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Hugo Awards Live Stream Cut By Copyright Enforcement Bot
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's not-as-much-fun-as-bender department:
New submitter Penmanpro writes news of the Hugo Awards stream being unintentionally cut off by some AI gone awry: "Quotes from the linked article 'UStream's incorrectly programmed copyright enforcement squad had destroyed our only access.' 'Just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, "The Doctor's Wife." Where Gaiman's face had been were the words, "Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement."'"

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Xen-Based Secure OS Qubes Hits 1.0
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's subhurds-for-the-masses department:
Orome1 writes "Joanna Rutkowska, CEO of Invisible Things Lab, today released version 1.0 of Qubes, a stable and reasonably secure desktop OS. It is the most secure option among the existing desktop operating systems — even more secure than Apple's iOS, which puts each application into its own sandbox and does not count on the user to make security decisions. Qubes will offer users the option of using disposable virtual machines for executing tasks they believe could harm their computer. These VMs will be lightweight, easily and extremely speedily created and booted, and would be just as easy to discard."

First covered back in 2010. See some screenshots of the X11 part in action (and they say displaying clients from multiple "hosts" isn't useful...)

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Do We Need a Longer School Year?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's school's-out-for-the-summer department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jennifer Davis writes that while summer holds a special place in our hearts: lazy afternoons, camping at the lake, warm evenings gazing at the moon, languid summers can be educationally detrimental, with most youth losing about two months of grade-level equivalency in math computational skills over the summer and students from low-income families falling even further behind. A consensus is building that the traditional nine-month school year might be a relic of the 20th century that has no place in an increasingly competitive global work force and an analysis of charter schools in New York reveals that students are most likely to outperform peers if they attend schools that are open at least 10 days more than the conventional year. What of the idea that summer should be a time of respite from the stresses of school? There are two wrong notions wrapped up in this perspective. The first is that somehow summer is automatically a magical time for children but as one fifth-grader, happy to be back at school in August, declared, 'Sometimes summer is really boring. We just sit there and watch TV.' The second mis-perception is that school is automatically bereft of the excitement and joy of learning. On the contrary, as the National Center on Time and Learning describes in its studies of schools that operate with significantly more time, educators use the longer days and years to enhance the content and methods of the classroom. 'We should expect our schools to furnish today's students with the education they will need to excel in our global society,' says Davis. 'But we must also be willing to provide schools the tools they need to ensure this outcome, including the flexibility to turn the lazy days of summer into the season of learning.'"

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Fans Bring Back Half Life Game Series: Black Mesa Mod Launches 9/14
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-by-popular-demand department:
MojoKid writes "In a little less than two weeks, Half Life fans will have an opportunity to relive Valve's original 1998 title Half Life, albeit reborn and modified using the company's Source engine. The ambitious third-party project is called Black Mesa (previously known as Black Mesa: Source) and it's been in development for eight years. Black Mesa will deliver Half Life as you've never seen it before. It will have all new graphics, maps, a new soundtrack, updated voice acting, support for multi-core processors, hardware accelerated facial animation, and other goodies."

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Book Review: Why Does the World Exist?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
eldavojohn writes "For quite some time humans have struggled to answer the question why there is anything rather than nothing. Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist? tackles such questions in the form of a journey. After laying a brief groundwork, Holt travels from leading prominent philosopher to curmudgeonly physicist to reserved theologian, visiting each and relaying the juiciest parts of his transcripts to the reader. In doing so, this book takes on an interesting form with a meaty dense center to each chapter (the actual dialogues) surrounded by the light and fluffy bread of Holt's expert writing about the settings, weather and food of his travels. While this consequently lacks the characteristics of a heady hard hitting original philosophical work, these sandwiches should prove quite palatable for most readers. Why Does the World Exist? criss-crosses the etymological, epistemological, theological and philosophical aspects of its title while remaining a fairly easy read." Keep reading for the rest of eldavojohn's review. Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story
author Jim Holt
pages 320
publisher Liveright
rating 9/10
reviewer eldavojohn
ISBN 978-0871404091
summary An existential detective story.

