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Data Storage

NSA Building $860 Million Data Center In Maryland 177

Posted by timothy
from the indifferent-to-your-objections dept.
1sockchuck writes "As its current data collection makes headlines, the National Security Agency is continuing to expand its data storage and processing capabilities. The agency recently broke ground on an $860 million data center at Fort Meade, Maryland that will span more than 600,000 square feet. The project will provide additional IT capacity beyond the NSA's controversial Utah data center. The new facility will be supported by 60 megawatts of power and use both air-cooled and liquid-cooled equipment."
Businesses

Lenovo Announces Grand Opening of US Manufacturing Facility 153

Posted by timothy
from the unstealing-our-jobs dept.
Kohenkatz writes "Chinese PC maker Lenovo had a ceremony [Wednesday] to mark the official grand opening of their new manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina. The 240,000-square-foot facility, located approximately 10 miles east of Greensboro, NC, was already being used as a Logistics Center, Customer Solutions Center, and National Returns Center, and is now also being used for Production. While actual line operations began in January 2013, the facility is on track to reach full operation by the end of June. The facility is equipped to build several types of Think-branded products, including desktops, tablets, and ultrabooks. Note that due to the extensive use of automation, the factory only adds 115 manufacturing jobs at the facility."
Power

New All-Solid Sulfur Based Battery Outperforms Lithium Ion 322

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-comes-the-power dept.
olsmeister writes "The new all-solid battery design uses solid sulfur and lithium, and outperforms existing lithium-ion batteries with four times the energy density. The battery can maintain a capacity of 1200 milliampere-hours per gram after 300 charge-discharge cycles. More work needs to be done, but one would think this new technology could have applications in renewable energy storage, electric cars, and consumer electronics."
Power

Sony Touts 25 Hour Battery Life For Haswell-Equipped Vaio Pro 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-day-long dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sony claims that both the new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models of its Haswell-equipped Vaio Pro ultrabooks are the world's lightest. The 11.6-inch model weighs in at 1.9lb (0.87k , where as the 13.3-incher is a little heavier at just 2.33lb (1.06kg). But it's the battery life on offer here that really makes the new Pros stand out. The 11.6-inch Vaio Pro offers 11 hours of battery life as standard, while the 13.3-inch achieves 8 hours. However, Sony is also offering a sheet battery you can connect to the base of the ultrabooks. On the 13.3-inch Pro that increases battery life to 18 hours, but on the 11.6-inch you get a true day-long amount of juice with 25 hours of battery life claimed."
Classic Games (Games)

Retro Gaming With Raspberry Pi 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-your-own-roms dept.
coop0030 writes "Thanks to the affordable Raspberry Pi and some clever software, anyone can re-create the classic arcade experience at home. Adafruit brings the genuine 'clicky' arcade controls, you bring the game files and a little crafting skill to build it. Classic game emulation used to require a well-specced PC and specialized adapters for the controls, so it's exciting to see this trickle down to a $40 system. Also, a video of the game system is on YouTube."
Power

900 Ton Containment Vessel Bottom Head Installed At Vogtle 3 123

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the awe-inspiring-scale dept.
Yesterday, Georgia Power announced that they successfully lifted the first part of the Vogtle Unit 3 containment vessel into place. From World Nuclear News: "The component — measuring almost 40 meters wide, 12 meters tall and weighing over 900 tons — was assembled on-site from pre-fabricated steel plates. The cradle for the containment vessel was put in place on the unit's nuclear island in April. The completed bottom head was raised by a heavy lift derrick and placed on the cradle on 1 June, Georgia Power announced." Georgia Power has a pretty cool gallery of high resolution construction photos (the bottom head is the background on my XBMC machine). Below the fold there is a video of the crane moving the bottom head into place.
AMD

