Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

storagedude (1517243) writes | about 3 months ago

0

storagedude (1517243) writes "Flash storage costs have been dropping rapidly for years, but those gains are about to slow, and a number of issues will keep flash from closing the cost gap with HDDs for some time, writes Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum. As SSD density increases, reliability and performance decrease, creating a dilemma for manufacturers who must balance density, cost, reliability and performance.

'[F]lash technology and SSDs cannot yet replace HDDs as primary storage for enterprise and HPC applications due to continued high prices for capacity, bandwidth and power, as well as issues with reliability that can only be addressed by increasing overall costs. At least for the foreseeable future, the cost of flash compared to hard drive storage is not going to change.'"

Link to Original Source

Anti-tech protests in San Francisco turn out to be underhanded ploy by union

execthis (537150) writes | about 3 months ago

0

execthis (537150) writes "In the news over past weeks and months have been stories about protests in San Francisco in which buses for Google have been blocked by protesters. Today it is revealed that a union is behind these protests, which amount to a dirty tactic on their part to attempt to humiliate the City and County of San Francisco government into giving raises to their employees. In other words, they have been faux protests staged by the Service Employees International Union as an underhanded attempt to gain leverage and force the city to give them wage increases. Its interesting to note that there recently were other seemingly faux protests in front of Staples stores, this time by the postal workers (I say seemingly because they did not appear to openly reveal that they were in fact postal workers)."

Federal appeals court says EPA can force power plants to cut mercury emissions

mdsolar (1045926) writes | about 3 months ago

1

mdsolar (1045926) writes ""A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld regulations adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut mercury and other emissions from large power plants, a setback for states and energy trade groups that have been challenging Clean Air Act regulations during the Obama administration.

The decision by a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit means that coal- and oil-fired plants must purchase scrubbers and other equipment to prevent 91 percent of mercury from being released into the air during the burning of coal.... The Department of Energy forecasts that capacity retirements will reach 60,000 [megawatts]""

Link to Original Source

Switching from Sitting to Standing at Your Desk

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 3 months ago

0

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Chris Bowlby reports at BBC that medical research has been building up for a while now, suggesting constant sitting is harming our health — potentially causing cardiovascular problems or vulnerability to diabetes. Advocates of sit-stand desks say more standing would benefit not only health, but also workers' energy and creativity. Some big organizations and companies are beginning to look seriously at reducing “prolonged sitting” among office workers. "It's becoming more well known that long periods of sedentary behavior has an adverse effect on health," says GE engineer Jonathan McGregor, "so we're looking at bringing in standing desks." The whole concept of sitting as the norm in workplaces is a recent innovation, points out Jeremy Myerson, professor of design at the Royal College of Art. "If you look at the late 19th Century," he says, Victorian clerks could stand at their desks and "moved around a lot more". "It's possible to look back at the industrial office of the past 100 years or so as some kind of weird aberration in a 1,000-year continuum of work where we've always moved around." What changed things in the 20th Century was "Taylorism" — time and motion studies applied to office work. "It's much easier to supervise and control people when they're sitting down," says Myerson. What might finally change things is if the evidence becomes overwhelming, the health costs rise, and stopping employees from sitting too much becomes part of an employer's legal duty of care "If what we are creating are environments where people are not going to be terribly healthy and are suffering from diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes," says Prof Alexi Marmot, a specialist on workplace design, "it's highly unlikely the organization benefits in any way.""

The squishy future of robotics

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "The field of soft robotics is fast growing and may be the key to allowing robots and humans to work side-by-side. 'Roboticists are prejudiced toward rigid structures, for which algorithms can be inherited from the well-established factory robot industry. Soft robots solve two huge problems with current robots, however. They don’t have to calculate their movements as precisely as hard robots, which rely on springs and joints, making them better for navigating uncontrolled environments like a house, disaster area, or hospital room. They’re naturally “cage free,” meaning they can work shoulder-to-shoulder with humans. If a soft robot tips over or malfunctions, the danger is on par with being attacked by a pillow. The robot is also less prone to hurt itself.'"

Reddit cofounder drops /r/technology mod status after censorship drama

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Reddit cofounder and longtime r/technology moderator Alexis Ohanian (kn0thing) has stepped down as moderator of Reddit's largest technology forum after reports surfaced that fellow moderators had installed a bot to censor headlines containing dozens of words, including “Bitcoin,” "NSA," and "net neutrality."

The drama intensified when a recent post containing two of these banned terms in its title made it through—apparently because it was submitted by r/technology moderator and power-user maxwellhill, an indication that moderators are "supposedly approving their own posts while simultaneously 'censoring' the users who post similar content," one redditor told the Daily Dot."

