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Technology changed product placement (and you didn't even notice)

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 20:45
As the music video starts, Avicii nonchalantly wanders into Stockholm's Tele2 Arena. He strolls past the venue's reception; a Grand Marnier poster gets some vital screen time. The bass drops. The crowd goes wild. For some reason, I feel like...

Microsoft, Ask.com, Oracle Latest To Be Sued Over No-Poach Deal

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 20:23
itwbennett (1594911) writes Oracle, Microsoft and Ask.com are facing suits alleging that they conspired to restrict hiring of staff. The suits appear to refer to a memo that names a large number of companies that allegedly had special arrangements with Google to prevent poaching of staff and was filed as an exhibit on May 17, 2013 in another class action suit over hiring practices. The former employees filing lawsuits against Microsoft, Ask.com and Oracle have asked that the cases be assigned to Judge Koh as there were similarities with the case against Google, Apple and others — and it maybe doesn't hurt that Judge Koh thought the $324.5 million settlement in that case was too low.

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Pivotal Living hopes you'll pay $12 a year to use its fitness tracker

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 20:19
Fitness trackers come a dime a dozen and worse, they all seem to do the same thing: monitor your step count, calorie burn and sleep quality. As it happens, the Life Tracker 1, the first device from a startup called Pivotal Living, does all these...

6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed In Ukraine

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 20:01
An anonymous reader writes A massive archaeological dig of an ancient Ukrainian village first begun in 2009 has yielded a discovery that I sort of hope ends up inspiring a video game: a massive, scary-sounding temple. From the article: "Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."Maybe this is what Putin has been after.

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Google partners with Jane Goodall to capture Tanzania's chimp heaven

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 19:49
Google has joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute to bring Street Views of Gombe National Park and its numerous chimpanzees. Using portable Trekkers, Google's intrepid photogs captured thousands of 360-degree images in the jungles where...

Jawbone's Drop lets you build music playlists using tweets

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 19:46
At Twitter's Flight mobile developer conference, Jawbone just announced a new app called Drop, which lets you and your friends create and manage playlists with tweets. Hosain Rahman, Jawbone's CEO, says that this would be very useful in party...

FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 19:42
janoc writes It seems that chipmaker FTDI has started an outright war on cloners of their popular USB bridge chips. At first the clones stopped working with the official drivers, and now they are being intentionally bricked, rendering the device useless. The problem? These chips are incredibly popular and used in many consumer products. Are you sure yours doesn't contain a counterfeit one before you plug it in? Hackaday says, "It’s very hard to tell the difference between the real and fake versions by looking at the package, but a look at the silicon reveals vast differences. The new driver for the FT232 exploits these differences, reprogramming it so it won’t work with existing drivers. It’s a bold strategy to cut down on silicon counterfeiters on the part of FTDI. A reasonable company would go after the manufacturers of fake chips, not the consumers who are most likely unaware they have a fake chip."

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Pandora lets artists know just how well their music is doing

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 19:22
Many musicians put their tunes on Pandora in the hopes that they'll build an audience, but how are they supposed to know it's working? That's what the streaming service's new Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) aims to solve. The initiative gives...

Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 19:00
Z80xxc! writes: The Gmail team announced "Inbox" this morning, a new way to manage email. Inbox is email, but organized differently. Messages are grouped into "bundles" of similar types. "Highlights" pull out and display key information from messages, and messages can be "snoozed" to come back later as a reminder. Inbox is invite-only right now, and you can email inbox@google.com to request an invite.

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Twitter trades passwords for phone numbers with Digits login

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 18:45
At its mobile developer conference in San Francisco, Twitter just announced Digits, a brand-new way to log in to apps with just your phone number. Instead of going through the tedious process of signing up with an email and password or using one of...

Astronomers Find Brightest Pulsar Ever Observed

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 18:17
An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the NuSTAR satellite have discovered a pulsar so bright that it challenges how scientists think pulsars work. While observing galaxy M82 in hopes of spotting supernovae, the researchers found an unexpected source of X-rays very close to the galaxy's core. It was near another source, thought to be a black hole. But the new one was pulsing, which black holes don't do. The trouble is that according to known pulsar models, it's about 100 times brighter than the calculated limits to its luminosity (abstract). Researchers used a different method to figure out its mass, and the gap shrank, but it's still too bright to fit their theories.

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Google's 'Inbox' is a smarter take on email, created by the Gmail team

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 18:06
If you're anything like us, Google's Gmail has an iron grip on your life. Google's looking to create a whole new iron grip with a new app from its Gmail team, and it's called "Inbox." What is it? That's a good question -- Google's made a demo slash...

The NSA can now use Samsung's Galaxy phones for classified work

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 18:01
Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets have just become the first consumer mobile devices approved by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to carry classified documents. The edict covers most of its newer Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S5, Galaxy...

New Sky+ app pushes pictures from your mobile devices to the big screen

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 17:40
For anyone with a Sky+HD box, the Sky+ app for Android and iOS gives you a handy way to manage recordings while away from home, and lets you use mobile devices as substitute remotes when you're plonked in front of the TV. Now, with an updated version...

Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 17:34
An anonymous reader writes: Over 4 million Raspberry Pis have been sold so far, and now founder Eben Upton has shown off a touchscreen display panel that's designed to work with it. It's a 7" panel, roughly tablet sized, but slightly thicker. "With the incoming touchscreen panel The Pi Foundation is clearly hoping to keep stoking the creative fires that have helped drive sales of the Pi by slotting another piece of DIY hardware into the mix." Upton also discussed the Model A+ Raspberry Pi board — an updated version they'll be announcing soon.

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Daimler sells its stake in Tesla as its EV partner grows up

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 17:33
They grow up so fast, don't they? It seems like just yesterday (well, 2009) that Daimler bought a stake in Tesla to give it a boost and secure a partner for electric car development, and the German automaker is now selling that stake a mere five...

Offended by the 'Hatred' trailer? You're a hypocrite (and that's a good thing)

Engadget - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 17:00
This week, a game about a genocidal maniac was announced. There's a video trailer for the game that depicts ultraviolent bedlam: a murder spree of innocent victims, many begging for their lives. So it's basically another week in video games, then?...

Shooting At Canadian Parliament

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 16:55
CBC reports that a man pulled up to the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, got out of his car, and shot a soldier with a rifle. The Memorial is right next to the Canadian Parliament buildings. A shooter (reportedly the same one, but unconfirmed) also approached Parliament and got inside before he was shot and killed. "Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, said ... the man hopped over the stone fence that surrounds Parliament Hill, with his gun forcing someone out of their car. He then drove to the front doors of Parliament and fired at least two shots, Walsh said." Canadian government officials were quickly evacuated from the building, while the search continues for further suspects. This comes a day after Canada raised its domestic terrorism threat level. Most details of the situation are still unconfirmed -- CBC has live video coverage here. They have confirmed that there was a second shooting at the Rideau Center, a shopping mall nearby.

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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 16:55
CBC reports that a man pulled up to the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, got out of his car, and shot a soldier with a rifle. The Memorial is right next to the Canadian Parliament buildings. A shooter (reportedly the same one, but unconfirmed) also approached Parliament and got inside before he was shot and killed. "Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, said ... the man hopped over the stone fence that surrounds Parliament Hill, with his gun forcing someone out of their car. He then drove to the front doors of Parliament and fired at least two shots, Walsh said." Canadian government officials were quickly evacuated from the building, while the search continues for further suspects. This comes a day after Canada raised its domestic terrorism threat level. Most details of the situation are still unconfirmed -- CBC has live video coverage here. They have confirmed that there was a second shooting at the Rideau Center, a shopping mall nearby.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

Slashdot - Wed, 22/10/2014 - 16:47
An anonymous reader writes: The Atlantic has a nice profile of SpaceX's rise to prominence — how a private startup managed to successfully compete with industry giants like Boeing in just a decade of existence. "Regardless of its inspirations, the company was forced to adopt a prosaic initial goal: Make a rocket at least 10 times cheaper than is possible today. Until it can do that, neither flowers nor people can go to Mars with any economy. With rocket technology, Musk has said, "you're really left with one key parameter against which technology improvements must be judged, and that's cost." SpaceX currently charges $61.2 million per launch. Its cost-per-kilogram of cargo to low-earth orbit, $4,653, is far less than the $14,000 to $39,000 offered by its chief American competitor, the United Launch Alliance. Other providers often charge $250 to $400 million per launch; NASA pays Russia $70 million per astronaut to hitch a ride on its three-person Soyuz spacecraft. SpaceX's costs are still nowhere near low enough to change the economics of space as Musk and his investors envision, but they have a plan to do so (of which more later)."

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