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CBS Twitter Feed Compromised
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's strange-world-sometimes department:
The BBC reports that two Twitter accounts belonging to CBS news have been suspended after they were compromised on Saturday afternoon. From the article: "Fake messages appearing on the @60Minutes account criticised US support for 'terrorist' rebels in Syria and others accused Barack Obama of trying to 'take away your guns.' A group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army claimed to have been responsible for hijacking the accounts."

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The Eternal Mainframe
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '13 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-week-client-server-revisited department:
theodp writes "In his latest essay, Rudolf Winestock argues that the movement to replace the mainframe has re-invented the mainframe, as well as the reason why people wanted to get rid of mainframes in the first place. 'The modern server farm looks like those first computer rooms,' Winestock writes. 'Row after row of metal frames (excuse me—racks) bearing computer modules in a room that's packed with cables and extra ventilation ducts. Just like mainframes. Server farms have multiple redundant CPUs, memory, disks, and network connections. Just like mainframes. The rooms that house these server farms are typically not open even to many people in the same organization, but only to dedicated operations teams. Just like mainframes.' And with terabytes of data sitting in servers begging to be monetized by business and scrutinized by government, Winestock warns that the New Boss is worse than the Old Boss. So, what does this mean for the future of fully functional, general purpose, standalone computers? 'Offline computer use frustrates the march of progress,' says Winestock. 'If offline use becomes uncommon, then the great and the good will ask: "What are [you] hiding? Are you making kiddie porn? Laundering money? Spreading hate? Do you want the terrorists to win?"'"

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Improving the Fedora Boot Experience
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '13 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sir-the-cats-have-three-non-overlapping-ideas department:
An anonymous reader writes with a link to a recent post on Red Hat senior interaction designer Máirín Duffy's blog with an illuminating look at Red Hat's design process, and how things like graphic elements, widget behavior, and bootup time are taken into account. It starts: "So I have this thing on my desk at Red Hat that basically defines a simple design process. (Yes, it also uses the word 'ideate' and yes, it sounds funny but it is a real word apparently!) While the mailing list thread on the topic at this point is high-volume and a bit chaotic, there is a lot of useful information and suggestions in there that I think could be pulled into a design process and sorted out. So I took 3 hours (yes, 3 hours) this morning to wade through the thread and attempt to do this."

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Ask Slashdot: How To Track a Skype Account Hijacker?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 10:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's hi-from-indonesia department:
An anonymous reader writes "My Skype account was hijacked, which I discovered after Skype suspended it for suspicious activity, including a number of paid calls and an attempt to debit my card. Now that I've secured the account again, I can see the call history — there are several numbers called in Senegal, Mali, Benin and Philippines. Obviously I could call them myself and create a bit of havoc in their lives, but ideally I'd like to trace the hijacker himself — perhaps with some kind of 'social engineering' approach. Or is it just a waste of time?" How would you do this, and would you bother?

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TSA Accepting Public Comments On Whole Body Airport Screening
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 07:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's would-they-lie-to-you? department:
New submitter trims writes "The TSA is now in the public comment stage of its project to roll out Advanced Imaging Technology (i.e. full-body X-ray) scanners. The TSA wants your feedback as to whether or not this project should be continued or cancelled. Now is your chance to tell the TSA that this is a huge porkbarrel project and nothing more than Security Theater. You can comment at http:///www.regulations.gov and reference the docket ID TSA-2013-0004." Note: the backscatter X-ray machines are being phased out, in favor of millimeter-wave systems; the linked documents give the government's side of the story when it comes to efficacy, safety, privacy, and worth. The comment period runs until June 24.

