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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Another Patent Pool Forms for HEVC->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new patent pool, dubbed HEVC Advance, has formed for the HEVC video codec. This pool offers separate licensing from the existing MPEG LA HEVC patent pool. In an article for CNET Stephen Shankland writes, "HEVC Advance promises a 'transparent' licensing process, but so far it isn't sharing details except to say it's got 500 patents it describes as essential for using HEVC, that it plans to unveil its license in the third quarter, and that expected licensors include General Electric, Technicolor, Dolby, Philips and Mitsubishi Electric. The group's statement suggested that some patent holders weren't satisfied with the money they'd make through MPEG LA's license. One of HEVC Advance's goals is 'delivering a balanced business model that supports HEVC commercialization'... HEVC Advance and MPEG LA aren't detailing what led to two patent pools, an outcome that undermines MPEG LA's attempt to offer a convenient 'one-stop shop' for companies needing a license." Perhaps this will lead to increased adoption of royalty-free video codecs such as VP9. Monty Montgomery of Xiph has some further commentary."
Link to Original Source

+ - Internet Explorer website wont work with Windows-> 2

Submitted by Anne Thwacks
Anne Thwacks (531696) writes "The British Government web site for applying for for a licence to be a security guard requires a plugin providing Internet Explorer emulation on Firefox to login and apply for a licence. It wont work with Firefox without the add-on, but it also wont work with Internet Explorer! (I tried Win XP and Win7 Professional). The error message says "you have more than one browser window open on the same internet connection". I didn't. and "to avoid this problem, close your browser and reopen it". I did. No change. I tried three different computers, with three different OSes.
Still no change.
I contacted their tech support and they said "Yes ... a lot of users complain about this. We have known about it since September, and are working on a fix! Meanwhile, we have instructions on how to use the "Fire IE" plugin to get round the problem". Eventually, I got this to work on Win7pro. (The plugin will not work on Linux). The instructions require a very old version of the plugin, and a bit of trial and error is needed to get it to work with the current one.

How can a government department concerned with security not get this sort of thing right?

Besides a massive amount of bribery and corruption, what could explain how the designers of the web site can't fix a chronic useability problem after 6 months?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Gender Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins->

Submitted by vivaoporto
vivaoporto (1064484) writes "As reported by the New York Times, USA Today and other publications, a jury of six men and six women rejected current Reddit Inc CEO Ellen Pao’s claims against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Ms. Pao’s suit, that allegged employment discrimination based on gender, workplace retaliation and failure to take reasonable steps to prevent gender discrimination, asked $16 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages.

The jury decided, after more than two days of deliberation and more than four weeks of testimony, that her formed employer neither discriminated against the former junior partner for her gender, nor fired the complainant because of a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit against the firm in 2012.

She alleged that Kleiner Perkins had promoted male partners over equally qualified women at the firm, including herself, and then retaliated against her for raising concerns about the firm’s gender dynamics by failing to promote her and finally firing her after seven years at the firm after she filed her 2012 lawsuit."

Link to Original Source

+ - Taxpayer subsidies to ULA to end

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Because it has concluded that they make it impossible to have a fair competition for contracts, the Air Force has decided to phase out taxpayer subsidies to the United Launch Alliance (ULA).

The specific amounts of these subsidies have been effectively buried by the Air Force in many different contracts, so we the taxpayers really don’t know how much the are.

Nonetheless, this decision, combined with the military report released yesterday that criticized the Air Force’s over-bearing and restrictive certification process with SpaceX indicates that the political pressure is now pushing them hard to open up bidding to multiple companies, which in turn will help lower cost and save the taxpayer money."

+ - Rockets Shake And Rattle, So SpaceX Rolls Homegrown CFD->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "“One of the major problems is radiation exposure,” explained Lichtl. “To get to Mars, you need to align your launch with the correct window to an orbit given the amount of energy that your rocket can produce. Anyone who has played Kerbil Space Program has seen this is delta-v, which is the change in one orbit – say one around the Earth – and escaping that by giving yourself a delta-v and a different trajectory that will intersect with Mars. We need vehicles that can provide as much delta-v as possible in order to shorten that trip to Mars. In addition, there is a second major obstacle of actually staying on Mars – not just taking a robot or a rover or going on a suicide trip, but a real expedition to Mars – is infrastructure. When the pioneers went across the country to settle, they had to build their own cabins and they had to hunt for food. But they had air. It is a little bit more tricky on Mars.”"
Link to Original Source

+ - Iowa's Governor Terry Brandstad thinks he doesn't use e-mail->

Submitted by Earthquake Retrofit
Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) writes "The Washington Post reports the governor denying he uses e-mail but court documents expose his confusion.

From the article:
Branstad’s apparent confusion over smartphones, apps and e-mail is ironic because he has tried to portray himself as technologically savvy. His Instagram account has pictures of him taking selfies and using Skype... 2010 campaign ads show him tapping away on an iPad. “Want a brighter future? We’ve got an app for that.” Earlier this month, the governor’s office announced that it had even opened an account on Meerkat, the live video streaming app.

Perhaps he's distancing himself from e-mail because it's a Hillary thing."

