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Updated: 16 min 32 sec ago

Full-Duplex Radio Integrated Circuit Could Double Radio Frequency Data Capacity

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 6:30pm
Zothecula writes Full-duplex radio communication usually involves transmitters and receivers operating at different frequencies. Simultaneous transmission and reception on the same frequency is the Holy Grail for researchers, but has proved difficult to achieve. Those that have been built have proven complex and bulky, but to be commercially useful in the ever-shrinking world of communications technology, miniaturization is key. To this end, engineers at Columbia University (CU) claim to have created a world-first, full-duplex radio transceiver, all on one miniature integrated circuit.

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France Will Block Web Sites That Promote Terrorism

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 5:48pm
An anonymous reader writes In the first use of government powers enacted after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered five websites blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. The action raises questions about how governments might counter groups such as the self-declared Islamic State on digital platforms.

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Ask GM's Exec. Chief Engineer For Electric Vehicles Pam Fletcher a Question

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 5:07pm
Pam Fletcher was propulsion system chief engineer on the first Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and is now executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles at GM. A racing enthusiast, Pam developed racing engines for GM , McLaren, and NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Sr.. Her current role has her running a multi-national department overseeing electrified vehicles company-wide. Fletcher has agreed to take a moment out of her busy day to answer any questions you might have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

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Gates: Large Epidemics Need a More Agile Response

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 4:25pm
jones_supa writes: Writing in the NY Times about the recent Ebola crisis, Bill Gates says this disease has made the world realize we are not properly prepared to deal with a global epidemic. Even if we signed up lots of experts right away, few organizations are capable of moving thousands of people, some of them infected, to different locations on the globe, with a week's notice. Data is another crucial problem. During the Ebola epidemic, the database that tracks cases has not always been accurate. This is partly because the situation is chaotic, but also because much of the case reporting has been done first on paper. There's also our failure to invest in effective medical tools like tests, drugs and vaccines. On average, it has taken an estimated one to three days for test results to come back — an eternity when you need to quarantine people. Drugs that might help stop Ebola were not tested in patients until after the epidemic had peaked, partly because the world has no clear process for expediting drug approvals. Compare all of this to the preparation that nations put into defense, which has high-quality mobile units ready to be deployed quickly.

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UK Chancellor Confirms Introduction of 'Google Tax'

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 3:45pm
mrspoonsi sends this report from the BBC: Companies that move their profits overseas to avoid tax will be subject to a "diverted profits tax" from April, the chancellor has said. In his final Budget before the election, George Osborne said firms that aid tax evasion will also face new penalties and criminal prosecutions. The so-called "Google Tax" is designed to discourage large companies diverting profits out of the the UK to avoid tax. "Let the message go out: this country's tolerance for those who will not pay their fair share of taxes has come to an end," Mr. Osborne said. In 2012 it emerged that internet giant Google avoided tax on £10bn UK revenue in 2011 by doubling the amount of money put into a shell company in Bermuda. Doing so helped it avoid £1bn in corporation tax. Under the new tax regime, companies with an annual turnover of £10m will have to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if they think their company structure could make them liable for diverted profit tax. Once HMRC has assessed the structures, and decided how much profit has been artificially diverted from the UK, multinationals will have only 30 days to object to the 25% tax.

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Personal Healthcare Info of Over 11M Premera Customers Compromised

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 3:03pm
An anonymous reader writes: U.S. healthcare provider Premera Blue Cross has suffered a data breach that resulted in a potential compromise of personal, financial and health-related information of as many as 11 million applicants and members. The breach was detected on January 29, 2015, and the investigation mounted by the company and by forensic investigators from Mandiant has revealed that the initial attack happened on May 5, 2014. The FBI has also been notified, and is involved in the investigation."

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Evolution Market's Admins Are Gone, Along With $12M In Bitcoin

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 2:19pm
tsu doh nimh writes: The Evolution Market, an online black market that sells everything contraband — from marijuana, heroin and ecstasy to stolen identities and malicious hacking services — appears to have vanished in the last 24 hours with little warning. Much to the chagrin of countless merchants hawking their wares in the underground market, the curators of the project have reportedly absconded with the community's bitcoins — a stash that some Evolution merchants reckon is worth more than USD $12 million.