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3D Printing On a Microscopic Scale
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's small-details department:
cylonlover writes "Three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere these days. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase and others are large enough to print houses, but scientists at the Vienna University of Technology are going for the microscopic. Earlier this year, the university built a 3D printer that uses lasers to operate on a tiny scale. Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called '3D-photografting,' can potentially be used to create a 'lab on a chip' or artificially grow living tissue."

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Knocking Infected PCs Off the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's and-stay-out department:
nk497 writes "Malware could block your access to the internet – but in some cases by those on the right side of the security fence, who are deploying tactics such as blocked ports, letters in the mail and PCs quarantined from the net to combat the most damaging threats. The DNS Changer clean up saw some PCs prevented from accessing the web. Should such tactics be used more often to prevent malware from spreading — or is that taking security a step too far?"

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Birthplace of Indoeuropean Languages Found
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's start-of-it-all department:
phantomfive writes "Language geeks might be interested in a recent study that suggests Turkey as the birthplace of the Indo-European language family. The Indo-European family is the largest, and includes languages as diverse as English, Russian, and Hindi. The New York Times made a pretty graph showing the spread."

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University of Cambridge Offers Free Online Raspberry Pi Course
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's learn-all-about-it department:
Barence writes "The University of Cambridge has released a free 12-step online course on building a basic operating system for the Raspberry Pi. The course, Baking Pi — Operating Systems Development, was compiled by student Alex Chadwick during a summer interning in the school's computer lab, and has been put online to help this year's new recruits start work with the device. The university has already purchased a Raspberry Pi for every new Computer Science student starting in 2012."

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Bruce Willis Considering Legal Action Against Apple Over iTunes Collection
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's yippie-ka-yay department:
First time accepted submitter oobayly writes "It appears that Bruce 'Die Hard' Willis isn't too impressed that he can't include his iTunes collection in his estate when he dies. According to the article: 'Bruce Willis, the Hollywood actor, is said to be considering legal action against Apple so he can leave his iTunes music collection to his three daughters.' Such a high profile individual complaining about the ability to own your digital music can only be a good thing, right?"

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Google Extends Patent Search To Prior Art
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-came-before department:
mikejuk writes "As well as buying up patents to defend itself against the coming Apple attack on Android, Google is also readying its own technology. It has extended its Patent Search facility to include European patents and has added a Prior Art facility. The new Prior Art facility seems to be valuable both to inventors and to the legal profession. In order to be granted a patent the inventor has to establish that it is a novel idea — and in the current litigious environment companies and their lawyers might want to show that patents should not have been granted."

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MIT Works On Mars Space Suit
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-uniforms department:
An anonymous reader writes in with a story about MIT's work on space suits to be used by Mars astronauts. "When we send the first humans to Mars we will need to get the most scientific data in the smallest amount of time while not exhausting our astronauts in the process. Dava J. Newman has been working on a 'biosuit' that's designed to do just that....Dava’s suit would be a huge leap forward in terms of construction as well. They’ve enlisted the expertise of Dainese, an Italian manufacturer of motorcycle racing 'leathers'—leather and carbon-fiber suits designed to protect racers traveling at up to 200 mph.

The suit would be a degree safer than current space suits. While a puncture of scrape in a traditional space suit would cause a dramatic decrease in pressure and would be traumatic, even deadly The 'biosuit' could be patched with a high tech ace bandage. The wearer would wrap it around the punctured area to stop the leak almost instantly. Pressure loss would be minimal and the astronaut would be able to continue working and finish his or her task. "


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Windows 7 Overtakes XP, OSX Struggles To Beat Vista
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's top-of-the-list department:
judgecorp writes "Latest market share figures show the difference between perception and reality. Windows 7 just nudged past Windows XP with both around the the 43 percent mark. OS X and Windows Vista divide the rest of the spoils, with all versions of OSX only just adding up to a little more than the failed Windows version, according to data from Netmarketshare."