AMD Launches New Richland APUs For the Desktop, Speeds Up To 4.4GHz 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the keeping-up-with-the-intels dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD recently unveiled a handful of mobile Elite A-Series APUs, formerly codenamed Richland. Those products built upon the company's existing Trinity-based products but offered additional power and frequency optimizations designed to enhance overall performance and increase battery life. Today AMD is launching a handful of new Richland APUs for desktops and small form factor PCs. The additional power and thermal headroom afforded by desktop form factors has allowed AMD to crank things up a few notches further on both the CPU and GPU sides. The highest-end parts feature quad-CPU cores with 384 Radeon cores and 4MB of total cache. The top end APUs have GPU cores clocked at 844MHz (a 44MHz increase over Trinity) with CPU core boost clocks that top out at lofty 4.4GHz. In addition, AMD's top-end part, the A10-6800K, has been validated for use with DDR3-2133MHz memory. The rest of the APUs max out at with a 1866MHz DDR memory interface." As with the last few APUs, the conclusion is that the new A10 chips beat Intel's Haswell graphics solidly, but lag a bit in CPU performance and power consumption.
Security

European HbbTV Smart TV Holes Make Sets Hackable 39

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the all-the-better-to-spy-on-you dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "Vulnerabilities in Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV television sets have been found that allow viewers' home networks to be hacked, the programs they watched spied on, and even for TV sets to be turned into Bitcoin miners. The laboratory attacks took take advantage of the rich web features enabled in smart TVs running on the HbbTV network, a system loaded with online streaming content and apps which is used by more than 20 million viewers in Europe."
Input Devices

Quadcopter Guided By Thought — Accurately 79

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-one-expected-the-hawking-quadcopter-attack dept.
ananyo writes "A toy quadcopter can be steered through an obstacle course by thought alone. The aircraft's pilot operates it remotely using a cap of electrodes to detect brainwaves that are translated into commands. Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled copter hope to adapt their technology for directing artificial robotic limbs and other medical devices." From the paper (PDF) abstract: "... we report a novel experiment of BCI controlling a robotic quadcopter in three-dimensional (3D) physical space using noninvasive scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) in human subjects. We then quantify the performance of this system using metrics suitable for asynchronous BCI. Lastly, we examine the impact that the operation of a real world device has on subjects’ control in comparison to a 2D virtual cursor task. Approach. ... Individual subjects were able to accurately acquire up to 90.5% of all valid targets presented while traveling at an average straight-line speed of 0.69 m s^(1)." This also appears to be the first time a Brain-Computer Interface was used to operate a flying device in 3D space. Also, there are several additional videos showing people operating the quadcopter.
The Internet

Vint Cerf: Data That's Here Today May Be Gone Tomorrow 358

Posted by Soulskill
from the tell-that-to-my-stack-of-punchcards dept.
dcblogs writes "Vinton Cerf is warning that digital things created today — spreadsheets, documents, presentations as well as mountains of scientific data — may not be readable in the years and centuries ahead. Cerf illustrates the problem in a simple way. He runs Microsoft Office 2011 on Macintosh, but it cannot read a 1997 PowerPoint file. 'It doesn't know what it is,' he said. 'I'm not blaming Microsoft,' said Cerf, who is Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist. 'What I'm saying is that backward compatibility is very hard to preserve over very long periods of time.' He calls it a 'hard problem.'" We're at an interesting spot right now, where we're worried that the internet won't remember everything, and also that it won't forget anything.
Input Devices

Wi-Fi Signals Allow Gesture Recognition All Through the Home 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the physical-input-devices-are-passe dept.
vinces99 writes "Forget to turn off the lights before leaving the apartment? No problem. Just raise your hand, finger-swipe the air and your lights will power down. Want to change the song playing on your music system in the other room? Move your hand to the right and flip through the songs. University of Washington computer scientists have developed gesture-recognition technology that brings this a step closer to reality. They have shown it's possible to use Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras. By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture."
Printer

Dreambox: the World's First 3D Printing Vending Machine 97

Posted by timothy
from the wake-up-covered-in-plastic-goo dept.
coolnumbr12 writes "Frustrated by the lack of access to 3D printers at their school, three recent graduates from UC Berkeley have installed Dreambox, the world's first '3D printing vending machine,' on their campus. Dreambox gives everyone access to the 3D printer for a small fee, allowing them to print objects from their own designs or from an online store. The creators hope that it will help democratize 3D printing and help more people realize the technology's potential."
Robotics

Footage Reveals Drone Aircraft Nearly Downed Passenger Plane in 2004 206

Posted by timothy
from the statute-of-limitations dept.
Newly released footage, writes reader Wowsers, shows that in 2004 "A German drone aircraft was within meters of bringing down a passenger aircraft with 100 people on board. The link shows stills from onboard the drone. The incident had been hushed up for nine years, and is creating waves in Germany now the footage has been leaked out."
Android

