An anonymous reader writes "The Khronos Group has released the specification for OpenGL 4.3 at the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in Los Angeles. New functionality includes: compute shaders that harness GPU parallelism for advanced computation, shader storage buffers, improved debug message output, high quality ETC2 / EAC texture compression as a standard feature, memory security improvements, robustness improvements, texture parameter queries, and more." The Khronos Group also released the OpenGL for Embedded Systems 3.0 specification, which is backwards-compatible with version 2.0. The new specification includes enhancements to the rendering pipeline, "a new version of the GLSL ES shading language with full support for integer and 32-bit floating point operations," and improved texturing functionality, among other things.
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Lucas123 writes "Over the past three years, about 21 million patients have had their unencrypted medical records exposed in data security breaches that were big enough to require they be reported to the federal government. Each of the 477 breaches that were reported to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) involved 500 or more patients, which the government posts on what the industry calls 'The Wall of Shame.' About 55,000 other breach reports involving fewer than 500 records where also reported to the OCR. Among the largest breaches reported was TRICARE Management Activity, the Department of Defense's health care program, which reported 4.9 million records lost when backup tapes went missing. Another five breaches involved 1 million or more records each. Yet, only two of the organizations involved in the breaches have been fined by the federal government."
MrSeb writes "When solid-state drives first broke into the consumer market, there were those who predicted the new storage format would supplant hard drives in a matter of years thanks to radically improved performance. In reality, the shift from hard drives (HDDs) to SSDs has thus far been confined to the upper end of the PC market. For cost-conscious buyers and OEMs, the higher performance they offer is still too expensive and the total capacity is insufficient. SSD cache drives have emerged as a means of addressing this situation. They are small, typically containing between 20-60GB of NAND flash and are paired with a standard hard drive. Once installed, drivers monitor which applications and files are accessed most often, then cache those files on the SSD. It can take the software 1-2 runs to start caching data, but once this process is complete, future access and boot times are significantly enhanced. This article compares the effect of SSD cache solutions — Intel Smart Response Technology, and Nvelo Dataplex — on the performance of a VelociRaptor, and a slow WD Caviar drive. The results are surprisingly positive."
50000BTU_barbecue writes "Usually sci-fi provides adventure with happy endings for everyone. But what story have you read that resonates years later because of some insight about human nature or society that's basically cynical or pessimistic? For me it's Fred Pohl's Jem, with its sharply divided resource-constrained future world driven by politics, and its conclusion that humans are just too destructive to handle contacting alien life, especially if humans have the technological upper hand. I'm wondering what other stories have stuck in people's minds. It can be a short story, a novel or an entire series of books."
New submitter rkhalloran writes "The remnants of the failed litigation engine that was the SCO Group has finally filed for liquidation under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. 'There is no reasonable chance of "rehabilitation."' Groklaw describes the recent filing (PDF) thus: 'I will try my best to translate the legalese for you: the money is almost all gone, so it's not fun any more. SCO can't afford Chapter 11. We want to shut the costs down, because we'll never get paid. But it'd look stupid to admit the whole thing was ridiculous and SCO never had a chance to reorganize through its fantasy litigation hustle. Besides, Ralph Yarro and the other shareholders might sue. So they want the litigation to continue to swing in the breeze, just in case. But SCO has no money coming in and no other prospects, so they want to proceed in a cheaper way and shut this down in respects to everything else.' I guess that means the lawyers will suck the marrow from the carcass and leave the bones to bleach out in the sun."
pigrabbitbear writes "Given the the endless mind-whirling acronyms, derivatives and structures of the financial markets, we're rarely served with a visualization that so elegantly illustrates the arrival of Wall Street's latest innovation. This is what High Frequency Trading — the official monicker of Wall Street's robot army — looks like, when specially programmed computers make massive bets at lightning speed. Created by Nanex, the GIF charts the rise of HFT trading volumes across all U.S. stock exchanges between 2007 and 2012. The initial murmur, the brewing storm, the final detonation: Not just unsettling, it's terrifying."
Shortly after Microsoft announced its upcoming Surface tablet, there was speculation that it might sour the company's relationships with OEM partners. Statements from an Acer spokesperson indicate that's definitely the case. The spokesperson told Bloomberg, "On one hand Microsoft is our partner, but on the other, Microsoft’s move makes them compete not only with us but all PC makers. We think that Microsoft’s launch of its own-brand products is negative for the whole PC industry." The company is reportedly considering whether or not they want to keep relying on Microsoft's software products.
Wired has an article about a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saying the government can't be sued over intercepting phone calls without a warrant. The decision (PDF) vacated an earlier ruling which allowed a case to be brought against the government. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the government had implicitly waived sovereign immunity, but today's ruling points out that it can only be waived explicitly. Judge McKeown wrote, "This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the Executive Branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization." The ruling does, however, take time to knock down the government's claim that the case was brought frivolously: "In light of the complex, ever-evolving nature of this litigation, and considering the significant infringement on individual liberties that would occur if the Executive Branch were to disregard congressionally-mandated procedures for obtaining judicial authorization of international wiretaps, the charge of 'game-playing' lobbed by the government is as careless as it is inaccurate. Throughout, the plaintiffs have proposed ways of advancing their lawsuit without jeopardizing national security, ultimately going so far as to disclaim any reliance whatsoever on the Sealed Document. That their suit has ultimately failed does not in any way call into question the integrity with which they pursued it."
