itwbennett writes "You've heard the horror stories about the App Store approval process driving developers away, but what really makes it so bad isn't the 6-8 day waiting period or even rejection. What make it so bad is the lack of access to a human problem-solver at who can loosen the stranglehold of Apple's protocol machine, says Matthew Mombrea, who recounts in excruciating detail his company's experience publishing iOS apps, and, worse, updates to iOS apps."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
New submitter spacenet writes "Valve has quietly released an update to the beta version of its popular online FPS Team Fortress 2. Among the modified files are some Linux-related files including a hardware driver compatibility list, optimal graphics settings, and a shell script launcher (previously only for OS X, now with a case for Linux as well). Valve has not updated their TF2 beta changelog, but has acknowledged the update in a forum post."
kramer2718 writes "I have worked for about a decade as a software engineer. I am almost never hired to build new software from scratch, so my work satisfaction tends to be proportionate to quality of the legacy code I have to work with. Some legacy code has been good. Most of it is bad. I know a few questions to ask during an interview to determine the code quality: Are recent technologies used? Are there code review processes? Is TDD practiced? Even so, I still encounter terrible quality code. Does Slashdot have any advice for other questions to ask? Any other ways to find out code quality beforehand?"
Since the two big guys got their three debates covered, and the last third party debate kind of fizzled due to technical difficulties, we invite you to discuss the third party debate happening at 9 p.m. EDT tonight. Candidates from the Green, Libertarian, Constitution, and Justice parties will be debating in the same room with Larry King moderating. It would appear that C-SPAN is rebroadcasting it, so you catch it using rtmpdump if you happen to not use Flash. Since third party politicians are still politicians, remember to print out some Logical Fallacy Bingo. Topics for the debate include climate change, the drug war, and civil liberties. Update: 10/24 02:32 GMT by U L : It turns out there will be a final third party debate next Tuesday on foreign policy between two of the candidates. To determine who will be in the debate Free and Equal is holding an IRV vote until 10:30 p.m. EDT October 24.
ananyo writes "In this age of social media, innovators eager to develop high-tech products are tapping into the wisdom of crowds to solve problems, with crowdsourcing sites such as Innocentive and Kaggle offering cash prizes for answers to science or data questions. The launch this week of a site called Marblar is turning this model on its head. Marblar gives scientists a space to tout solutions that have yet to find their problem (it's not in beta, despite the redirect). Members, who can come from any background, are invited to publicly discuss potential uses for patented discoveries made in research laboratories that as yet may not have led to real-world applications. Every suggestion at Marblar is posted on a public forum alongside video interviews with the scientists and explanations of their work. Website visitors suggest applications and vote them up and down, and the scientists behind the discovery are encouraged to take part in the discussion. Popular suggestions are recognized with a points system (denoted by marbles — hence the name) and, in some cases, small cash prizes. A trial run seems to have been pretty successful."
An anonymous reader writes "Just after half past seven on the evening of Friday 19th October, history was made at the Destination Star Trek London event at the capital's ExCel centre; when Captains Archer (Scott Bakula), Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), Sisko (Avery Brooks), Picard (Patrick Stewart) and James T. Kirk (William Shatner) appeared together on a European stage. This momentous event, which had occurred just once before, at the Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia in June, not only lived up to the expectations of fans, but exceeded them by a good light-year."
An anonymous reader writes "PS3 security has been compromised again. The holy grail of the PS3 security encryption keys — LV0 keys — have been found and leaked into the wild. For the homebrew community, this means deeper access into the PS3: the possibility of custom (or modified) firmware up to the most recent version, the possibility of bypassing PS3 hypervisor for installing GNU/Linux with full hardware access, dual firmware booting, homebrew advanced recovery (on the molds of Bootmii on Wii), and more. It might lead to more rampant piracy too, because the LV0 keys could facilitate the discovering of the newer games' encryption keys, ones that require newer firmware."
Trailrunner7 writes "A security researcher has submitted to Oracle a patch he said took him 30 minutes to produce that would repair a zero-day vulnerability currently exposed in Java SE. He hopes his actions will spur Oracle to issue an out-of-band patch for the sandbox-escape vulnerability, rather than wait for the February 2013 Critical Patch Update as Oracle earlier said it would. Adam Gowdiak of Polish security consultancy Security Explorations reported the vulnerability to Oracle on Sept. 25, as well as proof-of-concept exploit code his team produced. The vulnerability is present in Java versions 5, 6 and 7 and would allow an attacker to remotely control an infected machine once a user landed on a malicious website hosting the exploit. Gowdiak said his proof-of-concept exploit was successfully used against a fully patched Windows 7 machine using Firefox 15.0.1, Chrome 21, IE 9, Opera 12, and Safari 5.1.7."
CelestialScience writes "A recycling technique has enabled a quantum computer to carry out a quantum calculation known as Shor's algorithm on a larger number than ever before. The benchmark algorithm exploits quantum mechanics to simplify the factorization of numbers into their prime components — a hard task for classical computers when the numbers get large. Until now, the largest number factorized using Shor's algorithm was 15. Now Anthony Laing at the University of Bristol, UK and colleagues report in Nature Photonics that they used a recycled photon to factorize 21 — still far too small and trivial to spook cryptographers, who rely on the difficulty of factorizing large numbers for their widely-used techniques. But a record nonetheless."
