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Google Now Serves 25% of North American Internet Traffic
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bow-to-the-google department:
sturgeon writes "Wired Magazine claims today that Google is now 25% of the North American traffic with a mostly unreported (and rapidly expanding), massive deployment of edge caching servers in almost every Internet provider around the world. Whether users are directly using a Google service (i.e. search, YouTube) or the devices are automatically sending data (e.g. Google Analytics, updates), the majority of end devices around the world will now send traffic to Google server during the course of an average day. It looks like Wired based their story on a report from cloud analytics and network management company DeepField."

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The Book That Is Making All Movies the Same
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who-needs-a-story-when-we-have-math? department:
Bruce66423 writes "This Slate story explains how a 2005 book has led to all Hollywood movies following the same structure — to a depressing extent. From the article: '...Summer movies are often described as formulaic. But what few people know is that there is actually a formula—one that lays out, on a page-by-page basis, exactly what should happen when in a screenplay. It’s as if a mad scientist has discovered a secret process for making a perfect, or at least perfectly conventional, summer blockbuster. The formula didn’t come from a mad scientist. Instead it came from a screenplay guidebook, Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. In the book, author Blake Snyder, a successful spec screenwriter who became an influential screenplay guru, preaches a variant on the basic three-act structure that has dominated blockbuster filmmaking since the late 1970s.' I've always known we could be manipulated — but this provides a segment by segment, almost minute by minute, guide how to do it."

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Self-Assembling Multi-Copter Demonstrates Networked Flight Control
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-comes-the-swarm department:
cylonlover writes "Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated an amazing capability for small robots to self-assemble and take to the air as a multi-rotor helicopter. Maximilian Kriegleder and Raymond Oung worked with Professor Raffaello D'Andrea at his research lab to develop the small hexagonal pods that assemble into flying rafts. The true accomplishment of this research is that there is not one robot in control – each unit in itself decides what actions to take to keep the group in the air in what's known as Distributed Flight Array."

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Texas School District Drops Embattled RFID Student IDs; Opts For Cameras
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eye-in-the-sky department:
The Northside Independent School District (NISD) of Texas, has decided to drop their controversial student RFID card plans and settle on hundreds of cameras to monitor students. Apparently, the technology wasn't quite the attendance silver bullet administration thought it would be, as Slate's Will Oremus discovered. 'Northside Independent School District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez told me that the microchip-ID program turned out not to be worth the trouble. Its main goal was to increase attendance by allowing staff to locate students who were on campus but didn't show up for roll call. That was supposed to lead to increased revenue. But attendance at the two schools in question a middle school and a high school barely budged in the year that the policy was in place. And school staff found themselves wasting a lot of time trying to physically track down the missing students based on their RFID locators. "We're very confident we can still maintain a safe and secure school because of the 200 cameras that are installed at John Jay High School and the 100 that are installed at Jones Middle School. Plus we are upgrading those surveillance systems to high-definition and more sophisticated cameras. So there will be a surveillance-camera umbrella around both schools," Gonzalez said."'

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British Prime Minister Promises Default On Porn Blocking
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 05:01 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-more-rule-34 department:
judgecorp writes "David Cameron, the British Prime Minister has promised that the UK's ISPs will be required to provide connections with 'porn blocking' filters switched on by default.. The public promise comes despite opposition from ISPs, and the near-universal acknowledgment that the system wouldn't work. Last week also saw the leak of a letter from the Department for Education which effectively told ISPs to lie — to implement their preferred 'active choice' system, and simply call it 'default-on'."

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Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's paying-the-piper department:
DavidHumus writes "Some of the longer-term effects of the anti-vaccination movement of past decades are now evident in a dramatic increase in measles. From the article: 'A measles outbreak infected 1,219 people in southwest Wales between November 2012 and early July, compared with 105 cases in all of Wales in 2011. One of the infected was Ms. Jenkins, whose grandmother, her guardian, hadn't vaccinated her as a young child. "I was afraid of the autism," says the grandmother, Margaret Mugford, 63 years old. "It was in all the papers and on TV."'"

