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Comment: Re:What the Macbook 13" should be (Score 1) 102

Wrong. Latitude is Dell's business laptop brand. Supposed to be stronger/better than the home user laptop. Price, wrong again. With the same specs (SSD+8GB at the time), prices were similar. Yes, most of the Latitude product line was built on the same model. I wouldn't comment if that laptop wouldn't have been that deceitful. And I reply to an AC because I really feel Dell deserves that.

+ - US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One->

Submitted by Tyketto
Tyketto (97265) writes "Following up on a previous story about its replacement, the US Air Force has selected the Boeing 747-8 to replace the aging Presidential fleet of two VC-25s, which are converted B747-200s. With the only other suitable aircraft being the Airbus A380, the USAF cited Boeing's 50-year history of building presidential aircraft as their reason to skip competition and opt directly for the aircraft, which due to dwindling sales and prospects, may be the last 747s to be produced."
Link to Original Source

+ - FCC Approved Change in the definition of Broadband->

Submitted by halfEvilTech
halfEvilTech (1171369) writes "As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without broadband access. Currently, 6.3 percent of US households don’t have access to broadband under the previous 4Mpbs/1Mbps threshold, while another 13.1 percent don't have access to broadband under the new 25Mbps downstream threshold."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What the Macbook 13" should be (Score 2) 102

I'd have a hard time to trust Dell re. specs & perfs. Couple of years ago, a not-so-tecky colleague bought a Dell Latitude 15" (roughly) at the time I bought the MBA 13" (and helped her to config etc...). The Dell battery was ~2h (5h MBA) while 5-7 h advertised - the Dell was already much heavier, much thicker compared to the MBA (ok, 13" vs 15" but look at the MBA 15"..) ... but the advertised battery life was valid "if you purchase the [ugly] battery extension" that makes the device even more thicker. The build quality of the Latitude was pretty bad - closing the lid makes some noise like the plastic threatens to crack. The keyboard design has been botched up (eg arrow keys near small pg up/dn) and the touchpad .... the touchpad works like hell. The guys still didn't figure in 2012 what a touchpad algo should be.
Don't know about this new model - but I'd be very cautious before purchasing a dell myself.

+ - Researchers use sound to slow down, speed up, and block light->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "How do you make an optical fiber transmit light only one way?

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, the phenomenon of Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency (BSIT), which can be used to slow down, speed up, and block light in an optical waveguide. The BSIT phenomenon permits light to travel in the forward direction while light traveling in the backward direction is strongly absorbed. This non-reciprocal behavior is essential for building isolators and circulators that are indispensable tools in an optical designer’s toolkit.

In this study, the researchers demonstrated the BSIT phenomenon using nothing more complicated than a glass micro-fiber and a glass sphere adjacent to it.

“Light at certain wavelengths can be absorbed out of a thin optical waveguide by a microresonator—which is essentially a tiny glass sphere—when they are brought very close,” explained Gaurav Bahl, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois. “Through the BSIT phenomenon we can eliminate this opacity, i.e., we can make this system transparent again by adding another laser at a specially chosen wavelength nearby.

“The effect occurs due to the interaction of the light with sound waves present in the material, and is a new physical process that has never been seen before. The most significant aspect of our discovery is the observation that BSIT is a non-reciprocal phenomenon—the transparency is only generated one way. In the other direction, the system still absorbs light.”

Time-reversal symmetry (i.e. reciprocity) is a fundamental tenet understood in most acoustic, electromagnetic, and thermodynamic contexts. Engineers are often forced to use tricks to break this time-reversal symmetry for specific device applications.

Current non-reciprocal optical devices—for example, isolators and circulators—are exclusively built using the Faraday magneto-optic effect. This method uses magnetic fields to break the time-reversal symmetry with certain specialized garnet and ferrite materials. However, these materials are challenging to obtain at the chip-scale through conventional foundry processes. Magnetic fields are also sources of interference in many applications such as cold atom microsystems. These constraints have deterred availability of Faraday effect isolators for on-chip optical systems till date.

