Technology

Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

Slashdot - 1 hour 10 min ago
DroidJason1 writes The Chinese government is investigating Microsoft for possible breaches of anti-monopoly laws, following a series of surprise visits to Redmond's offices in cities across China on Monday. These surprise visits were part of China's ongoing investigation [warning: WSJ paywall], and were based on security complaints about Microsoft's Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. Results from an earlier inspection apparently were not enough to clear Microsoft of suspicion of anti-competitive behavior. Microsoft's alleged anti-monopoly behavior is a criminal matter, so if found guilty, the software giant could face steep fines as well as other sanctions.

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Categories: Technology

Google, Linaro Develop Custom Android Edition For Project Ara

Slashdot - 3 hours 56 min ago
rtoz writes with this excerpt from an IDG story about the creation of an Android fork made just for Google's modular cell-phone project : A special edition of Android had to be created for the unique customizable design of Project Ara, said George Grey, CEO of Linaro. ... Android can already plug and play SD cards. But Grey said additional OS functionality is needed for storage, cameras and other modules that are typically inside smartphones, but can now be externally added to Project Ara. A lot of work is also being done on UniPro transport drivers, which connect modules and components in Project Ara. UniPro protocol drivers in Android will function much like the USB protocol, where modules will be recognized based on different driver "classes," such as those for networking, sensor, imaging, input and others. Some attachable parts may not be recognized by Android. For those parts, separate drivers need to be developed by module makers through emulators. "That will be need to be done in a secure system so the device can't do damage to the system," Grey said. Project Ara is a very disruptive concept, and it turns around conventional thinking on how to build phones, Grey said.

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Categories: Technology

SpaceShipTwo Flies Again

Slashdot - 4 hours 38 min ago
schwit1 writes "The competition heats up: For the first time in six months SpaceShipTwo completed a test flight [Tuesday]." The article linked is from NBC, which also has a deal with Virgin Galactic to televise the first commercial flight. It is thus in their interest to promote the spacecraft and company. The following two sentences from the article however clearly confirm every rumor we have heard about the ship in the past year, that they needed to replace or completely refit the engine and that the resulting thrust might not be enough to get the ship to 100 kilometers or 62 miles: "In January, SpaceShipTwo blasted off for a powered test and sailed through a follow-up glide flight, but then it went into the shop for rocket refitting. It's expected to go through a series of glide flights and powered flights that eventually rise beyond the boundary of outer space (50 miles or 100 kilometers in altitude, depending on who's counting)." Hopefully this test flight indicates that they have installed the new engine and are now beginning flight tests with equipment that will actually get the ship into space.

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Categories: Technology

The Flag-Filled Workspace

Lifehacker.com - 5 hours 20 min ago

Flickr user Terry Landers (a.k.a. Lordgort141) sure likes flags...and monitors. His workspace is set up so there are screens and flags everywhere.

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Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect To Create Body Swap Illusion

Slashdot - 5 hours 44 min ago
kkleiner writes Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Microsoft Kinect, a camera, and a handful of electrical stimulators, a London student's virtual reality system is showing users what it's like to swap bodies. Looking down, they see someone else's arms and legs; looking out, it's someone else's point of view; and when they move their limbs, the body they see does the same (those electrical stimulators mildly shock muscles to force a friend to mirror the user's movements). It's an imperfect system, but a fascinating example of the power of virtual reality. What else might we use VR systems for? Perhaps they'll prove useful in training or therapeutic situations? Or what about with robots, which would be easier to inhabit and control than another human? The virtual body swap may never fully catch on, but generally, virtual reality will likely prove useful for more than just gaming and entertainment.

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Categories: Technology

Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect To Create Body Swap Illusion

Slashdot - 5 hours 44 min ago
kkleiner (1468647) writes "Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Microsoft Kinect, a camera, and a handful of electrical stimulators, a London student's virtual reality system is showing users what it's like to swap bodies. Looking down, they see someone else's arms and legs; looking out, it's someone else's point of view; and when they move their limbs, the body they see does the same (those electrical stimulators mildly shock muscles to force a friend to mirror the user's movements). It's an imperfect system, but a fascinating example of the power of virtual reality. What else might we use VR systems for? Perhaps they'll prove useful in training or therapeutic situations? Or what about with robots, which would be easier to inhabit and control than another human? The virtual body swap may never fully catch on, but generally, virtual reality will likely prove useful for more than just gaming and entertainment."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Technology

Pick the Second Cheapest Wine at a Restaurant for the Best Value

Lifehacker.com - 6 hours 20 min ago

Wine has so many varieties and varying degrees of value that it can be intimidating to order when you're out to dinner. Gerald Morgan Jr, Sommelier at Simplified Wine, has some tips on choosing and ordering wine that can help alleviate the confusion and intimidation.

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Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret

Slashdot - 6 hours 26 min ago
Daniel_Stuckey writes Now the NSA has yet another dilemma on its hands: Investigative journalist Jason Leopold is suing the agency for denying him the release of financial disclosure statements attributable to its former director. According to a report by Bloomberg , prospective clients of Alexander's, namely large banks, will be billed $1 million a month for his cyber-consulting services. Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers.

