Open Source

Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 11:01am
hypnosec writes with news that India's Central Bureau of Investigation has ordered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Google for violating Indian laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations in the country. As per the PE, registered on the basis of a complaint made by the Surveyor General of India's office to the Union Home Ministry, Google has been accused of organizing a mapping competition dubbed 'Mapathon' in February-March 2013 without taking prior permission from Survey of India, country's official mapping agency. The mapping competition required citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants. The Survey of India (SoI), alarmed by the event, asked the company to share its event details. While going through the details the watchdog found that there were several coordinates having details of sensitive defence installations which are out of the public domain."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:23am
puddingebola (2036796) writes "A team at Stanford has created a stable Lithium anode battery using a carbon honeycomb film. The film is described as a nanosphere layer that allows for the expansion of Lithium during use, and is suitable as a barrier between anode and cathode. Use of a lithium anode improves the coulombic efficiency and could result in longer range batteries for cars." The linked article suggests that the 200-mile-range, $25,000 electric car is a more realistic concept with batteries made with this technology, though some people are more interested in super-capacity phone batteries.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:54am
New submitter melarky (3767369) writes This is a fun weekend project that most nerds will appreciate. Step by step instructions and also a handy video will make the construction of this project fast and easy. I have seen lots of plans for sale (or actual guns/kits for sale), but couldn't seem to find any plans for free. I played around with a few different designs (even cut my first few on a homemade CNC machine) and finally landed on this design. I made the guide more accessible to the general public (no need for a CNC machine here), so if you've ever dreamed of ending friendships because of hundreds of rubber band welts, now's your chance! We'd like to see your home-made projects, too.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 9:27am
stephendavion (2872091) writes "Chinese aircraft manufacturer China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has started trial production of its TA600 amphibious aircraft, claimed to be the world's largest of its kind. With an expected maiden flight late next year, the Chinese plane would replace Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft as the largest of its kind globally." Take a look at a side profile illustration of the CA-600, on this Korean language page. The TA600 has a huge maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, but looks a bit puny compared to Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Oculus Rift DK2: In-Depth Review (and Comparison To DK1)

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 8:48am
Benz145 (1869518) writes "The hotly anticipated Oculus Rift DK2 has begun arriving at doorsteps. The DK2s enhancements include optical positional tracking and a higher resolution panel, up from 1280×800 to 1920×1080 (1080p) and moved to a pentile-matrix OLED panel for display duties. This means higher levels of resolvable detail and a much reduced screen door effect. The panel features low persistence of vision, a technology pioneered by Valve that aims to cut motion artefacts by only displaying the latest, most correct display information relative to the user's movements – as users of the DK1 will attest, its LCD panel was heavily prone to smearing, things are now much improved with the DK2."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 8:06am
The recent death by overdose of Google executive Timothy Hayes has drawn attention to the phenomenon of illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers) among technology workers and executives in high-pay, high-stress Silicon Valley. The Mercury News takes a look at the phenomenon; do the descriptions of freely passed cocaine, Red Bull as a gateway drug, and complacent managers match your own workplace experiences? From the Mercury News article: "There's this workaholism in the valley, where the ability to work on crash projects at tremendous rates of speed is almost a badge of honor," says Steve Albrecht, a San Diego consultant who teaches substance abuse awareness for Bay Area employers. "These workers stay up for days and days, and many of them gradually get into meth and coke to keep going. Red Bull and coffee only gets them so far." ... Drug abuse in the tech industry is growing against the backdrop of a national surge in heroin and prescription pain-pill abuse. Treatment specialists say the over-prescribing of painkillers, like the opioid hydrocodone, has spawned a new crop of addicts -- working professionals with college degrees, a description that fits many of the thousands of workers in corporate Silicon Valley. Increasingly, experts see painkillers as the gateway drug for addicts, and they are in abundance. "There are 1.4 million prescriptions ... in the Bay Area for hydrocodone," says Alice Gleghorn with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "That's a lot of pills out there."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Bizarre Three-Wheeled Roadster Combines Tech, Power, and Insanity

