lister king of smeg writes in with news that Oslo is running out of garbage which it burns to generate heat and electricity. "Oslo, a recycling-friendly place where roughly half the city and most of its schools are heated by burning garbage — household trash, industrial waste, even toxic and dangerous waste from hospitals and drug arrests — has a problem: it has literally run out of garbage to burn. The problem is not unique to Oslo, a city of 1.4 million people. Across Northern Europe, where the practice of burning garbage to generate heat and electricity has exploded in recent decades, demand for trash far outstrips supply." Back in October we told you about a similar garbage shortage facing Sweden.
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Lucas123 writes "Half of all employers will require workers to supply their own mobile devices for work purposes by 2017, according to a new Gartner study. Enterprises that offer only corporately-owned smartphones or stipends to buy your own will soon become the exception to the rule in the next few years. As enterprise BYOD programs proliferate, 38% of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016 and let them use their own, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner. At the same time, security remains the top BYOD concern. 'What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device, and the company helps to cover usage costs,' said David Willis, a distinguished analyst at Gartner."
Nate the greatest writes "Remember last year when Apple received a patent on the faux page curl in iBooks? Lots of people laughed at the idea that Apple could patent the page turn, but not Samsung. The gadget maker has just filed for their own page turn patent. The paperwork explains in great detail what the page turn looks like, how the software would work, and what on screen gestures could be used to turn the page."
mask.of.sanity writes "Australia's plans for a data breach notification scheme have been revealed which will force organizations to report serious breaches to affected victims. The plans, which are still in a draft form, show that the country's privacy commissioner could force businesses to inform press if the breaches are bad enough, pursue fines of up to $1.7 million for organizations that are repeatedly breached and force businesses to adopt stronger security controls."
ckwu writes "Since the 1970s, physicists have used laser beams to trap and study small objects, from cells down to individual atoms. Now, electrical engineers at the University of Southern California have developed a simple optical system that assembles hundreds of nanoparticles into two-dimensional structures using a single laser beam and a silicon photonic crystal. This compact optical trap fits on a small chip and could eventually help researchers make materials for new types of sensors, optical devices, and chemical filters."
itwbennett writes "Force feedback in video games (when the game controller shakes and vibrates in response to an experience in the game) has been around for a while now. But a research project on display at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Paris this week takes it a step further, administering small electric shocks."
kkleiner writes "A recent report (PDF) from International Energy Agency delivers some dire news: despite 20 years of efforts toward clean energy and a decade of growth in renewable energy, energy production remains as 'dirty' as ever due to worldwide reliance on fossil fuels. With the global demand for energy expected to rise by 25 percent in the next 10 years, a renewed effort toward cleaner energy is desperately needed to avoid detrimental effects to the environment and public health. The report says, 'Coal technologies continue to dominate growth in power generation. This is a major reason why the amount of CO2 emitted for each unit of energy supplied has fallen by less than 1% since 1990. Thus the net impact on CO2 intensity of all changes in supply has been minimal. Coal-fired generation, which rose by an estimated 6% from 2010 to 2012, continues to grow faster than non-fossil energy sources on an absolute basis.'"
g01d4 writes "On March 29, 2012, NASA scientists learned that the space agency's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was headed for a potential conjunction (close approach) with Cosmos 1805, a defunct Russian satellite from the Cold War era. The team knew that the only way to move Fermi would be to fire thrusters designed to move the spacecraft out of orbit at the end of its operating life. On April 3rd, shortly after noon EDT, the space agency fired all thrusters for one second. When it was over, everyone involved 'just sighed with relief that it all went well.' By 1 p.m., the spacecraft had returned to its mission."
hypnosec writes "The E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) gaming league has admitted to embedding Bitcoin mining code inside the league's client software. It began as an April Fools' Day joke idea, but the code ended up mining as many as 29 Bitcoins, worth over $3,700, for ESEA in a span of two weeks. According to Eric Thunberg, one of the league's administrators, the mining code was included as early as April. Tests were run for a few days, after which they 'decided it wasn't worth the potential drama, and pulled the plug, or so we thought.' The code was discovered by users after they noticed that their GPUs were working away with unusually high loads over the past two weeks. After users started posting on the ESEA forums about discovery of the Bitcoin mining code, Thunberg acknowledged the existence of a problem – a mistake caused a server restart to enable it for all idle users." ESEA posted an apology and offered a free month of their Premium service to all players affected by the mining. They've also provided data dumps of the Bitcoin addresses involved and donated double the USD monetary value of the mined coins to the American Cancer Society.
JoeyRox writes "Over the course of playing $12 million worth of video poker, Las Vegas resident John Kane stumbled onto a firmware bug in IGT's 'Game King' machines that allowed him to cash out for 10x the amount of his winnings. John and his friends took advantage of the vulnerability to the tune of $429,945. John's friend was arrested by U.S. marshals and charged with violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, but a federal magistrate ruled that the law doesn't apply and recommended dismissal. The case is currently being argued in a U.S. District Court."
