Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Submission + - Facebook 'Messenger Day' Is the Chat App's New Snapchat Stories Clone (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook is stealing the Stories format and invading countries where Snapchat isn’t popular yet. Today in Poland it launched “Messenger Day”, which lets people share illustrated filter-enhanced photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, just like on Snapchat. Much of the feature works exactly like Snapchat Stories, with the ability to draw or add text to images. Facebook’s one big innovation with Messenger Day is the use of graphic filters as suggestions for what to share, instead of just to celebrate holidays and events or to show off your location like with Snapchat’s geofilters. At the top of the Messenger thread list, users see a row of tiles representing “My Day” and friends’ Days they can watch, but there are also prompts like “I’m Feeling”, “Who’s Up For?” and “I’m Doing”. Tapping on these tiles provides a range of filters “I’m feelingso blue” with raindrops and a bubbly blue font, “I’m feelingblessed” with a glorious gold sparkly font, “Who’s up forroad trip” with a cute car zooming past, or “Who’s up forLet’s grab drinks” with illustrated beer mugs and bottles that cover the screen. This feature allows people to share visually appealing images even if they aren’t great artists or especially creative. These prompts could also spur usage when people are bored, sparking their imagination. Messsenger is already an app people use all day with close friends, so it could end up a better home for the Stories format than cramming it into Facebook’s core app, which the company tested as “Quick Updates” and scrapped.

Submission + - Researchers Ask Federal Court To Unseal Years of Surveillance Records (

An anonymous reader writes: Two lawyers and legal researchers based at Stanford University have formally asked a federal court in San Francisco to unseal numerous records of surveillance-related cases, as a way to better understand how authorities seek such powers from judges. This courthouse is responsible for the entire Northern District of California, which includes the region where tech companies such as Twitter, Apple, and Google, are based. According to the petition, Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn were partly inspired by a number of high-profile privacy cases that have unfolded in recent years, ranging from Lavabit to Apple’s battle with the Department of Justice. In their 45-page petition, they specifically say that they don’t need all sealed surveillance records, simply those that should have been unsealed—which, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen automatically.

Submission + - Private phone and chat conversations ended up in tech company

Dex Hex writes: The Volkstrant reports: "The private communications of thousands of Dutch citizens has fallen into the hands of the Australian technology company Appen. It concerns telephone and chat conversations from 2010 and 2011. According to telecom experts, the only explanation is that this communication was tapped by the British intelligence service GCHQ and was then handed over to Appen with the aim of improving software for converting speech into text."

Can you believe the arrogance?

Submission + - The iPhone 7 has worse battery life than HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 (

Mark Wilson writes: Consumer group Which? has conducted a series of battery life tests on the latest smartphones, and the news is not good for the iPhone 7. Pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5, Apple's latest handset came in last place... and by some distance.

In terms of call time, the Samsung Galaxy S7 lasted for more than twice as long as the iPhone 7, while the HTC 10 had two and a half times the longevity. Things were not quite as bad for the iPhone 7 in internet usage tests... but it was still found bringing up the rear.

Submission + - Security analyst says Yahoo!, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Tumblr all popped by same gang (

mask.of.sanity writes: Five hackers are said to be behind breaches totalling up to a staggering three billion credentials from some of the world's biggest tech companies including the 2014 breach of Yahoo! that led to the loss of 500 million credentials .

The hacks are attributed to the so-called Group E, a small Eastern European hacking outfit that makes cash breaching companies and selling to buyers including nation states.

Comment New content == new copyright (Score 1) 420

Copyright is based on authorship. So, while the main text of Mein Kampf is in the public domain, this new two-volume work will legitimately claim a new copyright. The new copyright will come from all those notes, which were created through acts of authorship. Contrary to the other contemporary story of Otto Frank, editorship is sweat of the brow, while authorship is creativity (see , for example). Translation does qualify as authorship, since is an intellectual creative act. (Dunno about machine translation...)

In the US, public domain items often have a copyright claim due to a new preface, or introduction or even cover art. Check some of the "Penguin Classics" in your local bookstore for examples. For Mein Kampf, all that added content will create a mixed item, where extracting just the public domain content (minus notes and whatever else is new) will take some effort. Luckily, the public domain text is already widely available without the new notes.

