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Submission + - Google Goes After Content Farms (ibtimes.com)

RedEaredSlider writes: Aimed at stripping search results of pages from "low-quality" sites, a new Google Chrome extension allows users to block specified websites from appearing in search results. The names of these sites are then sent to Google, which will study the collected results and use them to determine future page ranking systems.

Google principal engineer Matt Cutts wrote in a post on the Google blog that the company hopes the extension will improve the quality of search results. The company has been the target of criticism in recent months, much of which centered around the effect that content farms were having on searches.


Submission + - Stephen Fry and DVD Jon back USB Sniffer Project (kickstarter.com)

An anonymous reader writes: bushing and pytey of the iPhone DevTeam and Team Twiizers have created a Kickstarter project to fund the build of an open-source/open-hardware high-speed USB protocol analyzer. The board features a high-speed USB 2.0 sniffer that will help with the reverse engineering of proprietary USB hardware, the project has gained the backing from two high-profile individuals Jon Lech Johansen (DVD Jon) and Actor and Comedian Stephen Fry

Submission + - Recommendations for home virtualization? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'll have to upgrade my home computers sometime in the next few months and I'm thinking to swallow the virtualization pill (besides the commodity of switching between Windows and Ubuntu, it's mainly for the ability to save the state of machine so reversals to a known working state are easy). I've obviously googled before asking here, but most guides are from 2009 and earlier. Is VMWare ESX pretty much the choice to take? Performance does matter — I'm not into gaming but am heavily into photography so run apps like Lightroom and Photoshop. I figured others might be interested in this topic as well. Thanks.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: RFID In The Laundry Room

Pamplona Slowpoke writes: We have four kids and the gadgets in our house seem to multiply each Christmas and birthday. Yesterday we washed our second iPod nano that was hiding in a coat pocket. This has led me to start thinking about a home system similar to an RFID shoplifting system with the objective being to prevent the "insert electronic device name here" from entering the laundry room. Are there any systems out there that can do this on a budget? For the purposes of this discussion I'd like the system to cost about $250 USD, or the equivalent of an iPod Touch or Classic.

Submission + - Max Flow Problem Improved (mit.edu)

eldavojohn writes: It's been a decade since we first saw an improvement to the max flow problem well known to network engineers. Using linear algebra, a team developed a new algorithm that continually modifies values in a matrix representing a network and resolves the equation — effectively evaluating the whole graph at once. There's no code for the algorithm yet but the MIT article claims that 'If N is the number of nodes in a graph, and L is the number of links between them, then the execution of the fastest previous max-flow algorithm was proportional to (N + L)^(3/2). The execution of the new algorithm is proportional to (N + L)^(4/3).'

Submission + - Google releases censorship stats as deterrant (news.com.au)

kaptink writes: Google has released a new service called Transparency Report with the aim to shaming and hopefully detering countries in censoring information. By showing a global google map with each guilty country marked and tagged with the associated stats of requests made to google for the removal of links or information, users can see in real time what dodgy things their government has been up to. Unfortunately China is not included because Chinese officials consider censorship demands as state secrets. A FAQ can be found here: http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/faq.html#governmentrequestsfaq

Submission + - Foxconn's Founder Opens Up About Making iPhones (businessweek.com) 1

eldavojohn writes: Bloomberg Businessweek has an article of interest resulting from an interview that lasted three hours with Foxconn founder Terry Gou who manufactures 137,000 iPhones a day. The article profiles Gou's rise to Foxconn but also offers some interesting tidbits you might not know. On why he is not opening factories in the United States Gou frankly states, "If I can automate in the U.S.A. and ship to China, cost-wise it can still be competitive. But I worry America has too many lawyers. I don't want to spend time having people sue me every day." If you're interested in how a modern day Henry Ford thinks you can read the rest about the man steering the ship of the world's largest producer of electronics components and China's largest exporter. This unprecedented transparency was part of an agreement Gou made with his customers during his delayed response to an increasing number of Foxconn suicides.
Open Source

Submission + - Six Open Source Projects IT Should Be Using (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "Deep End's Paul Venezia sheds light on six open source tools IT should be using. 'In many cases, the use of open source tools starts in the skunkworks of the IT organization, where a few individuals leverage open source projects to perform a specific task that is either unfunded or underfunded," Venezia writes. 'Once the proverbial camel's nose is in the tent, more open source applications and frameworks find their way into critical IT systems.' Among those Venezia recommends are Nagios for network and system monitoring and FreeNAS for building your own nearline storage system."

Submission + - 3D Printers Produce Custom Clothing in Hours (ecouterre.com) 1

ecouterran writes: Designer-researchers like Freedom of Creation in Amsterdam and Philip Delamore at the London College of Fashion are cranking out seamless, flexible textile structures using software that converts three-dimensional body data into skin-conforming fabric structures. The potential for bespoke clothing, tailored to the specific individual, are as abundant as the patterns that can be created, from interlocking Mobius motifs to tightly woven meshes.

Submission + - Tribalism is the enemy within (markshuttleworth.com)

climenole writes: "Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are “wrong by default”. It’s the great-granddaddy of racism and sexism. And the most dangerous kind of tribalism is completely invisible: it has nothing to do with someone’s “birth tribe” and everything to do with their affiliations: where they work, which sports team they support, which linux distribution they love."

Submission + - Blindtype - The Amazing Keyboard of The Future (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Blindtype has created a new touchscreen keyboard program of the same name that changes size, orientation, and position to match your wandering fingers as they type. BlindType also features some of the most impressive typing correction software I’ve ever seen. The result is a practical touchscreen interface that knows what you meant to type, even if you make mistakes. Lots of them. In fact, you can type without looking at the screen at all! It’s amazing, and I got to see it in person when I visited the founders. Check out the video and see how awesome this is.

Submission + - How should a non-techie learn programming? (dbms2.com) 2

CurtMonash writes: Nontechnical people — for example marketers or small business owners — increasingly get the feeling they should know more about technology. And they're right. If you can throw up a small website or do some real number-crunching, chances are those skills will help you feed your family. But how should they get started? I started a thread with the question on DBMS2, and some consistent themes emerged, including:
  • * Learn HTML + CSS early on.
  • * Learn a bit of SQL, but you needn't make that your focus.
  • * Have your first real programming language be one of the modern ones, such as PHP or Python.
  • * MySQL is a good vehicle to learn SQL.
  • * It's a great idea to start with a project you actually want to accomplish, and that can be done by modifying a starter set of sample code. (E.g., a WordPress blog.)
  • * Microsoft's technology stack is an interesting alternative to some of the other technology ideas.

A variety of books and websites were suggested, most notably MIT's Scratch. But, frankly, it would really help to get more suggestions for sites and books that help one get started with HTML/CSS, or with MySQL, or with PHP. And so, techie studs and studdettes, I ask you — how should a non-techie go about learning some basic technological skills?


Submission + - How to Use HTML5 Today (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Dori Smith offers developers a hands-on guide to using HTML5 today. 'Many of the media reports about HTML5 have focused on the politics, the "not until 2022" sound bite, or on HTML5's prospects as a "Flash killer." The reality of HTML5 is simply that it's the long-needed and long-overdue update to HTML4 — and you can start to implement it today,' Smith writes. Video, semantic tags, smart form input validation — Smith steps through several HTML5 features that can already be implemented, while noting several other presentation features that will soon on their way. Smith also discusses IE work-arounds, such as HTML 5 Shiv and Google Chrome Frame."

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