Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Submission + - 2013 Retina Macbook Pro Update Preview: What To Expect Read more: http://www.ap (appstorechronicle.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The 15 and 13 inch Retina Macbook Pros are (likely) receiving an update on October 15th, and tons of people have asked me “Will the Retina Macbook Pro have?”.
Based on these requests, and the quantity of misinformation out there, I’m releasing a guide as to what to expect for the retina macbook pro, which should be confirmed on the release date, of October 15th. If you’re interested, also check out our popular guide to Apple rumors 2013.

Submission + - Vacuum Dust Linked To Infant Botulism (ibtimes.com)

minty3 writes: According to a new study, the aerosolized dust vacuum cleaners create contains bacteria and mold that can lead to serious diseases including infant botulism.

Submission + - FreeBSD 9.2, FreeBSD 10.0 Alpha 4 Released (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the release of FreeBSD 9.2. FreeBSD 9.2-RELEASE has ZFS TRIM SSD support, ZFS LZ4 compression support, DTrace hooks and VirtIO drivers as part of the default kernel configuration, unmapped I/O support, and numerous other minor features. FreeBSD also announced FreeBSD 10.0 Alpha 4 on the same day, which is the next major feature release of the open-source BSD operating system.

Submission + - VMWare updates VMWare Fusion, VMPlayer, and VMWare Workstation lines (arstechnica.com)

Billly Gates writes: Virtualization is criticial for anyone in I.T. or runs Linux and needs to run some Windows program. In just a year's span VMWare has its next generation of client software releases using a Microsoft like release schedule. The information and features is here as well as here . Both the Mac oriented Fusion, and PC oriented Workstation include support for Windows 8.1, MacOSX Maverick (fusion/player on Mac), SATA drivers, integration with tablet features such as light controls and sensors, 64 GBs of ram support, 16 virtual CPU support, USB 3, and better SSD support. However, VMWare crippled its fusion product for the Mac and offers are more expensive VMWare Professional Fuse that offers the same features such as creating restricted or expired VMs as well as the VMWare Player. For those who do not want to pay $299 for the retail price or $250 there is always the FOSS Oracle Virtualbox which offers many of its features and is also cross platform for all major host and guest platforms.

Submission + - New Alternative to WiFi has a Range of Nearly a Mile (qz.com)

vikingpower writes: Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee.

It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. And that’s when he realized that the solution to his problem would also unlock the potential of what’s known as the “internet of things” (the idea that every object we own, no matter how mundane, is connected to the internet and can be monitored and manipulated via the internet, whether it’s a toaster, a light bulb or your car).

The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter.

Submission + - Monster Storm Reveals Water On Saturn (csmonitor.com)

cold fjord writes: The CS Monitor reports, "A thunderstorm bigger than our planet churned Saturn's atmosphere like an egg beater, reaching deep into Saturn's gassy interior and flinging water up to the ammonia-gas cloudtops. ... From December 2010 through August 2011, a superstorm raged across Saturn. The storm moved west, leaving behind a wake so enormous that ultimately the head collided with its own tail, encircling the giant gas planet with a belt of turbulence over 9,000 miles wide and 190,000 miles long. And in studying it, scientists found water. This massive thunderstorm – the head alone was bigger than planet Earth – churned Saturn's atmosphere like an egg beater, reaching deep down into Saturn's gassy interior, finding water vapor, and flinging it up with "hundreds of miles per hour of upward motion ... Scientists have suspected for years that water vapor must be hiding in Saturn's lower atmosphere, but finding proof was tricky. "As far as water in measurable quantities, at the level of the visible cloud tops – this is the first indication," says Dr. Sromovsky. The first scientists who studied the storm noted its size and power, but missed the scent of water. " More at Universe Today.