Jakob Perry organized the first LinuxFest Northwest when he was still a student. He got off to a good start: now LFNW has been running for 14 years, and has retained its flavor as a low-key, friendly conference. Exhibitors from Linux distributions from tiny (CrunchBang) to huge (Red Hat) were on hand for 2013, and enough speakers and topics to fill about 80 different sessions over the two days of the conference. Not all of it's about Linux per se, either: the EFF and FSF were represented, along with a BSD table, and a local astronomy group with a great name. At this year's event I ran into the first Firefox OS phone that I've had a chance to play with in person. Firefox OS integrates Linux by way of the Android kernel, but is otherwise its own beast. Ubuntu and Mozilla contributor Benjamin Kerensa was on hand to talk about what makes it tick, and to give a demo of the all-HTML5 interface.
An anonymous reader writes "Coursera on Wednesday announced it has partnered with 12 top professional development programs and schools of education to open up training and development courses to teachers worldwide. The massive open online course (MOOC) provider is expanding beyond university courses by offering 28 teaching courses for free, with more to come. It’s worth noting that this is the first time Coursera is partnering with non-degree-bearing institutions. It’s also Coursera’s first foray into early childhood and K-12-level education. The company clearly sees this as a necessary step if it wants to go beyond just students and address the other side of the expensive education equation."
Nerval's Lobster writes "BlackBerry 10 is completely different from previous BlackBerry operating systems — with good reason. Its core assets come from a company named QNX, which Research In Motion acquired in 2010. Blackberry 10 features include 'live tiles' that dynamically refresh with new information, as well as a revamped keyboard and security upgrades. But what really makes or breaks a phone is the quality (and quantity) of its third-party apps. Jeff Cogswell pokes through the BlackBerry 10 programming API in a quest to see what app developers can do with the platform, and how it compares on that front to Apple iOS and Google Android. His conclusion? Although some of the underlying components are showing their age, BlackBerry has 'spent a lot of time building up a foundation for a good development community.' He also goes over BlackBerry 10's viability for porting apps and building games. But will developers actually work with a platform with such low market-share?"
zacharye writes "The concept of wearable tech is really buzzing right now as pundits tout smart eyewear, watches and other connected devices as the future of tech. It makes sense, of course — smartphone growth is slowing and people need something to hold on to — but the early 'Explorer' version of Google's highly anticipated Google Glass headset has major problem that could be a big barrier for widespread adoption: Awful battery life." Also, a review of the hardware. The current Glass hardware heads south in less than five hours, which doesn't seem too short relative to similarly powerful devices, but since it is meant to be worn all the time you'd think it would have a large enough battery to make it at least 8 or 10 hours.
An anonymous reader writes with this tidbit from PC World about Sabam's latest demand for copyright levies: "Sabam, the Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers, has sued the country's three biggest ISPs, saying that they should be paying copyright levies for offering access to copyright protected materials online. Sabam wants the court to rule that Internet access providers Belgacom, Telenet and Voo should pay 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees, because they profit from offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials, the collecting organization said in a news release Tuesday." Sabam has previously demanded money from truckers for listening to the radio, and wanted to charge libraries royalties for reading to children.
Rambo Tribble writes "The BBC has posted a gallery of images showing storms on some of our solar system's other planets. The pictures are both intriguing and stunning."
JThaddeus writes "Slashdot's own (or former) CmdrTaco has a posting on the Washington Post's website where he discusses how chat apps have overtaken SMS. Yeah, they are cheap. There's no telecom fee per message or for some number of messages per month. However 'The problem of course is that these systems are annoyingly incompatible with each other. My phone can buzz with chat notifications from 3 different apps at any moment. My desktop has even more scattered across browser tabs and standalone apps.' Ditto, nor do I want to hassle learning some app or trying to understand its who's-listening settings. I'll stick to email and to occasional SMS."
An anonymous reader writes "Today, OpenBSD 5.3 has been released. It has many improvements, updates, and new stuff. Also, OpenSMTPD 5.3 is included. This is the first version of OpenSMTPD considered to be ready for production. Many pre-built packages are available for many architectures. OpenBSD 5.3 ships with various Desktop Environments, including Gnome 3.6, KDE 3.5, and XFCE 4.10." And don't forget the release song, "Blade Swimmer."