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
At a time when our cars are starting to drive themselves and manual transmissions are going extinct, it can be tough to find an unbridled driving experience that leaves you shrieking with fear and delight. One way to get that? Drop one wheel, attach what’s left to a powerful motor, certify it as a motorcycle, and have at it. That's what Polaris has done with its latest creation, the Slingshot.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

New Head of Prestigious Physics Institute Describes Her Hunt for Dark Matter

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
Katherine Freese, a physicist who will soon lead the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, reflects on the hunt for dark matter and how dark matter heating may have produced the first stars.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Ultra-Foldable Commuter Bike Is Also Ultra-Spendy

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
Dahon's $5,000 folding bike, the Mu Rohloff, is designed to be tougher than other everyday commuters. It can also fold and unfold quicker.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Most Intriguing Actors, Writers, and Directors at Comic-Con This Year

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
Everyone and their mother (and the Terminator's mother) came by the Wired Cafe at Comic-Con this year. Here's what they told us.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

$7 Portal Mod Has Fans Riled Up

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
Game mods are traditionally free, but the fan-made Portal 2 mod Aperture Tag comes with a $7 price tag.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Stunningly Lifelike Birds Made Entirely From Paper

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
These paper birds are tremendous.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Out in the Open: Sandstorm Makes It Easy to Control Your Apps in the Cloud

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
Web apps are convenient, but you don’t have any control over them. You never know if your favorite tool will evaporate when the company goes out of business or, as was the case of Google Reader, simply discontinued. Of course you can try running your own server loaded up with open source applications, but that’s […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Iconic WWI Vehicle That Paved the Way for Modern Cars

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
World War I was shaped by new vehicles—planes, cars, tanks, zeppelins—that fundamentally changed warfare. The conflict also pushed the development of those technologies and put them through some of the toughest tests imaginable, either proving their worth or forcing their proponents to abandon them for another new idea. One hundred years after the start of […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Is What Tech’s Ugly Gender Problem Really Looks Like

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
Four women tell their sordid tales of what it's really like to fundraise while female.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Doesn’t Play Nice

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:48am
"Entry level" and "gaming machine" aren't phrases that normally go together, and "Lenovo" isn't typically a manufacturer that goes with either of them.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

When Robots Come for Our Jobs, Will We Be Ready to Outsmart Them?

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:32am
To survive in this new environment, we human beings must foster high-level cognitive or emotional skills, and find jobs that require them.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

In Photos: The Most Ridiculous Laws in America

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:32am
We trust our lawmakers to pass legislation that will keep us safe and serve the greater public good. In every state's books, though, there are laws outlandish and weird enough to make you question those lawmakers' sanity. Try as you might, it's hard to imagine why anyone would take the time to make it illegal to have an ice cream cone in your pocket.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

A Slick New Bike With Buzzing Handlebars That Give You Directions

Wired - Top Stories - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 6:32am
Its guts—the wires, shifters, brake cables—are housed in a 3-D printed titanium frame.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

Slashdot - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 5:51am
Forbes has an update on what sort of future Nokia faces, as Microsoft reveals a strategy for making sense of the acquisition: [Microsoft EVP of devices Stephen] Elop laid out a framework for cost cuts in a memo to employees on July 17. Devices would focus on high and low cost Windows smartphones, suggesting a phasing out of feature phones and Android smartphones. Two business units, smart devices and mobile phones, would become one, thereby cutting overlap and overhead. Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland. It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary; shift to lower cost areas like Manaus, Brazil and Reynosa, Mexico; and reduce manufacturing in Beijing and Dongguan, China. Also, CEO Satya Nadella gave hints about how Microsoft will make money on Nokia during Tuesday' conference call. Devices, he said, "go beyond" hardware and are about productivity. "I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion. There is a lot we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity." In other words, the sale of a smartphone is a means to other sales.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology