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Grocery Store "Smart Shelves" Will Identify Customers, Show Targeted Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watching-you department:
cagraham writes "Snack company Mondelez International (maker of Oreos, Trident, Cadbury eggs) will introduce so-called 'smart shelves' into store checkout aisles beginning 2015. The shelves will use Microsoft's Kinect software, in addition to other tech, to identify shoppers age and sex, and will then use that info to deliver demographically tailored advertisements. The shelves will be able to track engagement, monitor how long customer's watch each ad, and offer discounts if a customer is considering a purchase (weight sensors will tell the machine if you pick up a product). Mondelez says the software will only use and collect aggregate data, and will not record any video or photos."

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Brazil Announces Secure Email To Counter US Spying
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keep-your-eyes-on-your-own-paper department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Phys Org reported that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has announced that her government was creating a secure email system to try and shield official communications from spying by the United States and other countries. 'We need more security on our messages to prevent possible espionage,' Rousseff said on Twitter, ordering the Federal Data Processing Service, or SERPRO, to implement a safe email system throughout the federal government. The move came after Rousseff publicly condemned spying against Brazilian government agencies attributed to the United States and Canada. 'This is the first step toward extending the privacy and inviolability of official posts,' Rousseff said. After bringing her complaints against US intelligence agencies to the United Nations General Assembly last month and canceling a state visit to Washington, Rousseff announced that the country will host an international conference on Internet governance in April."

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Books With "Questionable Content" Being Deleted From ebookstores In Sweeping Ban
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cleaning-things-up department:
Nate the greatest writes "The Kernel started an uproar last week when they 'discovered' that the Kindle Store and other ebookstores sell adult content in the erotica category. None of the content is actually illegal, but it is icky enough that the major ebookstores decided to respond by removing anything even vaguely questionable. Unfortunately, they went to far, resulting in an act of censorship the likes of which we haven't seen since Paypal went after the indie ebook distributor Smashwords. The Daily Mail reports that WH Smith went so far as to shut down their website with the promise that it won't reopen until all self-published titles have been removed, and according to BBC News B&N is also deleting content. Numerous authors have reported on KBoards that Amazon and B&N have removed far more than just the titles that feature questionable content like pseudo-incest; they appear to be running keyword searches and removing any title that mentions innocuous words like babysitter, sister, or teenager. And they're not the only ones; there's a new report that Kobo has jumped on the ban wagon as well."

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Facebook Buys Israeli Mobile Analytics Startup Onavo
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-this department:
rtoz writes "Israeli Mobile Data Management Startup "Onavo" has announced that it has been acquired by Social Media Giant Facebook. Facebook will get its first office at Israel by acquiring Onavo. Techcrunch has mentioned that Onavo will give facebook a much deeper tech bench to measure how its mobile services are working. 'Onavo will be an exciting addition to Facebook,' a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD. 'We expect Onavo's data compression technology to play a central role in our mission to connect more people to the internet, and their analytic tools will help us provide better, more efficient mobile products.'"

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Billion Year Storage Media
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's built-to-last department:
Thorfinn.au writes "Even though the data density of digital information storage has increased tremendously over the last few decades, the data longevity is limited to only a few decades. If we want to preserve anything about the human race which can outlast the human race itself, we require a data storage medium designed to last for 1 million to 1 billion years. In this paper a medium is investigated consisting of tungsten encapsulated by silicon nitride which, according to elevated temperature tests, will last for well over the suggested time."

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First Evidence Found of a Comet Strike On Earth
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's big-boom department:
mdsolar writes in with a story about evidence of a comet explosion over Egypt 28 million years ago. "Saharan glass and a brooch belonging to King Tut provide the first evidence of a comet directly impacting Earth, a new study claims. The finding may help unlock some of the mysteries surrounding the birth of our solar system. About 28 million years ago a comet exploded over Egypt, creating a 3600F (2000C) blast wave that spread out over the desert below. The fiery shockwave melted the sand, forming copious amounts of yellow silica glass scattered over 2,300 square miles (6,000 square kilometers) of the Sahara. Polished into the shape of a scarab beetle, a large piece of this glass found its way into a brooch owned by the famed Egyptian boy king Tutankhamen. 'Because there is no sign of an impact crater, it has been a mystery as to what kind of celestial event actually could have caused this debris field, but a small, black stone found lying in the middle of the glass area caught our attention,' said study co-author David Block, an astronomer at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa."

