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Desktops (Apple)

Apple Developing Custom ARM-Based Mac Chip That Would Lessen Intel Role (bloomberg.com) 267

According to Bloomberg, Apple is designing a new chip for future Mac laptops that would take on more of the functionality currently handled by Intel processors. The chip is a variant of the T1 SoC Apple used in the latest MacBook Pro to power the keyboard's Touch Bar feature. The updated part, internally codenamed T310, is built using ARM technology and would reportedly handle some of the computer's low-power mode functionality. From the report: The development of a more advanced Apple-designed chipset for use within Mac laptops is another step in the company's long-term exploration of becoming independent of Intel for its Mac processors. Apple has used its own A-Series processors inside iPhones and iPads since 2010, and its chip business has become one of the Cupertino, California-based company's most critical long-term investments. Apple engineers are planning to offload the Mac's low-power mode, a feature marketed as "Power Nap," to the next-generation ARM-based chip. This function allows Mac laptops to retrieve e-mails, install software updates, and synchronize calendar appointments with the display shut and not in use. The feature currently uses little battery life while run on the Intel chip, but the move to ARM would conserve even more power, according to one of the people. The current ARM-based chip for Macs is independent from the computer's other components, focusing on the Touch Bar's functionality itself. The new version in development would go further by connecting to other parts of a Mac's system, including storage and wireless components, in order to take on the additional responsibilities. Given that a low-power mode already exists, Apple may choose to not highlight the advancement, much like it has not marketed the significance of its current Mac chip, one of the people said. Building its own chips allows Apple to more tightly integrate its hardware and software functions. It also, crucially, allows it more of a say in the cost of components for its devices. However, Apple has no near-term plans to completely abandon Intel chips for use in its laptops and desktops, the people said.
Open Source

Researchers Unveil First Ever Blueprint To Construct a Large Scale Quantum Computer (phys.org) 94

haruchai quotes a report from Phys.Org: An international team, led by a scientist from the University of Sussex, have today unveiled the first practical blueprint for how to build a quantum computer, the most powerful computer on Earth. The work features a new invention permitting actual quantum bits to be transmitted between individual quantum computing modules in order to obtain a fully modular large-scale machine capable of reaching nearly arbitrary large computational processing powers. Prof Hensinger said: "The availability of a universal quantum computer may have a fundamental impact on society as a whole. Without doubt it is still challenging to build a large-scale machine, but now is the time to translate academic excellence into actual application building on the UK's strengths in this ground-breaking technology. I am very excited to work with industry and government to make this happen." The computer's possibilities for solving, explaining or developing could be endless. However, its size will be anything but small. The machine is expected to fill a large building, consisting of sophisticated vacuum apparatus featuring integrated quantum computing silicon microchips that hold individual charged atoms (ions) using electric fields. The plans for creating a universal quantum computer has been published in the journal Science Advances.
Google

Google+ Redesigned (blogspot.com) 91

An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced that its Google+ social network has received a major overhaul, which is rolling out today to users who opt in. The company says the new design focuses on the "Communities" and "Collections" sections of Google+, since those were the ones most well received by users. "[Product Director Luke] Wroblewski, known for his responsive and progressive design work, tells me that the key to this rollout is the consistent, mobile first experience that hasn't historically been a hallmark of G+." The article describes the new experience thus: "As you click through the new Google+ there is a lighter feel to it for sure. It's a product with more purpose, as before it felt like there was a million things flying at you. Notifications, +1's, share buttons. You were pretty much sharing things into a pit and hoping that Google would do fun things with them."
Google

Gmail Messages Can Now Self-Destruct 204

New submitter Amarjeet Singh writes: Dmail is a Chrome extension developed by the people behind Delicious, the social bookmarking app/extension. This extension allows you to set a self-destruct timer on your emails. You can use Dmail to send emails from Gmail as usual, but you will now have a button which can set an self destruct timer of an hour, a day or a week. Dmail claims it will also unlock a feature that won't allow forwarding, meaning only the person you sent your message to will be able to see it.
Biotech

Video Help Save Endangered Rhinos by Making Artificial Horns (Video) 202

Black Rhinoceros horn material sells for $65,000 per kilo. The rhinos are rare, which helps up the price, but the horn is also prized "as a fever-reducer, a cosmetic, an aphrodisiac, a hangover care. And so people highly value it in the Vietnamese and Chinese cultures. So we are trying to reduce that value by increasing the supply," says Jennifer Kaehms of Pembient, a company that's working to make artificial rhino horns that are not only chemically indistinguishable from the natural variety, but are 3-D printed to look the same. The idea is that if they can flood the market with human-made rhino horns, it will cut poaching -- which is a big deal because there are only about 5,000 black rhinos left in the whole world.

