astroengine writes, quoting Discovery: "The source of loud 'booms' accompanied by a bright object traveling through the skies of Nevada and California on Sunday morning has been confirmed: it was a meteor. A big one. It is thought to have been a small asteroid that slammed into the atmosphere at a speed of 15 kilometers per second (33,500 mph), turning into a fireball, delivering an energy of 3.8 kilotons of TNT as it broke up over California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, classified it as a 'big event.' 'I am not saying there was a 3.8 kiloton explosion on the ground in California,' Cooke told Spaceweather.com. 'I am saying that the meteor possessed this amount of energy before it broke apart in the atmosphere. (The map) shows the location of the atmospheric breakup, not impact with the ground.' Interestingly, this event was bigger than asteroid 2008 TC3 that exploded over the skies of Sudan in 2008 after being detected before it hit."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
benfrog writes "The security bug that has been stalling the 'dot-word TLD land grab' might be fixed, but ICANN says it needs another week 'to sift through its mountains of TAS logs, in order to figure out which applicants' data was visible to which other applicants.' Needless to say, some are less than thrilled about the further delay."
Trailrunner7 writes, quoting Threatpost: "Search giant Google said it is quintupling the top bounty it will pay for information on security holes in its products to $20,000. Google said it was updating its rewards and rules for the bounty program, which is celebrating its first anniversary. In addition to a top prize of $20,000 for vulnerabilities that allow code to be executed on product systems, Google said it would pay $10,000 for SQL injection and equivalent vulnerabilities in its services and for certain vulnerabilities that leak information or allow attackers to bypass authentication or authorization features."
redletterdave writes with an amusing tale of missent email. From the article: "On Friday, more than 1,300 employees of London-based Aviva Investors walked into their offices, strolled over to their desks, booted up their computers and checked their emails, only to learn the shocking news: They would be leaving the company. The email ordered them to hand over company property and security passes before leaving the building, and left the staff with one final line: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future. 'This email was sent to Aviva's worldwide staff of 1,300 people, with bases in the U.S., UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. And it was all one giant mistake: The email was intended for only one individual."
gManZboy writes "As noted last week, the USAID's JEEP (Job Enabling English Proficiency) program has been using U.S. taxpayer dollars to train students in the Philippines to work at outsourcing call centers. An update: After Congressman Tim Bishop and a colleague protested to USAID, USAID decided to suspend funding to the effort. 'In response to the concerns you have raised, the Agency is suspending its participation in the English language training project in Mindanao pending further review of the facts,' said USAID deputy assistant administrator Barbara Feinstein, in a letter Monday to Bishop. 'Furthermore, the Agency has established a high-level taskforce to review these matters.' Bishop says that USAID needs to find ways to assist developing regions without compromising the jobs of U.S. call center workers"
eldavojohn writes "Details are really thin, but the EE Times is reporting that Algotochip claims to be sitting on the 'Holy Grail' of SoC design. From the article: '"We can move your designs from algorithms to chips in as little as eight weeks," said Satish Padmanabhan CTO and founder of Algotochip, whose EDA tool directly implements digital chips from C-algorithms.' Padmanabhan is the designer of the first superscalar digital signal processor. His company, interestingly enough, claims to provide a service that consists of a 'suite of software tools that interprets a customers' C-code without their having any knowledge of Algotochip's proprietary technology and tools. The resultant GDSII design, from which an EDA system can produce the file that goes to TSMC, and all of its intellectual property is owned completely by the customer—with no licenses required from Algotochip.' This was presented at this year's Globalpress Electronics Summit. Too good to be true? Or can we expect our ANSI C code to be automagically implemented in a SoC in such a short time?"
benfrog writes "Popocatépetl, a volcano that sits 34 miles east of Mexico City, has begun a series of small eruptions. It's feared that larger eruptions would not only endanger people within range of its explosions, but disrupt life in Mexico City with ash clouds. 'People in the village of Xalitzintla said they were awakened by a window-rattling series of eruptions. Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center said one string of eruptions ended in the early morning, then the volcano started up again at 5:05 a.m., with at least 12 eruptions in two hours.' More than 30 million people live within sight of the volcano."
ananyo writes "NASA and a group of universities known as the READI network have begun testing an earthquake-warning system based on satellite data from the Global Positioning System. The method could have allowed Japanese officials to issue accurate warnings of the deadly March 2011 earthquake and tsunami ten times faster than they did, say scientists. The system is currently being tested using the U.S. Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array: hundreds of GPS receivers placed along the North American coast between Northern California and British Columbia in Canada. While conventional seismometers provide similar information, they run into trouble with earthquakes of magnitude 7 or higher. This is partly because in big quakes, the ground may shake for longer, but not significantly harder. GPS has no such problem, because it directly measures the movement of the ground."
