Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Lucas123 writes "A newly published study by Britain's data protection regulatory agency found that more than one in 10 second-hand hard drives being sold online contain recoverable personal information from the original owner. "Many people will presume that pressing the delete button on a computer file means that it is gone forever. However this information can easily be recovered," Britain's Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said in a statement. In all, the research found 34,000 files containing personal or corporate information were recovered from the devices. Along with the study, a survey revealed that 65% of people hand down their old PC, laptop and cell phones to others. One in ten of those people who disposed of their old devices, left all their data on them. The British government also offered new guidelines for ensuring devices are properly wiped of data."
redletterdave writes "On Thursday, researchers at MIT announced a breakthrough in glass-making technology, which basically involves a new way to create surface textures on glass to eliminate all of the drawbacks of glass, including unwanted reflections and glare. The research team wanted to build glass that could be adaptable to any environment: Their 'multifunctional' glass is not only crystal clear, but it also causes water droplets to bounce right off its surface, 'like tiny rubber balls.' The glass is self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and superhydrophobic. The invention has countless applications, including TV screens, as well as smartphone and tablet displays that benefit from the self-cleaning ability of the glass by resisting moisture and contamination by sweat."
First time accepted submitter cos(0) writes "Between O'Reilly, Wrox, Addison-Wesley, The Pragmatic Bookshelf, and many others, software developers have a wide variety of literature about languages, patterns, practices, and tools. Many publishers even offer subscriptions to online reading of the whole collection, exposing you to things you didn't even know you don't know — and many of us learn more from these publishers than from a Comp Sci curriculum. But what about publishers and books specializing in tech underneath software — like VHDL, Verilog, design tools, and wire protocols? In particular, best practices, modeling techniques, and other skills that separate a novice from an expert?"
MikeatWired writes "Google will tightly integrate its new Google Drive online storage service with an upcoming version of its Chrome OS operating system, says Sundar Pichai, who oversees development of the company's Chrome products as well as its Google Apps online services. Chrome OS is Google's effort to move all applications and data onto the web (and its Chrome browser), but the OS still hasn't mastered the art of moving files from place to place. By integrating Chrome OS with Google Drive — the online storage service Google introduced on Tuesday — the company seeks to correct this problem. 'With Chromebooks, [Google Drive] is even more powerful,' Pichai says, 'because it just starts working naturally. Your local drive is also Google Drive. This makes it really powerful because you just don't think about it.' Basically, Google Drive — a service that operates on the web — will perform as if it was the local file system. If you open the 'save file' dialog box on Chrome OS, for instance, the system will take you straight to Google Drive. 'We'll effectively integrate [Google] Drive into the native file system of Chrome OS,' says Scott Johnson, Google's Google Drive product manager. 'All the core OS functionality will use [Google] Drive as a place to store data — if that's what you opt in to.'"
Zothecula writes, quoting Gizmodo "While the Moon may or may not contain life forms, precious metals or even green cheese, recent satellite missions have indicated that it does nonetheless contain something that could prove quite valuable — water ice. NASA has estimated that at least 650 million tons (600 million tonnes) of the stuff could be deposited in craters near the Moon's north pole alone. If mined, it could conceivably serve as a source of life support for future lunar bases, or it could be used to produce fuel for spacecraft stopping at a "lunar gas station." Before any mining can happen, however, we need to learn more about the ice. That's why NASA has contracted Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology to determine if its Polaris rover robot could be used for ice prospecting."
Google85 writes "Beginning April 23rd, Intel, through Lava International, began selling the Xolo X900 smartphone in India for $420, Anandtech has just published a review of the smartphone which runs Android on x86 and uses binary translation as the mitigation for both libraries and NDK applications that haven't yet been ported to x86."
Cleveland-based programmer Paul Schneider, better known both online and in person as Froggy, first organized Notacon after trips to HOPE and other hacker cons gave him the idea; there weren't any gatherings like it in Cleveland at the time, and attending HOPE cost more in money and time than many locals would have been willing to justify for a weekend. Froggy sensed there was a big enough community in Cleveland of hackers, musicians, artists and others to support one, though. So he wrangled space, put out the word, and lined up enough presentations to make it happen. Now, Notacon's been going on for nine years straight (and year 10 is already in the works). In that time, Froggy's developed some thoughts about how to pull off organizing a gathering that involves hundreds of people at a time — and not just any people, but ones with soldering guns, nerf guns, fencing sabers, a lot of electrical equipment, and sometimes (egads!) even children. Froggy is quick to credit the dozens of people — about 20 core staff, and others with smaller but important roles — who also take part in planning and running the conference. Finding hard-working, like-minded souls may be the most universal part of his advice on running a similar event; watch the video interview for more.
