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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Anonymous Coward writes | 5 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "The phone app ecosystem has matured nicely over the past several years. There are apps for just about everything I need to do on my phone. But I've noticed that once an app fills a particular need, I don't tend to look for newer or potentially better apps that would replace it. In a lot of areas, I'm two or three years out of date — maybe there's something better, maybe not. Since few people relish the thought of installing, testing, and uninstalling literally hundreds of apps, I thought I'd put the question to the Slashdot community: what interesting, useful new apps are you aware of? This can be anything from incredibly slick, well-designed single purpose apps to powerful multi-function apps to entertainment-oriented apps."
Link to Original Source

Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Six

mcgrew (92797) writes | 10 minutes ago

User Journal 0

Awake
I woke up about quarter after seven, and Destiny was already up and had coffee started. "Hungry?" She asked.
"Yeah, I am. Did we even eat dinner last night? Did you tell the robots to start breakfast?"
"No, I wanted to try something new for breakfast and wanted to see what you wanted to eat first. You know I'm a history buff, well, I found a really old recipe in the computer called a

States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

Anonymous Coward writes | about half an hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Narcotic painkillers aren't one of the biggest killers in the U.S., but overdoses do claim over 15,000 live per year and send hundreds of thousands to the emergency room. Because of this, it's interesting that a new study (abstract) has found states that allow the use of medical marijuana have seen a dramatic reduction in opioid overdose fatalities. "Previous studies hint at why marijuana use might help reduce reliance on opioid painkillers. Many drugs with abuse potential such as nicotine and opiates, as well as marijuana, pump up the brain’s dopamine levels, which can induce feelings of euphoria. The biological reasons that people might use marijuana instead of opioids aren’t exactly clear, because marijuana doesn’t replace the pain relief of opiates. However, it does seem to distract from the pain by making it less bothersome." This research comes at a time when the country is furiously debating the costs and benefits of marijuana use, and opponents of the idea are paying researchers to paint it in an unfavorable light."
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NASA's Competition For Dollars

Anonymous Coward writes | 42 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "We often decry the state of funding to NASA. Its limited scope has kept us from returning to the moon for over four decades, maintained only a minimal presence in low-Earth orbit, and failed to develop a capable asteroid defense system. But why is funding such a problem? Jason Callahan, who has worked on several of NASA's annual budgets, says it's not just NASA's small percentage of the federal budget that keeps those projects on the back burner, but also competition for funding between different parts of NASA as well. "[NASA's activities include] space science, including aeronautics research (the first A in NASA), technology development, education, center and agency management, construction, maintenance, and the entire human spaceflight program. The total space science budget has rarely exceeded $5 billion, and has averaged just over half that amount. Remember that space science is more than just planetary: astrophysics, heliophysics, and Earth science are all funded in this number. Despite this, space science accounts for an average of 17 percent of NASA’s total budget, though it has significant fluctuations. In the 1980s, space science was a mere 11 ½ percent of NASA’s budget, but in the 2000s, it made up 27 percent.""
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Western water rights and the NSA

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 44 minutes ago

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mdsolar (1045926) writes "A perfect slashdot story, the NSA and Yucca Mountain rolled into one:

"Whenever I explain the OffNow Project to someone, they initially respond enthusiastically. Something to the effect of, “Wow! That’s cool! The federal government shouldn’t be spying on us!” But when I further explain that the idea behind OffNow includes shutting off state supplied resources to NSA facilities – like the water necessary to cool the super-computers at the Bluffdale, Utah spy facility – those same people get nervous. “Shutting off the water seems like an extreme move. Can we even do that?” they ask.

Yes, we can do that.

And it will work.

It’s been done before at a place called Yucca Mountain, Nevada....." The water rights case in Nevada is described here: http://www.law360.com/articles..."

Link to Original Source

Judge Allows L.A. Cops to Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

Anonymous Coward writes | 48 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that the Los Angeles Police Department is not required to hand over a week's worth of license plate reader data to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). He cited the potential of compromising criminal investigations and giving (un-charged) criminals the ability to determine whether or not they were being targeteted by law enforcement. The ACLU and the EFF sought the data under the California Public Records Act, but the judge envoked Section 6254(f), "which protects investigatory files". ACLU attorney Peter Bibring notes, "New surveillance techniques may function better if people don't know about them, but that kind of secrecy is inconsistent with democratic policing.""

Scientists found the origin of the Ebola outbreak

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 1 hour ago

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Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "One of the big mysteries in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is where the virus came from in the first place — and whether it's changed in any significant ways

In a new paper in Science, researchers reveal that they have sequenced the genomes of Ebola from 78 patients in Sierra Leone who contracted the disease in May and June. Those sequences revealed some 300 mutations specific to this outbreak

Among their findings, the researchers discovered that the current viral strains come from a related strain that left Central Africa within the past ten years. Using genetic sequences from current and previous outbreaks, the researchers mapped out a family tree that puts a common ancestor of the recent West African outbreak some place in Central Africa roughly around 2004. This contradicts an earlier hypothesis that the virus had been hanging around West Africa for much longer than that

Researchers are also planning to study the mutations to see if any of them are affecting Ebola's recent behavior. The number of mutations found is completely normal, and it isn't necessarily the case that they'll have a big effect. But it's possible that something intriguing could turn up. For example, this outbreak has had a higher transmission rate and lower death rate than others, and researchers are curious if any of these mutations are related to that

The scientific paper on Ebola is also a sad reminder of the toll that the virus has taken on those working on the front lines. Five of the authors died of Ebola before it was published

There is a graph of the "family tree" of the Ebola virus @ http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/thumbo..."

Link to Original Source

Firefox 31 Garbage Collection

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 31 now has the Generational Garbage Collection and now the future of Garbage Collection in Firefox is about adding Compaction to this GGC (Generational Garbage Collection). After implementing Exact Rooting this is the most natural transition. As a Research Student I want to study the Generational Garbage Collection followed by Firefox 31. According to the Benchmark results (http://www.arewefastyet.com/) Firefox have seen some performance improvements but somewhere they seem to degrade as well. So I want to know what is the reason behind this.

I am curious to know what is the exact algorithm that is being followed for GGC in Firefox 31. Even a link where it is described with enough details will be a great help."

DOJ Admits It's Still Destroying Evidence In NSA Case

Presto Vivace (882157) writes | 1 hour ago

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Presto Vivace (882157) writes "DOJ Admits It's Still Destroying Evidence In NSA Case; Judge Orders Them (Again) To Stop; DOJ Flips Out

So, remember how we wrote about the big EFF filing in the Jewel v. NSA case, about how the NSA and DOJ had been knowingly destroying key evidence by pretending that they thought the preservation orders only applied to one kind of spying, and not the kind that was approved by the FISA Court (despite at other times admitting that the surveillance at issue in the case was approved by the FISA Court)? Yeah, so, yesterday, the EFF realized that despite the big kerfuffle this whole thing had caused, the NSA and DOJ were still destroying that evidence, and sprinted over to the court to file for an emergency temporary restraining order on the government.

"

MIPS Tempts Hackers with Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

DeviceGuru (1136715) writes | yesterday

1

DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "In a bid to harness the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers, Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the Creator C120 development board, the ISA's counter to ARM's popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. The MIPS dev board is based on a 1.2GHz dual-core MIPS32 system-on-chip and has 1GB RAM and 8GB flash, and there's also an SD card slot for expansion. Ports include video, audio, Ethernet, both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, and a bunch more. OS images are already available for Debian 7, Gentoo, Yocto, and Arch Linux, and Android v4.4 is expected to be available soon. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the board is that there's no pricing listed yet, because the company is starting out by giving the boards away free to developers who submit the most interesting projects."
Link to Original Source

