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Test Pilot: the F-35 Can't Dogfight

Slashdot - 1 hour 14 min ago
schwit1 sends this report from the War Is Boring column: A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can't turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy's own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January. And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn't even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet's cramped cockpit. "The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft." That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him. The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon. Your tax dollars at work.

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Empty Toner Cartridges?

Slashdot - 1 hour 56 min ago
New submitter MoarSauce123 writes: Over time I accumulated a number of empty toner cartridges for a Brother laser printer. Initially, I wanted to take a local office supply chain store up on their offer to give me store credit for the returned cartridge. For that credit to be issued I would have to sign up for their store card providing a bunch of personal information. The credit is so lousy that after the deduction from the sales price of a new toner cartridge the price is still much higher than from a large online retailer. And the credit only applies to one new cartridge, so I cannot keep collecting the credit and then get a cartridge 'for free' at some point. I also looked into a local store of a toner refill chain. Their prices are a bit better, but the closest store is about half an hour away with rather odd business hours. Still, at the end they charge more than the large online retailer asks for a brand new cartridge. For now I bring the empty cartridges to the big office supply store and tell them that I do not want their dumb store credit. I rather have big corp make some bucks on me than throw these things in the trash and have it go to a landfill. Are there any better options? Anything from donating it to charity to refilling myself is of interest.

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What If You Could See Asteroids In the Night Sky?

Slashdot - 2 hours 20 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: As part of Asteroid Day a 360-degree video rendering the night sky with the population of near-earth asteroids included has been created by 'Astronogamer' Scott Manley. The video shows how the Earth flies through a cloud of asteroids on its journey around the sun, and yet we've only discovered about 1% of the near earth asteroid population.

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Interviews: Brian Krebs Answers Your Questions

Slashdot - 2 hours 40 min ago
A few weeks ago you had a chance to ask Brian Krebs about security, cybercrime and what it's like to be the victim of Swatting. Below you will find his answers to your questions.

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Nvidia Details 'Gameworks VR', Aims To Boost Virtual Reality Render Performance

Slashdot - 3 hours 22 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: In a guest article published to Road to VR, Nvidia graphics programmer Nathan Reed details Nvidia's 'Gameworks VR' initiative which the company says is designed to boost virtual reality render performance, including support for 'VR SLI' which will render one eye view per GPU for low latency stereoscopy. While many Gameworks VR features will be supported as far back as GeForce 6xx cards, the company's latest 'Maxwell' (9xx and Titan X) GPUs offer 'Multi-projection' which Reed says, 'enables us to very efficiently rasterize geometry into multiple viewports within a single render target at once... This better approximates the shading rate of the warped image that will eventually be displayed—in other words, it avoids rendering a ton of extra pixels that weren't going to make it to the display anyway, and gives you a substantial performance boost for no perceptible reduction in image quality.'

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Seattle police seek pilot after woman knocked out by falling drone

Arstechnica - 3 hours 23 min ago

The Seattle Police Department reported Monday that a local woman was recently struck and knocked unconscious by a drone that crashed into a building and then fell to the ground, hitting her.

On Sunday, during the Emerald City’s Pride parade, a 25-year-old woman was hit by the two-pound drone. The woman, whose name was not released by police, collapsed into the arms of her boyfriend.

Some of the woman’s friends apparently located the drone and turned it over to police, who described it as retailing for "about $1,200" and weighing "about two pounds." Those bystanders also handed over photographs of a man believed to be the drone’s pilot.

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Coming to a smartwatch near you: LG Chem’s new hexagonal batteries

Arstechnica - 3 hours 46 min ago

Batteries are usually rectangular, which makes a lot of sense when you're cramming them into rectangular smartphones, tablets, and laptops. But what about when your device isn't a rectangular? Until now, round smartwatches have had to make due with rectangular batteries—a big waste of space in a round body. The Korea Times reports that LG Chem has started shipping a more appropriately shaped smartwatch battery: a hexagonal one.

While not quite the perfect round battery you would want, LG Chem says the hexagonal shape will allow it to pack 25 percent more battery capacity into a round watch—a big improvement for devices that can struggle to last thane entire day. "The development will help users have four hours more for their smart watch," a spokesperson said.

LG Chem isn't done with wacky battery shapes either. According to the report, the company is working on batteries of "various shapes" including an L-shaped battery and "a rectangular model with a hole in the middle."

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Why lasers are the future (of projectors)

CNET NEWS - 3 hours 54 min ago
In projectors designed for both the cinema and at home, lasers are starting to replace traditional lamps as the light source of choice. This is potentially awesome. Here's why.

Cisco To Acquire OpenDNS

Slashdot - 4 hours 3 min ago
New submitter Tokolosh writes: Both Cisco and OpenDNS announced today that the former is to acquire the latter. From the Cisco announcement: "To build on Cisco's advanced threat protection capabilities, we plan to continue to innovate a cloud delivered Security platform integrating OpenDNS' key capabilities to accelerate that work. Over time, we will look to unite our cloud-delivered solutions, enhancing Cisco's advanced threat protection capabilities across the full attack continuum—before, during and after an attack." With Cisco well-embedded with the US security apparatus (NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.) is it time to seek out alternatives to OpenDNS?

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Apple dumps discoveryd and fixes Photos and Mail bugs in OS X 10.10.4

Arstechnica - 4 hours 17 min ago

The next major release of OS X looms like some kind of mountain over some kind of park, but Yosemite isn't done yet. Today Apple released the final version of OS X 10.10, a bugfix update that comes almost three months after 10.10.3.

