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Operating Systems

Submission + - Linux 3.0 a steady step forward (arnnet.com.au)

splitenz writes: Bucking standard conventions in software versioning, Linux Torvalds has designated the new release of the Linux operating system kernel, posted Friday, as version 3.0, even while maintaining that the release is only a routine update.

The newly released Linux kernel features improved support for Xen and BTRFS file system, as well as a new versioning scheme. Full details in this story.

Google

Submission + - Google+ growing at unprecedented rate (wsj.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: The Wall Street Journal reports that Google+ has added 20 million users in just 3 weeks. According to the article, no other site has recorded such high growth in such a short time period. Twitter did something similar once, but in months, not weeks. It's especially surprising considering that access to Google+ is by invitation only.

Why is Google+ growing so quickly? Perhaps the obligatory XKCD reference actually offers some insight.

China

Submission + - China building EMP weapons for use against U.S. (washingtontimes.com)

cultiv8 writes: "China's military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday.

Portions of a National Ground Intelligence Centerstudy on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons revealed that the arms are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal — weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii."

Google

Submission + - Google Code Adds Git Support (google.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Today google has marked git support issue #2454 as fixed and git is now avilable as one of the version control system options for the new projects.
Security

Submission + - Public comment period required for body scanners (epic.org)

OverTheGeicoE writes: The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has finally issued a ruling on EPIC v. DHS, a lawsuit seeking suspension of the use of body scanners for primary screening pending an independent review that would include a public comment period. According to the summary, the court "grant[s] the petition for review" but "due to the obvious need for the TSA to continue its airport security operations without interruption, we remand the rule to the TSA but do not vacate it".

IANAL, but it sounds like TSA is required to open up their policy for public comment, but they can continue to use the scanners in the meantime and most likely afterward. This doesn't sound like much of a victory for EPIC or the US public.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Body Scanners = Success? (wired.com)

DanTan writes: So this story came out of another court case against the stupid body scanners failing. I wonder though, has anyone heard any stories of it WORKING? Yeah, TSA will point to numbers and claim its doing its job, but where's a real story of "dude X caught @ airport when the body scanner detected him with illegal weapon"? (I also don't hate statistic numbers, given enough time/creativity, its hard to not manipulate numbers to look positive/negative)

Comment Re:nephthys (Score 1) 152

Call me an infidel, but I'm reluctant to try Nephthys again. I tried it once and I was buried so deep I couldn't dig myself out. My computer stopped working and I had to reboot.

Perhaps I shouldn't have tried Neith, Selkis, and Isis in that order first.
Google

Submission + - Google's Swiffy does Flash to HTML5 (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Google has just released a tool called Swiffy which takes a Flash Swf file and converts it to HTML5 — hence the name. Although still experimental it opens up lots of possibilities including a way of getting Flash content onto the iPhone and other iOS devices.
Facebook

Submission + - Google Introduces True Facebook Alternative (nytimes.com)

edmicman writes:

Google took its biggest leap yet onto Facebook’s turf on Tuesday, introducing a social networking service called the Google+ project — which happens to look very much like Facebook.

Do people really use Google and Facebook for the same things?

Government

Submission + - TSA "Mischaracterized" Safety Of Body Scanners (infowars.com)

cultiv8 writes: "Newly released internal government documents, obtained via the Freedom Of Information Act, reveal that the TSA, and specifically the head of the Department of Homeland Security, “publicly mischaracterized” the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in stating that NIST had positively confirmed the safety of full body scanners in tests.

In the private email response, NIST stated that the Institute had not, in fact, tested full body scanners at all for safety, and that the Institute does not even undertake product testing.

Another document obtained by EPIC even shows that, far from affirming their safety, NIST warned that airport screeners should avoid standing next to full body scanners in order to keep exposure to harmful radiation “as low as reasonably achievable.”

However, another document obtained by EPIC shows that a growing number of TSA workers diagnosed with cancers are voicing concern that the full body scanners and x-ray machines are indeed to blame for their illnesses."

Security

Submission + - Cancer cluster possibly found among TSA workers (epic.org)

OverTheGeicoE writes: TSA employees at Logan International Airport believe they have identified a cancer cluster in their ranks, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They have requested dosimetry to counter "TSA's improperly non-monitored radiation threat". So far, at least, they have not received it.

The documents also reveal a document from Johns Hopkins that in effect questions whether it is even safe to stand near an operating scanner, let alone inside one. Also, the National Institute of Standards and Technology says that the Dept. of Homeland Security "mischaracterized" their work by telling USA Today that NIST affirmed the safety of the scanners when in fact NIST does not do product safety testing and never tested a scanner for safety.

Blackberry

Submission + - Developers Defecting From BlackBerry (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "Mobile app developers with multiple platforms to build for need to figure out how to conserve their resources somehow, and many are choosing to do so by not bothering to build apps for BlackBerry phones. It's a combination of declining market share and the general difficulty of building apps for the BlackBerry platform, one developer told Bloomberg: "RIM brought in a touchscreen and mixed it with a thumbwheel, a keyboard and shortcut keys, it made it really difficult and expensive to develop across devices.""

Submission + - Future Laptops Could Be Powered By Typing (gizmocrazed.com)

Mightee writes: "Charge your laptop by typing on it — sounds like a perfect idea to one who believes in the ideal world. But this could soon become a reality as Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have successfully measured a piezoelectric thin film's capacity for turning mechanical pressure into electricity — which is said to be a crucial step towards the development of self-powering portable electronics.

Piezoelectricity, a phenomenon that was used in electric cigarette lighters was discovered in the 19th century. Similar to the way electric cigarette lighters use piezoelectric crystals to produce a high voltage electric current, laptops could also generate electric energy to self-charge themselves when buttons are pressed."

Comment The most interesting part (Score 3, Interesting) 373

From TFA:

"Airlines are seeking ways to win back passengers put off by long and irritating airport security measures who have opted to travel instead by train, boat or car. IATA said Monday it expects the industry's profit this year to plummet to $4 billion from $18 billion last year."

It sounds like people have quit flying in droves since TSA implemented scanners and patdowns last year. Are there any other stories that could confirm this conclusion?

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