Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Slashdot Poll Suggestion

Submitted by nnet
nnet writes: What percentage of CPU is used viewing SlashDot front page?

0-20
20-40
40-60
60-80
My 486 won't display this site

+ - Memory alloy bounces back into shape 10 million times->

Submitted by wrp103
wrp103 writes: Engineers have produced an alloy that springs back into shape even after it is bent more than 10 million times.
"Memory shape alloys" like this have many potential uses, but present incarnations are prone to wearing out.
The new material — made from nickel, titanium and copper — shatters previous records and is so resilient it could be useful in artificial heart valves, aircraft components or a new generation of solid-state refrigerators.
The work appears in Science Magazine.

Link to Original Source
Government

The Patriot Act May Be Dead For Good 42

Posted by timothy
from the why-do-you-hate-america? dept.
HughPickens.com points out Shane Harris's report at The Daily Beast that when powerful spying authorities under the Patriot Act expire at the stroke of midnight Monday, as currently appears likely, they may never return. "Senators have been negotiating over whether to pass a House bill that would renew and tweak existing provisions in the long-controversial law, but if the sunset comes and the provisions are off the books, lawmakers in both chambers would be facing a vote to reinstate controversial surveillance authorities, which is an entirely different political calculation. ... Three major Patriot provisions are on the chopping block: so-called roving wiretaps, which let the government monitor one person's multiple electronic devices; the "lone-wolf" provision, which allows surveillance of someone who's not connected to a known terrorist group; and Section 215, which, among other things, the government uses to collect the records of all landline phone calls in the United States." Obama has been urging Congress to pass the Freedom Act, but not warning that the sky will fall if they don't. That may reflect a calculation on the president's part that the surveillance authorities aren't important enough to lose political capital fighting to keep them. Meanwhile with the Senate not slated to return to Washington until just hours before that deadline, opponents like Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) showing no signs of budging, and the House so far unwilling to bail out the upper chamber, the prospects for an eleventh-hour breakthrough look slim.
Networking

Ask Slashdot: Switching Careers From Software Engineering To Networking? 80

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-need-to-attend-a-lot-of-cocktail-parties dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I am a software engineer with over 10 years of experience making approx 210k a year after bonus. I've seen countless of software engineering jobs off-shored or taken by H1Bs over the past 5 years. While I am pretty safe at my current job, software engineering as a profession is beginning to look bleak, and i am not even sure if I can ask for the same money if I decide to jump ship to another company (I live in an expensive area).

A friend of mine who works as a network architect with dual CCIEs have no problem finding/landing jobs with high salary. His profession doesn't seem to be affected by outsourcing or H1bs, so I am tempted to switch from my field to networking for better stability and greener pastures.

So the question is, should I do it? The reason why I am looking for the long-term stability is because I've a family of 3 to feed. I cannot afford to be jobless for more than 3 months if I do get laid-off, and software engineering doesn't seem to be the profession after years of observation to provide long-term stability.
Businesses

Let's Take This Open Floor Plan To the Next Level 71

Posted by timothy
from the transparent-floors dept.
theodp writes: In response to those of you who are unhappy with your Open Office, McSweeney's has some ideas for taking the open floor plan to the next level. "Our open floor plan was decided upon after rigorous research that primarily involved looking at what cool internet companies were doing and reflexively copying them," writes Kelsey Rexroat. "We're dismayed and confused as to why their model isn't succeeding for our own business, and have concluded that we just haven't embraced the open floor plan ideals as fully as we possibly can. So team, let's take this open floor plan to the next level!" Among the changes being implemented in the spirit of transparency and collaboration: 1. "All tables, chairs, and filing cabinets will be replaced by see-through plastic furnishings." 2. "All desks will be mounted on wheels and arranged into four-desk clusters. At random intervals throughout the day, a whistle will blow, at which point you should quickly roll your desk into a new cluster." 3. "Employees' desktops will be randomly projected onto a movie screen in the center of the office." 4. "You can now dial into a designated phone line to listen in on any calls taking place within the office and add your opinion." Some workplaces might make you question just how tongue-in-cheek this description is.
Google

Google Chrome Tops 1 Billion Users 68

Posted by timothy
from the and-they're-grateful-for-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Venture Beat: At the I/O 2015 developer conference today, Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of product, announced that Chrome has passed 1 billion active users. Less than a year ago, Google revealed Android has over 1 billion active users. These are indeed Google's biggest ecosystems. Google also shared that Google Search, YouTube, and Google Maps all have over 1 billion users as well. Gmail will reach the milestone next; it has 900 million users.

+ - Google Chrome Now Has Over 1 Billion Users

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: At the I/O 2015 developer conference today, Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of product, announced that Chrome has passed 1 billion active users. Less than a year ago, Google revealed Android has over 1 billion active users. These are indeed Google’s biggest ecosystems. Google also shared that Google Search, YouTube, and Google Maps all have over 1 billion users as well. Gmail will reach the milestone next; it has 900 million users.