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Nokia Design Guru Urges Apple To End Cable Chaos
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '13 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-plug-to-rule-them-all department:
An anonymous reader writes "Nokia's former head designer has called on Apple to work with the broader technology industry and end its policy of having proprietary connectors for its device chargers and accessories. Other experts say Apple cannot continue to go it alone with Lightning Connectors and ignore Micro USB."

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Netflix Pursues Cable-TV Deals
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-demand department:
An anonymous reader writes "Netflix is making a push to make its online video service available as an app on set-top boxes. 'A deal would mark the online video service's first such tie-up with a U.S. cable provider and would come after a similar agreement it recently announced with U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. The talks are in early stages and no deal is imminent, the people cautioned. Netflix and U.S. pay-TV companies are rivals in some key respects. Netflix's subscription video offering is an attractive alternative for some consumers who are frustrated with costly cable bills. And both sides want to be the go-to destination for consumers to find on-demand TV programming.'"

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D-Link Router Backdoor Vulnerability Allows Full Access To Settings
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
StealthHunter writes "It turned out that just by setting a browsers user-agent to 'xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide' anyone can remotely bypass all authentication on D-Link routers. It seems that thttpd was modified by Alphanetworks who inserted the backdoor. Unfortunately, vulnerable routers can be easily identified by services like shodanHQ. At least these models may have vulnerable firmware: DIR-100, DI-524, DI-524UP, DI-604S, DI-604UP, DI-604+, TM-G5240."

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UK Court Orders Two Sisters Must Receive MMR Vaccine
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protecting-the-herd department:
rnws writes "The BBC reports that an English High Court judge has ruled that sisters aged 15 and 11 must have the MMR vaccine even though they and their mother do not want it. The High Court decision, made last month, came after the girls' father brought a case seeking vaccination. When outlining her decision in the latest case, Mrs Justice Theis emphasized it was a specific case 'only concerned with the welfare needs of these children', but lawyers say as one of a series it confirms there is no longer any debate about the benefits of the vaccine."

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Obamacare Website Fixes Could Take Two Week Or Two Months
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-of-these-days department:
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like nobody is quite sure how long it will take to fix the health insurance marketplace website. '"One person familiar with the system's development said that the project was now roughly 70 percent of the way toward operating properly, but that predictions varied on when the remaining 30 percent would be done," the Times reported yesterday. "'I've heard as little as two weeks or as much as a couple of months,' that person said. Others warned that the fixes themselves were creating new problems, and said that the full extent of the problems might not be known because so many consumers had been stymied at the first step in the application process."'"

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Scientific American In Blog Removal Controversy
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-deep-breath department:
Lasrick writes "Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D, the Urban Scientist blogger at Scientific American, has been mistreated twice: once by the blog editor at biology-online.org and now by SciAm itself. The blog editor asked Dr. Lee to contribute a blog post at Biology-Online, and when she declined (presumably for lack of monetary compensation), the blog editor asked her whether she was 'an urban scientist or an urban whore.' Then, SciAm deleted her blog post, in which she wrote about the incident."

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Elevated Radiation Claimed At Tokyo 2020 Olympic Venues
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mutant-games department:
An anonymous reader writes "A citizens' group in Tokyo claims to have found elevated levels of radioactivity at 39 sporting venues earmarked for the 2020 Olympic Games. Expert and organizers are cautious about the findings but see no problem, as the levels do not pose an immediate threat to human health. From the article: '"It is difficult to have this debate unless we know for sure whether this radiation is from Fukushima or whether it is naturally occurring background radiation," said Pieter Franken, founder of the Japan office of the environmental monitoring organization Safecast."

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Xerox "Routine Backup Test" Leave 17 States Without Food Stamps
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's time-to-revert department:
An anonymous reader writes "People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late in the evening that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported. 'Restarting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,' spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email. An emergency voucher process was available in some of the areas while the problems were occurring, she said. U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage was not related to the government shutdown."

