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Custom Android ROM Developers Get OTA Update Capabilities Like Carriers 50

hypnosec writes "A new service dubbed OTA Update Center has been launched that enables Android ROM developers to provide over-the-air (OTA) updates of their ROMs in a centralized and easy fashion. Custom ROM developers had very little at their disposal when it came to providing updates and when any user with such a ROM did want to apply an update, he/she was required to reinstall the new ROM from scratch, which often involved deletion of the backup, installation of the new ROM, and restoration of data. This was a lengthy process and often a deterrent when it came to updating the ROM. Also, the developers were required to have their own infrastructure whereby they would be required to host their own servers and have the required bandwidth to serve scores of downloads. The OTA Update Center changes this and provides a free-to-use service that is easy and noob-friendly to use."

Comment Sony is claiming this is voluntary... (Score 4, Insightful) 146

Sony is saying that this is a voluntary effort to cooperate with Japanese authorities, as they are not actually legally obliged to wait for permission to restart their services in Asia.

However, it's worth pointing out that in Japan it is common to allow companies and individuals to take "voluntary" actions to save face or prevent a public appearance of contention. There is also generally a greater public expectation of privacy amongst the Japanese, so their regulators are more less amused with Sony than American authorities.

Make of Sony's voluntary claims what you will.

Comment This headline and summary are completely wrong! (Score 5, Informative) 691

I live in Japan and have been following this news all day. The info in the headline and summary about the the reactors is complete incorrect. As to what has actually been happening:

First, the linked article is from 7 hours ago and is referring to the second explosion at Fukushima Daiichi of Reactor #3. The current situation as of 8PM Japan time was that the cooling system of Reactor #2 finally died and they just recently started filling it with seawater like the other reactors. This reactor is likely to cause another hydrogen explosion like the other two failed reactors before it. Also like the other reactors, this one may have suffered from some partial melting of its fuel rods.

Secondly, the article implies that thousands have died as a result of the problems at the Fukushima reactors. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! There have been reports of non-serious injuries and VERY mild radiation contamination but nothing that warrants any kind of panic yet.

Slashdot editors, please rewrite or delete this article, it is just spreading misinformation!

Comment Re:How Does It Encapsulate the Source Code? (Score 4, Informative) 220

Crash dumps sent to Microsoft can contain memory used by the Windows process that was hosed by the virus writer, which could very well include whatever machine code was injected in to the process's memory or the invalid input that caused the crash . No phoning home via Visual Studio is required (amazing FUD with your speculation there, by the way,) the nature of the attack means the code/data is going to be exactly in the place it needs to be for MS to get at it without doing anything nefarious.
The Internet

The End of Forgetting 329

Hugh Pickens recommends a long piece in last week's NY Times Magazine covering a wide swath of research and thinking in the US and elsewhere on the subject of the perils to society of recording everything permanently, and the idea that perhaps we ought to build forgetting into the Internet. "We've known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism, and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent — and public — digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is, at an almost existential level, threatening to our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew. In a recent book, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, the cyberscholar Viktor Mayer-Schönberger cites the case of Stacy Snyder — who was denied a teaching certificate on the basis of a single photo on MySpace — as a reminder of the importance of 'societal forgetting.' By erasing external memories, he says in the book, 'our society accepts that human beings evolve over time, that we have the capacity to learn from past experiences and adjust our behavior.' In traditional societies, where missteps are observed but not necessarily recorded, the limits of human memory ensure that people's sins are eventually forgotten. By contrast, Mayer-Schönberger notes, a society in which everything is recorded 'will forever tether us to all our past actions, making it impossible, in practice, to escape them.' He concludes that 'without some form of forgetting, forgiving becomes a difficult undertaking.'"

Scientists' Mouse Fight Club 193

An anonymous reader writes "To study how aggression, fighting, and winning change the brain, scientists set up a tournament of mice fights. They watched as the lab rodents took a break from their hum-drum existence and battled it out (however, the researchers broke the first rule of Fight Club by publishing a paper about their findings [abstract]). They found clear evidence of the 'winner effect,' in which a mouse that has just won a fight maintains elevated levels of testosterone and aggression, and is therefore more likely to win the next bout. Interestingly, the winner effect was strongest in mice that were fighting in their own cages — i.e., those that had home-field advantage."

Slackware 13.1 Released 155

Several readers made sure we are aware that Slackware 13.1 release is out. Here's the list of mirrors. "Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy-to-use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment."

Comment There is actually a really good reason to do this (Score 1) 240

This is actually a totally understandable response to the flawed user profile/content ownership system on the PS3. Really the only thing that surprises me is that it took this long to happen!

Basically, on the 360 permissions work out such that your purchased content can be used by you or any other user on the console it was originally bought from and roams with you, but can only be used by you on other consoles. This means I can play SomeGame X with my friend at his home, but he can't play it once my account is gone.

As I understand it The PS3 ownership model doesn't seem to really do anything at all, so as another poster mentioned you can basically share PSN Games and DLC with abandon.

This didn't need to happen this way but somebody skimped on the planning stages for this whole downloadable content thing and left the door wide open to abuse. I'd love to see a way to digitally transfer ownership legitimately, but that is an argument for another day.

PC Games (Games)

EA Launches Ultima-Based Browser Game 106

On Monday Electronic Arts launched Lord of Ultima, a free-to-play, browser-based strategy game that's based on the Ultima universe. Quoting VG247: "Set in the new world of Caledonia, players start the game as conquerors raising an empire, and then move from developing a village to evolving it into a highly customized capital. Players can be peaceful merchants by trading resources over land or sea and using diplomacy, or become feared conquerors using armies of knights and mages to crush their enemies one by one in maniacal glee."

Comment Wonderful reporting courtesy of the BBC (Score 4, Informative) 222

I think it's worth pointing that Winni is used almost exclusively by the Japanese, and the total population of Japan is still under 130 million people. The 200 million users figure put forth by the BBC is a bad guess at best, and completely made up at worst. I honestly expected better from the BBS, but why should factual reporting get in the way of writing a sensational story?

Apple iPad Reviewed 443

adeelarshad82 writes "Since the iPad's initial introduction back in January, many of us still wonder why we should drop hundreds of dollars for what is termed as a large iPod. Missing features like support for multitasking, a built-in camera for video chats, and Flash support in Safari only add to the dilemma. However, a recently published review of the iPad starts to clear up these doubts. To begin with, the iPad is packing some real quality gear under the hood. Even though the in-house-designed 1GHz A4 chip got little official comment from Apple, the touch screen's instantaneous responses prove that it is outstandingly fast. Furthermore, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2, and is currently the only device that runs this version of the operating system. iPad's graphics capabilities come from a PowerVR SGX GPU, similar to the one found in the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch. It can render about 28 million polygons/second, which is more powerful than the Qualcomm Snapdragon found in devices like the HTC HD2. Also, iPad's extraordinary battery life is not just a myth. According to the lab tests, the battery netted a respectable 9 hours and 25 minutes, very close to Apple's claims of 10 hours."

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