New Asus Device Runs Both Windows and Android 126

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the double-the-vendor-lockin dept.
taz346 writes "Asus has unveiled a new 11.6-inch tablet/laptop that runs both Windows 8 and Android Jelly Bean side by side, the BBC reports. The firm said 'users would be able to synchronise data between the platforms in order to enjoy a "smooth transition" between each mode.' Hmmm, I'm guessing one could also create another partition and install a full Linux distro as well, though there's no telling how UEFI might come into play."
Robotics

IBM Uses Roomba Robots To Plot Data Center Heat 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the temp-bots dept.
judgecorp writes "IBM is using robots based on iRobot Create, a customizable version of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, to measure temperature and humidity in data centers. The robot looks for cold zones (where cold air may be going to waste instead of being directed to the servers) and hotspots (where the air circulation may be breaking down. IBM is putting the robots to commercial use at partners — while EMC is at an early stage on a strikingly similar project."
Robotics

Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby? 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the playing-in-the-lab dept.
First time accepted submitter nedko.m writes "I would describe myself as more of a 'software guy' rather than somebody who likes to play with hardware much, but I've wanted to start doing basic robotics projects as a hobby for quite a while now. However, I was never sure where to start from and what the very first steps should be in order to get more familiar with the hardware aspects of robotics. For instance, I would like to start off with a simple soccer robot. Any suggestions on what low-budget parts should I obtain, which would provide me, subsequently, extensibility to a bit more elaborate projects?"
China

Full Details Uncovered on Chinese Tianhe-2 Supercomputer 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-hood dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With help from a draft report (PDF) from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jack Dongarra, who also spearheads the process of verifying the top of the pack supercomputer, we get a detailed look at China's Tianhe-2 system. As noted previously, the system will be housed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou and has been aimed at providing an open platform for research and education and to provide a high performance computing service for southern China. From Jack's details: '... was sent results showing a run of HPL benchmark using 14,336 nodes, that run was made using 50 GB of the memory of each node and achieved 30.65 petaflops out of a theoretical peak of 49.19 petaflops, or an efficiency of 62.3% of theoretical peak performance taking a little over 5 hours to complete.The fastest result shown was using 90% of the machine. They are expecting to make improvements and increase the number of nodes used in the test.'"
Security

Researchers Infect iOS Devices With Malware Via Malicious Charger 201

Posted by timothy
from the nobody-wants-some-iphone-with-a-social-disease dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "At the upcoming Black Hat security conference in late July, three researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology plan to show off a proof-of-concept charger that they say can be used to invisibly install malware on a device running the latest version of Apple's iOS. A description of their talk posted to the conference website describes how they were able to install whatever malware they wished on an Apple device within a minute of the user plugging it into their malicious charger, which they're calling 'Mactans' after the scientific name of a Black Widow spider. The malware-loaded USB plug is built around an open-source single-board computer known as a BeagleBoard, sold by Texas Instruments for a retail price of around $45. The researchers have contacted Apple about their exploit but haven't heard back from the company and aren't sharing more details of their hack until they do."
NASA

NASA Launches Second Robot Challenge 9

Posted by timothy
from the this-time-make-them-creepier dept.
CowboyRobot writes "This week NASA kicks off its second Sample Return Robot Challenge, in which teams compete for a chance to win $1.5 million. Participants must demonstrate a self-operated robot capable of locating and collecting geologic samples from diverse terrain. Eleven teams from the U.S. and overseas gather for the challenge from June 5 through 7 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass. The Sample Return Robot competition is part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program launched by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, which develops and tests hardware for use in NASA's future missions. NASA said the goal of the challenge is to encourage innovation in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies, which the agency could potentially use to explore a "variety of destinations in space" and in "industries and applications on Earth.""
Portables

Pi to Go: Hot Raspberry Pi DIY Mini Desktop PC Project 134

Posted by timothy
from the tab-a-slot-b-fruit-x dept.
MojoKid writes "Hot Hardware recently set out to design a custom mini desktop system with the popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. People have configured the device for a variety of applications, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, the goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. This small DIY project is just one of many examples of the flexibility of the Raspberry Pi's open architecture. And to think you can even run Quake and Minecraft on it."
Displays

