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GPL Kerfuffle Takes Xbian For Raspberry Pi Offline
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 06:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-you-mean-that-was-a-license department:
tetrahedrassface writes "Rasbmc developer Sam Nazarko is reporting that Xbian had violated the GPL and stolen his installer code without providing attribution and not releasing their source. His breakdown of events is interesting, and currently the Xbian project has been taken offline with several tweets saying Xbian development is terminated."

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Hotmail No Longer Accepts Long Passwords, Shortens Them For You
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's isn't-that-handy? department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft doesn't like long passwords. In fact, the software giant not only won't let you use a really long one in Hotmail, but the company recently started prompting users to only enter the first 16 characters of their password. Let me rephrase that: if you have a password that has more than 16 characters, it will no longer work. Microsoft is making your life easier! You no longer have to input your whole password! Just put in the first 16 characters!" At least they warn you; I've run into some sites over the years that silently drop characters after an arbitrary limit.

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Facebook Wants You To Snitch On Friends Not Using Their Real Name
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's anonymous-cowards-welcome-here department:
Qedward writes "Freedom to go under a pseudonym is, miraculously, one freedom to survive the security lock-down of the previous decade. Now Facebook wants to change this. James Firth shows Facebook is clamping down on pseudonyms, with an interesting screenshot of being asked whether a friend is using their real name."

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Space Shuttle Endeavor Lands In Los Angeles After Final Flight
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's an-era-ends department:
Today the space shuttle Endeavor completed its final ferry flight, landing in Los Angeles, California after leaving Edwards Air Force Base earlier today. The shuttle will now undergo preparations for its journey through the streets of L.A. (at a cost of 400+ trees) to its final resting place at the California Science Center. It'll go on public display October 30. Endeavor spent over 296 days in space throughout 25 missions, comprising 4,671 orbits that added up to over 197 million kilometers of travel. Slashdot's own Kaushik Acharya was at the Griffith Observatory in L.A. for the flyover, and he provided some great pictures of Endeavor's passing.

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Chemist Jailed In Russia For Giving Expert Opinion In Court
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's science-will-rise-up-against-you department:
scibri writes "Think the imprisonment of Pussy Riot is a miscarriage of justice? Check out the story of their cellmate: Chemist Olga Nikolaevna Zelenina heads a laboratory at the Penza Agricultural Institute. She is an expert in the biology of hemp and poppy, and is a sought-after expert in legal cases involving narcotics produced from these plants. Last year, she was asked by defense lawyers to give her opinion in a case involving imported poppy seeds. The prosecutors didn't like her evidence though, and now she's in prison accused of complicity in organized drug trafficking."

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Torque3D Engine Goes Open-Source
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-forth-and-build department:
New submitter DangerOnTheRanger writes "Torque3D, the game engine behind games such as Blockland and Tribes 2, has gone open-source. The engine itself — in addition to four game templates — are all included in a Git repository hosted on GitHub. Documentation is available in a separate repository. Quite the exciting time in the world of game development!"

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Walmart Abandons Amazon's Kindle Lineup
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's clash-of-the-titans department:
New submitter kiriath writes "Walmart has followed Target in ceasing to sell the Amazon Kindle product line. This is not terribly surprising, since Amazon and Walmart are major competitors. From the article: 'The world's largest retailer, which has been trying to catch up to Amazon in online sales, said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. ... Now, with two large chains no longer selling Kindle, speculation has grown that the dominant online retailer could open its stores where shoppers could try out and buy Kindles. Amazon "is a little bit of a Trojan horse" when the Kindle is sold in other stores, said Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research. "They should have made this decision to not carry the Kindle a long time ago."'"

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Iran Behind Cyber Attacks On U.S. Banks
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's turnabout-is-fair-play department:
New submitter who_stole_my_kidneys writes "Evidence suggests the Iranian government is behind cyberattacks this week that have targeted the websites of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. The attacks are described by one source, a former U.S. official, as being 'significant and ongoing,' and looking to cause 'functional and significant damage.' Another source suggested the attacks were in response to U.S. sanctions on Iranian banks."