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A Patent Tree Grows In Seattle
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's call-paul-bunyon department:
theodp writes "Among the featured attractions for the kids at the just-opened $10 million Bezos Center for Innovation in the $60 million Museum of History & Industry in Seattle is a 'Patent Tree'. The museum opening marks the end of a week for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that saw his personal and managerial life put on display with the release of an excerpt from The Everything Store, a new book by Brad Stone, who reveals how he found Bezos's long-lost biological father."

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Hillary Clinton: "We Need To Talk Sensibly About Spying"
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watching-the-watchers department:
dryriver writes "The Guardian reports: 'Hillary Clinton has called for a "sensible adult conversation", to be held in a transparent way, about the boundaries of state surveillance highlighted by the leaking of secret NSA files by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. In a boost to Nick Clegg, the British deputy prime minister, who is planning to start conversations within government about the oversight of Britain's intelligence agencies, the former US secretary of state said it would be wrong to shut down a debate. Clinton, who is seen as a frontrunner for the 2016 US presidential election, said at Chatham House in London: "This is a very important question. On the intelligence issue, we are democracies thank goodness, both the US and the UK. We need to have a sensible adult conversation about what is necessary to be done, and how to do it, in a way that is as transparent as it can be, with as much oversight and citizens' understanding as there can be."'"

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MIT Develops "Kinect of the Future"
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-the-better-to-see-you-with department:
itwbennett writes "Using radio signals, MIT researchers can pinpoint someone's location — through a wall — with accuracy of +/- 10 centimeters. Fadel Adib, a Ph.D student on the project, said that gaming could be one use for the technology, but that localization is also very important. He said that Wi-Fi localization, or determining someone's position based on Wi-Fi, typically requires the user to hold a transmitter, like a smartphone for example. 'What we're doing here is localization through a wall without requiring you to hold any transmitter or receiver [and] simply by using reflections off a human body,' he said. 'What is impressive is that our accuracy is higher than even state of the art Wi-Fi localization.'"

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Cadillac Unveils Pricier Alternative To Tesla Model S
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's paying-the-price department:
An anonymous reader writes "Cadillac has officially unveiled its Tesla S alternative, but at $5,000 more than the Tesla, it may not be the cheaper option you've been looking for. 'Cadillac is touting the ELR's 8-inch touchscreen powered by its CUE infotainment system — which two years in is still a buggy mess — along with a range of safety and convenience features, including lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and a 24-hour concierge service to answer questions. There's also a "regen on demand" feature that allows the driver to boost the brake regeneration, slowing the vehicle and recouping energy by pulling on the flappy paddles behind the steering wheel. GM's bean counters are quick to point out that depending on what federal and state tax incentives buyers are eligible for, the net pricing could be as low as $68,495, but that's still a tough sell considering you're basically getting a Volt with more presence and less practicality.'"

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Fighting the Number-One Killer In the US With Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's checking-the-chart department:
mattydread23 writes "Often, the signs of eventual heart failure are there, but they consist of a lot of weak signals over a long period of time, and doctors are not trained to look for these patterns. IBM and a couple heathcare providers, Sutter Health and Geisinger Health System, just got a $2 million grant from NIH to figure out how better data analysis can help prevent heart attack. But the trick is that doctors will have to use electronic records — it also means a lot more tests. Andy Patrizio writes, 'What this means is doctors are going to have to expand the tests they do and the amount of data they keep. Otherwise, the data isn't so Big.'"

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Weaponized Robots Could Take Point In Future Military Ops
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '13 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's why-did-you-program-me-to-feel-pain? department:
Lucas123 writes "This past week at Ft. Benning, weaponized robot prototypes from four robotics companies — Northrop Grumman, HDT Robotics, iRobot Corp. and QinetiQ — demonstrated their abilities to traverse rugged terrain, fire machine guns and take out pop-up targets from a distance of 150 meters. 'They're not just tools, but members of the squad. That's the goal,' said Lt. Col. Willie Smith, chief of Unmanned Ground Vehicles at Fort Benning. For example, the Northrup Grumman's CaMEL (Carry-all Mechanized Equipment Landrover) can run for 24 hours on three-and-a-half gallons of fuel, and can be equipped with a grenade launcher, an automatic weapon and anti-tank missiles. The CaMEL also can identify targets from three-and-a-half kilometers away, using a daylight telescope or thermal imaging. The robots have also demonstrated their ability to be air dropped behind enemy lines or into remote terrain."

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