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'Wi-Fi Police' Stalk Olympic Games
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-may-only-reflect-light-of-permitted-frequencies department:
schwit1 writes with news from London that Olympic venues are being patrolled by so-called "Wi-Fi police," who seek out and shut down unauthorized access points and hotspots. BT is the "official communications services provider" for the Games, so access points other than the ones they set up or approve have been disallowed. A picture tweeted from the Olympics shows a gentleman carrying a portable direction antenna that can localize sources of transmission and interference.
"One possible aim of shutting down such WiFi access points is to cut down on interference with essential wireless communications being used by those refereeing, reporting on and working at the sporting events. ... The news of the WiFi crackdown has angered many of those following the Games online, who were already upset at Olympic authorities' attempts to limit the use of social networking tools at the Games at certain times. The London Olympics had been billed as the first 'social media Games,' but organizers have been accused of bungling the effort to seamlessly integrate popular technologies like Twitter and Facebook into the event."

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IT At the LHC — Managing a Petabyte of Data Per Second
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 05:32 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's take-a-drink-from-the-science-firehose department:
schliz writes "iTnews in Australia has published an interview with CERN's deputy head of IT, David Foster, who explains what last month's discovery of a 'particle consistent with the Higgs Boson' means for the organization's IT department, why it needs a second 'Tier Zero' data center, and how it is using grid computing and the cloud. Quoting: 'If you were to digitize all the information from a collision in a detector, it’s about a petabyte a second or a million gigabytes per second. There is a lot of filtering of the data that occurs within the 25 nanoseconds between each bunch crossing (of protons). Each experiment operates their own trigger farm – each consisting of several thousand machines – that conduct real-time electronics within the LHC. These trigger farms decide, for example, was this set of collisions interesting? Do I keep this data or not? The non-interesting event data is discarded, the interesting events go through a second filter or trigger farm of a few thousand more computers, also on-site at the experiment. [These computers] have a bit more time to do some initial reconstruction – looking at the data to decide if it’s interesting. Out of all of this comes a data stream of some few hundred megabytes to 1Gb per second that actually gets recorded in the CERN data center, the facility we call "Tier Zero."'"

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Microsoft Drops 'Metro' Name For Windows 8 UI
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's a-rose-by-any-other-name-would-look-as-blocky department:
hawkinspeter writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is dropping the 'Metro' name for the new Windows 8 UI. Apparently, the catchy new name they've settled on is 'Windows 8 style UI!' This has happened due to a (potential) trademark dispute with Metro AG, a German retail giant. Microsoft said, 'We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialogue to a broad consumer dialogue we will use our commercial names.' I'm wondering if Microsoft planned this to get publicity for their new OS and UI or whether they just forget to check on how 'Metro' is used around the world."

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Where To View the Mars Curiosity Landing
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
An anonymous reader writes "In addition to the NASA mission pages here's a decent list of links showing where you can view the Mars Curiosity Landing online or at an event. Does anyone have recommendations for other sources of coverage on August 6?"

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Missing Paperwork Delays UK Broadband
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check's-in-the-mail department:
nk497 writes "UK broadband funding is being delayed... by missing paperwork. The government is doling out £530m to boost UK broadband, but needs European Commission approval first. The department responsible for broadband says it's sent the necessary documents, but the EC says it hasn't received them. It's the latest delay to the funding, following competition concerns over BT's dominance in the market."

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IT Support Pro Tells Why He Hates Live Chat
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 11:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-seems-to-be-the-trouble? department:
colinneagle writes "When someone calls into support, we first verify his or her account information. On the phone, this can take seconds. On a chat feature it can take a minute or two because people type slower than they speak. I also find that when people type in a chat they try to make the process go quicker by abbreviating the conversation. This means they might not give me all the information they would have if we were talking on the phone. The more descriptive a customer is about a problem, the easier and faster it will be to solve their issue. But the nature of a chat feature means people will abbreviate their stories to be more efficient, without realizing this just makes it more difficult to solve the problem. I end up asking more questions, which takes longer for the full story to come out. Explaining how to fix a problem can be difficult on the phone, but on a chat feature where I can't see your screen and likely have less information to work with, it can make it impossible to tackle a complex issue. It would be much more efficient for both me and the customer to talk on the phone so I can walk the customer through the steps I am taking."

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Tokelau Becomes First Country To Go 100% Solar
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-comes-the-sun department:
First time accepted submitter zonky writes "Tokelau has become the first country in the world to go 100% solar power generation, moving away from their entirely diesel power supply, which formerly supplied the energy needs of the 1400 residents of their small south pacific Island Nation. From the article: 'All three atolls in the South Pacific dependency, a New Zealand territory, will have their own solar power system by the end of October, despite a slight delay switching on the first system.'"

