Technology archive for 2012-03-25

James Cameron Begins His Deep-Sea Dive

(3 years ago)
James Cameron is on his way down. The director's long-planned trip to the deepest spot on Earth — the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep — is in progress; by the time you read this, if all goes well, Cameron will be navigating around in depths unvisited since 1960. National Geographic's coverage of the dive is excellent as well, as is the BBC's (with video). Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Yahoo Appoints Three New Directors in a Smack to Activist Shareholder (Like I Said!) (Kara Swisher/AllThingsD)

(3 years ago)
Kara Swisher / AllThingsD:Yahoo Appoints Three New Directors in a Smack to Activist Shareholder (Like I Said!)  —  Yahoo said it had appointed three new directors today, a move that is a direct strike back at activist shareholder Dan Loeb of Third Point and his alternate slate of directors.

Video: Ants mate with half-eaten, dying queen

(3 years ago)
We can't all be picky about our mates, and ants even less so. A new video taken by Adrián Skippy Purkart, a wildlife photographer from Slovakia, shows the ants swarming around repeatedly mating with their dying queen as a crab spider is consuming her head first. Sexy!

Non-migrating penguins thrive in warmer Antarctic

(3 years ago)
As the Antarctic Peninsula warms, penguins that live in the area year-round have a breeding advantage over birds that migrate in, according to new research.

Tablet gaming showdown: New iPad vs. Asus Transformer Prime

(3 years ago)
Apple claims the new iPad's new A5X chip offers four times the performance of Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 CPU. Now that we've been able to compare its performance to that of an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the first tablet with a Tegra 3 inside, the results may surprise you.

Last dance for Venus, Jupiter and the moon

(3 years ago)
During the past month we've been treated to a sort of "twilight tango" between the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, in the western night sky. They have spent the last several weeks first approaching each other, then passing each other on March 13. Now they're going their  separate ways. But one last event is still to occur.

Pinterest bans content encouraging self-harm

(3 years ago)
Pinterest, a popular site which allows users to "pin" info, links and photos onto a virtual bulletin board, updated its Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy on Friday. Among those changes is a ban on content which explicitly encourages self-harm or self-abuse.

The United States' 10 largest websites

(3 years ago)
The 10 most-visited websites in America may share a few characteristics, but interestingly enough, none are in the same business, with the exception of two portals. Each has a different business model as well.

Top 5 New Gadgets of the Week

(3 years ago)
From a missle-launching helicopter that you can control with your smartphone or tablet to the Amiga Mini, a revival of the well-known Commodore Amiga from the 80s, there's something to see for technophiles of any age. ABC has picked the best gadgets of the week of March 18th.

Cities Where Your Cell Phone Vanishes

(3 years ago)
How many times have you lost your phone this year? According to Lookout Mobile Security, the average American loses a phone at least once a year — which adds up to more than $30 million in costs for U.S. consumers. According to its website, ”Lookout’s analysis,...

The 7 worst smartphone injustices and how to fight them

(3 years ago)
For their part, smartphone users must endure a litany of injustices, ranging from endless contracts that tie them to outdated hardware to phones that run out of juice by noon. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a mobile martyr. Here are the seven most malicious forms of telephone tyranny and the best ways to fight them.

2-minute expert: How much smartphone data do I need?

(3 years ago)
If you have a smartphone, you have to buy a data plan as well, which could add around $360 a year or more to your bill. Wireless carriers have implemented new pricing, data limits and "throttling" that can make figuring out plans downright baffling. Here's a handy chart to help sort it all out.

Hedy Lamarr: Hollywood's secret weapon inventor

(3 years ago)
Hedy Lamarr played much more than "the most beautiful woman in the world" as an Austrian-American actress during Hollywood's Golden Age. The mathematically-minded inventor created a new torpedo guidance system for the U.S. Navy, among other things.

Switched On: Tablets are toys. No, really.

