Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Submission + - Analyst believes Microsoft will sell off Xbox division, maybe even to Sony (geek.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Forbes analyst Adam Hartung has predicted that Microsoft will sell off its entertainment division, which includes Xbox, in the coming years. He even goes so far as to list Sony or Barnes & Noble as potential buyers.

Lets forget how crazy this sounds for a moment and focus on the reasons why Hartung believes such a sale will happen. It basically comes down to Windows 8, and how poorly it is selling. Combine that with falling sales of PCs, the Surface RT tablet not doing so great, the era of more than one PC in the home disappearing, and Microsoft has a big problem.

The problem not only stems from the PC market not growing, but because Microsoft relies so heavily on Windows and Office for revenue. With that in mind, Hartung believes Steve Ballmer will do anything and everything to save Windows, including ditching entertainment and therefore Xbox.


Submission + - France proposes a taxt on personal information collection (nytimes.com)

Dupple writes: France, seeking fresh ways to raise funds and frustrated that American technology companies that dominate its digital economy are largely beyond the reach of French fiscal authorities, has proposed a new levy: an Internet tax on the collection of personal data.

The idea surfaced Friday in a report commissioned by President François Hollande, which described various measures his government was taking to address what the French see as tax avoidance by Internet companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

These companies gather vast reams of information about their users, harnessing it to tailor their services to individuals’ interests or to direct customized advertising to them. So extensive is the collection of personal details, and so promising the business opportunities linked to it, that the report described data as the “raw material” of the digital economy.

Submission + - Atari Files Bankruptcy (halls-of-valhalla.org)

halls-of-valhalla writes: "Atari was one of the very first video game companies, starting way back in 1972. However, this long-running name that brought us titles like Pong and Asteroids is having major financial issues. Atari's United States branches have filed bankruptcy on Sunday, Janary 20 2013. This bankruptcy is an attempt to separate themselves from their French parent which has quite a bit of debt. The plan is to split from the French parent and find a buyer to form a private company."

Submission + - One-of-a-kind chemistry autograph collection goes digital (acs.org)

carmendrahl writes: "A science historian has collaborated with a publisher to digitize a one-of-a kind collection of chemists' signatures. In the shadow of World War II, a Japanese chemist named Tetsuo Nozoe traveled outside his land for the first time, and collected autographs from the people he met on the way. This turned into a forty year hobby, and a 1200-page collection. The digital collection sucks chemists in for hours- it's full of cartoons, jokes, haikus, and scribbles the signers admit to having scrawled "in a drunken state". Nobel Prizewinners and ordinary chemists signed side-by-side. The Nozoe notebook collection will be open access for at least three years, with a big goal being to identify all the "mystery" signatures in the collection with help from readers."

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.."

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."

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."


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 ?

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.”


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.

Slashdot Top Deals

Avoid strange women and temporary variables.