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DEA Lack of Data Storage Results In Dismissed Drug Case
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wanna-borrow-a-flash-drive department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Dr. Armando Angulo was indicted in 2007 on charges of illegally selling prescription drugs. He fled the country in 2004, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Marshals Service eventually finding him in Panama. As the case developed (and Panama resisted calls to extradite Angulo back to the United States), the DEA apparently amassed so much electronic data that maintaining it is now a hardship; consequently, the government wants to drop the whole case. 'These materials include two terabytes of electronic data (which consume approximately 5 percent of DEA's world-wide electronic storage capacity),' Stephanie M. Rose, the U.S. attorney for northern Iowa, wrote in the government's July motion to dismiss the indictment. 'Continued storage of these materials is difficult and expensive.' In addition, information associated with the case had managed to fill 'several hundred boxes' of paper documents, along with dozens of computers and servers. As pointed out by Ars Technica, if two terabytes of data storage represents 5 percent of the DEA's global capacity, then the agency has only 40 terabytes worth of storage overall. That seems quite small for a law enforcement agency tasked with coordinating and pursuing any number of drug investigations at any given time."

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CowboyNeal Looks Back at the SCO-Linux Trials
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
This past week, SCO

filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
, which finally begins the end of a long saga

that started over nine years ago. While their anti-IBM litigation has risen

from the grave and still shambles onward, the company itself is nearly put to

rest after nine years of choosing the wrong legal battle to get into. Even if

it may be too early to dance on SCO's grave, join me as I look back over the

long and bumpy road to nowhere of The SCO Group.

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Hackers Hack Handcuffs at H.O.P.E. (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's over-under-around-and-through department:
Have you ever been handcuffed and wish you weren't? Even if you haven't, what if you plan to demonstrate at a political party convention in the next couple of weeks? Either way, you need to watch this video, shot by Timothy Lord and unknown_lamer at H.O.P.E. (Hackers on Planet Earth), which will teach you the rudiments of unhandcuffing yourself -- but on purpose leaves out the fine points. For those, you'll need to buy several pairs of handcuffs and practice on your own. At worst, you will probably embarrass yourself no more than Timothy does as he tries to shimmy his handcuffed hands from behind him to in front of him, starting at about 5:18.

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Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery department:
hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running an article that's questioning the very premise of the Apple v Samsung case. From the article: 'It isn't the first time Apple has been involved in a high-stakes "copying" court case. If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case. But it's what happened next that's really fascinating. Apple didn't stop innovating at all.'"

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Intel Team Takes On Car Hackers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-driving department:
nk497 writes "Intel has set up a team of McAfee researchers to protect computer systems in cars, hiring Barnaby Jack — the researcher who forced ATMs to spit out cash and cause medical pumps to release lethal doses of insulin. Bruce Snell, a McAfee executive who oversees his company's research on car security, said the car industry was concerned about the potential for cyber attacks because of the frightening repercussions. 'If your laptop crashes you'll have a bad day, but if your car crashes that could be life threatening,' he said. 'I don't think people need to panic now. But the future is really scary.' The move comes as Ford and other car makers start to invest in ways to keep car code secure."

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Blood Cells Converted Into Chemical Sensors
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-in-the-blood department:
ananyo writes "Chemists have turned red blood cells into long lived sensors that could be put back into circulation to monitor the make up of patients' blood in real time. Many patients require monitoring of their blood, such as diabetics. But extracting blood is both invasive and provides only a one-off measurement. At the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia, Xiaole Shao explained how her team have built sensors that may one day allow both non-invasive and long-term monitoring of crucial aspects of blood chemistry. Shao, a chemist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and her colleagues exploited the fact that near infra-red light will penetrate through skin. This means it can trigger florescent molecules that are circulating in the blood, and this florescence can be picked up by an external monitoring device. If the molecule's florescence changes in response to chemical conditions, these changes can also be detected, and you have a sensor. But florescent dyes can be toxic, and they don't last long in the body, as they are quickly filtered out. To avoid the problem, the researchers encapsulated the sensors in red blood cells. The team next plan to inject the sensors into rats."

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U.C. Berkeley Offers Free "Big Data" Class This Week
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-your-learnings department:
pmdubs writes "The U.C. Berkeley AMPLab research group will be hosting a free 'Big Data Bootcamp' on-campus and online, August 21 and 22. The AMP Camp will feature hands-on tutorials on big data analysis using the AMPLab software stack, including Spark, Shark, and Mesos. These tools work hand-in-hand with technologies like Hadoop to provide high performance, low latency data analysis. AMP Camp will also include high level overviews of warehouse scale computing, presentations on several big data use-cases, and talks on related projects."

