Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Submission + - The Most iPhones Ever Is Still Not Enough (

pigrabbitbear writes: "Apple sold five million iPhones over the weekend, a record breaking number that eclipsed the 4S sales record by a solid million phones. But for the largest company in the world, breaking old records is no longer enough. Indeed, for many, the weekend number was somewhat a disappointment. See the immediate drop in Apple’s stock, which fell 1.7 percent as the company missed optimistic estimates of nearly ten million. It was halfway there.

This is the new Apple, the one that every article you read reminds you is the biggest company around, the one that now apparently misses sales estimates."

Data Storage

Submission + - Hitachi targets 2015 for data storage that lasts 100 million years ( 1

alphadogg writes: Hitachi has developed a glass-based data storage medium that is highly heat and water resistant, capable of holding data for hundreds of millions of years, and says it may be able to bring it to market by 2015. The company's main research lab has developed a way to etch digital patterns into robust quartz glass with a laser at a data density that is better than compact discs, then read it using an optical microscope. The data is etched at four different layers in the glass using different focal points of the laser. "Initially this will be aimed at companies that have large amounts of important data to preserve, rather than individuals," said a spokeswoman at Hitachi's main research lab.

Submission + - Why Microsoft's Anti-iPad Strategy Will Backfire (

snydeq writes: "Microsoft's isolationist tack toward Apple's iPad will only make Windows, Office, and SharePoint less relevant to users, predicts Mobile Edge's Galen Gruman. 'Microsoft's strategy to isolate the iPad from its Office and SharePoint technologies could easily backfire and instead sequester Office and SharePoint from the greater mobile market, where the growth actually is. ... To prevent that fate, Microsoft should untie Office and SharePoint from Windows. Doing so would give Microsoft productivity platform dominance across most of the computing market. In other words, the iPad could be a new platform for Microsoft's historic strategy of "embrace and extend" to win in markets where it had little presence, as it did in the Internet and in the server realm.'"

Submission + - A boost for quantum reality (

Eponymous Hero writes: FTA: "The philosophical status of the wavefunction — the entity that determines the probability of different outcomes of measurements on quantum-mechanical particles — would seem to be an unlikely subject for emotional debate. Yet online discussion of a paper claiming to show mathematically that the wavefunction is real has ranged from ardently star-struck to downright vitriolic since the article was first released as a preprint in November 2011."

Submission + - TSA's mm-Wave Body Scanner Breaks Diabetic Teen's $10K Insulin Pump (

OverTheGeicoE writes: Savannah Barry, a Colorado teenager, was returning home from a conference in Salt Lake City. She is a diabetic and wears an insulin pump to control her insulin levels 24/7. She carries documentation of her condition to assist screeners, who usually give her a pat-down search. This time the screeners listened to her story, read her doctor's letter, and forced her to go through a millimeter-wave body scanner anyway. The insulin pump stopped working immediately, and of course, she was subjected to a full invasive manual search. 'My life is pretty much in their hands when I go through a body scan with my insulin pump on,' she says. She wants TSA screeners to have more training. Was this a predictable outcome, considering that no one outside TSA has access to millimeter-wave scanners for testing? How powerful must the body scanner's emitter be to destroy electronic devices? Would oversight from the FDA or FCC prevent similar incidents from happening in the future?

Submission + - The wretched state of GPU transcoding (

MrSeb writes: "Excerpt from the story (which reportedly turned the writer, Joel Hruska, quite mad): "This story began as an investigation into why Cyberlink’s Media Espresso software produced video files of wildly varying quality and size depending on which GPU was used for the task. It then expanded into a comparison of several alternate solutions. Our goal was to find a program that would encode at a reasonably high quality level (~1GB per hour was the target) and require a minimal level of expertise from the user. The conclusion, after weeks of work and going blind staring at enlarged images, is that the state of "consumer" GPU transcoding is still a long, long way from prime time use. In short, it's simply not worth using the GPU to accelerate your video transcodes; it's much better to simply use Handbrake, which uses your CPU. Read the story for the full analysis, and some hints of some truly awful coding from Cyberlink."

Submission + - Pile-Up of Particles Could Obscure Higgs Finding at Large Hadron Collider ( 1

ananyo writes: The world’s largest particle accelerator is roaring along at an unprecedented pace. But the hundreds of millions of collisions happening inside the machine every second are now growing into a thick fog that, paradoxically, threatens to obscure a fabled quarry: the Higgs boson.

