First time accepted submitter vu1986 writes "The Federal Communications Commission has settled with Comcast over charges that the cable company made it hard for consumers to find stand-alone broadband packages that don't cost an arm and leg. As part of the settlement Comcast paid the U.S. Treasury $800,000 and the FCC extended the length of time Comcast had to provide such a service."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
ananyo writes "Rabbits with blocked windpipes have been kept alive for up to 15 minutes without a single breath, after researchers injected oxygen-filled microparticles into the animals' blood. Oxygenating the blood by bypassing the lungs in this way could save the lives of people with impaired breathing or obstructed airways (abstract). In the past, doctors have tried to treat low levels of oxygen in the blood, or hypoxaemia, and related conditions such as cyanosis, by injecting free oxygen gas directly into the bloodstream. But oxygen injected in this way can accumulate into larger bubbles and form potentially lethal blockages."
harrymcc writes "On June 27, 1972, a startup called Atari filed its papers of incorporation. A few months later, it released its first game, Pong. The rest is video game history. I celebrated the anniversary over at TIME.com by chatting with the company's indomitable founder, Nolan Bushnell. From the article: 'Like everyone else who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, I played them all: Pong, Breakout, Asteroids, Centipede, Millipede, Battlezone, Pole Position, Crystal Castles and my eternal favorite, Tempest. The first computer I bought with my own money was an Atari 400. So when I chatted with Bushnell this week to mark Atari’s 40th anniversary, I felt like I was talking with a man who helped invent my childhood.'" I spent my fair share of time playing Warlords with friends on my 2600.
Geoffrey.landis writes "At last, a public opinion poll that gets the opinions of ordinary Americans on the issues that matter! Apparently, two thirds of Americans polled think that Barack Obama is better suited to defend against an alien invasion than Mitt Romney, according to a survey from National Geographic Channel, done to tout their upcoming TV series 'chasing UFOs'. In follow-up questioning, Americans would rather call on the Hulk (21%) than either Batman (12%) or Spiderman (8%) to save the day. No word on which candidate is most fit to defend America against shambling hordes of undead seeking to destroy civilization in the zombie apocalypse (perhaps that will be brought out in the debates)." The real question of course is how Obama would handle Galactus.
About two months ago, HP made the first source releases of webOS components. Conspicuously absent, however, were the sources to the Luna system manager, and it was not possible to build an image for the TouchPad with what was available. On Tuesday, the webOS team released the Luna sources and build tools as "webOS Community Edition." This is a continuation of their previous source releases, and is intended only for the TouchPad; Open webOS is still slated for release in September and will be designed for porting to new hardware platforms. Quoting the developers: "With the release of the webOS Community Edition you can now learn how the TouchPad works, modify your TouchPad experience and then apply that learning to Open webOS 1.0 in the future. We are excited to empower the community to create custom user experiences on the TouchPad. For example, developers can now modify the card view, launcher, notifications, Just Type and more." You can grab the latest over at Github. The developers claim you can build and install it onto actual hardware: anyone want to give it a shot?
jfruh writes "Windows 8 is the most radical rewrite of Microsoft's operating system in decades — and most of the changes are aimed at consumers and new tablet form-factors. Meanwhile, corporate IT is deeply suspicious. Over at Microsoft TechEd Europe, the company is gamely trying to explain to enterprises why they should switch, with easy-to-write enterprise apps and the ability to stream server-side x86 apps to Windows RT. Not everyone is convinced."
Earlier today we discussed Google's I/O conference keynote presentation, which gave updates on Android 4.1, Google+, the Nexus 7 tablet, and the Nexus Q streaming device. We also got a rather dramatic demonstration of Google Glass, complete with skydiving, bike flips, and rappelling. They followed up with a press conference solely dedicated to Glass, and Timothy was there to cover it. Read on for details about Glass.