Link to Original Source

+ - Intel Finally Has a Challenger in the Server Market: IBM->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "With AMD's fade out from the server market and the rapid decline of RISC systems, Intel has stood atop the server market all by itself. But now IBM, through its OpenPOWER Foundation, could give Intel and its server OEMs a real fight in China, which is a massive server market. As the investor group Motley Fool notes, OpenPOWER is a threat to Intel in the Chinese server market because the government has been actively pushing homegrown solutions over foreign technology, and many of the Foundation members like Tyan are from China."
Link to Original Source

+ - Notel media player helps North Koreans skirt censorship->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A small portable media device, costing roughly $50, is allowing North Koreans to access and view foreign media despite tight government censorship, according to a Reuters report [http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/27/uk-northkorea-change-insight-idUKKBN0MM2UW20150327]. The ‘Notel’, a mashup of notebook and television, is being described as a symbol of change in the repressed society. Used to watch DVDs and shared content from USB sticks and SD cards, the media player can be easily concealed and transported among families and friends. According to correspondents in the region, as many as half of all urban North Korean households have a notel and are swapping a broad range of banned media such as soaps and TV dramas from South Korea and China, Hollywood blockbusters, and news clips — all of which is strictly forbidden by Pyongyang law."
Link to Original Source

+ - Intel Helps Coreboot With Broadwell Support Code

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Intel Linux developers have landed a lot of Broadwell CPU architecture enablement code into Coreboot. While there has been basic Broadwell support code within Coreboot for a number of months, pushed in the past few hours has been a lot more Broadwell code. This is likely an indication that more Google Chromebooks based on this latest-generation Intel architecture should be surfacing soon. See the patches in Coreboot Git browser."

+ - F8: Facebook launches open-source JavaScript library to speed mobile development->

Submitted by smaxp
smaxp (2951795) writes "After changing course on HTML5 cross platform mobile development, Facebook is taking another stab at the inefficiencies of building separate native mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms with a new open-source Javascript project.

At its F8 developer conference this week, Facebook released React-Native, a cross-platform JavaScript library that accelerates app development for iOS and Android.

React-Native shouldn't be confused with a return to a write-once-run-everywhere (WORE) mobile strategy. More accurately for developers, it's more of a learn-once-write-everywhere mobile strategy."

Link to Original Source

+ - Big Vulnerability in Hotel Wi-Fi Router Puts Guests at Risk->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Guests at hundreds of hotels around the world are susceptible to serious hacks because of routers that many hotel chains depend on for their Wi-Fi networks. Researchers have discovered a vulnerability in the systems, which would allow an attacker to distribute malware to guests, monitor and record data sent over the network, and even possibly gain access to the hotel’s reservation and keycard systems.

The vulnerability, which was discovered by Justin W. Clarke of the security firm Cylance, gives attackers read-write access to the root file system of the ANTlabs devices.

The discovery of the vulnerable systems was particularly interesting to them in light of an active hotel hacking campaign uncovered last year by researchers at Kaspersky Lab. In that campaign, which Kaspersky dubbed DarkHotel"

Link to Original Source

+ - Ordnance Survey releases mapping tool->

Submitted by rHBa
rHBa (976986) writes "The BBC reports that the UK mapping organisation Ordnance Survey has added 4 new products to its open data portfolio: OS Local, Names, Rivers and Roads. Perhaps the most interesting of the free data sets is OS Local which provides a base map to identify ‘hotspots’ such as property pricing, insurance risk, and crime.

The OS are not creating a new Google Maps-style service of their own but rather are providing their data for use by other third-party apps and online tools. They expect developers and designers to use the data to enhance their own products and improve the information people can access via the web.

What uses would you put this sort of data to if it were available in an easily parsable format for your area?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Rebuilding the PDP-8...with a Raspberry Pi->

Submitted by braindrainbahrain
braindrainbahrain (874202) writes "Hacker Oscarv wanted a PDP-8 mini computer. But a buying a real PDP-8 was horribly expensive and out of the question. So Oscarv did the next best thing: use a Raspberry Pi as the computing engine and interface it to a replica PDP-8 front panel, complete with boatloads of fully functional switches and LEDs."
Link to Original Source

+ - Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground in U.S.->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Millennial tech workers are entering the U.S. workforce at a comparable disadvantage to other tech workers throughout the industrialized world, according to study earlier this year from Educational Testing Services (PDF). How do U.S. millennials compare to their international peers, at least according to ETS? Those in the 90th percentile (i.e., the top-scoring) actually scored lower than top-scoring millennials in 15 of the 22 studied countries; low-scoring U.S. millennials ranked last (along with Italy and England/Northern Ireland). While some experts have blamed the nation's education system for the ultimate lack of STEM jobs, other studies have suggested that the problem isn't in the classroom; a 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau suggested that many of the people who earned STEM degrees didn't actually go into careers requiring them. In any case, the U.S. is clearly wrestling with an issue; how can it introduce more (qualified) STEM people into the market (yes, Dice link)?"
Link to Original Source

+ - GAO denied access to Webb telescope workers by Northrop Grumman

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "In a report as well as at House hearings today the GAO reported that Northrop Grumman has denied them one-on-one access to workers building the James Webb Space Telescope.

The interviews, part of a running series of GAO audits of the NASA flagship observatory, which is billions of dollars overbudget and years behind schedule, were intended to identify potential future trouble spots, according to a GAO official. But Northrop Grumman Aerospace, which along with NASA says the $9 billion project is back on track, cited concerns that the employees, 30 in all, would be intimidated by the process.

To give Northrop Grumman the benefit of the doubt, these interviews were a somewhat unusual request. Then again, if all was well why would they resist? Note too that the quote above says the cost of the telescope project is now $9 billion. If the project was “back on track: as the agency and Northrop Grumman claim, than why has the budget suddenly increased by another billion?"

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