Zothecula writes "We like to think of technology as always being forward looking. It's supposed to be about nanoparticles and the Cloud, not steam engines and the telephone exchange. But every now and again the past reaches out, taps the 21st century on the shoulder and says, 'Have a look at this.' That's what happened to Professor Stephen Hoskins, Director of the University of West England, Bristol's Centre for Fine Print Research. He is currently working on a way of printing 3D ceramics that are self-glazing, thanks to a 7,000-year old technology from ancient Egypt."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
jfruh writes "Every time a company rolls out a new version of a product, it extols how much better it is than the previous version. Thus, Apple spent a part of its iPhone 5 rollout touting the staying power of the latest version of its battery. But have iPhone batteries really seen improvement since the original came out in '07? Kevin Purdy crunches the numbers and concludes that, while the 5's battery beats the 4S's, we still haven't returned to the capabilities of the original phone."
dgharmon writes "'I hate it,' Wozniak told Bloomberg in Shanghai today, referring to the patent battle. He thinks the ruling will be overruled. Samsung will of course appeal, and this case will go back and forth for months still, but Wozniak just wishes everyone could get along. 'I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it — very small things I don’t really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies,' he said."
MrSeb writes "Intel often uses the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) as a platform to discuss its long-term vision for computing as well as more practical business initiatives. This year, the company has discussed the shrinking energy cost of computation as well as a point when it believes the energy required for 'meaningful computing' will approach zero and become ubiquitous by the year 2020. The idea that we could push the energy cost of computing down to nearly immeasurable levels is exciting. It's the type of innovation that's needed to drive products like Google Glass or VR headsets like the Oculus Rift. Unfortunately, Intel's slide neatly sidesteps the greatest problems facing such innovations — the cost of computing already accounts for less than half the total energy expenditure of a smartphone or other handheld device. Yes, meaningful compute might approach zero energy — but touchscreens, displays, radios, speakers, cameras, audio processors, and other parts of the equation are all a long way away from being as advanced as Intel's semiconductor processes."
dell623 writes "While the fragmentation issues in iOS are nowhere near as bad as Android, it can no longer be considered non existent. I have prepared a chart showing which features will be available on which device. While some restrictions are the result of hardware limitations, it is clear that Apple has deliberately chosen to limit some previous generation devices, and figuring this out isn't always straightforward if you're not buying the latest iPad or iPhone."
New submitter ratbag writes with this snippet from BBC News: "The BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, which created theme tunes and sound effects for programs including Doctor Who and Blake's 7, is to reopen after 14 years. The original workshop was known for its pioneering use of electronic sounds. Founded in 1958, it was best-known for creating the eerie swoosh of the Doctor Who theme tune, but its compositions were also used in numerous radio dramas, The Goon Show and The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As well as music, the workshop created sound effects — from champagne corks popping to the distorted, strangulated voices of the Daleks."
Lucas123 writes "Western Digital subsidiary HGST today announced that after 10 years of development it is preparing to release 3.5-in data center-class HDDs that are hermetically sealed with helium inside. The helium reduces drag and wind turbulence created by the spinning platters, all but eliminating track misregistration that has become a major issue to increasing drive density in recent years. Because of that, HGST will be able to add two more platters along with increasing the tracks per inch, which results in a 40% capacity increase. The drives will also use 23% less power because of the reduction of friction on the spindle. HGST said the new seven-platter helium drives will weigh 29% less per terabyte of capacity that today's five-platter drives. In other words, a seven-platter helium disk will weigh 690 grams, the same as today's five-platter drives."
itwbennett writes "In the first trial resulting from the controversial three-strikes copyright law, a French court on Thursday fined a man €150 for failing to secure his Internet connection. His negligence led to the illegal download of files, including two Rihanna songs that were downloaded by his wife."
Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating 'if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer.' A possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Razgorov Prikazka writes "There is a lot of technology involved in sailing these days. EPIRB, FHV-DSC, GPS, NAVTEX, Inmarsat, fishfinders/depth sounders, different kinds of radar (with MARPA or ATA) — you name it and there are dozens of manufacturers out there willing to provide, all of them with a range of different products. Right now I am planning a 'round-the-world-trip,'' and my ship (an 18-meter Skerry Cruiser sailing yacht) is in its early construction phase, so I need to shop for some hi-tech gear and, basically, I got lost in all the possibilities. What kind of hardware would you recommend as necessary for a trip of this kind? What would you have installed in your ship in order to have a safe trip?"
judgecorp writes "Eolas, which claims to have patented key aspects to web browsers, is suing again, this time targeting Facebook, Disney and Wal-Mart for infringing hypertext patents. Eolas settled with Microsoft and has sold licenses to other players — but two of the four patents in this case have previously been declared invalid."
OverTheGeicoE writes "The motion to force DHS to start its public comment period is still working its way through the court (DHS: 'We're not stonewalling!', EPIC: 'Yes, you are!'). While we wait for the decision, Cato Institute's Jim Harper points out another way for the public to comment on body scanners, tsacomment.com. Even before this site existed, of course, the government was receiving public comment anyway in the form of passenger complaint letters, which they buried in their files. Even so, the public can get a chance to view those comments as the result of Freedom of Information Act requests. An FOIA request about pat-downs by governmentattic.org yielded hundreds of pages of letters to the government from 2010, including frequent reports of pat-down induced PTSD and sexual abuse trauma."
An anonymous reader writes "The NVIDIA Linux driver across multiple GeForce graphics cards can compete with Microsoft Windows 7 on Ubuntu, but only when using the KDE desktop and not the default Unity/Compiz. It turns out based upon recent desktop environment benchmarking, Ubuntu's Unity desktop is now noticeably slower than GNOME/KDE/Xfce/LXDE with multiple GPUs/drivers. Sam Spilsbury of Canonical/Compiz acknowledges the problem but it may take longer than one Ubuntu cycle to correct."
George Albercook says he got carried away talking with some third and fourth graders about space and asked them, "Would you like to go?" Except, of course, he couldn't send them beyond the atmosphere in person, so as a consolation he worked with them to send up a balloon that could carry experiments high enough that the sky is black 24 hours a day and the Earth's curvature is easy to see. This interview with George was at the 2012 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire. Click on the link just below, if you'd like to read the transcript.
First time accepted submitter halightw writes "Scotch tape really can fix anything according to a new study where it was used to induce super conductivity by taping two pieces of material together. A "proximity effect" occurs when a superconducting material is able to induce superconducting behavior in a second material — a semiconductor that does not typically enjoy superconductivity." All that and X-rays, too. Related: An anonymous reader writes "Scientist at University of Leipzig in Germany claim to have measured room-temperature superconducting in specially treated graphite grains. The measurements were reproduced independently before the announcement was made. More tests need to be done to verify the extent of superconductivity and whether the effect can be extended and scaled to be practical."