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Maneuvering Continues For Control of Dell
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '13 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-bought-dell-dude department:
An anonymous reader writes "Just as Carl Icahn's months-long, high-profile bid for control of Dell seemed to have run its course, came the announcement that Dell's board had postponed a shareholder's vote on the bid from Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners, to take private the company that Dell had started in a University of Texas dorm room twenty nine years ago. The postponement indicated that Dell was not confident that their $24.4 billion ($13.65 per share) deal had the necessary votes. Icahn and his main ally, Southeastern Asset Management, claim that the proposed deal undervalues the company and its upside potential; Icahn's latest proposal is to keep the company public, but to offer $14 per share plus upside warrants, for every share tendered by stockholders. The latest wrinkle is apparent tension within the Dell/Silver Lake team; Silver Lake reportedly feels entitled to the $450 million buyout fee specified in the deal's language, if any alternative bid from Icahn succeeds within a year; Dell and the board feel that Silver Lake would only be entitled to expenses in that case, perhaps amounting to a few tens of millions USD. The Bloomberg story also reports that Michael Dell has at times been unable to reach his Silver Lake counterpart (a longtime friend) on the phone to discuss possibly sweetening the bid."

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Ohio Zoo Attempts To Mate Female Rhino With Her Brother For Species Survival
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's worst-blind-date-ever department:
An anonymous reader writes "Unfortunately for the Sumatran rhino the fate of the species may boil down to a plan by the Cincinnati Zoo to breed their lone female with her little brother. 'We absolutely need more calves for the population as a whole; we have to produce as many as we can as quickly as we can,' said Terri Roth, who heads the zoo's Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife. 'The population is in sharp decline and there's a lot of urgency around getting her pregnant.'"

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Star Wars City Doomed By Sand Dunes
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's and-nothing-was-lost department:
An anonymous reader writes "The buildings and set of the fictional city Mos Espa are set to be swallowed by migrating sand dunes in the Tunisian desert. From the article: 'Ralph Lorenz, from Johns Hopkins University, US, together with Jason Barnes, from the University of Idaho, and Nabil Gasmi, of the University of Sousse, Tunisia, visited the Mos Espa site in 2009, and noted that part of a nearby set used in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope had already been overrun. Using satellite images of the site, they were able to determine the speed of dune movement, which is approaching the buildings once inhabited by such luminaries as Anakin, his slave owner Watto, and rival podracer Sebulba.'"

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Interactive Nukemap Now In 3D
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's want-to-play-a-game? department:
Lasrick writes "The brilliant Alex Wellerstein has an interactive map that shows the effects of a variety of atomic bombs on whatever city in the world you choose (you can designate the yield or choose from a wide variety of pre-programmed yields, like Fatman, Little Boy, or what the Soviets had at time of the Cuban Missile Crisis). Compelling in a scary sort of way. A 3D version is available."

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Apple: Developer Site Targeted In Security Attack, Still Down
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
An anonymous reader writes "Apple has informed developers that an intruder gained access to its developer site database. Quoted email from Apple: 'Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website. Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers' names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed. In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue. We took the site down immediately on Thursday and have been working around the clock since then. In order to prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we're completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database. We apologize for the significant inconvenience that our downtime has caused you and we expect to have the developer website up again soon.'"

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Sunken WWI U-Boats a Bonanza For Historians
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dive-dive-dive department:
schwit1 writes "Archaeologists have found the rusting remains of 44 submarines off the United Kingdom's coast, an oceanic graveyard made up mostly of vessels from the German Imperial Navy dating to World War I. Der Spiegel reports a quartet of divers are now at work probing the massive trove of 41 German U-boats, and a trio of English submarines, found at depths of up to 50 feet, off England's southern and eastern coasts. 'We owe it to these people to tell their story.' says archaeologist Mark Dunkley."

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Rooting SIM Cards
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
SmartAboutThings writes "Smartphones are susceptible to malware and carriers have enabled NSA snooping, but the prevailing wisdom has it there's still one part of your mobile phone that remains safe and un-hackable: your SIM card. Yet after three years of research, German cryptographer Karsten Nohl claims to have finally found encryption and software flaws that could affect millions of SIM cards, and open up another route on mobile phones for surveillance and fraud."

