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Submission + - Cisco's Gloomy Forecast Shows NSA Backlash Hitting US Business Overseas

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: David Meyer writes in the Washington Post that Cisco's sales slump during the current quarter has shocked financial analysts with a sudden 21 percent revenue drop in its top 5 emerging markets: 25 percent down in Brazil, 18 percent down in India, Mexico and China, and 30 percent down in Russia. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Communications infrastructure is absolutely central to the surveillance scandal, and that’s Cisco’s business. “You look around the world, the emerging markets, I have never seen that fast a move in emerging markets and that is something that when I talk with our industry peers, while there are exceptions, most of my CEO counterparts can almost finish my sentence in terms of what’s occurring," says Cisco CEO John Chambers. Brazil has produced some of the strongest reactions to the surveillance scandal, with President Dilma Rousseff promising to stimulate the local networking equipment industry as a response. Barclays’ Ben Reitzes said during the conference call that he and other analysts were “floored” by Cisco’s guidance, and asked specifically what part was being played by concern over NSA snooping. “I would rather there have been a couple of countries because then you can say let’s go fix them," answered Chambers. "But the consistency of that number is what concerned me. And we usually unfortunately see things a couple of quarters ahead of our peers." If Cisco really is an industry bellwether, big problems lie ahead says Meyer. "Analysts had expected growth of 6 percent, not revenue decimation, and Cisco’s gloomy prognostication swiftly saw a 10 percent drop on the company’s share price in after-market trading."

Submission + - Smithsonian Releasing 3D Models of Artifacts

plover writes: The Seattle Times reports "the Smithsonian Institution is launching a new 3D scanning and printing initiative to make more of its massive collection accessible to schools, researchers and the public worldwide. A small team has begun creating 3D models of some key objects representing the breadth of the collection at the world's largest museum complex. Some of the first 3D scans include the Wright brothers' first airplane, Amelia Earhart's flight suit, casts of President Abraham Lincoln's face during the Civil War and a Revolutionary War gunboat. Less familiar objects include a former slave's horn, a missionary's gun from the 1800s and a woolly mammoth fossil from the Ice Age. They are pieces of history some people may hear about but rarely see or touch."

So far they have posted 20 models on the site, with the promise of much more to come.

Submission + - TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance (theverge.com)

rwise2112 writes: The General Accounting Office (GAO) has completed a study of the TSAs SPOT (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program and found the program is only slightly better than chance at finding criminals. Given that the TSA has spent almost a billion dollars on the program, that's a pretty poor record. As a result, the GAO is requesting that both Congress and the president withhold funding from the program until the TSA can demonstrate its effectiveness.

Submission + - Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Starts Generating (bloomberg.com)

mdsolar writes: A development to harness the power of the wind about 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Fukushima, site of the March 2011 nuclear disaster, began generating power on an operational basis today.

The project, funded by the government and led by Marubeni Corp. (8002), is a symbol of Japan’s ambition to commercialize the unproven technology of floating offshore wind power and its plan to turn quake-ravaged Fukushima into a clean energy hub.

“Fukushima is making a stride toward the future step by step,” Yuhei Sato, governor of Fukushima, said today at a ceremony in Fukushima marking the project’s initiation. “Floating offshore wind is a symbol of such a future.”....

The Fukushima project follows similar projects with floating turbines in Norway, Portugal and Nagasaki in southwestern Japan. The Nagasaki project is backed by Japan’s environment ministry.

Submission + - Using Multi-Photon Lasers to Treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease 1

wjcofkc writes: Degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are among the most insidious and feared diseases a person may have to face. Recently, researchers have discovered a multi-photon laser technique that makes it possible to distinguish aggregations of the proteins believed to cause the diseases, while differentiating from the the well-functioning proteins. In theory, removing the protein aggregates can cure the disease."

"Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now. This is a totally new approach and we believe that this might become a breakthrough in the research of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light," says Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers University of Technology.

Submission + - Adobe's giant-sized cryptographic blunder (sophos.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Everyone knows you hash passwords instead of encrypting them, right? Right? Not Adobe it seems. Paul Ducklin from Sophos takes apart the Adobe breach data to show just how bad for us Adobe's mistakes were.

Submission + - Is Edward Snowden Going to Germany? (vice.com) 1

Daniel_Stuckey writes: After a three hour heart-to-heart with the former NSA agent in Moscow, German Green Party MP Hans-Christian Stroebele said Snowden made "clear he knows a lot and that as long as the National Security Agency (NSA) blocks investigations..., he is prepared to come to Germany and give testimony, but the conditions must be discussed." After their chat, the political 'maverick' gave reporters a letter Snowden had addressed to Angela Merkel and German officials. It thanked Berlin in its "efforts in upholding the international laws that protect us all.” Because of existing treaties between Germany and Russia, Snowden's lawyer in Moscow said that travel to Germany wouldn't be necessary, alluding to the idea of conducting testimonies over Skype. But it seems like a no-brainer: Asylum in Berlin is highly preferable to near-refugee status in Moscow. However, having just taken up a tech support job at a Russian website, a weighing of the pros and cons seems in order.

