may appear to be just another 7-inch slate, sporting a 1280X720 display, it does have NVIDIA's proprietary passive stylus technology on board, very good sounding speakers and an always on HDR camera. It's also one of the fastest Android tablets on the market currently, in the benchmarks. Unlike in NVIDIA's SHIELD device, the Tegra 4 SoC is passively cooled in Tegra Note 7 and is crammed into a thin and light 7" tablet form factor. As a result, the SoC can't hit peak frequencies quite as high as the SHIELD (1.8GHz vs. 1.9GHz), but that didn't hold the Tegra Note 7 back very much. In a few of the CPU-centric and system level tests, the Tegra Note 7 finished at or near the head of the pack, and in the graphics benchmarks, its 72-core GeForce GPU competed very well, and often allowed the $199 Tegra Note 7 to outpace much more expensive devices.

Submission + - Route-Injection Attacks Detouring Internet Traffic (threatpost.com) 1

msm1267 writes: Attackers are using route injection attacks against BGP-speaking routers to insert additional hops in the traffic stream, redirecting traffic to third-party locations where it can be inspected before it’s sent to its destination.
Internet intelligence company Renesys has detected close to 1,500 IP address blocks that have been hijacked on more than 60 days this year, a disturbing trend that indicates attackers could finally have an increased interest in weaknesses inherent in core Internet infrastructure.

Submission + - Google Relying on People Power for 'Helpouts' (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: While Google built its highly profitable search business atop a complex mix of algorithms and machine learning, its latest initiative actually depends on people power: Helpouts, which allows users (for a fee) to video-chat with experts in particular fields. Google has rolled out the service with a few brands in place, such as One Medical and Weight Watchers, and promises that it will expand its portfolio of helpful brands and individuals over the next several months. Existing categories include Cooking, Art & Music, Computers & Electronics, Education & Careers, Fashion & Beauty, Fitness & Nutrition, Health, and Home & Garden. Some Helpouts charge nothing for their time; for example, the “Cooking” section of the Website already features a handful of chefs willing to talk users through baking, broiling, slicing and dicing for free. A few vendors in the Computers & Electronics section, by contrast, charge $2 per minute or even $200 per Hangout session for advice on WordPress setup, Website design, and more. So why is Google doing this? There are plenty of Websites that already dispense advice, although most rely on the written word—Quora, for example, lets its users pose text-based questions and receive answers. There’s also rising interest in Massive Open Online Courses, also known as MOOCs, in which thousands of people can sign online to learn about something new. In theory, Helpouts (if it’s built out enough) could make Google a player in those markets, as well as specialized verticals such as language learning—and earn some healthy revenue in the process. And just as long as some enterprising doctor doesn’t try to conduct a Helpout in organ removal, this latest Google initiative should remain controversy-free.

Submission + - Google 'helpout' service: experts in your home, via a webcam (v3.co.uk)

DW100 writes: Google has unveiled a service for self-appointed experts to offer advice on everything from business strategy to plumbing via webcams under a new project called 'Helpouts'. The firm admitted "helpouts may not be suitable for every occasion" but said it hoped the service would ultimately "make people's lives easier". Experts can charge for their help on a per-minute or per session setup.

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.
PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Jailbreak Now Legal In Spain 113

deek writes "Spanish gamer site NicaGamerz.com have reported that it's now legal to sell the PS3 Jailbreak modchip in Spain (Google translation of Spanish original). According to the article, one reason for the legal ruling is because Sony removed the ability to run GNU/Linux on the console. One can only wonder if Sony will soon rush out a firmware update that will re-enable the OtherOS feature, and appeal the court decision. Oh the irony of that thought. The legal ruling was made on the 13th December (Google translation). There are only 5 days to appeal, starting from that date."

Inventor Demonstrates Infinitely Variable Transmission 609

ElectricSteve writes with this excerpt from Gizmag: "Ready for a bit of a mental mechanical challenge? Try your hand at understanding how the D-Drive works. Steve Durnin's ingenious new gearbox design is infinitely variable — that is, with your motor running at a constant speed, the D-Drive transmission can smoothly transition from top gear all the way through neutral and into reverse. It doesn't need a clutch, it doesn't use any friction drive components, and the power is always transmitted through strong, reliable gear teeth. In fact, it's a potential revolution in transmission technology."

Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans 363

John Bayko writes "Mentioned on Slashdot a couple of years ago, the drug dichloroacetate (DCA) has finally finished its first clinical trial against brain tumors in humans. Drug companies weren't willing to test a drug they could not patent, so money was raised in the community through donations, auctions, and finally government support, but the study was still limited to five patients. It showed extremely positive results in four of them. This episode raises the question of what happens to all the money donated to Canadian and other cancer societies, and especially the billions spent buying merchandise with little pink ribbons on it, if not to actual cancer research like this."

Coping With 1 Million SSH Authentication Failures? 497

An anonymous reader writes "I own a small Web development studio that specializes in open source software, primarily Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla for small businesses. Our production servers, which host about 50 sites and generate ~20K hits/week, are managed by a 3rd party that I'm sure many on Slashdot would recognize. Earlier today I was researching some problems on one of our sites and found that there have been over 1 million SSH authentication failures from ~1200 IP addresses on one of our servers over the last year. I contacted the ISP, who had promised me that server security would be actively managed, and their recommendation was, 'change the SSH port!' Of course this makes sense and may help to an extent, but it still doesn't solve the problem I'm facing: how do you manage server security on a tight budget with literally no system admin (except for me and I know I'm a n00b)? User passwords are randomly generated, we use a non-standard SSH port, and do not use any unencrypted services such as FTP. Is there a server monitoring program you would recommend? Is there an ISP or Web-based service that specializes in this?"

Eight PHP IDEs Compared 206

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Rick Grehen provides an in-depth comparative review of eight PHP IDEs: ActiveState's Komodo IDE, CodeLobster PHP Edition, Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT), MPSoftware's phpDesigner, NetBeans IDE for PHP, NuSphere's PhpED, WaterProof's PHPEdit, and Zend Studio. 'All of these PHP toolkits offer strong support for the other languages and environments (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL database) that a PHP developer encounters. The key differences we discovered were in the tools they provide (HTML inspector, SQL management system) for various tasks, the quality of their documentation, and general ease-of-use,' Grehen writes.'"

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."

Submission + - Top 10 fun computing films (pcauthority.com.au)

Slatterz writes: News of the death of John Hughes has many people bemoaning the lack of films that understand and appeal to the geek audience. This list of the top 10 "fun" computing films has been compiled in honour of Hughes, and focuses on those that have used computers as a narrative arc to their characters. Some left of field choices, considering this is a list that goes from Tron to WALL-E, though nostalgia does tend to make people enjoy things more fondly than they really did the first time.

Submission + - Swedish MPs: Legalizing File Sharing Only Solution (torrentfreak.com) 1

CrystalFalcon writes: In the past week, the file sharing debate has exploded in Sweden, with numerous mainstream politicians finally having understood the issue. Last week, seven Swedish MPs wrote a prominent opinion piece saying that fully legalized file sharing is not just the best, but the only solution. Now, that number has increased to 13, and the issue seems to keep growing. Good summaries at TorrentFreak and P2P Consortium. Original opinion piece in English here.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig