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Who's Getting Pay-By-Phone Right? The Fast Food Industry
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-thought-it-was-going-to-be-more-interesting,-didn't-you department:
jfruh writes "Techno-enthusiasts have been predicting for years that cell phones will become one of the main means that we use to pay for items — but most Americans stubbornly cling to cash and credit cards, mostly because cash and credit cards are infinitely more convenient. In order to woo people into buying things electronically, merchants need to make phone purchases better than traditional payment systems, not just another option. The fast food industry is leading the way with a plethora of apps that make ordering remotely a snap."

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China Arrests Anti-Corruption Blogger
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's forcibly-recommending-a-new-line-of-work department:
quantr tips this news from Bloomberg:
"A Chinese journalist who posted allegations of corrupt dealings during the privatization of state-owned assets has been formally arrested on a defamation charge, his lawyer said. The Beijing People's Procuratorate approved Liu Hu's arrest on Sept. 30, lawyer Zhou Ze said by phone yesterday. Liu, who worked for the Guangzhou-based New Express, had been in detention since Aug. 24, according to Zhou. Liu's arrest adds to evidence that the government is stepping up a crackdown against people who go online with revelations of official malfeasance. At the same time that the Communist Party has vowed to get tough on corruption, authorities have targeted outspoken bloggers and announced that people who post comments deemed defamatory could face as much as three years behind bars."

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Finnish Doctors Are Prescribing Video Games For ADHD
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you've-been-self-medicating-for-years department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Ville Tapio runs a private psychiatry center in Helsinki, and psychiatrists had told him they were reluctant in particular to hand out drugs for patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD drugs are psychostimulants, they are frequently abused, and kids can be prescribed them young and kept on a regimen for years. Tapio had an idea to do it better. His alternative? Getting people with mental health concerns to play video games. They're special video games, of course — ones that can change how your brain works, with a technique loosely termed gameified neuroplasticity therapy."

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Open-Source Intel Mesa Driver Now Supports OpenGL 3.2
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's please-comply department:
An anonymous reader writes "Mesa and its open-source Intel graphics driver now are in compliance with the OpenGL 3.2 specification (PDF). It took four years for Mesa to get up to GL 3.2 / GLSL 1.50 compliance, and support for the other Mesa drivers isn't too far behind, but they're still years behind in supporting OpenGL 4. Supporting a major new OpenGL API has resulted in Mesa 10.0 being called the next release. It has many other features, like performance improvements and new Gallium3D features. OpenGL 3.3 support might also be completed prior to the Mesa 10.0 release in November."

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Would You Secure Personal Data With DRM Tools?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend department:
museumpeace writes "From its own EmTech conference, Technology Review reports on a privacy strategy from Microsoft's Craig Mundie: When sharing music online took off in the 1990s, many companies turned to digital rights management (DRM) software as a way to restrict what could be done with MP3s and other music files — only to give up after the approach proved ineffective and widely unpopular. Today Craig Mundie, senior advisor to the CEO at Microsoft, resurrected the idea, proposing that a form of DRM could be used to prevent personal data from being misused."
Mundie also thinks it should be a felony to misuse that data. He thinks larger penalties would help deter shady organizations from harvesting data the user isn't even aware of. "More and more, the data that you should be worried about, you don’t even know about."

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US Nuclear Weapons Lab Discovers How To Suppress the Casimir Force
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's requires-application-of-Casimir's-Oil department:
KentuckyFC writes "One of the frustrating problems with microelectromechanical (MEM) devices is that the machinery can sometimes stick fast, causing them to stop working. One of the culprits is the Casimir effect — an exotic force that pushes metallic sheets together when they are separated by tiny distances. Now physicists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have worked out and demonstrated how to suppress the Casimir force. The trick is to create a set of deep grooves and ridges in the surface of one sheet so that the other only comes close to the tips of the ridges. These tips have a much smaller surface area than the flat sheet and so generate much less force. That could help prevent stiction in future MEMs devices. But why would a nuclear weapons lab be interested? MEM devices are invulnerable to electromagnetic pulse weapons that fry transistor-based switches, and so could be used as on-off switches for nuclear devices."