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Baseball Software Can't Score What Jean Segura Did Friday
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-some-values-of-uncommon department:
JimboFBX writes "Interesting piece of baseball history happened on Friday. Jean Segura of the Milwaukee Brewers stole second, tried to steal third too early, but made it back to second before being tagged. The problem was that teammate Ryan Braun already made it to second on the steal attempt. After tags were applied to both baserunners, Segura started trotting to the dugout before realizing that he wasn't out, Braun was, and his only option was to make it back to first. He then of course proceeded to try to steal second base again. The software for keeping the box score? Doesn't (yet) support someone running backwards on the bases. Looks like that will have to change."

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Hyundai's Flying Car Flies For an Audience
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's powered-by-musical-cheese department:
garymortimer writes "Not many garages would work with Hyundai's hexadecagon. Showcasing at the 2013 IDEAs festival, the manned 16 rotored multirotor looks rather dodgy! Well done to them though for making it fly." It's just one of many crazy looking ideas in this video.

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Weather Delays Antares Launch From VA Spaceport
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's taking-things-slow-and-gentle department:
The Washington Post reports that concerns about high winds have postponed until tomorrow evening the launch of Orbital Science's Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia. When the rocket finally launches, it should be a spectacular event for the region: "Clear skies should allow viewing of the 133-foot rocket throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic – including the Washington, D.C. area. Assuming technical issues don’t delay or abort the launch, look southeast and the rocket will be viewable about 10 degrees above the horizon in the Washington area at 5 p.m. 6:10 p.m."

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Amazon Nears Debut of Original TV Shows
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-there's-this-talking-yak-and-his-wacky-coworkers department:
First time accepted submitter bakerharis writes with an article about Amazon's attempt to break into creating conventional television style episodic shows, but with a different model from the manistream media companies. "Amazon's foray into TV production is unique in the way it saves money. Every spring, traditional TV networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox order dozens of pilots and show them to focus groups. Executives pick just a handful to make into series. Then, they commission 13 episodes of each promising show, with each one potentially costing a few million dollars. Many episodes won't ever air if the first few don't attract big audiences." Amazon, instead, has created 14 pilot shows, and is letting a cross section of customers in the U.S., UK, and Germany react to them to see which shows might be worth making more of.

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British Woman's Twitter Comments Spark Expensive Libel Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's truth-as-defense department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A woman who complained about an unpaid £146 invoice is facing a libel battle that could cost her more than £100,000. Lesley Kemp, 55, took to Twitter claiming that a company based in the Middle East had failed to pay her promptly for transcription work. Now the firm is suing Mrs Kemp, of Milton Keynes, for defamation, claiming up to £50,000 in damages and a further £70,000 in costs. The company, Resolution Productions, based in Qatar, has yet to comment."

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Happy Hardware Freedom Day
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-year-more-notice department:
Blug_fred writes "For the first year the Digital Freedom Foundation (ex-SFI) is organizing Hardware Freedom Day. With 66 events worldwide split over 36 countries, they are not yet covering the whole world but it is a good start. So if you have always been wondering about hacking your own stuff, be it a piece of wood or some more complex electronic gears then it is time to join an open door day type of event. Sixty-six events is definitely less that the total number of hackerspaces around the world and you can check for other events happening in a hackerspace near you if none are celebrating today. Hopefully they will join the movement next year."

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Ask Slashdot: Service-Heavy FOSS Hosting?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-work-and-play department:
An anonymous reader writes "For many of us our hosting providers are a way to hone our skills as well as run a business. Which provider out there gives the best bang for the buck for a FOSS developer? Virtually everybody provides Perl, PHP, Ruby, MySQL / MariaDB etc. but where can one get easy and cheap access to a stuff like NodeJS and Big Data? Companies such as Pair Networks are great but not quite on the mark with any of their service offerings for somebody looking to test out real world scenarios with these technologies from a hosted stance. Obviously hosting from home is always an option but that has the penalty of administration, backup, DR planning, bigger security footprint etc. and for those of us whose time is balanced between making money and friends / family time that's not very appealing."

