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Submission + - Bitcoin breaks $100 USD (examiner.com)

jeremy85mai writes: "Yesterday, while a number of banks were closed, bitcoin decided to break another major psychological barrier, and is now trading at above $100 USD per coin. At the moment, Bitcoin is trading at $118 USD/BTC. There is very little resistance to further price increases, so expect the price of bitcoin to rise very rapidly over the next few weeks. These are also record highs for the currency. "

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Happened to the GPL?

returnofjdub writes: It seems like for every hip new web framework, Rails plugin, or Javascript library, the Apache license has completely taken over. Is there a reason that the GPL seems to be so wildly unpopular with web app developers? Or is it just that my world view is completely skewed toward a certain type of development? Is there any particular genre of software with lots of people creating new projects under the GPL? What are some more recent examples of new GPL projects that have taken off (across all types of software)?

Submission + - An orbital solar death ray idea from WWII (google.com.au)

ceview writes: So from an old forgotten article in Life Magazine that as reported in news.com.au " US Army technical experts came up with the astonishing fact that German scientists had seriously planned to build a “sun gun".
A giant orbital mirror that would focus light on targets below and burn or boil away whatever was in the way.

Submission + - Let Them Eat Teslas

theodp writes: If you're a bright kid who wants to prepare for the 21st century workforce (pdf) by studying engineering at Purdue, the government will help your parents pay the $100,000 or so tuition tab with a 7.9% interest loan (plus 4% fees) that's likely to be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy and paid back with after-tax money. If, on the other hand, you want to buy a tricked-out $100,000 Model S, Tesla has teamed up with the government, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank on what it calls a 'Revolutionary New Finance Product' that enables those who play the game right to avoid paying sales tax, get the government to pick up the first $15,000 (no down payment needed!), and also receive a 2.95% bankruptcy-dischargeable loan for the balance, the payments for which could be tax-deductible. Yep, 'Revolutionary' may be about right!

Submission + - Bitcoin crosses 1 billion USD market value threshold (examiner.com)

jeremy85mai writes: From the article:
"Today, Bitcoin crossed an important milestone for the decentralized currency, in that the net worth of all bitcoins currently minted now exceeds 1 billion US dollars. At the moment, bitcoin is trading around $94, which makes the current net market value 1.03 billion USD. This is a significant milestone, since many consider this to be the point at which bitcoin should be taken as a serious currency."


Submission + - Open DNS Resolvers Center Stage in Massive DDoS Attacks (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: While the big traffic numbers and the spat between Spamhaus and illicit webhost Cyberbunker are grabbing big headlines, the underlying and percolating issue at play here has to do with the open DNS resolvers being used to DDoS the spam-fighters from Switzerland. Open resolvers do not authenticate a packet-sender’s IP address before a DNS reply is sent back. Therefore, an attacker that is able to spoof a victim’s IP address can have a DNS request bombard the victim with a 100-to-1 ratio of traffic coming back to them versus what was requested. DNS amplification attacks such as these have been used lately by hacktivists, extortionists and blacklisted webhosts to great success.

Submission + - United States begins stealth bombing runs over South Korea. (nytimes.com)

skade88 writes: The New York Times is reporting that the United States of America has started flying B-2 Stealth Bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea during raised tensions in the region. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the US Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The US Military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The US also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting it's allies in the region.

The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' main land.


Submission + - WSJ Covers Tor outside Firewall (wsj.com)

retroworks writes: "Geoffrey Fowler of the Wall Street Journal does a mostly sympathetic portrayal of the Tor browser, despite leading with a cautionary allegory. William Weber of Austria allowed his computer to be used as a Tor server, and was arrested on November 28 for possession of child pornography — evidently streamed through his PC by another TOR user."

Submission + - What if reality was really just a 'Sims universe? (insidescience.org) 3

SternisheFan writes: Physicists propose experiment to test hypothesis that reality is just a computer simulation.