Link to Original Source

Bidding at FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted for Large Carriers

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Rumors have surfaced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will restrict bidding at their TV spectrum auction in 2015 to effectively favor smaller carriers. Specifically, when 'auction bidding hits an as-of-yet unknown threshold in a given market, the FCC would set aside up to 30MHz of spectrum in that market. Companies that hold at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market then wouldn't be allowed to bid on the 30MHz of spectrum that has been set aside.' Therefore, 'in all band plans less than 70MHz, restricted bidders—specifically AT&T and Verizon (and in a small number of markets, potentially US Cellular or CSpire)—would be limited to bidding for only three blocks.' The rumors may be true since AT&T on Wednesday threatened to not participate in the auction at all as a protest against what it sees as unfair treatment."

'Kill switch' may be standard on U.S. phones in 2015

mpicpp (3454017) writes | about 3 months ago

0

mpicpp (3454017) writes "The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015, according to a pledge backed by most of the mobile world's major players.

Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry's largest trade group.

All smartphones manufactured for sale in the United States after July 2015 must have the technology, according to the program from CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen. Its proponents include law enforcement officials concerned about the rising problem of smartphone theft."

Link to Original Source

Vintage 1960s era film shows IRS defending its use of computers

coondoggie (973519) writes | about 3 months ago

0

coondoggie (973519) writes "It’s impossible to imagine the Internal Revenue Service or most other number-crunching agencies or companies working without computers. But when the IRS went to computers — the Automatic Data Processing system --there was an uproar. The agency went so far as to produce a short film on the topic called Right On The Button, to convince the public computers were a good thing."
Link to Original Source

Every Drone Mission the FBI Admits to Flying

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "The FBI insists that it uses drone technology to conduct surveillance in “very limited circumstances.” What those particular circumstances are remain a mystery, particularly since the Bureau refuses to identify instances where agents deployed unmanned aerial vehicles, even as far back as 2006.

In a letter to Senator Ron Paul last July, the FBI indicated that it had used drones a total of ten times since late 2006—eight criminal cases and two national security cases—and had authorized drone deployments in three additional cases, but did not actually fly them. The sole specific case where the FBI is willing to confirm using a drone was in February 2013, as surveillance support for a child kidnapping case in Alabama.

New documents obtained by MuckRock as part of the Drone Census flesh out the timeline of FBI drone deployments in detail that was previously unavailable. While heavily redacted—censors deemed even basic facts that were already public about the Alabama case to be too sensitive for release, apparently—these flight orders, after action reviews and mission reports contain new details of FBI drone flights."

Link to Original Source

Steam's Most Popular Games

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "The folks are Ars Technica scraped a ton of gameplay data from Steam's player profiles to provide statistics on how many people own each game, and how often it's played. For example: 37% of the ~781 million games owned by Steam users have never been played. Dota 2 has been played by almost 26 million people for a total of 3.8 billion hours. Players of CoD: Modern Warfare 2 spend six times as long in multiplayer than in single-player. This sampling gives much greater precision than we usually have about game sales rates. 'If there's one big takeaway from looking at the entirety of our Steam sales and player data, it's that a few huge ultra-hits are driving the majority of Steam usage. The vast majority of titles form a "long tail" of relative crumbs. Out of about 2,750 titles we've tracked using our sampling method, the top 110 sellers represent about half of the individual games registered to Steam accounts. That's about four percent of the distinct titles, each of which has sold 1.38 million copies or more. This represents about 50 percent of the registered sales on the service. ... about half of the estimated 18.5 billion man-hours that have been spent across all Steam games have gone toward just the six most popular titles.'"
Link to Original Source

Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary

just_another_sean (919159) writes | about 3 months ago

0

just_another_sean (919159) writes "Coverity Inc., a Synopsys company, released the 2013Coverity Scan Open Source Report.
The report details the analysis of 750 million lines of open source software code through the Coverity Scan service and commercial usage of the Coverity Development Testing Platform, the largest sample size that the report has studied to date.

A few key points:

* Open source code quality surpasses proprietary code quality in C/C++ projects.

* Linux continues to be a benchmark for open source quality.

* C/C++ developers fixed more high-impact defects. Analysis found that developers contributing to open source Java projects are not fixing as many high-impact defects as developers contributing to open source C/C++ projects."

