New submitter camperdave writes "Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, died on Sunday of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park said. He was thought to be about 100 years old."
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Stowie101 writes with a few pieces from an article on what's been happening in the fight against over-compressed radio music and deafening tv commercials: "The first major step towards the elimination of heavily-compressed music could be the International Telecommunications Union's ... measurement of loudness that was ... revised in 2011. ... Acting to rectify the problem on the broadcast side of the issue, many European and Asian broadcasters are adopting loudness standards that are based on the criteria first introduced by the ITU. Here in the U.S., the federal government has also been proactive to improve the quality of broadcast television. By the end of 2012, the broadcast community will have to follow the CALM Act that requires commercials to be played at the same volume as broadcast television. In terms of music and recording, these broadcast standards do not apply. But Shepherd theorizes the measurement standards will be applied to the production of music. 'Measuring loudness, in general, isn't easy. Now the ITU has agreed on a new "loudness unit:" the LU. You can measure short- and longer-term loudness over a whole song. They've also agreed on guidelines for broadcast; what the average loudness should be and how much you can vary it. The recommendation has been made law in the U.S. for advertisements and is also being adopted in the U.K. and all over the world. All the major broadcasters here — Sky, the BBC, ITV — have agreed to follow the standard.'"
Trailrunner7 writes, quoting Threat Post: "Security researchers have come across a worm that is meant specifically to steal blueprints, design documents and other files created with the AutoCAD software. The worm, known as ACAD/Medre.A, is spreading through infected AutoCAD templates and is sending tens of thousands of stolen documents to email addresses in China. However, experts say that the worm's infection rates are dropping at this point and it doesn't seem to be part of a targeted attack campaign. ... [They] discovered that not only was the worm highly customized and well-constructed, it seemed to be targeting mostly machines in Peru for some reason. ... They found that ACAD/Medre.A was written in AutoLISP, a specialized version of the LISP scripting language that's used in AutoCAD."
astroengine writes "Launched in August of last year, NASA's Juno probe is on a Kamikaze mission to go prospecting for water on Jupiter. Although its predecessor, NASA's Galileo spacecraft, took a death-dive into the gas giant it didn't detect any signs of water in its atmosphere. Why? Fran Bagenela, of the University of Colorado, told a group of scientists at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Anchorage, Alaska, that the Galileo probe fell at the boundary between one of the brown atmospheric zones and white belts that form a striped pattern across the planet's face. This gap region could have been unusually dry, she added. Now it's up to Juno to investigate when it enters orbit around Jupiter in 2016."
crookedvulture writes "The new iPad has received a lot of attention for its high-density display, but it's not the only tablet with extra pixels. Enter Asus' Transformer Prime Infinity, which has a 10.1" screen with a 1920x1200 resolution. The display doesn't look as good as the iPad's Retina panel, which has crisper text and better color reproduction. However, the Android-based Transformer has perks the iPad lacks, like an ultra-bright backlight, a Micro HDMI port, a microSD slot, and more internal storage. The Infinity is also compatible with an optional keyboard dock that adds six hours of battery life, a touchpad, a full-sized SD slot, and a standard USB port. The Transformer's tablet component is definitely no iPad-killer. When combined with the dock, though, the resulting hybrid offers a much more flexible computing platform."
dcblogs writes "In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday on Arizona's immigration enforcement law, H-1B workers are being advised to keep their papers on them. About half of all H-1B visa holders are employed in tech occupations. The court struck down several parts of Arizona's law but nonetheless left in place a core provision allowing police officers to check the immigration status of people in the state at specific times. How complicated this gets may depend on the training of the police officer, his or her knowledge of work visas, and whether an H-1B worker in the state has an Arizona's driver's license. An Arizona state driver's license provides the presumption of legal residency. Nonetheless, H-1B workers could become entangled in this law and suffer delays and even detention while local police, especially those officers and departments unfamiliar with immigration documentation."
zacharye writes "Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an integrated NFC chip according to a new report, suggesting the Cupertino, California-based company may soon make its entrance into the mobile payment space. A report from 9to5Mac states that an analysis of code from Apple's latest iOS software includes references to an integrated NFC chip and antenna."