Submission + - Leaked Documents Detail al-Qaeda's Efforts To Fight Back Against Drones (washingtonpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Washington Post reports, "Al-Qaeda’s leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones ... In July 2010, a U.S. spy agency intercepted electronic communications indicating that senior al-Qaeda leaders had distributed a “strategy guide” to operatives around the world advising them how “to anticipate and defeat” unmanned aircraft. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reported that al-Qaeda was sponsoring simultaneous research projects to develop jammers to interfere with GPS signals and infrared tags that drone operators rely on to pinpoint missile targets. Other projects in the works included the development of observation balloons and small radio-controlled aircraft, or hobby planes, which insurgents apparently saw as having potential for monitoring the flight patterns of U.S. drones... Al-Qaeda has a long history of attracting trained engineers ... Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, holds a mechanical-engineering degree ... In 2010, the CIA noted in a secret report that al-Qaeda was placing special emphasis on the recruitment of technicians and that “the skills most in demand” included expertise in drones and missile technology. "
Transportation

Elon Musk Admits He Is Too Busy To Build Hyperloop 253

DavidGilbert99 writes "It sounded like the future — a 600mph train taking people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30mins. In fact it sounded like a future too good to be true. And so it seems to have proven. As Alistair Charlton at IBTimes reports, Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal, Tesla and Space X has admitted that Hyperloop is a step too far and he should never have mentioned it in the first place — 'I think I shot myself in the foot by ever mentioning the Hyperloop. I'm too strung out.' Oh well, let's hope SpaceX works out a bit better ... " Considering that SpaceX has already sent materials to the ISS and retrieved the capsule, it seems to have worked out pretty well so far.
KDE

Submission + - [Call to Arms] Fedora 19 Test Days starts this week (fedoraproject.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Hi Fedora users, developers and friends!

today Fedora 19 was branched from Rawhide. That means testing season begins now and will continue till Fedora 19 Final Release, which may be (or may not be) on 2013-06-25. Please, fasten your seatbelts, fire up your virtual or baremetal machines and enjoy this crash testing ride with us.

Remember: https://is0.4sqi.net/userpix/D1Y3XKHJVN4GIMRW.jpg

Before Alpha will (or won't) be ready on 2013-04-16, we have prepared some Test Days[0] for you. Starting this Thursday with KDE 4.10 [1] with one major innovation. You are invited to try how new KDE 4.10 [2] stuff not only using Fedora 19 Live test images, but also from updates-testing repository on your current Fedora stable installation, including both Fedora 18 and Fedora 17 releases. For first time, you can test new version of whole KDE platform before it rolls up and in as an stable update for your Fedora!

[0] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA/Fedora_19_test_days
[1] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2013-03-14_KDE_4.10
[2] http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.10/

Well, you may already know about and use Bodhi[3] with karma voting process. But Test Day provides an opportunity to actually talk to developers before KDE 4.10 reaches stable updates and interactively report, explore, debug and fix your issues (or at least find workarounds for the time being). Together we can make this update less painful for everyday Fedora KDE users.

[3] https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/

Join IRC #fedora-test-day on FreeNode and ask QA or developers for help, if you get into trouble. We can try to find workarounds and help you with debugging. Please report all bugs under appropriate component preferably at upstream bugzilla https://bugs.kde.org/ regarding common KDE 4.10 issues or Red Hat bugzilla http://bugzilla.redhat.com/ if you have problems with Fedora distribution integration. You can also report other Fedora bugs not related to this Test Day. Feel free to ask on IRC, if you don't know against which component or on what bugzilla you should fill the report.

See you in Bugzilla!

Education

Submission + - Poor IT skills in UK potentially solved by iPads

super_rancid writes: On the BBC’s news site, Rapper William James Adams has spoken out about IT education in the UK. Infact, not only has he spoken about it, he's put his money where his mouth is and ponied up half a million quid to buy computers for disadvantaged youngsters. However, there seems to be some confusion among IT decision makers on how best to spend the money. Valerie Thompson from the E-Learning Foundation, which aims to provide learning technologies to children both at home and at school, is quoted as saying, "That [donation] would buy 2,000 children an iPad, and we've got 750,000 children who can't get online at home." Yet the same sum could be used to buy tens of thousands of Raspberry Pis, prompting hundreds of comments to the original story, which have in-turn spawned a debate on what CS education actually needs to provide over on TuxRadar.com.
IBM