Link to Original Source

Survey: 56 Percent of U.S. Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

msmoriarty (195788) writes | about 3 months ago

1

msmoriarty (195788) writes "According to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S.-based software developers, 56 percent expect to become millionaires in their lifetime. 66 percent also said they expect to get raises in the next year, despite the current state of the economy. Note that some of the other findings of the study (scroll to bulleted list) seem overly positive: 84 percent said they believe they are paid what they're worth, 95 percent report they feel they are "one of the most valued employees at their organization," and 80 percent said that "outsourcing has been a positive factor in the quality of work at their organization.""
Link to Original Source

"Thermoelectrics" Could One Day Power Cars

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | about 3 months ago

0

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Researchers have tried to reclaim some of it with semiconductor devices called thermoelectrics, which convert the heat into power. But they remain too inefficient and expensive to be useful beyond a handful of niche applications. Now, scientists in Illinois report that they have used a cheap, well-known material to create the most heat-hungry thermoelectric so far. In the process, the researchers say, they learned valuable lessons that could push the materials to the efficiencies needed for widespread applications. If that happens, thermoelectrics could one day power cars and scavenge energy from myriad engines, boilers, and electrical plants."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft malware attacks taking down XP computers

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

6

An anonymous reader writes "In an apparent attempt to force Windows XP users to update, Microsoft is now using its Security Essentials program as a malware trojan to make XP machines unusable. It slows the machine down to a crawl, mimicking a virus attack. In other cases, it locks it up completely. The timing couldn't be an accident. Shouldn't this be illegal?

https://plus.google.com/104518..."

GoPro Project Claims Technology is Making People Lose Empathy for Homeless

EwanPalmer (2536690) writes | about 3 months ago

0

EwanPalmer (2536690) writes "A project involving GoPro cameras and people living on the streets of San Francisco has suggests technology is making people feel less compassionate towards the homeless.

Started by Kevin F Adler, the Homeless GoPro project aims to “build empathy through a first-hand perspective” by strapping one of the cameras onto homeless volunteers to document their lives and daily interactions.
One of the volunteers, Adam Reichart, said he believes it is technology which is stopping people feel sympathy towards people living on the street as it’s easier to have “less feelings when you're typing something” than looking at them in the eye"

Link to Original Source

Children can swipe a screen but can't use toy building blocks

SpankiMonki (3493987) writes | about 3 months ago

0

SpankiMonki (3493987) writes "Children are arriving at nursery school able to "swipe a screen" but lack the manipulative skills to play with building blocks, teachers have warned.

They fear that children are being given tablets to use "as a replacement for contact time with the parent" and say such habits are hindering progress at school.

Addressing the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control.

Kinney, a teacher from Northern Ireland, also noted "I've spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks – or pupils who can't socialise with other pupils, but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone."
___________________________________

According to research by U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom, tablet usage among children is on the rise, with growing numbers of younger kids turning to tablets to watch videos, play games and access the Internet. Use of tablets has tripled among 5-15s since 2012, rising from 14% to 42% over that period, while 28% of infants aged 3-4 now use a tablet computer at home. "

Link to Original Source

'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

vinces99 (2792707) writes | about 3 months ago

0

vinces99 (2792707) writes "A fluctuating tilt in a planet’s orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah’s Weber State University and NASA. In fact, sometimes it helps. That’s because such “tilt-a-worlds,” as astronomers sometimes call them — turned from their orbital plane by the influence of companion planets — are less likely than fixed-spin planets to freeze over, as heat from their host star is more evenly distributed.

This happens only at the outer edge of a star’s habitable zone, the swath of space around it where rocky worlds could maintain liquid water at their surface, a necessary condition for life. Further out, a “snowball state” of global ice becomes inevitable, and life impossible. The findings, which are published online and will appear in the April issue of Astrobiology, have the effect of expanding that perceived habitable zone by 10 to 20 percent."

Link to Original Source

Leak: Amazon Phone With 3D Display

itwbennett (1594911) writes | about 3 months ago

0

itwbennett (1594911) writes "Apparently Amazon thinks we want 3D screens on our phones. Yesterday Boy Genius Report leaked images of what is supposed to be a phone coming from Amazon (BGR has all the nitty-gritty — and not yet official in any way — specs). The phone apparently has six cameras.... One on the back and one on the front for traditional photos and selfies. Then there are 4 more on the front that are intended to do facial tracking in order to properly display a 3D user interface. As blogger Peter Smith points out, 'that's an improvement over the 3DS which requires you to hold the device in the 'sweet spot' for the 3D effect to work properly.' But it also sounds like an expensive system both in terms of hardware and processing cycles."
Link to Original Source

Nokia had production ready web tablet 13 years ago, killed just before launch

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Sad story: Nokia created M510 tablet running EPOC (later to be renamed as Symbian) thirteen years ago. It was fully production ready and they produced thousand units just before it was cancelled because market research proved there wasn't demand for the device. The team got devices for themselves and the rest were destroyed and the team was fired. The lesson: Don't try to be pioneer if you're relying on market research studies."
Link to Original Source

The EPA admits it doesn't have the data to justify its environmental regulations

schwit1 (797399) writes | about 3 months ago

1

schwit1 (797399) writes "In a stunning admission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) that the agency neither possesses, nor can produce, all of the scientific data used to justify the rules and regulations they have imposed on Americans via the Clean Air Act.