suraj.sun writes with news that a new patent suit has been filed against Apple over all of the company's touch-based products. From the article: "According to the complaint (PDF), Professor Slavoljub Milekic conceived a system that used a touchscreen that allowed children to move virtual objects around the screen, which he used to build interactive displays for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY, in 1997, and filed for a patent on his design that same year. The patent in the suit, U.S. Patent #6,920,619 named 'User interface for removing an object from a display,' was issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 2005. According to the lawsuit, Milekic formed FlatWorld Interactives in 2007 to 'promote and commercialize' his invention. Curiously, FlatWorld was incorporated on January 2007, just weeks after Apple announced the original iPhone at Macworld Expo. In July 2007, just after Apple shipped the original iPhone, FlatWorld filed a reissue request for the patent, which appears to have been done in order to modify some of the patent's dependent claims."
An anonymous reader sends this quote from an opinion piece at Bloomberg: "Many programmers find that their employability starts to decline at about age 35. Employers dismiss them as either lacking in up-to-date technical skills — such as the latest programming-language fad — or 'not suitable for entry level.' In other words, either underqualified or overqualified. That doesn’t leave much, does it? Statistics show that most software developers are out of the field by age 40. Employers have admitted this in unguarded moments. Craig Barrett, a former chief executive officer of Intel Corp., famously remarked that 'the half-life of an engineer, software or hardware, is only a few years,' while Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has blurted out that young programmers are superior."
An anonymous reader writes "The 20th International Obfuscated C Code Contest apparently has the turbo button pressed, as the source code has been published in only two months, versus almost four years of the 19th contest. As we discussed in February, the judges' verdicts are in: the Best of Show entry comes from Don Yang with a program containing more programs. Some other entries winning this year are a text raytracer (used this year in IOCCC logo), a MOD player, a X11-based dual player tank shooter and a bouncing ball (Amiga-style) with ANSI escape sequences. Remember that every IOCCC entry has a limit of 4 kilobytes, so indeed every one is pretty impresive."
judgecorp writes "TapLogger, a proof-of-concept Trojan for Android developed by resarchers at Pennsylvania State University and IBM, uses information from the phone's motion sensor to deduce what keys the user has tapped (PDF), thus revealing otherwise-hidden information such as passwords and PINs."
eldavojohn writes "Not two weeks after Microsoft purchased 925 patents and patent applications plus licenses to AOL's portfolio for $1 billion, Facebook has now acquired 650 of said patents and patent applications for $550 million to which Microsoft retains a license. So, was Microsoft's $450 million worth it? According to their press release: 'Upon closing of this transaction with Facebook, Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 AOL patents and applications; a license to the approximately 650 AOL patents and applications that will now be owned by Facebook; and a license to approximately 300 patents that AOL did not sell in its auction.' Will the patent-go-round continue, or has Facebook loaded up for a good old-fashion Mexican standoff?"
An anonymous reader writes "A few months back, the National Research Council and the Federal Judicial Center published the Third Edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, the primary guide for federal judges in the United States trying to evaluate scientific evidence. One chapter in particular, 'How Science Works,' written by David Goodstein (Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at CalTech), has raised the issue of how judges should see science in the courtroom: should they look at science to see if it matches our idealized view of the scientific method, or should they consider the realities of science, where people advocate for their own theories far more than they question them?"
New submitter zackmerles writes "Tom's Hardware takes the newly-released, top-of-the-line Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K for a spin. All Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs come with Intel HD Graphics 4000, which despite the DirectX 11 support, only provides a modest boost to the Sandy Bridge Intel HD Graphics 3000. However, the new architecture tops the charts for low power consumption, which should make the Ivy Bridge mobile offerings more desirable. In CPU performance, the new Ivy Bridge Core i7 is only marginally better than last generation's Core i7-2700K. Essentially, Ivy Bridge is not the fantastic follow-up to Sandy Bridge that many enthusiasts had hoped for, but an incremental improvement. In the end, those desktop users who decided to skip Sandy Bridge to hold out for Ivy Bridge, probably shouldn't have. On the other hand, since Intel priced the new Core i7-3770K and Core i5-3570K the same as their Sandy Bridge counterparts, there is no reason to purchase the previous generation chips." Reader jjslash points out that coverage is available from all the usual suspects — pick your favorite: AnandTech, TechSpot, Hot Hardware, ExtremeTech, and Overclockers.