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The Pirate Bay Launches Browser To Evade ISP Blockades
Posted by News Fetcher on August 10 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's speak-friend-and-enter department:
hypnosec writes "The Pirate Bay, on its 10th anniversary, has released 'Pirate Browser,' which it claims would allow people to access The Pirate Bay and other such blocked sites. The 'Pirate Browser' is a fully functional browser that currently works with Windows. ... According to the Pirate Browser website, the browser is basically a bundled package consisting of the Tor client and Firefox Portable browser. The package also includes some tools meant for evading censorship in countries like UK, Finland, Denmark, and Iran among others."

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There Is a Fly In My Tweet: Tracking Food-Borne Illness the Crowd-Sourced Way
Posted by News Fetcher on August 10 '13 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's persistent-deliciousness-tracked-separately department:
First time accepted submitter kraken9 writes "New research shows that online chatter can help you avoid food poisoning. Leveraging a statistical language model of Twitter users' online communication, nEmesis finds individuals who are likely suffering from a foodborne illness. People's visits to restaurants
are modeled by matching GPS data embedded in the messages with restaurant addresses. As a result, each venue is assigned a health score based on the proportion of customers that fell ill shortly after visiting
it. The paper shows that this score correlates with the official inspection data from the Department of Health, and argues that 'nEmesis offers an inexpensive way to enhance current methods to monitor food safety (e.g., adaptive inspections) and identify potentially problematic venues in near-real time.' Similar techniques have been used before to predict the spread of flu from GPS-tagged social data."


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Xerox Confirms To David Kriesel Number Mangling Occuring On Factory Settings
Posted by News Fetcher on August 10 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's try-copying-20-or-30-times department:
An anonymous reader writes with a followup to last week's report that certain Xerox scanners and copiers could alter numbers as they scanned documents: "In the second Xerox press statement, Rick Dastin, Vice President at Xerox Corporation, stated: 'You will not see a character substitution issue when scanning with the factory default settings.' In contrast, David Kriesel, who brought up the issue in the first place, was able to replicate the issue with the very same factory settings. This might be a serious problem now. Not only does the problem occur using default settings and everyone may be affected, additionally, their press statements may have misled customers. Xerox replicated the issue by following Kriesel's instructions, later confirming it to Kriesel. Whole image segments seem to be copied around the scanned data. There is also a new Xerox statement out now."

Swapping numbers while copying may seem like bizarre behavior for a copier, but In comments on the previous posting, several readers pointed out that Xerox was aware of the problem, and acknowledged it in the machine's documentation; the software updates promised should be welcome news to anyone who expectes a copier to faithfully reproduce important numbers.

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"Piracy Filter" Blocks TorrentFreak for 4 Million Sky Customers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 10 '13 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's type-one-and-type-two-errors department:
An anonymous reader writes "Website blocking has become a hot topic in the UK in recent weeks. Opponents of both voluntary and court-ordered blockades have warned about the potential collateral damage these blocking systems may cause, and they have now been proven right. As it turns out blocked sites can easily exploit the system and add new IP-addresses to Sky's blocklist. As a result TorrentFreak has been rendered inaccessible to the ISP's four million customers."

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Finland's Upper Secondary School Exams Going All-Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on August 10 '13 at 02:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's local-boy-makes-good department:
First time accepted submitter jovius writes "The Matriculation Examination Board of Finland has just opened an international hacking contest to find flaws and exploits in Digabi Live — the Live Debian based operating system to be used in the all-digital final exams by the year 2016. The contest ends on 1st of September, and the winners are about to scoop hefty hardware prizes, also available as cash."

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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 11:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's use-all-caps-and-lots-of-imperatives department:
First time accepted submitter extraqwert writes "An organization wants me to send them my personal data by email. I certainly do trust them. However, I would like to politely ask them to send me their public key for encryption. The secretary probably does not know what it is. But they do have a pretty good IT department, so they can figure out. My question is, what is the proper wording for such a request? What is the right terminology to use? Should I say ``please send me your RSA key''? ``Public key''? ``PGP key''? Is there a standard and reasonable wording for such a request? (On my end, I am using GNU PGP: http://www.gnupg.org/ ) Any suggestions on how to be polite in this case?"