Originally published:
Dec 14 2012 — 5:00pm

Joel N. Shurkin, ISNS Contributor

(ISNS) — What if everything — all of us, the world, the universe — was not real? What if everything we are, know and do was really just someone's computer simulation?
The notion that our reality was some kid on a couch in the far future playing with a computer game like a gigantic Sim City, or Civilization, and we are his characters, isn't new. But a group of physicists now thinks they know of a way to test the concept. Three of them propose to test reality by simulating the simulators.

Martin Savage, professor of physics at the University of Washington, Zohreh Davoudi, one of his graduate students, and Silas Beane of the University of New Hampshire, would like to see whether they can find traces of simulation in cosmic rays. The work was uploaded in arXiv, an online archive for drafts of academic research papers.

The notion that reality is something other than we think it is goes far back in philosophy, including Plato and his Parable of the Cave, which claimed reality was merely shadows of real objects on a cave wall. Sixteenth-century philosopher-mathematician René Descartes thought he proved reality with his famous "I think, therefore, I am," which proposed that he was real and his thoughts had a reality.

Then, in 2003, a British philosopher, Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford, published a paper that had the philosophy and computer science departments buzzing.

Bostrom suggested three possibilities: "The chances that a species at our current level of development can avoid going extinct before becoming technologically mature is negligibly small," "almost no technologically mature civilizations are interested in running computer simulations of minds like ours,” or we are "almost certainly" a simulation.

All three could be equally possible, he wrote, but if the first two are false, the third must be true. "There will be a


Submission + - Open Hardware & Software Laptop

mihai.todor85 writes: It looks like Andrew "bunnie" Huang has been quite busy lately, developing a nice open hardware laptop. He was even kind enough to provide all the schematics without NDA. For anybody interested in owning such a device, he says that he "might be convinced to try a Kickstarter campaign in several months, once the design is stable and tested" if enough people are interested.

Submission + - AMD reveals 8000M series of GPU's (examiner.com)

nyan.kitty256 writes: From the article:
Today, AMD took the wraps off of it's latest line of graphics cards for the notebook market, the 8000M series. Specifically, the flavors of the cards that they announced was the 8800M, 8700M, 8600M, and 8500M lines. These lines have the engineering name 'Solar', compared to the current generation(the 7000M series) name, 'London'. The first laptop announced with this new line of cards has already been announced as the Asus Vivoook U38DT. All of these cards support DirectX 11.1, as well as(most likely) at least OpenGL 4.2, but AMD did not unveil details about their OpenGL compatibility with these cards.


Submission + - Gmail drops support for connecting to pop3 servers with self signed certs (google.com) 2

DECula writes: In a move not communicated to it's users before hand, Google's Gmail servers were reconfigured to not connect to remote pop3 servers that have self-signed certificates, leaving folks with unencrypted connections, or no service when getting email from other services.
Not good for for the small folks. One suggestion was to allow placing the public keys on Googles side in the user configuration. That would be a heck of a lot better than just dropping users into never never land.

Submission + - HTML5 vs. Native apps: Developers offended by Zuckerberg knock on HTML5 make app (networkworld.com)

BButlerNWW writes: "A team of mobile app developers offended by Facebook czar Mark Zuckerberg dissing HTML5 have created a Facebook app that they say works better than native versions because of the HTML5 coding.

Zuckerberg famously knocked HTML5 in an interview this fall when he said relying too much on it instead of developing native mobile apps was "the biggest mistake we made as a company."

"When Mark Zuckerberg said HTML5 wasn't ready, we took a little offense to the comment," wrote developers at Sencha, a mobile app company that focuses on HMTL5 development.

Sencha Monday released Fastbook, a mobile app that performs almost the exact same functions as native Facebook apps for smartphones, but is built on an HMTL5 framework. The HTML5 version has faster load times, more responsive formatting and increased ability to toggle between different views without needing to reload information compared to the iOS and Android native Facebook apps, the developers claim. "We set out to show that you can build the challenging parts of the native Facbeook app in HTML5 and we built a framework that makes that possible," says Jamie Avins, an engineering manager at Sencha. "We believe HTML5 is the technology and it's ready right now.""

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga