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Datacenter Gives Internet To 70 Percent of Navajo Nation
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's yah-tah-hey-this-is-cool department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "The Navajo Nation cut the ribbon August 13 on an $8 million data center that has been under debate and development since 2000, when then-President Bill Clinton expressed shock that a 13-year-old Navajo girl who just won a new laptop couldn't connect to the Internet. At the time that girl won the laptop in a school contest, the Navajo Nation--a 27,425 square-mile region that covers portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico--had barely any IT infrastructure. The incident helped drive debate among leaders of the Navajo Nation, many of whom said they believed adding telecommunications and computing facilities were secondary to other concerns for the chronically poverty stricken region. The 50,000-square-foot facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico includes 25,000-sq.-ft. of datacenter and an equal space for computer training and business incubation, according to Nova Corp., an IT services company owned by Navajo Nation and formed in 2004 to execute an IT plan to create the "Digital Navajo Nation" (PDF). The drive to get it built also helped push development of a $46 million broadband project designed to cover about half of Navajo territory with 550 miles of fiber, 32 new cell towers and upgrades to another 27. It will eventually connect more than 30,000 households and 1,000 businesses."

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Google Admits Bitcoin Thieves Exploited Android Crypto PRNG Flaw
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's oopsie department:
rjmarvin writes "The theft of 55 Bitcoins, or about $5,720, through Android wallet apps last week was made possible because of flaws in Android's Java and OpenSSL crypto PRNG, Google revealed in a blog post. In the wake of a Bitcoin security advisory and a Symantec vulnerability report, the Android Developers Blog admitted the reason the thieves were able to pilfer their wallet apps. The flaws are already, or in the process of being repaired."

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Washington Post Hacked, a Day After New York Times
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's paper-of-record department:
barlevg writes "A day after the New York Times was brought down by a cyber attack, the Washington Post reported being hacked, with various news stories being redirected to the website of the Syrian Electronic Army. It's been speculated that this is the work of the same hacking syndicate that compromised both news organizations last year."

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MS Researchers Develop Acoustic Data Transfer System For Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-do-it-quietly-ok department:
angry tapir writes "Smartphones that support NFC have been making their way onto the market, but many handsets still don't support the wireless technology. As an alternative, Microsoft researchers have prototyped a system that instead uses a phone's microphone and speaker to transmit and receive data. The P2P data transfer system uses a novel technique of 'self-jamming' to stop nefarious third parties from monitoring transfers, and the researchers believe it's more secure than standard NFC communications. No word on whether it sounds like the squeal of a 56k modem."

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Studying the Slow Decay of a Laptop Battery For an Entire Year
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ashes-to-ashes-dust-to-dust department:
First time accepted submitter jradavenport writes "I've been keeping a log of the health of my MacBook Air battery for the past year, taking samples every minute I use the computer (152,411 readings so far!). This has allowed me to study both my own computing/work habits, but also the fascinating rapid decay of battery capacity. Comparing it to my previous 2009 MacBook Pro, the battery in this 2012 Air is degrading much faster."

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Bradley Manning Says He's Sorry
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's may-I-have-another department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Washington Post reports that Pfc. Bradley Manning told a military judge during his sentencing hearing that he is sorry he hurt the United States by leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and he asked for leniency as he spoke for less than five minutes, often in a quavering voice "I'm sorry I hurt people. I'm sorry that I hurt the United States," said Manning, who was convicted last month of multiple crimes, including violations of the Espionage Act, for turning over the classified material. "I'm apologizing for the unintended consequences of my actions. I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people." Speaking publicly for only the third time since he was arrested in Iraq in June 2010, Manning said he had been naive. "I look back at my decisions and wonder, 'How on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better over the decisions of those with the proper authority?'""

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Twitter Eyes Signatures To Kill Fake Followers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's if-that-is-your-real-name department:
mask.of.sanity writes "Researchers have developed a signature system being examined by Twitter that hold promise to cut down on the amount of fake accounts used to deliver spam and malware.
The signatures were developed during a study into the semi-underground market of fake accounts and was subsequently used by Twitter to eliminate an impressive 95 percent of several million accounts identified in the research. It applied elements like account names, the timing of the account creation, and browser identifiers to identify fake accounts. The 10-month study found that the creation of fake accounts at its peak represented 60 percent of all new accounts. (Paper here.)"