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Nvidia CEO: We Are Working On Next Generation Surface
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 08:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's call-it-the-underbelly department:
UnknowingFool writes "CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has told CNET that Nvidia is working with Microsoft on the next generation of Surface tablets. While sales of the first generation have been poor, Huang believes the second generation will be more successful with the inclusion of Outlook."

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Crunching the Numbers On Shared Cellphone Contracts
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 05:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-plan-to-rip-off-your-family department:
itwbennett writes "The Wall Street Journal has a handy online calculator to help you sort out which phone plan is best for you. But one thing you'll notice is that shared or 'family' plans rarely offer any real savings, or benefits beyond the convenience of having a single bill, says blogger Kevin Purdy, who is bracing himself to propose a phone plan separation with his wife."

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The Pirate Bay Is 10 Years Old: 'We Really Didn't Think We'd Make It This Far'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's came-along-at-the-right-time department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Pirate Bay, arguably the most resilient file sharing website, was first founded on August 9, 2003, although it didn't launch until September 15, 2003. Nevertheless, the group considers the former date to be its start, so today The Pirate Bay is 10 years old. From their blog: 'We really didn't think we'd make it this far. Not because of cops, mafiaa or corrupt politicians. But because we thought that we'd eventually be to old for this shit. But hey, running this ship makes us feel young.'"

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Deutsche Telekom Moves Email Traffic In-Country In Wake of PRISM
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 03:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's anonymity-is-for-crazy-paranoid-people department:
kdryer39 writes "Germany's leading telecom provider announced on Friday that it will only use German servers to handle any email traffic over its systems, citing privacy concerns arising from the recent PRISM leak and its 'public outrage over U.S. spy programs accessing citizens' private messages.' In a related move, DT has also announced that they will be providing email services over SSL to further secure their customers' communications. Sandro Gaycken, a professor of cyber security at Berlin's Free University, said 'This will make a big difference...Of course the NSA could still break in if they wanted to, but the mass encryption of emails would make it harder and more expensive for them to do so.'"

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Air Force Space Fence Being Shut Down
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's to-be-replaced-with-space-moat department:
New submitter meglon writes "NASA will lose access to important real-time information on tracking orbital debris if the order of Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, is carried out. The Space Fence, the only monitoring system of its kind, will cease to function on October 1st. 'Deployed in the 1960s, the VHF Space Fence includes three transmitter sites and six receiving stations. It is responsible for approximately 40 percent of all observations performed by the Air Force-run Space Surveillance Network, which includes other ground-and space-based sensor assets, said Brian Weeden, technical adviser at the Secure World Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to space sustainability. ... A full-scale development contract for an updated version of the Space Fence had been expected in 2012 or early 2013, but on July 16, Shelton said the multibillion-dollar project is being held up due to a wide-ranging Pentagon review that includes major acquisition programs. The review is examining scenarios under which the Pentagon’s budget is cut by $150 billion, $250 billion and $500 billion during the next decade.'"

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Request to Falsify Data Published In Chemistry Journal
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's glad-to-know-they're-on-top-of-things department:
New submitter Jim_Austin writes "A note inadvertently left in the 'supplemental information' of a journal article appears to instruct a subordinate scientist to fabricate data. Quoting: 'The first author of the article, "Synthesis, Structure, and Catalytic Studies of Palladium and Platinum Bis-Sulfoxide Complexes," published online ahead of print in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Organometallics, is Emma E. Drinkel of the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The online version of the article includes a link to this supporting information file. The bottom of page 12 of the document contains this instruction: "Emma, please insert NMR data here! where are they? and for this compound, just make up an elemental analysis ..." We are making no judgments here. We don't know who wrote this, and some commenters have noted that "just make up" could be an awkward choice of words by a non-native speaker of English who intended to instruct his student to make up a sample and then conduct the elemental analysis. Other commenters aren't buying it.'"

