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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Slashdot - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 22:26
An anonymous reader writes AT&T and Verizon have asked the FCC not to change the definition of broadband from 4Mbps to 10Mbps, contending that "10Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions." From the article: "Individual cable companies did not submit comments to the FCC, but their representative, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), agrees with AT&T and Verizon. 'The Commission should not change the baseline broadband speed threshold from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream because a 4/1 Mbps connection is still sufficient to perform the primary functions identified in section 706 [of the Telecommunications Act]—high-quality voice, video, and data,' the NCTA wrote."

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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Slashdot - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 21:42
snydeq writes Desktop workloads and server workloads have different needs, and it's high time Linux consider a split to more adequately address them, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. You can take a Linux installation of nearly any distribution and turn it into a server, then back into a workstation by installing and uninstalling various packages. The OS core remains the same, and the stability and performance will be roughly the same, assuming you tune they system along the way. Those two workloads are very different, however, and as computing power continues to increase, the workloads are diverging even more. Maybe it's time Linux is split in two. I suggested this possibility last week when discussing systemd (or that FreeBSD could see higher server adoption), but it's more than systemd coming into play here. It's from the bootloader all the way up. The more we see Linux distributions trying to offer chimera-like operating systems that can be a server or a desktop at a whim, the more we tend to see the dilution of both. You can run stock Debian Jessie on your laptop or on a 64-way server. Does it not make sense to concentrate all efforts on one or the other?"

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PayPal and Coinbase are partnering to enable Bitcoin payments

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 20:19
Remember that One Touch mobile payment solution PayPal announced last month? It's ready -- Braintree CEO Bill Ready announced at Disrupt that customers with the PayPal app will have access to mobile payments starting today. The mobile payment...

The Higgs boson could destroy the universe in the wrong conditions

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 19:53
That Higgs boson that everyone was so eager to find last year? As it turns out, it could be the end of everything -- in the wrong circumstances, anyway. In his upcoming book Starmus, Stephen Hawking notes that the once-elusive particle could become...

NASA panel says Curiosity needs to drive less and drill more

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 19:21
NASA is not getting its money's worth of Curiosity, according to a review panel looking at seven planetary missions. The senior scientists criticized the nuclear-powered Mars rover, saying it needed to take more than the eight drill samples scheduled...

Uber CEO claims his company creates 50,000 new jobs every month

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 18:52
How fast is Uber growing? Pretty darn fast -- CEO Travis Kalanick claims the company adds tens of thousands of new drivers every month. "There are hundreds of thousands of partners connected to our system," he said at TechCrunch Disrupt this morning....

Amazon's Fire phone drops to 99 cents on contract

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 18:28
We had a few problems with Amazon's Fire phone, but one of the biggest was its steep asking price; $200 on contract (or $650 off) is a lot to pay for mid-range hardware with perspective effects thrown in. That won't be a problem after today. The...

Apple's iPhone and wearable event is tomorrow -- get your liveblog here!

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 18:00
Last year was a banner year for iPhone and iOS, in that Apple broke from its traditional mold: It unveiled not one but two new iPhone models, running a revamped version of its mobile operating system. It was a significant change from the norm, but...

'Destiny' launches tomorrow -- watch us play it live today! (update)

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 17:45
The folks who created Halo have a new game, Destiny, and it launches tomorrow on both last-gen and current Xbox and PlayStation consoles. While that prospect might be enough for some folks, there are no doubt many more of you unsure if Destiny is...

Amazon's new Drone Store caters to all your robotic needs

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 17:23
Amazon is apparently an even bigger fan of robotic vehicles than we first thought. The online retailer has just launched the Drone Store, a section dedicated solely to these remote-controlled machines. Besides selling you vehicles and accessories...

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Selfie Brush

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 17:01
Imagine waking up one day, wondering what you'd have done with your life if you hadn't listened to your parents and gone into the family hairbrush business. "Everyone needs hairbrushes," they said, waggling a warning finger at your infant face, "it's...

The Five Nigerian Gangs Behind Most Craigslist Buyer Scams

Slashdot - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 16:43
itwbennett writes Five Nigerian criminal gangs are behind most scams targeting sellers on Craigslist, and they've taken new measures to make their swindles appear legitimate, according to a study by George Mason University researchers Damon McCoy and Jackie Jones. In a new innovation, they're using professional check-writing equipment plus U.S.-based accomplices to not raise suspicions among their victims. McCoy and Jones will present their paper on Sept. 24 at the IEEE eCrime Research Summit in Birmingham, Alabama.

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What you need to know about dashboard-mounted car cameras

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 16:30
We've all had it happen while out walking, cycling or driving. Somebody does something foolish and it results in an accident or a near miss, a giant meteor comes streaking through the sky or we catch a rare glimpse of a hoverbike-riding robot....

How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Slashdot - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 16:00
nerdyalien writes From the article: "Fiction author Michael Crichton probably started the backlash against the idea of consensus in science. Crichton was rather notable for doubting the conclusions of climate scientists—he wrote an entire book in which they were the villains—so it's fair to say he wasn't thrilled when the field reached a consensus. Still, it's worth looking at what he said, if only because it's so painfully misguided: 'Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results.'" As a STEM major, I am somewhat biased toward "strong" evidence side of the argument. However, the more I read literature from other, somewhat-related fields (i.e. psychology, economics and climate science), the more I felt they have little opportunity to repeat experiments, similar to counterparts in traditional hard science fields. Their accepted theories are based on limited historical occurrences and consensus among the scholars. Given the situation, it's important to understand what "consensus" really means.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon's Fire phone coming to the UK as an O2 exclusive

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 16:00
Amazon's usually quick to stock its national sites with any new homegrown hardware, but we were reminded just how long Fire TV has been out in the States last week when the company announced its European launch. Today, we've learnt Amazon's other...

HP's Chromebook-like 'Stream' laptop is real, but not as cheap as we thought

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 16:00
When we first saw leaks for the HP Stream, a $199 laptop primarily meant to be used online, like a Chromebook, we were pretty excited -- here was something as affordable as a Chrome OS device, but running full Windows. It turns out, however, that...

Fujifilm's got a pair of retro cameras in the works for next week

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 15:34
Less than a week after the tech industry swallows up Berlin, the photography industry does the same thing to Cologne. Photokina kicks off in just under six days, and already Fujifilm's big surprise for the show has been ruined by those tricksy...

Trading 'presence' for untethered virtual reality: Gear VR versus Oculus Rift

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 15:00
Standing up and moving around with a virtual reality headset is risky. What if you walk into a table? Or step on your dog? Or bash your face into the wall? Standing up and moving around while wearing Samsung and Oculus VR's Gear VR headset isn't...

Twitter's 'Buy' button is finally ready for public testing

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 14:52
It's no secret that Twitter's been working on a way for you buy junk straight from tweets, and the company is finally ready to talk about it in public. You see, in the days and weeks to come, you might see "Buy" buttons embedded in tweets from Home...

ASUS' latest low-cost Windows tablet ditches the pen

Engadget - Mon, 08/09/2014 - 14:08
If you've wanted an affordable 8-inch Windows tablet from ASUS, your only recent option has been the VivoTab Note 8. While that's no doubt a fine machine, you might not want to pay extra for pen input if you don't need it. Thankfully, you don't have...