The EPA was subpoenaed by Congress for the data it uses, and they responded to say that what they have doesn’t really provide any proof that their regulations are necessary. But they then add that they are going to continue imposing their regulations anyway."

Link to Original Source

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall 10% Since 2005, but HFC's still a problem

SpankiMonki (3493987) writes | about 3 months ago

0

SpankiMonki (3493987) writes "U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2012, more than halfway toward the U.S.'s 2020 target pledged at United Nations climate talks, according to the latest national emissions inventory.

Meanwhile, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) saw a dramatic rise of over 309 percent during the reporting period. Although the US and China recently agreed to reduce HFC production, the two countries accounted for the bulk of the increase in HFC emissions over the reporting period.

HFC use and emissions are rapidly increasing as a result of the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and growing global demand for air conditioning. Although safe for the ozone layer, the continued emissions of HFCs – primarily as alternatives to ODS and also from the continued production of HCFC-22 – will have an immediate and significant effect on the Earth’s climate system. Without further controls, it is predicted that HFC emissions could negate the entire climate benefits achieved under the Montreal Protocol."

Link to Original Source

Troubled Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Files For Liquidation

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Once the worlds largest Bitcoin Exchange the now plagued Mt. Gox has filed for liquidation in a Tokyo court it has emerged.

Sources close to Mt. Gox said the application for liquidation comes as there are no feasible options for the company to exit bankruptcy. The source also said that arranging and holding meetings with the various creditors around the globe was very difficult.

The court will now have to decide whether or not it will approve the liquidation application. If approved, a trustee would be appointed to take over the remaining assets.

In February 750,000 Bitcoins were stolen from Mt. Gox. 200,000 of these have now been recovered."

Link to Original Source

Chinese Pollution Could Be Driving Freak Weather in US

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 3 months ago

0

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Jonathan Kaiman reports at The Guardian that China's air pollution could be intensifying storms over the Pacific Ocean and altering weather patterns in North America leading to more intense cyclones, increased precipitation and more warm air in the mid-Pacific moving towards the north pole. "Mid-latitude storms develop off Asia and they track across the Pacific, coming in to the west coast of the US," says Ellie Highwood, a climate physicist at the University of Reading. "The particles in this model are affecting how strong those storms are, how dense the clouds are, and how much rainfall comes out of those storms." Fossil fuel burning and petrochemical processing in Asia's rapidly developing economies lead to a build-up of aerosols, fine particles suspended in the air. Typically, aerosol formation is thought of as the antithesis to global warming: it cools our Earth's climate. But researchers say, too much of any one thing is never good. "Aerosols provide seeds for cloud formation. If you provide too many seeds, then you fundamentally change cloud patterns and storm patterns," says co-author Renyi Zhang. China's top leaders are aware of the extent of the problem and Beijing will soon revise an important piece of legislation and give environmental protection authorities the power to shut polluting factories, punish officials and restrict industrial development in some areas. The changes to the China's environmental protection law, the first since 1989, will legally enshrine oft-repeated government promises to prioritise environmental protection over economic growth. "The provisions on transparency are probably the most positive step forward," says Alex Wang, expert in Chinese environmental law at UCLA. "These include the requirement that key polluters disclose real-time pollution data.""

Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes | about 3 months ago

1

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Iapetus, Saturn’s third largest moon, was first photographed by the Cassini spacecraft on 31 December 2004. The images created something of a stir. Clearly visible was a narrow, steep ridge of mountains that stretch almost halfway around the moon’s equator. The question that has since puzzled astronomers is how this mountain range got there. Now evidence is mounting that this mountain range is not the result of tectonic or volcanic activity, like mountain ranges on other planets. Instead, astronomers are increasingly convinced that this mountain range fell from space. The latest evidence is a study of the shape of the mountains using 3-D images generated from Cassini data. They show that the angle of the mountainsides is close to the angle of repose, that’s the greatest angle that a granular material can form before it landslides. That’s not proof but it certainly consistent with this exotic formation theory. So how might this have happened? Astronomers think that early in its life, Iapetus must have been hit by another moon, sending huge volumes of ejecta into orbit. Some of this condensed into a new moon that escaped into space. However, the rest formed an unstable ring that gradually spiralled in towards the moon, eventually depositing the material in a narrow ridge around the equator. Cassini’s next encounter with Iapetus will be in 2015 which should give astronomers another chance to study the strangest mountain range in the Solar System."

Mt. Gox files for liquidation

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "The Japanese edition of The Wall Streeet Journal reports that Mt. Gox has filed for liquidation under Japanese bankruptcy law (link to article in Japanese). The article cites a "related party" as saying that Mt. Gox was unable to work out how to deal with creditors spread out all over the globe, nor design a realistic rebuilding plan. The article adds a comment from the company lawyer: Mark Karpeles will not be attending the bankruptcy court hearing in the United States scheduled for April 17th."

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>