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Submission + - iGoogle is going away in Nov 2013 (google.com)

bfwebster writes: "iGoogle is my browser home page, for all my browsers on all my computers. I use it many times a day to check mail, manage my calendar, track the weather forecast, and, yes, see the latest stories on Slashdot. So it is with a bit of puzzlement and not a little dismay that I see that iGoogle is vanishing late next year. Google's stated reasoning, "You have better options on your mobile devices" — but I don't use it on my mobile devices. I use it on my laptop and my three desktop systems, which is where I actually, you know, do work. iGoogle can't be terribly expensive to support, which suggests that Google has other motives (big shock) for killing it off."

Submission + - Linux Played a Vital Role in Discovery of Higgs boson (ubuntuvibes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientific Linux and Ubuntu had a vital role in the discovery of the new boson at CERN. Linux systems are used every day in their analysis, together with hosts of open software, such as ROOT. Linux plays a major role in the running of their networks of computers (in the grid etc.) and it is used for the intensive work in their calculations.

Submission + - New version of the MaControl trojan spotted in the wild (sans.edu)

EliSowash writes: "A new version of the MaControl malware has been reported in the wild. More information on the malware, its behaviour, and the attack campaign is available from Kaspersky Labs, who discovered this variant. As more malware authors become motivated to attack OS X it is likely that we will continue to see targeted attacks such as this in the future. Just like with PC malware, a combination of exploits and social engineering tricks are generally the most effective; it won’t be surprising to see a spike in such attacks soon.

MaControl has been mentioned before on Slashdot"

Comment Why not Fix the Real Problem? (Score 1) 441

At first, I thought, "Perfect! This is exactly what Windows has needed for years--especially since the introduction of the registry and the 'cruft' that builds up over 1-2 years of use on the average PC."

Then, after a bit, it hit me how these features really are only necessary due to an antiquated, OS model that would be better served with a complete and total overhaul. OS X might not be for everyone, but the reliance on .plist files seems to work much better in the long run than a complicated mess like the registry often becomes.

Comment Re:SOP (Score 3, Interesting) 129

The notable difference here is that, unlike the personal computers running ever-changing versions of OS X and Windows, the BlackBerry hardware platform has changed very little over the years. Thanks to a combination of weak, battery-sipping CPU's and a bloated java-based OS It's long been a clunky, rather unresponsive UI if you pressed the devices to do much of anything beyond the basic calendar and messaging apps.

I'd like to think RIM have a chance now that they're finally making some noteworthy changes to the hardware, but it's also entirely possible they're simply too late to the latest-generation smartphone party. If they managed to switch to the QNX platform on their phone devices I bet the investors would be much happier.

I really wonder, though, if they won't just cease making phones and tablets altogether and roll full Android support into BES for corporate environments. Better do it before Google makes a corporate management platform, though! :)

Comment Troubling Signs, at the Very Least (Score 4, Insightful) 305

The fact that the Playbook tablet was released without a native RIM Email client--and also did not include the official BlackBerry Messenger app--made me stop and reconsider just where Research in Motion finds itself these days.

The news that RIM suddenly just renamed BlackBerry OS 6.1 as OS 7 strikes me as an additional sign of desperate moves, too; the OS isn't a major change, as it's not the desired/anticipated move to QNX base or anything.

I used BB's for years, and appreciated them for their excellent email support at the time. The truth is, though, once I had a taste of the Android platform, my days with RIM were over. The nearly-perfect Google data sync and number of applications are big advantages but, for my wife and I, it really came down to the fact that the browser didn't lock up the whole damned phone when a website became unresponsive.

Perhaps they can pull themselves together here--it's not an impossibility--and they're still in much better shape than Microsoft in regards to the smartphone market.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Cellphone Carriers Try to Control Signal Boosters (nytimes.com)

digitaldc writes: To boost signal reception, you may need a cellular signal booster, or repeater.

"The devices, which cost from $250 to $1,000, depending on how much they increase a signal, work by first capturing cell signals through an external antenna, ideally affixed to the roof of a dwelling. A coaxial cable then transmits the signal inside the house to an amplifier and internal antenna, which strengthen and retransmit it to cellphones. Before, Mr. Kirkland said, he might have had one or two bars indicating signal strength.

“I can walk around my whole home now with full strength reception,” Sean Kirkland said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

But will Mr. Kirkland’s solution remain legal? In March, CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents cellular service providers, filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission demanding stricter regulation of signal boosters. The commission is considering whether to let Mr. Kirkland and an estimated one million other homeowners continue to use them.

