Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Why Micron/Intel's New Cross Point Memory Could Virtually Last Forever ->

Lucas123 writes: As they announced their new 3D XPoint memory this week, Micron and Intel talked a lot about its performance being 1,000X that of NAND flash, but what they talked less about was how it also has the potential to have 1,000X the endurance of today's most popular non-volatile memories. NAND flash typically can sustain from 3,000 to 10,000 erase-write cycles — more with wear-leveling and ECC. If Micron and Intel's numbers are to be believed, 3D XPoint could exceed one million write cycles. The reason for that endurance involves the material used to create the XPoint architecture, which neither company will disclose. Unlike NAND flash, cross point resistive memory does not use charge trap technology that wears silicon oxide over time or a typical resistive memory filamentary architecture, which creates a statistical variation in how the filaments form each time you program them; that can slow ReRAM's performance and make it harder to scale. Russ Meyer, Micron's director of process integration, said 3D XPoint's architecture doesn't store electrons or use filaments. "The memory element itself is simply moving between two different resistance states," which means there's virtually no wear.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Google to measure air quality through Street View->

Eloking writes: Google has teamed up with Aclima to incorporate environmental sensors into its Street View cars. Initially tested on three vehicles in the Denver metro area, the partnership should lead to a better understanding of overall air quality in urban environments.

Since its introduction back in 2007, Google's Street View platform has become a reliable and versatile tool. Quite aside from providing its 360-degree views from our roads, it's taken us underwater, across hiking trails and even to the top of mountains. The latest endeavor aims to deliver useful data on the air we breathe.

The goal of the project is to create high resolution maps of air quality across cities. It will see Street View cars equipped with sensors that allow them to take measurements of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, methane, black carbon, particulate matter and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – all of which can have a negative impact on health.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Planned Parenthood website hacked by 'anti-abortion extremists'->

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday it was reported that women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood had notified the FBI to a cyberattack on its employee database. Now, the same group of anti-abortionist hackers have taken down the Planned Parenthood website with a huge DDoS attack. The group claiming responsibility for the hacks are calling themselves 3301 – a band of “social justice warriors.” A spokesperson for the hackers, known as ‘E’, said that the group wanted to expose Planned Parenthood for “trying to mold an atrocious monstrosity into social acceptable behaviors.”
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Google Rejects French Order on World 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Janyandrew writes: In a statement posted late Thursday, Google said bowing to CNIL's request would force it also to agree to similar requests worldwide from any government that doesn't agree with how the company posts content. "The Internet would only be as free as the world's least free place," the company wrote on its Europe policy blog.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Why CERN doesn't think AI will destroy puny humans->

christhedj writes: With Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk claiming that we're all going to die of robot, it's good to hear an alternative viewpoint. Here, Dr Michael Feindt, a former CERN researcher who now heads up machine learning company Blue Yonder explains that however much machines can learn, for him at least, we're a long way off Artificial Intelligence.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Cameron tells pornography websites to block access by children or face closure->

An anonymous reader writes: David Cameron is to give pornography websites one last chance to produce an effective voluntary scheme for age-restricted controls on their sites or he will introduce legislation that could see them shut down.

At the election the then culture secretary, Sajid Javid, said the party would act to ensure under-18s were locked out of adult content and the Conservative election Facebook page in April promised legislation to achieve this.

It followed a Childline poll that found nearly one in 10 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting images.

In a consultation to be launched in the autumn, the government will seek views on how best to introduce measures to further restrict under-18s’ access to pornographic websites.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Boeing 737-Sized Facebook 'Aquila' Drone to Provide Internet In Remote Areas

Mickeycaskill writes: Facebook will start testing a 400kg drone with the wingspan of a Boeing 737 next year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said, as part of the company's drive to connect people in remote areas to the Internet.

Aquila will fly between 60,000ft and 90,000ft as to avoid adverse weather conditions and commercial air routes, while the attached laster can transmit data at 10Gbps. Facebook claims it can accurately connect with a point the size of a US 5 cents coin from more than 10 miles away.

“This effort is important because 10 percent of the world’s population lives in areas without existing internet infrastructure” said Zuckerberg. “To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies.”