An anonymous reader writes with bad news for operators of SIP gateways. From the article: "VoIP-to-PSTN termination providers and SIP vendors will be watching their inboxes for a lawyer's letter from BT, which has kicked off a licensing program levying a fee on the industry, based on a list of 99 patents .. The British incumbent is offering to allow third parties to use the Session Initiation Protocol under a license agreement... BT is requesting either $US50,000 or a combination of 0.3 percent of future revenue from affected products, plus 0.3 percent of the last six months' sales for products as 'past damages.' It's kindly offering a discount for customers that pay up within six weeks of receiving a BT letter of demand, and there's a premium to $US60,000 and 0.36 percent of revenue for those who hold out."
coondoggie writes "If smartwatches and other ultra-small devices are to become the text generators of the future, their diminutive keyboards are going to have to be way more useful for, um, big fingered typists. Carnegie Mellon researchers may have the answer to that problem. Called ZoomBoard, the text entry technique is based on the iconic QWERTY keyboard layout." The zoom board paper (PDF) has details. Entering a letter becomes a multi-step process; first you mash the general area of the keyboard containing the letter you want, and eventually it becomes large enough to hit. Test subjects managed to hit 9.3wpm after practice, versus 4.5 wpm for people trying to peck on a teeny-tiny virtual keyboard. They were inspired at least in part by the venerable Dasher input method.
harrymcc writes "IBM's Almaden Research Center has a scanning tunneling microscope, a device invented by the company. It uses it to move individual atoms around — mostly for storage research. But it's created a 242-frame cartoon, A Boy and His Atom, using individual atoms as pixels. Guinness has certified it as the world's smallest movie." 242 frames, and ten 18-hour days of work by multiple people using a very tiny copper needle attached to an expensive machine to move the atoms around.
nk497 writes "Mozilla has sent a cease-and-desist order to Gamma International, after it was revealed the controversial creator of spyware for governments was disguising itself as Firefox on PCs. 'We cannot abide a software company using our name to disguise online surveillance tools that can be — and in several cases actually have been — used by Gamma's customers to violate citizens' human rights and online privacy,' Mozilla said." DavidGilbert99 writes on the wider implications of the Citizen Lab report: "Governmental spying software has been in the news a lot in recent months and today Citizen Lab has revealed its latest findings, showing that one of the most prolific tools in use, Finfisher, is now in use in 36 countries around the world [beware the auto playing video ads with sound]." And, Voulnet adds "According to analysis and report by CitizenLab of the Gamma FinFisher trojan spyware used against dissidents in the middle east and around the world, the FinFisher codebase uses the LGPL GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library, possibly without adhering to its distribution restrictions."
symbolset writes "The Atlantic recently ran an in-depth article about energy resources. The premise is that there remain incalculable and little-understood carbon fuel assets which far outweigh all the fossil fuels ever discovered. The article lists them and discusses their potentials and consequences, both fiscal and environmental. 'The clash occurs when renewables are ready for prime time—and natural gas is still hanging around like an old and dirty but reliable car, still cheap to produce and use, after shale fracking is replaced globally by undersea mining of methane hydrate. Revamping the electrical grid from conventionals like coal and oil to accommodate unconventionals like natural gas and solar power will be enormously difficult, economically and technically.' Along these lines, yesterday the U.S. Geological Survey more than doubled their estimate of Bakken shale oil reserve in North Dakota and Montana to 7.4-11 billion barrels. Part of the push for renewables over the past few decades was the idea that old methods just weren't going to last. What happens to that push if fossil fuels remain plentiful?"
tdog17 writes "Verizon and MySpace scored a zero out of a possible six stars in a test of how far 18 technology service providers will go to protect user data from government data demands. Twitter and Internet service provider Sonic.net scored a perfect six in the third annual Electronic Frontier Foundation 'Who Has Your Back?' report. Apple, AT&T and Yahoo ranked near the bottom, each scoring just one star. 'While we are pleased by the strides these companies have made over the past couple years, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Amazon holds huge quantities of information as part of its cloud computing services and retail operations, yet does not promise to inform users when their data is sought by the government, produce annual transparency reports, or publish a law enforcement guide. Facebook has yet to publish a transparency report. Yahoo! has a public record of standing up for user privacy in courts, but it hasn't earned recognition in any of our other categories. Apple and AT&T are members of the Digital Due Process coalition, but don’t observe any of the other best practices we’re measuring. ... We remain disappointed by the overall poor showing of ISPs like AT&T and Verizon in our best practice categories.'"
ceview writes "This story at Wired seems to have lots of people a bit confused: 'In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea. Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of "time crystals" — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern, like minute hands rounding clocks, without expending energy or ever winding down. ... [A] Berkeley-led team will attempt to build a time crystal by injecting 100 calcium ions into a small chamber surrounded by electrodes. The electric field generated by the electrodes will corral the ions in a "trap" 100 microns wide, or roughly the width of a human hair. The scientists must precisely calibrate the electrodes to smooth out the field. Because like charges repel, the ions will space themselves evenly around the outer edge of the trap, forming a crystalline ring.' The experimental set up is incredibly delicate (Bose Einstein Condensate), so it implies this perpetual motion effect can't really be used to extract energy. What is your take on it? It's unlike to upend anything, as the article suggests, because at a quantum level things behave weirdly at the best of times. The heavy details are available at the arXiv."