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Categories: Technology

Journalist Sues NSA For Keeping Keith Alexander's Financial History Secret

Slashdot - 6 hours 26 min ago
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Now the NSA has yet another dilemma on its hands: Investigative journalist Jason Leopold is suing the agency for denying him the release of financial disclosure statements attributable to its former director. According to a report by Bloomberg , prospective clients of Alexander's, namely large banks, will be billed $1 million a month for his cyber-consulting services. Recode.net quipped that for an extra million, Alexander would show them the back door (state-installed spyware mechanisms) that the NSA put in consumer routers."

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Categories: Technology

Credit Karma Offers Free Weekly Credit Reports and Monitoring

Lifehacker.com - 6 hours 35 min ago

Credit Karma is one of our favorite free services for monitoring your own credit and keeping your identity safe . Now they're upping the ante and offering free credit reports every single week, so you're aware instantly if someone's stealing your identity.

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Enjoy Some Fine Art with These Wallpapers from the Met

Lifehacker.com - 6 hours 50 min ago

This week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art put 400,000 high-resolution images from their collection up for download. So, to give you a taste, we decided to show off a few of our favorite wallpaper-friendly ones for your desktop.

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Amazon's eBook Math

Slashdot - 7 hours 8 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon has waged a constant battle with publishers over the price of ebooks. They've now publicly laid out their argument and the business math behind it. "We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000." They argue that capping most ebooks at $9.99 would be better for everyone, with the money split out 35% to the author, 35% to the publisher, and 30% to Amazon. Author John Scalzi says Amazon's reasoning and assumptions are a bit suspect. He disagrees that "books are interchangeable units of entertainment, each equally as salable as the next, and that pricing is the only thing consumers react to." Scalzi also points out that Amazon asserts itself as the only revenue stream for authors, which is not remotely true. "Amazon's assumptions don't include, for example, that publishers and authors might have a legitimate reason for not wanting the gulf between eBook and physical hardcover pricing to be so large that brick and mortar retailers suffer, narrowing the number of venues into which books can sell. Killing off Amazon's competitors is good for Amazon; there's rather less of an argument that it's good for anyone else."

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Categories: Technology

Remove Egg Shells From a Mixing Bowl by Wetting Your Fingers First

Lifehacker.com - 7 hours 20 min ago

You're preparing a cake or getting ready to scramble some eggs and it happens: you spot a teeny, tiny piece of shell floating around in the eggs. Before you reach in and start picking at it, be sure to wet your fingers first.

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Opt Out of Amazon Prime’s Free Two-Day Shipping, Earn $1 Video Credit

Lifehacker.com - 7 hours 50 min ago

If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can choose a no-rush shipping option during checkout and earn $1 of Amazon Instant Video credit for every order.

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The Problems With Drug Testing

Slashdot - 7 hours 50 min ago
gallifreyan99 writes: Every drug you take will have been tested on people before it—but that testing process is meant to be tightly controlled, for the safety of everyone involved. Two investigations document the questionable methods used in many studies, and the lack of oversight the FDA seems to have over the process. First, drugs are increasingly being tested on homeless, destitute and mentally ill people. Second, it turns out many human trials are being run by doctors who have had their licenses revoked for drug addiction, malpractice and worse.

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Categories: Technology

Most Popular Usenet Provider: Newshosting

Lifehacker.com - 8 hours 4 min ago

Usenet is a great resource, but before you can take advantage of it, you need to find a good provider. Last week we asked you for your favorites , then looked at the five best Usenet providers based on your nominations. Now we're back to crown the crowd-favorite.

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Eight Power Networking Tips to Make More Meaningful Connections

Lifehacker.com - 8 hours 20 min ago

You've heard it a million times: Career advancement is as much about who you know as what you know—and that's exactly why being an effective networker is so important. Here are eight tips from power networkers that go beyond schmoozing to expand your professional circles.

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Is the App Store Broken?

Slashdot - 8 hours 33 min ago
A recent post by Instapaper's Marco Arment suggests that design flaws in Apple's App Store are harming the app ecosystem, and users are suffering because of it. "The dominance and prominence of 'top lists' stratifies the top 0.02% so far above everyone else that the entire ecosystem is encouraged to design for a theoretical top-list placement that, by definition, won’t happen to 99.98% of them." Arment notes that many good app developers are finding continued development to be unsustainable, while scammy apps are encouraged to flood the market. "As the economics get tighter, it becomes much harder to support the lavish treatment that developers have given apps in the past, such as full-time staffs, offices, pixel-perfect custom designs of every screen, frequent free updates, and completely different iPhone and iPad interfaces. Many will give up and leave for stable, better-paying jobs. (Many already have.)" Brent Simmons points out the indie developers have largely given up the dream of being able to support themselves through iOS development. Yoni Heisler argues that their plight is simply a consequence of ever-increasing competition within the industry, though he acknowledges that more app curation would be a good thing. What strategies could Apple (and the operators of other mobile application stories) do to keep app quality high?

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Categories: Technology

Learn to Store Electronics, Medication, and Other Items Properly

Lifehacker.com - 8 hours 50 min ago

Everyone is need of storing items at one point or another, but do you know what to put it in or at what temp you should try and keep it? This infographic from Next Door Self Storage gives you the rundown on storing anything from food to electronics.

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