chill writes "Mobile company Jolla, which is continuing development of Linux-based mobile OS Meego, signed its first sales deal today, with D.Phone, China's largest smartphone retail chain. Jolla has not released details about its first product, which is expected to be revealed later this year. The company has not yet received access to any Nokia patents."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
An anonymous reader writes "A bug has been discovered in Skype that sends users' private instant messages to other contacts whom the messages were never intended for. Skype has confirmed the issue and is working on a fix. 'We are aware that in rare circumstances IM's between two contacts could be sent to an unintended third contact,' a Skype spokesperson told Engadget. 'We are rolling out a fix for this issue in the next few days and will notify our users to download an updated version of Skype.'"
cylonlover writes "Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) have achieved a laser shot which boggles the mind: 192 beams delivered an excess of 500 trillion-watts (TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to a target of just two millimeters in diameter. To put those numbers into perspective, 500 TW is more than one thousand times the power that the entire United States uses at any instant in time."
theodp writes "In April, the Chicago Tribune touted its investment in and use of news outsourcer Journatic. 'We're excited to partner with Journatic, both as an investor and as a customer,' said Dan Kazan, the Trib's Sr. VP of Investments. 'Journatic will expand Tribune's ability to deliver relevant hyperlocal content to our readers, and we believe that many other publishers and advertisers will benefit from its services as well.' That was then. In a Friday-the-13th letter to readers, the Tribune announced a plagiarized and fabricated story has prompted the paper to suspend its relationship with Journatic. The move comes two weeks after Journatic's standards and practices were called into question by This American Life, which noted several Journatic-produced stories had appeared this year on TribLocal online with false bylines. Explaining why he went public about his experience at Journatic, reporter Ryan Smith said he felt 'people should know how their local newspapers are being hollowed out.'"
First time accepted submitter Flere Imsaho writes "During the NetHui Internet conference last week, the NZ judge to hear the Dotcom extradition case was speaking on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and how the U.S. entertainment industry is pushing to make region code hacking illegal, when he said 'Under TPP and the American Digital Millennium copyright provisions you will not be able to do that, that will be prohibited ... if you do you will be a criminal — that's what will happen. Even before the 2008 amendments it wasn't criminalized. There are all sorts of ways this whole thing is being ramped up and if I could use Russell [Brown's] tweet from earlier on: we have met the enemy and he is [the] U.S.'"
Alex Rivest has created one of the most visually riveting videos we've seen. Alex says, "In looking at the pictures taken from the International Space Station of the earth at night, I find my attention drawn to that thin line separating earth from space: Our atmosphere." He also says, "A good photograph is one that sparks a question." Since this video runs at 30 (really 29.97) frames per second, and it's about 290 seconds long, that's close to 8700 questions. Luckily, Alex has written a blog post that answers most of them. This doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy his work for its sheer beauty. Or that you shouldn't wish Alex well in his attempt to get into NASA's 2013 Astronaut Candidate Class. A fine art photographer who also has a PhD in Neuroscience from MIT... what better qualifications could there possibly be for astronauthood?
flatt writes "Ending a sixteen year partnership between the now Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Microsoft, the MSNBC.com website has been immediately renamed to NBCNews.com. Both parties note that the integration between both parties is deep and will require 2 years to complete the decoupling. For the immediate future, NBC will continue to provide news content for MSN.com and Microsoft will continue to be the advertising provider for the site. Content control, brand confusion, and partisan content are cited as reasons behind the breakup. Microsoft sold its 50% share in the MSNBC TV rights to NBC back in 2005."
hypnosec writes "A specially designed smartphone for the visually impaired or partially sighted has been launched in the UK. The device, dubbed Georgie, has many special features including a voice-assisted touch screen and apps that will allow for easy completion of day-to-day tasks like catching a bus, reading printed text and pinpointing a location. Designed by a blind couple, Roger and Margaret Wilson-Hinds, and named after Mrs Wilson-Hind's guide dog, the smartphone is powered by the Android operating system and uses handsets like Samsung XCover and Galaxy Ace 2, notes the BBC. The main reason for developing such a phone, according to the couple, was that they wanted to get the technology across to people with very little or no sight. 'It's exactly the type of digital experience we want to make easily available to people with little or no sight,' said Roger."
