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Comment Re:DRM, the bane of progress and freedom (Score 1) 113

All of those services are only available if you are willing to accept proprietary software and give up ownership of your data (even amazon prime for all of its good ideas still relies on Amazon remaining in business and offering that service in perpetuity).

Why isn't there something akin to the many DRM-free music services? I can already do the PITA that is waiting for a physical DVD and rip that trivially.


Submission + - Intel Demos Phone, Tablet in New Mobile Chip Push (

holy_calamity writes: "Intel is making another assault on the mobile processor market, showing off a prototype phone, and a tablet, using its newest mobile processor, Medfield. The company claims that products based on the chips will appear in the first half of next year. There's reason to believe that Intel might get somewhere this time. Its chipsets traditionally comprise three separate chips, a design that guzzles power. Medfield introduces an all-in-one chip, mirroring the power efficient design of the ARM-based chips that run smart phones and tablets in the market today."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Assembling a desktop environment 1

paxcoder writes: Gnome Shell... is different. Very much so. The fallback was inadequate. I suspect that many people, like me, turned to the alternatives. My choice was LXDE, which worked ok, until (lx-)panel broke in the unstable branch of the distro that I use. Tired of using the terminal to run stuff, I replaced the standard panel with the one from Xfce. That made me realize that we really don't need a packaged desktop environment, there are pieces ready for assembly. If you customize your graphical environment, what elements do you use? Which window manager, file manager, panel(etc.) would you recommend? Do you have a panel with a hardware usage monitors, how do you switch between workspaces? Anything cool we might not know about?

Submission + - IBM's Five Predictions for the Next Five Years (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: In each of the past five years, IBM has come up with a list of five innovations it believes will become popular within five years. In this, the sixth year, IBM has come up with the following technologies it thinks will gain traction.
  • People power will come to life. Advances in technology will allow us to trap the kinetic energy generated (and wasted) from walking, jogging, bicycling, and even from water flowing through pipes.
  • You will never need a password again. Biometrics will finally replace the password and thus redefine the word “hack.”
  • Mind reading is no longer science fiction. Scientists are working on headsets with sensors that can read brain activity and recognize facial expressions, excitement, and more without needing any physical inputs from the wearer.
  • The digital divide will cease to exist. Mobile phones will make it easy for even the poorest of poor to get connected.
  • Junk mail will become priority mail. “In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem that spam is dead.


Submission + - Manning Court Case: Tech Forensics Take Center Sta (

smitty777 writes: Wired has been reporting all day on the prosecutions technological evidence against Bradley Manning. The first is on the technology and techniques used by Manning. In the second, the examiners admit they didn't find any matching cables on Manning's computer. And finally, evidence that Manning chatted directly with Assange himself.

Submission + - Origin Confirmed of Stonehedge's Inner Stones

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "BBC reports that scientists have confirmed the precise origin of the inner stones at Stonehenge by detailing the mineral content and the textural relationships within the rocks, a process known as petrography, identifying their source as Pembrokeshire, Wales, about 160 miles from the Stonehenge site. (The more well-known and iconic stones, the huge sarsens, were incorporated into the monument several centuries later and came from somewhere in the Marlborough Downs, 20 miles north of Stonehenge.) With the location identified, the question remains as to how neolithic people transported 80 bluestones weighing up to 4 tons each from Wales to Wiltshire, some 5,000 years ago. "Some historians reckon that these stone age builders quarried the stones in Pembrokeshire and brought them over to England," writes Mark Brown, "while others argue that giant glacial shifts moved the stones, hundreds of thousands of years earlier." In April 2000 a National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund plan was launched to replicate the 240-mile journey of a giant stone from west Wales to Salisbury Plain, by land and sea but the millennium bluestone project, which tried to use only muscle power and the technology of the ancients, ended in disaster when the stone sank in Milford Haven estuary."

