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Boffins go to FUNGI town: Riddle of 100-year-old HAIRY, ICY dead wood finally cracked

El Reg - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 5:25pm
Sorry kids, but it's NOT the sprouting head of a scary ghost

Strange "hair ice" found sprouting on old wood has finally been explained by scientists: it's caused by fungi.…

Google Will Block Access To Its Autocomplete API On August 10

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 5:17pm
An anonymous reader writes with news reported by Venture Beat that Google will be discontinuing developer access to its unofficial Autocomplete API, as of August 10 of this year. . A snippet from the article: Google currently supports more than 80 APIs that developers can use to integrate Google services and data into their applications. The company also has unsupported and unpublished APIs which people outside the company have discovered and leveraged. One of those is the Autocomplete API. The company says it is making this move "in the interest of maintaining the integrity of autocomplete as part of Search," that it wants to "ensure that users experience autocomplete as it was designed to be used," and finally that "this provides the best user experience for both services." I'm sure many will disagree.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chinese Tourist's Drone Crashes Into Taipei 101 Skyscraper

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 4:22pm
Taco Cowboy writes that a Chinese tourist has been hit with a fine of $48,000 (NT $1.5 Million) after his drone crashed into the Taipei 101 skyscraper. The tourist, 30-year-old Yan Yungfan, was supposedly attempting to film Taipei's cityscape on Tuesday morning with a remotely controlled Phantom 3 UAV when he lost control of the drone, causing it to hit the side of Taipei 101 at around the 30th floor. No one was injured in the incident and only minor damage was sustained by the building's glass windows, but the video immediately became a viral sensation after it was uploaded online. Taipei 101 said in a statement that there have been three incidents of drones crashing around the building since mid-June, with the first two cases taking place on June 15 and June 20. No injuries have resulted from these crashes, but I wouldn't want to get hit by a 3-pound object falling from that height.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Libreboot Adds Experimental ThinkPad R500 Support

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 4:15pm
Libreboot, the downstream of Coreboot that strips out all binary blobs / microcode / firmware, has added experimental support for a new ThinkPad laptop...

Swiss Researchers Describe a Faster, More Secure Tor

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 3:18pm
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and University College London published a paper this week describing a faster and more secure version of Tor called HORNET. On one hand, the new onion routing network can purportedly achieve speeds of up to 93 gigabits per second and "be scaled to support large numbers of users with minimal overhead". On the other hand, researchers cannot claim to be immune to "confirmation attacks" known to be implemented on Tor, but they point out that, given how HORNET works, perpetrators of such attacks would have to control significantly more ISPs across multiple geopolitical boundaries and probably sacrifice the secrecy of their operations in order to successfully deploy such attacks on HORNET.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MEGABOFFIN Stephen Hawking to rattle off answers online for MORE THAN A WEEK

El Reg - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 2:49pm
Books longest spot ever on Reddit AMA virtual sofa

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking will be, as of Monday, answering questions posted on Reddit for more than a week.…

A New MIPS Creator CI20 Is Running Much Better

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 2:39pm
Last month I wrote about trying to benchmark the MIPS Creator CI20, a low-cost MIPS development board from Imagination Technologies, but sadly those plans were thwarted by stability issues. Fortunately, it was just a faulty board and the replacement board has been running without any faults.

KDE Community Announces Fully Open Source Plasma Mobile

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 2:21pm
sfcrazy writes: Today, during the Akademy event, the KDE Community announced Plasma Mobile project. It's a Free (as in Freedom and beer), user-friendly, privacy-enabling and customizable platform for mobile devices. Plasma Mobile claims to be developed in an open process, and considering the community behind it, I don't doubt it. A great line: "Plasma Mobile is designed as an ‘inclusive’ platform and will support all kinds of apps. In addition to native apps written in Qt, it also supports GTK apps, Android apps, Ubuntu apps, and many others." And if you have a Nexus 5, you can download and play with a prototype now.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Southern biscuits and gravy

El Reg - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 2:01pm
One unholy mess, but a wobbly dining stodge feast

