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Pictures From an Exhibition: World Makerfaire 2012 NYC
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ways-in-which-the-world-is-improving department:
New submitter SirTicksAlot writes "I attended World Makerfaire 2012 NYC this past weekend and wanted to share some of the highlights of the faire. Makerfaire is a gathering of smart and talented groups and individuals who share their love for making things. And there is nearly no limit as to what kind of ideas or projects on display. There is no age limit or restriction and kids of all ages are encouraged to interact with everything they can. If you ever go to shows and see 'DO NOT TOUCH,' you did not see that here. Touching, inspecting and learning is very much warranted. There were many stations where kids could learn to use tools, assemble things, and even learn to solder."

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Successful Engine Test in UK For Planned 1000 mph Car
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pop-quiz-how-long-can-it-run-in-the-uk department:
amkkhan writes with this excerpt from International Science Times: "Scientists aiming to create a car that can break 1,000 mph cleared a large hurdle yesterday when they successfully tested their rocket engine. The engine will power the supersonic car known as the Bloodhound SSC — meant to become the fastest car in the world. The British team tested the engine in an aircraft shelter in Newquay Cornwall Airport, originally designed to protect fighter planes from bombs. Although the data hasn't fully been analyzed, the researchers said the engine reached 30,000 horsepower during the 10-second burn. Given enough time, they expect the engine to reach 80,000 horsepower and 27,500 pounds of thrust."

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Facebook Privacy Boosted As Private Message 'Leak' Is Dismissed
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's check-the-foundation-for-rot department:
judgecorp writes "Claims that old private Facebook messages have been leaking onto people's Timelines have been dismissed by the French privacy watchdog, CNIL. Apparently, as many concluded early on, the "leaked" messages were just old Wall-to-Wall posts, that users had mistakenly believed were private. Given the lack of user understanding, now is a good time for Facebook to revamp its privacy help pages. Let's hope users pay attention, and Facebook genuinely resists exploiting their naivety."

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New Study Links Caffeinated Coffee To Vision Loss
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's whiskey-linked-to-vision-blurriness-in-followup department:
dsinc writes "A new study suggests caffeinated coffee drinkers should limit their intake to reduce their chances of developing vision loss or blindness. According to a scientific paper in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, heavy caffeinated coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma (abstract), the leading cause of secondary glaucoma worldwide. 'Scandinavian populations have the highest frequencies of exfoliation syndrome and glaucoma,' said author Jae Hee Kang, ScD, of Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. 'Because Scandinavian populations also have the highest consumption of caffeinated coffee in the world, and our research group has previously found that greater caffeinated coffee intake was associated with increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma, we conducted this study to evaluate whether the risk of exfoliation glaucoma or glaucoma suspect may be different by coffee consumption.'"

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15 Years of Stuff That Matters
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's here's-to-another-fifteen department:
15 years is a long time on the internet. Many websites have come and gone over that time, and many that stuck around haven't had any interest in preserving their older content. Fortunately, as Slashdot approaches its 2^17th story, we've managed to keep track of almost all our old postings — all but the first 2^10, or so. In addition to that, we've held onto user comments, the lifeblood of the site, from 1999 onward. As we celebrate Slashdot's 15th anniversary this month, we thought we'd take a moment to highlight a few of the notable or interesting stories and discussions that have happened here in the past decade and a half. Read on for a trip down memory lane.

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UK 'Virtual ID Card' Scheme Set For Launch
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's bitte-ihre-telefon department:
First time accepted submitter evrybodygonsurfin writes "The UK Government will announce details this month of a controversial national identity scheme which will allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services. People wishing to apply for services ranging from tax credits to fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar online log-ins, including those they already use on social media sites, banks, and large retailers such as supermarkets, to prove their identity." I can't wait until carrying a telephone is mandatory. In the U.S. at least, how else will the government send you important messages?

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For Obama, Jobs, and Zuckerberg, Boring Is Productive
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-prism-for-the-autism-spectrum department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Robert C. Pozen writes in the Harvard Business Review that while researching a behind-the-scenes article of President Obama's daily life, Michael Lewis asked President Obama about his practice of routinizing the routine. 'I eat essentially the same thing for breakfast each morning: a bowl of cold cereal and a banana. For lunch, I eat a chicken salad sandwich with a diet soda. Each morning, I dress in one of a small number of suits, each of which goes with particular shirts and ties.' Why does President Obama subject himself to such boring routines? Because making too many decisions about mundane details is a waste of your mental energy, a limited resource. If you want to be able to have more mental resources throughout the day, you should identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane — and then "routinize" those aspects as much as possible. Obama's practice is echoed by Steve Jobs who decided to wear the same outfit every day, so that he didn't have to think about it and the recent disclosure that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is proud that he wears the same outfit every day adding that he owns 'maybe about 20' of the gray, scoop neck shirts he's become famous for. 'The point is that you should decide what you don't care about and that you should learn how to run those parts of your life on autopilot,' writes Pozen. 'Instead of wasting your mental energy on things that you consider unimportant, save it for those decisions, activities, and people that matter most to you.'"