(3 years ago)
Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Ever since the tablet market exploded, we've seen we've seen a wide range of designs find both success and failure. But most of the tablets on the market have something in common: they are primarily designed for adults or at least children old enough to be responsible for a fragile device. Particularly for the popular iPad, we have seen a number of specialized cases design to protect the tablet for use with young ones. But a small cadre of tablets aimed specifically at kids -- including preschoolers -- begs several questions. Are tablets good tools for kids? Is there value in optimizing them for kids? And if so, how should they be optimized?Continue reading Switched On: Tablets are toys. No, really.Switched On: Tablets are toys. No, really. originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments

You're Driving All Wrong, Says NHTSA

(3 years ago)
antdude writes "This MSNBC Bottom Line story/article says that 'If you're a conscientious motorist who still does everything the way your driver's-ed instructor told you to, you're doing it all wrong. For decades, the standard instruction was that drivers should hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions, as envisioned on a clock. This, it turns out, is no longer the case. In fact, driving that way could cost you your arms or hands in particularly gruesome ways if your airbag deploys. Instead AAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and many driving instructors now say you should grip the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock. A few go even further, suggesting 8 and 4 to avoid the airbag mechanism as much as possible, but what formal research has been published on the varieties of hand positions suggests that this may lessen your control of the car.'" I usually hold even lower on the wheel, perhaps 4:30 and 7:30, but I also drive with my seat pushed farther forward than most people like. Drivers, what's your approach? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Future Of The Virtual Personal Assistant (TechCrunch)

(3 years ago)
TechCrunch:The Future Of The Virtual Personal Assistant  —  Norman Winarsky is the Vice President of Ventures and Bill Mark is the Vice President of the Information Computing Sciences Division at SRI International.  Norman and Bill helped found the Siri venture, of which Norman was also a Board member.

Tough times in the U.S.-China iPad smuggling game

(3 years ago)
SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Early on the morning of March 16, Wong Tat joined a line of about 100 people waiting for the launch of the new iPad in a chilly rain outside an Apple store on the outskirts of San Francisco.

Feds Will Require Contractors to Recycle E-Waste (Joel Schectman/Wall Street Journal)

(3 years ago)
Joel Schectman / Wall Street Journal:Feds Will Require Contractors to Recycle E-Waste  —  The U.S. government is about to bar contractors who use computers bought with federal dollars from dumping the devices in landfills, an official said on Wednesday.  —  The new rule, which has not yet been released publicly, will be issued soon and take effect within 90 days.

Major ISPs agree to FCC's code of conduct on botnets, DNS attacks

(3 years ago)
The FCC's campaign to secure the internet gained new momentum last week, when a group of major ISPs signed on to a new code of conduct aimed at mitigating cybercrime. Adopted by the FCC's Communications, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), the new code targets three main security threats: botnets, DNS attacks and internet route hijacking. The Anti-Bot Code of Conduct invites ISPs to adopt sharper detection methods, and to notify and assist consumers whenever their computers are infected. The DNS code, meanwhile, offers a list of best practices by which ISPs can tighten security. Though it doesn't call for a full adoption of DNSSEC technology, the guidelines do represent a "first step" toward implementation, allowing web users to verify the authenticity of their online destinations. As for internet route attacks, the CSRIC calls for a similarly collective approach, asking ISPs to collaborate on new technologies within an industry-wide framework. In a statement, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that these practices "identify smart, practical, voluntary solutions that will materially improve the cyber security of commercial networks and bolster the broader endeavors of our federal partners." The industry apparently agrees, as heavyweights like AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile and Verizon have already signed on. For the FCC's full statement, check out the source link below. Major ISPs agree to FCC's code[..]

