Science & Tech News

Kingston HyperX Predator SSD Takes Gumstick M.2 PCIe Drives To 1.4GB/sec

Slashdot Updates - 4 hours 56 min ago
MojoKid writes Kingston recently launched their HyperX Predator PCIe SSD that is targeted at performance-minded PC enthusiasts but is much less expensive than enterprise-class PCIe offerings that are currently in market. Kits are available in a couple of capacities and from factors at 240GB and 480GB. All of the drives adhere to the 80mm M.2 2280 "gumstick" form factor and have PCIe 2.0 x4 connections, but are sold both with and without a half-height, half-length adapter card if you'd like to drop it into a standard PCI Express slot. At the heart of the Kingston HyperX Predator is Marvel's latest Marvell 88SS9293 controller. The Marvell 88SS9293 is paired to a gigabyte of DDR3 memory and Toshiba A19 Toggle NAND. The drives are rated for read speeds up to 1.4GB/s and writes of 1GB/s and 130 – 160K random 4K IOPS. In the benchmarks, the 480GB model put up strong numbers. At roughly $1 per GiB, the HyperX Predator is about on par with Intel's faster SSD 750 but unlike Intel's new NVMe solution, the Kingston drive will work in all legacy platforms as well, not just Z97 and X99 boards with a compatible UEFI BIOS.

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Hacked Sony Emails Reveal That Sony Had Pirated Books About Hacking

Slashdot Updates - 5 hours 50 min ago
An anonymous reader writes Sony has done a lot of aggressive anti-piracy work in their time, which makes it that much funnier that pirated ebooks were found on their servers from the 2014 hacks that just went on to WikiLeaks. Better yet, the pirated books are educational books about hacking called "Inside Cyber Warfare" and "Hacking the Next Generation" from O'Reilly publishers.

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Twitter Moves Non-US Accounts To Ireland, and Away From the NSA

Slashdot Updates - 6 hours 47 min ago
Mark Wilson writes Twitter has updated its privacy policy, creating a two-lane service that treats U.S. and non-U.S. users differently. If you live in the U.S., your account is controlled by San Francisco-based Twitter Inc, but if you're elsewhere in the world (anywhere else) it's handled by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland. The changes also affect Periscope. What's the significance of this? Twitter Inc is governed by U.S. law; it is obliged to comply with NSA-driven court requests for data. Data stored in Ireland is not subject to the same obligation. Twitter is not alone in using Dublin as a base for non-U.S. operations; Facebook is another company that has adopted the same tactic. The move could also have implications for how advertising is handled in the future.

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Google Ready To Unleash Thousands of Balloons In Project Loon

Slashdot Updates - 8 hours 29 sec ago
jfruh writes Google has figured out how to produce an Internet-broadcast balloon in a few hours, and is on the verge of unleashing Project Loon onto the world. The project, which will work with ISPs to beam LTE cellular signals to remote regions that don't have Internet access, will be working with local ISPs rather than selling broadband directly to customers.

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Does music strike a chord with everyone?

New Scientist - Breaking news - 8 hours 18 min ago
Stephen McAdams played movie tunes to Mbenzélé pygmies in the Congo rainforest to find out whether music is a universal language







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The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

Slashdot Updates - 10 hours 47 min ago
StartsWithABang writes Before there were planets, galaxies, or even stars in the Universe, there really was light. We see that light, left over today, in the form of the Cosmic Microwave Background, or the remnant glow from the Big Bang. But these photons outnumber the matter in our Universe by more than a-billion-to-one, and are the most numerous thing around. So where did they first come from? Science has the answer.

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Google Adds Handwriting Input To Android

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 9:38pm
BarbaraHudson writes: The Reg is reporting on the release of Google Handwriting Input for Android smartphones and tablets: "The Chocolate Factory's research arm says handwriting recognition is needed because touchscreen keyboards remain modestly effective and while 'Voice input is an option, but there are situations where it is not feasible, such as in a noisy environment or during a meeting." The Google Research Blog notes that it allows recognition both on-device and in the cloud (by tapping on the cloud icon) in any Android app. It works as advertised on my smartphone, so now I can type, speak, or scribble my searches, texts, etc.

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Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 6:42pm
schwit1 writes A giant welding machine, built for NASA's multi-billion dollar Space Launch System (SLS), has to be taken apart and rebuilt because the contractor failed to reinforce the floor, as required, prior to construction: "Sweden's ESAB Welding & Cutting, which has its North American headquarters in Florence, South Carolina, built the the roughly 50-meter tall Vertical Assembly Center as a subcontractor to SLS contractor Boeing at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. ESAB was supposed to reinforce Michoud's floor before installing the welding tool, but did not, NASA SLS Program Manager Todd May told SpaceNews after an April 15 panel session during the 31st Space Symposium here. As a result, the enormous machine leaned ever so slightly, cocking the rails that guide massive rings used to lift parts of the 8.4-meter-diameter SLS stages The rings wound up 0.06 degrees out of alignment, which may not sound like much, "but when you're talking about something that's 217 feet [66.14 meters] tall, that adds up," May said. Asked why ESAB did not reinforce the foundation as it was supposed to, May said only it was a result of "a miscommunication between two [Boeing] subcontractors and ESAB." It is baffling how everyone at NASA, Boeing, and ESAB could have forgotten to do the reinforcing, even though it was specified in the contract. It also suggests that the quality control in the SLS rocket program has some serious problems.

