lkcl writes "Rhombus Tech's first CPU Card is nearing completion and availability: the schematics have been completed by Wits-Tech. Although it appears strange to be using a 1ghz Cortex A8 for the first CPU Card, the mass-volume price of the A10 was lower than other offerings. Not only does the A10 classify as 'good enough' (in combination with 1GB of RAM), Allwinner Tech is one of the very rare China-based SoC companies willing to collaborate with Software (Libre) developers without an enforced (GPL-violating) NDA in place. Overall, it's the very first step in the right direction for collaboration between Software (Libre) developers and mass-volume PRC Factories. There will be more (faster, better) EOMA-68 CPU Cards: this one is just the first."
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An anonymous reader writes "Election Analytics is a website developed by Dr. Sheldon Jacobson at the University of Illinois designed to predict the outcomes of the U.S. presidential and senatorial elections, based on reported polling data. From the site: 'The mathematical model employs Bayesian estimators that use available state poll results (at present, this is being taken from Rasmussen, Survey USA, and Quinnipiac, among others) to determine the probability that each presidential candidate will win each of the states (or the probability that each political party will win the Senate race in each state). These state-by-state probabilities are then used in a dynamic programming algorithm to determine a probability distribution for the number of Electoral College votes that each candidate will win in the 2012 presidential election. In the case of the Senate races, the individual state probabilities are used to determine the number of seats that each party will control.'" You can tweak the site by selecting a skew toward the Republican or Democratic tickets, and whether it's mild or strong. Right now, this tool shows the odds favor another four years for Obama, even with a strong swing for the Republicans.
itwbennett writes "Hoping to avoid a sales ban in the Netherlands, Samsung has said that Android's multitouch software doesn't work as well as Apple's. Samsung lawyer Bas Berghuis van Woortman said that while Apple's technology is a 'very nice invention,' the Android system is harder for developers to use. Arguing the bizarre counterpoint, Apple's lawyer Theo Blomme told judge Peter Blok, that the Android multitouch isn't inferior and does so infringe on Apple's patent: 'They suggest that they have a lesser solution, but that is simply not true,' said Blomme."
An anonymous reader writes "Sunnyvale, California is a town 40 miles outside of San Francisco, in the Bay Area. As in most of California, the weather is mild, and the winters are short, even sometimes warm. On December 20, Sara Alvarez took her youngest child for a walk in the park in town. As daylight faded, Alvarez lost feeling in her right leg, then her left foot. Her body became numb, and she became weak. At 10:15 pm, her husband drove her to a hospital in Redwood City, about 20 minutes away from their town. There, over the course of Christmas, doctors batted around diagnoses: tumor, cancer. Finally, Alvarez received a brain scan that revealed the truth: neurocysticercosis, a calcified tapeworm in her brain (link contains images of brain surgery)."
Busshy writes "Since the release of the PSVita, sales for the portable console have struggled, particularly in Japan. There, the PSP was selling more units until this week, with the release of Hatsune Miku Project Diva F, which has seen PSVita sales quadruple. For the rest of the world, sales are still slow thanks to a dull selection of games. This could soon change, as Yifan Lu, coder of the Kindle Hack and PSX Xperia, has revealed he is now working on a native loader for the PSVita. Basically, it's a Userland Vita Loader for loading unsigned executables on your Vita — in other words, a Homebrew Loader for the PSVita. To calm Sony fears, he claims it is physically impossible to run 'backups' with the exploit. The exploit cannot decrypt or load retail games. At this time, the exploit is unreleased; naturally, he doesnt want Sony to fix it."
New submitter trokez writes "Symantec has monitored the activities of a group using a specific trojan (Hydraq/Aurora) since 2009. The particular group has been connected (by Symantec) to the attack on Gmail in China, but also other high-profile attacks. 'These attackers have used a large number of zero-day exploits against not just the intended target organization, but also on the supply chain manufacturers that service the company in their cross hairs. These attackers are systematic and re-use components of an infrastructure we have termed the "Elderwood Platform." The term "Elderwood" comes from the exploit communication used in some of the attacks. This attack platform enables them to quickly deploy zero-day exploits.' The attacks seems to focus on industry espionage, with the defense industry and its suppliers at the focus."
MrSeb writes "The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun rolling out its new $1 billion biometric Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. In essence, NGI is a nationwide database of mugshots, iris scans, DNA records, voice samples, and other biometrics that will help the FBI identify and catch criminals — but it is how this biometric data is captured, through a nationwide network of cameras and photo databases, that is raising the eyebrows of privacy advocates. Until now, the FBI relied on IAFIS, a national fingerprint database that has long been due an overhaul. Over the last few months, the FBI has been pilot testing a face recognition system, which will soon be scaled up (PDF) until it's nationwide. In theory, this should result in much faster positive identifications of criminals and fewer unsolved cases. The problem is, the FBI hasn't guaranteed that the NGI will only use photos of known criminals. There may come a time when the NGI is filled with as many photos as possible, from as many sources as possible, of as many people as possible — criminal or otherwise. Imagine if the NGI had full access to every driving license and passport photo in the country — and DNA records kept by doctors, and iris scans kept by businesses. The FBI's NGI, if the right checks and balances aren't in place, could very easily become a tool that decimates civilian privacy and freedom."
