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Mozilla Sets Out Its Proposed Principles For Content Blocking

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 11:56pm
Mark Wilson writes: With Apple embracing ad blocking and the likes of AdBlock Plus proving more popular than ever, content blocking is making the headlines at the moment. There are many sides to the debate about blocking ads — revenue for sites, privacy concerns for visitors, speeding up page loads times (Google even allows for the display of ads with its AMP Project), and so on — but there are no signs that it is going to go away. Getting in on the action, Mozilla has set out what it believes are some reasonable principles for content blocking that will benefit everyone involved. Three cornerstones have been devised with a view to ensuring that content providers and content consumers get a fair deal, and you can help to shape how they develop.

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SIgn Of the Times: Calif. Privacy Protections Signed Into Law

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 11:38pm
The EFF reports a spot of bright news from California: Governor Jerry Brown today signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act. CalECPA, says the organization, "protects Californians by requiring a warrant for digital records, including emails and texts, as well as a user's geographical location. These protections apply not only to your devices, but to online services that store your data. Only two other states have so far offered these protections: Maine and Utah." The ACLU provides a fact sheet (PDF) about what the bill entails, which says: SB 178 will ensure that, in most cases, the police must obtain a warrant from a judge before accessing a person's private information, including data from personal electronic devices, email, digital documents, text messages, and location information. The bill also includes thoughtful exceptions to ensure that law enforcement can continue to effectively and efficiently protect public safety in emergency situations. Notice and enforcement provisions in the bill provide proper transparency and judicial oversight to ensure that the law is followed.

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Hey, Facebook – <i>these</i> are the new Like buttons you should have used

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 11:30pm
'Yay'? 'Sad'? Nah, this is what we really need

Pic + vid  Facebook has announced a range of new buttons intended to give its users the ability to express a wider range of emotions – certainly wider than today's "Like."…

The do-it-all storage giant is dying: Clouds loom over on-prem IT

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 10:59pm
EMC highlights the problems all face

Comment  The days of the massive standalone storage company are coming to a close, as the public cloud and myriad storage startups drive cumulatively fatal wounds deep into the heart of the one-supplier-does-all-your-storage business model.…

Dell Brings 4K InfinityEdge Display To XPS 15 Line, GeForce GPU, Under 4 Pounds

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 10:57pm
MojoKid writes: There's no doubt that Dell's new XPS 13 notebook, when it debuted earlier this year, was very well received. Dell managed to cram a 13.3-inch 3200x1800 QHD+ display into a 12-inch carbon fiber composite frame. Dell has now brought that same InfinityEdge display technology to its larger XPS 15, which the company boasts has the same footprint as a 14-inch notebook. But Dell didn't just stay the course with the QHD+ resolution from the smaller XPS 13; the company instead is offering an optional UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD panel with 8 million pixels and 282 pixels per inch (PPI). The 350-nit display allows for 170-degree viewing angles and has 100 percent minimum Adobe RGB color. Dell also beefed up the XPS 15's internals, giving it sixth generation Intel Core processors (Skylake), support for up to 16GB of memory and storage options that top out with a 1TB SSD. Graphics duties are handled by either integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 or a powerful GeForce GTX 960M processor that is paired with 2GB GDDR5 memory. And all of this squeaks in at under 4 pounds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Man Behind Week-Long Bitcoin Attacks Reveals Himself

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 10:15pm
An anonymous reader writes: A Russian man that calls himself "Alister Maclin" has been disrupting the Bitcoin network for over a week, creating duplicate transactions, and annoying users. According to Bitcoin experts, the attack was not dangerous and is the equivalent of "spam" on the Bitcoin blockchain servers, known in the industry as a "malleability attack," creating duplicate transactions, but not affecting Bitcoin funds. Maclin recently gave an interview to Vice.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Phone-fondling docs, nurses sling patient info around willy-nilly

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 9:49pm
Anyone ever heard of encryption?

UK doctors and nurses routinely share sensitive patient information via their smartphones, we're told.…

KWin On Wayland Making Progress, Now Has A Virtual Backend

Phoronix - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 9:47pm
Martin Gräßlin has shared a monthly status update about the work accomplished in recent weeks for running KDE/KWin atop a native Wayland environment without depending upon any X11 code-paths...

Complex Living Brain Simulation Replicates Sensory Rat Behaviour

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 9:32pm
New submitter physick writes: The Blue Brain project at EPFL, Switzerland today published the results of more than 10 years work in reconstructing a cellular model of a piece of the somatosensory cortex of a juvenile rat. The paper in Cell describes the process of painstakingly assembling tens of thousands of digital neurons, establishing the location of their synapses, and simulating the resulting neocortical microcircuit on an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer. “This is a first draft reconstruction of a piece of neocortex and it’s beautiful,” said Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. “It’s like a fundamental building block of the brain.”