Hugh Pickens writes "Maryn McKenna writes in Scientific American that the standard autopsy is becoming increasingly rare for cost reasons, religious objections, and because autopsies reveal medical mistakes, making doctors and hospitals uncomfortable. Researchers in several countries have been exploring the possibility that medical imaging might substitute a 'virtual autopsy' for the more traditional variety. 'So few autopsies are being done now that many medical students get out of school never having seen one,' says Gregory Davis. 'And yet in medicine, autopsy is the most powerful quality-control technique that we have and the reason we know as much as we do about many diseases and injuries.' The process, dubbed 'virtopsy,' combines MRI and CT scanning with computer-aided 3-D reconstruction to prove causes of death for difficult cases, which included drownings, flaming car crashes, and severe injuries to the skull and face. Since 2004 the U.S. military has performed x-rays and CT scans on the bodies of every service member killed where the armed forces have exclusive jurisdiction — that is, not just on battlefields abroad but on U.S. bases as well. 'It allows us to identify any foreign bodies present, such as projectiles,' says Edward Mazuchowski. 'X-rays give you the edge detail of radio-opaque or metallic objects, so you can sort out what the object might be, and CT, because it is three-dimensional, shows you where the object is in the body.' A study conducted among intensive care unit patients in Germany compared diagnoses made before death with the results of both traditional and virtual autopsy in 47 patients and with only virtual autopsy in another 115 whose families refused standard autopsy. Virtual autopsies confirmed 88 percent of diagnoses made before death, not far behind the 93 percent rate for traditional postmortem exams. 'The findings so far are mixed,' says Elizabeth Burton of Johns Hopkins University. Virtual autopsy, she says, 'is better for examining trauma, for wartime injuries, for structural defects. But when you start getting into tumors, infections and chronic conditions, it's not as good, and I doubt it will ever be better.'"
The Bad Astronomer writes "NASA's NuSTAR satellite, designed to detect cosmic X-rays, detected a flare of high-energy emission coming from the Milky Way galaxy's central supermassive black hole. The X-rays were the dying gasp of a small gas cloud being torn apart, heated to a hundred million degrees, and then falling into the black hole itself. Events like this are relatively uncommon, so it's fortunate NuSTAR happened to be observing the black hole when it flared."
MrSeb writes "A team of researchers from MIT, Caltech, Harvard, and other universities in Europe, have devised a way of boosting the performance of wireless networks by up to 10 times — without increasing transmission power, adding more base stations, or using more wireless spectrum. The researchers' creation, coded TCP, is a novel way of transmitting data so that lost packets don't result in higher latency or re-sent data. With coded TCP, blocks of packets are clumped together and then transformed into algebraic equations (PDF) that describe the packets. If part of the message is lost, the receiver can solve the equation to derive the missing data. The process of solving the equations is simple and linear, meaning it doesn't require much processing on behalf of the router/smartphone/laptop. In testing, the coded TCP resulted in some dramatic improvements. MIT found that campus WiFi (2% packet loss) jumped from 1Mbps to 16Mbps. On a fast-moving train (5% packet loss), the connection speed jumped from 0.5Mbps to 13.5Mbps. Moving forward, coded TCP is expected to have huge repercussions on the performance of LTE and WiFi networks — and the technology has already been commercially licensed to several hardware makers."
You asked Daniel Knight, director of the crowd-funded filmed version of Terry Pratchett's Troll Bridge, about cameras, Kickstarter, and his source material. Daniel's answered now with details on the process of filming, why they selected Troll Bridge, and his favorite He-Man figurines. Read on below!
New submitter roryed writes "Performer Jonathan Coulton, famous among some geeks for 'Code Monkey' and writing Portal's 'Still Alive' wrote on his blog, 'Salt Lake City, the last ticket link for the Nov/Dec tour, has finally gone up. The reason for the delay was that we were working on the details of this experimental ticketing thing called Bring the Gig.' Bring the Gig is a new form of crowdsourcing, much like a Kickstarter for concerts. The idea is to have fans put up the money to bring bands to their city by buying premium tickets. If the goal is met and the band is booked, general box office tickets are sold. If the show sells enough at the box office, or sells out, the original premium ticket holders get a full refund and keep their ticket, effectively seeing the show they helped bring for free. Coulton also writes, 'Could be a disaster! Exciting! Honestly I have no idea if this is going to work, but as you know, I am a scientist. I like to watch what happens.'"
An anonymous reader writes "AMD just officially took the wraps off Vishera, its next generation of FX processors. Vishera is Piledriver-based like the recently-released Trinity APUs, and the successor to last year's Bulldozer CPU architecture. The octo-core flagship FX-8350 runs at 4.0 GHz and is listed for just $195. The 8350 is followed by the 3.5 GHz FX-8320 at $169. Hexa-core and quad-core parts are also launching, at $132 and $122, respectively. So how does Vishera stack up to Intel's lineup? The answer to that isn't so simple. The FX-8350 can't even beat Intel's previous-generation Core i5-2550K in single-threaded applications, yet it comes very close to matching the much more expensive ($330), current-gen Core i7-3770K in multi-threaded workloads. Vishera's weak point, however, is in power efficiency. On average, the FX-8350 uses about 50 W more than the i7-3770K. Intel aside, the Piledriver-based FX-8350 is a whole lot better than last year's Bulldozer-based FX-8150 which debuted at $235. While some of this has to do with performance improvements, that fact that AMD is asking $40 less this time around certainly doesn't hurt either. At under $200, AMD finally gives the enthusiast builder something to think about, albeit on the low-end." Reviews are available at plenty of other hardware sites, too. Pick your favorite: PC Perspective, Tech Report, Extreme Tech, Hot Hardware, AnandTech, and [H]ard|OCP.