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Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 1:37pm
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft will make Windows 10 available as a free upgrade even to pirated copies of other Windows operating systems in China. Terry Myerson of Microsoft's operating systems unit made the announcement at the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China, and then told Reuters, "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10." Microsoft has a history of attempting to tackle massive and rising software piracy rates in Asia and developing countries, and periodically offers low-cost "licence amnesties" to the worst-offending countries, such as Indonesia and Kenya. Update: 03/18 14:59 GMT by S : Microsoft has clarified that the free upgrade will be offered for unlicensed copies of Windows worldwide, not just in China.

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Microsoft Offers Chinese Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 1:37pm
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft will make Windows 10 available as a free upgrade even to pirated copies of other Windows operating systems in China. Terry Myerson of Microsoft's operating systems unit made the announcement at the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China, and then told Reuters, "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10." Microsoft has a history of attempting to tackle massive and rising software piracy rates in Asia and developing countries, and periodically offers low-cost "licence amnesties" to the worst-offending countries, such as Indonesia and Kenya.

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Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:54pm
An anonymous reader points to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune which says that The nearly defunct Utah company SCO Group Inc. and IBM filed a joint report to the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City saying that legal issues remain in the case, which was initiated in 2003 with SCO claiming damages of $5 billion against the technology giant, based in Armonk, N.Y. That likely means that U.S. District Judge David Nuffer, who now presides over the dispute, will start moving the lawsuit — largely dormant for about four years while a related suit against Novell Inc. was adjudicated — ahead. What kind of issues? In addition to its claims of IBM misappropriation of code, SCO alleges that IBM executives and lawyers directed the company's Linux programmers to destroy source code on their computers after SCO made its allegations. The company's other remaining claims are that IBM's actions amounted to unfair competition and interference with its contracts and business relations with other companies. IBM has remaining claims against SCO that allege the Utah company violated contracts, copied and distributed IBM code that had been placed in Linux and that SCO created a campaign of "fear, uncertainty and doubt" about IBM's products and services because of the dispute over Unix code.

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NVIDIA To Install Computers In Cars To Teach Them How To Drive

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:12pm
jfruh writes: NVIDIA has unveiled the Drive PX, a $10,000 computer that will be installed in cars and gather data about how to react to driving obstacles. "Driving is not about detecting, driving is a learned behavior," said Jen Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA. The data collected by Drive PXes will be shared, allowing cars to learn the right and wrong reactions to different situations, essentially figuring out what to do from experience rather than a rigid set of pre-defined situations.

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The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 9:09am
An anonymous reader writes: It was March, 1985 when Richard M. Stallman published the GNU Manifesto in Dr. Dobb's Journal of Software Tools. Thirty years on, The New Yorker has an article commemorating its creation and looking at how it has shaped software in the meantime. "Though proprietary and open-source software publishers might appear at the moment to have the upper hand, Stallman's influence with developers (among whom he is known simply by his initials, 'rms') remains immense. When I asked around about him, many people spoke of him as one might of a beloved but eccentric and prickly uncle. They would roll their eyes a bit, then hasten to add, as more than one did, 'But he's right about most things.' I told Stallman that I'd spoken with several developers who venerate his work, and who had even said that without it the course of their lives might have been altered. But they don't seem to do what you say, I observed; they all have iPhones. 'I don't understand that either,' he said. 'If they don't realize that they need to defend their freedom, soon they won't have any.'"

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Sloppy Biosafety Procedures Found At Federal Disease Center

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 7:28am
schwit1 writes: An investigation of a federal center for studying dangerous diseases in primates has found serious biosafety procedure violations. "Concerns arose at the center in Covington, Louisiana, after two rhesus macaques became ill in late November with melioidosis, a disease caused by the tropical bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Agriculture investigators traced the strain infecting the primates to a vaccine research lab working with mice. Last month, as the investigation continued, CDC suspended the primate center's 10 or so research projects involving B. pseudomallei and other select agents (a list of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and toxins that are tightly regulated). Meanwhile, a report in USA Today suggested the bacterium might have contaminated the center's soil or water. In addition, workers "frequently entered the select agent lab without appropriate protective clothing," the release says. No center staff has shown signs of illness. On 12 March, however, Tulane announced that blood tests have found that one worker has low levels of antibodies to the bacterium, suggesting possible exposure at the center, according to ABC News."

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Ask Slashdot: Advice For Domain Name Registration?

