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New Moon Found Orbiting Neptune
Posted by News Fetcher on July 17 '13 at 12:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's welcome-to-the-party department:
Dave Knott writes "A tiny, previously unknown moon circling Neptune has been spotted by astronomers using the Hubble telescope. The moon, which is currently known as S/2004 N1, was found on July 1 by Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., NASA announced Monday. It is less than 20 kilometres wide and its orbit is 105,000 kilometres from Neptune, between those of Larissa and Proteus, two of Neptune's other 14 known moons. It circles Neptune once every 23 hours."

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If a Network Is Broken, Break It More
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's somebody-fetch-my-wire-snips department:
New submitter Aras Esor writes "When a network is broken — an electrical grid, the World Wide Web, your neurological system — one math model created by a PhD student at Northwestern University suggests that the best way to fix it may be to break it a little more. 'Take the web of interactions within a cell. If you knock out an important gene, you will significantly damage the cell's growth rate. However, it is possible to repair this damage not by replacing the lost gene, which is a very challenging task, but by removing additional genes. The key lies in finding the specific changes that would bring a network from the undesirable state A to the preferred state B. Cornelius's mathematical model (abstract) provides a general method to pinpoint those changes in any network, from the metabolism of a single cell to an entire food web.'"

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Ancient Mars Ocean Found?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it-was-in-the-garage-all-along department:
astroengine writes "With the help of rover Curiosity, we now know that ancient Mars had large quantities of liquid water flowing across its surface. However, evidence for large bodies of water — i.e. seas/oceans — has been hard to come by. But using high-resolution orbital data, Caltech scientists now think they've found a long-dry river delta that once flowed into a very large body of water. Welcome to the Aeolis Riviera — the strongest evidence yet for a Martian coastline. "This is probably one of the most convincing pieces of evidence of a delta in an unconfined region — and a delta points to the existence of a large body of water in the northern hemisphere of Mars," said Roman DiBiase, Caltech postdoctoral scholar and lead author of the paper that was published (abstract) in the Journal of Geophysical Research."

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Students, Start-Up Team To Create Android 'Master Key' Patch App
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 06:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's exercise-for-the-readers department:

< article continued at Slashdot >

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America's First Eco-City: Doomed From the Start
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's parking-spaces-not-big-enough-for-SUVs department:
An anonymous reader writes "Despite backing from the Clinton Climate Initiative, and a $111 million investment from Subway Restaurant mogul Fred DeLuca, a planned city for Central Florida called 'Destiny' was doomed from the start, according to memos retrieved from Florida's Department of Community Affairs. According to state officials, despite a great deal of hype about Destiny, Florida, becoming the first fully sustainable city in the U.S., plans to build the city were rejected almost immediately due to concerns over 'possible urban sprawl, energy inefficient land use patterns, the endangerment of natural resources, and the undermining of agriculture.'"

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Sci-Fi Stories That Predicted the Surveillance State
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 03:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's why-couldn't-they-have-gotten-holodecks-right-instead department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Just to address one thing straight away: one of your favorite science fiction stories dealing, whether directly or indirectly, with surveillance is bound to be left off this list. And 1984's a given, so it's not here. At any rate, the following books deal in their own unique way with surveillance. Some address the surveillance head-on, while others speculate on inter-personal intelligence gathering, or consider the subject in more oblique ways. Still others distill surveillance down to its essence: as just one face of a much larger, all-encompassing system of control, that proceeds from the top of the pyramid down to its base."

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Office 365, Amazon, Others Vulnerable To Exploit Microsoft Knew About In 2012
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 02:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's at-least-they're-consistent department:
colinneagle writes "Ethical hacking professor Sam Bowne recently put a cookie re-use method to test on several major web services, finding that Office 365, Yahoo mail, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, and WordPress all failed the security test. Both Amazon and eBay can be tied directly to your money via the method of payment you have on record. And, just for kicks, we tried it with Netflix. And it worked. Microsoft has apparently known that accounts can be hijacked since at least 2012 when The Hacker News reported the Hotmail and Outlook cookie-handling vulnerability, so Bowne was curious if Microsoft closed the hole or if stolen cookies could still be re-used. He claims he 'easily reproduced it using Chrome and the Edit This Cookie extension.'"

