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Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 10:22pm
sandbagger sends this news from io9: In what's being heralded as a secular triumph, the U.K. government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools. The new clauses, which arrived with very little fanfare last week, state that the "requirement for every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school." So, if an academy or free school teaches creationism as scientifically valid, it's breaking the funding agreement to provide a "broad and balanced curriculum." ... In addition to the new clauses, the UK government clarified the meaning of creationism, reminding everyone that it's a minority view even within the Church of England and the Catholic Church.

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Was Watch Dogs</em> For PC Handicapped On Purpose?

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 9:41pm
Advocatus Diaboli writes: Many PC gamers were disappointed that Ubisoft's latest AAA game, Watch_Dogs, did not look as nice as when displayed at E3 in 2012. But this week a modder discovered that code to improve the game's graphics on the PC is still buried within the released game, and can be turned back on without difficulty or performance hits. Ubisoft has yet to answer whether (or why) their PC release was deliberately handicapped. Gaming commentator Total Biscuit has a video explaining the controversy.

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US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 9:00pm
dcblogs writes: The U.S. Postal Service plans to spend up to $100,000 to investigate how it can utilize low cost sensors and related wireless technologies to improve the efficiency of its operations. The postal service already scans letters and parcels up to 11 times during processing, representing 1.7 trillion scans a year. It uses supercomputers to process that data. In theory, the postal service believes that everything it uses — mailboxes, vehicles, machines, or a letter carrier — could be equipped with a sensor to create what it terms the Internet of Postal Things. The Internet has not been kind to the postal service. Electronic delivery has upended the postal services business model. In 2003, it processed 49 billion pieces of single-piece first-class mail, but by 2013, that figured dropped to 22.6 billion pieces. In other high-tech postal service news, Digital Post Australia has shut down. It was an attempt to digitize snail mail, but they didn't manage to convince enough senders that it was worth trying.

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

El Reg - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 8:54pm
Source-sharing site to close following total cloudpocalypse

Source code hosting provider Code Spaces has suffered the ultimate cloud nightmare, having been effectively forced out of business by the actions of an attacker who managed to gain access to its Amazon EC2 control panel.…

Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 8:17pm
BillCable writes: Politico reports, "In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the 'Washington Redskins' team name because it was found to be 'disparaging' to Native Americans. 'We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,' the PTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote. The panel voted 2-1 in favor of the decision." Perhaps this move will speed up the inevitable name change, which was expected within the next few years."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Facebook reveals open network gear to drive WEDGE between itself and Cisco

El Reg - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 8:11pm
New switch spells doom, gloom and, yes, more gloom for trad networking vendors

Facebook's director of technical operations, Najam Ahmad, says his company is only "one per cent" done with changing data center hardware, but we reckon that with the reveal of its new open networking equipment projects, Cisco and other incumbents are hoping it will slow down.…

Crucial MX100 128GB: A Cheap But Good SSD For Linux Systems

Phoronix - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 8:00pm
Crucial is out with a new solid-state drive line-up that's generating a lot of interest due to its lower price-per-Gigabyte than competing drives or even their former drives. The Crucial MX100 is the new SSD series and today we're testing out the Crucial MX100 128GB SSD, which costs just $80 USD (or about $0.62 per GB while the higher-capacity MX100 SSDs are comparatively even cheaper with the 512GB version costing less than $0.50 per GB).

3-D Printing with Molten Steel (Video)

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 7:34pm
Steve Delaire is making a 3-D printer that uses steel instead of plastic. Specifically, he's using TIG welding to build up layers of steel, just as most 3-D printers build up layers of plastic. He says he's "still working it out," but eventually hopes to use 3-D welding to make larger than life art pieces that are strong enough to be placed safely in public areas such as parks, where children are likely to climb on them. Steve's blog is called Molten3D, and it's a diary of his work, including the problems he encounters and how he overcomes them. He's not the only one doing metal 3-D printing; a Texas company has even made a printed metal gun. So there's plenty of people working in the field of what we really should call "additive manufacturing" instead of "3-D printing." But whatever you call it, every year we see this kind of process being used to make stronger and more complicated shapes, using an ever-increased variety of materials in ways that have been developed since this seminal paper, Liquid Metal Jetting for Printing Metal Parts, was written in 1997. (Alternate Video Link)

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Amazon launches 3D Fire Phone to take on Apple and Samsung

L'Inq - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 7:25pm

Runs a custom Android 4.4 called Fire OS


Intel reveals its FrankenChip ARM killer: one FPGA and one Xeon IN ONE SOCKET

El Reg - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 7:21pm
Scattered reports of maniacal cackling amid driving rain and lightning at Chipzilla's lab

Updated  Intel has expanded its chip customization business to help it take on the hazy threat posed by some of the world's biggest clouds adopting low-power ARM processors.…

Amazon Announces 'Fire Phone'