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Russian High-Tech Export Scandal Produces 8 Arrests in Houston
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-isn't-the-bars-it's-the-humidity department:
Penurious Penguin writes "Millionaire Alexander Fishenko, owner of US-based Arc Electronics Inc, and seven others have been arrested in Houston Texas, with a total of 11 indicted in a conspiracy to smuggle advanced microelectronics from the U.S. to Russia. The technology allegedly involves components of radar, weapons guidance, and detonators. Amongst the evidence are accounting records indicating notable similarity between the revenue of Arc Electronics and the Russian Federation's defense spending; intercepted phone calls and emails; and a letter to Arc Electronics from a Russian domestic intelligence lab complaining of defective microchips . A Russian foreign ministry spokesman has denied there were any intelligence connections in the affair."

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Advertisers Blast Microsoft Over IE Default Privacy Settings
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-track-me-bro department:
theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft is sticking to its decision to implement 'Do-Not-Track' as the default for IE 10, despite drawing the ire of corporate America, the Apache Software Foundation, and the FTC Chairman. Representatives of a veritable Who's Who of Corporate America — e.g., GM, IBM, BofA, Walmart, Merck, Allstate, AT&T, Motorola — signed off on a letter blasting Microsoft for its choice. 'By presenting Do Not Track with a default on,' the alliance argues, 'Microsoft is making the wrong choice for consumers.' The group reminds Microsoft that Apache — whose Platinum Sponsors have branded Microsoft's actions a deliberate abuse of open standards and designed its software to ignore the 'do-not-track' setting if the browser reaching it is IE 10. It also claims that the FTC Chairman, formerly supportive of Microsoft's privacy efforts, now recognizes 'the harm to consumers that Microsoft's decision could create.'"

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Shakedowns To Fix Negative Online Reviews
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '12 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-up department:
First time accepted submitter unjedai writes "A company is putting horrible reviews of small business online, and then offering to improve the company's reputation and take the reviews off for a fraction of the cost that a real reputation improvement company would charge. Sierra West received a call from a 'reputation improvement company' telling them they had a negative review online and that the company would take the review offline if Sierra West paid $500. 'Of course when someone is offering $500 the day (the bad review) goes up seemed not legitimate.'"

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Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope of Alien Retrieval
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's leaving-them-something department:
Lucas123 writes "The problem: What do you leave behind that billions of years from now, and without context, would give aliens an some kind of accurate depiction of mankind. The answer: A gold-plated silicon disc with just 100 photos. That's the idea behind The Last Pictures project, which is scheduled to blast off in the next few months from Kazakhstan and orbit the earth for 5 billion years. The photos, etched into the silicon using a bitmap format, were chosen over a five-year process that involved interviews with artists, philosophers, and MIT scientists, who included biologists, physicists, and astronomers. To each, was posed a single question: What photos would you choose to send into outer space? The answer became an eclectic mix of images from pre-historic cave paintings to a photo of a group of people taken by a predator drone."

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Quantum Measurements Leave Schrödinger's Cat Alive
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's looking-in-the-box department:
First time accepted submitter Walking The Walk writes "Your co-workers who keep using Schrödinger's cat metaphor may need to find a new one. New Scientist reports that "by making constant but weak measurements of a quantum system, physicists have managed to probe a delicate quantum state without destroying it – the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrodinger's metaphorical cat without killing it. The result should make it easier to handle systems such as quantum computers that exploit the exotic properties of the quantum world."

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IETF Starts Work On Next-Generation HTTP Standards
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-way-of-doing-things department:
alphadogg writes "With an eye towards updating the Web to better accommodate complex and bandwidth-hungry applications, the Internet Engineering Task Force has started work on the next generation of HTTP, the underlying protocol for the Web. The HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), is a security protocol designed to protect Internet users from hijacking. The HSTS is an opt-in security enhancement whereby web sites signal browsers to always communicate with it over a secure connection. If the user is using a browser that complies with HSTS policy, the browser will automatically switch to a secure version of the site, using 'https' without any intervention of the user. 'It's official: We're working on HTTP/2.0,' wrote IETF Hypertext Transfer Protocol working group chair Mark Nottingham, in a Twitter message late Tuesday."