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180k-Year-Old Mutation Allowed Humans To Become Vegetarians, Move Out of Africa
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-don't-eat-greens-food-eats-greens department:
An anonymous reader writes "Early humans were able to move from Africa after a single genetic mutation allowed them to become vegetarians, scientists claim. The switch, which allowed humans to process vegetables, meant that humans were able to move away from water sources and spread across the continent. A team of geneticists compared DNA sequences from a variety of people around the world to see how different populations relate to one another and when they have gone their separate ways. The scientists found that a key genetic variant gave humans the ability to convert fats from plants into essential nutrients for the brain."

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Book Review: Wonderful Life With the Elements
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
MassDosage writes "I've always found Chemistry interesting, particularly in high school when I had the good fortune of having a Chemistry teacher who was not only really good looking, but a great teacher too. I studied it for a year at University and then moved on and haven't really given the periodic table and its elements much thought since. This changed when the Wonderful Life with the Elements was delivered to me two weeks ago. It's one of those books that aims to make science fun and, unlike many other attempts which turn out to be pretty lame, this actually succeeds in presenting the periodic table in a fresh, original and interesting manner." Read on for the rest of Mass Dosage's review. Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified
author Bunpei Yorifuji
pages 205
publisher No Starch Press
rating 8/10
reviewer Mass Dosage
ISBN 978-1-59327-423-8
summary The periodic table personified

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Facebook Disables Face Recognition In EU
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's privacy-on-demand department:
SquarePixel writes "Facebook has disabled face recognition features on its site for all new European users. The move follows privacy recommendations made by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. Tag Suggest information has been turned off for new users, and Facebook plans to delete the information for existing EU users by October 15th. 'The DPC says today’s report (PDF) is the result of evaluations it made through the first half of 2012 and on-site at Facebook’s HQ in Dublin over the course of two days in May and four in July. The DPC says FB has made just about all of the improvements it requested in five key areas: better transparency for the user in how their data is handled; user control over settings; more clarity on the retention periods for the deletion of personal data, and users getting more control over deleting things; an improvement in how users can access their personal data; and the ability of Facebook to be able to better track how they are complying with data protection requirements.'"

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Kickstarter Introduces New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-my-weather-control-device-design-is-flawless department:
OakDragon writes "Kickstarter has introduced some more stringent guidelines and requirements specifically for the Hardware and Product Design categories. These new requirements are laid out in a blog post called 'Kickstarter Is Not a Store.' Simulations will now be prohibited. Video cannot show a proposed product, action, etc. — only a real product and what it does at the time. Product renderings and other simulated illustrations also will not be sufficient — the project creator will have to have photographs of a real prototype."

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NVIDIA To Publicly Release Some Tegra GPU Documentation
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's some-is-better-than-none department:
An anonymous reader writes "It was revealed today during the annual X.Org Developers' Conference in Germany that NVIDIA will be publicly releasing Tegra graphics programming documentation. Initially this will cover their Tegra 2D engine but it's thought they might also be providing 3D engine documentation too. A slide shown at the conference says NVIDIA is committed to open-source. NVIDIA also allegedly has supplied documentation under NDA to one Nouveau developer and taken other covertly supportive steps. These actions come after NVIDIA has been notoriously unfriendly to open-source and months after Linus Torvalds pubilcly slammed the NVIDIA Linux support."

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How Microsoft Is Wooing College Kids To Write Apps For Windows 8
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-take-candy-from-strangers department:
SquarePixel writes "Bloomberg has an interesting story about Microsoft's efforts to simultaneously woo younger workers and to get more apps into its Windows Store. Quoting: 'Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, designed Windows 8 for touch-screen technology included in the company's first tablet, Surface, and other devices coming this year. To gain share in tablets, a market expected by DisplaySearch to reach $66.4 billion in 2012, Microsoft needs enough apps to challenge the more than 200,000 available for iPad. Using student recruits is one way Microsoft can woo app developers who are used to building programs for mobile phones and tablets, where the company has little and no share, respectively. Luring programmers before graduation is particularly critical for recruitment in the U.S., which lags behind countries such as India and China in its ability to crank out qualified engineers.'"

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Dawn Spacecraft Finds Signs of Water On Vesta
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's branson's-water-park department:
ananyo writes "Vesta, the second-most-massive body in the asteroid belt, was thought to be bone dry. But NASA's Dawn spacecraft has found evidence that smaller, water-rich asteroids once implanted themselves in Vesta's surface. The water stays locked up in hydrated minerals until subsequent impacts create enough heat to melt the rock and release the water as a gas, leaving pitted vents in the surface. The discovery shows that yet another body in the inner Solar System has a water cycle."

