Technology

Google Says Buying Nest Bogged Down First-Quarter Earnings (Liz Gannes/Re/code)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:15pm

Liz Gannes / Re/code:
Google Says Buying Nest Bogged Down First-Quarter Earnings  —  It turns out buying a company for $3.2 billion can suck the wind out of even a $15.4-billion-in-revenue quarter.  The Nest acquisition took a toll on Google expenses, explained Google CFO Patrick Pichette on the company's first-quarter earnings call today.

Categories: Technology

How to Put a Mustang on Top of the Empire State Building

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:02pm
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, Ford recreated a publicity stunt it pulled in 1964 when it placed a Mustang convertible on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:02pm
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The 'kill switch,' a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015, according to a pledge backed by most of the mobile world's major players. Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry's largest trade group. All smartphones manufactured for sale in the United States after July 2015 must have the technology, according to the program from CTIA. Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen. Its proponents include law enforcement officials concerned about the rising problem of smartphone theft."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

New Volvos will get AT&T connectivity starting this summer (Kevin Fitchard/Gigaom)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:50pm

Kevin Fitchard / Gigaom:
New Volvos will get AT&T connectivity starting this summer  —  AT&T will put the connected in Volvo's connected cars here in the U.S. and Canada starting with model year 2015 vehicles being released this summer.  AT&T will provide the mobile internet link to Volvo's updated Sensus Connect infotainment system …

Categories: Technology

People Like Their Music Served Medium Funky

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:47pm
For all but the shyest of wallflowers, moving to music is a natural human response. But what is it about a catchy tune that makes us groove? Scientists think they've figured out at least part of the recipe: just the right mix of regular rhythms and unexpected beats.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:17pm
just_another_sean sends this followup to yesterday's discussion about the quality of open source code compared to proprietary code. Every year, Coverity scans large quantities of code and evaluates it for defects. They've just released their latest report, and the findings were good news for open source. From the article: "The report details the analysis of 750 million lines of open source software code through the Coverity Scan service and commercial usage of the Coverity Development Testing Platform, the largest sample size that the report has studied to date. A few key points: Open source code quality surpasses proprietary code quality in C/C++ projects. Linux continues to be a benchmark for open source quality. C/C++ developers fixed more high-impact defects. Analysis found that developers contributing to open source Java projects are not fixing as many high-impact defects as developers contributing to open source C/C++ projects."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 5:35pm
guises writes: "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet, though. There seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or newsletters, or newspapers) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing to?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Captain America Made Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Better, But Still Not Great

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:58pm
The crossover of the plot from Captain America: The Winter Soldier to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a shot in the arm for the TV series, but maybe not enough of one.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Steam's Most Popular Games

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:54pm
An anonymous reader writes "The folks at Ars Technica scraped a ton of gameplay data from Steam's player profiles to provide statistics on how many people own each game, and how often it's played. For example: 37% of the ~781 million games owned by Steam users have never been played. Dota 2 has been played by almost 26 million people for a total of 3.8 billion hours. Players of CoD: Modern Warfare 2 spend six times as long in multiplayer as in single-player. This sampling gives much more precise data than we usually have about game sales rates. 'If there's one big takeaway from looking at the entirety of our Steam sales and player data, it's that a few huge ultra-hits are driving the majority of Steam usage. The vast majority of titles form a "long tail" of relative crumbs. Out of about 2,750 titles we've tracked using our sampling method, the top 110 sellers represent about half of the individual games registered to Steam accounts. That's about four percent of the distinct titles, each of which has sold 1.38 million copies or more. This represents about 50 percent of the registered sales on the service. ... about half of the estimated 18.5 billion man-hours that have been spent across all Steam games have gone toward just the six most popular titles.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:12pm
sciencehabit writes: "Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Researchers have tried to reclaim some of it with semiconductor devices called thermoelectrics, which convert the heat into power. But they remain too inefficient and expensive to be useful beyond a handful of niche applications. Now, scientists in Illinois report that they have used a cheap, well-known material to create the most heat-hungry thermoelectric so far (abstract). In the process, the researchers say, they learned valuable lessons that could push the materials to the efficiencies needed for widespread applications. If that happens, thermoelectrics could one day power cars and scavenge energy from myriad engines, boilers, and electrical plants."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 3:30pm
msmoriarty writes: "According to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S.-based software developers, 56 percent expect to become millionaires in their lifetime. 66 percent also said they expect to get raises in the next year, despite the current state of the economy. Note that some of the other findings of the study (scroll to bulleted list) seem overly positive: 84 percent said they believe they are paid what they're worth, 95 percent report they feel they are 'one of the most valued employees at their organization,' and 80 percent said that 'outsourcing has been a positive factor in the quality of work at their organization.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:47pm
An anonymous reader writes "Here's another story of a tech gadget that arrived before its time. Nokia created a web-ready tablet running EPOC (later to be renamed as Symbian) thirteen years ago. The tablet was set to go into full production, and they actually built a thousand units just before it was canceled. The tablet was scrubbed because market research showed there wasn't demand for the device. The team got devices for themselves and the rest were destroyed. The team was then fired. The lesson: Don't try to be pioneer if you're relying on market research studies."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Wolverine Assembles the X-Men in Final Days of Future Past Trailer