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Yahoo Sued For Password Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's see-you-in-court department:
twoheadedboy writes "Yahoo is being sued by one of its users, who has claimed the US Internet company was guilty of negligence when 450,000 passwords of the members of the Yahoo Voices blogging community were posted online. Jeff Allan from New Hampshire has turned to a federal court in San Jose, California, after his eBay account, which used the same password as his Voices account, was compromised. The breach at Yahoo followed similar hits on LinkedIn and Nvidia, which together saw millions of passwords leaked."

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Patent and Copyright Wars Gone Wild
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 06:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I'll-go-away-for-a-dollar department:
snydeq writes "While Apple and Samsung fight over patents and prototypes, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle on innocent users, as lawyers representing some adult movie companies are sending letters accusing users of illegally downloading their movies and saying that, for a price, they can make the charges go away. 'Cases like this, usually involving pornographic content, are very common,' Mitch Stoltz, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation said. At least 250,000 individuals have been named in group lawsuits over the last few years. There's a very common belief that if someone pirates your Wi-Fi connection or uses your computer without your permission, you are responsible for illegal downloads of copyrighted material. That's not true, says Stoltz; the law is quite clear. However, the lawyers who bring those cases use that misperception to convince innocent people that they had better pay up. Since $3,500 is just a fraction of the money it would take to fight a case in court, most people simply settle."

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RIM Agrees To Hand Over Its Encryption Keys To India
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-see-what-you-got-there department:
An anonymous reader writes "BlackBerry maker Research in Motion's (RIM) four-year standoff with the Indian government over providing encryption keys for its secure corporate emails and popular messenger services is finally set to end. RIM recently demonstrated a solution that can intercept messages and emails exchanged between BlackBerry handsets, and make these encrypted communications available in a readable format to Indian security agencies. An amicable solution over the monitoring issue is important for the Canadian smartphone maker since India is one of the few bright spots for the company that has been battling falling sales in its primary markets of the US and Europe. In India, RIM has tripled its customer base close to 5 million over the last two years,"

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CowboyNeal Reviews Orcs Must Die! 2
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
This week the sequel to last year's indie hit Orcs Must Die! was
released, and I take a look at it, to see what's new, what's still the same,
and if it's worth playing. The orcs are back, and again, they must die! Orcs
Must Die! 2
provides an ample amount of ways to off the orcs, both
old and new, and several new features. Click the link to read more to see my
thoughts on this game.

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US IPv6 Usage Grows To 3 Million Users
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's growing-and-growing department:
darthcamaro writes "There is a myth that IPv6 is only for those in Asia, but that's not true. According to new data discussed this week at an IETF conference, there are more IPv6 users in the U.S than anywhere else in the world — coming in at 3 million. From the article: 'George Michaelson, senior R&D scientist at APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) has a reasonable idea of what the current levels are globally for IPv6 adoption, thanks to some statistical research he has been doing. In his view, IPv6 is now a reality in terms of adoption. "I think you're used to us standing up and saying 'woe is me, woe is me, v6 isn't happening," George Michaelson, senior R&D scientist at APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) said. "But it is actually happening, these are not trivial numbers of people that are now using IPv6 on a routine basis."'"

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Why the Tablet Market is Really the iPad Market
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's price-war-has-started department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "James Kendrick writes that after Apple introduced the iPad, companies shifted gears to go after this undiscovered new tablet market but in spite of the number of players in tablets, no company has discovered the magic bullet to knock the iPad off the top of the tablet heap. 'What's happening to the 7-inch tablet market is what happened to the PC market several times. Big name desktop PC OEMs, realizing that consumers didn't care about megahertz and megabytes — yes, that long ago — turned to a price war in order to keep sales buoyant,' writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. 'Price becomes the differentiating factor, and this in turns competition into a race to the bottom.' Historically, when a race to the bottom is dictated by the market, it's more a sign of a lack of a market in general. If enough buyers aren't willing to pay enough for a product to make producers a profit, the market is just not sufficient. Price is a metric that most people know and understand because it's nowhere as ethereal or complicated as CPU power or screen resolution. Given a $199 tablet next to another for $299, the $100 difference in the price tag will catch the eye before anything else. But if price is such an important metric, why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers. 'So the problem with the Kindle Fire — and the Nexus 7 — is the same problem that's plagued the PC industry. Deep and extreme price cuts give the makers no wriggle room to innovate,' writes Kingsley-Hughes. 'By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.'"

