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Better Factories Through Role Playing
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's +1-or-better-to-hit-boss department:
pacopico writes "A former Ford executive has taken his unique brand of factory training to the public. According to Businessweek, Hossein Nivi has set up a new company called Pendaran that forces people to endure a week-long, manic training simulation that's meant to produce safer, better workers. The participants — lots of people from the tech and military fields — get yelled at by actors while they try to assemble things like golf carts and airplanes in a simulation that mixes virtual tasks on computers with real world tasks. After their spirits get broken, the workers actually start functioning as a well-oiled team. It sounds both awesome and bizarre."

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Cell Phone Powered By Urine
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's want-to-use-my-phone? department:
sciencehabit writes "The newest source of battery power for your cell phone is both cheap and abundant. Scientists report that microbial fuel cells using human urine can directly power a cell phone battery. However, the devices are not quite portable enough to come in handy during a marathon pub crawl. One consists of six, 4-inch-long ceramic cylinders; the other is a network of 25 smaller fuel cells borrowed from the team's waste-fueled EcoBot. And urine-powered conversations would have to be short and sweet. After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call."

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Gore Site Operator Arrested For Posting Video of Murder
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-al-gore department:
theshowmecanuck writes "According to the Montreal Gazette, 'The owner and operator of a well-known 'real gore' website is charged with corrupting morals for posting a video allegedly depicting the murder of student Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta. Magnotta, 30, is currently in custody charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 33-year-old Chinese international student, who was killed in Montreal in May 2012. The victim's severed limbs were then mailed to political parties and elementary schools, and his torso found inside a discarded suitcase.' A news interview with the detective in charge of the case, airing on CTV as I type this, says he believes the web site hosts a lot of racist content and unimaginable violence. You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'), but there will likely be some arguments in this vein. The charge against the operator is quite rare and no-one so far remembers it ever being used before."

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DOJ: We Don't Need a Warrant To Track You
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's well-we-don't-need-a-warrant-to-fire-you department:
GovTechGuy writes "The Department of Justice maintains it does not need a warrant to track an individual using location data captured from their cellphone. 'Cellphone location records are currently lumped under Title 1 and Title 2 of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (PL 99-508), which cover stored communications and call details. Accessing those types of information typically requires only a court order, rather than a warrant, as is required for the contents of a phone call or digital message under Title 3.' That has prompted Maine and Montana to pass laws banning warrantless cellphone tracking; unfortunately, Congress doesn't appear close to doing the same."

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Nanoparticle Exposure Could Disrupt Immune Cell Function
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's finding-new-and-creative-ways-to-harm-ourselves department:
MTorrice writes "A new study suggests there's more to nanoparticle toxicology than cell life and death. Although immune cells treated with iron oxide particles appeared healthy in standard toxicology tests, they struggled to perform one of their key jobs: engulfing pathogenic bacteria. The researchers wonder if exposure to significant levels of the nanoparticles could lead to dysfunction in people's immune systems."

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Why Microsoft Shouldn't Worry About Cannibalizing Their Userbases
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's gotta-get-your-protein-somewhere department:
New submitter coyote_oww writes "A ComputerWorld analysis article suggests that Microsoft should stop worrying about one product cutting into another product's sales, and concentrate on putting their best foot foward regardless of the impact on product lines. The big impact would be the price of Windows: '... Microsoft must, at least in the main, sell devices based on lower prices. And the only significant component of a Windows-powered device that can be cut further — hardware margins are at or very near the bone, and have been for years — is the Windows license.' It's still possible they could sell Windows versions at different rates for different devices, but that could get hard to justify to consumers over the long haul."

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Pre-Dawn Wireless Emergency Alert Wakes Up NYC
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's first-world-problems department:
New submitter SkiTee94 writes "Many people, perhaps millions, in and around NYC were loudly awoken shortly before 4am morning by an activation of the Wireless Emergency Alert system. As the New York Times is reporting, the alert was related to an ongoing search for a missing child. Given that the alert asked people to look out for a 'Tan Lexus ES300' with NY Plate 'GEX1377,' many New Yorkers are questioning the logic of waking up the whole city to ask them to look for a car. Normally such alerts are reserved for road-side signs. While emergency authorities have yet to give a precise reason for why the decision was made to wake up the city, many have taken the step of deactivating these alerts to avoid future jolting mid-slumber alarms (likely not the indented result of last night's exercise)."

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Smart Knife Sniffs Out Cancer Cells
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-other-knives-in-the-world-are-now-called-dumbknives department:
sciencehabit writes "When surgeons can't determine the edges of a tumor, it's a problem. Cut too much, and they risk hurting the patient. Cut too little, and they may leave stray cancer cells behind. Now, researchers have developed a surgical knife that can sniff the smoke made as it cuts tissue, almost instantly detecting whether cells are cancerous or healthy. The 'intelligent knife,' or iKnife could distinguish normal and tumor tissues from different organs, such as breast, liver, and brain, and could even identify the origin of a tumor that was a metastasis, a secondary growth seeded by a primary tumor elsewhere in the body."