Submission + - Paper questions whether gravity is a force (nytimes.com)

couch_warrior writes: An article in the NYTimes describes a paper by physicist Erik Verlinde, in which he questions whether gravity is a fundamental force at all. Instead he appears to propose that the effects of gravity are simply the accumulated effects of increases in entropy.


While it is not stated in the article, an analogy might be made to the former belief that "fire" was an element. It was easy to observe that when you let the fire out of wood, you were left with ashes (earth). Therefore fire+earth=wood. However, "fire" is simply the aggregate release of energy as the carbon and hydrogen in the wood combine with oxygen and are reduced to a lower entropic state. Gravity, like fire, may not be a "thing" all by itself, but rather a cumulative effect of a net reduction in entropic states.


Submission + - Wireless PCIe to enable remote graphics cards (techreport.com) 1

J. Dzhugashvili writes: If you read Slashdot, odds are you already know about WiGig and the 7Gbps wireless networking it promises. The people at Atheros and Wilocity are now working on an interesting application for the spec: wireless PCI Express. In a nutshell, wPCIe enables a PCI Express switch with local and remote components linked by a 60GHz connection. The first applications, which will start sampling next year, will let you connect your laptop to a base station with all kinds of storage controllers, networking controllers, and yes, an external graphics processor. wPCIe works transparently to the operating system, which only sees additional devices connected over PCI Express. And as icing on the cake, wPCie controllers will lets you connect to standard Wi-Fi networks, too.

Submission + - Silent recall of iPhone 4 by Apple? (tekgoblin.com) 1

tekgoblin writes: With all of the reception issues and now proximity sensor issues with the iPhone 4, who wouldn't expect a company to recall a defective product. Well Apple has made no mention of a recall but Gizmodo has gotten a report of something like this actually happening. This is a transcript of the actual letter that they received:

I've been following all of the iPhone 4 stuff since I got mine the day before release. I was able to replicate the signal issue. I also had the proximity sensor issue, causing inadvertent mute button pushing. There were a few other software issues I was experiencing so I consulted Apple at the Fifth Avenue store in New York. They replaced my phone. The diagnostic showed that the OS was corrupt and certain utilities were failing. [They claimed that] all phones with a proximity sensor issue were being sent back to Apple for further study. Well, when I got the new phone it was different. It was different hardware. The black [plastic] bezel isn't as black on the new one. I couldn't see the proximity sensor at all on the previous iPhone 4, now I can. The stainless steel band on the new phone is less 'steel-y' and more matte. I've also tried to replicate the signal drop and failure. While I can't say for sure that it is entirely fixed, there is certainly huge improvement. I'm guessing they coated the steel with something, took some black out of the bezel and sent them out without saying too much about it. I also think Apple is willing to warranty a phone for any reason except the signal issue. The guy next to me said that he had to press the home button several times before the phone would come back from stand-by. This happened once. The Apple tech ran the diagnostic, everything was fine. They still replaced his phone. I think they're doing a 'silent recall'.

It would be nice for Apple to publicly apologize for the mistakes they made with the iPhone 4, both their attitudes and non-acknowledgment of the problem in the first place. And to then offer free replacement to people that actually have both of the problems, being reception and proximity. I do not see Apple doing this in the near future, but I do hope that they are still investigating the cause of the issue and not relying on a 'software' fix.


Submission + - Pink Floyd manager: don't stop file-sharing (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: The former manager of Pink Floyd has labelled attempts to clamp down on music file-sharing as a "waste of time". "Not only are they a waste of time, they make the law offensive. They are comparable to prohibition in the US in the 1920s," said Peter Jenner, who's now the emeritus president of the International Music Managers' Forum. "It's absurd to expect ordinary members of the public to think about what they're allowed to do [with CDs, digital downloads, etc]... and then ask themselves whether it's legal or not." The comments come as Britain's biggest ISP, BT, said it was confident that Britain's Digital Economy Act — which could result in file-sharers losing their internet connection — would be overturned in the courts, because it doesn't comply with European laws on privacy.

Submission + - BlackBerry copies iOS 4 feature in server upgrade (infoworld.com)

GMGruman writes: The iPhone usually takes the knocks for not being a secure as a BlackBerry and urged to catch up to BlackBerry capabilities. But it turns out that sometimes the iPhone is ahead in this game and it's BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion that is playing catch-up: RIM today announced an update to its BlackBerry Enterprise Server that adds a feature that Apple's iOS 4.0 already offers: the ability to distinguish between corporate and personal information and manage them separately. That way, if you leave your company and keep your BlackBerry, your pesonal accounts, contacts, and so forth aren't wiped out even as your corporate data is removed.

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.