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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-improves-slashdot-karma department:
Meshach writes "A study in the journal Computers & Education found that students who took notes on a laptop got lower marks then student who took notes the traditional way with pen and paper. The study's author hypothesized that using a laptop leads to multitasking (i.e. surfing the net or checking email), which reduces concentration."

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The Grasshopper Can Fly Sideways
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that's-how-they-sneak-up-on-you department:
Phoghat writes "I'm of a 'certain age' and as a child grew up watching shows like "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger and others popular at the dawn of the space age. They always showed rocket ships sitting on their tails and blasting off, and landing, straight up. The shuttle went up that way but had to land like a plane, and anything else was considered impossible or impractical. Now, the Space X's rocket Grasshopper can not only do that, but has demonstrated sideways flight also."

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New Tool To Measure Consciousness
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '13 at 02:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hello-in-there department:
bmahersciwriter writes "The line between consciousness and non-consciousness is thin, hard to define and, as the Terri Schiavo case taught us, often rife with ethical quandaries. A research team is developing a tool that will be able to quantify just how conscious a person is, which could prove to be quite useful for research and clinical practices. From the article: 'The metric relies on the idea that consciousness involves widespread communication between different areas of the brain, with each region performing specialized functions. Loss of consciousness during sleep or anaesthesia, or from brain injury, may be caused by the disengagement of brain regions from one another.'"

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VMware CEO: OpenStack Is Not For the Enterprise
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 11:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's home-game department:
coondoggie writes "VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger says he doesn't expect open source cloud project OpenStack to catch on significantly in the enterprise market, instead he says it's more of a platform for service providers to build public clouds. It's a notion that others in the market have expressed in the past, but also one that OpenStack backers have tried hard to shake."

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Brazil Sues Samsung Over Worker Conditions
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 09:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-work department:
First time accepted submitter konohitowa writes "The Financial Times is reporting that the Brazilian government has filed a lawsuit against Samsung for working conditions that put workers' health at risk (both through repetitive motion injuries as well as excessive consecutive work days). Samsung has 'promised to conduct a thorough review and fully co-operate with the Brazilian authorities once it receives details of the complaint.'"

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Cisco Slashes 4,000 Jobs
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 07:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's and-you're-done department:
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Cisco's CEO John Chambers dealt employees a blow Wednesday, saying the networking giant would cut 4,000 workers from the payroll. Not quite a death blow, but this 5 percent cut could leave some employees gasping. Chambers took the knife to Cisco last year, cutting 2 percent of its workforce."

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How Gamers Could Save the (Real) World
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 06:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's as-easy-as-pressing-a-button department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Three years ago, game designer and author Jane McGonigal argued that saving the human race is going to require a major time investment—in playing video games. 'If we want to solve problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, obesity, I believe that we need to aspire to play games online for at least 21 billion hours a week [up from 3 billion today], by the end of the next decade,' she said in a TED talk. Her message was not ignored—and it has indirectly contributed to the formation of something called the Internet Response League (IRL). The small group has a big goal: to harness gamers' time and use it to save lives after disasters, natural or otherwise. The idea is to insert micro-tasks into games, specifically asking gamers to tag photos of disaster areas. With the IRL plugin, each image would be shown to at least three people, who tag the photo as showing no damage, mild damage, or severe damage. The Internet Response League has been in talks with a couple of indie developers, including one that's developing a new MMO. Mosur said they've tried to get in touch with World of Warcraft maker Blizzard, but haven't had any luck yet. Blizzard did not return a request for comment from Slashdot."

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Researchers Buy Twitter Bots To Fight Twitter Spam
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fight-fire-with-fire department:
tsu doh nimh writes "The success of social networking community Twitter has given rise to an entire shadow economy that peddles dummy Twitter accounts by the thousands, primarily to spammers, scammers and malware purveyors. But new research on identifying bogus accounts has helped Twitter to drastically deplete the stockpile of existing accounts for sale, and holds the promise of driving up costs for both vendors of these shady services and their customers. Krebsonsecurity.com writes about a paper (PDF) being released today at the USENIX conference that details how researchers spent almost a year and $5,000 buying up accounts from 27 twitter account merchants, and then built templates to help Twitter detect accounts sold by these merchants — all with the aim of getting more of these bot accounts shut down before they can be used to spam legitimate Twitter users. The story goes into great detail on the lengths to which these account merchants will go to evade Twitter's anti-bot security measures."