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Strict New Anti-Spam Regulations In Canada
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's spam-not-involving-hockey-is-verboten department:
An anonymous reader writes "David Reese provides an interesting analysis of just how far Canada's new anti-spam legislation goes, and its implications for business. This may provide a valuable template for citizens of other countries, and may also encourage Canadians to prepare for the inevitable push-back from spammers. It is not clear from this analysis whether the legislation would affect telemarketing, but even if it does not it provides a useful precedent for future regulation in that area."

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BitTorrent Sync Beta Released
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's capitalizing-on-unrest department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "BitTorrent Sync has reached its Beta milestone. The tool, which allows for secure file-syncing between devices, has been under development for quite some time: BitTorrent released a limited pre-Alpha program in January, planning to use any feedback to refine the software before release. Key features include the use of peer-to-peer technology for direct synchronization, rather than storing files in the cloud—a key differentiator from similar storage services on the market. 'It fits into our overall goal of making a better Internet using P2P,' BitTorrent Inc. told TorrentFreak when that pre-Alpha rolled out. In the intervening months, of course, former federal contractor Edward Snowden leaked a variety of top-secret documents about NSA surveillance to The Guardian, kicking off several weeks' worth of discussions and handwringing over government snooping. Several of those documents suggested that an NSA program codenamed PRISM siphoned user data from nine major technology companies, including Google and Microsoft; the named companies have stridently denied any involvement. Those revelations about the NSA—even if totally unsurprising to the paranoid—could kick off renewed interest in software tools capable of securing data against prying eyes. In other words, this could be just the moment for something like BitTorrent Sync to hit the market. 'Sync is a response to what we see as real, fundamental challenges to personal data movement: the limitations on speed, size, space, privacy, and security that come with cloud dependency,' read a July 17 note on the BitTorrent Blog."

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The City Where People Are Afraid To Breathe
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's uninspiring-nickname department:
HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "BBC reports that cases of an incurable illness called valley fever are multiplying at an alarming and mystifying rate in the American south-west. Few places have been hit as hard as Avenal, a remote city of 14,000 people, nestling in a dip in the floor of the San Joaquin Valley in what experts refer to as a 'hot zone' for coccidioidomycosis — an illness caused by the inhalation of tiny fungal spores that usually reside in the soil. 'On windy days you are more conscious of it,' says Enrique Jimenez. 'You breathe in through your nose, and try not to breathe in as much dust. I worked in the fields for a long time, my father managed a few crops out here, and we took precautions, wearing bandanas.' Valley Fever is not easy to treat. Anti-fungal drugs are available for serious cases but some patients don't respond and it can take years to clear up. It never leaves the body and symptoms can be triggered again. Some patients are on the drugs for life, at a crippling financial cost. During World War II, German prisoners held at a camp in Arizona fell ill. Germany reportedly invoked the Geneva Convention to try to get them moved. Longstanding concerns about valley fever were heightened recently when a federal health official ordered the transfer of more than 3,000 exceptionally vulnerable inmates from two San Joaquin Valley prisons where several dozen have died of the disease in recent years. Dale Pulde, a motorcycle mechanic in Los Angeles County, said he contracted the disease three years ago after traveling to Bakersfield in Kern County and was coughing so hard he was blacking out; he spit blood and couldn't catch his breath. For two months, doctors tested him for everything from tuberculosis to cancer until blood tests confirmed he had the fever. 'When I found out that health officials knew about (this disease) and how common it is, I was beside myself,' said Pulde. 'Why don't they tell people?'"

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Seventy Videos From Linaro Connect Europe 2013
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's watch-and-learn department:
DeviceGuru writes "Linaro has just published videos and slides from keynotes, technical presentations, and panel discussions at last week's Linaro Connect Europe 2013 event held in Dublin, Ireland. Linaro is a nonprofit organization focused on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the ARM architecture, including the GCC toolchain, the Linux kernel, ARM power management, graphics and multimedia interfaces. The conference's sessions spanned a wide range of topics, including Android, Builds and Baselines, Enterprise, Graphics and Multimedia, Linux Kernel, Network, Project Management Tools, Training, and more."

The list of videos, hosted on Youtube and many with slides available.

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Very Large Telescope Observes Gas Cloud Being Ripped Apart By Black Hole
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's twirling-toward-oblivion department:
An anonymous reader writes "New observations (PDF) from ESO's Very Large Telescope show for the first time a gas cloud being ripped apart by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The cloud is now so stretched that its front part has passed the closest point and is traveling away from the black hole at more than 10 million km/h, whilst the tail is still falling towards it."

