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Brooklyn Yogurt Shop Sting Snares Fake Reviewers For NY Attorney General
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '13 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's believe-nothing department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that nineteen companies caught writing fake reviews on websites such as Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch have been snared in a year-long sting operation by the New York Attorney General and will pay $350,000 in penalties. The Attorney General's office set up a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn, New York, and sought help from firms that specialize in boosting online search results to combat negative reviews. Search optimization companies offered to post fake reviews of the yogurt shop, created online profiles, and paid as little as $1 per review to freelance writers in the Philippines, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe. To avoid detection the companies used 'advanced IP spoofing techniques' to hide their true identities. 'This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution,' said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. 'More than 100 million visitors come to Yelp each month, making it critical that Yelp protect the integrity of its content,' said Aaron Schur, Yelp's Senior Litigation Counsel."

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Boot To Zork
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '13 at 02:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's you-have-been-eaten-by-a-grue department:
Seemingly to inflict more suffering upon himself, Matt Garret (lord of getting things to boot using EFI) decided that booting directly into Zork would be cool. Quoting his weblog entry: "So, Frotz seemed like the natural choice when this happened. But despite having a set of functionality that makes it look much more like an OS than a boot environment, UEFI doesn't actually expose a standard C library. The EFI Application Development Kit solves this particular design decision. Porting Frotz ended up involving far more fixing up of Frotz bugs that tripped up <tt>-Werror</tt> than anything else. One note, though - make sure you include DevShell in the list of required packages at build time, otherwise file i/o will mysteriously fail."

Grab the code, assuming you have a copy of Zork (or any other Z-machine game, as long as you name it <tt>ZORK1.DAT</tt>, I think).

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Romanian Science Journal Punked By Serbian Academics
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '13 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's groundbreaking-research department:
schwit1 writes "A group of Serbian academics, disgusted with the poor state of their country's research output, have scammed a Romanian science journal by getting it to accept their completely fabricated hoax article. From the article: 'The paper is replete with transparent gimmicks — obvious, that is, had anyone at the publication been paying attention — including a reference to the scholarship of [singer Michael] Jackson, Weber, [porn star Ron] Jeremy and citations to new studies by Bernoulli and Laplace, both dead more than 180 years (Weber died in 1920). They also throw in references to the "Journal of Modern Illogical Studies," which to the best of our knowledge does not and never has existed (although perhaps it should), and to a researcher named, dubiously, "A.S. Hole." And, we hasten to add, the noted Kazakh polymath B. Sagdiyev, otherwise known as Borat.' Their paper is hilarious and completely ridiculous, and yet it was published in a so-called serious journal without question. The best part is that they list Alan Sokal's hoax paper from 1996 as one of their sources."

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Imprisoned Physicist Honored For Refusing To Work On Iran's Nuclear Program
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 11:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-silex-for-you department:
New submitter I3MOUNTAINS writes "Omid Kokabee, a University of Texas graduate student who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than two years, received the American Physical Society's Andrei Sakharov human rights prize for refusing to collaborate on the country's nuclear program. In May, an Iranian court sentenced him to ten years in prison for 'communicating with a hostile government' and receiving 'illegal earnings.' The so-called 'illegal earnings' were the student loans he received while in Texas."

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Why Are Cells the Size They Are? Gravity May Be a Factor
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 08:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ten-meters-tall department:
carmendrahl writes "Eukaryotic cells, which are defined by having a nucleus, rarely grow larger than 10 micrometers in diameter. Scientists know a few reasons why this is so. A new study suggests another reason — gravity. Studying egg cells from the frog Xenopus laevis, which reach as big as 1 mm across and are common research tools, Princeton researchers Marina Feric and Clifford Brangwynne noticed that the insides of the eggs' nuclei settled to the bottom when they disabled a mesh made from the cytoskeleton protein actin. They think the frog eggs evolved the mesh to counteract gravity, which according to their calculations becomes significant if cells get bigger than 10 micrometers in diameter."

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Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty To Leaking Secrets to the Associated Press
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 06:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's not-sure-what-to-think department:
McGruber writes "Today, Former FBI agent Donald John Sachtleben has agreed to plead guilty to leaking secret government information about a bomb plot to the Associated Press. In May, Sachtleben agreed to plead guilty to unrelated charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, and to pay restitution to an identified victim portrayed in the images and videos he allegedly possessed."

The deal includes a prison sentence of three years and seven months, and "If accepted by a judge, the prison sentence would be the longest ever handed down in a civilian court for a leak of classified information to a reporter."