As mentioned, copyright expiry based on life+70 has no bearing in the US for items published prior to 1978 ( Due to GATT, no copyright renewal was required after 28 years for items published outside of the US to get the full copyright term. The translations into English were not made until after the original German, of course. In the US, copyright will expire 95 years after publication based on the current USC Title 17 (which, as we know, TPP might force to change). But that's another story...
    - gbn

Comment Re:So AMD called their Hyperthreading a CPU core? (Score 4, Interesting) 311

Concur. The design of the bulldozer modules was abundantly clear. The fact that the "cores" share an FPU was clearly disclosed and part of any diagram of the parts. The shared FPUs played a huge role in assessing bulldozer-based CPUs for high performance computing workloads. For HPC, the usual benchmark is HPL (a.k.a., high performance LINPACK), which is a measure of double precision floating point performance for a particular matrix operation called DGEMM. The fact that the FPU was doing double-duty for two "cores" on a module meant that the peak theoretical performance was limited by the number of FPUs in a CPU, not the number of cores or modules or anything else.

As others have noted, hyperthreading via Intel can have exactly the same impact: the threads share various components, including the FPU.

Another aspect that can have a major impact on performance is the number of memory channels, and how things like cache coherency is handled. Among other things, AMD's hyper-transport exhibits different scalability characteristics depending on the number of sockets. In a four or eight-socket configuration, latency due to cache coherency operations can have a big impact on performance.
    - gbn

Submission + - Dyson swarm around distant star?

gbnewby writes: A Dyson Swarm is a smaller but still colossal version of a Dyson Sphere, which is theoretically used by Type II civilizations to harvest energy from a star. According to an online article in The Atlantic, Tabetha Boyajian postulates in a forthcoming paper that a star, KIC 8462852, is surrounded by debris that does not yet have a natural explanation. In a previous paper with fellow Planet Hunters co-authors, Boyajian described the anomaly. It's 1500 light years away, and analysis was of imagery from the Kepler telescope. As her colleague told The Atlantic, "Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”

Submission + - The Most Disruptive Technology Of The Last 100 Years Isn't What You Think writes: Ana Swanson writes in the Washington Post that when people talk about "disruptive technologies," they're usually thinking of the latest thing out of Silicon Valley but some of the most historically disruptive technologies aren't exactly what you would expect and arguably, the most disruptive technologiy of the last century is the refrigerator. In the 1920s, only about a third of households reported having a washer or a vacuum, and refrigerators were even rarer. But just 20 years later, refrigerator ownership was common, with more than two-thirds of Americans owning an icebox. According to Helen Veit, the surge in refrigerator ownership totally changed the way that Americans cooked. "Before reliable refrigeration, cooking and food preservation were barely distinguishable tasks" and techniques like pickling, smoking and canning were common in nearly every American kitchen. With the arrival of the icebox and then the electric refrigerator, foods could now be kept and consumed in the same form for days. Americans no longer had to make and consume great quantities of cheese, whiskey and hard cider — some of the only ways to keep foods edible through the winter. "A whole arsenal of home preservation techniques, from cheese-making to meat-smoking to egg-pickling to ketchup-making, receded from daily use within a single generation," writes Veit.

Technologies like the smartphone, the computer and the Internet have, of course, dramatically changed the ways we live and work but consider the spread of electricity, running water, the flush toilet developed and popularized by Thomas Crapper and central heating and the changes these have wrought. "These technologies were so disruptive because they massively reduced the time spent on housework," concludes Swanson. "The number of hours that people spent per week preparing meals, doing laundry and cleaning fell from 58 in 1900 to only 18 hours in 1970, and it has declined further since then."

Submission + - Jeb Bush believes that Newt Gingrich's moon base idea was 'pretty cool' (

MarkWhittington writes: During the 2012 Republican primaries, then candidate Newt Gingrich proposed building a moon base by the year 2020. Unfortunately, his main rival for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, descended upon the idea like a wolf on the fold, heaping ridicule upon it. The proposal was even the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit. The moon base and soon after that Gingrich’s candidacy sunk out of sight. But, according to a story on CNN, former Florida governor, and current presidential candidate Jeb Bush was not laughing. In fact, he still thinks that the idea of a moon base is “pretty cool.”