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Piracy Rates Plummet As Legal Alternatives Come To Norway
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's fancy-that department:
jones_supa writes "Entertainment industry groups in Norway have spent years lobbying for tougher anti-piracy laws, finally getting their way earlier this month. But with fines and site-blocking now on the agenda, an interesting trend has been developing. According to a new report published by Ipsos, between 2008 and 2012 piracy of movies and TV shows collapsed in Norway, along with music seeing a massive drop to less than one fifth of the original level. Olav Torvund, former law professor at the University of Oslo, attributes this to good legal alternatives which are available today (Google translation of Norwegian original). Of those questioned for the survey, 47% (representing around 1.7 million people) said they use a streaming music service such as Spotify. And of those, just over half said that they pay for the premium option."

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New Thermocell Could Turn 'Waste Heat' Into Electricity
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 01:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's my-laptop-is-now-a-free-energy-device department:
dryriver sends this quote from Phys.org:
"Harvesting waste heat from power stations and even vehicle exhaust pipes could soon provide a valuable supply of electricity. A small team of Monash University researchers ... has developed an ionic liquid-based thermocell (abstract). Thermocell technology is based on harnessing the thermal energy from the difference in temperature between two surfaces and converting that energy into electricity. The new thermocell could be used to generate electricity from low grade steam in coal fired power stations at temperatures around 130C. This would be implemented by having the steam pass over the outer surface of the hot electrode to keep it hot while the other electrode is air or water cooled."

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W3C Rejects Ad Industry's Do-Not-Track Proposal
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-come-'round-here-with-that-nonsense department:
itwbennett writes "The W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group, which is mainly concerned with standardizing the mechanisms for server-side compliance with do-not-track requests, has rejected a proposal by from the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) that would have allowed advertisers to continue profiling users who had asked not to be tracked. The proposal would also have allowed them to 'retarget' ads to those users by showing ads relevant to one site or transaction on all subsequent sites they visited, according to the co-chairs of the W3C's Tracking Protection Working Group. The working group co-chairs also said that they planned to reject proposals similar to those made by the DAA."

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EFF Sues NSA, Justice Department, FBI
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
New submitter Jawnn writes "The Washington Post reports that the EFF has filed suit against the NSA in Federal Court in San Francisco, on behalf of multiple groups (court filing). Those groups include, 'Rights activists, church leaders and drug and gun rights advocates.' EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn said, 'The First Amendment protects the freedom to associate and express political views as a group, but the NSA's mass, untargeted collection of Americans' phone records violates that right by giving the government a dramatically detailed picture into our associational ties. Who we call, how often we call them, and how long we speak shows the government what groups we belong to or associate with, which political issues concern us, and our religious affiliation. Exposing this information – especially in a massive, untargeted way over a long period of time – violates the Constitution and the basic First Amendment tests that have been in place for over 50 years.' Apparently, not everyone out there is believing the 'If you have nothing to hide' excuses being offered up from various government quarters."

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Peter Wayner Talks About His New Book, Future Ride (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's our-new-car-tells-the-government-everything-we-do-and-everywhere-we-go department:
We've already done two video interviews with Peter Wayner. Third time being the charm, his latest book, Future Ride, is now out and available for purchase. If you've followed and possibly even enjoyed this string of interviews with Peter, Future Ride might be valuable reading material for you. It's what I call a "futureproofing" book, and in today's fast-changing world being prepared for tomorrow -- even just in the sense of thinking about the many ways our society might change if our cars and trucks drive themselves -- is valuable for business and career reasons, aside from the sheer joy of speculating about what the future may hold.

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Describe Any Location On Earth In 3 Words
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-if-your-location-server-is-down? department:
First time accepted submitter jameshumphreys writes "London startup what3words has successfully launched a new website which has carved the world map into almost 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, assigning each square a simple, unique 3 word address. For instance, the 'what3words' for the famous Peter Pan statue in London's Hyde Park is 'union.prop.enjoy'. This means you can easily describe even remote locations with great precision. CEO Chris Sheldrick says, 'We see our service being most useful where current methods of describing location (e.g. postcodes or ZIP codes) don't do the job well enough or don't do the job at all — but of course it has applications as a preferred alternative even where the existing solutions do a decent job, but perhaps less precise/customised than w3w.' An API is planned 'in the coming weeks.'" The heart of Disneyworld could be "Radioactive Humanoid Mice"; what would you call your neck of the woods?

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Scientists Seek Biomarkers For Violence
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's thoughtcrime-or-a-propensity-thereto department:
An anonymous reader writes "A Newtown couple, both scientists, who lost their daughter in the school shooting, are wondering whether there were clues in the shooter's physiological makeup — his DNA, his blood, his brain chemistry. They are now involved in a search for biomarkers, similar to those that may indicate disease, for violence. They are raising money to help fund this research, but the effort is running into obstacles, in part, over ethical concerns. 'I'm not opposed to research on violence and biomarkers, but I'm concerned about making too big of a leap between biomarkers and violence,' said Troy Duster, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. There is concern that science may find biomarkers long before society can deal with its implications."

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Hurricane Sandy a 1-in-700-Year Event Says NASA Study
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's nothing-to-see-here department:
Rebecka writes "Hurricane Sandy, which pelted multiple states in Oct. and created billions of dollars in damage, was a freak occurrence and not an indication of future weather patterns, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies via LiveScience. The study, which calculated a statistical analysis of the storms trajectory and monitored climate changes' influences on hurricane tracks, claims that the tropical storm was merely a 1-in-700-year event. 'The particular shape of Sandy's trajectory is very peculiar, and that's very rare, on the order of once every 700 years,' said senior scientist at NASA and study co-author, Timothy Hall. According to Hall, the extreme flooding associated with the storm was also due to the storm's trajectory which was described as being 'near perpendicular.' The storm's unusual track was found to have been caused by a high tides associated with a full moon and high pressure that forced the storm to move off the coast of the Western North Atlantic."

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Visual Studio vs. Eclipse: a Programmer's Comparison
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's nothing-beats-a-good-punchcard-maker department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Developer and editor Jeff Cogswell is back with a comparison of Eclipse and Visual Studio, picking through some common complaints about both platforms and comparing their respective features. 'First, let's talk about usability,' he writes, 'and let's be frank: Neither Eclipse nor Visual Studio is a model for sound usability.' That being said, as an open-source project, Eclipse wins some points for its customizability and compatibility with languages; it's more difficult to modify Visual Studio to meet some programmer needs, which has led to any number of abandoned projects over the years. Microsoft choosing to eliminate macros in recent versions of Visual Studio has also led to some programmer frustrations (and a need for external tools)."

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OS X Malware Demands $300 FBI Fine For Viewing, Distributing Porn
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's receipt-is-useless department:
An anonymous reader writes "A new piece of malware is targeting OS X to extort money from victims by accusing them of illegally accessing pornography. Ransomware typically uses claims of breaking the law and names law enforcement (such as the CIA or FBI) to scare victims, but it is usually aimed at Windows users, not Mac users. The security firm Malwarebytes first spotted this latest threat, noting that criminals have ported the ransomware scheme to OS X and are even exploiting a Safari-specific feature. The ransomware page in question gets pushed onto unsuspecting users browsing high-trafficked sites as well as when searching for popular keywords."

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Spacewalk Aborted When Water Fills Astronaut's Helmet
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's could-be-worse-could-be-aliens department:
astroengine writes "A planned six-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station came to a dramatic and abrupt end on Tuesday when water started building up inside the helmet of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano. Parmitano and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy were less than an hour into their spacewalk, their second in a week, when Parmitano reported that his head felt wet. "My head is really wet and I have a feeling it's increasing," Parmitano reported to ground control teams at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Parmitano returned safely to the space station interior, but the cause of the leak was not immediately known."

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HBO Asks Google To Take Down "Infringing" VLC Media Player
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's trial-balloon-and-a-harpoon department:
another random user writes with an excerpt from TorrentFreak: "It's no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but their targeting of open source software is something new. In an attempt to remove pirated copies of Game of Thrones from the Internet, HBO sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular media player VLC as a copyright infringement. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one. ... Usually these notices ask Google to get rid of links to pirate sites, but for some reason the cable network also wants Google to remove a link to the highly popular open source video player VLC. ... The same DMCA notice also lists various other links that don't appear to link to HBO content, including a lot of porn related material, Ben Harper's album Give Till It's Gone, Naruto, free Java applets and Prince of Persia 5."

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How To Compete With NSA By Hacking a Verizon Network Extender
Posted by News Fetcher on July 16 '13 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's awesome-goldman-sachs-advertising-too department:
New submitter Anita Hunt (lissnup) writes "This snooping hack-in-a-backpack could become a hot Summer accessory, since Reuters reported that 'researchers at iSec hacked into a Verizon network extender, which anyone can buy online, and turned it into a cell phone tower (video interview) small enough to fit inside a backpack capable of capturing and intercepting all calls, text messages and data sent by mobile devices within range.'"

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