Technology News

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

(9 minutes ago)
jimwormold writes: I need to build a system for outdoor use, capable of withstanding a high pressure water jet! "Embedded PC," I hear you cry. Well, ideally yes. However, the system does a fair bit of number crunching on a GPU (GTX970) and there don't appear to be any such embedded systems available. The perfect solution will be as small as possible (ideally about 1.5x the size of a motherboard, and the height will be limited to accommodate the graphics card). I'm U.K.- based, so the ambient temperature will range from -5C to 30C, so I presume some sort of active temperature control would be useful. I found this helpful discussion, but it's 14 years old. Thus, I thought I'd post my question here. Do any of you enlightened Slashdotters have insights to this problem, or know of any products that will help me achieve my goals? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Roku wants to grow its media hub empire with a public stock filing

(9 minutes ago)
Roku frequently comes across as the little media player company that could: its streaming box business is growing in spite of much larger competition. As healthy as it is, though, this upstart now appears eager to join the big leagues. Tipsters for...

Building All the Major Open-Source Web Browsers

(One hour ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Cristophe de Dinechin, long-time software developer, has an interesting article on the processes involved in building the major browsers. From the article: "Mozilla Firefox, Chromium (the open-source variant of Chrome) and WebKit (the basis for Safari) are all great examples of open-source software. The Qt project has a simple webkit-based web browser in their examples. So that's at least four different open-source web browsers to choose from. But what does it take to actually build them? The TL;DR answer is that these are complex pieces of software, each of them with rather idiosyncratic build systems, and that you should consider 100GB of disk space to build all the browsers, a few hours of download, and be prepared to learn lots of new, rather specific tools." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

CVS, Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay is a defensive move to support a cumbersome and doomed rival (John Gruber/Daring Fireball)

(2 hours ago)
John Gruber / Daring Fireball:CVS, Rite Aid blocking Apple Pay is a defensive move to support a cumbersome and doomed rival  —  Retailers Are Disabling NFC to Block Apple Pay  —  Eric Slivka, reporting for MacRumors: … These retailers are part of a group (Merchant Customer Exchange, “MCX") working on an upcoming mobile payment system called CurrentC.

New Oculus SDK Adds Experimental Linux Support and Unity Free For Rift Headset

(2 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Oculus, creator of the Rift VR headset, has released a new version of their SDK which brings with it long sought-after support for Linux, which the company says is "experimental." Linux support was previously unavailable since the launch of the company's second development kit, the DK2. The latest SDK update also adds support for Unity Free, the non-commercial version of the popular game authoring engine. Previously, Unity developers needed the Pro version—costing $1,500 or $75/month—to create experiences for the Oculus Rift. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitpic's last-minute deal with Twitter keeps your old photos safe

(2 hours ago)
Twitpic may not have avoided an untimely demise, but you won't have to worry about some of your older Twitter photos disappearing into the void. The defunct hosting company has reached a last-minute deal that will have Twitter take over both the...

Twitpic agrees to give Twitter the Twitpic.com domain and photo archive, site to remain in read-only mode (Noah Everett/Twitpic Blog)

(3 hours ago)
Noah Everett / Twitpic Blog:Twitpic agrees to give Twitter the Twitpic.com domain and photo archive, site to remain in read-only mode  —  Twitpic's Future  —  First off I want to say thank you to everyone who has used Twitpic over the years and for your patience with us over the last couple of months.

FCC Postpones Spectrum Auction Until 2016

(3 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: 2014 was supposed to be the year broadcasters would be allowed to sell off their unused spectrum to mobile carriers. That got pushed back to 2015 in December, and now the Federal Communications Commission has bumped it to 2016 in the face of a lawsuit from the National Association of Broadcasters. The FCC says the legal briefs aren't even due until January 2015, and it will take them until the middle of the year to review the documents and respond in court. The delay is just fine with the NAB, but probably bad news for anyone hoping that spectrum would help to improve mobile communications in the U.S. any time soon. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Lionsgate and Tribeca film studios are launching a new streaming service (Cecilia Kang/Washington Post)

(3 hours ago)
Cecilia Kang / Washington Post:Lionsgate and Tribeca film studios are launching a new streaming service  —  Now Hollywood is joining the Internet streaming craze.  Lionsgate and Tribeca Enterprises said Monday they will jointly launch an online video service during the first half of next year for movies made by them and outside studios.