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Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 3:45pm
circletimessquare writes Dr. Mehmet Oz serves as vice chairman of Columbia University Medical Center's department of surgery. He is a respected cardiothoracic surgeon but his television show has been accused of pushing snake oil. Now other doctors at Columbia University want Dr. Oz kicked off the medical school faculty. Dr. Oz has responded on his Facebook account: "I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves. We provide multiple points of view, including mine which is offered without conflict of interest. That doesn't sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts. For example, I do not claim that GMO foods are dangerous, but believe that they should be labeled like they are in most countries around the world." In their letter, the doctors accuse Dr. Oz of quackery: "Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops. Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain."

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Drought and Desertification: How Robots Might Help

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 3:44pm
Hallie Siegel writes Groundwater levels in California's Central Valley are down to historic lows and reservoirs have been depleted following four consecutive years of severe drought in the state. California is set to introduce water rationing in the coming weeks, and though the new rationing rules will focus on urban areas and not farms for the time being, they serve as a warning bell to farmers who will inevitably need to adapt to the effects of climate change on food production. John Payne argues that long term solutions are needed to help make agriculture drought resistant and looks at some of the ways that robotics might help.

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Recon Instruments' Sports-Oriented Smart Glasses Now Shipping

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 2:59pm
First time accepted submitter krouic writes Earlier this week Recon Instruments started shipping their long-awaited Recon Jet heads up display for sports, to real-life actual consumers.Jet's core features are designed for the cyclist and runner, and allow automatic upload of stats to activity tracking services. They feature an on-board GPS generating real-time performance metrics, an on-board high definition camera for short videos and photos, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+ for connectivity to 3rd party sensors for heart rate, cadence and power data and smartphone connectivity for caller ID, text messages and music player access and control. Initial review by DCRainmaker.

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John Gruber On Third-party Apple Watch Apps: They Suck and Are Really Slow

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 2:13pm
An anonymous reader writes During this week's episode of John Gruber's podcast, The Talk Show, Gruber sat down with Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal to talk all things Apple Watch. About two hours and 9 minutes into the podcast, both Gruber and Stern began lamenting the poor performance they saw with third-party Apple Watch apps. 'It makes me question whether there should be third party apps for it at all yet,' Gruber noted. The pair also took umbrage with what they perceived to be a poor design choice for the Apple Watch app screen, with both noting that the app icons were far too small to be practical.

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John Hawley Talks About UAV Controls (Video)

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 1:13pm
John 'Warthog9' Hawley was the boss sysadmin on kernel.org before he jumped to Intel in April, 2014, as an open hardware technical evangelist. He last showed up on Slashdot in June, 2014, with his Dr. Who-inspired Robot K-9. Now he's talking about flight computers for quadcopters, specifically ones based on MinnowBoards. Last month (April 2015) he was speaking at the Embedded Linux Conference + Android Builders Summit. That's where he and Timothy Lord had this conversation about flight controllers for UAVs, which makes it a fitting sequel to yesterday's video, which was also about controlling drones with real-time Linux.

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Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:24pm
mpicpp writes The Florida mail carrier accused of landing a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was charged in federal court Thursday and has been barred from returning to the District of Columbia or flying any aircraft, officials said. Douglas Hughes, 61, was charged with violating aircraft registration requirements, a felony, and violating national defense airspace, a misdemeanor. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison for the felony and one year in prison for the airspace violation. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson also barred Hughes from the District of Columbia, except for court appearances, and said he must stay away from the Capitol, White House and nearby areas while he is there. He will also have to hand over his passport.

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Culture clash: When scientists must tread with care

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:00pm
Science loses when traditional beliefs obstruct its way – but might lose more if it steamrollers over believers' objections, too







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MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:42am
Jason Koebler writes MakerBot fired roughly 20 percent of its staff Friday. Figures from 2014 placed the company's ranks at 500, meaning the cuts could equate to roughly 100 employees. The orders came from new CEO Jonathan Jaglom, Motherboard was told. Employees are apparently being led out of the company's Brooklyn office by security today. "It's about 20 percent of staff," a MakerBot representative, who asked not to be identified because she had not received approval to speak to the press, told Motherboard. "Everyone suspected that something would be coming with the new CEO, and that there would be restructuring coming."

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Exploit For Crashing Minecraft Servers Made Public

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:02am
An anonymous reader writes "After nearly two years of waiting for Mojang to fix a security vulnerability that can be used to crash Minecraft servers, programmer Ammar Askar has released a proof of concept exploit for the flaw in the hopes that this will force them to do something about it. "Mojang is no longer a small indie company making a little indie game, their software is used by thousands of servers, hundreds of thousands people play on servers running their software at any given time. They have a responsibility to fix and properly work out problems like this," he noted." Here is Askar's own post on the exploit, and his frustration with the response he's gotten to disclosing it to the developers.

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Microsoft Open Technologies Is Closing: Good Or Bad News For Open Source?

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:23am
BrianFagioli writes When Microsoft Open Technologies was founded as a subsidiary of Microsoft — under Steve Ballmer's reign — many in the open source community hailed it as a major win, and it was. Today, however, the subsidiary is shutting down and being folded into Microsoft. While some will view this as a loss for open source, I disagree; Microsoft has evolved so much under Satya Nadella, that a separate subsidiary is simply no longer needed. Microsoft could easily be the world's biggest vendor of open source software, which is probably one reason some people don't like the term.

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Proto quantum computer inspired by Victorians gets a speed boost

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:00am
A new approach has sped up a quantum device that exploits collisions between particles, signalling that the method may have yet more mileage in it







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Is super-diverse Amazon microbiome something to strive for?

New Scientist - Breaking news - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:00am
The Yanomami people in the Venezuelan rainforest have the most diverse population of gut microbes ever seen, far more varied than Western guts. Does it matter?







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