Ask Slashdot: Portable High-Resolution External Displays? 141

Posted by timothy
from the just-don't-get-mugged dept.
First time accepted submitter paragonc writes "I am a software engineer who works remotely. I'm amazingly lucky to live in Austin, Texas where I have access to multiple high quality co-working facilities within biking distance. While these places are great for networking and establishing a rhythm to daily life, not having a permanent desk forces me to pack my gear in and out each day. This means i pack light. My current Go Bag includes a 13.3 inch MacBook pro, and an iPad running avatron Air Display. This has worked well, but i'm sorely missing having a real high resolution external monitor. I've looked at a few of the USB powered external displays, but the resolution seems to only hit 1366 X 768. I'd be curious if slashdotters have any tricks up their sleeves on how to implement a high resolution portable external displays."
Software

Will Your Video Game Collection Appreciate Over Time? 127

Posted by timothy
from the mine-has-nowhere-to-go-but-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Pundits tell us that the world of console video gaming is in dire straits, but recent collections of console video games have sold on eBay for tens of thousands of dollars. There are still a lot of video game disks and cartridges out there, but is it worth your effort to try to complete your collection and sell it on eBay? If you're a potential buyer for a massive collection of video games, are they likely to appreciate over time, or is this a really bad investment? Market research company Terapeak runs some numbers and suggests that it depends on your goals, the size and quality of your collection, and the console you're focused on." There's a film crew hoping to bypass the uncertain hoarding phase, though, and just mine a landfill in New Mexico for the legendary hoard of dumped Atari inventory.
Hardware

Atheer Offers a Wearable Display That's Glasses, Not Glass 33

Posted by timothy
from the look-deep-into-my-opaque-lenses dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new competitor to Google Glass was unveiled Thursday at the AllThingsD conference. Unlike Glass, it shows augmented reality content in 3D and is driven by hand gestures and voice input." Here's a video demo. If you think complaints that Google Glass is creepy have merit, take heart: these aren't for walking around with.
Android

UDOO Looks To Combine Best of Raspberry Pi, Arduino 59

Posted by timothy
from the now-they're-just-negotiating-a-price dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Kickstarter campaign for the UDOO board is 7 days out from closing and they currently sit just under $4,000 short of their stretch goal of $500,000. The UDOO is an attempt to produce a single board which would combine the best parts of both Raspberry Pi and Arduino. UDOO will have a 1GHz ARM i.MX6 CPU in either a Dual Core or Quad Core flavor, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, HDMI and LVDS + Touch, and both an RJ45 port and an on board Wifi Module. Along with those specs, it will be compatible with Arduino DUE R3. The UDOO will utilize Micro SD as a boot device and run both Linux and Android. Currently on Kickstarter, the Dual Core starts at a pledge of $109."
Hardware

Ask Slashdot: Supporting "Antique" Software? 212

Posted by timothy
from the why-in-my-day dept.
First time accepted submitter wolfguru writes "As the IT Manager for a large printing firm, I often have to provide hardware to support older software which is used to configure and maintain existing systems, some of which are nearly 20 years old. Much of the software uses RS-232 serial communications to connect to the PLC devices and is often 16 bit versions. Newer systems from the PLC manufacturers supports some of the equipment, but many of the older PLC consoles are essentially unreachable without the serial communications. For any of you faced with similar challenges in keeping a manufacturing environment maintenance department working; what do you use to support them and where do you find equipment that will run the older systems that are sometimes the only means of supporting these types of devices?"
Intel

Intel Haswell CPUs Debut, Put To the Test 189

Posted by timothy
from the good-to-live-when-advances-are-boring dept.
jjslash writes "Intel's Haswell architecture is finally available in the flagship Core i7-4770K and Core i7-4950HQ processors. This is a very volatile time for Intel. In an ARM-less vacuum, Intel's Haswell architecture would likely be the most amazing thing to happen to the tech industry in years. Haswell mobile processors are slated to bring about the single largest improvement in battery life in Intel history. In graphics, Haswell completely redefines the expectations for processor graphics. On the desktop however, Haswell is just a bit more efficient, but no longer much faster when going from one generation to another." Reader wesbascas puts some numbers on what "just a bit" means here: "Just as leaked copies of the chip have already shown, the i7-4770K only presents an incremental ~10% performance increase over the Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-3770K. Overclocking potential also remains in the same 4.3 GHz to 4.6 GHz ballpark."
Input Devices