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Researchers Engineer Light-Activated Skeletal Muscle
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's flick-of-a-switch department:
submeta writes "Researchers at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania have genetically engineered skeletal muscle cells to respond to light. The hope is that this 'bio-integrated' approach may lead to 'highly articulated, flexible robots'. The technique, known as optogenetics, has previously been used to stimulate neurons in worms to fire."

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Taking Telecommuting To the Next Level - the RV
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dear-indugu department:
An anonymous reader writes "I have been telecommuting as a software architect for a major corporation since 2007. It has allowed me to live a quality rural lifestyle. Never content, am now considering living on the road for several years. Due to the proliferation of 4G and wireless hotspots, I see no reason I could not do this from a 5th-wheel trailer. Have any slashdotters truly cut the cord in this manner? Any advice or warnings?"

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Calculating the Cost of Full Disk Encryption
Posted by News Fetcher on September 03 '12 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cheap-at-half-the-price department:
CowboyRobot writes "Is full disk encryption (FDE) worth it? A recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute shows that the expected benefits of FDE exceed cost by a factor ranging from 4 to 20, based on a reduction in the probability that data will be compromised as the result of the loss or theft of a digital device. 'After doing all of the math, Ponemon found that the cost of FDE on laptop and desktop computers in the U.S. per year was $235, while the cost savings from reduced data breach exposure was $4,650.'"

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Among Others Wins Hugo For Best Novel
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's congratulations-to-all department:
The 2012 Hugo Award ceremony has completed at Chicon 7, and Among Others by Jo Walton has been given the award for Best Novel. The Man Who Bridged the Mist by Kij Johnson won for Best Novella, and The Paper Menagerie won for Best Short Story. Doctor Who had three nominations for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), and ended up taking home the award for the episode "The Doctor's Wife," which was written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark. Season 1 of Game of Thrones won Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), edging out Hugo and Captain America. Ursula Vernon was awarded the Best Graphic Story Hugo for Digger. See below for the full list of winners.

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Ubuntu Gnome Remix 12.10 Arrives For Testing
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mixing-it-up department:
sfcrazy writes "The first ISO (alpha) images of Gnome Shell edition of Ubuntu is now available for download and testing. The Gnome edition of Ubuntu will bring back a lot of hard-core Gnome Shell fans who were looking elsewhere to get the pure Gnome Shell experience. Both Fedora and openSUSE are doing a great job at offering Gnome 3 Shell experience and the arrival of Ubuntu GNOME Remix will give the project the audience it needed."

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How Apple's Story Is Like Breaking Bad
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's holiday-news-cycle department:
theodp writes "Over at CNN, Omar L. Gallaga explains how Apple's story is like Breaking Bad , the TV drama whose protagonist — high school chemistry teacher Walter White — decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine to provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks but reinvents himself as a brilliant, feared meth chemist who grows more ambitious, ruthless and cocky with each victory. 'Like Steve Jobs,' writes Gallaga, 'Walter White's cancer awakens a panic in him to hurry up and leave a legacy through his work.' Gallaga continues: 'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'"

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Are App.net's Crowdfunders Being Taken For a Ride?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's money-for-nothing department:
snydeq writes "At least 10,000 people believe in App.net's vision of a messaging platform for Web apps — but it's unclear whether those people will be peers or sharecroppers, writes Simon Phipps. 'Last week App.net reached the milestone of 10,000 users who signed up for a new — mostly yet to be written — social network that looks like an early reimplementation of Twitter. Signing up people to claim user names on an (not vaporware) alpha Web service may not seem surprising or novel, but this time there's a difference: Everyone who signed up for App.net paid $50 for the privilege,' Phipps writes. 'App.net has used the crowdfunding approach, but it's not the same kind of project. While superficially similar — there's an offer of immediate use of its Twitter-clone service and reservation of the user ID of your choice — it's much more speculative. It's crowdsourcing the seed capital for a new venture, crowdsourcing the design, crowdsourcing the testing, and crowdsourcing most of the software that interacts with the venture, all without actually giving anyone but the founder a true stake in the outcome.'"

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