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Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft plans to raise the price of the Datacenter edition of the upcoming R2 release of Windows Server 2012 by 28 percent, adding to what analysts call a record number of price increases for enterprise software products from Redmond. According to licensing data sheets available for download from the Windows Server 2012 R2 Website (PDF), the price of a single license of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter will be $6,155, compared to $4,809 today—plus the cost of a Client Access Licenses for every user or device connecting to the server. News of the increase was posted yesterday by datacenter virtualization and security specialist Aidan Finn, a six-time Microsoft MVP who works for Dublin-based value added reseller MicroWarehouse Ltd. and has done work for clients including Amdahl, Fujitsu and Barclays. The increase caps off a year filled with a record number of price increases for Microsoft enterprise software, according to a Tweet yesterday from Microsoft software licensing analyst Paul DeGroot of Pica Communications."

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Have eBooks Peaked?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's amazon-sure-hopes-not department:
An anonymous reader writes "At Rough Type, Nicholas Carr examines the surprisingly sharp drop in the growth rate for e-book sales. In the U.S., the biggest e-book market, annual sales growth dropped to just 5% in the first quarter of this year, according to the Association of American Publishers, while the worldwide e-book market actually shrank slightly, according to Nielsen. E-books now account for about 25% of total U.S. book sales — still a long way from the dominance most people expected. Carr speculates about various reasons e-books may be losing steam. He wonders in particular about 'the possible link between the decline in dedicated e-readers (as multitasking tablets take over) and the softening of e-book sales. Are tablets less conducive to book buying and reading than e-readers were?' He suggests that the e-book may end up playing a role more like the audiobook — a complement to printed books rather than a replacement."

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Obama on Surveillance: "We Can and Must Be More Transparent"
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's proof-is-in-the-pudding department:
Today President Obama held a press conference to address the situation surrounding the NSA's surveillance activities. (Here is the full transcript.) He announced four actions the administration is undertaking to restore the public's confidence in the intelligence community. Obama plans to work with Congress to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to give greater weight to civil liberties, and to revisit section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which is the section that allowed bulk collection of phone records. (Of course, "will work with Congress" is a vague term, and Congress isn't known for getting things done lately. Thus, it remains to be seen if anything substantive happens.) Obama is ordering the Dept. of Justice to make public their legal rationale for data collection, and there will be a new NSA official dedicated to transparency efforts. There will also be a new website for citizens to learn about transparency in intelligence agencies. Lastly, a group of outside experts will be convened to review the government's surveillance capabilities. Their job will include figuring out how to maintain the public's trust and prevent abuse, and to consider how the intelligence community's actions will affect foreign policy. In addition to these initiatives, President Obama made his position very clear about several different aspects of this controversy. While acknowledging that "we have significant capabilities," he said, "America is not interested in spying on ordinary people." He added that the people who have raised concerns about privacy and government overreach in a lawful manner are "patriots." This is in stark contrast to his view of leakers like Edward Snowden: "I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot." (For his part, Snowden says the recent shut down of encrypted email services is 'inspiring.') When asked about how his opinion of the surveillance programs have changed, he said his perception of them have not evolved since the story broke worldwide. "What you're not seeing is people actually abusing these programs." Obama also endorsed finding technological solutions that will protect privacy regardless of what government agencies want to do.

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Is New York City Ready For Digital Voting?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's only-if-they-can-do-it-from-a-cab department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Turnout for local elections in New York City was 33.7 percent in 2010, according to Fair Vote. And while some apps and startups are looking to resurrect turnouts in future elections, most candidates still couldn't tell you how they work or why they might be necessary. Benjamin Kallos is a candidate for New York City Council's fifth district, which includes the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, and has his sights on modernizing the electoral process. He's campaigning on a high-tech platform that he says aims to deepen technology's role in promoting transparency, inclusion, and accountability within pockets of New York City's voting pool that remain largely disengaged."

