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Submission + - How much mobile data do you need? (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "When choosing a new phone tariff, how do you know how much data is enough? It's a dilemma most of us face every two years, so PC Pro took a two-pronged approach to answering the question. First, they tested some of the most commonly cited data hog apps to see just how quickly they can swallow your allowance; second, they asked 100 readers to track their 3G and Wi-Fi usage to find out how much data people actually use. The results should help you make your next choice.."
Technology

Submission + - 3D printing: what's out there and how much does it cost (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "3D printing is a fascinating technology, but until very recently it's always been just out of reach for most of us. That's changing this year, as evidenced by four big 3D printing companies showing off their consumer wares at CES 2013. PC Pro sought out the booths of MakerBot, Afinia, Formlabs and 3D Systems, and this quick guide to 3D printing rounds up what's out there, who it's for and what technology it uses, and how much it all costs."
Biotech

Submission + - Molecular robot mimics life's protein-builder (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "The ribosome, the molecular machine that translates our genetic code to build the body’s proteins, is a mechanical marvel. Now, chemists have invented a nanomachine that can achieve a similar feat.
The artificial system is not about to displace nature’s ribosome, a complex of proteins and RNA. It is much simpler, and only about about one-tenth of the size — and, it is achingly slow, destroys the code it reads and can produce only very short chunks of protein, known as peptides. It does, however, show that some of the tactics of biology’s molecular machines can be adopted to make useful chemicals.
The device relies on a rotaxane — a large molecular ring threaded onto another molecule that acts as an axle. The axle is lined with three amino acids, and a chain of three more amino acids hangs from the outer edge of the ring. Heating the device prompts the ring to move along the axle, adding amino acids one-by-one to the chain attached to the ring."

Programming

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What are the worst practices that impede developers' productivity? 1

nossim writes: When it comes to developer's productivity numerous controversial studies stress the differences between individuals ( http://blogs.construx.com/blogs/stevemcc/archive/2008/03/27/productivity-variations-among-software-developers-and-teams-the-origin-of-quot-10x-quot.aspx )

As a freelance web developer I worked for a lot of companies and I noticed how some companies foster good practices which improve the individual productivity and how some others are a nightmare for the developers' productivity.

I was wondering what are the worst practices or problems that impede developers' productivity at an individual or organizational level ?
Cloud

Submission + - Join the Cloud (jointhecloud.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The cloud has changed the way in which we work, communicate, and live, and is here to stay. Mind-blowing growth and scale of investments are predicted. As everybody knows by know, the energy-intensive nature of maintaining the cloud, makes the IT sector more and more polluting.

The IT sector is also one of the most energy spilling industries. Energy efficiency varies widely from company to company. New York Times and McKinsey Company analyzed energy use by data centers and found that, on average, they were using only 6 percent to 12 percent of the electricity powering their servers to perform computations.

This underutilization, or waste, is a result of unpredictable peaks, together with ever growing business dependencies of the cloud applications. Both the predicted growth as increasing dependencies will increase “oversizing” of IT capacity even more, a non-sustainable situation.

Companies have to use each other’s IT capacity to make IT more sustainable at the end. A new type of collaboration, what will result in better and sustainable usage of existing IT capacity. Together, we have to focus on innovations, which make things more efficient. This philosophy of “Running the Cloud Together” has been the starting point of Greenclouds ever since it has been founded 3 years ago. Supporting the beliefs, which we have to collaborate and change, to truly innovate.

This blog will encourage the conversation and interaction about topics like cloud computing, cloud federation, energy efficiency, collaboration and how technology could support this new movement. I invite you to contribute to this conversation.

Star Wars Prequels

Submission + - Star Wars live-action show could still happen (shadowlocked.com)

An anonymous reader writes: “According to ABC entertainment president Paul Lee:

"We'd love to do something with Lucasfilm, we're not sure what yet. We haven't even sat down with them. We're going to look at [the Star Wars live-action TV series], we're going to look at all of them, and see what's right. We weren't even able to discuss this with them until [the deal] closed and it just closed. It's definitely going to be part of the conversation."