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400,000 American Homes Have Dumped Pay TV This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's to-the-internet department:
redkemper writes "More than 400,000 American homes have cut the cord and ditched their cable and satellite pay-TV services since the start of 2012. The figure includes 169,000 subscribers shed by Time Warner Cable last quarter, marking the service provider's tenth consecutive quarter of customer losses/. It also includes the 52,000 net subscribers DirecTV lost this past quarter, and 176,000 customers who left Comcast."

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Study Finds Human Teeth are as Tough as Shark Teeth
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's thank-you-science department:
sciencehabit writes "Don't feel inadequate. Even though your teeth are largely composed of a mineral softer than that found in sharks, new tests suggest that they're just as tough. In sharks, the material coating the teeth is largely composed of fluoroapatite, a fluoridated phosphate mineral that in its pure form is harder than the hydroxyapatite found in the enamel of human teeth. But by pressing tiny metallic pyramids into the surfaces of teeth from a shortfin mako shark and a tiger shark, researchers found that the enameloid coating on shark teeth is no harder than that of the enamel on a human wisdom tooth. The teeth are, in fact, of comparable hardness because their surfaces aren't pure mineral but instead are made of mineral crystals bound together with proteins so that the material doesn't shatter under a sudden impact."

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Congressman Releases Draft of Legislation On Domestic Drones and Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eye-in-the-sky department:
An anonymous reader writes "Police would be required to get a warrant to use drones for certain types of surveillance under legislation introduced on Capitol Hill. The proposed bill would also tighten regulations on what kind of data can be collected by the government and private companies and how it can be used. To safeguard against abuses, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus and a longtime member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a draft of the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2012 on Wednesday." In related news, garymortimer points out that a North Dakota court has preliminarily upheld the first-ever use of an unmanned drone to assist in the arrest of an American citizen.

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NASA's Bolden Speaks On Future Mars Mission, Chinese Moon Landing
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-work-together department:
MarkWhittington writes "During an interview with USA Today on the eve of the arrival of the Mars Rover Curiosity, NASA administrator Charles Bolden had some interesting thoughts on why a humans to Mars mission should be international and not American led, how the world should react positively to the Chinese beating America back to the moon, and what he would do (or rather not do) if NASA were to have an 'unlimited' budget."

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Iran Nuclear Agency Not "Thunderstruck" By Virus
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-in-black department:
twoheadedboy writes "Iran may have been hit hard by Stuxnet, but officials have said that reports of a virus infecting its nuclear facilities and forcing computers to play the AC/DC classic 'Thunderstruck' were rubbish. Last month, F-Secure's chief research officer, Mikko Hypponen, was sent an email that appeared to be from a scientist working at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), claiming nuclear systems had been targeted by cyber attackers. Whilst the chief of the AEOI has come out to deny those claims, the sender of that email still managed to get hold of an official aeoi.org.ir email address. That has left some onlookers baffled about what is going on."

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Cybersecurity Bill Fails Today In US Senate
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's still-a-bill-on-capitol-hill department:
wiredmikey writes "A development following the recently posted story Senate Cybersecurity Bill Stalled By Ridiculous Amendments — The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 failed to advance in the US Senate on Thursday. The measure was blocked amid opposition from an unusual coalition of civil libertarians — who feared it could allow too much government snooping — and conservatives who said it would create a new bureaucracy. The bill needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to advance under rules in the chamber, but got only 52. The failure came despite pleas from Obama and top US defense officials. The US Chamber of Commerce argued that the bill 'could actually impede US cybersecurity by shifting businesses' resources away from implementing robust and effective security measures and toward meeting government mandates.'"

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Is It Time For an OpenGL Gaming Revolution?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '12 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's free-games department:
MrSeb writes "In a twist that reinforces Valve's distaste for Windows 8, it turns out that the Source engine — the 3D engine that powers Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, and Dota 2 — runs faster on Ubuntu 12.04 and OpenGL (315 fps) than Windows 7 and DirectX/Direct3D (270.6 fps); almost a 20% speed-up. These figures are remarkable, considering Valve has been refining the Source engine's performance under Windows for almost 10 years, while the Valve Linux team has only been working on the Linux port of Source for a few months. Valve attributes the speed-up to the 'underlying efficiency of the [Linux] kernel and OpenGL.' But here's the best bit: Using these new OpenGL optimizations to the Source engine, the OpenGL version of L4D2 on Windows is now faster than the DirectX version (303.4 fps vs. 270.6 fps). If OpenGL is faster, and it has a comparable feature set, and hardware support is excellent... why is Direct3D still the de facto API? With Windows losing its gaming crown and smartphones (OpenGL ES!) gaining in popularity, is it time for an OpenGL revolution?"

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