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Get Your 15 Years of Slashdot Shirt (For free, Depending)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's test-of-free-will-and-determinism department:
We'll be sending a passel of shirts to the crowd-sourced parties
that we hope you'll get to, and to any artists whose Slashdot logo suggestions we end up selecting. (There are nearly 30 parties planned so far, in places as far-flung as Latvia and Nigeria!) But starting today the limited edition Slashdot anniversary shirt is also available from our brethren and sistren at ThinkGeek (still, for now, serving the same corporate overlord as Slashdot). So if you can't land one of the swag ones (sorry!), you can still swathe yourself in the Slashdot livery, which isn't so different from the colors of the Vogon constructor fleet. We'll only turn 15 once, but a clever T-shirt is forever.

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iPhone 5 Teardown Shows Boost To Repairability
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-it's-broke,-fix-it department:
iFixit has posted a detailed teardown of the new iPhone 5. While the casing still uses Apple's proprietary pentalobe fasteners, the good news is that Apple has made the screen much easier to remove. Once the fasteners have been removed, the screen will lift out easily through the use of a suction cup. The screens are by far the most common parts of iPhones to break, and this change turns a complicated 38-step procedure that takes about 45 minutes at minimum into a quick, 5-10 minute job. The teardown also shows the iPhone 5 battery to be very similar to the iPhone 4S's, suggesting that the improvements to battery life come from other hardware and software changes. We get a look at the new A6 processor running the phone, which is a custom design based on ARMv7. iFixit also looks at the Lightning connector assembly; unfortunately, it includes the loudspeaker, bottom microphone, Wi-Fi antenna, and headphone jack as well, so fixing any one of those parts individually will be difficult. Whatever you think of Apple's decision to move to Lightning instead of micro-USB, it seems their switch away from the 30-pin connecter was necessitated by size constraints.

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The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link Sold To Its Members
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's well-done department:
New submitter nadaou sends this quote from the NY Times:
"One of the earliest online communities, The WELL, has a new owner: its members. On Thursday evening, Salon Media Group, the previous owner of The WELL, said it had sold the community to the Well Group, a private investment group consisting of longtime members of the community, which was founded in 1985, long before the rise of the Web."

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When the Hiring Boss Is an Algorithm
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's doesn't-care-why-manhole-covers-are-round department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Joseph Walker writes at the WSJ that although personality tests have a long history in hiring, sophisticated software has now made it possible to evaluate more candidates, amass more data and peer more deeply into applicants' personal lives and interests. This allows employers to predict specific outcomes, such as whether a prospective hire will quit too soon, file disability claims, or steal. For example after a half-year trial that cut attrition by a fifth, Xerox now leaves all hiring for its 48,700 call-center jobs to software. Xerox used to pay lots of attention to applicants who had done the job before. Then, an algorithm told the company that experience doesn't matter. It determined what does matter in a good call-center worker — one who won't quit before the company recoups its $5,000 investment in training. By putting applicants through a battery of tests and then tracking their job performance, Evolv has developed a model for the ideal call-center worker (PDF). The data recommend a person who lives near the job, has reliable transportation and uses one or more social networks, but not more than four. He or she tends not to be overly inquisitive or empathetic, but is creative. 'Some of the assumptions we had weren't valid,' says Connie Harvey, Xerox's chief operating officer of commercial services. However, data-based hiring can expose companies to legal risk. Practices that even unintentionally filter out older or minority applicants can be illegal under federal equal opportunity laws. If a hiring practice is challenged in court as discriminatory, a company must show the criteria it is using are proven to predict success in the job."

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Meet Two Security Researchers Apple Hates (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '12 at 07:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's my-exploits-are-better-than-yours department:
This video is a half-hour speech given by Dino Dai Zovi and Charlie Miller, two people Apple corporately hates because of their success in finding security holes in Apple operating systems and software. Both Charlie and Dino have been mentioned on Slashdot before and probably will be again. This is a chance to see how they sound and look in person, talking to a small "by invitation only" group. They have a book to push, too: The iOS Hacker's Handbook. (Please note that this book is supposed to help you secure iOS and iOS apps, not exploit security holes in them.)

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