Software Patents Not So Abstract When the Lawsuits Hit Home

(3 years ago)
no_such_user writes "It's easy to ignore the controversy surrounding software patents, especially if you don't have the passion for technology which Slashdot readers do. But as Dana Nieder discovered, it's not all about major corporations and obscure patent trolls. Her daughter uses an comparatively inexpensive assistive communication app on their iPad which is being threatened by the makers of a multi-thousand dollar hardware device." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AT&T Labs, Carnegie Mellon research haptic-feedback steering wheel for turn-by-turn directions

(3 years ago)
A force-feedback steering wheel. It's quite literally the stuff of racing games, and AT&T labs, along with Carnegie Mellon, is researching the possibly of throwing similar tech into your real-world whip. MIT's Technology Review recently highlighted the project, which uses 20 vibrating actuators shoved inside of a steering wheel to create a variety of patterns -- a counter-clockwise sequence could indicate a left turn, for example. As you might have guessed, one of the goals is to keep drivers less distracted by the likes of visual turn-by-turn GPS navigators and more focused on the road. While it's currently being tested with driving simulators, the results are positive so far, if a bit modest. When supplemented with typical audio / visual navigation, folks near the age of 25 kept their eyes planted on the asphalt for 3.1 percent more time than without it. Notably, the improvement wasn't found with those over 65 in the aforementioned instance, however, supplemented with just the audio, the vibrating wheel had them focusing on the road by an increase of four percent.According to Technology Review, this isn't the first time haptic feedback has been tested as a driving aid, although past tests have, notably, resulted in "fewer turn errors" by those behind the wheel. Best of all, the tech is capable of sending more than just navigation cues -- it could certainly be useful in a Telsa. So when can you expect to find a force-feedback steering wheel in your ride? Technology[..]

US government pays $250,000 for iOS exploit

(3 years ago)
It's been known for a while that there's a huge market for buying and selling zero-day exploits in popular software and operating systems. Traditionally, hackers would inform the original software...

AT&T Labs, Carnegie Melon research haptic-feedback steering wheel for turn-by-turn directions

(3 years ago)
A force-feedback steering wheel. It's quite literally the stuff of racing games, and AT&T labs, along with Carnegie Mellon, is researching the possibly of throwing similar tech into your real-world whip. MIT's Technology Review recently highlighted the project, which uses 20 vibrating actuators shoved inside of a steering wheel to create a variety of patterns -- a counter-clockwise sequence could indicate a left turn, for example. As you might have guessed, one of the goals is to keep drivers less distracted by the likes of visual turn-by-turn GPS navigators and more focused on the road. While it's currently being tested with driving simulators, the results are positive so far, if a bit modest. When supplemented with typical audio / visual navigation, folks near the age of 25 kept their eyes planted on the asphalt for 3.1 percent more time than without it. Notably, the improvement wasn't found with those over 65 in the aforementioned instance, however, supplemented with just the audio, the vibrating wheel had them focusing on the road by an increase of four percent.According to Technology Review, this isn't the first time haptic feedback has been tested as a driving aid, although past tests have, notably, resulted in "fewer turn errors" by those behind the wheel. Best of all, the tech is capable of sending more than just navigation cues -- it could certainly be useful in a Telsa. So when can you expect to find a force-feedback steering wheel in your ride? Technology[..]

Two US senators ask the Attorney General to investigate employers asking for Facebook logins (Nathan Ingraham/The Verge)

(3 years ago)
Nathan Ingraham / The Verge:Two US senators ask the Attorney General to investigate employers asking for Facebook logins  —  US senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have both requested that Attorney General Eric Holder investigate claims that some employers have started asking job applicants for their Facebook login details.

Facebook Password Requests From Employers Raise Ire of Lawmakers

(3 years ago)
Facebook is getting attention in Washington again as two U.S. senators seek federal investigations of recent reports of employers demanding job applicants turn over their passwords to the social networking site.

Facebook Privacy Debate a Passionate One

(3 years ago)
Facebook, the wildly popular online social networking service, and the home where you eat, sleep and raise your family don't provide the same level of privacy -- and that's not unreasonable.

BATS founder pushes for IPO despite 'freak' glitch

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - BATS Global Markets, the U.S. exchange operator that withdrew its public offering Friday after a computer glitch sent its newly-issued stock into a tailspin, should develop a "credible IPO plan" and go through with it in the second quarter, its founder and current director said.

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Manage Your Personal Data?

