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Hacking Charisma
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '14 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's check-your-dependencies department:
An anonymous reader writes: "Steve Jobs had it. George Clooney has it. So does Don Draper. Charisma is intangible but powerful: the personality trait that's used to win friends and influence people. Olivia Fox Cabane wasn't born with it. She was a high-school outcast, a socially awkward teenager baffled by the nuance of social interactions. But she was also an analytical thinker. She believes she has reverse engineered the secret of charm, and is so successful that executives now pay her to do the same for them. Cabane's self-help spiel comes with a dose of science. In this article, Teresa Chin examines the science of charisma, and asks why exactly Silicon Valley needs a charisma coach in the first place."

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Xbox One Reputation System Penalizes Gamers Who Behave Badly
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '14 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-news-for-everyone's-mothers department:
New submitter DroidJason1 writes: "Microsoft has added new 'player reputation scores' to each Xbox Live member's Gamercard. The scores are represented by icons consisting of the colors green, yellow, and red. The more hours you play fairly online without being reported as abusive by other players, the better your reputation will be. Good players are given a green color, while those that 'need work' are yellow and those that need to be avoided are red. Microsoft says, 'If players do not heed warnings and continue to have a negative impact on other players and the Xbox Live community, they will begin to experience penalties. For example, people with an “Avoid Me” rating will have reduced matchmaking pairings and may be unable to use certain privileges such as Twitch broadcasting.' They add that the system will adjust for false reports."

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Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
An anonymous reader writes: "Mining new Bitcoins is computationally expensive — you can't expect to do much on your standard home computer. Many miners have built custom rigs to mine more efficiently, but it was only a matter of time until somebody went industrial. Dave Carlson's goal is to mine 10% of all new Bitcoins from now on. He's built literally thousands of units. They collectively use 1.4 million BitFury mining chips, which are managed by a bunch of Raspberry Pis. 'The current rigs each contain 16 boards, with each board containing 16 BitFury chips, for a total of 256 mining chips on each rig. Carlson said about 90,000 processor boards have been deployed, which would put the number of rigs at about 5,600. A new board [being designed] will have 756 chips on each rig instead of 256.' Carlson says his company spent $3-5 million to get everything set up. They current generate 7,000 — 8,000 Bitcoins per month, which, at current rates, would be worth over $4 million."

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Anti-Game-Violence Legislator Arrested, Faces Gun Trafficking Charges
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's should-have-stayed-home-and-played-GTA department:
Several readers sent word that California State Senator Leland Yee was arrested today. He's accused of conspiring to traffic guns and commit wire fraud, to defraud citizens of honest services, and bribery. The complant (PDF) also names 25 other defendants. Yee is known for pushing legislation that would ban the sale of violent video games to minors.
"Federal prosecutors also allege Yee agreed to perform official acts in exchange for the money, including one instance in which he introduced a businessman to state legislators who had significant influence over pending medical marijuana legislation. In exchange, the businessman -- who was actually an undercover FBI agent -- agreed to donate thousands to Yee's campaign fund, according to the indictment. The indictment also describes an August 2013 exchange in which [former school board president Keith Jackson] told an undercover officer that Yee had an arms trafficking contact. Jackson allegedly said Yee could facilitate a meeting for a donation."

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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 06:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shut-up-and-take-my-money department:
mendax sends this excerpt from a New York Times op-ed:
"like Napster in the late 1990s, [torrent-streaming app Popcorn Time] offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we've all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren't good enough. ... In the music business, Napster’s vision eventually became a reality. Today, with services like Spotify and Rdio, you can pay a monthly fee to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. But in the movie and TV business, such a glorious future isn't in the offing anytime soon.

According to industry experts, some of whom declined to be quoted on the record because of the sensitivities of the nexus of media deals involved, we aren’t anywhere close to getting a service that allows customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to a wide range of top-notch movies and TV shows.Instead of a single comprehensive service, the future of digital TV and movies is destined to be fragmented across several services, at least for the next few years. We’ll all face a complex decision tree when choosing what to watch, and we’ll have to settle for something less than ideal."