Drug stores drop Apple Pay and Google Wallet to push their own payment tech

(4 hours ago)
If you're bent on using Apple Pay or Google Wallet for your shopping, you may have to be finicky about your choice of drug stores. Both CVS and Rite Aid have shut off their support for NFC-based payments just days after Apple Pay went live. Try to...

EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

(4 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: The 28 nations in the European Union agreed Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% (going by 1990 levels) by the year 2030. The deal received widespread criticism; industry bosses said the 2030 targets were too extreme, while many environmental groups said the goals weren't ambitious enough. The deal requires each nation to achieve the goal independently — earlier targets could use international offsets to avoid or reduce action. EU officials hope the agreement will encourage the U.S. and China to take a more aggressive stance on fighting climate change. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IRL: Keeping a journal with Day One

(5 hours ago)
Trying to keep a journal has always been difficult for me. Before the age of smartphones, I tried to rely on text files or a physical notepad. If I wasn't forgetting to write down my thoughts, I was losing the file or my handwriting was so bad it...

High Speed Evolution

(5 hours ago)
Taco Cowboy writes: Normally, the term "evolution" implicitly refers to super-long time frames. However, in the case of lizards on Florida islands, evolution seems to have shifted into a higher gear. Researchers have documented noticeable changes in a native species over a period of just 15 years, after an invading species altered their behavior (abstract). "After contact with the invasive species, the native lizards began perching higher in trees, and, generation after generation, their feet evolved to become better at gripping the thinner, smoother branches found higher up. The change occurred at an astonishing pace: Within a few months, native lizards had begun shifting to higher perches, and over the course of 15 years and 20 generations, their toe pads had become larger, with more sticky scales on their feet. 'We did predict that we'd see a change, but the degree and quickness with which they evolved was surprising,' said Yoel Stuart, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin and lead author of the study... 'To put this shift in perspective, if human height were evolving as fast as these lizards' toes, the height of an average American man would increase from about 5 foot 9 inches today to about 6 foot 4 inches within 20 generations — an increase that would make the average U.S. male the height of an NBA shooting guard,' said Stuart." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Italian lawmakers plan free Wi-Fi to bridge digital gap with Europe

(5 hours ago)
MILAN (Reuters) - Italian lawmakers have put forward a proposal for free Wi-Fi in thousands of public places to bridge a gap with other European countries in broadband penetration, e-government and other digital services that is dragging on the economy.

CVS and Rite Aid reportedly disabling NFC in stores to shut down Apple Pay and Google Wallet (Eric Slivka/MacRumors)

(6 hours ago)
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:CVS and Rite Aid reportedly disabling NFC in stores to shut down Apple Pay and Google Wallet  —  CVS Stores Reportedly Disabling NFC to Shut Down Apple Pay and Google Wallet  —  Earlier this week, pharmacy chain Rite Aid shut down unofficial support for the Apple Pay …

Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

(6 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: In a post at the Free Software Foundation, lawyer Marco Ciurcina reports that the Italian Supreme Court has ruled the practice of forcing users to pay for a Windows license when they buy a new PC is illegal. Manufacturers in Italy are now legally obligated to refund that money if a buyer wants to put GNU/Linux or another free OS on the computer. Ciurcina says, "The focus of the Court's reasoning is that the sale of a PC with software preinstalled is not like the sale of a car with its components (the 4 wheels, the engine, etc.) that therefore are sold jointly. Buying a computer with preinstalled software, the user is required to conclude two different contracts: the first, when he buys the computer; the second, when he turns on the computer for the first time and he is required to accept or not the license terms of the preinstalled software. Therefore, if the user does not accept the software license, he has the right to keep the computer and install free software without having to pay the 'Microsoft tax.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Investigating the science in Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar'

(6 hours ago)
Even the most well respected filmmakers have been known to bend the truth a bit when it comes to depicting science on the silver screen, throwing accuracy to the wind in favor of trivialities like "plot" and "drama." We kid, of course. But how does...

Adobe updates Digital Edition e-book reader app to stop uploading reading logs in plain text (Nate Hoffelder/The Digital Reader)

(7 hours ago)
Nate Hoffelder / The Digital Reader:Adobe updates Digital Edition e-book reader app to stop uploading reading logs in plain text  —  Adobe Updates Digital Edition, Stops Sharing User Info With the Internet  —  Adobe rolled out a new update for their Digital Editions Epub app today, and I have good news, bad news, and okay news.

