Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Big Oil Funded University Cimate "Research" FUD (

theshowmecanuck writes: A pair of "research" accounts at the University of Calgary, funded mainly by the oil and gas industry, were used for a sophisticated international political campaign that involved high-priced consultants, lobbying, wining, dining, and travel with the goal of casting doubt on climate change science, newly-released accounting records have revealed.

Submission + - Google Enlarges Warchest With 1023 IBM Patents ( 1

ElBeano writes: Google has continued to beef up its patent portfolio in the face of the onslaught from Apple and Microsoft. The best defense is a good offense. "Google is building an arsenal of patents that the company has said is largely designed to counter a “hostile, organized campaign” by companies including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. against the Android operating system for mobile devices. Google had already acquired 1,030 patents from IBM in a transaction recorded in July, and will obtain more than 17,000 with its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc."

Submission + - Facebook Puts Off IPO Until Late 2012 (

jfruhlinger writes: "Facebook's whispered about IPO is one of the most anticipated in the industry — but it looks like we'll have to anticipate it for a bit longer. The Financial Times, quoting anonymous sources, says that it won't happen until late next year. Those source say that the purpose is to keep Facebook employees focused on product development, but it seems more likely that Facebook's bankers aren't happy with the company's numbers (or the economy's prospects)."

Submission + - Windows Store will not take a cut from sales (

North Korea writes: Windows has always lacked a central place to buy and download software and games, which has been criticized as insecure design by Linux users. The upcoming Windows 8 will feature Windows Store for the first time, and Microsoft has revealed it will take a 0% cut from the sales. Apple notoriously takes a 30% cut from App Store sales for iPhone, iPad and Mac OSX. In addition to not taking a cut from sales, Microsoft will also ensure that the applications in the Windows Store are malware free and good quality. This should provide a repository-like application download system for computers with Windows and a good marketplace for application and games developers.

Submission + - New E-Verify immigration tech mandate stirs debate (

BeatTheChip writes: "The House Judiciary Committee will be hearing the Legal Workforce Act Thursday morning — a bill to mandate E-Verify and to integrate federal employment data systems with State drivers license records. At least 2 national groups have organised campaigns expressing concerns about the Legal Workforce Act crossing lines of immigration, employment and civil liberty."

Submission + - Algorithm Predicts New Superhard Materials (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in New York have developed an algorithm that can predict new superhard materials — a relatively small class of compounds of which diamond is the most famous. Beyond the pluses this represents for, say, the drilling industry, the physicists claim say their computational approach can be used to think up new materials of all sorts. “New materials with desired properties will be routinely discovered using supercomputers," they say, "instead of the expensive trial-and-error method that is used today.”

Submission + - An $80 Open Source Chemical Analyzer (

An anonymous reader writes: A group of electrical engineering students at UCSB teamed up with some chemists and built an $80 gadget that can check water for arsenic, measure the level of vitamin C in orange juice, and also do simple DNA biosensor tests. The electronics in a blood sugar meter could do all of those things, but their firmware isn't easily hackable. All of the circuit schematics, gerber files, and software for this project is available on their project website. Another team, at Denver Metro College, is working to improve upon their design. Eventually, it could be used as a teaching tool in chemistry classrooms, or possibly to do blood and water tests in developing countries.

Submission + - Intel, Google team to optimize Android for smartph (

angry tapir writes: "Intel and Google announced on Tuesday that they would partner to optimize future versions of the Android OS for smartphones and other mobile devices using Intel chips. Intel CEO Paul Otellini demonstrated a smartphone with the upcoming Medfield chip running on Android during a keynote at the Intel Developer Conference being held in San Francisco. However, Otellini didn't mention the version of Android running on the smartphone. Intel wants to make x86 the architecture of choice for smartphones, and porting Android will provide a larger opportunity to the chip maker in the smartphone market, Otellini said."

