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Submission + - Your thoughts about the big changes happening to online tech news industry (

siliconbits writes: Purch purchased Anandtech, Xbitlabs is all but dead, DrDobbs ceased publication, Bit-Tech has been acquired by Hexus, PC Format and Maximum PC have had their own ordeals. My question to the Slashdot crowd is what do you think will happen next? Will independent, specialised technology websites vanish, how can we make sure that the ones remaining thrive and perhaps more importantly, how to encourage new ones from cropping up before the likes of Engadget/Gizmodo/Cnet/TheVerge take over.

Submission + - Ask Slasdot: Tags and Tagging, what is the best way forward?

siliconbits writes: The debate about tagging has been going for nearly a decade. The Slashdot community has been covering it a number of times., &

But it seems that nobody has yet to come up with a foolproof solution to tagging. Even luminaries like Engadget, The Verge, Gizmodo and Slashdot all have different tagging schemes. Commontag, a venture launched in 2009 to tackle tagging, has proved to be all but a failure despite the backing of heavyweights like Freebase, Yahoo and Zemanta. Even Google gave up and purchased Freebase in July 2010.

Somehow I remain convinced that a unified, semantically-based solution, using a mix of folksonomy and taxonomy, is the Graal of tagging. I’d like to hear from fellow Slashdotters as to how they tackle the issue of creating and maintaining a tagging solution, regardless of the platform and the technologies being used in the backend.

Submission + - Thousands Of Google Employees Enlisted To Produce (

siliconbits writes: Beer specialist Dogfish head has polled "thousands" of Google employees worldwide using Google Moderator to find out what they'd like to put in a special edition Dogfish Head Beer.
The beer, known as URKontinent, has already gone on sale but due to limited availability, it won't be available in growlers unfortunately. Given that it has an ABV of 8.1 per cent, it is likely to pack a pretty powerful punch (that's twice the ABV of some more popular brews like Guinness or Beck's Vier).

Data Storage

Submission + - Seagate Unveils World's Biggest HDD At 4TB (

siliconbits writes: Seagate has smashed the storage capacity barrier again today by launching an external hard disk drive with a 4TB capacity, one year after having launched the world's first 3TB drive. The GoFlex 4TB uses four 1TB 3.5-inch platters with an areal density of 625Gb per square inch, spins at 5400RPM and has 32GB cache (rather than 64GB). That said, even with a rather low spinning speed, it should, in theory, outperform faster spinning hard disk drives from 2007 or 2008.

Submission + - AMD Enters Desktop Memory Market (

siliconbits writes: AMD has quietly released a new range of memory products and recycled the Radeon brand, which moves from graphics processing units to memory modules. According to the product page, AMD Radeon for systems are "ideally" suited for the company's APU and CPU solutions and have been "tested to the highest industry standards on AMD platforms". Three different categories are currently on offer, roughly matching AMD's APU/CPU product categorisation; Entertainment, Ultra Pro and Enterprise. Oddly enough, the company is offering only 2GB modules with data rates at 1333.33MT/s and 1600MT/s, with 9-9-9 and 11-11-11 timings for the first two product ranges respectively.

Submission + - First Website Launched 20 Years Ago Today (

siliconbits writes: Today marks the 20th birthday of the first website ever created; on the 6th of August 1991, a team of CERN engineers led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee worked to provide what was the first tangible example of the potential of the World Wide Web. While no original copy of the website remains, an updated version can be found here while the first web page address (or URL as it was later to be called) was

Submission + - Microsoft Punting WHS 2011 As Cheapo Windows 7? (

siliconbits writes: We've noticed over the last few weeks that Microsoft has cut the price of its Windows Home Server 2011 operating system by more than half to £36.86, a price that includes VAT and delivery.
The price cut is not limited to the UK and there's plenty of stock around (note that it is the CCQ-00128, an OEM version, but customers can expect to get both the OEM preinstallation kit and a standard DVD installer).
Newegg and Tigerdirect, two of the biggest online retailers in the US, have also cut the price of the OS with Microsoft being particularly quiet about a decision that is bound to turn heads.
At that point, two questions can be asked : Why did Microsoft cut the price of Windows Home Server 2011 so aggressively so early in the lifetime of the product and can it replace a bog-standard installation of Windows 7?


Submission + - Get Cybermercenaries Suggests Ex NSA, CIA Director (

siliconbits writes: One of the architects of US foreign policy under George W. Bush, General Michael Hayden, suggested that the US Government should consider creating a "Digital Blackwater" during an open conversation with Bloomberg's Allan Holmes and several other cybersecurity specialists on stage, during an event called the Aspen Security Forum. Blackwater refers to the US private military group founded in 1997 and which has been renamed as Xe Services LLC, a move possibly linked with a number of high controversies that arose after the company expanded its security-related operations into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Recruiting mercenaries, Hayden suggested “might be one of those big new ideas in terms of how we have to conduct ourselves in this new cyber domain,” referring to cyber warfare.