Submission + - Germany won't prosecute NSA, but bloggers->

tmk writes: After countless evidence the on German top government officials German Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range has declined to investigate any wrongdoings of the secret services of allied nations like NSA or the British GCHQ. But after plans of the German secret service "Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz" to gain some cyper spy capabilities like the NSA were revealed by the blog, Hange started an official investigation against the bloggers and their sources. The charge: treason.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Getting intense color without the use of toxic dyes->

Taco Cowboy writes: Some of the brightest and most colourful materials in nature – such as peacock feathers, butterfly wings and opals – get their colour not from pigments, but from their internal structure alone

Brightly-coloured, iridescent films, made from the same wood pulp that is used to make paper, could potentially substitute traditional toxic pigments in the textile and security industries. The films use the same principle as can be seen in some of the most vivid colours in nature, resulting in colours which do not fade, even after a century

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have recreated a similar structure in the lab, resulting in brightly-coloured films which could be used for textile or security applications

Cellulose is made up of long chains of sugar molecules, and is the most abundant biomass material in nature. It can be found in the cells of every plant and is the main compound that gives cell walls their strength

In plants such as Pollia condensata, striking iridescent and metallic colours are the result of cellulose fibres arranged in spiral stacks, which reflect light at specific wavelengths

The researchers used wood pulp, the same material that is used for producing paper, as their starting material. To make the films, the researchers extracted cellulose nanocrystals from the wood pulp. When suspended in water, the rod-like nanocrystals spontaneously assemble into nanostructured layers that selectively reflect light of a specific colour

The colour reflected depends on the dimensions of the layers. By varying humidity conditions during the film fabrication, the researchers were able to change the reflected colour and capture the different phases of the colour formation

“Nature is a great source of inspiration: we can use biocompatible, cheap and abundant materials for making materials that have applications in everyday life,” said Dr Silvia Vignolini from Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the research. “The materials that we produce can be used as substitutes for toxic dyes and colorants in fabric, security labelling and also cosmetics”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Robotic insect mimics Nature's extreme moves

jan_jes writes: Water striders, a semi-aquatic insects that not only skim along water’s surface but also generate enough upward thrust with their legs to launch themselves airborne from it. The researchers analyze the mechanics that enable the insects to skim on and jump off water’s surface. By mimicking these mechanics, the robotic insect is built by the team can exert up to 16 times its own body weight on the water’s surface without breaking through, and can do so without complicated controls. The body of the robotic insect is produced by the “pop-up” manufacturing which was used to create folded composite structures that self-assemble much like the foldable components that “pop–up” in 3D books.

Submission + - GasBuddy has a new privacy policy (SPOILER: Not as customer friendly)

An anonymous reader writes: GasBuddy has been a popular iOS and Android app for the last 5 years to find the cheapest place to get gas. According to Google Play store, there is over 10 million installs (in additions to the installs from Apple and Amazon's appstores). Now that they have a large enough number of users, GasBuddy has updated their privacy policy to allow them to collect more information. Some highlights of the privacy policy changes include only 10 days for new terms to take effect (previously users where given 30 days to review the changes), collection of "signal strength related to Wifi or Bluetooth functionality, temperature, battery level, and similar technical data" and they will not honor a web browser's "do not track" setting.

Submission + - Lennart Poettering Announces the First systemd Conference->

jones_supa writes: Lennart Poettering, the creator of the controversial init system and service manager for Linux-based operating systems, had the great pleasure of announcing the first systemd conference event. Dubbed systemd.conf, the event will take place later this year, between November 5-7, in Berlin, Germany. systemd developers and hackers, DevOps professionals, and Linux distribution packagers will be able to attend various workshops, as well as to collaborate with their fellow developers and plan the future of the project. Attendees will also be able to participate in an extended hackfest event, as well as numerous presentations held by important names in the systemd project, including Poettering himself.
Link to Original Source

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Google appeals French order regarding extension of 'right to be forgotten' - USA TODAY->

New York Times

Google appeals French order regarding extension of 'right to be forgotten'
Google is in the midst of a legal standoff with a France data protection authority about how far abroad Europe's "right to be forgotten" policy extends. The European Court of Justice ruled last year that, under the "right to be forgotten," its citizens ...
Google to defy French 'right to be forgotten' rulingBBC News
Google risks fines by snubbing 'right to be forgotten'
Google refuses French order to apply 'right to be forgotten' globallyReuters
Washington Post-Wall Street Journal
all 62 news articles

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Judge rules research chimps are not 'legal persons'->

sciencehabit writes: A state judge in New York has dealt the latest blow to an animal rights group’s attempt to have chimpanzees declared “legal persons.” In a decision handed down this morning, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled that two research chimps at Stony Brook University are not covered by a writ of habeas corpus, which typically allows human prisoners to challenge their detention. The Nonhuman Rights Project, which brought the lawsuit in an attempt to free the primates, has vowed to appeal.
Link to Original Source

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson