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Submission + - Startup kick-starting a high-bandwidth Software Defined Radio (SDR) peripheral 2

TwineLogic writes: Many Slashdot readers have been enjoying the availability of $20 USB radios which can tune in the range of 50MHz-2GHz. These devices, while cheap, have limited bandwidth (about 2MHz) and minimal resolution (8-bit).

Nuand, a new start-up from Santa Clara, wants to improve on that. Their Kickstarter proposal for bladeRF, a Software Defined Radio transceiver, will support 20MHz bandwidth and 12-bit samples. The frequency range to be covered is planned as 300MHz-3.6Ghz. In addition to the extended spectrum coverage, higher bandwidth, and increased resolution, the bladeRF will have an on-board FPGA capable of performing signal processing and an Altera processor as well.

SDR hobbyists have been using the inexpensive receivers to decode airplane data transmission giving locations and mechanical condition, GPS signals, and many other digital signals travelling through the air around us. This new device would extend the range of inexpensive SDRs beyond the spectrum of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. In addition, the peripheral includes a low-power transmitter which the experimenter can use without needing a "Ham" license.

Submission + - Judgement Day: Call for a Ban on Killer Robots (

DavidGilbert99 writes: "Judgement Day was meant to happen on August 29, 1997. At 2.14am Eastern Time, the machines were meant to become self-aware and launch a nuclear strike against Russia, thus triggering a global nuclear war and the beginning of the end of the human race.

This is course never happened, because the Terminator and Skynet were only horrifying visions of the future as dreamed up by James Cameron in his 1984 film.

However a real judgement day may not be that far off as governments around the world pour billions of pounds into the development of autonomous weapons systems which are slowly but surely taking control from the hands of humans.

Playing the role of Sarah Connor and attempting to warn the world of impending doom is Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has just released a report called Losing Humanity — The Case against Killer Robots."

Submission + - Google Maps Offering Indoor Floor Plans On Desktop

An anonymous reader writes: Google has been making modifications to its mobile-based Google Maps feature with regular updates, offering a host of options for users. Nonetheless, the company hasn’t forgotten about the desktop version of the feature and now, per reports, Google has announced the introduction of indoor maps support for the desktop version of the Maps.

Submission + - Windows 8 Registration and Increased Spam 1

Teufelhunden25 writes: I am wondering if others who may have installed Windows 8 have noticed an increase in the amount of spam they're receiving. During the Windows 8 registration, like an idiot I guess, I gave one of my primary email addresses. Since that time, the amount of spam I have gotten has increased significantly.
United States

Submission + - GOP opposes net neutrality, internet piracy (

ericjones12398 writes: "While GOP candidates won't stop publicly disavowing it, all eyes are on the Republican platform. The convention, which closed Thursday, inserted a number of controversial planks regarding abortion, English-only laws and a committee to examine the possibility of returning to the gold standard. Receiving considerably less attention was the downright Orwellian naming of the "Internet freedom plank," which opposes net neutrality."

Submission + - US Military Wants Cheap Satellites, Launcher

RocketAcademy writes: "The US Army is beginning low-level work on two low-cost microsatellites for the warfighter — Kestrel Eye, a 15-kg (33-lb.) tactical reconnaissance satellite with 1-meter optical resolution, and Snap, a tactical communications satellite — and a low-cost, responsive launch vehicle that can place a satelltie in orbit for $1.8 million by transported from place to place by C-130.

These goals are similar to what DARPA's working on in two programs: Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements (SeeMe) and Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA)."

Submission + - The Sweet Mystery of Science

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Biologist David P. Barash writes in the LA Times that as a scientist he has been participating in a deception for more than four decades — a benevolent and well intentioned deception — but a deception nonetheless. "When scientists speak to the public or to students, we talk about what we know, what science has discovered," writes Barash. "After all, we work hard deciphering nature's secrets and we're proud whenever we succeed. But it gives the false impression that we know pretty much everything, whereas the reality is that there's a whole lot more that we don't know." Teaching and writing only about what is known risks turning science into a mere catalog of established facts, suggesting that "knowing" science is a matter of memorizing says Barash. "It is time, therefore, to start teaching courses, giving lectures and writing books about what we don't know about biology, chemistry, geology, physics, mathematics." Barash isn't talking about the obvious unknowns, such as "Is there life on other planets?" Looking just at his field, evolutionary biology, the unknowns are immense: How widespread are nonadaptive traits? To what extent does evolution proceed by very small, gradual steps versus larger, quantum jumps? What is the purpose of all that "junk DNA"? Did human beings evolve from a single lineage, or many times, independently? Why does homosexuality persist? According to Barash scientists need to keep celebrating and transmitting what they know but also need to keep their eyes on what science doesn't know if the scientific enterprise is to continue attracting new adherents who will keep pushing the envelope of our knowledge rather than resting satisfied within its cozy boundaries. As Richard Dawkins writes: "Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a different reason: It gives them something to do.""

Submission + - Aussie Tax Office wants phone tapping, data retention ( 1

schliz writes: The Australian Taxation Office has called for phone-tapping powers while backing a controversial proposal to force telcos to store web traffic and subscriber data for up to two years. It said such data may be crucial to investigations, with the Commissioner of Taxation previously explaining that the connection between criminals and their finances made them "especially vulnerable to revenue collection agencies, because of the ability to identify the discrepancy between their wealthy lifestyle and modest tax declarations".