Scientists Engineer Cancer-Killing Stem Cells

(7 hours ago)
SternisheFan writes with news that medical researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully cultivated stem cells that will kill brain cancer cells in mice without damaging healthy cells. "They used genetic engineering to make stem cells that spewed out cancer-killing toxins, but, crucially, were also able to resist the effects of the poison they were producing. ... In animal tests, the stem cells were surrounded in gel and placed at the site of the brain tumor after it had been removed. Their cancer cells then died as they had no defense against the toxins (abstract)." The next step in the research is to try the treatment on humans. Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine, said, "This is a clever study, which signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies. It shows you can attack solid tumors by putting mini pharmacies inside the patient which deliver the toxic payload direct to the tumor. Cells can do so much. This is the way the future is going to be." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sony wants to show you how PS4's online game-sharing works

(7 hours ago)
When next Tuesday's 2.0 update hits for the PlayStation 4, Sony will finally turn one of the most ambitious promises it made when the console was first announced a reality. We're talking about Share Play, of course. We know: the ability to virtually...

CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

(8 hours ago)
sabri writes: Following the initial suspension of a California Highway Patrol officer earlier this week, news has come out that the CHP has an entire ring of officers who steal and subsequently share nude pictures. The nudes are stolen from women who are arrested or stopped. Officer Sean Harrington of Martinez reportedly confessed to stealing explicit photos from the suspect's phone, and said he forwarded those images to at least two other CHP officers. Where is the ACLU when you need them the most? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Who'd have thought the Power Mac G5 made a good bench?

(9 hours ago)
Like it or loathe it, you have to admit that the design of the Power Mac G5 was a very clever way of getting around the system's legendary thermal issues. It was no surprise that the ol' cheesegrater was kept around for the Mac Pro, at least until...

Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

(9 hours ago)
theodp writes According to Steve Ballmer, Amazon.com is not a real business. "They make no money," Ballmer said on the Charlie Rose Show. "In my world, you're not a real business until you make some money. I have a hard time with businesses that don't make money at some point." Ballmer's comments come as Amazon posted a $437 million loss for the third quarter, disappointing Wall Street. "If you are worth $150 billion," Ballmer added, "eventually somebody thinks you're going to make $15 billion pre-tax. They make about zero, and there's a big gap between zero and 15." Fired-up as ever, LA Clippers owner Ballmer's diss comes after fellow NBA owner Mark Cuban similarly slammed IBM, saying Big Blue is no longer a tech company (Robert X. Cringely seems to concur). "Today, they [IBM] specialize in financial engineering," Cuban told CNBC after IBM posted another disappointing quarter. "They're no longer a tech company, they are an amalgamation of different companies that they are trying to arb[itrage] on Wall Street, and I'm not a fan of that at all." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

More crowdfunding campaigns for routers promising anonymity follow Anonabox, but choose wisely (Andy Greenberg/Wired)

(10 hours ago)
Andy Greenberg / Wired:More crowdfunding campaigns for routers promising anonymity follow Anonabox, but choose wisely  —  Now Everyone Wants to Sell You a Magical Anonymity Router.  Choose Wisely  —  Maintaining your privacy online, like investing in stocks or looking good naked, has become one of those nagging desires …

Robotic hand uses the power of static electricity to pick up objects

(11 hours ago)
A cheap robotic hand developed by a company called Grabit offers something most of the other mechanical limbs we've seen before don't: the ability to pick up objects using electrostatic attraction. Even if you're not familiar with term, you've likely...

Google Search Finally Adds Information About Video Games

(13 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes Google has expanded its search engine with the capability to recognize video games. If your query references a game, a new Knowledge Graph panel on the right-hand side of Google's search results page will offer more information, including the series it belongs to, initial release date, supported platforms, developers, publishers, designers, and even review scores. Google spokesperson: "With today's update, you can ask questions about video games, and (while there will be ones we don't cover) you'll get answers for console and PC games as well as the most popular mobile apps." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Soft Machines, which has raised $125M, leaves stealth, plans to license "virtual cores" tech (Don Clark/Wall Street Journal)

(13 hours ago)
Don Clark / Wall Street Journal:Soft Machines, which has raised $125M, leaves stealth, plans to license “virtual cores” tech  —  Secretive Startup Unveils Universal Chip  —  Venture capitalists these days tend to avoid chip companies, largely because developing new products costs a bundle.  That hasn't stopped Soft Machines.