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 6:16am
codepigeon writes: I would like to ask for your advice on selecting a domain name registration service to use (possibly registration with website hosting?). The last time I registered a domain name was around 1999, so I am out of touch with the current offerings. I have visited a few of the major players' websites. They seem (mostly) similar in prices and services. I have also seen both positive and negative reviews for those companies. I am concerned about being locked in, or surprised with hidden fees. (I paid $75US for a year of service in 1999, now it is only $10.99US?) I have been trolling Slashdot for about 15 years and respect the views of the users here more than anywhere else. I would love to hear your advice and/or warnings in this matter. I am looking to register a domain name for a development studio that is at the ground level (read: I'm the sole member). I have published a single app to one of the big app stores already and want to have a 'web presence' to publish information about my software and give users a place to submit complaints/requests. I currently don't see the need for any kind of major backend support for the website; simple HTML or JavaScript. Which is the most trustworthy company to use for registration? Which ones have hidden fees or privacy problems?

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Australia May Introduce Site Blocking To Prevent Copyright Infringement

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 5:05am
Bismillah writes: The conservative Coalition government in Australia is on the verge of introducing legislation requiring ISPs to block sites alleged of copyright infringement. Details of the bill have not yet been published, but it is expected to be sent to Parliament this week.

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Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 4:11am
sciencehabit writes: Where did the thief go? You might get a more accurate answer if you ask the question in German. How did she get away? Now you might want to switch to English. Speakers of the two languages put different emphasis on actions and their consequences, influencing the way they think about the world, according to a new study (abstract). The work also finds that bilinguals may get the best of both worldviews, as their thinking can be more flexible.

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Windows 10's Biometric Security Layer Introduced

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 2:10am
jones_supa writes: One of the major concepts of Windows 10 are new security ideas, and though Microsoft has touched on this topic before, it's only now giving us a more comprehensive look in the form of "Windows Hello." This is an authentication system that uses a variety of biometric signatures and combines hardware and software to allow for seamless and secure user recognition and sign-in. According to Microsoft, the ideal scenario here would be for you to simply look at or touch a new device running Windows 10 and to be immediately signed in. The software analyzes input from such hardware as fingerprint scanners and infrared sensors to make sure that you are you and not some impostor, and then signs you in without requiring you to enter a password. But the point of Windows Hello isn't only convenience, as the company's blog post notes, but also security. We've heard time and time again how insecure passwords are, and Microsoft is aiming to offer a widely-deployed replacement while still delivering enterprise grade security and privacy.

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Most Powerful Geomagnetic Storm of Solar Cycle 24 Is Happening

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 12:05am
astroengine writes: The most powerful solar storm of the current solar cycle is currently reverberating around the globe. Initially triggered by the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) hitting our planet's magnetosphere, a relatively mild geomagnetic storm erupted at around 04:30 UT (12:30 a.m. EDT), but it has since ramped-up to an impressive G4-class geomagnetic storm, priming high latitudes for some bright auroral displays.

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Apple Reportedly Working On an Online TV Service

Tue, 17/03/2015 - 11:23pm
An anonymous reader writes: According to a Wall Street Journal report (paywalled) Apple is in negotiations with media companies to develop an online TV service. The service will include a bundle of roughly 25 channels, so less popular channels will have a very difficult time fighting for a spot. Most major networks should be present, although NBC's participation is dubious because of its ties to Comcast, which would be in direct competition with Apple's service. "If Apple can offer a comprehensive, albeit slimmed-down, bundle for $30 to $40 a month, that could force distributors to cut prices or eat into margins to retain subscribers. At Comcast, for example, average video revenue per user should be about $79.45 in 2015, according to UBS. Meanwhile, its programming costs per average subscriber should be about $39.60. Those costs may need to rise. That roughly 50% gross margin looks vulnerable."

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White House Proposal Urges All Federal Websites To Adopt HTTPS

Tue, 17/03/2015 - 10:40pm
blottsie writes: In an effort to close security gaps that have resulted in multiple security breaches of government servers, the Obama administration on Tuesday introduced a proposal to require all publicly accessible federal websites to use the HTTPS encryption standard. "The majority of federal websites use HTTP as the as primary protocol to communicate over the public Internet," reads the proposal on the website of the U.S. Chief Information Officer. "Unencrypted HTTP connections create a privacy vulnerability and expose potentially sensitive information about users of unencrypted Federal websites and services."

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