Submission + - Autonomous Dump Trucks Are Coming to Canada's Oil Sands (vice.com) 1

Daniel_Stuckey writes: According to a Bloomberg report, Canadian oil sands giant Suncor, which is "Canada’s largest energy company by market value," is currently testing haul trucks that are run by computers. Extracting bitumen from sands requires first digging up an enormous amount of the sand itself, with about two tons of sands required to produce one barrel of oil. Digging up all of that sand is the job of huge excavators, which then offload into gigantic haul trucks that transport sands to extraction plants. Time is money, and in this case being faster means carrying as much sand as possible. Haul trucks can carry hundreds of tons at a time, and are in constant motion, moving back and forth between excavator and extraction plant.

Submission + - Open-source advocates to government: Let us help you fix healthcare.gov (nbcnews.com) 1

sunzoomspark writes: As computer experts hired by the U.S. government scramble to fix the much-maligned healthcare.gov website, a corps of independent kibitzers is chiming in from around the world, publicizing coding flaws that they’ve discovered and offering suggestions for fixing them.

Much of the constructive criticism is coming from members of the “open source” community, a passionate but loose-knit group that advocates openness and collaboration as a means of writing better computer software. Their desire to help solve the federal government’s website woes in part stems from an early decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to make the healthcare.gov code available for examination – a promise that was never fully fulfilled.

Submission + - Skunk Works Reveals Proposed SR-71 Successor: The Hypersonic SR-72 (aviationweek.com) 1

cold fjord writes: Aviation Week reports, "Ever since Lockheed’s unsurpassed SR-71 Blackbird was retired ... almost two decades ago, the perennial question has been: Will it ever be succeeded by a new-generation, higher-speed aircraft and, if so, when? That is, until now. After years of silence on the subject, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works has revealed exclusively to AW&ST details of long-running plans for what it describes as an affordable hypersonic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike platform that could enter development in demonstrator form as soon as 2018. Dubbed the SR-72, the twin-engine aircraft is designed for a Mach 6 cruise, around twice the speed of its forebear, and will have the optional capability to strike targets. Guided by the U.S. Air Force’s long-term hypersonic road map, the SR-72 is designed to fill what are perceived by defense planners as growing gaps in coverage of fast-reaction intelligence by the plethora of satellites, subsonic manned and unmanned platforms meant to replace the SR-71." — More at Foreign Policy.

Submission + - Google's Barge Is A Marketing Showroom (www.cbc.ca) 2

Dave Knott writes: The mysterious barge docked in San Francisco Bay that has been fuelling intense speculation the past week will serve as a luxury showroom for Google products and a floating, modular venue for the company's private events. The large structure built out of shipping containers that sits on top of the barge will be used to market Google Glass, the much-hyped augmented reality headgear Google unveiled this year, and other products and to host invitation-only events and parties for clients. The structure is constructed of interchangeable 12-metre high shipping containers that can be assembled and disassembled and transported by road, rail or ship anywhere in the world.

Submission + - GPUs Keep Getting Faster, But Your Eyes Can't Tell (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: This brings to mind an earlier Slashdot discussion about whether we've hit the limit on screen resolution improvements on handheld devices. But this time, the question revolves around ever-faster graphics processing units (GPUs) and the resolution limits of desktop monitors. ITworld's Andy Patrizio frames the problem like this:

Desktop monitors (I'm not talking laptops except for the high-end laptops) tend to vary in size from 20 to 24 inches for mainstream/standard monitors, and 27 to 30 inches for the high end. One thing they all have in common is the resolution. They have pretty much standardized on 1920x1080. That's because 1920x1080 is the resolution for HDTV, and it fits 20 to 24-inch monitors well. Here's the thing: at that resolution, these new GPUs are so powerful you get no major, appreciable gain over the older generation.

Or as Chris Angelini, editorial director for Tom's Hardware Guide, put it, 'The current high-end of GPUs gives you as much as you'd need for an enjoyable experience. Beyond that and it's not like you will get nothing, it's just that you will notice less benefit.'

Submission + - Amdahl's Law vs. Gustafson-Barsis' Law (drdobbs.com)

CowboyRobot writes: The advantage of parallel programming over serial computing is increased computing performance, achieved by way of reducing latency, increasing throughput, and reducing CPU power consumption. Two approaches for optimizing are to make a program run faster with the same workload (reflected in Amdahl's Law) or to run a program in the same time with a larger workload (Gustafson-Barsis' Law). "Gustafson noted that problem sizes grow as computers become more powerful. As the problem size grows, the work required for the parallel part of the problem frequently grows much faster than the serial part. If this is true for a given application, then as the problem size grows the serial fraction decreases and speedup improves...History clearly favors programs attacking and solving larger, more complex problems, so Gustafson's observations fit the historical trend. Nevertheless, Amdahl's Law still haunts you when you need to make an application run faster on the same workload to meet some latency target."

Submission + - The Dark Mod 2.0 Standalone: Id Tech 4 GPL yields a free Thief-a-like game (youtube.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: After 9 years of development, The Dark Mod is now a Standalone Game. Thief fans can now enjoy over 60 fan made missions which capture the essence of the Thief 1 \ 2 games. Originally created as a reaction to Thief 3; with the upcoming release of Thief 4, many are comparing what was done here (a faithful extension of the old gameplay) to what Eidos has shown thus far. Can a little Doom 3 mod compete against a blockbuster AAA title? Should we even compare them?

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