Dupple writes with this quote from a Reuters report: "Hewlett-Packard Co told a judge on Tuesday that Oracle Corp should be ordered to make its software available on HP's Itanium-based servers for as long as HP sells them. Lawyers for HP and Oracle presented closing arguments in a California state court for the first phase in a bitter lawsuit between the two tech giants. ... Oracle decided to stop developing software for use with Itanium last year, saying Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor. But HP said it had an agreement with Oracle that support for Itanium would continue, without which the equipment using the chip would become obsolete. HP said that commitment was affirmed when it settled a lawsuit over Oracle's hiring of ousted HP chief executive Mark Hurd. HP seeks up to $4 billion in damages."
astroengine writes "To study the atmospheres of planets beyond the solar system, astronomers have had two choices: pick one that flies across the face of its parent star relative to Earth's perspective (an event known as a transit), or wait for a new generation of more sensitive space telescopes that can directly capture the planet's faint light. Now, there's a third option. Using a cryogenically-cooled infrared detector on a telescope in Chile, astronomers ferreted out beams of light coming directly from Tau Boötis b, a massive planet about 50 light-years from Earth."
New submitter DeeEff writes "The first report in the University of California, Berkeley Law School's quarterly Web Privacy Census was released on Tuesday, and it shows that popular Web sites are far more aggressive in their consumer tracking practices than most people suspect, and that consumers are trapped in an escalating privacy crisis with limited control over their personal information. Most interestingly noted in the article is that twice the amount of sites are using HTML5 storage as opposed to last year, while Flash Cookies are dying down, as we should expect. It also appears that third-party tracking seems to dominate most sites, such as from Google, Facebook, and other large players."
MrSeb writes "Applied Materials has taken the wraps off a new etching system meant to turn vertically stacked, three-dimensional transistors from lab experiments into commercial reality. The new Centura Avatar solves multiple problems facing manufacturers who are interested in 3D NAND but find their current equipment not up to the task of actually building it. According to the folks at Applied Materials, trying to build 3D NAND structures in real life would be like trying to dig a one-kilometer-deep, three-kilometer-long trench with walls exactly three meters apart, through interleaved rock strata — and that's before we discuss gate trenches or the staircases. While this machine specifically targets 3D NAND today, a number of the challenges to scaling flash memory apply to scaling CPU logic as well. As for when 3D chips will be available for commercial purchase, Applied Materials was vague on that point, but personally I would expect to see companies adopting the new etch equipment in the next few years."
ananyo writes "A new round of exploratory oil drilling is due to begin in the Arctic this July. The oil giant Shell was granted permission some months ago by the U.S. government to drill two exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea and three in the Chukchi Sea, both north of Alaska, this year — between 15 July and late September. The project is finally coming to fruition after years spent fighting legal challenges. It will be the first oil-exploration program to run in U.S. Arctic waters since 2000, and could mark the start of the first offshore commercial drilling in the American north, although it would take another decade to establish production wells."
bzzfzz writes "In a case with parallels to the Diebold Voting Machine fiasco, Minnesota's Supreme Court upheld the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breath testing machine on a narrow 4-3 vote. Source code analysis during the six-year legal battle revealed a number of bugs that could potentially affect test results. Several thousand DUI cases that were waiting on the results of this appeal will now proceed. The ruling is one in a series of DUI-related court victories for police and prosecutors. Other recent cases upheld a conviction of a person with no evidence that the vehicle had been driven and convictions based solely on urine samples that may only show impairment hours before driving. The Intoxilyzer 5000EN is now considered obsolete, and replacement devices are being rolled out, with the last jurisdictions in the state scheduled to retire their 5000ENs by the end of the year."
dsinc writes with news of a but of altruism on the part Family Guy's creator. From the article: "Seth MacFarlane once included a gag on his animated TV comedy 'Family Guy' about an 'edited for rednecks' version of Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos,' featuring an animated Sagan dubbed over to say that the earth is 'hundreds and hundreds' of years old. Jokes aside, his admiration for Sagan runs deep. The Library of Congress announced Wednesday that, thanks to MacFarlane's generosity, it has acquired the personal papers of the late scientist and astronomer, who spoke to mass audiences about the mysteries of the universe and the origins of life. While MacFarlane never owned Sagan's papers, he covered the undisclosed costs of donating them to the library."
mahiskali writes "After apologizing for using a likeness of former President George W. Bush's head in the season finale of the first season of 'Game of Thrones,' HBO has digitally altered the offending scene. After releasing an formal apology, HBO proceeded to yank the episode off all digital platforms, as well as halt distribution of the Season 1 box sets. The episode is now back with an altered head; more hair, less chin. Show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss later clarified, 'We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can't afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush.'"