Submission + - IBM Designing Superman Servers for World's Largest Telescope (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "How’s this for a daunting task? By 2017, IBM must develop low-power microservers that can handle 10 times the traffic of today’s Internet—and resist blowing desert sands, to boot. Sound impossible? Hopefully not. Those are the design parameters of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Project, the world’s largest radio telescope, located in South Africa and Australia amidst some of the world’s most rugged terrain. It will be up to the SKA-specific business unit of South Africa’s National Research Foundation, IBM, and ASTON (also known as the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) to jointly design the servers. Scientists from all three organizations will collaborate remotely and at the newly established ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Technology in Drenthe, the Netherlands. By peering into the furthest regions of space, the SKA project hopes to glimpse “back in time,” where the radio waves from some of the earliest moments of the universe—before stars were formed—are still detectable. The hardware is powerful enough to pick up an airport radar on a planet 50 light-years away, according to the SKA team."
Books

Submission + - Book Review: Hadoop Beginner's Guide (barnesandnoble.com)

sagecreek writes: "Hadoop is an open-source, Java-based framework for large-scale data processing. Typically, it runs on big clusters of computers working together to crunch large chunks of data. You also can run Hadoop in “single-cluster mode” on a Linux machine, Windows PC or Mac, to learn the technology or do testing and debugging. The Hadoop framework, however, is not quickly mastered. Apache’s Hadoop wiki cautions: “If you do not know about classpaths, how to compile and debug Java code, step back from Hadoop and learn a bit more about Java before proceeding.” But if you are reasonably comfortable with Java, the well-written Hadoop Beginner’s Guide by Garry Turkington can help you start mastering this rising star in the Big Data constellation.

Dr. Turkington is vice president of data engineering and lead architect for London-based Improve Digital. He holds a doctorate in computer science from Queens University of Belfast in Northern Ireland. His Hadoop Beginner’s Guide provides an effective overview of Hadoop and hands-on guidance in how to use it locally, in distributed hardware clusters, and out in the cloud.

Packt Publishing provided a review copy of the book. I have reviewed one other Packt book previously.

Much of the first chapter is devoted to “exploring the trends that led to Hadoop's creation and its enormous success.” This includes brief discussions of Big Data, cloud computing, Amazon Web Services, and the differences between “scale-up” (using increasingly larger computers as data needs grow) and “scale-out” (spreading the data processing onto more and more machines as demand expands).

“One of the most confusing aspects of Hadoop to a newcomer,” Dr. Turkington writes, “is its various components, projects, sub-projects, and their interrelationships.”

His 374-page book emphasizes three major aspects of Hadoop: (1) its common projects; (2) the Hadoop File Distribution System (HFDS); and (3) MapReduce.

“Common projects,” he explains, “comprise a set of libraries and tools that help the Hadoop product work in the real world.”

The HFDS, meanwhile, “is a filesystem unlike most you may have encountered before.” As a distributed filesystem, it can spread data storage across many nodes. “[I]t stores files in blocks typically at least 64 MB in size, much larger than the 4-32 KB seen in most filesystems.” The book briefly describes several features, strengths, weaknesses, and other aspects of HFDS.

Finally, MapReduce is a well-known programming model for processing large data sets. Typically, MapReduce is used with clusters of computers that perform distributed computing. In the “Map” portion of the process, a single problem is split into many subtasks that are then assigned by a master computer to individual computers known as nodes (and there can be sub-nodes). During the “Reduce” part of the task, the master computer gathers up the processed data from the nodes, combines it and outputs a response to the problem that was posed to be solved. (MapReduce libraries are now available for many different computer languages, including Hadoop.)

“The developer focuses on expressing the transformation between source and result data sets, and the Hadoop framework manages all aspects of job execution, parallelization, and coordination,” Dr. Turkington notes. He calls this “possibly the most important aspect of Hadoop. The platform takes responsibility for every aspect of executing the processing across the data. After the user defines the key criteria for the job, everything else becomes the responsibility of the system.”

In this 11-chapter book, the first two chapters introduce Hadoop and explain how to install and run the software.