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Bill Gates To Develop a Revolutionary Nuclear Reactor With Korea
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-to-the-people department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft founder Bill Gates has pledged to develop with Korea a revolutionary nuclear reactor that will leave far less radioactive waste than existing ones. Gates invested US$35 million in a nuclear-power venture company TerraPower in 2010. TerraPower is led by John Gilleland. It was formed from an effort initiated in 2007 by Nathan Myhrvold's company, Intellectual Ventures .The Company includes expert staff and individual consultants who have worked for some of the most prestigious nuclear laboratories and engineering companies in the world." You may remember that Gates worked with China to build a reactor late last year.

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Judge Rejects Settlement In Facebook Sponsored Stories Case
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-deal department:
angry tapir writes "A U.S. District Court judge has rejected a proposed settlement in a lawsuit that alleges Facebook violated users' rights by using their names and recommendations of advertisers to be publicized through a Sponsored Stories program. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in the Northern District of California by five Facebook members on behalf of as many as 100 million users of the social networking site."

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Are 12-16 Hour Workdays Productive?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-wouldn't-say-I've-been-missing-it-bob department:
theodp writes " It's important to me,' former Opsware CEO Ben Horowitz recalls saying as he threatened a manager for termination because one of his subordinates failed to conduct 1:1 meetings, 'that the people who spend 12 to 16 hours/day here, which is most of their waking life, have a good life. It's why I come to work.' Ben seems to be cut from the same management cloth as new Yahoo CEO Marissa 'I-Don't-Really-Believe-In-Burnout' Mayer, who boasted how she solved the work-life balance problems of mother-of-three 'Katie,' who was required to attend nightly 1 a.m. video conference calls with her Google Finance team in Bangalore, by no longer making Katie also stay for late meetings on her Google day shift on those occasions where it'd make her miss her kids' soccer games and recitals." Jason Fried, C.E.O. of 37signals, wrote a piece for The New York Times recently singing the praises of working a 4-day week part of the year.

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When Flying Was a Thrill
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-in-the-day department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Bob Greene writes that flying, with jammed-to-the-groaning-point cabins and torture-rack legroom; fees for everything from checking your bags to being handed a paltry package of food; and the endless, we'll-X-ray-you-to-within-an-inch-of-your-dignity security lines, is too often such a dreary, joy-sapping slog that it's difficult to remember that it was ever any other way. But back in the 1930s, '40s and '50s — even the 60s, flying was a big deal. When a family went on vacation by air, it was a major life event. 'Traveling by air in those years wasn't like boarding a flying bus, the way it is today,' says Christopher Lynch, author of "When Hollywood Landed at Chicago's Midway Airport," a celebration of the golden years of commercial air travel in the United States. 'People didn't travel in flip-flops. I mean, no offense, Mister, but I don't want to see your toes.' The trains were still king in those years and the airlines wanted to convince people that flying was safe. 'People were afraid to fly,' Lynch says. 'And it was expensive. The airlines had to make people think it was something they should try.' That's where Mike Rotunno came in, photographer-for-hire at Midway Airport in Chicago where cross-country flights in those years had to stop to refuel. His pictures of Hollywood stars as they got off the planes made air travel seem to be glamorous, sophisticated, civilized, and thrilling. 'Think of his photos the next time you're shoehorned into a seat next to a fellow who's dripping the sloppy innards of his carry-on submarine sandwich onto your sleeve,' writes Greene. 'Air travel was once a treasured experience, exciting, exotic, something never to be forgotten. You, too, could travel like Elizabeth Taylor.'"

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Science and Math Enrollments Reach New High In UK
Posted by News Fetcher on August 20 '12 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-your-science department:
ianare writes "There has been a continued increase in the number of students taking A-level science and maths subjects. Physics has been especially popular. A growing fascination with science and teacher support schemes seem to be improving the teaching of maths and physics in UK state schools. From the article: 'There is evidence that two teacher support schemes funded by the Department for Education and run by the Institute of Physics and Mathematics in Education and Industry are beginning to make a big difference.

The IOP runs a network in England designed to help science teachers teach physics, called the Stimulating Physics Network. The MEI has a similar scheme called the Further Mathematics Support Programme. There is compelling evidence that much of the rise in the numbers of A-level students comes from schools participating in the scheme.'"


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First Evidence That Some Insects May Rely On Photosynthesis
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-comes-the-sun department:
tedlistens writes "The idea that aphids may use photosynthesis, as plants do, is based on the recent finding that the bugs are able to synthesize pigments called carotenoids. These pigments are common and necessary for many animals (for non-photosynthesis uses, like maintaining a healthy immune system), but the animal must consume them from outside sources. So far, only plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria are known to be able to synthesize carotenoids themselves, and, in all of those organisms, carotenoids are a key part of photosynthesis. While the co-author of the study, published in Nature's open-access journal Scientific Reports, cautions that more research is needed before we can determine if aphids are photosynthesizing like non-animals, it still could be one of the more remarkable findings in biology in recent memory, and may hold promise for helping address humanity's food crisis."

