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


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Submission + - Appeal Of Xiaomi's Hongmi And Other Low End Smartphones (

jarold writes: Xiaomi, perceived as a budget version of Apple in China, ruffled the market when its low end smartphone Hongmi ( which means red rice ) sold 100,000 units in 90 seconds. This and other cheap yet capable smartphones are especially appealing to the masses and emerging markets. Selling for half the price of known models from Apple and Samsung, they offer the same basic experience like web surfing, gaming, photo and video recording.
Apple is reportedly working on a lower-priced smartphone to sell, but it may already be too late.

Submission + - The failure mode of EBS on Ubuntu? (

An anonymous reader writes: The failure mode of EBS on Ubuntu is extremely severe: because EBS volumes are network drives masquerading as block devices, they break abstractions in the Linux operating system. This has led to really terrible failure scenarios for us, where a failing EBS volume causes an entire box to lock up, leaving it inaccessible and affecting even operations that donâ(TM)t have any direct requirement of disk activity.

Submission + - X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 "Non-Profit" Status (

An anonymous reader writes: The X.Org Foundation that is the organization behind driving the X.Org Server projects, Mesa, and Wayland open-source programs had their 501(c)3 status revoked by the IRS. It turns out the X.Org Foundation lost their 501(c)3 status after quite a lot of work to become a non-profit organization with guidance from the Software Freedom Law Center, but they got in trouble after failing to routinely file their taxes on time. There's also been a host of other X.Org accounting errors in recent years. There was also the recent news of the IRS going after open-source projects too.

Submission + - Area 51 No Longer (Officially) a Secret 2

schnell writes: The first-ever declassified story of Area 51's origin is now available, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act filed years ago by George Washington University's National Security Archive. The (only lightly redacted) document is actually primarily a history of the U-2 and A-12 ("Oxcart") spy plane programs from the Cold War, but is remarkable for being the first-ever official unclassified acknowledgement of the Area 51's purpose and its role in the program. Interesting tidbits include that the U-2 program was kicked off with a CIA check mailed personally to Lockheed Skunk Works chief Kelly Johnson for $1.25M; a U-2 was launched off an aircraft carrier to spy on French nuclear tests; and the U-2 delivery program itself was actually done under budget, a rarity for secret government programs then or now.

Submission + - Aging Is a Disease. Treat It Like One. 1

theodp writes: Burger Schmurger. In a Letter to Sergey Brin, Maria Konovalenko urges the Google founder to pursue his interest in the topics of aging and longevity. 'Defeating or simply slowing down aging,' writes Konovalenko, 'is the most useful thing that can be done for all the people on the planet.' Calling for research into longevity gene therapy, extending lifespan pharmacologically, and studying close species that differ significantly in lifespan, Konovalenko says 'it is crucial to make numerous medical organizations recognize aging as a disease. If medical organizations were to recognize aging as a disease, it could significantly accelerate progress in studying its underlying mechanisms and the development of interventions to slow its progress and to reduce age-related pathologies. The prevailing regard for aging as a "natural process" rather than a disease or disease-predisposing condition is a major obstacle to development and testing of legitimate anti-aging treatments. This is the largest market in the world, since 100% of the population in every country suffers from aging.'

Submission + - Adapteva Kickstarts Hundred-Dollar Supercomputer ( 4

An anonymous reader writes: Fabless chip vendor Adapteva Inc. has launched Parallella, a Kickstarter initiative that could fund the development of the startup’s multicore processors and create an open source community for parallel programming.

The startup is asking for $750,000 to pay for a mask set for its 16-core Epiphany chip. If it gets the money it promises to deliver a $99 reference board for the chip. With two days left, they are just about $100,000 short of their goal.

The parallela hardware is a credit-card sized board with an A9 dual core chip running Ubuntu 12.04, connected to their 16 core epiphany chip, offering a total of over 20GFlops of computing for only 5 watts of power.


Submission + - China blocking NYT ( 1

Taco Cowboy writes: The New York Times becomes the latest target of the Chinese censorship.