An anonymous reader writes "Sir Bernard Lovell, the founder of the Jodrell Bank Observatory and namesake of the Lovell telescope has died at the age of 98. The Mark 1 telescope, as it was known in the '60s, was the only western telescope that could track the early Russian moon probes, which ensured its debts were paid off. However, the telescope is more famous for radio astronomy, including pulsar research, hydrogen line studies of the galaxy, and much more as other telescopes joined it in the Merlin network."
An anonymous reader writes "The WSJ reports that Amazon's new secret weapon in its fight against other retailers is its delivery locker service. Dropping a package at a customer's door is not particularly secure, so Amazon Lockers were introduced about a year ago to provide a secure location for customers to retrieve their shipments. Now, Amazon is ramping up the service, opening new sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. From the article: 'Users don't pay extra to use the service but the locker program helps Amazon save on certain shipping costs. ShopRunner's Ms. Dias said UPS and FedEx Corp. FDX 0.00% charge retailers as much as 20% more to deliver packages to residential addresses because it is more efficient to deliver multiple packages to a business address. Failed deliveries are also more expensive for online retailers because those consumers are more likely to call customer service, switch to a competitor, or get a replacement item.'"
jfruh writes "One of the odder moments during the Oracle v. Google trial over Java patents came when patent blogger Florian Mueller disclosed that he had a 'consulting relationship' with Oracle. Now it looks like we're going to find out which other tech bloggers and journalists were on the payroll of one of the two sides in this epic fight. Judge William Alsup has ordered (PDF) that both parties disclose 'all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have reported or commented on any issues in this case and who have received money (other than normal subscription fees) from the party or its counsel during the pendency of this action.'"
netbuzz writes "Employment research firm Foote Partners says U.S. labor statistics from last month reveal an increase of some 18,200 jobs in IT, which represents the largest such monthly jump since 2008. 'The overall employment situation in the U.S. is lackluster, in fact this is the fifth consecutive month of subpar results,' says David Foote. 'But the fact that more than 18,000 new jobs were created last month for people with significant IT skills and experience — and nearly 57,000 new jobs added in the past three months — is incredibly good news.'"
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Every day or so of the last six months, Carnegie Mellon computer security professor Nicolas Christin has crawled and scraped Silk Road, the Tor- and Bitcoin-based underground online market for illegal drug sales. Now Christin has released a paper (PDF) on his findings, which show that the site's business is booming: its number of sellers, who offer everything from cocaine to ecstasy, has jumped from around 300 in February to more than 550. Its total sales now add up to around $1.9 million a month. And its operators generate more than $6,000 a day in commissions for themselves, compared with around $2,500 in February. Most surprising, perhaps, is that buyers rate the sellers on the site as relatively trustworthy, despite the fact that no real identities are used. Close to 98% of ratings on the site are positive."
crookedvulture writes "Shipments of all-in-one PCs are growing exponentially faster than those for typical desktops. Unfortunately, highly integrated systems like the iMac have traditionally made it difficult to replace or upgrade parts. And forget about assembling an all-in-one for yourself. Now, however, Intel has developed a Thin Mini-ITX platform that allows system builders and end users to put together all-in-one systems with standard parts. This hands-on look at Thin Mini-ITX pieces together an ersatz iMac using off-the-shelf components, and the process is pretty easy. While the end result isn't quite as slick as one of Apple's creations, parts can be swapped out with ease, and the configuration can be tailored to suit one's needs."
Hugh Pickens writes "Since coming to Yahoo!, CEO Marissa Mayer has added a weekly, Friday afternoon all-hands meeting, just like at Google; she announced that henceforth the food in Yahoo's URLs Cafe will be free, just like at Google; and she has begun prepping major changes to the layout of the work spaces and buildings of Yahoo to make it feel more collaborative and cool, just like, well.. you get the idea. Such focus on improving cultural issues is an interesting initial move by the neophyte CEO, since the care and feeding and, most of all, cosseting of employees has been a critical element to Google's success at creating an always-sunny work environment. But Mayer has been up to much more serious business, said several sources, especially product innovation as the savior for Yahoo: Better email! Better search! Better ad-serving! And a special plea to make Flickr awesome again! In other words, better every product Yahoo has to offer. 'This is the sound of Yahoo becoming a technology company again,' says one source. 'It will be all about platforms and products.' Sources say that will likely mean a big splashy tech or product deal in the days ahead, perhaps via an acquisition to signal the new direction, perhaps with the acquisition of a sexy product like Flipboard. In the meantime, many at Yahoo are bracing for a pack of current and former Googlers — Mayer had a lot of loyal staffers — to come on board, writes Kara Swisher. 'And, by the looks of all the Googley changes at Yahoo, they'll feel right at home when they get there.'"