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Submission + - Which smartphone is stable these days?

janimal writes: It used to be true that the iPhone was the smartphone that "just works". Ever since the 4S days, this has been true less and less with each generation. My wife's iPhone 6 needs to be restarted several times per week for things like internet search or making calls to work. An older 5S I'm using also doesn't consistently stream to Apple TV, doesn't display song names correctly on Apple TV and third party peripherals (like a Mercedes Benz). In short, the mainstay of Apple that is quality is fast receding. In your opinion, which smartphone brand these days is taking up the slack and delivering a fully featured smartphone that "just works"?

Submission + - Keeps the Airspace Above Your Home Drone-Free (

Zothecula writes: About the only thing growing quicker than the number of privately owned drones is the level of concern surrounding them. Questions of privacy and how these things can be regulated are pretty well-founded, but are so far yet to be met with any convincing answers. may go some way to providing a solution, allowing users to enter their address to create drone-free zones in the airspace over their homes.

Submission + - a cluster (small beowulf) of arduinos! (

flok writes: We all love the arduino with its 2KB of RAM and not much more than 16MHz of speed. Normally we use only one in a project but a thought came to me: what if I take a couple of them and put those in a cluster? I started soldering and the result is 4 Arduinos connected to each other via an I2C bus and all directed by a Raspberry Pi. Together these 4 Arduinos calculate the Mandelbrot fractal, directed by the Raspberry Pi (it divides/schedules the work between the Arduinos). On my website you'll find a demonstration, schematics and all source code. In theory a cluster of at least 120 Arduinos could be setup. Electrical power is the limit!

Submission + - Solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead (

Elledan writes: Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more, even bigger plants until the impact of these plants on wildlife has been further investigated. The BrightSource solar plant in the Mojave Desert which was investigated reportedly kills between 1,000 and 28,000 birds a year with the concentrated solar energy from its 300,000 mirrors, charring and incinerating feathers of passing birds. This isn't the first report of negative environmental impact by this type of solar plant either.

Submission + - The Hayden Planetarium Is Being Turned Into A Gian ( 1

pigrabbitbear writes: "Remember your first visit to the planetarium? Neil DeGrasse Tyson does — it was what inspired him to become an astrophysicist in the first place. That same planetarium, now under Tyson’s direction, is currently undergoing a transformation the likes of which Neil’s young self couldn’t have possibly imagined: It’s becoming a giant videogame."

Submission + - Extinction of an ancient language ( 6

freakxx writes: As Boa Sr., 85, the last speaker of a 65000 years old language died in Andaman Islands of India, the ancient language "Bo" also goes extinct. She was the last speaker of the language since last 30-40 years since her parents died.

Her ancestry trees can be traced back to Africa as her tribe was one of the 10 Great Andamanese Tribes, who very first paved their ways to this region directly from Africa.

Stephen Corry, the director of Survival International, summaries it as a great loss to the human history and it should not be allowed to repeat: "Boa's loss is a bleak reminder that we must not allow this to happen to the other tribes of the Andaman Islands". However, the fact is that the surviving number of people belonging to these tribes are now only 52 and it may not be that far when we see these other tribes also go extinct.

The biggest question that comes along is whether we should let the evolution follow its course of "only the fittest can survive" or should we intervene and protect these ancient treasures! What is even more important is "how ?", because according to the article, when the British came, they tried to civilize these tribal people by putting few of them in modern houses but non of the 150 children born could survive more than 2 years.


$199 Freescale Tablet Design Runs Chromium OS 93

Charbax writes "This is an extensive video interview with Freescale's manager of software development about their integration of the Chromium OS onto their ARM Cortex A8 i.MX51-based $199 Tablet reference design. It seems to run smoothly and fast with multiple tabs. There's no touch screen support yet, so input is done through a USB keyboard and mouse for now, but the WiFi drivers are fine. Freescale is also demonstrating Android and Ubuntu versions. Those have a 3G SIM card reader built-in, an HDMI output and 720p video playback. The question is: will they be able to support Chrome browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites and support a large amount of opened tabs?" The demonstration of the Chromium tablet begins at about 11:20 into the video. The Android and Ubuntu versions are displayed earlier.

Submission + - Legality & need of encrypted cell phones 5

LlamaZorz writes: Dear Slashdot community, I have been wondering for quite some time as to why American citizens do not have access to cell phones with encrypted data and voice communication. We all know that the government has such technology and makes very good use of it, so why cant the populace? Is their a set regulation by the FCC or something which prohibits companies from marketing encrypted cell phones to the everyday person? I have searched and cannot find one.

I am aware that both GSM and CDMA all have their own encryption standard which is mainly used to stop everyday people from listening in. But such minor encryption in no way stops our government and its agencies or a criminal organisation. The US government has numerous known programs like ECHELON, where they are capable of listening to your calls, screening for keywords. What is even more scary a majority of our intelligence is outsourced to private enterprise. I find all of these things completely ridiculous. We as citizens should have our privacy and it shouldn't compromised no matter how bad the threat.

So I mainly wanted to ask Slashdot if it were legal & ethical to create such a phone which would use known secure public key encryption trying to completely secure all voice communication. I think such is both possible and practical. What do you guys think?

Ultra-Sensitive Camera To Measure Exoplanet Sizes 62

Roland Piquepaille writes "US astronomers and engineers have built a new camera to precisely measure the size of planets moving around distant stars. This camera has been dubbed OPTIC — short for 'Orthogonal Parallel Transfer Imaging Camera.' According to the research team, it is 'so sensitive that it could detect the passage of a moth in front of a lit window from a distance of 1,000 miles.' I'm not sure if this analogy is right, but the team said it was able to precisely define the size of a planet called WASP-10b which is orbiting around the star WASP-10, about 300 light-years from Earth."

National Geographic Getting Into Video Games 35

penguin_dance writes "The AP is reporting that National Geographic is getting into video games. National Geographic Games, a subset of the parent company, will 'work with game publishers to turn its material into games for PCs, consoles and handheld devices.' The first title is out for the PC and iPhone. It's a hidden-objects game called Herod's Lost Tomb, and is built around their program on King Herod and an article in the magazine. They also plan to publish and distribute games for the console market, including PS3 and Wii, and the handheld market as well. 'The games will be drawn from a broad range of content and themes across National Geographic's properties.' National Geographic: Africa will be out next month, from Sony. Other upcoming titles include Rain Forests and Greencity. Also available this month will be National Geographic: Panda for the Nintendo DS."

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.