Dell-Alienware Revamps Area-51 Gaming PC With Unique Trapezoid Chassis Design

MojoKid (1002251) writes | yesterday

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MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell's enthusiast Alienware brand has always stood out for its unique, other-worldly looks (sometimes good, sometimes, not so good) and there's such a thing as taking things to the next level, this might be it. However, there's more to this refresh than just shock value. It's actually a futuristic aesthetic with a rather purposeful design behind it. Today Alienware gave a sneak peek at their completely redesigned Alienware Area 51 desktop system. This refreshed system is unlike any previous Alienware rig you've seen. With a trapezoidal shape to its chassis, Dell-Alienware says you can place the Area-51 against a wall and not have to worry about thermals getting out of the control. That's because there's a controlled gap and a sharp angle to the chassis that ensures only a small part of the system actually rests near the wall, leaving extra room for hot air to escape up and away. This design also offers users easy access to rear IO ports. Despite the unique design, there's plenty of room for high end components inside. The retooled chassis can swallow up to three 300W double-wide full-length graphics cards. It also brings to the table Intel's latest and greatest Haswell-E in six-core or eight-core options, liquid cooled and nestled into Intel's X99 chipset. No word from Dell on the price but the new Area-51 is slated to start shipping in October."
Link to Original Source

Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "For information, anyone who might have been interested in the minature Raspberry Pi compatible board mentioned here a month ago should know the board has been cancelled due to problems sourcing the Broadcom SoC. Given the less than welcoming response from the rpi community to the board's release, there is some speculation as to why Hardkernel is having trouble buying the chip."

Watch This Inventor Survive a Fireworks Blast in a Metal Suit

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes | yesterday

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Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Labor Day is nigh, and with it the official end of summer. It’s time to pack away the umbrellas and beach towels, and perhaps spend a few minutes flipping through photos of all the fun times you had over the past couple months: the grilling, the trips, the fireworks oh yes, the fireworks Chances are pretty good that you’ve set off more than a few fireworks in your time. But Colin Furze, the British inventor and YouTube celebrity who once co-hosted Sky1’s Gadget Geeks? Well, he puts everybody’s love of fireworks to shame. He loves fireworks so much, in fact, that he built a giant metal suit so he could stand in the middle of an epic pyrotechnic display. No matter how good your own engineering skills (or strong your courage), it's inadvisable to try this at home. But it's sure fun to watch."
Link to Original Source

Google Introduce HTML 5.1 Tag to Chrome

darthcamaro (735685) writes | yesterday

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darthcamaro (735685) writes "Forget about HTML5, that's already passe — Google is already moving on to HTML5.1 support for the upcoming Chrome 38 release. Currently only a beta, one of the biggest things that web developers will notice is the use of the new "picture" tag which is a container for multiple image sizes/formats. Bottom line is it's a new way to think about the "IMG" tag that has existed since the first HTML spec."
Link to Original Source

Google's Megan Smith Would be First U.S. CTO Worthy of Title

theodp (442580) writes | 11 hours ago

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theodp (442580) writes "Bloomberg is reporting that Google X's Megan Smith is the top candidate for U.S. Chief Technology Officer. With a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and experience ranging from General Magic to Google, Smith would arguably be the first U.S. CTO worthy of the title (the outgoing U.S. CTO has a bachelor's in Econ; his predecessor has a master's in Public Policy). Now, if Smith can just reassure parents of boys that the girls-take-all approach to CS education funding she championed for Google won't become national policy, her confirmation should be smooth sailing!"

How to Disable DirectWrite in Google Chrome

NGOHQ (1078351) writes | yesterday

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NGOHQ (1078351) writes "The latest version (37) of Google Chrome uses DirectWrite for font rendering on Windows PCs. DirectWrite is a DirectX API made for the purpose of high-quality, resolution-independent text rendering. On paper it sounds great, but some people might not like the new fonts appearance (blurry text on some websites). This guide will show you how to disable DirectWrite."
Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

0

An anonymous reader writes "It's the year 2014, and I still have a floppy drive installed on my computer. I don't know why; I don't own any floppy disks, and I haven't used one in probably a decade. But every time I put together a PC, it feels incomplete if I don't have one. I also have a Laserdisc player collecting dust at the bottom of my entertainment center, and I still use IRC to talk to a few friends. Software, hardware, or otherwise, what technology have you had a hard time letting go? (I don't want to put a hard limit on age, so you folks using flip-phones or playing on Dreamcasts or still inexplicably coding in Perl 4, feel free to contribute.)"
Link to Original Source

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