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Book Review: The Circle
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's satisfyingly-rounder-than-the-square department:
Nick Kolakowski writes
"Here are the lessons imparted by Dave Eggers' The Circle, his new novel about the rise of a fictional technology company clearly modeled on Google or Facebook: 1) Sharing content with people online is a poor substitute for having real-life experiences with, like, kayaking and family gatherings and drinking and stuff. 2) Unless stopped, companies that build social-networking tools will create increasingly intrusive software. 3) The only sure way to stay sane our increasingly interconnected (Eggers would say over-connected) world is to drive at high speed off a bridge."
Read below for the rest of Nick's review. The Circle
author Dave Eggers
pages 504
publisher Knopf
rating 8/10
reviewer Nick Kolakowski
ISBN 0385351399 (ISBN-10); 978-0385351393 (ISBN-13)
summary Sharing content with people online is a poor substitute for having real-life experiences

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Russian Missile Test Seen and Photographed By ISS Astronauts
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's activate-point-defense-lasers department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "It sounds like a scene from Gravity: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station Thursday saw a weird, glowing cloud of light in the distance, most likely caused by a fuel dump or leaking fuel from a Russian missile launch. The extended life of a Topol missile was being tested in a ballistic launch to a test target in Kazakhstan, and the astronauts were able to take pictures of both the launch vapor trail and the glowing cloud. This event is similar to the eerie spiral lights seen over Norway in 2009 caused by a Russian missile launch as well."

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Want To Hijack a Domain? Just Get a Fax Machine
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's why-are-fax-machines-still-a-thing department:
msm1267 writes "Metasploit's HD Moore says hackers sent a spoofed DNS change request via fax to Register.com that the registrar accepted, leading to a DNS hijacking attack against the Metasploit and Rapid7 websites. The two respective homepages were defaced with a message left by the same hacker collective that claimed responsibility for a similar DNS attack against Network Solutions. Rapid7 said the two sites' DNS records have been locked down and they are investigating."

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Stealing Silicon Valley
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's getaway-car-and-a-pocket-full-of-flash-drives department:
pacopico writes "A series of robberies in Silicon Valley have start-ups feeling nervous. According to this report in Businessweek, a couple of networking companies were burgled recently with attempts made to steal their source code. The fear is that virtual attacks have now turned physical and that espionage in the area is on the rise. As a result, companies are now doing more physical penetration testing, including one case in which a guy was mailed in a FedEx box in a bid to try and break into a start-up."

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China Arrests Anti-Corruption Blogger
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's forcibly-recommending-a-new-line-of-work department:
quantr tips this news from Bloomberg:
"A Chinese journalist who posted allegations of corrupt dealings during the privatization of state-owned assets has been formally arrested on a defamation charge, his lawyer said. The Beijing People's Procuratorate approved Liu Hu's arrest on Sept. 30, lawyer Zhou Ze said by phone yesterday. Liu, who worked for the Guangzhou-based New Express, had been in detention since Aug. 24, according to Zhou. Liu's arrest adds to evidence that the government is stepping up a crackdown against people who go online with revelations of official malfeasance. At the same time that the Communist Party has vowed to get tough on corruption, authorities have targeted outspoken bloggers and announced that people who post comments deemed defamatory could face as much as three years behind bars."

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Diamond Rain In Saturn
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's diamonds-are-a-leviathan's-best-friend department:
Taco Cowboy writes "Back in 1999, it was postulated that diamonds may rain from the sky in the atmospheres of our solar system's gas giants. Now, research has shown that diamond rains on Saturn are more than probable. '"We don't want to give people the impression that we have a Titanic-sized diamondberg floating around," said researcher Mona Delitsky, of California Specialty Engineering, "We're thinking they're more like something you can hold in your hand." Recent data compiled by planetary scientists ... has been combined with newly published pressure temperature diagrams of Jupiter and Saturn. These diagrams, known as adiabats, allow researchers to decipher at what interior level that diamond would become stable. They also allow for calculations at lower levels – regions where both temperature and pressure are so concentrated that diamond becomes a liquid. Imagine diamond rain or rivulets of pure gemstone.' 'At even greater depths, the scientists say the diamond will eventually melt to form liquid diamond, which may then form a stable ocean layer.'