Oculus VR Co-founder Andrew Reisse Killed In Auto Collision 302

Posted by timothy
from the sad-news dept.
ccguy writes with this excerpt from a sad report on CNET: "Oculus Rift co-founder and lead engineer Andrew Reisse was hit in Santa Ana, where he was a resident, by a speeding car being pursued by police." Reisse was killed, says the report, when the car "slammed into two vehicles during the pursuit before hitting Reisse at Flower Street and MacArthur Boulevard."
Displays

4K Computer Monitors Are Coming (But Still Pricey) 286

Posted by timothy
from the if-by-consumer-you-mean-anaestheologist dept.
First time accepted submitter jay age writes "When TV makers started pushing 4K screens on unsuspecting public, that just recently upgraded to 1080p, many had doubted what value will they bring consumers. Fair thought — 1080p is, at screen sizes and viewing distances commonly found in homes, good enough. However, PC users such as me have looked at this development with great hope. TV screens must have something to do with market being littered with monitors having puny 1080p resolution. What if 4K TVs will push PC makers to offer 4K screens too, wouldn't that be great? Well, they are coming. ASUS has just announced one!" You could hook a computer up to one of the available 4K displays, but will generally be paying a lot more for the privilege; this one is "only" about $5,000, according to ExtremeTech.
Transportation

No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV 559

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-does-not-consume-live-kittens-or-drive-on-water dept.
thecarchik writes "In an exhaustive 6,500-word article on the financial website Seeking Alpha, analyst Nathan Weiss lays out a case that the latest Tesla Model S actually has higher effective emissions than most large SUVs of both the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and smog-producing pollutants like sulfur dioxide. This is absolutely false. Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions. When this has been done previously, the numbers have still favored electric cars. The Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, concluded in a 2012 report (PDF), 'Electric vehicles charged on the power grid have lower global warming emissions than the average gasoline-based vehicle sold today.' Working through every one of Weiss' conclusions may show a higher emissions rate than Tesla's published numbers, but in no way does a Model S pollute the amounts even close to an SUV."
United States

U.S. Authorizes Sales of American Communication Tech To Iran 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the applying-a-sepia-filter-to-your-breakfast-is-a-fundamental-human-right dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A report at SF Gate notes that 'The United States has lifted portions of two-decades-old sanctions against Iran in an effort to bolster communication between the country's citizens — and potentially aid organization against a repressive Iranian government. Thursday afternoon the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized the sale of hardware and software that pertain to the Internet, instant messaging, chat, e-mail, social networking, sharing of media, and blogging — basically, all things digital. The Treasury Department wrote, 'As the Iranian government attempts to silence its people by cutting off their communication with each other and the rest of the world, the United States will continue to take action to help the Iranian people exercise their universal human rights, including the right to freedom of expression.'"
Japan

Monju Nuclear Plant Operator Ordered To Stop Restart Preparation 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
AmiMoJo writes "Japan's nuclear regulator has ordered the operator of the Monju fast-breeder reactor to suspend preparation for its restart until measures are put in place for its proper maintenance and management. The regulators acted after finding the operator had missed checkups on about 10,000 pieces of equipment. They ordered that sufficient manpower and funds be allocated for maintenance and management. The reactor in Tsuruga City, central Japan, is at the center of the nation's nuclear-fuel recycling policy. But its operator has been hampered by a series of problems."
The Military

UN Debates Rules Surrounding Killer Robots 215

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-c-c-c-can-go-wrong-n-n-nothing-can-go dept.
First time accepted submitter khb writes "It seems that the UN has started a debate on whether to place limits or bans on robots that can kill without manual supervision. It seems that bombs are viewed as 'kinder' than robots which might be programmed to achieve specific ends (e.g. destroy that bridge, kill anyone carrying a gun, etc.)."
Nintendo

