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Submission + - Force Dell to give the user a choice of Ubuntu or Windows on all desktops... (

An anonymous reader writes: It is common knowledge that Dell, HP and other OEM PC manufacturers are currently engaged in a commercial conspiracy with Microsoft to deprive consumers of the ability buy laptops and desktops with alternative OS's to ensure a perpetual and complete Windows OS monopoly on all non-Apple hardware. Windows 8 Logo certification for OEM's will also include putting UEFI Secure Boot on all BIOS chips ensuring that all future laptops and desktops are locked down to prevent users from using or installing alternative operating systems, supporting the monopoly.

Dell has a special forum called "Ideastorm" where consumers can post product ideas and sometimes Dell responds directly such as the recent Project Sputnik laptop idea where they plan on making a special Ubuntu laptop for Web Developers. Recently a friend of mine posted an idea on Ideastorm to require Dell to make Ubuntu, Red Hat or Fedora available on all Dell Desktops and Laptops and provide driver support for them. I would love for Slashdot readers to support his idea and up-vote it and provide comments so that Dell will respond directly to this problem...

Click here to view the ideastorm entry and make comments so that Dell knows that we are fed up and sick and tired of their die hard support of the Windows Monopoly and to finally open up their machines and allow more user choice...



Submission + - Wind Map project brings Americas hidden winds into view (

techfun89 writes: "They say seeing is believing and that is just what the Wind Map does. The Wind Map is an art project found on that was founded by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg who also lead Google's "Big Picture" visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Wind Map shows the winds as they flow across the United States. Surface wind data is taken from the National Digital Forecast Database. The data is revised once per hour. This effectively makes what you see a live portrait."

The Military

Submission + - DARPA is pushing big data on the military (

sarfralogy writes: "Armed with a 1.8 gigapixel camera rig, A U.S. Army Hummingbird copters over Afghanistan looking for suspicious insurgent activity. On board, a robo cameraman called ARGUS pulls focus on 36 square miles and shoots six petabytes of video – all in a day’s work. Somewhere in that ocean of media, a military spy mission is accomplished. Somewhere on the ground, a bleary-eyed analyst stares at six petabytes of what the military calls Death TV. It’s not a wrap. And there will be a mountain more tomorrow, generated by other drones, blimps, spy planes and covert cameras patrolling the Afghan countryside, looking for the perfect shot. Air Force, Army – and even Homeland Security – now boast Hollywood technology, but can’t scale qualified personnel fast enough to view, process and communicate the montage of surveillance footage piling up in the name of freedom.
The U.S. Military has a big data problem. And DARPA, the neo-Frankenstein brains behind national security, has been trying to fix it through the Mind’s Eye, a brainy collective tasked to develop machine-based visual intelligence. And, as part of President Obama’s “Big Data Initiative,” DARPA has a new project called XDATA in March, a DoD related program focused on developing computational techniques and software tools for processing and analyzing large volumes of mission-oriented data collected by federal agencies. If they can build a flying humvee, maybe DARPA has enough imagination to transform big data into a strategic differentiator."


Submission + - Speden on open source and Autodesk partnership (

inkslinger77 writes: "Autodesk's Liam Speden tells PC World that the open source community and Autodesk can work together to make sense of the surge in location enabled and spatially aware information. The interview follows Autodesk's recently announced plans to donate its coordinate system (CS) and map projection technology to the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). "Coordinate systems evolve like the data and applications that use them. For example, GPS (Global Positioning System) uses a 3D coordinate system that evolved from more traditional 2D methods to more accurately reflect the needs and abilities of satellite positioning technology. In the future, coordinate systems will incorporate additional factors such as time, as this is increasingly a key feature of location based services and social and community networking. This is needed to support searches that answer not only the questions "what and where" but "what, where, and when"," says Speden."

Fake Codec is Mac OS X Trojan 473

Kenny A. writes "Multiple news organisations are reporting on an in-the-wild Mac OS X malware attack that uses porn lures to plant phishing Trojans on Mac machines. The attack site attempts to trick users into download a disk image (.dmg) file disguised as a codec that's required for viewing the video. If the Mac machine's browser is set to to open 'Safe' files after downloading, the .dmg gets mounted and the Installer is launched. The target must click through a series of screens to become infected but once the Trojan is installed, it has full control of the machine."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Asterisk ported to iPhone

Syn Ack writes: "One of the engineers that works in my office spent his weekend porting Asterisk for running on the iPhone. It was done in one weekend. His webpage can be found here with all the details. For obvious reasons Asterisk can't interact with the GSM phone, but he does have it working with SIP phones. A wireless PBX in your pocket! We're not sure what value this has other than showing people just how far you can take an iPhone. If only Apple would open the environment up to development. So if you want a "PBX in your pocket" go grab Matt's code and give it a try."

