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Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - EFF, 9 other groups, push Open Wireless Movement (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: "Forging ahead with an initiative that proved controversial when introduced last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and nine other groups today are advancing the Open Wireless Movement to encourage ubiquitous sharing of Internet access. "We envision a world where sharing one's Internet connection is the norm," said EFF Activist Adi Kamdar, in a press release. "A world of open wireless would encourage privacy, promote innovation, and benefit the public good, giving us network access whenever we need it. And everyone – users, businesses, developers, and Internet service providers – can get involved to help make it happen.""
Technology

Submission + - ARM Announces 64-Bit Cortex-A50 Architecture (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "ARM debuted its new 64-bit microarchitecture today and announced the upcoming launch of a new set of Cortex processors, due in 2014. The two new chip architectures, dubbed the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57, are the most advanced CPUs the British company has ever built, and are integral to AMD's plans to drive dense server applications beginning in 2014. The new ARMv8 architecture adds 64-bit memory addressing, increases the number of general purpose registers to 30, and increases the size of the vector registers for NEON/SIMD operations. The Cortex-A57 and A-53 are both aimed at the mobile market. Partners that've already signed on to build ARMv8-based hardware include Samsung, AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, and STMicro."
Math

Submission + - Maths and nature link 'proven' by Manchester scientists (bbc.co.uk)

hessian writes: "The largest ever research project into mathematical patterns in flowers has proved a link between number sequences and nature, Manchester scientists said.

Data from 557 sunflowers from seven countries was collected for the Turing's Sunflowers project, set up to celebrate the centenary of the mathematician's birth, and growers kept video diaries about their flowers' progress.

It showed 82% of the flowers conformed to complex structures including the mathematical Fibonacci sequence — where each number is the sum of the previous two."

Science

Submission + - Hurricane Sandy Is 'Meteorologically Mind-Boggling,' Scientists Say

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have been following and projecting Sandy's path with all the tools at their disposal: ocean buoys, radar and satellite imagery, and computer modeling. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also gathers information from special reconnaissance aircraft, which fly over hurricanes and can drop instruments into them to measure wind speeds, air pressure, temperature, and altitude. The latest data gathered on Hurricane Sandy point to an unprecedented and mighty tempest, scientists say.
Books

Submission + - Funding models for a free e-book? (teachrdan.com)

danspalding writes: "I'm an adult education teacher in SF who wrote an e-book about how to teach adults, called "How to Teach Adults." It will be available to download for free in January 2013. I Kickstarted enough money for editing, design and publicity, but not enough to pay me anything up front. I'm considering making a $1, $10 and $25 version available from Amazon as a way for folks to donate money to me, as well as a straight up PayPal link on my site. (Although I hate PayPal.) Is it possible to produce quality material for teachers to download for free in a way that's economically sustainable? Might readers accidentally pay for a copy without realizing there's a free download and get pissed off? And where should I host the free-to-download version?"
IBM

Submission + - IBM Reports Carbon Nanotube Chip Breakthrough (nytimes.com)

yawaramin writes: IBM has apparently made a breakthrough in arranging carbon nanotubes into the logic gates necessary to make a chip. This should help miniaturise and speed up processors beyond what today's silicon-based technologies are capable of. The article notes though that perfecting the carbon nanotube technology could take up the rest of this decade.
The Military

Submission + - Targeting the President's DNA 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Atlantic reports that experts in genetics and microbiology are convinced we may be only a few years away from the development of advanced, genetic bio-weapons able to target a single human being based on their DNA. The authors paint a scenario of the development of a virus that causes only mild flu in the general population but when the virus crosses paths with cells containing a very specific DNA sequence, the sequence would act as a molecular key to unlock secondary functions that would trigger a fast-acting neuro-destructive disease that produces memory loss and, eventually, death. The requisite equipment including gene sequencers, micro-array scanners, and mass spectrometers now cost over $1 million but on eBay, it can be had for as little as $10,000. According to Ronald Kessler, the author of the 2009 book In the President’s Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched—they are later sanitized or destroyed—in an effort to keep would-be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material. However no amount of Secret Service vigilance can ever fully secure the president’s DNA, because an entire genetic blueprint can now be produced from the information within just a single cell. How to protect the President? The authors propose open-sourcing the president’s genetic information to a select group of security-cleared researchers who could follow in the footsteps of the computer sciences, where “red-team exercises,” are extremely common practices so a similar testing environment could be developed for biological war games. "Advances in biotechnology are radically changing the scientific landscape. We are entering a world where imagination is the only brake on biology," write the authors. "In light of this coming synbio revolution, a wider-ranging relationship between scientists and security organizations—one defined by open exchange, continual collaboration, and crowd-sourced defenses—may prove the only way to protect the president.""
Databases

Submission + - Vermont cops replace clunky records management system with open-source solution (7dvt.com) 1

McGruber writes: Alternative weekly newspaper, Seven Days, Vermont's Independent Voice [http://www.7dvt.com/], has a fascinating article about Valcour, the Burlington, Vermont Police Department's open-source integrated dispatch and records management system [http://www.7dvt.com/2012burlington-pds-computer-system-was-clunky-and-costly-so-chief-mike-schirling-built-new-one].

