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Cellphones

Submission + - Most New Phones in Europe Will Charge with USB

Hugh Pickens writes: "Dvice reports that as of next year, almost every new cellphone in Europe will have to be able to charge via micro-USB as the result of a voluntary plan agreed to by a whole host of cellphone manufacturers back in 2009, including most of the big names like Apple, Nokia, Qualcomm, RIM, LG, Motorola, and Samsung making more than 90% of the smartphones sold in the European Union. "Charger standardization is great for consumers, because we won't have to keep buying new chargers at ridiculous markups, and it's great for the environment, because we won't have to keep throwing those same chargers away whenever we get a new phone," writes Evan Ackerman. It's also worth noting that one of the first companies to agree to this standard was Apple, who has a history of making everything as proprietary as possible so maybe there will be a micro-USB on the iPhone 5."
Security

Submission + - How to educate government agencies about security?

MrNaz writes: Here in Australia we are supposed to have one of the most IT heavy health care systems in the world. Yet, over the years, the general lack of IT savvy has been a problem I have butted up against repeatedly. For example, I was recently involved in a government program which required sending a list of certain patients to a government department for processing. The list had patient names, addresses, Medicare numbers and a few other details. In the instructions that I received from the department, I was instructed to generate the list as a MS Excel file, and then password protect it before burning it to a CD and mailing it. Now, we all know the folly of relying on Excel passwords to protect lost CDs from becoming an ID thief's wet dream, but how to educate the government about this? Anyway, how does this even happen? When deciding on a procedure, whichever suited bureaucrat came up with the idea could have and should have at least consulted the IT guy down the hall. How can we instill a practice whereby decision makers at least bring it up with someone in the know before making an on-the-spot decision that could result in disaster?

Submission + - Linux Datacenters More Virtual Than Windows, Get L (linux.com)

LinuxScribe writes: "Linux.com is reporting that Linux x86 datacenter users are much more likely to use virtualization technology and gain the benefit of significant total-cost-of-ownership savings than Microsoft datacenter users. In some cases, the savings from full virtualization implementations on Linux can approach 60 percent less than similar implementations on Microsoft platforms."
Networking

Journal Journal: The Pigeon wins! 6

In an experimental stunt in South Africa, to prove just how thoroughly rank their internet infrastructure is, a company outfitted a pigeon with some data card (unspecified in this article), released it, and it beat the "normal" download! By a long shot. The pigeon made the 50 mile trip, and they retrieved the data, while the download over the crappy wires they have there made it only 4% of the way in the same time peri

Biotech

Submission + - Programs for speech analysis?

Wingfield writes: I am a researcher with the Bio-music program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently we are analyzing recordings of bonobo apes for evidence of conversational rhythm. This research has many applications, from discovering the evolutionary beginnings of our language to improving something as mundane as public speaking. Every conversation has an underlying rhythm to it; if you have ever watched bad actors you know what it's like to hear no conversational rhythm: awkward, unnatural, and stilted. The bonobo's we are studying, who use vocalizations that can be compared to barks in terms of duration and intensity, have shown very promising signs of conversational rhythm both with each other and with human researchers with whom they interact. However, we are attempting to find ways to represent this in an unambiguous way, through a computer analysis that would not only be more accurate than human ears, but would save us the tedium of spending hours analyzing ten seconds of audio. Enter the slashdotters: Do any of you have any familiarity with a program that may be able to be adapted to fit our needs, such as a program that can detect stresses placed on syllables in speech?
Linux Business

Submission + - Virtualization Woes

think_nix writes: With server and application virtualization and the current technologies associated with it becoming more of an issue in Server Infrastructure, I would like to ask what current linux enterprise implementations are others using? For starters we have RHEL & KVM , RHEL & XEN , Citrix & XEN , SLES & XEN , and Vmware ESX & Co. Each vendor's reps I listed here says their product is the best at what it does, question is how is it in the real world ? Who's kool-aid are you drinking ?
Earth

Submission + - UK Royal Society claims geo-engineering feasible

krou writes: The BBC is reporting that a UK Royal Society report claims that geo-engineering proposals to combat the effects of climate change are "technically possible". Three of the plans considered showed the most promise: "CO2 capture from ambient air"; enhancing "natural reactions of CO2 from the air with rocks and minerals"; and "Land use and afforestation". They also noted that solar radiation management, while some climate models showed them to be ineffective, should not be ignored. Possible suggestions included: "a giant mirror on the Moon; a space parasol made of superfine aluminium mesh; and a swarm of 10 trillion small mirrors launched into space one million at a time every minute for the next 30 years." They also commented that, should rapid action be required to combat quickly rising temperatures, the following solutions should be considered: Stratospheric aerosols; Space-based methods; or Cloud albedo approaches. They also stress that, although geo-engineering shows promise, it should not in any way deviate attention away from the need to reduce CO2 emissions. However, Professor John Shepherd, who chaired the study, notes that "Geo-engineering and its consequences are the price we may have to pay for failure to act on climate change."
Government

Submission + - Mexico decriminalizes small-scale drug possession 4

Professor_Quail writes: Mexico enacted a controversial law Thursday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging free government treatment for drug dependency. The law sets out maximum "personal use" amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law goes into effect Friday.
Software

Submission + - One of the oldest FOSS apps you never heard of:ACP

Esther Schindler writes: "The Airline Control Program (ACP), introduced by IBM around 1967, predated the term "open source" by decades. But you may be surprised by how much of its development reflects the FOSS movement today. The ITWorld.com article An Abbreviated History of ACP, One of the Oldest Open Source Applications describes what made it special."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Science proves zombies could annihilate humans (bbc.co.uk) 1

cb95amc writes: If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively. That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada. They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures. The scientific paper is published in a book — Infectious Diseases Modelling Research Progress. In books, films, video games and folklore, zombies are undead creatures, able to turn the living into other zombies with a bite. But there is a serious side to the work. In some respects, a zombie "plague" resembles a lethal rapidly-spreading infection.

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