Submission + - NASA wants solar-powered spacecraft propulsion (

coondoggie writes: "NASA today said it picked five companies to begin exploring the feasibility of using solar electric propulsion to power future spacecraft.
According to NASA, multiple studies have shown the advantages of using solar electric propulsion to transport heavy payloads from low Earth orbit to higher orbits. The idea would be that traditional chemical rockets could deliver payloads to low Earth orbit and solar electric propulsion could then power a spacecraft to higher energy orbits."


Submission + - Picture Password Revealed in Windows 8 (

hasanabbas1987 writes: "It is revealed that Microsoft have added a very simple but useful feature in their upcoming Windows 8 OS. Simply called the “Picture Password”, it is an option which lets you set a certain set of touch-drawn lines to an image and these lines are drawn correctlyVoila! you computer is unlocked. The example picture above shows how it really works. There are 4 persons in the above shown picture and what you do is draw a line starting from the face of 2nd person and drag it all the way to the face of the 4th person and that is it, your picture password is ready."
Open Source

Submission + - Is open source and the military compatible? 1

Bomber16 writes: Is open source and the military compatible? I am a big open source fan. I use Fedora, LibreOffice, Thunderbird, and Firefox in my day to day home life. I never thought I would use open source in the military. Here in the military we mainly use Microsoft products. I tried to get our IT department to go with open source but they said there was no support for it and that we could only use things we purchase. I believe this is the wrong answer and when I had the chance, I took it. We had a project that was using COTS and was costing us an arm and leg in license fees. Initial costs was around $45k and $17k for the maintenance fees. I asked my contractors to consider the alternatives to the software and suggested going open source. It ended up taking 30 days to rewrite the software and port it to NASA Worldwind. It worked great. Also, we controlled all the source code and can distribute the software to anybody who needed it. So this extra 30 days of work for my contractors led to a huge cost savings. We are now working on developing software applications on Android.

So it open source and the military compatible? What are the risks? What are the benefits? Is it the right move?


MAJ Paul Nix, USA
Staff Group Charlie

Submission + - Chinese Students Are Storming US Grad Schools (

kkleiner writes: "Chinese students with plenty of brains and money are invading US universities at an astounding rate. For the past 6 years China has shown a double digit increase in applicants to US universities! According to the Institute of International Education the number of Chinese students enrolled in US undergraduate and graduate schools increased almost 30 percent in the 2009-2010 academic year. But whatever competitive concerns Americans might have about an international overload, by the time they stop wanting to come here there’ll be a lot of other things to worry about."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - HTC exec: iPhones for old farts (

alphadogg writes: Martin Fichter, HTC America's acting president, claims that Apple's iPhone is becoming too uncool for school. Speaking at the Mobile Future Forward event in Seattle this week, Fichter is quoted by Geekwire as saying: "Apple is innovating. Samsung is innovating. We are innovating. Everybody is innovating. And everybody is doing different things for the end consumers. I brought my daughter back to college — she's down in Portland at Reed — and I talked to a few of the kids on her floor. And none of them has an iPhone because they told me: ‘My dad has an iPhone.' There's an interesting thing that's going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was. They were carrying HTCs. They were carrying Samsungs. They were even carrying some Chinese manufacturers' devices. If you look at a college campus, MacBook Airs are cool. iPhones are not that cool anymore. We here are using iPhones, but our kids don't find them that cool anymore."

Submission + - GE Unveils Fridge-Recycling Behemoth (

An anonymous reader writes: It wouldn't be out of place at a monster truck rally. Forty feet tall and capable of eating up and breaking down 150,000 used refrigerators annually, the new UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT) system at the Appliance Recycling Centers of America's (ARCA's) facility in Philadelphia is an engineering marvel. At an event there this morning, GE and ARCA announced that the URT system is ready to go to work on its first old fridge (as are the facility’s 50 new employees, whose new green jobs were supported by ARCA’s $10 million investment in URT and other new capital equipment).

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