(3 years ago)
New submitter multimediavt writes "Ok, here's my problem. I have a lot of personal data! (And, no, it's not pr0n, warez, or anything the MPAA or RIAA would be concerned about.) I am realizing that I need to keep at least one spare drive the same size as my largest drive around in case of failure, or the need to reformat a drive due to corrupt file system issues. In my particular case I have a few external drives ranging in size from 200 GB to 2 TB (none with any more than 15 available), and the 2 TB drive is giving me fits at the moment so I need to move the data off and reformat the drive to see if it's just a file system issue or a component issue. I don't have 1.6 TB of free space anywhere and came to the above realization that an empty spare drive the size of my largest drive was needed. If I had a RAID I would have the same needs should a drive fail for some reason and the file system needed rebuilding. I am hitting a wall, and I am guessing that I am not the only one reaching this conclusion. This is my personal data and it is starting to become unbelievably unruly to deal with as far as data integrity and security are concerned. This problem is only going to get worse, and I'm sorry 'The Cloud' is not an acceptable nor practical solution. Tape for an individual as a backup mechanism is economically not feasible. Blu-ray Disc only holds 50 GB at best case and takes forever to backup any large amount of data, along with a great deal of human intervention in the process.[..]

Sean Parker And Shawn Fanning's New Social Video Startup Airtime Staffs Up For Launch (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)

(3 years ago)
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:Sean Parker And Shawn Fanning's New Social Video Startup Airtime Staffs Up For Launch  —  A few weeks ago at SXSW, Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning briefly mentioned — during a talk about another company they co-founded, Napster — that they were working on a new social video startup called Airtime.

Twitter reportedly chooses Berlin for its German HQ (Martin Bryant/The Next Web)

(3 years ago)
Martin Bryant / The Next Web:Twitter reportedly chooses Berlin for its German HQ  —  According to a report from Focus today, Twitter has chosen Berlin as the location for its German HQ.  —  In January, the company's Executive Chairman, Jack Dorsey said at the DLD conference in Munich that it was hiring in Germany.

What's Not To Like About New iPad?

(3 years ago)
Hugh Pickens writes writes "With 3 million sold over the last week what's not to like about the new iPad? Michelle Maltais at the LA Times does a good job of putting together a compendium of gripes about the new device, justified or otherwise. Most people thought that Siri on the new iPad was a gimme; instead it has a scaled back version — dictation. 'If you want Siri, buy an iPhone. Plain and simple.' The new iPad is a little heavier than the iPad 2, thanks to the better graphics processor and more powerful battery. At one-tenth of a pound heavier that really doesn't sound like much, but it can start to matter if you hold your iPad in one hand for long periods or have any kind of repetitive stress injury. Apps designed for Retina display can be up to five times bigger and it's not just a problem for owners of the new iPad. Legacy owners of the original and iPad 2 who have these apps get to feel the pain too, since updates aren't device specific." The list continues, below. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What do Samsung and Phones 4u have to show the UK on March 30th?

(3 years ago)
We're not saying this could be the date-of-reveal for the Galaxy S III, but we also can't say it's not. What we can surmise, however, is that either Samsung or UK retailer Phones 4u (possibly both) apparently have something to unveil on March 30th. According to Eurodroid, widow pictured above, simply reading "coming 30.03.12" under a Samsung logo, was photographed by one of its readers outside of the Phones4u located on Oxford St. in London. The site also notes that this same location was the exclusive retailer for the Galaxy Nexus when it launched, making the little meat that's currently here all the more juicy. Whatever Sammy has in store, you'll just have to keep guessing as it remains a mystery for now. Hit up the links below for more photos and speculation, and be sure let us know your best guess in the comments.What do Samsung and Phones 4u have to show the UK on March 30th? originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 25 Mar 2012 12:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Gizmodo UK  |  Eurodroid  | Email this | Comments

Javascript Game of Tron In 226 Bytes

(3 years ago)
Have you upgraded your hardware to play something beefier than 140-byte Tetris?New submitter alokmenghrajani writes with "a detailed view of how we size-optimized a game of Tron to just 226 bytes." It's also optimized for Chrome, and very fast. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Why Linux on the Desktop Is Dead

(3 years ago)
Linux is awesome. It's a powerful, capable, flexible operating system with tremendous potential. But, it's never going to be a factor on the desktop, so don't even waste your time considering it.