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Fedora Project Turns 10
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 04:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's here's-to-ten-more department:
darthcamaro writes "It was ten years ago this past Sunday September 22nd, that the Red Hat sponsored Fedora project was born. The first Fedora release didn't come until six weeks later in November of 2003. Over the last 10 years the project has transformed itself from being entirely controlled by Red Hat to being a true community effort. In a video interview, the current Fedora Project Leader, Robyn Bergeron talks about the past and the future of Fedora. 'We need to think about how we're actually making the sausage,' Bergeron said. 'I think we can try and abstract and automate the things we have to do a lot, so our really awesome people's brains can be applied to solving problems that aren't yet automate-able.'"

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Utility Sets IT Department On Path To Self-destruction
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 04:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's something-about-insanity-here department:
dcblogs writes "Northeast Utilities has told IT employees that it is considering outsourcing IT work to India-based offshore firms, putting as many as 400 IT jobs at risk. The company is saying a final decision has not been made. But Conn. State Rep. and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, who is trying to prevent or limit the outsourcing move, says it may be a done deal. NU may be prompting its best IT employees to head to the exits. It also creates IT security risks from upset workers. The heads-up to employees in advance of a firm plan is 'kind of mind mindbogglingly stupid,' said David Lewis, who heads a Connecticut-based human resources consulting firm OperationsInc, especially 'since this is IT of all places.' The utility's move makes sense, however, if is it trying to encourage attrition to reduce severance costs."

Because it's worked so well for others in the past.

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Google Dropping Netscape Plugin API Support In Chrome/Blink
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's wither-portability department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced it is dropping Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface support in Chrome. The company will be phasing out support over the coming year, starting with blocking webpage-instantiated plugins in January 2014. Google has looked at anonymous Chrome usage data and estimates that just six NPAPI plug-ins were used by more than 5 percent of users in the last month. To 'avoid disruption' (read: attempt to minimize the confusion) for users, Google will temporarily whitelist the most popular NPAPI plugins: Silverlight, Unity, Google Earth, Google Talk, and Facebook Video."

Google offers NaCl as an alternative, and "Moving forward, our goal is to evolve the standards-based web platform to cover the use cases once served by NPAPI."

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FAA May Let You Use Electronic Devices During Airplane Takeoff and Landing Soon
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's leave-it-on department:
colinneagle writes "Members of an FAA advisory panel are reportedly meeting this week to make changes to the ban on the use of electronic devices on an airplane during takeoff and landing. The new regulations will allow the use of electronic devices to access content stored on the devices, including e-books, music, podcasts, and video. Sending emails, connecting to Wi-Fi, and making phone calls will still be prohibited. The announcement is expected to be made later this month, and the rules put into effect next year, according to the report."

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Microsoft Takes Another Stab At Tablets, Unveils Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-try-this-again department:
Dputiger writes "Microsoft has unveiled both the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, updating the former with a Tegra 4 processor and the latter with a new Haswell chip. Among the additional improvements are a more comfortable kickstand with two height settings, 1080p displays for both devices, USB 3.0 support, better battery life, and a higher resolution camera. Pricing for the 32GB Surface without a Touch or Type Cover is set at $449"

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Schneier: Metadata Equals Surveillance
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-rose-by-any-other-name department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Bruce Schneier writes that lots of people discount the seriousness of the NSA's actions by saying that it's just metadata — after all the NSA isn't really listening in on everybody's calls — they're just keeping track of who you call. 'Imagine you hired a detective to eavesdrop on someone,' writes Schneier. 'He might plant a bug in their office. He might tap their phone.' That's the data. 'Now imagine you hired that same detective to surveil that person. The result would be details of what he did: where he went, who he talked to, what he looked at, what he purchased — how he spent his day. That's all metadata.' When the government collects metadata on the entire country, they put everyone under surveillance says Schneier. 'Metadata equals surveillance; it's that simple.'"

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Air Force Wants Technology That Will Let Drones Sense and Avoid Other Aircraft
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's spread-out department:
coondoggie writes "With an eye toward letting drones share the nation's common airspace, the Air Force has set out to find the technology that will let unmanned aircraft sense and avoid other airplanes in flight. The ability to sense and avoid — common on all manned aircraft that fly the national airspace — is one of the trickier issues for drones which do not support such technology. It will be a major hurdle to jump as drone vendors and others press for common drone access to national airspace."