Wii Street U Uses Google Maps to Create 'An Immersive Experience' (Video) 84

Posted by Roblimo
from the we-would-love-to-love-you-again-because-you're-a-good-old-friend dept.
Nintendo says, "With Wii Street U powered by Google, you can step into Google Street View with an immersive experience that feels like you’re actually there! View a 360-degree Google Maps Street View of locations all over the world using the Wii U GamePad motion controls. Use the GamePad touch screen to type in an address or location and explore, or instantly travel to over 70 fascinating, hand-picked locations around the globe." It all looks lovely, but can't we do most of this with Android phones? And couldn't a smart developer make the Google Street View Android phone experience even more immersive, so we wouldn't all need to buy a Wii U? Nintendo, we love you, but the Wii U still looks pretty dead unless it gets some major rethinking, and this Street View app doesn't seem to be it.
Robotics

Stanford's Flying Fish Glider 12

Posted by samzenpus
from the sailing-away dept.
Zothecula writes "Researchers at Stanford University have developed a small 'aircraft' that resembles a flying fish which can jump and glide over a greater distance than an equivalent jumping robot. Using a carbon fiber spring to take off, the jumpglider has a pivoting wing that stays out of the way during ascent, but which locks into place to glide farther on the way down."
Data Storage

Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the honey-i-couldn't-shrink-the-transistor dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SanDisk sampling its 1Y-based NAND flash memory products and has revealed they are manufactured at same minimum geometry as the 1X generation: 19 nm. The author speculates that this is one of the first instances of a Moore's Law 'fail' since the self-fulfilling prophecy was made in 1965 — but that it won't be the last."
Hardware Hacking

Canon DSLR Hack Allows It To Shoot RAW Video 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the features-added-by-users dept.
When the Canon 50D DSLR camera was released back in 2008, it could take nice pictures, but it had no support for video recording. Now, through an enterprising hack by members of the Magic Lantern forums, the 50D can capture RAW video. From the article: "The tech inside the 50D looks like it borrows a lot more from its higher-end siblings, like the 5D Mark II, and it’s possible we may actually get better RAW video quality out of the 50D than we do out of any of the non-CF Canon cameras. ... The camera doesn’t have playback or audio recording as it was never designed to shoot video, but this isn’t too different from the RAW recording on the other Canon DSLRs at the moment."
Operating Systems

Mozilla Teams Up With Foxconn; Tablet On the Way? 54

Posted by timothy
from the iceweasel-devices-will-be-gnu-licensed-instead dept.
The Register is one of several outlets reporting (based on a Reuters report) that Mozilla is working with Foxconn on a mobile device and "plans to unveil it at an event next week." Firefox OS is already running on other makers' phones; CNET speculates that this new device may be a tablet, which matches the Register's "insider" information.
Earth

Multiple Studies Show Used Electronics Exports To Third World Mostly Good 93

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-spoiled-teenager's-trash dept.
retroworks writes "Bloomberg News reporter Adam Minter writes in today's Opinion section that several studies show that there's nothing really remarkable or scandalous about exports of used equipment to developing nations. 'Some is recycled; some is repaired and refurbished for reuse; and some is thrown into landfills or incinerators. Almost none of it, however, is "dumped" overseas.' Minter begins with the most recent study (PDF), released by the U.S. International Trade Commission in March 2013. Several other studies from Peru, Nigeria, Ghana and China show there was never an incentive for overseas buyers to pay money to import junk, and that most of the junk filmed by activists in the dumps in those nations was used for years (Nigeria has had TV since the 1970s). 'A 2011 study by the United Nations Environment Program determined that only 9 percent of the used electronics imported by Nigeria — a country that is regularly depicted as a dumping ground for foreign e-waste — didn't work or were unrepairable, and thus bound for a recycler or a dump. The other 91 percent were reusable and bound for consumers who couldn't afford new products.' The one data source Bloomberg cannot find is a data point for the widely reported 'statistic' that 80-90% of used electronics imported by Africans are burned or dumped. In the comment section, two advocates for legislation banning the exports object to the survey methodology of one of the studies. But the source of the original statistic, reported by Greenpeace and Basel Action Network in their fundraising campaigns, remains a mystery."
Graphics

Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland 259

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fast-and-fancy dept.
New submitter nekohayo writes "While Wayland/Weston 1.1 brought support to the Raspberry Pi merely a month ago, work has recently been done to bring true hardware-accelerated compositing capabilities to the RPi's graphics stack using Weston. The Raspberry Pi foundation has made an announcement about the work that has been done with Collabora to make this happen. X.org/Wayland developer Daniel Stone has written a blog post about this, including a video demonstrating the improved reactivity and performance. Developer Pekka Paalanen also provided additional technical details about the implementation." Rather than using the OpenGL ES hardware, the new compositor implementation uses the SoC's 2D scaler/compositing hardware which offers "a scaling throughput of 500 megapixels per second and blending throughput of 1 gigapixel per second. It runs independently of the OpenGL ES hardware, so we can continue to render 3D graphics at the full, very fast rate, even while compositing."
Power

Electric Car Startup 'Better Place' Liquidating After $850 Million Investment 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the shutting-it-down dept.
awaissoft writes "Better Place hoped to transform the energy industry with electric cars and battery switching stations. Better Place wanted to make the world a better place by replacing gas stations with battery switching stations that would remove the driving mileage limitations from electric cars and eventually rid the world of fossil-fuel burning vehicles. But after six years and burning through $850 million, the company is filing for liquidation in an Israeli court. As reported by the Associated Press, Better Place's Board of Directors issued a written statement Sunday announcing that the company was winding down."
Robotics

CurvACE Gives Robots a Bug's Eye View 16

Posted by samzenpus
from the bug-eyed dept.
Zothecula writes "Robots are getting down to the size of insects, so it seems only natural that they should be getting insect eyes. A consortium of European researchers has developed the artificial Curved Artificial Compound Eye (CurvACE) which reproduces the architecture of the eyes of insects and other arthropods. The aim isn't just to provide machines with an unnerving bug-eyed stare, but to create a new class of sensors that exploit the wide field of vision and motion detecting properties of the compound eye."
Businesses

Duracell's Powermat Ties the Knot With PowerKiss 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-up dept.
Lucas123 writes "Powermat Technologies has announced an agreement to merge with its European counterpart, PowerKiss, in a deal that will make what once was two disparate wireless power specifications come together under one. Among airports, coffee shops, malls and arenas, Powermat, owned by Duracell, claims it has more than 1,500 charging spots in the U.S. In Europe, PowerKiss said it has 1,000 charging spots in airports, hotels and cafes; it also recently announced wireless charging at some McDonald's restaurants. Powermat and PowerKiss are attempting to prevail against the competing Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which supports the widely adopted Qi (pronounced "chee") standard used in Nokia, Samsung, and LG products. Like the Qi standard, the PMA's Power 2.0 specification is based on magnetic induction wireless power technology."
Google

Google Acquires Kite-Power Generator 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the blowing-in-the-wind dept.
garymortimer writes "Google has acquired a US company that generates power using turbines mounted on tethered kites or wings. Makani Power will become part of Google X – the secretive research and development arm of the search giant. The deal comes as Makani carries out the first fully autonomous flights of robot kites bearing its power-generating propellers. Google has not said how much it paid to acquire Makani, but it has invested $15m (£9.9m) in the company previously."
The Almighty Buck

Apple-1 Sells For $671,400, Breaks Previous Auction Record 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the built-to-last dept.
hypnosec writes "What is believed to be one of the six working Apple-1 computers has fetched a whopping $671,400 for its current owner at an auction in Germany. The Apple-1 was built by Steve Wozniak back in 1976 in the garage of Steve Jobs' parents. The model sold at auction is either from the first lot of 50 systems ordered by Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop chain of stores, or part of the next lot of 150 systems the duo built to sell to friends and vendors. The retail price for the Apple-1 at the time was $666.66."
Supercomputing

ARM In Supercomputers — 'Get Ready For the Change' 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-and-what-ARMy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Commodity ARM CPUs are poised to to replace x86 CPUs in modern supercomputers just as commodity x86 CPUs replaced vector CPUs in early supercomputers. An analysis by the EU Mountblanc Project (PDF) (using Nvidia Tegra 2/3, Samsung Exynos 5 & Intel Core i7 CPUs) highlights the suitability and energy efficiency of ARM-based solutions. They finish off by saying, 'Current limitations [are] due to target market condition — not real technological challenges. ... A whole set of ARM server chips is coming — solving most of the limitations identified.'"
Businesses