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 6:50pm
Amazon has unveiled the Fire Phone. It runs a modified version of Android, and it will launch exclusively for AT&T's network. The screen is a 4.7" IPS LCD (they tested from 4.3" to 5.5", and decided 4.7" worked best for single-hand use), with an emphasis on brightness. It runs on a quad-core 2.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU. It has a rear-facing, 13-megapixel camera using an f/2.0 five-element lens with image stabilization. There's a dedicated physical button on the side of the phone that will turn it on and put it into camera mode when pressed. The phone comes with dual stereo speakers that produce virtual surround sound. Amazon wants the phone to be distinctive for its ability to provide video content, both from a hardware and software perspective. The Fire Phone runs Mayday, Amazon's live tech support service for devices. They also demonstrated Firefly, software that recognizes physical objects using the phone's camera, as well as TV shows and songs it hears. It runs quickly, often identifying things in less than a second (and it pulls up an Amazon product listing, of course). It can even recognize art. Firefly has its own dedicated physical button on the phone, and Amazon is providing a Firefly SDK to third parties who want to develop with it. Another major feature of the Fire Phone is what Amazon calls "dynamic perspective." Using multiple front-facing cameras, the phone tracks the position of a user's head, and uses that to slightly adjust what's displayed on the screen so content is easier to see from the new angle. It allows for gesture control of the phone — for example, you can tilt the phone to scroll a web page or move your head slightly look around a 2-D stadium image when browsing for available seats. Putting your thumb on the screen acts like a mute button for the head tracking, so it isn't confused when you look up from the screen or turn your head to talk to somebody. It's an impressive piece of software, and they've made an SDK available for it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








BlackBerry inks deal with Amazon to get Android apps on its mobes

El Reg - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 6:47pm
Bezos' apps mart to give BB users impression there are things they can do with the kit

BlackBerry is shaking up its code store options in a bid to win new apps and content for its widely shunned BlackBerry 10 smartphones.…

Wireless Industry Lobbying Hard to Keep Net Neutrality Out

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 6:10pm
Taco Cowboy writes: The net neutrality issue has become a hot topic recently, but on the mobile side, net neutrality rules are absent. Why? The wireless companies successfully convinced regulators four years ago to keep mobile networks mostly free of net neutrality rules. Now that FCC officials are looking into whether wireless networks should remain exempt from net neutrality rules, the mobile carriers are lobbying hard to maintain the status quo. "Wireless is different ... it is dependent on finite spectrum," said Meredith Attwell Baker, the new head of CTIA, the wireless industry's lobbying arm. Baker previously served as an FCC commissioner. On the other side of the issue, net neutrality advocates are "hoping to convince regulators to include wireless networks more fully under any new proposed rules. They are pushing for the FCC to re-regulate broadband Internet under a section of the law (called Title II), which was written with old phone networks in mind. ... The FCC will be taking public comments about what it should do about new net neutrality rules through the end of July." You can comment by emailing to openinternet@fcc.gov or go to file a Consumer Informal Complaint on the FCC's wesbite. Meanwhile, AT&T says that strong net neutrality regulations will ruin the internet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Gallium3D "Mega Drivers" Might Be Ready For Merging In The Next Month

Phoronix - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 5:35pm
Work on a Gallium3D approach to Mesa "mega drivers" is still progressing. The final reported patch series is now out there and the developer hopes to have the support merged over the next month...

Acer parachutes cofounder Huang in as new chairman

El Reg - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 5:34pm
EMEA boss Ahrens heads to Asia-Pacific in re-org

The board of directors at troubled device maker Acer have again elected a key figure from the past to help it get "back to success", the company confirmed following today's Annual General Meeting.…

Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 5:27pm
Lasrick (2629253) writes A fascinating account of why China is so worried about Japan's excessive plutonium stocks: combined with its highly sophisticated missile program, "Chinese nuclear-weapons specialists emphasize that Japan has everything technically needed to make nuclear weapons." It turns out that Japan has under-reported a sizable amount of plutonium, and there have been increasing signs that the country might be moving toward re-militarization. This is a particularly worrying read about nuclear tensions in Asia.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Restored Bletchly Park Opens

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 4:46pm
Graculus (3653645) writes with this excerpt from the BBC: Codebreakers credited with shortening World War Two worked in Bletchley Park, in structures built to last only a few years. Now, following a painstaking restoration, they have been brought back to life and Wednesday's official opening marks a remarkable turnaround from top secrecy to world wide attraction. With no photographs of the insides to work with, Bletchley Park looked to its most valuable resource — the veterans who worked there. A museum at the site has already been opened. The structures were once perilously close to being lost forever (until Google stepped in).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Freecode Freezeup

Slashdot - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 4:31pm
LeadSongDog (1120683) writes The venerable Freecode site has today gone static, blaming low traffic. No new content is being accepted, but they continue to serve existing content. They recommend projects consider moving to Sourceforge. Probably obvious, but Freecode/SourceForge/Slashdot share a corporate parent.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Capita says bye-bye to Updata bigwigs: Been good slurping you

El Reg - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 4:29pm
Integrator speeds up plans to stitch together Updata and NMS

Crapita Capita IT Services is bidding farewell to the boss of acquired broadband network service provider Updata as it slaps the operation together with the exiting Network Managed Services (NMS) division.…

One in five SMBs refuse to let go of Windows XP

L'Inq - Wed, 18/06/2014 - 4:16pm

How many more times do we have to say it?


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