The first change in OS X 10.10.4 is to "networking reliability," which is likely a reference to the replacement of discoveryd, a new-but-flaky DNS service introduced in Yosemite. It has been replaced with what appears to be mDNSresponder, the service that handled discoveryd's tasks in previous versions of OS X.

Otherwise, 10.10.4 fixes a list of minor problems with specific apps. The Migration Assistant has gotten more reliable, and "an issue that prevented certain external monitors from functioning properly" has been resolved. A bug that would delay outgoing messages in Mail has been fixed, and sites in Safari can no longer keep you from closing or switching away from the tab by generating multiple JavaScript alerts.

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Get a Ravpower mobile charger-router-media-hub for $34.99

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 22 min ago
Talk about a travel buddy: the Filehub offers just about everything the road warrior needs, all in a compact package.

What you gonna wear? Spookily stylish new 'Ghostbusters' uniforms revealed

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 30 min ago
The new phantasmic four will sport a utility look for the spook-tacular remake.

Prehistoric worm with super armor found in China

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 35 min ago
Scientists have found the fossil of an ancient worm called Hairy Collins' Monster, one of the first creatures to grow rows of spiky armor on its back. It's the King Koopa of lobopodians.

Apple releases iOS 8.4 with new Music app, fix for crashing bug

Arstechnica - 4 hours 36 min ago

Apple has just released iOS 8.4, the latest update to its mobile operating system. The update isn't as wide-ranging as iOS 8.3, but it does add a few notable things—chief among them are a revamped Music app and a fix for a bug where a specific set of characters could crash the operating system. iOS 8.4 is available for the iPhone 4S and newer, the iPad 2 and newer, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch.

The redesigned music app accompanies the launch of Apple Music and the 24-hour, human-curated Beats One radio station, which Apple exec Eddy Cue and a parade of others spent a long, long time unveiling at WWDC earlier this month. The Spotify-esque on-demand streaming station comes with a three-month trial, and when that ends, it will cost $10 a month for individuals or $15 a month for families of up to six people.

Also included in iOS 8.4 are improvements to iBooks, which can now be used for audiobooks. "Made for iBooks" books now work on the iPhone, too. Other improvements include a setting to turn off the auto-night theme, the ability to pre-order books in a series, and various bug fixes.

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Familiar fishes found opportunity in mass extinction

Arstechnica - 4 hours 41 min ago

For mammals, the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous was the crisis that opened the door to evolutionary success. With so many species gone, like the dominant dinosaurs (minus the ancestors of birds), opportunities were plentiful. Our small, furtive ancestors made the most of those opportunities, giving rise to the diversity of mammals around today.

Perhaps the ray-finned fishes—which include almost every fish you can think of apart from sharks and rays and make up almost half of all modern vertebrate species—found similar opportunities. Researchers knew that this group of fish only took off in the last 100 million years (so since the mid-Cretaceous), but the early details were fuzzy. Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Elizabeth Sibert and Richard Norris set out to tighten up that history by picking through seafloor mud for tiny fish teeth.

Those seafloor muds came from deep drilling in multiple locations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Samples of Italian limestone that had been laid down in an ocean long since closed up by plate tectonics rounded out the collection. In all the samples, which spanned from the late Cretaceous (about 75 million years ago) to the mid-Eocene (about 45 million years ago) the researchers sifted out teeth shed by ray-finned fishes and scales belonging to sharks or rays. Both types of fossils are plentiful, as they resist dissolving away on the ocean floor.

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RFC 7568 Deprecates SSLv3 As Insecure

Slashdot - 4 hours 45 min ago
AmiMoJo writes: SSLv3 should not be used, according to the IETF's RFC 7568. Despite being replaced by three versions of TLS, SSLv3 is still in use. Clients and servers are now recommended to reject requests to use SSLv3 for secure communication. "SSLv3 Is Comprehensively Broken," say the authors, and lay out its flaws in detail.

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Apple Music goes live, courtesy of latest iOS software update

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 46 min ago
After years resisting subscriptions, Apple hits play on a $10-a-month streaming music service Tuesday with a three-month free trial.

Huawei unveils Honor 7 smartphone, expects to double sales in 2015

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 48 min ago
Huawei believes it will sell 40 million units of its flagship Honor line of smartphones, helping to cement its position among the top players in the field.

MS-DOS is getting a new game in the form of Retro City Rampage 486

Arstechnica - 4 hours 50 min ago

If there's one thing that's wrong with PC gaming these days, it's that it's far too easy. Steam collections? Automated driver updates? Graphical user interfaces? Pah! Frankly, if a PC game doesn't require a Sound Blaster 16 card and arrive on 25 floppy disks, then I don't want know. Fortunately, there's one developer out there that gets it. Vblank Entertainment is bringing Retro City Rampage—its homage to 8-bit games and Grand Theft Auto—over to the greatest gaming OS of all time: MS-DOS.

Yes, the operating system released all the way back in 1981 is getting a brand new(ish) game. Retro City Rampage 486 is a port of Retro City Rampage DX, an enhanced version of the game featuring a story mode, arcade challenges, and free roaming. But before you get too excited, best check those system requirements. You'll need an Intel 486, a whopping 3.7 MB of hard drive space, and 4MB of RAM in order to get up and running.

Pretty steep, I know, but on the plus side, if you already own a copy of either the Windows or Mac version of Retro City Rampage, you can pick up the new port for free.

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Universes could be created during Tuesday's leap second

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 51 min ago
What's in a single second? An awful lot, depending on when and where you are in the universe. CNET's Eric Mack ponders the value of Tuesday's extra leap second.