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German Drone Darts Off and Hits Transport Plane On Ground
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's destroy-all-humans department:
garymortimer writes "German tabloid newspaper The Bild has unearthed new video from a herons eye view of a 2010 taxi accident in Afghanistan. According to Bild a junior officer put the Heron into auto start and then was unable to stop it. The incident occurred at Mazar-i-Sharif on Mar. 17, 2010 Watch the ground crew get out of the way quick!"

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Network Solutions Hit With DDoS
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's smells-like-teen-cyberterrorism department:
New submitter Landy DeField was the first of many of write in about Network Solutions' website and DNS outage: "If your website does not load this morning you need to ask yourself do we use Network Solutions? Because all of their servers are all currently down. You can confirm this by visiting http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/networksolutions.com.html."

The only solid information from Network Solutions is a post on their Facebook page: "Network Solutions is experiencing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that is impacting our customers as well as the Network Solutions site. Our technology team is working to mitigate the situation. Please check back for updates." There have been several reports that the outage is causing hosted DNS to fail, leading to a number of unresolvable websites.

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Why Yahoo and Marissa Mayer's Over Reliance On Alibaba Could Spell Trouble
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's zombie-yahoo-wants-your-ad-channels department:
DavidGilbert99 writes "Marissa Mayer has been in charge at Yahoo for one year now. In that time she has seen the share price rise 70% and she's made some headline grabbing acquisitions — notably Tumblr for over $1 billion last month. However, look beneath the surface and things are not going so well. In this week's quarterly results, we saw ad sales fell by 12% year-on-year and as Alistair Charlton says in IBTimes UK: ' Yahoo earned $846m in cash by redeeming its shares in the group, representing a significant chunk of Yahoo's $1.07bn revenue for the quarter, down 1% on last year. ... The next few years will be a balancing act as the stabilizing wheels are removed and Yahoo, with dozens of acquired startups patching up the rust, will have to make progress under its own steam.'"

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Former Student Gets Year In Prison For College President Election Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's of-all-the-elections-to-steal department:
Gunkerty Jeb writes, quoting Threatpost: "A former Cal State San Marcos student was sentenced to a year in prison this week for election tampering by using keystroke loggers to grab student credentials and then vote for himself. Matthew Weaver, 22, of Huntington Beach, Calif., stole almost 750 students' identities to try and become president of the San Diego County college's student government. His plan went awry when the school's computer technicians noticed an anomaly in activity and caught Weaver with keystroke loggers as he sat in front of the suspicious computer."

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MS Tackles CS Education Crisis With Popularity Contest
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 07:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's least-cool-wins department:
theodp writes " The lack of education in computer science is an example of an area of particularly acute concern,' Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith told Congress (PDF) as he sold lawmakers on the need to improve 'America's access to high skilled foreign talent'. Smith added that Microsoft also wants to 'help American students and workers gain the skills needed for the jobs that will fuel the innovation economy.' Towards that end, Microsoft will award $100,000 worth of donations to five technology education nonprofits 'who teach programming and provide technical resources to those who might not otherwise get the chance.' So, how will Microsoft determine who's most worthy? With a popularity contest, of course! At the end of October, the top five vote-getting nonprofits — only Windows AzureDev Community members are eligible to vote — will split the Microsoft Money. By the way, currently in second place but trying harder is Code.org, the seemingly dual-missioned organization advised by Microsoft's Smith which has reached out to its 140,000 Facebook fans, and 17,000 Twitter followers in its quest for the $50,000 first prize."

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Eben Upton Muses on the Raspberry Pi, Scratch and, His Love For Parallela
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 06:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's boot-to-emacs-for-maximum-terror department:
super_rancid writes "In a 7,000 word interview with Raspberry Pi's founder posted on TuxRadar.com, Eben Upton talks about the challenges of managing such a successful project, what may be in the Raspberry Pi mark 2, and why he wishes he'd backed the Parallela Kickstarter."

On interesting answer: "We were thinking of booting into Python or booting into Scratch. For younger kids, boot into Scratch. Have an environment where it’s Linux underneath, boots into Scratch and hold down a key at a particular point during boot and it doesn’t boot into Scratch it just drops into the prompt. So you can play with Scratch for six months, once you’re happy with Scratch you turn over the page and 'Hold down F1 during boot,' and it’s like 'Oh look - it’s a PC!' So I think that’s something we’d really like to do."

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Google Fixes Glass Vulnerability To Malicious QR Codes
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 05:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's look-over-here department:
judgecorp writes "Google has fixed a vulnerability in its Glass device, which made it possible to fool the wearable gadget into joining malicious Wi-Fi networks, through the use of fake QR codes. Google fixed the flaw fast, following a tip-off from researchers — but there are two warnings to take from this. There are other weaknesses in Glass (such as the absence of a lockscreen), and this sort of weakness will increasingly hit as the Internet of Things takes hold and the number of communicating devices multiplies."

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