Esther Schindler writes "Last year, Danny Kalev — a former member of the C++ standards committed — explained the new features in C++. Now, in C11: A New C Standard Aiming at Safer Programming, he shares an overview of the changes in C — 13 years after the ratification of the C99 standard. Kalev describes the goodies in C11, including multi-threading support, safer standard libraries, and better compliance with other industry standards."
jfruh writes "You might be a bit jealous of Andrew Weiss: fresh out of college, he got interviews with both Microsoft and Google. He discusses (to the extent NDAs allow) the differences between the two experiences, ranging from the silly (Google's famous gourmet cafeteria vs. Microsoft's gaming room) to the serious (Google's technical emphasis vs. Microsoft's focus on explanatory and consulting skills.)"
ericjones12398 writes "It's beginning to feel like a TV series, a weekly patent war drama. Apple and Samsung have consistently been going back and forth with claims of IP infringement, to the point where who is accusing who of what is exhausting to follow. The question I would like to ask and try to answer is what the opportunity costs are of pursuing litigation versus just toughing it out? Would it be more economic for both companies to live and let live, or is there value to be captured in legal finger pointing? My best guess would be that this isn't about stopping sales this quarter or next, nor is it about defending the small-scale tech features that merely mildly differentiate. It's instead about momentum and branding. Winning these cases is PR that says, we are the leaders in smartphone technology, we are the innovators."
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian House of Commons may have passed the Canadian DMCA, but the constitutional concerns with the copyright bill and its digital lock rules will likely linger for years. Michael Geist has obtained internal government documents that indicate that the Department of Justice issued a legal opinion warning about the potential for constitutional violations. The DOJ legal opinion warned of the need to link circumvention with copyright infringement and of the particular danger of not providing the blind with an exception. The Canadian law misses the mark on both counts with no link to infringement and an exception that blind groups say is 'nullified' by strict conditions."
The debate between creationists and proponents of evolution isn't ending any time soon, but now some creationists have a secret weapon, "Nessie!" Certain fundamentalist schools in Louisiana plan to teach children that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid to disprove Darwin's theory of evolution. From the article: "One ACE textbook – Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc – reads: 'Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the "Loch Ness Monster" in Scotland? "Nessie" for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.' Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur. It's unclear if the movie Godzilla was the inspiration for this lesson."
jdray writes "My wife and I own a mid-sized restaurant with a couple of Point of Sale (POS) terminals. The software, which runs on Windows and .NET, uses SQL Server on the back end. With an upgrade to the next major release of the software imminent, I'm considering upgrading the infrastructure it runs on to better ensure uptime (we're open seven days a week). We can't afford several thousand dollars' worth of server infrastructure (two cluster nodes and some shared storage, or some such), so I thought I'd ask Slashdot for some suggestions on enabling maximum uptime. I considered a single server node running VMWare with a limp-mode failover to a VMWare instance on a desktop, but I'm not sure how to set up a monitoring infrastructure to automate that, and manual failover isn't much of an option with non-tech staff. What suggestions do you have?"
An anonymous reader writes "Sandia Research Laboratory believes it has come up with a much more efficient solution than heatsink-fan cooling a CPU that simply combines the heatsink and fan components into a single unit. What you effectively get is a spinning heatsink. The new design is called the Sandia Cooler. It spins at just 2,000 RPM and sits a thousandth of an inch above the processor. Sandia claim this setup is extremely efficient at drawing heat away from the chip, in the order of 30x more efficient than your typical heatsink-fan setup. The Sandia Cooler works by using a hydrodynamic air bearing. What that means is when it spins up the cooler actually becomes self supporting and floats above the chip (hence the thousandth of an inch clearance). Cool air is drawn down the center of the cooler and then ejected at the edges of the fins taking the heat with it. And as the whole unit spins, you aren't going to get dust build up (ever)."
redletterdave writes "Apple quietly switched out a statement that claimed its Mac computers were completely immune to viruses with a less-forward statement: 'It's built to be safe.' The PR shift comes in the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan, which affected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in early April. From the article: 'Apple strives for perfection, but stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale. Jobs used his reality distortion field to "rally the troops," so to speak, but "Mountain Lion" will ensure Apple can tout its closed, highly-secure operating system for the foreseeable future in a much more realistic sense. Just because a product isn't impervious to sickness doesn't mean it isn't "insanely great."'"