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Giving Your Computer Interface the Finger
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-your-fingers-do-the-computing department:
moon_unit2 writes "Tech Review has a story about a startup that's developed software capable of tracking not just hand movements but precise finger gestures. The setupm from 3Gear, requires two depth-sensing cameras (aka Kinects) at the top corners of your display. Then simply give your computer thumbs up — or whatever other gesture you might feel like — and it'll know what you're doing. The software is available for free while the product is in beta testing, if you want to give it a try."

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Singer Reportedly Outbids NASA for Space Tourist's Seat
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's money-well-spent department:
RocketAcademy writes "ABC News is reporting that Phantom of the Opera singer/actress Sarah Brightman outbid NASA for a seat on a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station. Brightman reportedly paid more than $51 million. If that story is true, there may be some interesting bidding wars in the future."

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Bruce Perens: The Day I Blundered Into the Nuclear Facility
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's did-you-remember-to-lock-the-door? department:
Bruce Perens writes "I found myself alone in a room, in front of a deep square or rectangular pool of impressively clear, still water. There was a pile of material at the bottom of the pool, and a blue glow of Cherenkov radiation in the water around it. To this day, I can't explain how an unsupervised kid could ever have gotten in there."

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Starting Next Year, Brazil Wants To Track All Cars Electronically
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we-know-you-weren't-stuck-in-traffic department:
New submitter juliohm writes "As of January, Brazil intends to put into action a new system that will track vehicles of all kinds via radio frequency chips. It will take a few years to accomplish, but authorities will eventually require all vehicles to have an electronic chip installed, which will match every car to its rightful owner. The chip will send the car's identification to antennas on highways and streets, soon to be spread all over the country. Eventually, it will be illegal to own a car without one. Besides real time monitoring of traffic conditions, authorities will be able to integrate all kinds of services, such as traffic tickets, licensing and annual taxes, automatic toll charge, and much more. Benefits also include more security, since the system will make it harder for thieves to run far away with stolen vehicles, much less leave the country with one."

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Regulators Smash Global Phone Tech Support Scam Operation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's grarrr-ftc-smash department:
SternisheFan sends this excerpt from ZDNet:
"Regulators from five countries joined together in an operation to crack down on a series of companies orchestrating one of the most widespread Internet scams of the decade. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other international regulatory authorities today said they shut down a global criminal network that bilked tens of thousands of consumers by pretending to be tech support providers. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, speaking during a press conference with a Microsoft executive and regulators from Australia and Canada, said 14 companies and 17 individuals were targeted in the investigation. In the course of the crackdown, U.S. authorities already have frozen $188,000 in assets, but Leibowitz said that would increase over time thanks to international efforts."

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The Sci-fi Films To Look Forward To In 2013
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-waiting-on-serenity-2 department:
brumgrunt writes "Not every sci-fi film released in 2013 will be a sequel or franchise movie. Den Of Geek has highlighted the ten sci-fi movies that might just offer something a little different from the PG-13, family-centric norm."
The list includes Elysium, from the writer/director of District 9. It's "set in 2159, where Earth has become so hopelessly overcrowded that the richest members of society live on a luxurious orbiting space station." There's also After Earth, directed (but not written) by M. Night Shyamalan, which stars Will Smith and his son Jaden. They "crash land on Earth at some point in the future, by which time it's become a dangerous place devoid of human life." And, of course, there's Ender's Game.

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Google Glass, Augmented Reality Spells Data Headaches
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's waiting-on-google-smell-o-vision department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google seems determined to press forward with Google Glass technology, filing a patent for a Google Glass wristwatch. As pointed out by CNET, the timepiece includes a camera and a touch screen that, once flipped up, acts as a secondary display. In the patent, Google refers to the device as a 'smart-watch. Whether or not a Google Glass wristwatch ever appears on the marketplace — just because a tech titan patents a particular invention doesn't mean it's bound for store shelves anytime soon — the appearance of augmented-reality accessories brings up a handful of interesting issues for everyone from app developers to those tasked with handling massive amounts of corporate data.For app developers, augmented-reality devices raise the prospect of broader ecosystems and spiraling complexity. It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"

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