Three chapters are devoted to learning to work with MapReduce, from beginner to advanced levels. And the author stresses: “In the book, we will be learning how to write MapReduce programs to do some serious data crunching and how to run them on both locally managed and AWS-hosted Hadoop clusters.” [“AWS” is “Amazon Web Services.”]

Chapter 6, titled “When Things Break” zeroes in on Hadoop’s “resilience to failure and an ability to survive failures when they do happen.much of the architecture and design of Hadoop is predicated on executing in an environment where failures are both frequent and expected.” But node failures and numerous other problems still can arise, so the reader is given an overview of potential difficulties and how to handle them.

The next chapter, “Keeping Things Running,” lays out what must be done to properly maintain a Hadoop cluster and keep it tuned and ready to crunch data.

Three of the remaining chapters show how Hadoop can be used elsewhere within an organization’s systems and infrastructure, by personnel who are not trained to write MapReduce programs.

Chapter 8, for example, provides “A Relational View on Data with Hive.” What Hive provides is “a data warehouse that uses MapReduce to analyze data stored on HFDS,” Dr. Turkington notes. “In particular, it provides a query language called HiveQL that closely resembles the common Structured Query Language (SQL) standard.”

Using Hive as an interface to Hadoop “not only accelerates the time required to produce results from data analysis, it significantly broadens who can use Hadoop and MapReduce. Instead of requiring software development skills, anyone with a familiarity with SQL can use Hive,” the author states.

But, as Chapter 9 makes clear, Hive is not a relational database, and it doesn’t fully implement SQL. So the text and code examples in Chapter 9 illustrate (1) how to set up MySQL to work with Hadoop and (2) how to use Sqoop to transfer bulk data between Hadoop and MySQL.

Chapter 10 shows how to set up and run Flume NG. This is a distributed service that collects, aggregates, and moves large amounts of log data from applications to Hadoop's HFDS.

The book’s final chapter, “Where to Go Next,” helps the newcomer see what else is available beyond the Hadoop core product. “There are,” Dr. Turkington emphasizes, “a plethora of related projects and tools that build upon Hadoop and provide specific functionality or alternative approaches to existing ideas.” He provides a quick tour of several of the projects and tools.

A key strength of this beginner’s guide is in how its contents are structured and delivered. Four important headings appear repeatedly in most chapters. The “Time for action” heading singles out step-by-step instructions for performing a particular action. The “What just happened?” heading highlights explanations of “the working of tasks or instructions that you have just completed.” The “Pop quiz” heading, meanwhile, is followed by short, multiple-choice questions that help you gauge your understanding. And the “Have a go hero” heading introduces paragraphs that “set practical challenges and give you ideas for experimenting with what you have learned.”

Hadoop can be downloaded free from the Apache Software Foundation’s Hadoop website.

Dr. Turkington’s book does a good job of describing how to get Hadoop running on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. But while he assures that “Hadoop does run well on other systems,” he notes in his text: “Windows is supported only as a development platform, and Mac OS X is not formally supported at all.” He refers users to Apache’s Hadoop FAQ wiki for more information. Unfortunately, few details are offered there. So web searches become the best option for finding how-to instructions for Windows and Macs.

Running Hadoop on a Windows PC typically involves installing Cygwin and openSSH, so you can simulate using a Linux PC. But other choices can be found via sites such as Hadoop Wizard and Hadoop on Windows with Eclipse".

To install Hadoop on a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to search for websites that offer how-to tips. Here is one example.

There are other ways get access to Hadoop on a single computer, using other operating systems or virtual machines. Again, web searches are necessary. The Cloudera Enterprise Free product is one virtual-machine option to consider.

Once you get past the hurdle of installing and running Hadoop, Garry Turkington’s well-written, well-structured Hadoop Beginner’s Guide can start you moving down the lengthy path to becoming an expert user.

You will have the opportunity, the book's tagline states, to "[l]earn how to crunch big data to extract meaning from the data avalanche.”

(Si Dunn is an author, screenwriter, and technology book reviewer.)"

Slashdot Top Deals

In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it.

Working...