Amazon has made its Appstore for Android obsolete

(15 hours ago)
Since its creation, the Amazon Appstore stood apart, banned from being offered in the official store for Android apps, Google Play, until now... sort of. When Amazon recently updated its main Android app, it got a new "Apps & Games" department that...

Peter Kuran:Visual Effects Artist and Atomic Bomb Archivist

(16 hours ago)
Lasrick links to this interview with Peter Kuran, an animator of the original Star Wars and legendary visual effects artist, writing If you saw the recent remake of Godzilla, you saw stock footage from Atom Central, known on YouTube as 'the atomic bomb channel.' Atom Central is the brainchild of Kuran, who among his many talents is an expert on archival films of the atmospheric testing era of 1945 to 1963. Combining his film restoration and photography expertise with his interest in nuclear history, he has also produced and directed five documentaries. He is currently working with Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories to preserve and catalog images from the bomb-testing era, and to produce a technical handbook that will help people understand these images and the techniques used to create them. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The FCC as data security cop: $10 million fine for carriers' security breaches (Michael Cooney/Network World)

(16 hours ago)
Michael Cooney / Network World:The FCC as data security cop: $10 million fine for carriers' security breaches  —  FCC says TerraCom and its affiliate YourTel stored Social Security numbers, names, addresses in the open  —  The FCC took a big stand today saying it will fine TerraCom and YourTel America $10 million …

OwnCloud Dev Requests Removal From Ubuntu Repos Over Security Holes

(19 hours ago)
operator_error notes a report that ownCloud developer Lukas Reschke has emailed the Ubuntu Devel mailing list to request that ownCloud (server) be removed from the Ubuntu repositories because it contains "multiple critical security bugs for which no fixes have been backported," through which an attacker could "gain complete control [of] the web server process." From the article: However, packages can't be removed from the Ubuntu repositories for an Ubuntu version that was already released, that's why the package was removed from Ubuntu 14.10 (2 days before its release) but it's still available in the Ubuntu 14.04 and 12.04 repositories (ownCloud 6.0.1 for Ubuntu 14.04 and ownCloud 5.0.4 for Ubuntu 12.04, while the latest ownCloud version is 7.0.2). Furthermore, the ownCloud package is in the universe repository and software in this repository "WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu security team" (you should see this if you take a look at your /etc/apt/sources.list file) so it's up to someone from the Ubuntu community to step up and fix it. "If nobody does that, then it unfortunately stays the way it is", says Marc Deslauriers, Security Tech Lead at Canonical. You can follow the discussion @ Ubuntu Devel mailing list. So, until (if) someone fixes this, if you're using ownCloud from the Ubuntu repositories, you should either remove it or upgrade to the latest ownCloud from its official repository, hosted by the openSUSE Build Service." Read more of this[..]

Netflix lines up two more TV shows for 2015: 'Bloodline' and 'F is for Family'

(19 hours ago)
Concerned there's not enough to watch on Netflix, or that the big studios and networks might hold stuff back for their own streaming services? Rest easy, the video streamer has plans for a slew of exclusive content over the next few years, and this...

First Android 5.0 Lollipop updates should hit the Galaxy S5 in December (Abhijeet Mishra/SamMobile)

(20 hours ago)
Abhijeet Mishra / SamMobile:First Android 5.0 Lollipop updates should hit the Galaxy S5 in December  —  Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming to the Galaxy S5, and we've already given our readers an exclusive look at an early version running on the device.  We had already said that the Galaxy S5 would be receiving …

Google bought six Redwood City office buildings totaling about 934,200 square feet for $585M (Bloomberg)

(21 hours ago)
Bloomberg:Google bought six Redwood City office buildings totaling about 934,200 square feet for $585M  —  Google Said to Buy Redwood City Offices for $585 Million  —  Google Inc. (GOOGL) bought six office buildings northwest of its Silicon Valley headquarters from Starwood Capital Group LLC and Blackstone Group LP …

Engadget Daily: Nexus 9, Google VP sets new space-jump record, and more!

(21 hours ago)
It's Friday, ya'll. But before you checkout for the weekend, check out all our news highlights from the last 24 hours, including our hands-on with the Nexus 9, a new high-altitude jump record, the best gaming mice you can buy right now, and more....

Whisper responds to Guardian's "10 questions", says members of editorial team put on leave (Whisper)

(22 hours ago)
Whisper:Whisper responds to Guardian's “10 questions”, says members of editorial team put on leave  —  Setting The Record Straight  —  I wrote last Saturday that we welcome the current discussion around Whisper, and are grateful to those who have shared thoughtful feedback with us.