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Gameover Malware Targets Job Seekers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's game-over-man,-game-over department:
itwbennett writes: "A new variant of the Gameover computer Trojan is targeting job seekers and recruiters by attempting to steal log-in credentials for Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com accounts. Like the Zeus banking malware on which it is based, Gameover can steal log-in credentials and other sensitive information by injecting rogue Web forms into legitimate websites when accessed from infected computers. 'A computer infected with Gameover ZeuS will inject a new 'Sign In' button [into the Monster.com sign-in page], but the page looks otherwise identical,' security researchers from antivirus firm F-Secure said Tuesday in a blog post."

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TSA Missed Boston Bomber Because His Name Was Misspelled In a Database
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 03:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let's-blame-technology department:
schwit1 sends this news from The Verge:
"Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the primary conspirator in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people, slipped through airport security because his name was misspelled in a database, according to a new Congressional report. The Russian intelligence agency warned U.S. authorities twice that Tsarnaev was a radical Islamist and potentially dangerous. As a result, Tsarnaev was entered into two U.S. government databases: the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment and the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), an interagency border inspection database.

A special note was added to TECS in October of 2011 requiring a mandatory search and detention of Tsarnaev if he left the country. 'Detain isolated and immediately call the lookout duty officer,' the note reportedly said. 'Call is mandatory whether or not the officer believes there is an exact match.' 'Detain isolated and immediately call the lookout duty officer.' Unfortunately, Tsarnaev's name was not an exact match: it was misspelled by one letter. Whoever entered it in the database spelled it as 'Tsarnayev.' When Tsarnaev flew to Russia in January of 2012 on his way to terrorist training, the system was alerted but the mandatory detention was not triggered. Because officers did not realize Tsarnaev was a high-priority target, he was allowed to travel without questioning."


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Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 03:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's NSA-surveillance-probe-already-dispatched department:
astroengine writes: "After a decade of searching, astronomers have found a second dwarf-like planet far beyond Pluto and its Kuiper Belt cousins, a presumed no-man's land that may turn out to be anything but. How Sedna, which was discovered in 2003, and its newly found neighbor, designated 2012 VP 2113 by the Minor Planet Center, came to settle in orbits so far from the sun is a mystery. Sedna comes no closer than about 76 times as far from the sun as Earth, or 76 astronomical units. The most distant leg of its 11,400-year orbit is about 1,000 astronomical units. Newly found VP 2113's closest approach to the sun is about 80 astronomical units and its greatest distance is 452 astronomical units (abstract). The small world is roughly 280 miles (450 kilometers) wide, less than half the estimated diameter of Sedna."

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GNOME 3.12 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 02:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's dude-you-got-a-smelly-foot department:
New submitter Sri Ramkrishna writes: "Like clockwork, the next version of GNOME has been released with updated applications, bugfixes, and so forth. People can look forward to faster loading times and a little better performance than before. A video has been created to highlight the release! Check it out!"

The release features "... app folders, enhanced system status and
high-resolution display support. This release also includes new and
redesigned applications for video, software, editing, sound recording
and internet relay chat
. Under the hood, support for using Wayland instead of X has progressed
significantly." There are a bunch of new features for programmers too.

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Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 02:16 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's supertanker-sinks-more-slowly department:
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Peter Molyneux is one of the most famous personalities in the history of gaming, especially recognized for having created God games Dungeon Keeper, Populous, Black & White, but also the Fable series. After creating the Fable series, Molyneux announced in March 2012 that he will be leaving Lionhead and Microsoft to start another company – 22Cans. During a recent interview, the former Microsoft employee has shared some interesting details regarding the time when he was working over at Redmond. Here's the excerpt from his interview: 'I left Microsoft because I think when you have the ability to be a creative person, you have to take that seriously, and you have to push yourself. And pushing yourself is a lot easier to do if you're in a life raft that has a big hole in the side, and that's what I think indie development is. You're paddling desperately to get where you want to go to, but you're also bailing out. Whereas if you're in a big supertanker of safety, which Microsoft was, then that safety is like an anesthetic. It's like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable.'"