European Commission Launches $12 Billion Chip Support Campaign 111

Posted by timothy
from the there-would-be-this-thing-called-comparative-advantage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for the digital economy, wants to use 5 billion euros of European Union tax payers' money, together with matching funds from the chip industry, to recreate European success in semiconductors similar to that of Airbus. Because of its strategic importance to wealth creation Kroes wants Europe to reverse its decline in chip manufacturing and move back up from 10 percent to 20 percent of global production."
AMD

AMD Launches New Mobile APU Lineup, Kabini Gets Tested 102

Posted by timothy
from the failure-to-overwhelm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While everyone was glued to the Xbox One announcement, Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 launch, and Intel's pre-Haswell frenzy, it seems that AMD's launch was overlooked. On Wednesday, AMD launched its latest line of mobile APUs, codenamed Temash, Kabini, and Richland. Temash is targeted towards smaller touchscreen-based devices such as tablets and the various Windows 8 hybrid devices, and comes in dual-core A4 and A6 flavors. Kabini chips are intended for the low-end notebook market, and come in quad-core A4 and A6 models along with a dual-core E2. Richland includes quad-core A8 and A10 models, and is meant for higher-end notebooks — MSI is already on-board for the A10-5750M in their GX series of gaming notebooks. All three new APUs feature AMD HD 8000-series graphics. Tom's Hardware got a prototype notebook featuring the new quad-core A4-5000 with Radeon HD 8300 graphics, and benchmarked it versus a Pentium B960-based Acer Aspire V3 and a Core-i3-based HP Pavillion Sleekbook 15. While Kabini proves more efficient, and features more powerful graphics than the Pentium, it comes up short in CPU-heavy tasks. What's more, the Core-i3 matches the A4-5000 in power efficiency while its HD 4000 graphics completely outpace the APU."
Operating Systems

BeagleBone Black Ships With New Linux 3.8 Kernel 64

Posted by timothy
from the add-cheap-monitor-wham-computer dept.
DeviceGuru writes "BeagleBoard.org has begun shipping its faster, cheaper BeagleBone Black SBC with a new Linux 3.8 kernel, supporting Device Tree technology for more streamlined ARM development. The $45 BeagleBone Black runs Linux or Android on a 1GHz TI Sitara AM3359 SOC, doubles the RAM to 512MB of its predecessor, and adds a micro-HDMI port. The updated kernel gives the BeagleBone Black access to a new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) display driver architecture, as well as full support for the Device Tree data structure introduced to streamline ARM development in Linux 3.7. The project was hesitant to move up to such a recent kernel, but decided it was time to bite the bullet and support the Device Tree. By doing the hard work of switching to Device Tree now, BeagleBoard.org and its developer community can save a lot of configuration and maintenance headaches down the line, says BeagleBoard.org co-founder Jason Kridner. Fortunately, a modified 3.2 kernel 'coming soon' should provide the necessary bridge from the old cape driver architecture to the new one."
Google

Google Releases Glass Factory System Image, Rooted Bootloader 74

Posted by timothy
from the wait-till-the-glass-morphs-to-your-prescription dept.
Krystalo writes "In a nod towards the modding community and hackers in general, Google has released the first factory system image and rooted bootloader for the latest version, XE5, of Google Glass. Nevertheless, the company is at the same time warning that using these downloads will result in a voided warranty for the experimental device."
Intel

Intel Claims Haswell Architecture Offers 50% Longer Battery Life vs. Ivy Bridge 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-don't-use-a-screen-or-any-other-hardware dept.
MojoKid writes "As with any major CPU microarchitecture launch, one can expect the usual 10~15% performance gains, but Intel apparently has put its efficiency focus into overdrive. Haswell should provide 2x the graphics performance, and it's designed to be as power efficient as possible. In addition, the company has further gone on to state that Haswell should enable a 50% battery-life increase over last year's Ivy Bridge. There are a couple of reasons why Haswell is so energy-efficient versus the previous generation, but the major reason is moving the CPU voltage regulator off of the motherboard and into the CPU package, creating a Fully Integrated Voltage Regulator, or FIVR. This is a far more efficient design and with the use of 'enhanced' tri-gate transistors, current leakage has been reduced by about 2x — 3x versus Ivy Bridge."

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