Censors of the People's Republic of China, in an almost unheard, of, truly remarkable feat of neck-breaking speed, blocked the (paywall) website of the New York Times, all because of one news article.

The gist of that particular news article was about the enormous wealth of the family members of a very prominent figure in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — Chinese Premier Wen Jia Bao.

The amount of wealth in question total some USD 2.7 BILLIONS

More info can also be had @


Submission + - Canadian teenager arrested for photographing Mall takedown (

blackfrancis75 writes: The erosion of civil rights is on the rise, as well documented on Slashdot. It seems that the picture north of the US border is also getting more bleak. This time an aspiring teenage journalist in B.C who witnessed a Mall takedown and decided to photograph it (using a real-film camera), was told to 'delete' the photo by Security guards. He (quite legally) refused to do so, and when local police arrived they assisted Mall security in pushing him to the ground, handcuffing him, cutting off his backpack with a utility knife and searching it. Whoever thought Canada was less likely to become a Police State than their U.S. counterparts will be disillusioned by this story.

Submission + - Ditching a MacBook for a ChromeBook (

WebMink writes: "Just how good is Google's Chromebook? It's selling well on Amazon (#1 selling computer today) but is it actually any use? Turns out it's surprisingly good, providing everything necessary for mobile working — to the point of leaving a Macbook Pro gathering dust. Could this be the first commercially viable Linux laptop?"

Submission + - Linux SCHED_DEADLINE v6 released ( 1

c1oud writes: A new version of the real-time Linux scheduler called SCHED_DEADLINE has been released on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML).

For people who missed previous submissions, it consists of a new deadline-based CPU scheduler for the Linux kernel with bandwidth isolation (aka "resource reservation") capabilities. It supports global/clustered multiprocessor scheduling through dynamic task migrations.

This new version takes into account previous comments/suggestions and is aligned to the latest mainline kernel.

A video about SCHED_DEADLINE is also available on youtube.


Submission + - Sunseeker Team Building a Two-Passenger Solar-Powered Airplane (

Zothecula writes: Piloted solar flight has been a reality for some time, with even international flights (as made by the Solar Impulse) now possible. Up to this point, such voyages have been a strictly solo affair, however the team originally responsible for the Sunseeker II intends to change this by manufacturing what’s billed as the world’s first two-seater solar aircraft – a motor glider named the Sunseeker Duo.

Submission + - Skype Users Targeted with Ransomware and Click Fraud (

An anonymous reader writes: GFI Software reports that Skype users are clicking on malicious links posing as profile pictures, which result in Ransomware encrypting the user's files and demanding a payment of $200 to decrypt the locked content. There is also evidence of large scale clickfraud taking place behind the scenes — the only good news is that Skype users have to jump through a considerable number of hoops to infect themselves.

Submission + - Teenager's stomach removed after drinking cocktail (

Chrisq writes: From the BBC:

A teenager has had emergency surgery to remove her stomach after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. Lancashire Police say Gaby Scanlon was out with friends in Lancaster last Thursday (4 October) when it happened. The 18-year-old is reported to have become breathless and developed severe stomach pain before being taken to Lancaster Royal Infirmary. Officers say she would have died if doctors had not performed the operation. The woman, from Heysham in Lancashire, was taken to hospital at 11pm. She was diagnosed with a perforated, or pierced stomach, and is now in a serious but stable condition. 'Toxic chemical' Lancashire Police have not named the place where she bought the cocktail, but say it has stopped selling it.

Why the hell would anyone even consider this a good idea?


Submission + - Electronic Arts Up For Sale (

John Wagger writes: One of the world's largest gaming publishers and developers Electronic Arts has quietly put itself up for sale. While there have already been talks with private equity companies, the talks have not resulted in anything concrete. One of the sources is saying that EA would do the deal for $20 per share (currently at $14.02). Over the past year EA's stock price has fallen 37 percent. Like other major game publishers EA has been struggling against growing trend of social and mobile gaming.

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