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Google

Google Caffeine Drops MapReduce, Adds "Colossus" 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-upgrade dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With its new Caffeine search indexing system, Google has moved away from its MapReduce distributed number crunching platform in favor of a setup that mirrors database programming. The index is stored in Google's BigTable distributed database, and Caffeine allows for incremental changes to the database itself. The system also uses an update to the Google File System codenamed 'Colossus.'"
Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the frugal-cutting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."
Handhelds

New Handheld Computer Is 100% Open Source 195

Posted by kdawson
from the small-wonder dept.
metasonix writes "While the rest of the industry has been babbling on about the iPad and imitations thereof, Qi Hardware is actually shipping a product that is completely open source and copyleft. Linux News reviews the Ben NanoNote (product page), a handheld computer apparently containing no proprietary technology. It uses a 366 MHz MIPS processor, 32MB RAM, 2 GB flash, a 320x240-pixel color display, and a Qwerty keyboard. No network is built in, though it is said to accept SD-card Wi-Fi or USB Ethernet adapters. Included is a very simple Linux OS based on the OpenWrt distro installed in Linksys routers, with Busybox GUI. It's apparently intended primarily for hardware and software hackers, not as a general-audience handheld. The price is right, though: $99."
Image

The Virtual Choir Project 58 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-it-real-or-is-it-youtube dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Conductor and composer Eric Whitacre has successfully created a virtual choir using the voices of 185 people who posted their performance on YouTube. The piece that's performed is called 'Sleep,' composed by the conductor himself in 2000. Anyone can join in — all you need is a webcam and a microphone."
Displays

AU Optronics Asks For US Ban On LG LCD Sales 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the alphabet-soup dept.
eldavojohn writes "After a lengthy patent case, complete with countersuits, AU Optronics has asked for an injunction against all LCD products made by LG. While this may not sound serious, LG is the number one manufacturer of LCDs used in LCD TVs, laptop PCs and desktop monitors. A quarter of global LCDs shipped in March were LG brand. The bizarre part of the story is that LG Display struck first against AU Optronics way back in 2006 with a patent suit to the tune of $690 million, and in 2009, when the case finally went to court, AUO filed counter-claims of patent infringement that are now coming to fruition. So before you call AUO a patent troll, keep in mind that LGD shot first."
Handhelds

Nokia Releases Qt SDK For Mobile Development 76

Posted by timothy
from the utterly-cute dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nokia has released its unified Qt-based SDK for cross-platform development for Symbian and MeeGo (plus Maemo) devices. The blurb reads: 'Today sees the release of the Nokia Qt SDK, a single easy-to-use software development kit (SDK) for Symbian and Meego application development. Developers can now develop, test, and deploy native applications for Nokia smartphones and mobile computers. The beta version of the SDK is available for download from today, ready for developers to kick off development for new devices, including the just-announced Nokia N8.'"
Bug

Ubuntu LTS Experiences X.org Memory Leak 320

Posted by timothy
from the like-it-when-windows-crashed-more dept.
MonsterTrimble writes "Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 is experiencing a major memory leak due to patches for X.org. 'An X.Org Server update that was pushed into the Lucid repository last week has resulted in the system being slower and slower as it is left on, until it reaches a point where the system is no longer usable. ... In order to make the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS deadline, the developers are looking at just reverting three of the patches, which brings the GLX version back to 1.2. Ubuntu developers are now desperate for people willing to test out this updated X.Org Server package so they can determine by this Friday whether to ship it with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS or doing an early SRU (Stable Release Update). Right now this X.Org Server that's being tested is living in the ubuntu-x-swat PPA.'"
Space

New Europe-Wide Radio Telescope To Look For ET 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the phone-011-then-home dept.
astroengine writes "A new radio telescope is under construction, consisting of 44 stations (each consisting of several antennae) spread across Europe. The pan-European Low Frequency Array is half built and already returning unprecedented observations of cosmic radio sources. The best thing is, when it's complete, SETI will be able to use the array to seek out transmitting extraterrestrial civilizations in these untapped low radio frequencies."
Slashdot.org

Slashdot Discussions Now Include Roulette Video Chat 192

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the let's-keep-this-rated-pg dept.
It's been a long time coming, but we're pleased to announce the latest updates to our discussion software. We've been paying a lot of attention to what other websites have been doing in the space, and as we are only too happy to steal good ideas, from now on all Slashdot stories will now be accompanied by a Roulette-style webcam video chat. In testing, we've discovered that Slashdot users are amazingly likely to engage in informative, troll-free discussion when presented with the video image of one of their peers. This new addition to Slashdot nicely rounds out and improves the discussion experience for all users.
GNOME

Ubuntu's "Lucid Lynx" Enters Beta 366

Posted by timothy
from the but-that-danged-button-arrangement-sucks dept.
ActionDesignStudios writes "The upcoming release of Ubuntu, titled 'Lucid Lynx,' has just entered the beta cycle. Alongside the usual desktop and server versions, a special version has been released that is designed to run on Amazon's EC2 cloud service. This release of Ubuntu does away with the brown 'Human' Gnome theme we've all become accustomed to, replaced by a new version Canonical says is inspired by light. The new release also includes much better integration with social networking services such as Twitter, identi.ca and Facebook, among others."
Image

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-and-cover dept.
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"
Security

+ - SPAM: Conficker worm hasn't gone away, survey shows

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Variants of the Conficker worm were still active and spreading during the third quarter, accounting for much of attack traffic on the Internet, according to Akamai Technologies. "Although mainstream and industry media coverage of the Conficker worm and its variants has dropped significantly since peaking in the second quarter, it is clear from this data that the worm (and its variants) is apparently still quite active, searching out new systems to infect," Akamai said in its State of the Internet report for the third quarter. While Microsoft has issued a patch that fixes the vulnerability exploited by earlier versions of Conficker, experts believes the worm remains active because many infected machines are running unlicensed copies of Windows and don't have access to security updates."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Feds Hold Open Competition for Hash Standard ->

Submitted by blee37
blee37 (1181835) writes "The federal government is holding an open competition to decide the next secure hash standard, which will be called SHA-3. The winner will be specified as one of a handful of secure hash algorithms approved for use by all federal agencies for digital signatures, secure key-exchange, and similar protocols. With SHA-1 on the way out and SHA-2 having never gained wide adoption, it is likely that a good SHA-3 algorithm would become the de facto standard. The competition is in the second round and 14 algorithms remain.

The feds have used open competitions to select encryption algorithms in the past — for example DES and AES were chosen this way. The open process makes perfect sense because the government wants as many smart people as possible to submit and try to break each other's codes. Modern encryption algorithms no longer rely on the secrecy of their source code because it is assumed that source code will fall into the wrong hands anyway. Furthermore, the open process creates a perception of greater legitimacy. A hash algorithm handed down directly by the government would be suspected of having a "backdoor" allowing national security agencies to read your messages."

Link to Original Source
Piracy

App Store Piracy Losses Estimated At $459 Million 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrr-me-hearties dept.
An anonymous reader passes along this quote from a report at 24/7 Wall St.: "There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers." A response posted at Mashable takes issue with some of the figures, particularly the 75% piracy rate. While such rates have been seen with game apps, it's unclear whether non-game apps suffer the same fate.

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