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Vimeo Held Covered By DMCA Safe Harbor
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's safe-for-now department:
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a recent 56-page decision (PDF) in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, LLC, a federal court in Manhattan found Vimeo to be covered by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, rejecting Capitol Records' arguments that it was not entitled to the statute's "safe harbor". However, Vimeo is not yet out of the woods in this particular case, as the Court found factual issues — requiring a trial — as to 10 of the videos on the question of whether they were uploaded at the direction of Vimeo users, and as to 55 of the videos whether Vimeo had actual knowledge, or red flag knowledge, as the existence of an infringement."

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Universal Flu Vaccine "Blueprint" Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's common-cure department:
minty3 writes "Scientists say they used the pandemic as a 'natural experiment' to discover how the body's immune system builds resistance to the flu. The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, showed how certain immune cells helped some avoid the severe illness. 'Our findings suggest that by making the body produce more of this specific type of CD8 T cell, you can protect people against symptomatic illness,' said study leader Professor Ajit Lalvani, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, in a statement. 'This provides the blueprint for developing a universal flu vaccine.'"

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Book Review: Citrix XenApp Performance Essentials
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
First time accepted submitter gbrambilla writes "A problem every system administrator has to face sooner or later is to improve the performance of the infrastructure that he administers. This is especially true if the infrastructure is a Citrix XenApp farm that publishes applications to the users, that starts complaining as soon as those applications become slow. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to publish a new ERP application and suddenly all the hosted applications started to suffer performance problems... after some basic tests I looked on Amazon for an help and found the book I'm reviewing: Citrix XenApp Performance Essentials, by Luca Dentella, is a practical guide that helps system administrators to identify bottlenecks, solve performance problems and optimize XenApp farms thanks to best-practices and real-world examples." Read below for the rest of gbrambilla's review. Citrix XenApp Performance Essentials
author Luca Dentella
pages 126
publisher Packt Publishing
rating 8/10
reviewer gbrambilla
ISBN 1782170448
summary A practical guide for tuning and optimizing the performance of XenApp farms using real-world examples

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Link Rot and the US Supreme Court
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-old department:
necro81 writes "Hyperlinks are not forever. Link rot occurs when a source you've linked to no longer exists — or worse, exists in a different state than when the link was originally made. Even permalinks aren't necessarily permanent if a domain goes silent or switches ownership. According to new research from Harvard Law, some 49% of hyperlinks in Supreme Court documents no longer point to the correct original content. A second study on link rot from Yale stresses that for the Court footnotes, citations, parenthetical asides, and historical context mean as much as the text of an opinion itself, which makes link rot a threat to future scholarship."

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BlackBerry Will Sell Itself For $4.7 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's circle-of-business department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "A consortium led by financial-holding company Fairfax Financial has agreed to acquire BlackBerry for $4.7 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Fairfax Financial will acquire every BlackBerry stock-share it doesn't already own. Further details are pending, including future management structure and whether BlackBerry will continue with its stated intent to lay off thousands of employees over the next few months. 'The Special Committee is seeking the best available outcome for the Company's constituents, including for shareholders,' Barbara Stymiest, chair of BlackBerry's Board of Directors, wrote in a statement. 'Importantly, the go-shop process provides an opportunity to determine if there are alternatives superior to the present proposal from the Fairfax consortium.' A special committee formed by BlackBerry's Board of Directors had spent the past few weeks looking for a potential acquirer. BlackBerry has seen its market-share crumble as businesses and consumers embrace rivals such as Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices."

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Valve Announces Linux-Based SteamOS
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's inexorable-linux department:
Today Valve Software announced SteamOS, a Linux-based gaming operating system designed for, as Valve puts it, "living room machines." They say, "In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we're now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases." One major feature they're touting is the ability to use the SteamOS machine to stream video games from other Windows and Mac computers in the house to your TV. They mention media streaming as well, but without much detail. "With SteamOS, 'openness' means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they've been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation."

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What I Did During My Summer Vacation: Burning Man Edition
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '13 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's first-thing-you-need-to-do department:
Bennett Haselton writes: "While nothing can really 'prepare' you for your first time at Burning Man,
there are a few simple steps that can eliminate a lot of the stress.
Unfortunately it can be hard to get information out of the 10-year veterans
about how to do things the easy way (some of them probably view
the 'easy way' as 'ruining the whole point'). So here's some advice instead from someone
who just got back from their first time, and who likes to take the path of
least resistance."
Keep reading for the rest of Bennett's Burning Man advice.

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