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Shuttleworth: Apple Will Merge Mac and iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-wish-my-laptop-had-just-one-button department:
Barence writes "Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth claims Apple will follow Ubuntu's lead and converge the iPhone and MacBook product lines. Speaking to PC Pro to mark the upcoming launch of Ubuntu 13.10, Shuttleworth said that the failed Ubuntu Edge smartphone — an attempt to bridge mobile and desktop computing devices — had set an example that others will follow. 'We've seen a very interested ripple go through the industry, and an uptick in interest in convergence,' Shuttleworth added. 'People are saying yes, mobile processors are catching up with the desktop. When Apple announced the iPhone 5s, it called the processor "desktop-class," and I don't think that was an accident – it was sending what we think is a very clear signal that it will converge the iPhone and the MacBook Air.'"

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Sensor Characteristics Uniquely Identify Individual Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's your-accelerometer-has-betrayed-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "SFGate reports that Stanford researchers have figured out a way to generate a unique fingerprint from a cell phone's suite of built-in sensors. The tiny accelerometers, gyroscopes, microphones, and speakers in cell phones have characteristics that vary slightly from handset to handset, and these variations may contain enough information to uniquely identify a given handset. How that information might get from the phone to a third party varies (the article describes a JavaScript snippet reading the Z-axis accelerometer, though it says little about how the user might block such information from being read), but the possibility for abuse is certainly troubling."

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BlackBerry Founders May Try To Take Over the Company
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's they-want-to-add-a-second-physical-keyboard department:
New submitter Adamsobert sends this excerpt from the NY Times:
"In a regulatory filing on Thursday, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin said that they were considering a bid for the 92 percent of the company that they do not own. ... Their potential bid joins a growing list of expressions of interest in the company, which recently reported a $1 billion quarterly loss caused by the market's rejection of new smartphones that were supposed to revive BlackBerry's prominence. Fairfax Financial Holdings of Toronto has made a conditional, nonbinding offer to buy the 90 percent of BlackBerry shares it does not own for $9 each. That would value the company at about $4.7 billion."

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CPJ Report: the Obama Administration and Press Freedoms
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's this-is-not-what-I-expected department:
dryriver writes "Committee To Protect Journalists reports: U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise. Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press. Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists. In the Obama administration's Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records. An 'Insider Threat Program' being implemented in every government department requires all federal employees to help prevent unauthorized disclosures of information by monitoring the behavior of their colleagues. Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way. Reporters' phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being 'an aider, abettor and/or conspirator' of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail."

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EU Court Holds News Website Liable For Readers' Comments
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sticks-and-stones department:
angry tapir writes "Seven top European Union judges have ruled that a leading Internet news website is legally responsible for offensive views posted by readers in the site's comments section. The European Court of Human Rights found that Estonian courts were within their rights to fine Delfi, one of the country's largest news websites, for comments made anonymously about a news article, according to a judgment."

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Qualcomm to Build Neuro-Inspired Chips
Posted by News Fetcher on October 11 '13 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's skynet-approved department:
Bismillah writes "At the MIT Technology Review EmTech conference, Qualcomm announced that the company and partners will design and make neural processing units or NPUs starting next year. NPUs mimic the neural structures and how the brain processes information in a massively parallel way, while being extremely power efficient, and may end up in self-learning devices."

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BBC Unveils Newly Discovered Dr.Who Episodes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 10 '13 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's original-tardis department:
BigBadBus writes "Putting an end to months of speculation, the BBC announced at a press conference today that it had recovered 9 previously lost episodes of Dr.Who, from the Patrick Troughton era (1966-69). The episodes complete 'The Enemy of the World' and almost complete 'The Web of Fear' (leaving one episode outstanding). The episodes were found in a relay station in Nigeria by Phillip Morris; previously Nigeria had been checked and had returned 6 lost episodes in 1984. The episodes are now available from UK and US iTune stores and can be for pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk"

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Google X Display Boss: Smartphones, Tablets, Apps Are "Mind-Numbing"
Posted by News Fetcher on October 10 '13 at 09:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's magic's-gone department:
curtwoodward writes "Stop drooling over that new iPhone. Put away the fancy tablet. Because the real hardcore nerds find that stuff 'boring' and 'mind-numbing,' says Mary Lou Jepsen, head of the display division at secretive R&D lab Google X. At MIT's EmTech conference, Jepsen said the next generation of 'moonshot' tech is much more exciting and interesting. That includes Google X projects like the driverless car, Project Loon, a stratospheric balloon-based wireless network, and Google Glass."

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