Not only that, but it's also been announced that some of the 50 completed episode scripts that producer Rick McCallum has previously mentioned have been written by none other than Ron Moore, of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica fame.”

Programming

Submission + - Creating an Open Source Project (drdobbs.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "At Dr. Dobb's, Eric Bruno writes, "Creating an open source project can generate opportunities for everyone involved; more so than if the software sits dormant on a hard drive somewhere. But where do you start?" He had initially designed his project, JetStreamQ, as a commercial product but chose to go open source for the usual reasons (community, exposure, reduced risk, etc.) and has advice for anyone trying to do the same: "First, you need to consider the license you wish to use. Other considerations include the source code repository, support for comments and discussion threads, memberships with privileges, site restrictions, and the use of other software within your project. Finally, make sure you add the appropriate comment header block to each file you post as part of your open source project. It should reference you via a copyright notice, the license terms, and "freedom from liability" clause.""
The Military

Submission + - Quantum-enhanced radar can't be fooled by electronic detection countermeasures (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: The military use of radar has always had a ying-yang dynamic – as new forms of radar are developed, so too are new ways to jam them. A team of physicists at the University of Rochester has discovered how to defeat the latest active radar jamming methods by taking advantage of the quantum properties of photons. While this new anti-jamming technology cannot remove the false information, it provides an immediate alert that false information is being received.
Science

Submission + - nanostructured semiconductor alloy crystals heat to be manipulated like light (eurekalert.org)

An anonymous reader writes: A new technique allows allows thermocrystals to be created that can manipulate heat (a vibration of the atomic lattice of a material). Predicted manipulations include the ability to selectively transmit / reflect or concentrate heat much like light waves can be manipulated by lenses and mirrors. Applications range from better thermoelectric devices to switchable heat insulating/transmitting materials etc. Perhaps this will result in better cooling/heating mechanisms or more efficient engines.
Iphone

Submission + - Phil Schiller puts damper on cheap iPhone rumors (networkworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A number of media outlets this week issued reports claiming that Apple is planning to release a more economical iPhone model sometime in 2013. While the initial report from Digitimes may have been glossed over by many, subsequent reports were soon published by both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. The thrust of these rumors was that Apple, in an effort to make inroads in emerging markets and to appeal to more cost-conscious consumers, was working on a iPhone model in the $99-$149 range that would utilize cheaper materials so that Apple could maintain its already healthy profit margins.

Addressing these rumors in a somewhat roundabout way, Apple's Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller on Thursday was interviewed by the Shanghai Evening News where he arguably dismissed the notion of a cheaper iPhone.

Software

Submission + - Program to identify traffic "black spots" (aftau.org)

RogerRoast writes: A PhD student developed SAFEPED, a computer simulation that integrates robots and driver statistics to identify traffic "black spots" and allows traffic planners to analyze and fix dangerous intersections. Based on a theory of human cognition, SAFEPED is far more true-to-life than other computer traffic models.
China

Submission + - Is China's Game Business Model Superior? (industrygamers.com)

donniebaseball23 writes: While the U.S. and Europe continue to talk about a digital gaming future, the fact is that the majority of revenues still come from retail. In China, however, where piracy has run rampant, the industry already is almost 100% online and developers have embraced the digital delivery and free-to-play model. Notable designer American McGee (known for Alice and Grimm) believes the Chinese model represents the future for Western game makers. "Why waste resources on a physical location and unreliable employees when the entire experience can be made sharper, cleaner and more entertaining in the virtual representation? China provides a working model of the store-less retail model — millions of people purchase real-world items online (taobao.com) each day — making Western electronic stores like Best Buy nothing more than places to fondle physical goods you're going to buy online anyway (Best Buy went out of business in China in less than 2 years, by the way)," he remarked.

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