lemmen writes "As widely expected, Google Drive has launched officially today. Google Drive is free for the first 5GB, while you can get an upgrade to 25GB for $2.50 a month. They say the service is available for PCs, Macs, Android devices, and soon iOS devices. According to Mercury News, '... the success of Drive will ride largely on whether Google can differentiate its offering from already established fast-growing cloud storage startups that were in the market first, such as Dropbox and Box, as well as Microsoft's SkyDrive service and big consumer media competitors like Apple's iCloud and Amazon's Cloud Drive. ... Existing Google Docs files, the centerpiece of Google's existing cloud storage offering, will move to the Google Drive service once users download apps and install the new service."
eldavojohn writes "Details are really thin, but the EE Times is reporting that Algotochip claims to be sitting on the 'Holy Grail' of SoC design. From the article: '"We can move your designs from algorithms to chips in as little as eight weeks," said Satish Padmanabhan CTO and founder of Algotochip, whose EDA tool directly implements digital chips from C-algorithms.' Padmanabhan is the designer of the first superscalar digital signal processor. His company, interestingly enough, claims to provide a service that consists of a 'suite of software tools that interprets a customers' C-code without their having any knowledge of Algotochip's proprietary technology and tools. The resultant GDSII design, from which an EDA system can produce the file that goes to TSMC, and all of its intellectual property is owned completely by the customer—with no licenses required from Algotochip.' This was presented at this year's Globalpress Electronics Summit. Too good to be true? Or can we expect our ANSI C code to be automagically implemented in a SoC in such a short time?"
suraj.sun writes with news that a new patent suit has been filed against Apple over all of the company's touch-based products. From the article: "According to the complaint (PDF), Professor Slavoljub Milekic conceived a system that used a touchscreen that allowed children to move virtual objects around the screen, which he used to build interactive displays for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, in 1997, and filed for a patent on his design that same year. The patent in the suit, U.S. Patent #6,920,619 named 'User interface for removing an object from a display,' was issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 2005. According to the lawsuit, Milekic formed FlatWorld Interactives in 2007 to 'promote and commercialize' his invention. Curiously, FlatWorld was incorporated on January 2007, just weeks after Apple announced the original iPhone at Macworld Expo. In July 2007, just after Apple shipped the original iPhone, FlatWorld filed a reissue request for the patent, which appears to have been done in order to modify some of the patent's dependent claims."
New submitter zackmerles writes "Tom's Hardware takes the newly-released, top-of-the-line Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K for a spin. All Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs come with Intel HD Graphics 4000, which despite the DirectX 11 support, only provides a modest boost to the Sandy Bridge Intel HD Graphics 3000. However, the new architecture tops the charts for low power consumption, which should make the Ivy Bridge mobile offerings more desirable. In CPU performance, the new Ivy Bridge Core i7 is only marginally better than last generation's Core i7-2700K. Essentially, Ivy Bridge is not the fantastic follow-up to Sandy Bridge that many enthusiasts had hoped for, but an incremental improvement. In the end, those desktop users who decided to skip Sandy Bridge to hold out for Ivy Bridge, probably shouldn't have. On the other hand, since Intel priced the new Core i7-3770K and Core i5-3570K the same as their Sandy Bridge counterparts, there is no reason to purchase the previous generation chips." Reader jjslash points out that coverage is available from all the usual suspects — pick your favorite: AnandTech, TechSpot, Hot Hardware, ExtremeTech, and Overclockers.
It's not just the TRS-80; new submitter sebt writes "ZX Spectrum, the microcomputer launched in 1982 by Sinclair Research (Cambridge, UK) turns 30 today. The launch of the machine is seen by many today as the inspiration for a generation of eager young programmers, software and game designers in the UK. The events surrounding its launch, notably Sinclair's well-known rivalry with Acorn, later helped to inspire the design of the ARM architecture and most recently the Raspberry PI (based on ARM), in an effort to reboot the idea of enthusiastic kid programmers first captured by the Spectrum and Acorn's BBC micro. Happy birthday Spec!"
hypnosec writes "Springer Science and Business Media has discovered that during 2010, almost 70 per cent of the overall power draw of the world's consoles was thanks to idling. This total came to over 10.8 TWh of energy, equating to well over a billion dollars in wasted power. The biggest culprit for the trio of main consoles of this generation was the PlayStation 3, with its first edition having an active power draw of 180 watts and an idling draw of 167. As the report states, the Xbox 360 wasn't much better however, with active/idle draws of 172/162w respectively. Both of those consoles have got far better with their hardware revisions, more than halving the idle power consumption, but the Wii has been ahead of the curve the whole time. Its active/idle power draws were as low as 16/11w. The only real difference with the Nintendo console was whether its WC24 was enabled or not. With it on, standby power jumped from 2w to 9w."
An anonymous reader writes with this "interview with John R Hogerhuis, one of the key players in the still suprisingly active community for the TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer. As the Model 100 approaches its 30th birthday, John talks about what has kept the machine popular for so long, current software and hardware work that is keeping it relevant, and what modern developers could learn from spending some on a computer from 1983."