Comment Project Gutenberg procedures might help (Score 5, Informative) 213

This might help:
And, the updated "Rule 6 How-To" at

For something published in the US after 1923 and before 1964, renewal of copyright was necessary to get a further 28-year extension. (Term extensions in 1998 extended copyright of items published in 1964 onward, and removed the need to renew.)

The Rule 6 how-to has a template for non-renewal research that might satisfy YouTube, if you do the research and send it in.

Only around 10% of items published from 1923 onwards were renewed. (It's no longer required, but you can still renew today.) The US Library of Congress has records of copyright registrations and renewals, and the Rule 6 How-To describes where to get the records. For items from 1923-1963, the renewals for printed items are comprehensive.

Serialization is sometimes a problem. Items might have been published, then published in another form (say, a magazine article that was published as a book), and if the timing is close enough one renewal might cover both items.

Proving something is in the public domain in the US, for printed items, is not that hard for items published from 1923-1963. It takes some time and expertise, and there is always a chance there is a renewal that you didn't find. Proving it is still copyrighted is also easy: show me the renewal.

    - Greg

Submission + - Another big Cray supercomputer, this time in the Middle East

gbnewby writes: In 2008 when King Abdullah University of Science and Technology was getting started, they bought the 14th fastest supercomputer in the world, Shaheen. Today, Cray was selected to provide KAUST's next supercomputer, with a price tag of more than $80million. In a press release, KAUST writes about using this supercomputer for clean combustion, materials science for solar cells, and attracting new talent. The new Cray XC40 supercomputer and other systems will be installed in 2015.

Comment Data centers (Score 4, Informative) 168

The data centers in Quincy are quite large. Microsoft has a major facility, which is undergoing expansion. So does Yahoo, Intuit, Dell, and Sabey. These are major components of the tax base for the town of Quincy and elsewhere in Grant County. The data centers are highly resilient to power loss, with on-site diesel generators, 24x7 staffing, and all the other protections you'd expect. But prolonged use of the generators, if it becomes necessary, could exceed the permitted run time and accompanying pollution the facilities are allowed. Most likely, power from the other dams the Grant County PUD operates (or elsewhere on the regional power grid) could be routed to the data centers.

There are some other huge electricity consumers in the county. It's the world headquarters of a company that makes photovoltaic components, and also several food processors (all those potatoes from eastern Washington gotta be processed and cooked!). Industrial users might be able to turn down their power usage if there is a regional shortage, but data centers tend to operate at fairly stable 24x7 consumption levels. Major companies like those listed above have redundant facilities, and can shunt processing to other centers if required.

Site selection for major electricity consumers, including data centers, is a fascinating topic. The State of Washington has had various tax incentives to help businesses to choose to build facilities there. Electricity costs are among the lowest in the nation (under 3 cents/kWh for industrial customers). Plus, it makes extensive use of renewable sources, particularly hydroelectric (i.e., dams) and wind energy. Oregon has a similar story to tell, with their own rivers, dams, tax breaks, etc., and is part of why Amazon elected to put a huge facility there.

Comment Might be a hoax (Score 2) 776

I think this could be a hoax. It's not a scientific paper, not in a peer-reviewed journal's letter section. It appears via a Google circles posting from Kerry Emanuel who is a well-known, though partially reformed, climate denier. It looks like the Google+ account the letter is published in was just created. Plus, the facts are either skimpy & wrong. Saying we cannot ramp up solar & wind power fast enough, but can ramp up nuclear, is directly in opposition to what's happening. Solar installations are going up by double-digit percentage points each year, and meanwhile we haven't had a new nuclear power plant in over 40 years. The only pair that is underway (which is pictured in the Yahoo! story) is years from completion. There are only 19 permit applications active for new nukes in the US, and the power industry (which is notoriously risk-averse) has for decades shied away from their huge liability and expense.

Slashdot Top Deals

The end of labor is to gain leisure.