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Dyslexia Seen In Brain Scans of Pre-School Children
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-diagnoses department:
dryriver writes "Brain scans may allow detection of dyslexia in pre-school children even before they start to read, say researchers. A U.S. team found tell-tale signs on scans that have already been seen in adults with the condition. And these brain differences could be a cause rather than a consequence of dyslexia — something unknown until now — the Journal of Neuroscience reports. Scans could allow early diagnosis and intervention, experts hope. The part of the brain affected is called the Arcuate Fasciculus. Among the 40 school-entry children they studied they found some had shrinkage of this brain region, which processes word sounds and language. They asked the same children to do several different types of pre-reading tests, such as trying out different sounds in words. Those children with a smaller Arcuate Fasciculus had lower scores."

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Wireless Devices Go Battery-Free With New Communication Technique
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's harvesting-energy-from-the-ether department:
melios sends this quote from an University of Washington news release:
"[E]ngineers have created a new wireless communication system that allows devices to interact with each other without relying on batteries or wires for power. The new communication technique, which the researchers call 'ambient backscatter,' takes advantage of the TV and cellular transmissions that already surround us around the clock. Two devices communicate with each other by reflecting the existing signals to exchange information. The researchers built small, battery-free devices with antennas that can detect, harness and reflect a TV signal, which then is picked up by other similar devices."

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New Tech Money, Same Old Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's those-who-don't-study-history-are-doomed-to-something-something department:
An anonymous reader writes "Following the publication in May of George Packer's alarming article in the New Yorker revealing the state of the communities surrounding California's tech boom, the LA Times reports that despite the wake-up call, things are getting even worse in the Bay Area as tech companies seek to completely insulate their employees from ever having to interact with the real world. Quoting: 'Every weekday starting at dawn and continuing late into the evening, a shiny fleet of unmarked buses rolls through the streets of San Francisco, picking up thousands of young technology workers at dozens of stops and depositing them an hour's drive south. It's an exclusive perk offered by Apple, Facebook, Google and other major Silicon Valley companies: luxury coaches equipped with air conditioning, plush seats and wireless Internet access that ease the stress of navigating congested Bay Area roadways. The private mass transit system has become the most visible symbol of the digital gold rush sweeping this city, and of the sharpening division between those who are riding the high-tech industry's good fortunes and those who are not.'"

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US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's solving-nonexistent-problems department:
itwbennett writes "The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said."

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Ask Slashdot: Printing Options For Low-Resource Environments?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's 3d-print-yourself-a-nuclear-reactor department:
bjhonermann writes "The Zambian government (along with partners) are currently rolling out an electronic medical records (EMR) system in public health facilities. The project has been going on for some time and is already in 600+ facilities with more than 700,000 patient records. One problem we're facing is that most information is still being double entered in the EMR as well as on primary paper documents at the facility, and sometimes additionally transcribed to paper registers. This double/triple entry takes time away from nurses who are already in short supply. There's an inability to fully move away from partially paper based systems both because clients often move between 'paper clinics' and 'electronic clinics' in the same communities and for follow-up care, and because the power systems in many sites are unreliable and require that there be sufficient paper backups of records for operations during periods where power is unavailable — perhaps for weeks at a time. We're providing solar panels and battery backups for sites, which work increasingly well with newer low power CPUs, but even if the power issue were solved this would not address the need for portable paper documents. The key objective of eliminating redundant manual entry of forms and paper registers by nurses might be accomplished if we had low cost low power B/W printers available at sites so that critical information could be entered electronically and then printed out as needed, either for client carried purposes (transfers/visits to 'paper facilities') or to serve as local backup when power is an issue. However, we've yet to find printing solutions that seem appropriate to the context and are hopeful the Slashdot crowd may have some ideas."
Read on for some more specific criteria.

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