Microsoft Now Makes Money From Surface Line, Q1 Sales Reach Almost $1 Billion

(22 hours ago)
SmartAboutThings writes Microsoft has recently published its Q1 fiscal 2015 earnings report, disclosing that it has made $4.5 billion in net income on $23.20 billion in revenue. According to the report, revenue has increased by $4.67 billion, compared to $18.53 billion from the same period last year. However, net income has decreased 14 percent compared to last year's $5.24 billion mainly because of the $1.14 billion cost associated with the integration and restructuring expenses related to the Nokia acquisition. But what's finally good news for the company is that the Surface gross margin was positive this quarter, which means the company finally starts making money on Surface sales. Microsoft didn't yet reveal Surface sales, but we know that Surface revenue was $908 million this quarter, up a massive 127 percent from the $400 million this time last year. However, if we assume that the average spent amount on the purchase of this year's Surface Pro 3 was around $1000, then we have less than 1 million units sold, which isn't that impressive, but it's a good start. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nest owns Revolv's home automation tech now, too

(22 hours ago)
Google's adding another member to its household family that includes Nest and Dropcam, and this time its home automation outfit Revolv. The firm's website lists it as "a Nest company" now, and goes on to to assure existing customers that they're...

Google's New Search Downranking Hits Torrent Sites Hard (Ernesto/TorrentFreak)

(22 hours ago)
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:Google's New Search Downranking Hits Torrent Sites Hard  —  In recent years Hollywood and the music industry have taken a rather aggressive approach against Google.  The entertainment industry companies have accused the search engine of not doing enough to limit piracy, and demanded more stringent anti-piracy measures.

Uber for Kids: Shuddle Wants to Shuttle Your Children

(22 hours ago)
Little Suzy has soccer practice. Timmy needs to get to his recital. You have an important meeting. Don't worry, Shuddle has you covered.

Hoverboards Are Now a Reality

(22 hours ago)
A future in which we are all gliding around on hoverboards is now one step closer to reality as a California company has stumbled upon the formula for a viable prototype.

Days After Shooting, Canada Proposes New Restrictions On and Offline

(22 hours ago)
New submitter o_ferguson writes As Slashdot reported earlier this week, a lone shooter attacked the war memorial and parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada on Wednesday. As many comments predicted, the national government has seized this as an opportunity to roll out considerable new regressive legislation, including measures designed to* increase data access for domestic intelligence services, institute a new form of extra-judicial detention, and, perhaps most troubling, criminalize some forms of religious and political speech online. As an example of the type of speech that could, in future, be grounds for prosecution, the article mentions that the killer's website featured "a black ISIS flag and rejoiced that 'disbelievers' will be consigned to the fires of Hell for eternity." A government MP offers the scant assurance that this legislation is not "trauma tainted," as it was drafted well prior to this week's instigating incidents. Needless to say, some internet observes remain, as always, highly skeptical of the manner in which events are being portrayed. (Please note that some articles may be partially paywalled unless opened in a private/incognito browser window.) Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads

(23 hours ago)
As reported by MacRumors, the unlocked, carrier-switchable SIM cards built into the newest iPads aren't necessarily so -- at least if you buy them from an AT&T store. Though the card comes from Apple with the ability to support (and be switched among with software, if a change is necessary) all major carriers, "AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan. ... AT&T appears to be the only participating carrier that is locking the Apple SIM to its network. T-Mobile's John Legere has indicated that T-Mobile's process does not lock a customer in to T-Mobile, which appears to be confirmed by Apple's support document, and Sprint's process also seems to leave the Apple SIM unlocked and able to be used with other carrier plans. Verizon, the fourth major carrier in the United States, did not opt to allow the Apple SIM to work with its network." The iPad itself can still be activated and used on other networks, but only after the installation of a new SIM. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sundar Pichai takes control of Google's crucial products

(23 hours ago)
Well, we guess congratulations are in order. According to Re/code, Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president at Google who used to just be in charge of the Chrome, Android, and web apps teams now basically has control of almost every other Google...

Drones Give Archaeologists a Bird's-Eye View of Past

(23 hours ago)
From drones that perform high-fidelity 3-D scans to apps that automatically scour satellite data for undiscovered sites, the past is looking futuristic.
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