“We have demonstrated a method of obtaining linear optical non-reciprocity that requires no magnets, can be implemented in any common optical material system without needing ferrites, and could be implemented today in any commercial optical foundry,” Bahl added. “Brillouin isolators do already exist, but they are nonlinear devices requiring filtering of the scattered light. BSIT, on the other hand, is a linear non-reciprocal mechanism.”

“Brillouin-Mandelstam scattering, originally discovered in the early 1920s, is the coupling of light waves and sound waves through electrostrictive optical forces and acousto-optic scattering. It is the fundamental physical process behind BSIT, and occurs in all solids, liquids, gases, and even plasmas,” stated JunHwan Kim, a graduate student at Illinois and first author of the paper, “Non-Reciprocal Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency,” appearing in the journal, Nature Physics.

BSIT also enables the speeding up and slowing down of the group velocity of light. Physicists call this “fast” and “slow” light. “Slow” light techniques are extremely useful for quantum information storage and optical buffer applications. Someday, such buffers could be incorporated in quantum computers.

“While it is already known that the slow and fast light can be obtained using Brillouin scattering, our device is far smaller and uses far less power than any other previous demonstration, by several orders-of-magnitude. However, we must sacrifice bandwidth to obtain such performance,” Kim added.

In their studies, Bahl’s research group uses the extremely minute forces exerted by light to generate and control mechanical vibrations of microscale and nanoscale devices—a field called optomechanics. In resonant microcavities, these miniscule forces can be enhanced by many orders of magnitude. They are using these phenomena to unearth new physics behind how solids, liquids, and gases interact with light.

In addition to Kim and Bahl, co-authors include Kewen Han at Illinois, and Mark C. Kuzyk and Hailin Wang from the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon."

Link to Original Source

+ - LibreOffice gets a streamlined makeover, native alternatives for major Microsoft->

Submitted by TechCurmudgeon
TechCurmudgeon (3904121) writes "From PCWorld:
The Document foundation announced availability of the latest version of LibreOffice on Thursday, which it says is the most beautiful version of the open source productivity suite yet. LibreOffice 4.4 also fixes some compatibility issues with files that are saved in Microsoft's OOXML formats. LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love," Jan "Kendy" Holesovsky, who leads the design team for Libreoffice, said in a statement.

LibreOffice 4.4 is currently available for Windows: https://www.libreoffice.org/do..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Former NATO nuclear bunker now an 'airless' unmanned data center->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A German company has converted a 1960s nuclear bunker 100 miles from network hub Frankfurt into a state-of-the-art underground data center with very few operators and very little oxygen. IT Vision Technology (ITVT) CEO Jochen Klipfel says: "We developed a solution that reduces the oxygen content in the air, so that even matches go outIt took us two years". ITVT have the European Air Force among its customers, so security is an even higher priority than in the average DC build; the refurbished bunker has walls 11 feet thick and the central complex is buried twenty feet under the earth."
Link to Original Source

+ - D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At least one and likely more D-Link routers as well as those of other manufacturers using the same firmware are vulnerable to remote changing of DNS settings and, effectively, traffic hijacking, a Bulgarian security researcher has discovered. Todor Donev, a member of the Ethical Hacker research team, says that the vulnerability is found in the ZynOS firmware of the device, D-Link's DSL-2740R ADSL modem/wireless router. The firmware in question is implemented in many networking equipment manufactured by D-Link, TP-Link Technologies and ZTE, he noted for Computerworld."

+ - ISIS using Bitcoin to get around kafir security->

Submitted by bennyp
bennyp (809286) writes "Haaretz is reporting on leaked communication from a pair of IS operatives in America. In the memo, they advise supporters of the Islamic State to transfer funds to the mujahideen via "dark wallets". From the article: âoe[Bitcoin] allows our brothers stuck outside of the ardh Dawlatul-Islam [Islamic State] to avoid government taxes along with secretly fund [sic] the Mujahideen with no legal danger upon them,â"
Link to Original Source

+ - Hijacking Drones With Malware

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A recent incident at the White House showed that small aerial vehicles (drones) present a specific security problem. Rahul Sasi, a security engineer at Citrix R&D, created MalDrone, the first backdoor malware for the AR drone ARM Linux system, to target Parrot AR Drones, but says it can be modified to target others as well. The malware can be silently installed on a drone, and be used to control the drone remotely and to conduct remote surveillance."

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