The problem is known as pile-up, and it promises to be one of the greatest challenges this year for scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

The Internet

Submission + - Controlling Bufferbloat with Queue Delay (

CowboyRobot writes: "We all can see that the Internet is getting slower. According to researchers, the cause is persistently full buffers, and the problem is only made worse by the increasing availability of cheap memory, which is then immediately filled with buffered data. The metaphor is grocery store checkout lines: a cramped system where one individual tasks can block many other tasks waiting in line. But you can avoid the worst problems by having someone actively managing the checkout queues, and this is the solution for bufferbloat as well: AQM (Active Queue Management). However, AQM (and the metaphor) break down in the modern age when Queues are long and implementation is not quite so straightforward.

Kathleen Nichols at Pollere and Van Jacobson at Parc have a new solution that they call CoDel (Controlled Delay), which has several features that distinguish it from other AQM systems.

"A modern AQM is just one piece of the solution to bufferbloat. Concatenated queues are common in packet communications with the bottleneck queue often invisible to users and many network engineers. A full solution has to include raising awareness so that the relevant vendors are both empowered and given incentive to market devices with buffer management.""

Comment Re:The patent system is fcked up and going get wor (Score 1) 167

No need for confusion. The answer is no. You may get a patent on something that uses a wheel, but the protection does not extend to the wheel by itself. I haven't reviewed the prior art, but Apple's patent requires the power plug be symmetric so it can be plugged in in exactly two different orientations and still work. The guy a few posts above should make a triangular one connectable in exactly three orientations and get a patent on that, since it's so damn easy and obvious.

Comment Re:Double standards and people (Score 1) 223

The PTO hires plenty of people "skilled in the art of software". The #1 problem with software patents is the utter lack of documentation available to the patent office as prior art. Examiners can't just write "claim 1 is rejected under the grounds that I remember seeing this idea 10 years ago in some random shareware POS". Now, if the author of that particular program documented even half of the features in a file WITH A DATE, then the examiner wouldn't look like an idiot. A forum post retrieved from only goes so far.

To all those writing software: Document how your software works and include a date! I'd like to get past these seemingly inane software patents too, and the best way to do it is to create prior art.

Comment Re:Did it not occur to PALM that this is BAD? (Score 5, Insightful) 314

In fact, I just mentioned this article to a co-worker who was showing off his shiny new Pre to me late last week, which after using it for a few days and finding out contrary to what the clerk told him that he could in fact not sync with iTunes, He's clocking out now to return it to the store he bought it from and promised to be headed to Bestbuy to pick up an iPhone 3GS on the way back...

So wait.. your coworker was so mad that Palm wouldn't parry Apple's anti-competitive measures and Palm's collection of usage/GPS data, that he rushed out to sign a contract with the company at the center of the warrantless wiretapping debacle? The same company that, in response to hoards of customer complaints, pulled strings in congress to get an unconstitutional ex-post-facto law passed to prevent them from being criminally prosecuted for turning over every bit of customer data they could get their hands on to the feds? Yea, I can see how the average American consumer would make that choice.

Comment Re:patent: new, useful, non-obvious, inventive ste (Score 2, Insightful) 205

A discovery cannot be patented by itself. To be patentable, there is an explicit requirement under US law for an "inventive step" to be taken.

While I usually cringe when thinking of responding to patent related topics here, the fact that this got modded up to "4, Informative" made me cringe more.. 35 USC 101 is the key to what can and cannot be patented in the US, and it starts: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful..." so, yeah "discoveries" can be patented. If you "discover" a new rock mineral that cures cancer, you are entitled to a patent on the mineral itself (given you can prove it's "usefulness", i.e. actually curing cancer).

Both patents suck, but for other reasons.

On this part, I completely agree, but hopefully things are different now that KSR caselaw is in place.

Input Devices

Sony Files Patent On "Any-Object" Motion Control 69

Oracle Goddess writes "Sony filed a patent for a system where a camera can dynamically map any real world object for use in a video game. The patent states that the objects 'include items such as coffee mugs, drinking glasses, books, bottles, etc.' While these are given as examples, the object mapping system is not limited to those objects; it can identify any three dimensional object. The system looks similar to Microsoft's Project Natal, but instead of driving with an imaginary steering wheel, players can use an everyday item like a plate. Although this may seem a bit silly at first, the eventual uses for such a system could be wide-ranging and lead to novel and useful controllers for all sorts of systems and applications."

Slashdot Top Deals

The best things in life go on sale sooner or later.