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Finland Hosts Mobile Phone Throwing Championships
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 08:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's toss-it-out department:
hypnosec writes "In this year's annual mobile-phone throwing contest held in Finland Ere Karjalainen has smashed the world record by throwing his phone 101.46 meters. The event, being held every year since 2000 in the town of Savonlinna, saw quite a few mobile-phone throwers participate. 2nd place went to Jeremy Gallop, a South African who managed to throw his phone 94.67 meters. Contest organizers are of the opinion that users can vent their anger on their phones and that this offers a unique opportunity to 'pay back all the frustrations and disappointments caused by this modern equipment.'"

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Where the Candidates Stand On Net Neutrality
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's choosing-sides department:
nmpost writes "Net neutrality is one of the biggest issues with regard to the internet today. At the heart of the issues is how much control ISPs will be allowed to have over their networks. Each candidate has come out with a strong position on the matter, and whoever wins will have a drastic effect on the future of the internet. Barack Obama has been a proponent of net neutrality. Under his watch, the FCC has implemented net neutrality rules. These restrictions did not apply to wireless networks, though; a gaping loophole that will be problematic in the future, as mobile internet is exploding in popularity. Until it is addressed, Obama can only be given a barely passing grade with regard to net neutrality. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has come down on the other side of the issue. The former Massachusetts governor strongly opposes net neutrality. According to Politico, Romney believes net neutrality will restrict ISPs, and that they alone should govern their networks. The governor has stated that he wants as little regulation of the internet as possible."

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Curiosity Rover Fires First Laser Beam At Martian Rock
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's curiosity-shot-first department:
A martian rock named "Coronation" was shot with 30 pulses over a 10-second period by Curiosity's laser today in order to determine what elements it was made of. “We got a great spectrum of Coronation — lots of signal,” Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory, leader of the ChemCam scientific team, said in a press release today. “Our team is both thrilled and working hard, looking at the results. After eight years building the instrument, it’s payoff time!” Another rock known as N165 was selected for later testing.

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Ask Slashdot: Options For FOSS Remote Support Software?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-you-tried-restarting-it? department:
Albanach writes "I'm sure I'm not alone in being asked to help friends and family with computer issues. These folk typically run Windows (everything from XP onward) or OS X (typically 10.4 onward). Naturally, desktop sharing is often much easier than trying to talk the other end through various steps. I've found free sites like join.me but they don't work with OS X 10.4, neither does the Chrome plugin. I'd also prefer not to compromise security by using a third party in the middle of the connection. Is there a good, free solution I can run on my linux box that supports old and new clients that run Windows, OS X and possibly linux? I'd love it if the users could simply bring their systems up to date, but that doesn't solve the third party issue and it's not easy when it requires a non-trivial RAM upgrade on a Mac Mini."

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"SMSZombie" Malware Infects 500,000 Android Users In China
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-threat-on-the-block department:
wiredmikey writes "Researchers have recently discovered a new sophisticated and resilient mobile threat targeting Android phones that is said to have infected about 500,000 devices, mainly in China. Called 'SMSZombie,' the malware is stubborn and hard to remove, but users outside of China have little to worry about with this latest discovery. The prime function of the mobile malware is to exploit a vulnerability in the mobile payment system used by China Mobile, making it of little value to the fraudsters outside of China. The malware takes advantage of a vulnerability in the China Mobile SMS Payment process to generate unauthorized payments to premium service providers, and can also remotely control the infected device. It has been spread via wallpaper apps that sport provocative titles and nude photos, and can only be removed using a lengthy process beyond the skills of a typical android user."

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Windows 8 Changes Host File Blocking
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's try-it-like-this department:
An anonymous reader writes "Windows 8 has been confirmed to not only ignore, but also modify the hosts file. As soon as a website that should be blocked is accessed, the corresponding entry in the hosts file is removed, even if the hosts file is read-only. The hosts file is a popular, cross-platform way of blocking access to certain domains, such as ad-serving websites."

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Scientists Inducted Into Chemistry "Hall of Fame"
Posted by News Fetcher on August 19 '12 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's welcome-to-the-club department:
First time accepted submitter ACXNew writes "The scientists behind three inventions that touch the lives of millions of people around the world will be inducted into a coveted scientific 'Hall of Fame' as the latest Heroes of Chemistry named by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. Established in 1996, the ACS Heroes of Chemistry program recognizes scientists whose work in various fields of chemistry and chemical engineering has led to the successful innovation and development of commercial products that benefit humankind."

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