The Tax Office's statements come after this week's passage of new legislation that will allow law enforcement agencies to force internet service providers to store data on subscribers while an official warrant is sought.

The Internet

Submission + - Rep. Nadler Proposes The RIAA Bailout Act Of 2012 (

An anonymous reader writes: Ah, the whole fight over licensing and royalty rates for internet radio had been quiet for a little while, but has sprung back up thanks to Rep. Jerry Nadler proposing a music royalty bill that would effectively bump up the rates that cable and satellite radio stations have to pay to make them more aligned with the insanely high rates that internet streamers are supposed to pay (rates so high, and set by a group of judges who don't appear to know what the internet is half the time, that no real business can be built off of them). This is in contrast to a different, but similar, attempt by Rep. Jason Chaffetz to basically bring the internet rates back down to the same rates as those other providers.

Submission + - Detained Ex-Marine Ordered By Judge To Be Released (

Penurious Penguin writes: A few days ago, news of an ex-marine detained for his Facebook posts reached far and wide throughout the interweb. It was a hotly debated affair and considered from many perspectives. Today, a judge citing a lack of facts regarding the detention has since ordered the release of Brandon Raub.

It's a strange case undoubtedly, but perhaps even stranger when taking into account a few things, like the possibility of forced medication. It has been reported that Raub had made claims that one of the psychiatrists involved in the case threatened him with forced medication. For history polymaths, government proposals of forced medication may not be a surprise and the case of Susan Lindauer may be remembered.

The situation may seem more or less strange when harkening back to 2009, when Fusion Centers targeted Ron Paul supporters, certain universities, and conspiracy theorists as threats to national security, even logging anti death-penalty and anti-war activists into federal terrorism databases.

Personally, I find myself wondering what sorts of epic dangers someone like Noam Chomsky might seem to pose after a stressful day and a few beers, if overheard by certain departments.


Submission + - Shamoon malware linked to Saudi Aramco attack (

angry tapir writes: "A timer found in the Shamoon cyber-sabotage malware discovered last week matches the exact time and date when a hacktivist group claims to have disabled thousands of computers from the network of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia. "We penetrated a system of Aramco company by using the hacked systems in several countries and then sent a malicious virus to destroy thirty thousand computers networked in this company," a group called the "Cutting Sword of Justice" said in a Pastebin post on Aug. 15. "The destruction operations began on Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM (Local time in Saudi Arabia) and will be completed within a few hours." That same day, Saudi Aramco confirmed that some sectors of its computer network were affected by a computer virus that infected workstations used by its employees."

Submission + - 63,000-Year-Old Skull Supports the "Out-of-Africa" Theory, Archaeologists Say

An anonymous reader writes: Pieces of human skull found in the "Cave of the Monkeys" are being reported as the earliest skeletal evidence of ancient migration to Asia, according to archaeologists. There has been prior archaeological evidence that suggested modern humans once migrated out of Africa into Southeast Asia, but with the lack of fossils to support this theory, it has always been up for debate, until now.

Submission + - CPUs do affect gaming performance, after all (

crookedvulture writes: "For years, PC hardware sites have maintained that CPUs have little impact on gaming performance; all you need is a decent graphics card. That position is largely supported by FPS averages, but the FPS metric doesn't tell the whole story. Examining individual frame latencies better exposes the brief moments of stuttering that can disrupt otherwise smooth gameplay. Those methods have now been used to quantify the gaming performance of 18 CPUs spanning three generations. The results illustrate a clear advantage for Intel, whose CPUs enjoy lower frame latencies than comparable offerings from AMD. While the newer Intel processors perform better than their predecessors, the opposite tends to be true for the latest AMD chips. Turns out AMD's Phenom II X4 980, which is over a year old, offers lower frame latencies than the most recent FX processors."

Submission + - New judge assigned to case upholds $675k verdict in Tenenbaum case (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In SONY v Tenenbaum, the new District Judge assigned to the case has disagreed with the previous judge, and instead of reducing the $22,500 per file award to $2250 per file, has instead upheld the jury's verdict. The jury initially found defendant Joel Tenenbaum to have "willfully" infringed the RIAA copyrights by downloading 30 mp3 files which would normally retail for 99 cents each, and awarded the plaintiff record companies $675,000 in "statutory damages". Tenenbaum moved to set the verdict aside on both common law remittitur grounds and constitutional due process grounds. Judge Gertner — the District Judge at the time — felt that remittitur would be a futility, and on constitutional grounds reduced the verdict to $2250 per file. The RIAA appealed. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals remanded on the ground that Judge Gertner ought to have decided the question on remittitur grounds and reached the constitutional question prematurely. By the time the case arrived back in District Court, Judge Gertner had retired, and a new judge — Judge Rya Zobel — had been assigned. Judge Zobel denied the remittitur motion. And then Judge Zobel denied the constitutional motion, leaving the larger verdict in place. I think it is reasonable to expect Tenenbaum to appeal this time around."

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