David Gerard writes "Internet Brands bought Wikitravel.org in 2006, plastered it with ads and neglected it. After years, the Wikitravel community finally decided to fork under CC by-sa and move to Wikimedia. Internet Brands is now suing two of the unpaid volunteers for wanting to leave. The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a declaratory judgement (PDF) that you can actually fork a free-content project without permission. Internet Brands has a track record of scorched-earth litigation tactics."
New submitter GregLaden writes "The object known as the Galileo Thermometer is a vertical glass tube filled with a liquid in which are suspended a number of weighted glass balls. As the temperature of the liquid changes, so does the density. Since each glass ball is set to float at equilibrium in a sightly different density of the liquid, as the temperature increases, each glass ball sinks to the bottom. It turns out that this thermometer was actually invented by a team of instrument inventors that formed a scientific society who had the impressive motto 'Probando e Reprobando,' which in English means 'testing and retesting.' The Accademia del Cimento operated under the leadership of the Grand Duke Ferdinand II from 1657-1667 in Florence, Italy. According to Peter Loyson, who has written a corrective article for the Journal of Chemical Education, Galileo did invent a temperature measuring device called a thermoscope."
davecb writes "Pity the poor filesystem designer: they just want to know when their data is safe, but the disks and drivers try so hard to make I/O 'easy' that it ends up being stupidly hard. Marshall Kirk McKusick writes about the difficulties in making the systems work nicely together: 'In the real world, many of the drives targeted to the desktop market do not implement the NCQ specification. To ensure reliability, the system must either disable the write cache on the disk or issue a cache-flush request after every metadata update, log update (for journaling file systems), or fsync system call. Both of these techniques lead to noticeable performance degradation, so they are often disabled, putting file systems at risk if the power fails. Systems for which both speed and reliability are important should not use ATA disks. Rather, they should use drives that implement Fibre Channel, SCSI, or SATA with support for NCQ.'"
chicksdaddy writes "A malicious software researcher finds herself in company with First Lady Michelle Obama and science fiction author Neil Gaiman: booted from the Web by hard-headed copyright protection algorithms, according to the Naked Security blog. Mila Parkour, a researcher who operates the Contagio malware blog, said on Thursday that she was kicked off the cloud based hosting service Mediafire, after three files she hosted there were flagged for copyright violations and ordered removed under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The files included two compressed and encrypted malicious PDF files linked to Contagio blog posts from 2010. The firm responsible for filing the DMCA take down notice was Paris-based LeakID, which describes itself as a 'digital agency ...founded by experts from the world of radio, television and Internet.' LeakID markets 'Leaksearch,' an 'ownership tool that will alert you within seconds if your content...is being pirated.' According to Parkour, Mediafire received a notice from LeakID claiming that it was 'acting on behalf of the copyright owners,' though the owners and presumed copyrighted content weren't named."
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers are familiar with the Torvalds/de Icaza slugfest over 'the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives.' The problem with the Linux desktop boils down to this: We need more applications, and that means making it easier for developers to build them, says Brian Proffitt. 'It's easy to point at solutions like the Linux Standard Base, but that dog won't hunt, possibly because it's not in the commercial vendors' interests to create true cross-distro compatibility. United Linux or a similar consortium probably won't work, for the same reasons,' says Proffitt. So, we put it to the Slashdot community: How would you fix the Linux desktop?"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple plans on taking a big bite of the streaming-music market, according to unnamed sources speaking to The New York Times. Those sources suggested that an Apple streaming-music service would 'probably' center on an app of some kind, and link to iTunes in order to better evaluate the listener's musical interests. In broad strokes, that would make it similar to Spotify, a streaming-music service that also requires an app. Other popular cloud-music hubs, including Pandora and Last.fm, operate primarily as browser-based services. The Wall Street Journal, citing its own unnamed sources, indicated that any Apple streaming service would work on iOS devices such as the iPad, Macs, and 'possibly on PCs running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.' In keeping with Apple's intense rivalry with Google, one source added, the service would not appear on Android devices."
Layzej writes "New research (PDF) to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found that those who subscribed to one or more conspiracy theories or who strongly supported a free market economy were more likely to reject the findings from climate science as well as other sciences. The researchers, led by UWA School of Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, found that free-market ideology was an overwhelmingly strong determinant of the rejection of climate science. It also predicted the rejection of the link between tobacco and lung cancer and between HIV and AIDS. Conspiratorial thinking was a lesser but still significant determinant of the rejection of all scientific propositions examined, from climate to lung cancer. Curiously, public response to the paper has provided a perfect real-life illustration of the very cognitive processes at the center of the research."
SpuriousLogic points out an article at Wired discussing research into pressure levels inside Mt. Fuji's magma chamber, which scientists claim is higher than it was in 1707, the last time it erupted. "The new readings, taken by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, reveal that the pressure is at 1.6 megapascals, nearly 16 times the 0.1 megapascals it takes to trigger an eruption." A series of earthquakes shook the area around Mt. Fuji a little over a decade ago, and a fault line was discovered underneath it. "Since the March 2011 tsunami and the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that followed four days later, Japan has been on tenterhooks, and in May 2012 a professor from Ryukyu University warned that a massive eruption within three years would be likely because of several major factors: steam and gases are being emitted from the crater, water eruptions are occurring nearby, massive holes emitting hot natural gases are appearing in the vicinity." While the rising pressure within the magma chamber is of concern, it is but one factor among many that lead to eruptions.