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When the NSA Shows Up At Your Internet Company
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's when-the-man-comes-around department:
Frosty Piss writes "When people say the feds are monitoring what people are doing online, what does that mean? How does that work? When, and where, does it start? Pete Ashdown, CEO of XMission, an internet service provider in Utah, knows. He received a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010 mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers, through his facility. He also received a broad gag order. Says Mr. Ashdown, 'I would love to tell you all the details, but I did get the gag order... These programs that violate the Bill of Rights can continue because people can't go out and say, This my experience, this is what happened to me, and I don't think it is right.' In this article, Mr. Ashdown tells us about the equipment the NSA installed on his network, and what he thinks it did."

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The Man Who Convinced Us We Needed Vitamin Supplements
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's drink-your-juice department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic has an interesting piece on the life and work of the scientist most responsible for moms around the world giving their kids Vitamin C tablets to fight off colds, Linus Pauling. From the article: 'On October 10, 2011, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who took supplemental multivitamins died at rates higher than those who didn't. Two days later, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic found that men who took vitamin E had an increased risk of prostate cancer. "It's been a tough week for vitamins," said Carrie Gann of ABC News. These findings weren't new. Seven previous studies had already shown that vitamins increased the risk of cancer and heart disease and shortened lives. Still, in 2012, more than half of all Americans took some form of vitamin supplements. What few people realize, however, is that their fascination with vitamins can be traced back to one man. A man who was so spectacularly right that he won two Nobel Prizes and so spectacularly wrong that he was arguably the world's greatest quack.'"

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Ask Slashdot: How To Deliver a Print Magazine Online, While Avoiding Piracy?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's please-don't-steal-this-magazine department:
An anonymous reader writes "I work for a technical magazine that has been available in print for over 40 years. Moving to providing an alternative subscription available online has been hard; the electronic version is quickly pirated and easily available around the world each month. We are a small company, and our survival depends not only on advertising but on the subscription fees. Do any slashdotters have experience of delivering electronic magazines via a subscription service in a way that is cost effective and secure?"

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DNI Office Asks Why People Trust Facebook More Than the Government
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-this department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Robert S. Litt explained that our expectation of privacy isn't legally recognized by the Supreme Court once we've offered it to a third party. Thus, sifting through third party data doesn't qualify 'on a constitutional level' as invasive to our personal privacy. This he brought to an interesting point about volunteered personal data, and social media habits. Our willingness to give our information to companies and social networking websites is baffling to the ODNI. 'Why is it that people are willing to expose large quantities of information to private parties but don't want the Government to have the same information?,' he asked."

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Poll Shows That 75% Prefer Printed Books To eBooks
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's give-us-dead-trees department:
Attila Dimedici writes "In a new Rasmussen poll, 75% of American adults would rather read a book in traditional print format than in an ebook format. Only 15% prefer the ebook format (the other 10% are undecided). The latter is a drop from the 23% that preferred the ebook format in Rasmussen's 2011 poll. In addition, more say they buy their books from a brick and mortar store than say they buy books online (35% from brick and mortar, 27% online). I suspect that the 27% who buy online buy more books, but these results are interesting and suggest that the brick and mortar bookstore is not necessarily doomed."

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Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone To Facebook: Start a Premium Subscription Service
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bad-ideas department:
An anonymous reader writes "Twitter co-founder Biz Stone today decided to offer some business advice for Facebook: launch a premium subscription service. For $10 a month, Stone figures the company could get rid of ads on its site for those willing to pay to go 'premium.' He says in part: ' Anywhoo, now that I’m using it and thinking about it, I’ve got an idea for Facebook. They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too. If 10% percent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1B a month in revenue. Not too shabby. It’s a different type of company, but by way of validation, have a look at Pandora’s 1Q14 financial results. Of all Pandora’s revenue generators, the highest growth year-over-year by far (114% growth rate) is in subscriptions—people paying a monthly fee for an ad-free experience....."

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UK Regulator Did Not Check Google Privacy Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's taking-their-word-for-it department:
judgecorp writes "When Google gathered personal Wi-Fi data through its Street View cars, the UK privacy watchdog, the ICO did not press charges, saying that Google had "contained" the data in "quarantined cages". It has now been revealed that the ICO never checked this assertion. It just took Google's word for it, and never visited Google to try and check on whether the data actually was contained. From TechWeekEurope's correspondence with the ICO it seems that the regulator had a team of three looking into the Google Wi-Fi data scandal. Seeing that it was impossible to check Google's claims in depth, the ICO decided to just take Google's word it had done what it claimed."

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