New submitter happyscientist writes "This is a nice 'Hello World' for using Hadoop MapReduce on Common Crawl data. I was interested when Common Crawl announced themselves a few weeks ago, but I was hesitant to dive in. This is a good video/example that makes it clear how easy it is to start playing with the crawl data."
Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.
YokimaSun writes "Mamosuke, a PSP Homebrewer from Japan, has posted the first Hello World on the PS Vita which comes from the PSP Emulator in the console. Using a buffer overflow, he has found a way into the PSVita, and with many PSP Game exploits still around and not published for the whole homebrew and hacking community this means that in the short term homebrew is here on the PSvita. Lets hope this is the start of a true PSVita homebrew scene."
GMGruman writes "You know the type: They want to control and restrict any technology in your office, maybe for job security, maybe as a power trip. As the 'consumerization of IT' phenomenon grows, such IT people are increasingly clashing with users, who bring in their own smartphones, use cloud apps, and work at home on their own equipment. These 'enemies' in IT are easy to identify, but there are subtler enemies within IT that also aim to prevent users from being self-sufficient in their technology use. That's bad for both users and IT, as it gets in the way of useful work for everyone. Here's what to look for in such hidden IT 'enemies,' and how to thwart their efforts to contain you."
theodp writes "The Washington Post's Elizabeth Flock managed to hold Google's feet to the fire and get an explanation of sorts for why it's making kids cry by disabling their Gmail accounts after years of use. Giving 12-year-olds access to Gmail — unless they are using Google Apps for Education accounts through their school — is proving to be as formidable a task for Google as making renewable energy cheaper than coal. But what about that viral 'Dear Sophie' commercial, asked Flock, in which a father creates a Gmail account for his baby daughter and uses it to send her photos, videos, and messages that chronicle her growing up? 'The implied understanding,' replied a Google spokesman, 'is that the girl in the story does not have access to the account, but that she will have access to it "someday."'"
gbjbaanb writes "TechRadar has gathered a few users and subjected the 3 main Linux desktops to some usability testing for both experienced users and some new to the whole concept." I'm glad to see such ongoing comparisons; they encourage cross-pollination of the best ideas. On the other hand, it's a little bit like trying to determine the "best" dessert; even the most elaborate attempts to find statistical consensus won't answer the question of what's best for any particular user.
First time accepted submitter en4bz writes "Representative Lamar Smith, the creator of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), has been consistently receiving donations averaging $50 000 from the TV/Film/Music industry for each of his re-election campaigns for the past ten years. Smith has received roughly half a million dollars from the TV/Film/Music lobby over the past ten years according to opensecrets.org. Check out the source link for a full breakdown of donors to Smith's campaigns." Speaking of SOPA, new submitter DarkStar1O9 submits this "explanation in simple terms of why this dangerous new bill in congress could result in the extinction of sites that are based on user-generated content like YouTube, Reddit, and StumbleUpon." Update: 12/18 20:42 GMT by T : An anonymous reader writes "Eric S. Raymond weighs in on SOPA and the question of why so many people hate this bill and not the dozens of others just like it that get passed on a regular basis."
An anonymous reader writes "So, it's that wonderful time of year again. Instead of buying the latest, greatest whiz-bang, overpriced fad toy of the year, I thought I might try my hand at corrupting my nieces (ages 12 and 14) in a nerdier direction with some sort of introductory robotics kit. They have no programming experience, and part of my idea is that it would be encouraging for them to see interactions of their code that they write with the real-world by being able to control some actuators and read sensors. The first thing that comes to mind is Lego Mindstorms, but I find them a bit on the pricey side of things. My budget falls between $40 and $100, and the ideal kit would focus more on the software side than on soldering together circuits. I'd be looking for a kit that provides an easy to learn API and development tools that will work with a standard Windows PC. I don't mind spending a few afternoons helping them out with the basics, but I'd like for them to be able to be able to explore on their own after grasping the initial concepts. Has anybody gotten their younger relations into programming through robotics, and what kits might you recommend?"
mikejuk writes "A recent Google research paper outlines how it might use AI to read digits in natural images — specifically Street View photos. The idea is to automatically extract the number of each house as captured by Street View and then use this to improve the geocoding data returned by Google. When you next ask for directions to a particular address the new data could be used to show you a street view looking directly at the house you specified."
Runaway1956 writes "Last month, philosopher Patrick Lin delivered this briefing about the ethics of drones at an event hosted by In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture-capital arm. It's a thorough and unnerving survey of what it might mean for the intelligence service to deploy different kinds of robots. This story is very definitely not like Asimov's robotic laws! As fine a mind as Isaac Asimov had, his Robot stories seem a bit naive, in view of where we are headed with robotics."
New submitter an_orphan writes "Apparently, Oracle's 'Operating System Distributor License for Java' is expired, causing Ubuntu to not only remove sun-java from the partner repository, but from user's machines."
Hugh Pickens writes "Over 2,000 patients have died since 2003 in Washington State alone by accidentally overdosing on a commonly prescribed narcotic painkiller that costs less than a dollar a dose and the deaths are clustered predominately in places with lower incomes because Washington state has steered people with state-subsidized health care — Medicaid patients, injured workers and state employees — to methadone because the drug is cheap. Methadone belongs to a class of narcotic painkillers, called opioids, that includes OxyContin, fentanyl and morphine. Within that group, methadone accounts for less than 10 percent of the drugs prescribed — but more than half of the deaths and although Methadone works wonders for some patients, relieving chronic pain from throbbing backs to inflamed joints, the drug's unique properties make it unforgiving and sometimes lethal. 'Most painkillers, such as OxyContin, dissipate from the body within hours. Methadone can linger for days, pooling to a toxic reservoir that depresses the respiratory system,' write Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong. 'With little warning, patients fall asleep and don't wake up. Doctors call it the silent death.'"
A few months before it's due to arrive in the U.S., Sony's PlayStation Vita, successor to the PlayStation Portable, has been released in Japan. Says the linked Associated Press article: "For the Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment giant, the Vita is the biggest product launch since the PlayStation 3 console five years ago. It's also accompanied by two dozen software products — the largest number of launch titles in PlayStation history. The Vita has front and back cameras, a touchscreen in front, a touch pad on the back and two knob-like joysticks. It will enable gamers to play against each other using PlayStation 3 consoles over the Internet-based PlayStation Network, a system that was hit with a massive hacking attack earlier this year."
jrepin writes "In May 2003, Munich's city council resolved to migrate municipal workstations from Windows to Linux and open source. Munich's LiMux project has announced that it has exceeded its annual target for migrating the city's PCs to its LiMux client. To date in 2011, the project has migrated 9,000 systems; it had originally planned to migrate 8,500 of the 12,000-15,000 PC workstations used by city officials in Munich."
boldie writes with a link to NASA's account of comet Lovejoy's close encounter with the sun. Excerpting: "This morning, an armada of spacecraft witnessed something that many experts thought impossible. Comet Lovejoy flew through the hot atmosphere of the sun and emerged intact. ... The comet's close encounter was recorded by at least five spacecraft: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and twin STEREO probes, Europe's Proba2 microsatellite, and the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The most dramatic footage so far comes from SDO, which saw the comet go in (movie) and then come back out again (movie)." Here are larger QuickTime versions of the comet's entrance (22MB) and exit (26MB).