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Back To 'The Future of Programming'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's coding-at-88-mph department:
theodp writes "Bret Victor's The Future of Programming (YouTube video; Vimeo version) should probably be required viewing this fall for all CS majors — and their professors. For his recent DBX Conference talk, Victor took attendees back to the year 1973, donning the uniform of an IBM systems engineer of the times, delivering his presentation on an overhead projector. The '60s and early '70s were a fertile time for CS ideas, reminds Victor, but even more importantly, it was a time of unfettered thinking, unconstrained by programming dogma, authority, and tradition. 'The most dangerous thought that you can have as a creative person is to think that you know what you're doing,' explains Victor. 'Because once you think you know what you're doing you stop looking around for other ways of doing things and you stop being able to see other ways of doing things. You become blind.' He concludes, 'I think you have to say: "We don't know what programming is. We don't know what computing is. We don't even know what a computer is." And once you truly understand that, and once you truly believe that, then you're free, and you can think anything.'"

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NASA To Send Poems To Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's easier-than-sending-people department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Time Magazine reports that in and effort to involve non-rocket scientists in the next mission to the Red Planet, NASA invited the public in May to submit haiku, three line poems where 'the first and last lines must have exactly five syllables each and the middle line must have exactly seven syllables.' NASA promised to select five winners that will be adhered to the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) before it is launched towards Martian airspace. 'The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a personal connection to space, space exploration, and science in general, and share in our excitement about the MAVEN mission,' said Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program at CU/LASP. More than 15,000 entries were submitted by space geeks and poets the world over. A couple thousand were disqualified as too long, too short, or totally inappropriate, leaving about 12,500. The public voted online, and the five top vote-getters have been announced."
The winner:

It's funny, they named

Mars after the God of War

Have a look at Earth


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How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's TSA-now-banning-all-carbon-based-gases-on-airplanes department:
barlevg sends this excerpt from an article at MotherJones:
"It was a stunning figure: $60 trillion. Such could be the cost, according to a recent commentary in Nature, of 'the release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea, off northern Russia... a figure comparable to the size of the world economy in 2012.' More specifically, the paper described a scenario in which rapid Arctic warming and sea ice retreat lead to a pulse of undersea methane being released into the atmosphere. How much methane? The paper modeled a release of 50 gigatons of this hard-hitting greenhouse gas (a gigaton is equal to a billion metric tons) between 2015 and 2025. This, in turn, would trigger still more warming and gargantuan damage and adaptation costs. ... According to the Nature commentary, that methane 'is likely to be emitted as the seabed warms, either steadily over 50 years or suddenly.' Such are the scientific assumptions behind the paper's economic analysis. But are those assumptions realistic—and could that much methane really be released suddenly from the Arctic? A number of prominent scientists and methane experts interviewed for this article voiced strong skepticism about the Nature paper.'"

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Memory Wars May Herald Mobile Devices With Terabytes of Capacity
Posted by News Fetcher on August 09 '13 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-news-for-abandoning-cloud-storage department:
Lucas123 writes "With 3D NAND flash going into high production and one startup demonstrating a resistive NAND (RRAM) flash array, it may not be long before mobile devices have hundreds of gigabytes of capacity, even a terabyte, with performance only limited by the bus. Samsung announced it is now mass producing three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) chips, and start-up Crossbar said it has created a prototype of its RRAM chip. Both technologies offer many times what current NAND flash chips offer today in capacity and performance. Which technology will prevail is still up in the air, and experts believe it will be years before RRAM can challenge NAND, but it's almost inevitable that RRAM will overtake NAND as even 3D NAND heads for an inevitable dead end. Others believe 3D NAND, currently at 24 layers, could reach more than 100, giving it a lifespan of five or more years."

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