Streamlined Windows Server 8 Offers Key Benefits

(3 years ago)
Windows Server has always been a bit different. It looks like your desktop computer, and includes dozens of features that you have no interest in using.

It's Tyrannosaurus Rex! Review: Learn How to Say 'Ankylosaur' Correctly

(3 years ago)
It's Tyrannosaurus Rex! is an interactive, illustrated children's book published by Oceanhouse Media, with help from the Smithsonian Institution. It's a fun, well-executed ebook/Android app that's perfect for dino-loving kids of all ages.

DARPA Director Goes to Google But Probes Continue

(3 years ago)
Twin probes into possible irregularities in the awarding of contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars during the tenure of Regina Dugan at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will continue even though Dugan has left the agency for a position at Google.

Dealing With Software Rebate Hassles

(3 years ago)
I bought H&R Block tax software along with a few other software products that Office Depot advertised with rebates when purchased at the same time as the tax program. Movie Plus was one of the products I chose, and Serif, the publisher, has not honored the $40 rebate. Serif representatives say I have to provide them with the UPC of the tax software as proof of purchase, but that is not listed as a requirement in the rebate instructions; the instructions say that proof of purchase should be a dated store receipt or online invoice. I have sent all of the materials as required by the instructions. All the other rebates for software I bought that day have been honored. Can you help me get that last $40 rebate?

China Plans To End Executed Prisoner Organ Donations Within 5 Years

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes "China said that it planned to end the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners within five years, according to the state media report on Friday. Instead, China's vice minister of health Dr. Huang Jiefu said that the country will rely on a new national donation system for organ transplants at a conference in the city of Hangzhou on Thursday." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook The Patent Buyer: Even Before IBM, The List Includes HP, Friendster, BT... And Halliburton (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)

(3 years ago)
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:Facebook The Patent Buyer: Even Before IBM, The List Includes HP, Friendster, BT... And Halliburton  —  Facebook, according to reports, is buying up a boatload of patents from IBM — 750 in all — that will help the company shore up against potential legal attacks from Yahoo and other companies claiming …

Amateur Astronomer Spots Strange Cloud Formations On Mars

(3 years ago)
techfun89 writes "Mars has returned to our evening skies as it does every two years. This time it is getting even more attention and buzz than it normally would. Amateur astronomer Wayne Jaeschke of West Chester Pennsylvania noticed an unusual protrusion in the planet's southern hemisphere, preceding the sunrise terminator. Several things may have contributed to this strange 'cloud formation.' One possibility is a meteoric impact event, where dust was spewed up into the atmosphere. Another could be a major dust storm, which are typical on Mars. While the other possibility is the more mundane, that these observations were caused by a mere optical illusion via a type of glint that occurred due to having just the right combination of lighting and atmospheric conditions. Some suggest volcanic activity, though this is unlikely given it has been 20 to 200 million years since lava has flowed on Mars." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Harry Potter Wizards Collection brings home all eight movies on a ridiculous 31 discs (video)

(3 years ago)
Now that all of the Harry Potter movies have been released, Warner Bros. has seen fit to slide them together in one truly epic set. Harry Potter Wizard's Collection spans 31 discs including the theatrical version of each movie, extended cuts of the first two flicks, 3D versions of the last two, Ultraviolet digital copies and several bonus discs with ten hours of new to disc bonus content and 5 hours of never before seen extras. Of course, we should also mention the incredibly detailed box it all comes in, seen in the CG video above. Of course, you can't always have everything, and some fans are upset are upset about what this collection doesn't include -- extended versions of the last six movies. Those still interested can preorder the $400 MSRP set (currently selling $349 on Amazon) for delivery September 7th, and get an early preview of one of the special features embedded after the break.Continue reading Harry Potter Wizards Collection brings home all eight movies on a ridiculous 31 discs (video)Harry Potter Wizards Collection brings home all eight movies on a ridiculous 31 discs (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 25 Mar 2012 10:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink   |  Amazon  | Email this | Comments
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