+ - Google Calendar Ends SMS Notifications

Submitted by LuserOnFire
LuserOnFire writes: Google has sent out an email this morning that says in part:

Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent. SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with smartphones and notifications, you can get richer, more reliable experience on your mobile device, even offline.

+ - Orange County Public Schools to monitor students on social media

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The Orange County school district is now monitoring students' social media messages in an effort to curb cyberbullying, crime on campus and suicide.

Orange County Public Schools announced Thursday that it has acquired software to monitor social media "to proactively prevent, intervene and (watch) situations that may impact students and staff." The district has obtained an annual license with SnapTrends, software that monitors Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

School officials acknowledge the online snooping might raise privacy questions. But board member Linda Kobert said the district is taking advantage of "new tools to protect our children."
Android

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming and Possibly the Ultimate 4K Streamer 35

Posted by timothy
from the ensmallening-rocks dept.
Earlier this week, NVIDIA officially launched its SHIELD Android TV set-top device, with far more horsepower than something like Roku or Apple TV, but on par with an average game console, and at a more affordable price tag of $199. MojoKid writes: What's interesting, however, is that it's powered by NVIDIA's Tegra X1 SoC which features a Maxwell-derived GPU and eight CPU cores; four ARM A57 cores and four A53s. The A57 cores are 64-bit, out-of-order designs, with multi-issue pipelines, while the A53s are simpler, in-order, highly-efficient designs. Which cores are used will depend on the particular workload being executed at the time. Tegra X1 also packs a 256-core Maxwell-derived GPU with the same programming capabilities and API support as NVIDIA's latest desktop GPUs. In standard Android benchmarks, the SHIELD pretty much slays any current high-end tablet or smartphone processor in graphics, but is about on par with the octal-core Samsung Exynos in terms of standard compute workloads but handily beating and octal-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. What's also interesting about the SHIELD Android TV is that it's not only an Android TV-capable device with movie and music streaming services like Netflix etc., but it also plays any game on Google Play and with serious horsepower behind it. The SHIELD Android TV is also the first device certified for Netflix's Ultra HD 4K streaming service.
China

Microscopic Underwater Sonic Screwdriver Successfully Tested 26

Posted by timothy
from the twisting-in-the-waves dept.
afeeney writes: Researchers at the University of Bristol and Northwestern Polytechnical University in China have created acoustic vortices that can create microscopic centrifuges that rotate small particles. They compare this to a watchmaker's sonic screwdriver. So far, though, the practical applications include cell sorting and low-power water purification, rather than TARDIS operations. Appropriately enough, one of the researchers is named Bruce Drinkwater.

+ - Massachusetss Rep. Katherine Clark Calls for Prosecution of Gamergate Trolls

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid writes: Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts is urging the Department of Justice to prioritize prosecution against online harassers of women:

We have to stop seeing this as just an internet issue,” said Clark. “When women are targeted with violent threats online, they are not only forced to fear for their safety, but their ability to fully participate in our economy is jeopardized. We have to examine how well we’re enforcing existing protections and work to keep the internet open for everyone.”

She specifically mentions Gamergate in her statement.

Good for her.

+ - EFF fights abuse of court orders to close sites in the wake of Grooveshark->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: The EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) has involved itself in lots of online battles — including the fightback against NSA surveillance, and the drive for net neutrality. The latest fight sees the organization joining forces with web performance and security firm CloudFlare in tackling the site blocking activities of the record industry.

The digital rights group is battling record labels which it says are forcing web firms into becoming the "copyright police". The move was prompted by the closure of Grooveshark, a music website run by one of CloudFlare's clients. It re-opens the question of who is ultimately responsible for the content that appears on sites — those posting it, those hosting it, or any other company involved in the delivery?

Link to Original Source
Robotics

Untethered Miniature Origami Robot That Self-Folds, Walks, Swims, and Degrades 22

Posted by timothy
from the I-can-do-those-things-at-scale dept.
jan_jes writes: MIT researchers demonstrated an untethered miniature origami robot that self-folds, walks, swims, and degrades at ICRA 2015 in Seattle. A miniature robotic device that can fold-up on the spot, accomplish tasks, and disappear by degradation into the environment promises a range of medical applications but has so far been a challenge in engineering. This work presents a sheet that can self-fold into a functional 3D robot,actuate immediately for untethered walking and swimming, and subsequently dissolve in liquid. Further, the robot is capable of conducting basic tasks and behaviors, including swimming, delivering/carrying blocks, climbing a slope, and digging. The developed models include an acetone-degradable version, which allows the entire robot's body to vanish in a liquid. Thus this experimentally demonstrate the complete life cycle of this robot: self-folding,actuation, and degrading.

The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra

Working...