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+ - Microsoft Announces Surface 3 Tablet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Today Microsoft announced the latest device in their line of Windows tablets: the Surface 3. The tablet runs a full version of Windows (the troublesome "RT" line has been deprecated), and aims to compete with Apple's iPad. The Surface 3 has a 10.8" screen running at 1920x1280 (note the 3:2 ratio). It's 8.7mm thick and weighs 622 grams (1.27 lbs). They're somewhat vague about the battery life, but they say it will last up to 10 hours "based on video playback." They've also made it possible to charge the device with a standard micro-USB charger. The base device with 64GB storage, 2GB RAM, and Wi-Fi only will cost $500, and it'll scale up with more storage, more ram, and 4G LTE connectivity. The keyboard is still a separate $130 accessory as well.
Link to Original Source

+ - Best Program to Organize Photos

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I'm a long time reader first time writer. What is the best program available to organize and sort your photos. I've tried a bunch of different one's with varying degrees of success. Does anybody have any suggestions.

+ - We know where you've been: Ars gets 4.6M license plate scans from the Oakland PD-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: One citizen demands: "Do you know why Oakland is spying on me and my wife?"

If you have driven in Oakland any time in the last few years, chances are good that the cops know where you’ve been, thanks to their 33 automated license plate readers (LPRs).

In response to a public records request, Ars obtained the entire LPR dataset of the Oakland Police Department (OPD), including more than 4.6 million reads of over 1.1 million unique plates between December 23, 2010 and May 31, 2014. The dataset is likely the largest publicly released in the United States—perhaps in the world.

After analyzing this data with a custom-built visualization tool, Ars can definitively demonstrate the data's revelatory potential. Anyone in possession of enough data can often—but not always—make educated guesses about a target’s home or workplace, particularly when someone’s movements are consistent (as with a regular commute).

Link to Original Source

+ - When to ditch a legacy framework

Submitted by Jason Baker
Jason Baker writes: Why would a successful organization toss out an excellent open source web development platform that had an avid developer community? When the eZ Publish platform, an open source content management system, decided to completely rewrite the core functionality of their software, it wasn't an easy decision. But re-engineering the code turned out to be the right path forward, making contributions, customization, and extension by third parties easier.

Developers and software architects: What do you think puts a project over the tipping point? When is the right time to re-code from scratch?

Comment: Re:Egress rate (Score 1) 71

by mbourgon (#49241017) Attached to: Google Nearline Delivers Some Serious Competition To Amazon Glacier

Actually, not that simple. Neither have egress costs if you use their VMs - it's only going to the internet. Amazon Glacier to Internet is free for the first 1GB, $.09/gb for the first 10tb, $.085/gb until 50tb (at between 10-50tb Nearline is cheaper), then $.07 until 150tb.

Both charge 1 cent/gb for reads, though AWS is free for the first 5%.

+ - Some of the Greatest Science Fiction Novels Are Fix-Ups

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: What do science fiction classics like Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, Van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle, Simak's City, and Sturgeon's More Than Human have in common? Each of them is a "fix-up" — a novel constructed out of short stories that were previously published on their own. "This used to be one standard way to write a science fiction novel — publish a series of stories that all take place in the same world, and then knit them together into a book," says Charlie Jane Anders. "Sometimes a great deal of revision happened, to turn the separate stories into a single narrative and make sure all the threads joined up. Sometimes, the stories remain pretty separate but there are links between them."

The Golden Age science fiction publishing market was heavily geared towards magazines and short stories. And then suddenly, there was this huge demand for tons of novels. According to Andrew Liptak this left many science fiction authors caught in a hard place: Many had come to depend on the large number of magazines on the market that would pay them for their work, and as readership declined, so too did the places in which to publish original fiction. The result was an innovative solution: repackage a number of preexisting short stories by adding to or rewriting portions of them to work together as a single story. There's also something kind of beautiful about a novel in stories says Anders. You get more narrative "payoff" with a collection of stories that also forms a single continuous meta-story than you do with a single over-arching novel — because each story has its own conclusion, and yet the story builds towards a bigger resolution. Fix-ups are a good, representative example of the transition that the publishing industry faced at the time, and how its authors adapted concludes Liptak. "It’s a lesson that’s well-worth looking closely at, as the entire publishing industry faces new technological challenges and disruptions from the likes of self-publishing and micro-press platforms."

