j_presper_eckert writes "Hello, and my apologies for the off-topic submission.
Is anyone else who's planning on joining the (very) imminent slashcott having difficulty in reaching altslashdot.org?
I ask because, despite several careful attempts, I have not yet been able to successfully reach the new wiki this evening. (It had been fine on Friday, though.) For me, the address is now resolving as soylentnews.org and is also showing as a parked domain courtesy of some place in France.
I'm concerned about the new site still not being "ready for primetime" despite the slashcott being almost literally around the corner. Did I somehow fumble-finger the link, or are others seeing the same thing when they try to reach Altslashdot??? TIA"Link to Original Source
tlhIngan writes "Today marks the first day that Valve has removed a game completely off its service. Order of War: Challenge has been not only removed from the service, but it is the first to be removed completely from a user's library as well. Previously, when a game was removed from Steam, it was just removed — as long as a local copy exists in your library, you could always play it, back it up, reactivate it, etc, (similar to Apple's iTunes and App Store — it may be gone, but as long as a copy exists, it'll work). Now it appears that Valve has actually gone the next step alongside Amazon and Google and removed games from a library."Link to Original Source
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?""
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."Link to Original Source
jones_supa writes "The holiday sales of Steam are, uhh, running full steam. Among the discounts, Valve is giving Left 4 Dead 2 as a free Christmas present for anyone who has an account. So if you are interested, remember to grab your copy before 10:00 PST on December 26. Left 4 Dead 2 is a survival-horror first-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on cooperative gameplay. Windows, Linux and OS X are supported."Link to Original Source
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."Link to Original Source
cold fjord writes "The Verge reports, "Brazil this week admitted to spying on diplomats from countries including the US, Russia, and Iran as part of a domestic program launched 10 years ago ... The program was first revealed in a Monday report from the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, which obtained documents from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, commonly known as ABIN. The revelations come at a sensitive time for current Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, who has been among the most outspoken critics of the widespread surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA). According to Folha, Brazilian intelligence spied on rooms rented out by the US embassy in Brasilia from 2003 to 2004. ... The report also claims that ABIN targeted Russian and Iranian officials, tracking their movements within the country ... Rousseff's office acknowledged Monday that the spying took place, but stressed that the operations were carried out within the law. The administration added that publishing classified documents is a crime in Brazil, and that those responsible "will be prosecuted according to the law." ....the revelations may put Rousseff in an awkward position. The Brazilian president cancelled a state dinner with Barack Obama earlier this year ... and lashed out against US spying in an impassioned speech to the UN in September.""Link to Original Source
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."Link to Original Source
iONiUM writes "As a follow up to LG's announcement of mass flexible OLED production, and as a competitor to the limited Samsung Round trial which was only available in Korea on SK Telecom, LG has released the G Flex phone which is curved vertically (instead of the Round's horizontal bend, which many thought was the 'wrong way'). In addition, the G Flex can actually be flexed, as shown in the video in the article."Link to Original Source
alphadogg writes "The equipment is big and expensive, with the research costs at almost $500,000. But by just using retail components, Chinese professor Chi Nan has built her own Li-Fi wireless system that can use LED lights to send and receive Internet data. "I bought the lights from Taobao," she said, referring to the Chinese e-commerce site. The professor from Fudan University showed off the technology on Tuesday at the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai. Unlike traditional Wi-Fi routers that use radio signals, Chi's system relies on light to send and receive data wirelessly. Others scientists, especially in the U.K., have also been researching the technology, and dubbed it "Li-Fi". But rather than develop specialized hardware, Chi bought off-the-shelf retail parts to create her system."Link to Original Source
MarkWhittington writes "The recent launch of India's first mission to Mars has ignited a debate in that country that has parallels of a debate that was once raging in the United States. The question arises, why does a country with a severe poverty problem have a space program?
The Economist points out that India's space program, of which the Mars mission is a small part, costs about $1 billion a year. It claims that spending on things like public health in that country is "abysmally low."
On the other hand, most of India's space program is directed toward communications and other satellites that have a direct benefit to its people.
The BBC adds that the inspirational and national prestige aspects of the Mars mission are not to be sneezed at. India has a growing middle class, technically trained, and a good space program is part of a mix of policies that encouraged that development."Link to Original Source
ananyo writes "First came reports of earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing and the reinjection of water during oil and gas operations. Now US scientists are reporting tremors may have been caused by the injection of carbon dioxide during oil production.
The evidence centres on a sudden burst of seismic activity around an old oil field in the Permian Basin in northwest Texas. From 2006 to 2011, after more than two decades without any earthquakes, seismometers in the region registered 38 tremors, including 18 larger quakes ranging from magnitude 3 to 4.4, scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The tremors began just two years after injections of significant volumes of CO2 began at the site, in an effort to boost oil production.
“Although you can never prove that correlation is equal to causation, certainly the most plausible explanation is that [the tremors] are related to the gas injection,” says Cliff Frohlich, a seismologist at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics in Austin, who co-authored the study."Link to Original Source
wjcofkc writes "Degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are among the most insidious and feared diseases a person may have to face. Recently, researchers have discovered a multi-photon laser technique that makes it possible to distinguish aggregations of the proteins believed to cause the diseases, while differentiating from the the well-functioning proteins. In theory, removing the protein aggregates can cure the disease."
"Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now. This is a totally new approach and we believe that this might become a breakthrough in the research of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light," says Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers University of Technology."