Prior to Valcour's going live on October 1, 2011, Burlington polce were spending more than a third of their time on paperwork and data entry — writing reports on crime when they could be out fighting it. The department’s former records management system, called New World, made analyzing crime stats and patterns extremely difficult and time-consuming. According to the article:

Deputy Chief Jennifer Morrison helped design and implement Valcour. She cops to having 'zero' experience designing software, but says the genius of Valcour is its simplicity. At any given time, an officer or dispatcher can log into the system and see a dashboard showing everything that’s happening in the city — and neighboring jurisdictions — including every officer on duty, every call for service, who’s involved and what’s occurring. "

The article also describes how much money the police department is saving by having replaced the proprietary software it used to use — the savings can buy a lot of donuts.

Canada

Submission + - US and Canada Launch Joint Cybersecurity Plan (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Canada and the United States announced Friday they were launching a joint cybsersecurity plan that aims to better protect critical digital infrastructure and improve the response to cyber incidents.

Under the action plan, the US Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety Canada will cooperate to protect vital cyber systems and respond to and recover from any cyber disruptions, by improving collaboration on managing cyber incidents between their respective cyber security operation centers, enhancing information sharing and engagement with the private sector and pursuing US-Canadian collaboration to promote cyber security awareness to the public.

The news came after earlier in the week Canadian Auditor General Michael Ferguson warned that Canada has made only "limited progress" over the past decade to safeguard electrical grids, telecommunications infrastructure, banking systems, manufacturing and transportation, as well as its own computers. Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the U.S. has drafted new rules for the military that would enable it to move aggressively against digital attacks. The amended rules of engagement underline the need to defend Defense Department computer networks, "but also to be prepared to defend the nation and our national interests against an attack in or through cyberspace," he said. Panetta also called on Congress this week to adopt proposed cyber security legislation and demanded Congress take action after November elections to ensure stable funding for the US military.

Supercomputing

Submission + - Parallella Open Parallel Hardware Platform Gets Kickstart Funding 1

ygslash writes: Adapteva has achieved Kickstarter funding for their Parallella "supercomputing for everyone" project. The stated goal of the Parallella project is to provide a totally open highly parallel hardware platform, with a full set of publicly available NDA-free specs and documentation, for under $100 US. They claim that a credit-card sized Parallella CPU board based on their Epiphany 64-core accelerator will provide 90 gflops while consuming only 5 watts (but I wonder if the under $100 version might only include their 16-core version). On their Kickstarter page, Adapteva promises that "all architecture and SDK documents will be published on the web as soon as the Kickstarter project is funded." Still looking for the link...
Linux

Submission + - Valve Steam for Linux Beta Survey (valvesoftware.com)

hawkeyeMI writes: "Valve has moved one step closer to releasing Steam for Linux, and they want beta testers that have a lot of experience with Linux. Knowing Slashdot, many of you probably fit the bill. So, if you'd like to try to get into the beta, go fill out the survey! You will need a Steam account to do so."

Submission + - Indian Govt. scraps a patent based on traditional/ancient knowledge (indiatimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Indian government denied a patent for diabities care based on extracts of plants by saying that for centuries, it was known that the plants were used for management of diabetes and there were no inventions. "When plants are known to act against a particular disease, extracts would certainly perform the same function," an official said. Besides, the government is of the view that a patent cannot be granted for validating something that is part of traditional knowledge.

Submission + - Test (test.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Please ignore
Open Source

Submission + - Red Hat Devs Working on ARM64 OpenJDK Port (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Developers over at Red Hat are busy porting the OpenJDK to ARM’s latest 64bit architecture – the ARMv8, also known as the A64. The current OpenJDK ARM situation is rather unsatisfactory as there for the current 32-bit ARM processors, there are two version of VM for OpenJDK – HotSpot; one being a proprietary version by Oracle and another one free. The free version comes with a just-in-time (JIT) compiler that has quite a smaller footprint, which can’t compete with Oracle’s JIT. To avoid a similar situation for the 64-bit platform, the developers are working on an entirely free software.
Cloud

Submission + - Microsoft researchers advocate 'job-based' cloud model (cio.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "A group of Microsoft Researchers believe that the current model of cloud computing, where a tenant purchases computing resources, could be replaced with a "job-based" model. The idea is that instead of deciding what resources they want, customers could specify a job and completion time, adding an extra layer of abstraction to the cloud model. The benefits include making life easier for cloud customers and letting cloud providers more efficiently allocate resources. In their simulations using test MapReduce jobs the provider was able to accept 3-14% more requests because of efficiency gains, as well as more resource-intensive requests, increasing the data centre's goodput by 7-87%."

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