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:35pm
The final trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past is here and it's packed with more mutants than it knows what to do with. (In a good way.)






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Neuroscientists Conduct the Most Frustrating Brain Scanning Study Ever

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:19pm
Neuroscientists devised an experiment specifically meant to induce frustration in participants, in order to scan their brains and understand frustration. But the final conclusions of the study are very frustrating themselves. In other words: HULK FRUSTRATED BY FRUSTRATING BRAIN SCAN STUDY.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:05pm
SpankiMonki sends this news from The Guardian: "Children are arriving at nursery school able to 'swipe a screen' but lack the manipulative skills to play with building blocks, teachers have warned. They fear that children are being given tablets to use 'as a replacement for contact time with the parent' and say such habits are hindering progress at school. Addressing the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Is Captain America’s Shield a Capacitor?

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:48pm
Captain America's shield is made of a strange substance called vibranium, which has the ability to absorb energy into its molecular bonds. As physicist Rhett Allain explains, this essentially turns the shield into a gigantic star-spangled supercapacitor.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Snowden’s Email Provider Loses Appeal Over Encryption Keys

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:32pm
A federal appeals court has upheld a contempt citation against the founder of the defunct secure e-mail company Lavabit, finding that the weighty internet privacy issues he raised on appeal should have been brought up earlier in the legal process. The decision disposes of a closely watched privacy case on a technicality, without ruling one way or the other on the substantial issue: whether an internet company can be compelled to turn over the master encryption keys for its entire system to facilitate court-approved surveillance on a single user.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:23pm
jfruh (300774) writes "The Wintel cartel appears to be well and truly dead, as Intel chases after ARM with grim determination into the rapidly growing world of Android tablets. 'Our mix of OSes reflects pretty much what you see in the marketplace,' the company's CEO said, a nice way of saying they see more potential growth from white-box Chinese tablet makers than from Microsoft Surface. Intel managed to ship 5 million tablet chips in the first quarter of the year, although plunging PC sales meant that company profit overall was still down."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Magical High-Tech Lights Reveal Their Crazy Side Only on Video

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:17pm
"Rate" is a clever lighting concept that's invisible--but only some of the time.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

Slashdot - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:38pm
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Iapetus, Saturn's third largest moon, was first photographed by the Cassini spacecraft on 31 December 2004. The images created something of a stir. Clearly visible was a narrow, steep ridge of mountains that stretch almost halfway around the moon's equator. The question that has since puzzled astronomers is how this mountain range got there. Now evidence is mounting that this mountain range is not the result of tectonic or volcanic activity, like mountain ranges on other planets. Instead, astronomers are increasingly convinced that this mountain range fell from space. The latest evidence is a study of the shape of the mountains using 3-D images generated from Cassini data. They show that the angle of the mountainsides is close to the angle of repose, that's the greatest angle that a granular material can form before it landslides. That's not proof but it certainly consistent with this exotic formation theory. So how might this have happened? Astronomers think that early in its life, Iapetus must have been hit by another moon, sending huge volumes of ejecta into orbit. Some of this condensed into a new moon that escaped into space. However, the rest formed an unstable ring that gradually spiraled in towards the moon, eventually depositing the material in a narrow ridge around the equator. Cassini's next encounter with Iapetus will be in 2015 which should give astronomers another chance to study the strangest mountain range in the Solar System."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Open Source, Technology