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Owner of Nortel Patents Sues Cisco For 'Immense' Patent Infringement
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 01:16 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's patent-troll-dreams-big department:
jfruh (300774) writes "The venerable Nortel Networks may have vanished into bankruptcy five years ago, but thanks to U.S. patent law, it can strike back at its old rival Cisco from beyond the grave. Spherix, a Virginia-based 'research company' that bought Nortel's patents in 2009, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Cisco has been knowingly violating 11 Nortel patents. 'The vast majority of Cisco's switching and routing revenue from March 2008 until the present is and has been generated by products and services implementing technology that infringes the Asserted Patents,' the lawsuit claims."

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Security for the 'Internet of Things' (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 12:30 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's my-kitchen-sink-has-been-hacked-and-is-spewing-hot-water-all-over-the-place department:
What happens when your oven is on the Internet? A malicious hacker might be able to set it to broil while you're on vacation, and get it so hot that it could start a fire. Or a prankster might set your alarm to wake you up at 3 a.m. - and what if someone gets access to the wireless security camera over your front door and uses it to gain access to the rest of your home network, and from there to your bank account? Not good. With the 'Internet of Things' you will have many devices to secure, not just a couple of computers and handheld devices. Timothy Lord met Mark Stanislev of Duo Security at BSides Austin 2014, which is where this interview took place.

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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 12:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's single-issue-electorate department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Marcus Wohlsen writes that the most recent ban against Tesla selling cars directly from the company instead of through third-party dealers was enacted in New Jersey with the support of Gov. Chris Christie, a possible contender for the GOP nomination. That prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Christie rival, to heartily defend Tesla's direct sales model. 'Customers should be allowed to buy products that fit their need,' says Rubio, 'especially a product that we know is safe and has consumer confidence beneath it.' Perhaps even more surprising is the love shown by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the once and possibly future presidential hopeful whose oil-rich state bars employees in Tesla's two showrooms from even telling potential customers how much the Model S costs. 'I think it's time for Texans to have an open conversation about this,' says Perry, 'the pros and the cons. I'm gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.' The sudden GOP embrace of an electric car company once reviled as a symbol of Northern California enivro-weenies might seem ironic says Wohlsen, but the real irony is that conservative politicians ever opposed Tesla at all.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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First Asteroid Discovered Sporting a Ring System
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 11:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's coolest-rock-in-the-belt department:
astroengine (1577233) writes "When you think of a celestial ring system, the beautiful ringed planet Saturn will likely jump to mind. But for the first time astronomers have discovered that ring systems aren't exclusive to planetary bodies — asteroids can have them too. Announced on Wednesday, astronomers using several observatories in South America, including the ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, have discovered that distant asteroid Chariklo possesses two distinct rings. Chariklo, which is approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) wide, is the largest space rock in a class of asteroids known as Centaurs that orbit between Saturn and Uranus in the outer solar system. 'We weren't looking for a ring and didn't think small bodies like Chariklo had them at all, so the discovery — and the amazing amount of detail we saw in the system — came as a complete surprise!' said lead researcher Felipe Braga-Ribas, of the Observatório Nacional and MCTI, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."

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Court Orders Turkish Twitter Ban Temporarily Lifted, Twitter Prepares Challenge
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 11:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's conveniently-too-many-days-to-comply department:
redletterdave (2493036) writes "Less than a week after the Turkish government banned Twitter over failing to remove allegations of government corruption from the social network, a Turkish court on Wednesday suspended the ban, calling it 'illegal.'"

Unfortunately, according to the BBC Twitter may remain blocked until after the elections: "The administrative court in Ankara issued a temporary injunction on Wednesday ordering the TIB to restore access to Twitter until it could deliver its full verdict on the ban. Turkish media reports suggested the ban would be suspended soon afterwards but a source in Mr Erdogan's office told Reuters news agency the TIB had 30 days to implement or appeal against the court ruling."

In the meantime, Twitter is attempting to fight the ban directly.

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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's couldn't-have-been-an-accident department:
Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes:
"Why do Netflix and a few other companies keep the DVD format alive, when streaming is more convenient for almost all users? The answer is not obvious, but my best theory is that it has to do with what economists call price discrimination. Netflix is still the cheapest legal way to watch a dozen recent releases every month — but only if you're willing to put up with those clunky DVDs."
Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.

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XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's almost-there department:
An anonymous reader writes that XWayland is nearly ready to be merged into the main X.org tree "X.Org Server 1.16 this summer should support XWayland, the means of allowing X11 applications to run atop Wayland-based compositors without the need for any application/game changes. With the revised design, XWayland has generic 2D acceleration over OpenGL and a cleaner design compared to earlier revisions. With GNOME 3.12 having better Wayland support and Plasma Next around the corner, it looks like 2014 could be the year of Wayland's take-off!"

The patch series emails have more details. The big news here is that XWayland is ditching its old DDX model for one based on Glamor. eliminating the need for any X.org drivers to be written to support X11 on Wayland: "Finally, the last patch adds the Xwayland DDX. Initially Xwayland was an
Xorg module that exposed an API for Xorg video drivers to hook into
so that we could reuse the native 2D acceleration. Now that glamor is
credible and still improving, a much better approach is to make Xwayland
its own DDX and use glamor for acceleration. A lot of the code in the Xorg
approach was busy preventing Xorg being Xorg, eg, preventing VT access,
preventing input driver loading, preventing drivers doing modesetting.
The new DDX in contrast is straight-forward, clean code, only 2500 lines of
code and neatly self-contained."
It does not yet have direct rendering or any acceleration, but those patches should come soon.

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Target and Trustwave Sued Over Credit Card Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's kill-the-auditor department:
jfruh (300774) writes "Security vendors like Trustwave can make big bucks when major companies decide they don't have the internal resources to handle their cybersecurity needs. Unfortunately, when taking on security chores, you also take on security liabilities. In the wake of Target's massive credit card security breach, both Target and Trustwave are now on the receiving end of a class action lawsuit, in part backed by banks that had to issue thousands of new credit cards."

The filing, and a bit more from El Reg: "It's against Target, however, that the most serious allegations are levelled. The class action led by Trustmark National Bank and Green Bank, say the retailer should not have allowed an outside contractor the access to its network that brought about the breach, and that it violated federal and state laws in storing the credit card data on its network."

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Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's rash-decisions department:
An anonymous reader writes "Not one hour after the announcement of the the acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook yesterday, Markus 'Notch' Persson has announced that he has ceased all discussions about bringing it to Oculus Rift. 'I don't want to work with social, I want to work with games. ... Facebook is not a company of grass-roots tech enthusiasts. Facebook is not a game tech company. Facebook has a history of caring about building user numbers, and nothing but building user numbers. People have made games for Facebook platforms before, and while it worked great for a while, they were stuck in a very unfortunate position when Facebook eventually changed the platform to better fit the social experience they were trying to build.' Persson has stated that he made this decision despite initially investing $10,000 in Oculus' Kickstarter."

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Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '14 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's stone-the-popular-kid department:
puddingebola (2036796) writes "Bruce Byfield looks back at the soured relationships between Canonical and the free software community. Partly analysis, partly a review of past conflicts, the writer touches on Mir and Wayland, and what he sees as Canonical's attempts to take over projects. From the article, 'However, despite these other concerns, probably the most important single reason for the reservations about Ubuntu is its frequent attempts to assume the leadership of free software — a position that no one has ever filled, and that no one particularly wants to see filled. In its first few years, Ubuntu's influence was mostly by example. However, by 2008, Shuttleworth was promoting the idea that major projects should coordinate their release schedules. That idea was received without enthusiasm. However, it is worth noting that some of those who opposed it, like Aaron Seigo, have re-emerged as critics of Mir — another indication that personal differences are as important as the issues under discussion.'"

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