Hugh Pickens writes "According to Alan D. Mutter, after a 50% drop in newspaper advertising since 2005, the old ways of running a newspaper can no longer succeed, so most publishers are faced with choosing the best possible strategy going-forward for their mature but declining businesses: farm it, feed it, or milk it. Warren Buffett is farming it, and recently bucked the widespread pessimism about the future of newspapers by buying 63 titles from Media General. He is concentrating on small and medium papers in defensible markets, while steering clear of metro markets, where costs are high and competition is fierce. 'I do not have any secret sauce,' says Buffett. 'There are still 1,400 daily papers in the United States. The nice thing about it is that somebody can think about the best answer and we can copy him. Two or three years from now, you'll see a much better-defined pattern of operations online and in print by papers.' Advance Publications is milking it by cutting staff and reducing print publication to three days a week at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, thus making the Crescent City the largest American metropolis to be deprived of a daily dose of wood fiber in its news diet. Once dismantled, the local reporting infrastructure in communities like New Orleans will almost certainly never be rebuilt. 'By cutting staff to a bare minimum and printing only on the days it is profitable to do so, publishers can milk considerable sums from their franchises until the day these once-indomitable cash cows go dry.' Rupert Murdoch is feeding it as he spins his newspapers out of News Corp. and into a separate company empowered to innovate the traditional publishing businesses into the future. In various interviews after announcing the planned spinoff, Murdoch promised to launch the new company with no debt and ample cash to aggressively pursue digital publishing opportunities across a variety of platforms. 'If the spinoff materializes in anywhere near the way Murdoch is spinning it, however, it could turn out to be a model for iterating the way forward for newspapers.'"
First time accepted submitter cjsm writes "James and Janet Baker were the inventors of Dragon Systems' speech recognition software, and after years of work, they created a multimillion dollar company. At the height of the tech boom, with investment offers rolling in, they turned to Goldman Sachs for financial advice. For a five million dollar fee, Goldman hooked them up with Lernout & Hauspie, the Belgium speech recognition company. After consultations with Goldman Sachs, the Bakers traded their company for $580 million in Lernout & Hauspie stock. But it turned out Lernout & Hauspie was involved in cooking their books and went bankrupt. Dragon was sold in a bankruptcy auction to Scansoft, and the Bakers lost everything. Goldman and Sachs itself had decided against investing in Lernout & Hauspie two years previous to this because they were lying about their Asian sales. The Bakers are suing for one billion dollars."
First time accepted submitter transporter_ii writes "A compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant was first built in Germany in 1978, but East Texas will be the site of one of the world's first modern CAES plants. How does it work? A CAES power generation facility uses electric motor-driven compressors (generated by natural gas generators) to inject air into an underground storage cavern and later releases the compressed air to turn turbines and generate electricity back onto the grid, according to the plants owner. The location near Palestine, Texas was selected because of its large salt dome, which will be used to store the compressed air. The plant is estimated to cost $350 million-plus, and will create about 20 to 25 permanent jobs."
Harperdog writes "Paul N. Edwards has a great paper about the links between nuclear weapons testing and climate science. From the abstract: 'Tracing radioactive carbon as it cycles through the atmosphere, the oceans, and the biosphere has been crucial to understanding anthropogenic climate change. The earliest global climate models relied on numerical methods very similar to those developed by nuclear weapons designers for solving the fluid dynamics equations needed to analyze shock waves produced in nuclear explosions. The climatic consequences of nuclear war also represent a major historical intersection between climate science and nuclear affairs. Without the work done by nuclear weapons designers and testers, scientists would know much less than they now do about the atmosphere. In particular, this research has contributed enormously to knowledge about both carbon dioxide, which raises Earth's temperature, and aerosols, which lower it.'"
theodp writes "Last July, Slashdot reported on Kyle McDonald, the artist who had the Secret Service raid his home at the behest of Apple, who was miffed with Kyle's surreptitious capture of people's expressions as they stared at computers in Apple Stores. A year later, Wired is running McDonald's first-person account of the preparation for and fallout from his People Staring at Computers project. 'I really wasn't expecting the Secret Service,' McDonald begins. 'Maybe an email, or a phone call from Apple. Instead, my first indication that something was "wrong" was a real-life visit from the organization best known for protecting the President of the United States of America.'"
Phoghat writes "A top defense and cybersecurity expert says the U.S. should stop trying to take aim at expert hackers and start doing a better job of recruiting them. 'Let's just say that in some places you find guys with body piercings and nonregulation haircuts,' says U.S. Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla . 'But most of these sorts of guys can't be vetted in the traditional way. We need a new institutional culture that allows us to reach out to them.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Robert Zubrin has some interesting ideas about what it costs to have an astronaut on the payroll. He says if you’re going to 'give up four billion dollars to avoid a one in seven chance of killing an astronaut, you’re basically saying an astronaut’s life is worth twenty-eight billion dollars.' He wrote about the same subject earlier this year for Reason magazine, saying, 'Keeping astronauts safe merits significant expenditure. But how much? There is a potentially unlimited set of testing procedures, precursor missions, technological improvements, and other protective measures that could be implemented before allowing human beings to once again try flying to other worlds. Were we to adopt all of them, we would wind up with a human spaceflight program of infinite cost and zero accomplishment. In recent years, the trend has moved in precisely that direction, with NASA’s manned spaceflight effort spending more and more to accomplish less and less. If we are to achieve anything going forward, we have to find some way to strike a balance between human life and mission accomplishment.'"