Our call for reader post-pub nosh neckfiller suggestions continues to bear fruit, and for your wobbly dining consideration today we present "biscuits and gravy", courtesy of Robbin Nichol.…

AMD Forces a LibreOffice Speed Boost With GPU Acceleration

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 1:23pm
New submitter samtuke writes: AMD processors get rated and reviewed based on performance. It is in our self-interest to make things work really, really fast on AMD hardware. AMD engineers contribute to LibreOffice, for good reason. Think about what happens behind a spreadsheet calculation. There can be a huge amount of math. Writing software to take advantage of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for general purpose computing is non-trivial. We know how to do it. AMD engineers wrote OpenCL kernels, and contributed them to the open source code base. Turning on the OpenCL option to enable GPU Compute resulted in a 500X+ speedup, about ¼ second vs. 2minutes, 21 seconds. Those measurements specifically come from the ground-water use sample from this set of Libre Office spreadsheets.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US State of Georgia sues 'terrorist' for publishing its own laws ... on the internet

El Reg - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 1:02pm
People have to pay if they want to know their rights

The State of Georgia in the US is suing the owner of the Public.Resource.org website for publishing the State of Georgia's own laws online.…

A New H.265 Patent Pool Is Causing Concerns

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 1:00pm
A new patent pool is forming that wants 0.5% of the gross revenue for H.265 videos from content owners and distributors...

More Details On KDE Plasma Mobile, Reference Images

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 12:33pm
Following up from this morning's post about KDE Announces Plasma Mobile For Fully-Free Software For Mobile Devices, here are some more details...

Georgia Lawmakers Sue Carl Malamud For Publishing Georgia Law

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 12:27pm
TechDirt reports that the state of Georgia is unhappy enough with Carl Malamud for publishing the state's own laws that it's sued Malamud for doing so. From the article: The specific issue here is that while the basic Georgia legal code is available to the public, the state charges a lot of money for the "Official Code of Georgia Annotated." The distinction here is fairly important -- but it's worth noting that the courts will regularly rely on the annotations in the official code, which more or less makes them a part of the law itself. The article uses the word "ridiculous" only 10 times; they're taking it easy on the poor legislators.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cradle, A Unigine Linux Game, Finally Launches On Steam

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 12:25pm
Back in 2011 we were talking about Cradle as the latest Unigine Engine game and it was expected to launch in 2012 with Linux support. Three years later, this game has finally launched on Steam with Linux support...

FreeBSD 10.2-RC1 Released

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 12:05pm
The release candidate for FreeBSD 10.2 is now available...

Happy 30th anniversary, Tengen! Your anti-DRM NES chip fought the law, and the law won

El Reg - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 11:02am
Atari offshoot tried to take down Nintendo cartridge racket

In 1985, Japanese giant Namco got out its wallet, and bought control of Atari Games – the coin-op arcade games maker that was doing rather well compared to its ailing home console cousin, Atari Corp.…

Gigabit Internet Access Now Supported By 84 US ISPs

Slashdot - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 9:42am
An anonymous reader writes: According to Michael Render, principal analyst at market researcher RVA LLC, 83 Internet access providers have joined Google to offer gigabit Internet access service (all priced in the $50-$150 per month range).Render's data shows that new subscribers are signing up at an annualized growth rate of 480 percent each year. That "annualized" is an important thing to note, though; this is early days, and adding a few households, relatively speaking, means an impressive percentage change.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

KDE Announces Plasma Mobile For Fully-Free Software For Mobile Devices

Phoronix - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 9:30am
At KDE's Akademy event today, the KDE camp has just lifted the embargo on Plasma Mobile...

The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters

El Reg - Sat, 25/07/2015 - 9:03am
Desperate times require desperate measures

Feature  I was recently stuck in a quandary, when, having just moved to Portugal, my trusty MacBook Pro departed this mortal coil. No time to mourn those sweet memories with a deadline fast approaching and replacement to be sought. I’d no intention of buying a new machine with a Portuguese keyboard so I went in search of something secondhand.…