Submission + - FBI Warns Hacktivists: You're Breaking the Law (

bdcny7927 writes: In an exclusive interview with, the FBI official in charge of cybercrime speaks for the first time with the media specifically about hacktivism. Here, Assistant Executive Director Shawn Henry describes the threats hacktivists pose, the challenges associated with investigating them, and the FBI's success disrupting these groups. He also delivers a special message to hacktivists.
Open Source

Submission + - Best open source license for guitar? ( 1

PraxisGuitars writes: "I am working on developing an open source electric guitar. I wish to make the basic structural system completely open and free, with a standardized interface allowing different body shapes and modules to be bolted on. I am having trouble figuring out the best way to release the files. There seem to be at least half a dozen open source licenses out there; The Thingiverse has some precedent for open source 3d data, but version control seems like it might be difficult. I have looked into sourceforge and github, but don't know enough to know if that would be the best choice. Are there other precedents out there? Is there a better way?"

Submission + - Computer scientists answer the ultimate question: (

MrSeb writes: "The applications of computer vision are far ranging: Picking out terrorists as they pass through airport security, automatic face detection on Facebook, autonomous car driving, finding cancer in an MRI, and now, if some Stack Overflow computer scientists are to be believed, finding that jolly red-and-white striped fellow in Where’s Waldo? The solution, as posted by Stack Overflow user Heike, uses five lines of code to: 1) Filter out all non-red pixels, 2) Search what’s left for a striped pattern, and finally 3) Draw a circle around pixels that have a sufficiently high correlation. Voila, There’s Waldo."

Submission + - Razor-Qt: A New Qt-Based Desktop Environment? (

aglider writes: Phoronix has an interesting piece of news about a new emerging desktop environment. And it's Qt based!
From the project home page:

Razor-qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-Qt also works fine with weak machines.

Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as

a KDE ripoff

What we have so far is version 0.4 as announced on a blog and, very important, a number of easy ways to install and test it on a few main Linux distributions. Maybe time has come for something really new in the desktop environment arena almost completely occupied by GNOME and KDE.


Submission + - KDE Plasma Active Two Boosts Performance (

jrepin writes: "Mobile devices that adapt to who you are, reflecting what you are doing when you are doing it. This concept is at the heart of the Plasma Active user experience. Plasma Active One was released in October 2011, providing early adopters the first opportunity to experience Activities on a tablet. Since then, the design and development team behind this open source touch interface has been hard at work on an update. The fruits of their labor were released today, December 14, 2011 as Plasma Active Two."
Open Source

Submission + - Open Source Ecology: Can open source save the plan (

angry tapir writes: "The Open Source Ecology project is an attempt to apply the principles of open source to building sustainable communities through the creation of open source tools. The focus of the project is the development of 'Global Village Construction Set': A set of 50 open source tools, ranging from tractors to a laser cutter to a 3D scanner, designed to act as a 'civilisation starter kit' for building eco-friendly communities, with a focus on low-cost, DIY, use of recycled materials and closed-loop manufacturing."

Submission + - Why is the Universe pointing in one direction? (

wisebabo writes: So here's an article about some observations that seem to violate the "Cosmological Principle", that on the grandest scales the Universe should look the same. But it does not, the cosmic background radiation seems to show a preferred direction, one dubbed the "Axis of Evil".

Various explanations for this have been proposed including differences in the "inflation" of the universe, a "curling" up of one of the universe's dimensions or uneven distribution of "dark energy".

But how about this: scientists have debated whether or not the universe was rotating and what would we see. Maybe we are and are just a little "off-axis". Centripetal "acceleration" would make it seem like things were being flung in one direction. In fact, if the ENTIRE 3D universe was EMBEDDED in one or more higher dimensions it could be "rotating" in several dimensions simultaneously. This might provide effects like inflation and dark energy (a force that was "pulling" the universe apart).

Any cosmologists in the audience?


Submission + - Million Dollar Crowdturfing Industry Dupes Social ( 2

bowlinearl writes: "Three weeks ago Slashdot featured a story on the Chinese Water Army. A new study from researchers at UCSB delves even deeper into the problem of crowdturfing (full disclosure: I am one of the authors of the study). The study reveals that evil crowd sourcing services in China are a multi-million dollar industry, and that the number of jobs and the amount of money are growing exponentially. Hundreds of thousands of workers are involved, including a small contingent of career crowdturfers who each manage hundreds of accounts on social networks. The researchers observed the behavior of workers and the unwitting users who click on the generated spam by infiltrating the two largest crowdsourcing sites in China. However, crowdturfing isn't confined to China: the researchers discovered crowdsourcing sites in the U.S. that are 95% astroturf, as opposed to Amazon's Mechanical Turk which actively polices itself, and is only 12% astroturf."

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