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News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 11 min 9 sec ago

9 Open Source Alternatives To Picasa

Thu, 10/03/2016 - 6:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: After over a decade of ownership of the product, Google announced just a few weeks ago that it will be closing the shutters for good on Picasa, a cross-platform photo viewer and organizer with basic editing capabilities. In the official announcement, Google has set March 15 as the end of support for the desktop client, with changes to the accompanying web-album hosting service set to roll out later in the spring. On, Jason Baker rounded up 9 open source and Linux-compatible alternatives to the popular photo sharing service.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bank of England Looks Into 'Centralized' Bitcoin Alternative, RSCoin

Thu, 10/03/2016 - 6:02pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Bank of England is working with researchers at University College London to design a Bitcoin clone of its own that can be centrally controlled. It was recently found that the UK's central bank had reached out to university researchers to help it create a cryptographically secure digital currency. The resulting system has now been revealed, and is named RSCoin. The system employs cryptography to obviate counterfeiting and tampering. Unlike other mechanisms, the digital ledger used by the new cryptocurrency is handled exclusively by a central body and will only be made accessible to users in possession of a specific encryption key. Its developers explained that an RSCoin ledger could be published publicly by a central bank, and added that the system's design would also allow a central bank to make transactions entirely, or partially, anonymous.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dutch Researchers Grow Crops In Simulated Lunar and Martian Soil

Thu, 10/03/2016 - 5:12pm
MarkWhittington writes: When people start living on the moon and Mars on a permanent basis, they are going to need to grow their own crops to produce food to eat. Indeed, in the recent hit movie, "The Martian," Matt Damon's character grew potatoes to survive long enough to be rescued. With that in mind, researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have been trying to grow crops in simulated lunar and Martian soil. The first attempt was not successful. The second, however, proved to have promising results.

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Patch Tuesday Brought Windows 10 Ad Generator

Thu, 10/03/2016 - 4:31pm
jones_supa writes: Microsoft has been very aggressive on getting Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10. The company has introduced a "Get Windows 10" system tray icon, moved the upgrade to "recommended" category in Windows Update, and even initiated the OS download automatically. The latest trick is almost comical: KB3139929 is an actual security update for Internet Explorer, but it also deploys a trojan horse, KB3146449, which is an advertisement generator for Internet Explorer. On computers not joined to a domain, it adds a blue banner when a user opens a new tab, saying "Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10".

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Opera Introduces Native Adblocking, 45% Faster Than Chrome With Adblock Plus

Thu, 10/03/2016 - 3:51pm
An anonymous reader writes: A new version of the Opera desktop web browser introduces fully-featured native adblocking which is able to load adblocked pages significantly faster than rivals running the Adblock Plus browser. The new feature includes whitelisting of domains and a benchmarker to test the difference between page load-times with and without ads. Krystian Kolondra, head of Opera desktop, indicates in his post that the company's hope is to encourage the 'simpler' and less intrusive advertising which has been promised, but does not yet seem to be evident.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.