+ - Microsoft closes gap between Windows 10 and Xbox One with 'crossplay' plans->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In its attempt to make console gaming more accessible, Microsoft has announced that it will be developing universal apps which can run across Xbox One and Windows 10, as well as smartphones and other mobile devices using the upcoming OS. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s video games branch, said that the end-goal was to allow people to play games wherever they are over whichever platform they wish to use. Microsoft also announced that an adapter was currently being developed to hook up wireless Xbox One controllers to PCs. This latest move from the tech giant shows its push to grapple back its position in the mobile computing revolution, as the booming smartphone and tablet market shadows its longstanding desktop and laptop business.
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Why there is not a campaign against "Cloud Exclusive Hardware" ?

Submitted by martiniturbide
martiniturbide writes: Today we can see a lot of hardware that is being sold that only works only against a cloud. There are many examples, like the Belkin NetCam HD+ (wifi webcam) that only works if you run it against their service (by seedonk) and if you don’t want to use their cloud, this hardware is useless. This is happening with a lot of new hardware and it does mean that you get the device cheap for being locked to their cloud, you are paying full price for this devices. On the internet there are just little groups trying to hack some of this hardware, but the consumer does not seems to care that if the manufacturer discontinue the service the hardware will be useless. Why there are no complains against this kind of hardware on the internet? Is it useless to fight “cloud exclusive hardware”? Should we care about it? Or we are so used to disposable hardware that we don’t care anymore?

Comment: Re:Eh commenting to cancel my "interesting" mod... (Score 3, Informative) 126

by mbourgon (#49079513) Attached to: Patent Troll Wins $15.7M From Samsung By Claiming To Own Bluetooth

For the whippersnappers - it's an old (aka 80's) SNL skit. Jon Lovitz played a pathological liar, and the lies kept getting bigger.

  Hello, my name is Tommy Flanagan, and I'm a member of Pathological Liars Anonymous. In fact.. I'm the president of the organization!
[...]
And then I got a job in journalism, writing for the National Enquire.. er, Geographic! Yeah.. I was making twenty thousand a ye.. month! In fact, I won the Pulitzer Prize that year! Yeah, that's the ticket.
[...]
Oh, you'd be surprised how many famous people belong. In fact.. at one of the meetings I met my wife - Morgan Fairchild!

+ - How Is VirtualBox Doing?->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Phoronix notes how it has been a long time since last hearing of any major innovations or improvements to VirtualBox, the virtual machine software managed by Oracle. This comes while VMware is improving its products on all platforms, and KVM, Xen, Virt-Manager, and related Linux virtualization technologies continue to advance as well. Is there any hope left for a revitalized VirtualBox? It has been said that there is only four paid developers left on the VirtualBox team at the company, which is not enough manpower to significantly advance such a complex piece of software. The v4.3 series has been receiving some maintenance updates during the last two years, but that's about it.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:8 port charger? (Score 1) 33

by mbourgon (#48913567) Attached to: Getting Charged Up Over Chargers at CES (Video)

I actually own a product that came out several years ago that did it. Two big problems with it:
1) buying replacement cables SUCKED. It's why I abandoned it. Something like 18$ each.
2) You do NOT. SAVE. ANY. SPACE. Look at how much room that takes up, then realize that even empty, it still uses about most of that.

+ - 18th Century Law dredged up to force decryption of devices-> 1

Submitted by Cognitive Dissident
Cognitive Dissident writes: The Register has a story about federal prosecutors using a law signed by George Washington to force manufacturers to help law enforcement access encrypted data on devices they manufacture. The All Writs Act is a broad statute simply authorizing courts to issue any order necessary to obtain information within their jurisdiction.

Quoting the Register Article:
Last month, New York prosecutors successfully persuaded a judge that the ancient law could be used to force an unnamed smartphone manufacturer to help unlock a phone allegedly used in a credit card fraud case. The judge ordered the manufacturer to offer "reasonable technical assistance" to make the phone's contents available.

End quote. What will happen when this collides with Apple and Google deliberately creating encryption that they themselves cannot break?

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