They have a crowdfunding appeal on experiment.com looking for help in sequencing the black rhino genome. At this writing, it has two days to run and has only raised $12,831 of its $16,500 goal. The results will be open sourced, and once the black rhino is on its way to salvation, they plan to work on the white rhino, then move on to killing the black market for ivory and tiger pelts, which don't sell for as much as rhino horns but are valuable enough to keep an international horde of poachers in business.
Security

German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks 244

mpicpp (3454017) writes with news that Germany may be joining Russia in a paranoid switch from computers to typewriters for sensitive documents. From the article: Patrick Sensburg, chairman of the German parliament's National Security Agency investigative committee, now says he's considering expanding the use of manual typewriters to carry out his group's work. ... Sensburg said that the committee is taking its operational security very seriously. "In fact, we already have [a typewriter], and it's even a non-electronic typewriter," he said. If Sensburg's suggestion takes flight, the country would be taking a page out of the Russian playbook. Last year, the agency in charge of securing communications from the Kremlin announced that it wanted to spend 486,000 rubles (about $14,800) to buy 20 electric typewriters as a way to avoid digital leaks.
Government

US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement 209

itwbennett writes "The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said."
The Internet

Apache 2.4 Takes Direct Aim At Nginx 209

darthcamaro writes "The world's most popular web server is out with a major new release today that has one key goal — deliver more performance than ever before. Improved caching, proxy modules as well as new session control are also key highlights of the release. 'We also show that as far as true performance is based — real-world performance as seen by the end-user- 2.4 is as fast, and even faster than some of the servers who may be "better" known as being "fast", like nginx,' Jim Jagielski, ASF President and Apache HTTP Server Project Management Committee, told InternetNews.com." Here's list of new features in 2.4.
Businesses

Apple Names New Chairman 114

angry tapir writes "Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotech company Genentech, is taking on the chairmanship of Apple's board, filling the role that Apple founder Steve Jobs vacated when he died last month." El Reg notes that Disney CEO/President Robert Iger was also appointed to the board, and that this marks the first time since the return of Steve Jobs to Apple that the CEO and board chairman were different people.
Power

Belgium To Give Up Nuclear Power 298

AmiMoJo writes "Belgium's political parties have reached a conditional agreement to shut down the country's two remaining nuclear power stations. Older reactors will be decommissioned by 2015, with the final closures happening before 2025. The exit is conditional on alternatives being available. 'If it turns out we won't face shortages and prices would not skyrocket, we intend to stick to the nuclear exit law of 2003,' a spokeswoman for Belgium's energy and climate ministry said."
Networking

Ask Slashdot: Trustworthy Proxy Services? 164

gusoline writes "Since I'm now living in Brazil (originally from the U.S.), I'm looking for a reliable, trustworthy proxy service I can use to both access services I've used for a long time (Pandora, Netflix, etc.) and services I want to try out (Spotify). Since I'm not looking for illegal downloads or to hide what I'm doing, I'm less concerned about anonymity than I am about region restrictions, reliability, latency, and security of passwords and traffic through their network. I'm OK paying for services that deliver what I want (including the Proxy service itself). Any suggestions from the Slashdot crowd?"
The Courts

EA's New User Agreement Bans Lawsuits 273

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet: "Electronic Arts has updated its Terms of Service Agreement for the Origin platform. Following Sony's steps, and taking it even further, EA has added a new clause that prevents users from suing them in both class action and jury trial forms."
Operating Systems

Indian Military Organization To Develop Its Own OS 466

An anonymous reader writes "Several newspapers have reported that DRDO (the defence R&D organization of the Indian military) is planning to create an OS. The need for this arose due to the cyber security concerns facing India and that all [conventional] operating systems are made outside India. About 50 professionals in Bangalore and New Delhi are expected to start work on this operating system." At least one of the linked articles says the new OS, though home-grown, would run Windows software.
The Almighty Buck

NY Times To Charge For Online Content 488

Hugh Pickens writes "New York Magazine reports that the NY Times appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of debate inside the paper, the choice has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system. The decision to go paid is monumental for the Times, and culminates a yearlong debate that grew contentious, people close to the talks say. Hanging over the deliberations is the fact that the Times' last experience with pay walls, TimesSelect, was deeply unsatisfying and exposed a rift between Sulzberger and his roster of A-list columnists, particularly Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd, who grew frustrated at their dramatic fall-off in online readership. The argument for remaining free was based on the belief that nytimes.com is growing into an English-language global newspaper of record, with a vast audience — 20 million unique readers — that would prove lucrative as web advertising matured. But with the painful declines in advertising brought on by last year's financial crisis, the argument that online advertising might never grow big enough to sustain the paper's high-cost, ambitious journalism — gained more weight."
Google

Google Switching To EXT4 Filesystem 348

An anonymous reader writes "Google is in the process of upgrading their existing EXT2 filesystem to the new and improved EXT4 filesystem. Google has benchmarked three different filesystems — XFS, EXT4 and JFS. In their benchmarking, EXT4 and XFS performed equally well. However, in view of the easier upgrade path from EXT2 to EXT4, Google has decided to go ahead with EXT4."

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