Submission + - Webot adds Mac, Linux support: I don't care where (

kweedcom writes: "Free remote media service Webot ( recently released agents for Linux and MacOS, adding to existing Windows support. This may not seem like such a big deal. But it's a sign of a tectonic shift going on right now: From the closed, local desktop to the always-on, I-want-it-now world we're going to live in soon. I've been on the road for the past couple of weeks. And I've seen a lot of change. At Web2Summit, I saw Nokia's launch of the N810. The N810 invites comparisons with Apple's iPhone, but it's a different beast. It's an open, Linux-based platform that runs Flash and pretty much anything else. Then, a week later at Interop, everyone was talking virtualization and on-demand services. Nobody cared which machine their app was on, or where it was located. Turning up a server was a few keystrokes. Now Google's announcing an open, federated alternative to Facebook's Social Graph APIs. The war for the online operating system is playing out, with each mega-site offering its own platform for software development. Platform independence is huge Webot's release means my media — pictures, music, and so on — is made whole, freed from the tyranny of multiple machines and myriad operating systems. Okay, that part sounds a bit melodramatic. But the point here is that we've moved beyond locked-up devices with open services. In fact, you can play Webot on an iPhone through Safari; Webot doesn't care that you can't install things on your iPhone. Right now, I'm sitting at home, listening to an obscure Orb remix from my machine at work, just as easily as I'd use a local player. But I don't use my local player any more: I just bookmark my remote player. I don't care where my music is. The harder stuff The only constraint for open services is the access they have to your stuff. With remote media access, we want it to come from anywhere — regardless of machine or operating system — to anywhere. The "to" part has been handily solved. Web browsers are damned good at displaying pretty much everything we show them, particularly with Adobe's Flash. And now that it can run on handsets, you can get it via Wifi, 3G, or Edge. But the "from" part is still tough. Media's big and unwieldy. It lives all over the place. It's hard to search — I have thousands of pictures that start with "DSC" and I have no idea what they are without looking. I have dozens of weird remixes by the same artists. The "from" part needs a lot of hard engineering. It means agents to get data from various platforms; an on-demand communications infrastructure; metadata; good security controls; and so on. One of the things I'm most impressed with about Webot (who I started covering back in September) is the background of the guys who built it. There have been remote media companies before-but not like this. The Webot guys come from places like AOL, Spinner, Sony, Shoutcast, and Big-scale on-demand services and media companies. There's a lot under the covers (such as, from what my bot data tells me, an infrastructure that leverages Amazon's on-demand web services.) Having access to all my media is great. But it's also a precursor to a world in which we access our applications and content in an entirely different way."

Submission + - Picture Passwords More Secure than Text 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "People possess a remarkable ability for recalling pictures and researchers at Newcastle University are exploiting this characteristic to create graphical passwords that they say are a thousand times more secure than ordinary textual passwords. With Draw a Secret (DAS) technology, users draw an image over a background, which is then encoded as an ordered sequence of cells. The software recalls the strokes, along with the number of times the pen is lifted. If a person chooses a flower background and then draws a butterfly as their secret password image onto it, they have to remember where they began on the grid and the order of their pen strokes. The "passpicture" is recognised as identical if the encoding is the same, not the drawing itself, which allows for some margin of error as the drawing does not have to be re-created exactly. The software has been initially designed for handheld devices such as iPhones, Blackberry and Smartphone, but could soon be expanded to other areas. "The most exciting feature is that a simple enhancement simultaneously provides significantly enhanced usability and security," says computer scientist Jeff Yan."

Feed Science Daily: Ten Minutes Of Talking Improves Memory And Test Performance (

Spending just 10 minutes talking to another person can help improve your memory and your performance on tests, according to a new study. The higher the level of participants' social interaction, researchers found, the better their cognitive functioning. This relationship was reliable for all age groups, from the youngest through the oldest.

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