Submission + - Facebook To Launch Rival To Google News? (

siliconbits writes: Facebook may be mulling plans to build an online news service that will compete with Google News or Yahoo News after the social networking website's Journalist Program Manager published a rather interesting article on the Harvard University's Nieman Journalist Lab. The chap in question — Vadim Lavrusik — talks about the building blocks to consider when rethinking about the structure of stories. At Facebook, Lavrusik — who used to work at Mashable — is responsible for helping journalists to "create new ways to tell stories". In the article, Vadim articulates the conversation about future story formats from five different angles; Context, Social, Personalisation, Mobile and Participation.

Submission + - Intel Atom c.2015 "Faster Than AMD Phenom II X6"? ( 1

siliconbits writes: Bill Leszinske, General Manager, Technology Planning of the Atom SoC Development Group at Intel, provided an update on the company's roadmap for Intel's Atom range, including a rather interesting slide; one which Leszinske clearly indicated, is based on real (but confidential) data. On it, Intel presents Atom's tablet CPU performance (in SPEC2000int_rate) which should rise by more than 10 times over the next four to five years. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation led us to believe that by 2015, the 14nm Airmont Atom SoC could be slightly faster than the six-core AMD Phenom X6, at least when it comes to SPEC2000int_rate numbers (81 GIPS vs 79 GIPS).

Submission + - Trade Of Google+1 "likes" : A Lucrative Business (

siliconbits writes: Selling Google+1 "likes" is gradually becoming a rather lucrative business, helped by cheap labour and ever-falling internet access worldwide; the trend is not unlike what we saw previously with Twitter & Digg during the days except that this has a more widespread implication for SEO and could turn the nascent social networking service into a massive headache for Google as many try to game the system. Google+1 selling sites like Googleplus1supply, buygoogleplus1 or Blackcatseo have cropped up during the last few months — amongst so many other websites — with the sole aim of selling Google+1 "likes" to publishers and businesses.
United Kingdom

Submission + - Virgin Media Cable Broadband Tops 1.5Gbps (

siliconbits writes: Virgin Media, the UK's leading broadband provider, is successfully delivering internet speeds up to 240 times faster than the national average to triallists in London. Using Virgin Media's unique cable network, broadband speeds of up to 1.5Gb are being enjoyed around Old Street, an area known as ‘Silicon Roundabout', including by members at TechHub, a community and workspace for technology entrepreneurs.

The 1.5Gb download and 150Mb upload trial uses the same infrastructure and technology as Virgin Media uses to provide residential customers with speeds of up to 100Mb, already being rolled out to over half of all UK homes. The 1.5Gb trial is the world's fastest cable connection and more than 240 times faster than the national average broadband1.

Data Storage

Submission + - GE To Sample 500GB DVD-size Discs Soon (

siliconbits writes: GE Global Research announced earlier today that it has managed to cram up to 500GB worth of data on a standard DVD-size disc, an increase in storage density of roughly 100x. What's more, the tech arm of conglomerate General Electric Company says that the storage solution will record data at the same speed as Blu-ray disks while increasing storage capacity by 25 times. The Blu-ray Disk Association says that the commonly available 12x speed Blu-ray writers have a maximum writing speed of up to 400Mbps (or 50MBps) which means that in theory, it would take just over three hours to fill that new holographic hard disks. GE has confirmed that its R&D and licensing team will be sampling the media to qualified partners that may be interested in licensing the technology.

Submission + - Apple Adopts Bluetooth 4.0. Could It Reject NFC? (

siliconbits writes: Two months after Apple joined the Bluetooth special interest group board, the company launched the world's first truly mainstream Bluetooth 4.0 devices, namely the new Macbook Air & Mac Mini 2011 editions. The products came only one year after the official core specifications of Bluetooth 4.0 were adopted and it looks likely that Apple fast-tracked Bluetooth 4.0's adoption so that the forthcoming iPhone 5 can use this technology with at least one Apple product. This could mean that the manufacturer is considering giving up on NFC altogether, a technology embraced by all of its rivals. Thunderbolt Anyone?

Submission + - Baidu IE/Chrome Franken Browser Includes App Store (

siliconbits writes: Technology companies based in China continue to show how they think outside the box with one of their flagship players, Baidu having announced a new browser called Baidu Browser that borrows a bit from Internet Explorer and a lot from Google's Chrome but as often, it's a Frankenbot rather than an elegant solution that's delivered. Baidu Browser for a start works only on Windows (XP, Vista or Windows 7) which somehow betrays its roots; the last Microsoft browser to run on XP was Internet Explorer 8 which was launched back in March 2009. No Linux or Mac version are expected to be launched.

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