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AWS throws the lever on monster 2TB X1 for in-memory databases

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 8:51pm
IoT, mobile, and containers highlight day 2 at Vegas summit

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unleashed a handful of new service options on the second day of its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.…

How Analog Tide Predictors Changed Human History

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 8:50pm
szczys writes: You'd think Tide prediction would be quite easy, it comes in, it goes out. But of course it's driven by gravity between the moon and earth and there's a lot more to it. Today, computer models make this easy, but before computers we used incredible analog machines to predict the tides. The best of these machines were the deciding factor in setting a date for the Allies landing in Europe leading to the end of the second world war. From the Hackaday story: "In England, tide prediction was handled by Arthur Thomas Doodson from the Liverpool Tidal Institute. It was Doodson who made the tidal predictions for the Allied invasion at Normandy. Doodson needed access to local tide data, but the British only had information for the nearby ports. Factors like the shallow water effect and local weather impact on tidal behavior made it impossible to interpolate for the landing sites based on the port data. The shallow water effect could really throw off the schedule for demolishing the obstacles if the tide rose too quickly. Secret British reconnaissance teams covertly collected shallow water data at the enemy beaches and sent it to Doodson for analysis. To further complicate things, the operatives couldn’t just tell Doodson that the invasion was planned for the beaches of Normandy. So he had to figure it out from the harmonic constants sent to him by William Ian Farquharson, superintendent of tides at the Hydrographic Office of the Royal Navy. He did so using the third iteration of Kelvin’s predictor along with another machine. These were kept in separate rooms lest they be taken out by the same bomb.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Maker–NOT: 3D printer upstart Makerbot jams, cuts extra 20% of staff

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 8:15pm
CEO reshuffles management team, outsources production

Troubled 3D printer manufacturer Makerbot has announced a second round of layoffs, cutting a further 20 per cent of its staff as part of a major restructuring.…

Running Some Fresh BSD vs. Linux Benchmarks

Phoronix - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 8:14pm
Given the recent releases of FreeBSD 10.2 and NetBSD 7.0, plus the H2'2015 Linux distribution updates rolling around, I've just started work on a new BSD vs. Linux operating system performance comparison...

Now even EUROPE is slapping down ICANN in internet power struggle

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 8:11pm
Governments and registries tool up for next week's meeting

European governments and internet registries have sent a stinging message to the board of domain name overseer ICANN warning it to stop trying to avoid limits on its absolute authority.…

In Midst of a Tech Boom, Seattle Tries To Keep Its Soul

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 8:07pm
HughPickens.com writes: Nick Wingfield has an interesting article in the NYT about how Seattle, Austin, Boulder, Portland, and other tech hubs around the country are seeking not to emulate San Francisco where wealth has created a widely envied economy, but housing costs have skyrocketed, and the region's economic divisions have deepened with rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco at more than $3,500 a month, the highest in the country. "Seattle has wanted to be San Francisco for so long," says Knute Berger. "Now it's figuring out maybe that it isn't what we want to be." The core of the debate is over affordable housing and the worry that San Francisco is losing artists, teachers and its once-vibrant counterculture. "It's not that we don't want to be a thriving tech center — we do," says Alan Durning. "It's that the San Francisco and Silicon Valley communities have gotten themselves into a trap where preservationists and local politics have basically guaranteed buying a house will cost at least $1 million. Already in Seattle, it costs half-a-million, so we're well on our way." Seattle mayor Ed Murray says he wants to keep the working-class roots of Seattle, a city with a major port, fishing fleet and even a steel mill. After taking office last year, Murray made the minimum-wage increase a priority, reassured representatives of the city's manufacturing and maritime industries that Seattle needed them., and has set a goal of creating 50,000 homes — 40 percent of them affordable for low-income residents — over the next decade. "We can hopefully create enough affordable housing so we don't find ourselves as skewed by who lives in the city as San Francisco is," says Murray. "We're at a crossroads," says Roger Valdez. "One path leads to San Francisco, where you have an incredibly regulated and stagnant housing economy that can't keep up with demand. The other path is something different, the Seattle way."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Smartmobe brain maker Qualcomm teases 64-bit ARM server chip secrets

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 7:30pm
Prototype has 24 cores, in the hands of techies to test drive

Qualcomm, the maker of processors for Nexus smartphones and other mobes and tablets, has revealed early specifications for its upcoming server chips.…

University of Cape Town Team Breaks World Water Rocketry Record

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 7:24pm
New submitter Cycliclogic writes: A team of engineers based at the University of Cape Town recently had their record breaking flights of their water powered rocket Ascension III ratified by the Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association. This record is for a single stage rocket power purely on pressurized water. Two launches must be completed within two hours, the record being set at the mean above-ground altitude of the two flights. The record now stands at a whopping 2723 Feet (830m). You can watch videos of the launches here. (Warning: they're loud.)

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Time to lop off Europe's confusing IT rules, says pressure group

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 7:06pm
Campaign for Clear Licensing forms Brussels pincer with Free ICT Europe

EU lawmakers will be pressed for clearer rules on software licensing, support contracts from IT vendors, and intellectual property by the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL).…

Volkswagen Boss Blames Software Engineers For Scandal

Slashdot - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 6:40pm
hattig writes: Today VW's Michael Horn is testifying to Congress and has blamed the recent scandal on engineers saying: "It's the decision of a couple of software engineers, not the board members." However, 530,000 cars in the U.S. will need to be recalled for significant engine modifications, not a software fix. Only 80,000 Passats are eligible for the software fix. There is no word on the effects these modifications will have on the cars' performance, fuel consumption, etc. The BBC reports: "The issue of defeat devices at VW has been a historic problem, points out a Congress panel member questioning VW US chief Michael Horn. In 1974, VW had a run-in with US authorities regarding the use of defeat devices in 1974, and in December 2014 it recalled cars to address nox emissions."

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VW offices, employees' homes raided by German prosecutors

El Reg - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 6:05pm
Meanwhile Volkswagen's American head is in Congress' sights

As European officials dither about new emissions rules, German prosecutors got real and raided Volkswagen's headquarters on Thursday.…

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