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At Home with Tim O'Reilly (Videos 5 and 6 of 6)
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 01:30 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's original-members-of-the-open-source-movement department:
Today's videos are parts five and six of our casual interview with Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and one of the most influential open source boosters around. (You supplied the questions. He supplied the answers.) We had a lot more to say about Tim Tuesday when we ran parts one and two of our video interview with him. Yesterday we ran parts three and four. (Today's alternate Video Links: Video 5 ~ Video 6.)

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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's kill-all-the-cells!-oh-wait department:
cranky_chemist sends this report from NPR:
"Cancer simply may be here to stay. Researchers at Kiel University, the Catholic University of Croatia and other institutions discovered that hydra — tiny, coral-like polyps that emerged hundreds of millions of years ago — form tumors similar to those found in humans. Which suggests that our cells' ability to develop cancer is "an intrinsic property" that has evolved at least since then — way, way, way before we rallied our forces to try to tackle it, said Thomas Bosch, an evolutionary biologist at Kiel University who led the study, published in Nature Communications in June (abstract) To get ahead of cancer, he said, "you have to interfere with fundamental pathways. It's a web of interactions," he said. "It's very difficult to do." That's why cancer "will probably never be completely eradicated."

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Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's lockin-leverage-legislate department:
walterbyrd writes: Fresh on the heels of the entire Munich and Linux debacle, another story involving Microsoft and free software has popped up across the world, in Chile. A prolific magazine from the South American country says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software. "An independent member of the Chilean Parliament, Vlado Mirosevic, pushed a bill that would allow the state to consider free software when the authorities needed to purchase or renew licenses. ... A while later, the same member of the Parliament, Daniel Farcas, proposed another bill that actually nullified the effects of the previous one that had just been adopted. To make things even more interesting, some of the people who voted in favor of the first law also voted in favor of the second one. ... The new bill is even more egregious, because it aggressively pushes for the adoption of proprietary software. Companies that choose to use proprietary software will receive certain tax breaks, which makes it very hard for free software to get adopted."

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Book Review: Social Engineering In IT Security Tools, Tactics, and Techniques
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
benrothke writes When I got a copy of Social Engineering in IT Security Tools, Tactics, and Techniques by Sharon Conheady, my first thought was that it likely could not have much that Christopher Hadnagy didn't already detail in the definitive text on the topic: Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking. Obviously Hadnagy thought differently, as he wrote the forward to the book; which he found to be a valuable resource. While there is overlap between the two books; Hadnagy's book takes a somewhat more aggressive tool-based approach, while Conheady take a somewhat more passive, purely social approach to the topic. There are many more software tools in Hadnagy; while Conheady doesn't reference software tools until nearly half-way through the book. This book provides an extensive introduction to the topic and details how social engineering has evolved through the centuries. Conheady writes how the overall tactics and goals have stayed the same; while the tools and techniques have been modified to suit the times. Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review. Social Engineering in IT Security Tools, Tactics, and Techniques
author Sharon Conheady
pages 272
publisher McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
rating 8/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 978-0071818469
summary Great resource on which to build a social engineering testing program

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How Game Developers Turn Kickstarter Failure Into Success
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's pay-me-to-overpromise department:
Nerval's Lobster writes When you ask random strangers on the Internet to give you money, there are no guarantees. That's true in almost any scenario, including when video game developers use Kickstarter to crowdfund the creation of a game. While 3,900 or so games have been funded on Kickstarter, more than 7,200 game projects failed to hit their goal. Within those two numbers are some people who fall into both categories: developers who failed to get funding on their first try, but re-launched campaigns and hit their goals. Jon Brodkin spoke with a handful of those indie game developers who succeeded on their second try; many of them used the momentum (and fans) from the first attempt to get a head start on funding the second, and one even adjusted his entire plan based on community feedback. But succeeding the second time also depended on quite a bit of luck.

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Metamaterial Superconductor Hints At New Era of High Temperature Superconductors
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's resistance-is-futile-at-extremely-low-temperatures department:
KentuckyFC writes: Superconductors allow current to flow with zero resistance when cooled below some critical temperature. They are the crucial ingredients in everything from high-power magnets and MRI machines to highly sensitive magnetometers and magnetic levitation devices. But one big problem is that superconductors work only at very low temperatures — the highest is around 150 kelvin (-120 degrees centigrade). So scientists would dearly love to find ways of raising this critical temperature. Now a group of physicists say they've found a promising approach: to build metamaterial superconductors that steer electrons in the same way as other metamaterials steer light to create invisibility cloaks. The inspiration for the work comes from the observation that some high temperature superconductors consist of repeated layers of conducting and dielectric structures. So the team mixed tin — a superconductor at 3.7 kelvin — with the dielectric barium titanate and found that it raised the critical temperature by 0.15 kelvin. That's the first demonstration that superconductors can be thought of as metamaterials. With this proof of principle under their belts, the next step is to look for bigger gains at higher temperatures.

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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-to-program department:
snydeq writes: Most of us gave little thought to the "career" aspect of programming when starting out, but here we are, battle-hardened by hard-learned lessons, slouching our way through decades at the console, wishing perhaps that we had recognized the long road ahead when we started. What advice might we give to our younger self, or to younger selves coming to programming just now? Andrew C. Oliver offers several insights he gave little thought to when first coding: "Back then, I simply loved to code and could have cared less about my 'career' or about playing well with others. I could have saved myself a ton of trouble if I'd just followed a few simple practices." What are yours?

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Experimental Drug Stops Ebola-like Infection
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's side-effects-may-include-spontaneous-combustion department:
sciencehabit writes: An experimental treatment against an Ebola-related virus can protect monkeys even when given up to 3 days after infection, the point at which they show the first signs of disease. The virus, known as Marburg, causes severe hemorrhagic fever—vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding. In one outbreak, it killed 90% of people it infected. There are no proven treatments or vaccines against it. The new results raise hopes that the treatment might be useful for human patients even if they don't receive it until well after infection. The company that makes the compound, Tekmira, based in Burnaby, Canada, has started a human safety trial of a related drug to treat Ebola virus disease, and researchers hope that it, too, might offer protection even after a patient has started to feel ill.

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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let's-debate-onshoring department:
hackingbear writes: According to a new Cost-Competitiveness Index, the nations often perceived as having low manufacturing costs — such as China, Brazil, Russia, and the Czech Republic — are no longer much cheaper than the U.S. In some cases, they are estimated to be even more expensive. Chinese manufacturing wages have nearly quintupled since 2004, while Mexican wages have risen by less than 50 percent in U.S. dollar terms, contrary to our long-standing misconception that their labors were being slaved. In the same period, the U.S. wage is essentially flat, whereas Mexican wages have risen only 67%. Not all countries are taking full advantage of their low-cost advantages, however. The report found that global competiveness in manufacturing is undermined in nations such as India and Indonesia by several factors, including logistics, the overall ease of doing business, and inflexible labor markets.

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Interviews: Andrew "bunnie" Huang Answers Your Questions
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-they-are department:
A while ago you had a chance to ask Andrew "bunnie" Huang about hardware, hacking and his open source hardware laptop Novena. Below you'll find his answers to those questions.

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Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's or-we'll-shoot-this-dog department:
Slashdot regular (and Couchsurfing.org volunteer) Bennett Haselton writes with a report that an anonymous prankster hacked the Couchsurfing.org website and sent spam to about 1 million members, snarkily advertising their commercial
arch-rival Airbnb as "the new Couchsurfing." (Read on below for more on the breach.) As of now, the spam's been caught, but not the spammer.

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The 2014 Hugo Awards
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's congratulations-to-all department:
Dave Knott writes: WorldCon 2014 wrapped up in London this last weekend and this year's Hugo Award winners were announced. Notable award winners include:

Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Best Novelette: "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" by Mary Robinette Kowal

Best Novella: "Equoid" by Charles Stross

Best Short Story: "The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere" by John Chu

Best Graphic Story: "Time" by Randall Munroe

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Gravity written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): Game of Thrones: "The Rains of Castamere" written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter

The results of this year's awards were awaited with some some trepidation in the SF community, due to well-documented attempts by some controversial authors to game the voting system. These tactics appear to have been largely unsuccessful, as this is the fourth major award for the Leckie novel, which had already won the 2013 BSFA, 2013 Nebula and 2014 Clarke awards.


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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 05:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's monopoly-money department:
Several readers sent word of research into the cost of internet content without ads. They looked at the amount of money spent on internet advertising last year in the U.K., and compared it to the number of U.K. internet users. On average, each user would have to pay about £140 ($230) to make up for the lost revenue of an ad-free internet. In a survey, 98% of consumers said they wouldn't be willing to pay that much for the ability to browse without advertisements.
However, while most consumers regard ads as a necessary trade-off to keep the internet free, they will go to great lengths to avoid advertising they do not wish to see. Of those surveyed, 63 per cent said they skip online video ads 'as quickly as possible' – a figure that rises to 75 per cent for 16-24 year olds. Over a quarter of all respondents said they mute their sound and one in five scroll away from the video. 16 per cent use ad blocking software and 16 per cent open a new browser window or tab.

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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-but-stop-calling-her-from-work department:
New submitter dszd0g writes The Court of Appeal of the State of California has ruled in Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service that California businesses must reimburse employees who BYOD for work. "We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them. Whether the employees have cell phone plans with unlimited minutes or limited minutes, the reimbursement owed is a reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills." Forbes recommends businesses that require cell phone use for employees either provide cell phones to employees or establish forms for reimbursement, and that businesses that do not require cell phones establish a formal policy.

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Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's teaching!-teaching!-teaching! department:
redletterdave (2493036) writes "When Steve Ballmer announced he was stepping down from Microsoft's board of directors, he cited a fall schedule that would "be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season." It turns out Ballmer will teach an MBA class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in the fall, and a class at USC's Marshall School of Business in the spring. Helen Chang, assistant director of communications at Stanford's Business School, told Business Insider that Ballmer will be working with faculty member Susan Athey for a strategic management course called "TRAMGT588: Leading organizations." As for the spring semester, Ballmer will head to Los Angeles — closer to where his Clippers will be playing — and teach a course at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. We reached out to the Marshall School, which declined to offer more details about Ballmer's class.

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The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 21 '14 at 02:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-way-of-thinking department:
StartsWithABang writes It's the holy grail of modern particle physics: discovering the first smoking-gun, direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Sure, there are unanswered questions and unsolved puzzles, ranging from dark matter to the hierarchy problem to the strong-CP problem, but there's no experimental result clubbing us over the head that can't be explained with standard particle physics. That is, the physics of the Standard Model in the framework of quantum field theory. Or is there? Take a look at the evidence from the muon's magnetic moment, and see what might be the future of physics.

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National Science Foundation Awards $20 Million For Cloud Computing Experiments
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '14 at 11:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's paying-the-way-to-the-future department:
aarondubrow writes The National Science Foundation today announced two $10 million projects to create cloud computing testbeds — to be called "Chameleon" and "CloudLab" — that will enable the academic research community to experiment with novel cloud architectures and pursue new, architecturally-enabled applications of cloud computing. While most of the original concepts for cloud computing came from the academic research community, as clouds grew in popularity, industry drove much of the design of their architecture. Today's awards complement industry's efforts and enable academic researchers to advance cloud computing architectures that can support a new generation of innovative applications, including real-time and safety-critical applications like those used in medical devices, power grids, and transportation systems.

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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '14 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-on-my-plate department:
sciencehabit writes China's Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China.

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How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '14 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cheap-charge department:
ashshy writes Argonne National Lab is leading the charge on next-generation battery research. In an interview with The Motley Fool, Argonne spokesman Jeff Chamberlain explains how new lithium ion chemistries will drive down the cost of electric cars over the next few years. "The advent of lithium ion has truly enabled transportation uses," Chamberlain said. "Because if you remember your freshman chemistry, you think of the periodic table -- lithium is in the upper left-hand corner of the periodic table. Only hydrogen and helium are lighter on an atomic basis."

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Study: Seals Infected Early Americans With Tuberculosis
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '14 at 04:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's seal-of-consumption department:
mdsolar writes that a study suggests that tuberculosis first appeared in the New World less than 6,000 years ago and it was brought here by seals. After a remarkable analysis of bacterial DNA from 1,000-year-old mummies, scientists have proposed a new hypothesis for how tuberculosis arose and spread around the world. The disease originated less than 6,000 years ago in Africa, they say, and took a surprising route to reach the New World: it was carried across the Atlantic by seals. The new study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, has already provoked strong reactions from other scientists. "This is a landmark paper that challenges our previous ideas about the origins of tuberculosis," said Terry Brown, a professor of biomolecular archaeology at the University of Manchester. "At the moment, I'm still in the astonished stage over this."

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