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Bruce Schneier On the Marathon Bomber Manhunt
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-your-own-protection-forever-and-ever-amen department:
Should Boston have been put in a state of lockdown on Friday as police chased down Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? Pragmatic Bruce Schneier writes on his blog: "I generally give the police a lot of tactical leeway in times like this. The very armed and very dangerous suspects warranted extraordinary treatment. They were perfectly capable of killing again, taking hostages, planting more bombs -- and we didn't know the extent of the plot or the group. That's why I didn't object to the massive police dragnet, the city-wide lock down, and so on." Schneier links to some passionate counterarguments, though. It doesn't escape the originator of a recurring movie plot terrorism contest that the Boston events of yesterday were just "the sort of thing that pretty much only happens in the movies."

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Ars Reviewer is Happily Bored With Dell's Linux Ultrabook
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-way-to-be-bored department:
Ars Technica review Lee Hutchinson says that Dell's Ubuntu-loaded 13" Ultrabook (the product of "Project Sputnik") is "functional," "polished," and (for a Linux laptop) remarkably unremarkable. "It just works," he says. Hutchinson points out that this is a sadly low bar, but nonetheless gives Dell great credit for surpassing it. He finds the Ultrabook's keyboard to be spongy, but has praise for most elements of the hardware itself, right down to (not everyone's favorite) the glossy screen.

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LLVM Clang Compiler Now C++11 Feature Complete
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 06:32 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ahead-of-the-curve department:
An anonymous reader writes "With the latest development work on Clang ahead of the release of LLVM version 3.3, Clang is now C++11 feature complete. The last remaining features of the ISO C++11 feature specification have been implemented. C++11 support for GCC is also more or less complete."

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Blackstone Drops Dell Bid, Cites Declining PC Market
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-didn't-want-that-anyway department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Blackstone Group has notified Dell's board that it has ended its bid for the company after performing 'due diligence' on Dell's books. The private equity firm gave two reasons for its withdrawal in a letter to the special committee of the board reviewing privatization offers: the 'unprecedented 14 percent market decline in PC volume in the first quarter of 2013' and 'the rapidly eroding financial profile of Dell.' IBM's recently announced intention of withdrawing from the x86 server market may have also spooked investors. Blackstone was one of two outside bidders that emerged after founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners announced a deal to take the company private for $24.4 billion. The remaining bidders did not comment on Blackstone's withdrawal; however, the Bloomberg piece notes that Dell's original deal with Silver Lake Partners contains language preventing the latter from backing out."

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Statistical Errors Keep 4700 K-3rd Students From NYC 'Gifted' Programs
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's more-than-a-little-oopsie department:
alostpacket writes "The New York times reports that statistical scoring by the standardized testing company Pearson incorrectly disqualified over 4700 students from a chance to enter gifted / advanced programs in New York City schools. Only students who score in the 90th percentile or above are eligible for these programs. Those in the 97th or above are eligible for 5 of the best programs. 'According to Pearson, three mistakes were made. Students' ages, which are used to calculate their percentile ranking against students of similar age, were recorded in years and months, but should also have counted days to be precise. Incorrect scoring tables were used. And the formula used to combine the two test parts into one percentile ranking contained an error.' No mention of enlisting the help of the gifted children was made in the Times article, but it also contained a now-corrected error. This submission likely also contains an erro"

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The FAA Will Let Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Fly Again
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 03:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-you-must-haul-chuck-yeager-around department:
derekmead writes "Having completed intense review of the aircraft's flight systems and functionality, component reliability, two weeks ago Boeing completed testing on the last item on its list, the plane's battery housing. The FAA on Friday approved the new system. That means the 787, which Boeing has continued to build while new battery solutions were developed, will now be able to resume regular flights as soon as workers are able to carry out an overhaul of the planes that need the upgrade. 'FAA approval clears the way for us and the airlines to begin the process of returning the 787 to flight with continued confidence in the safety and reliability of this game-changing new airplane,' Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing, said in a news release announcing the approval."

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Localized (Visual) Programming Language For Kids?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '13 at 12:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's because-english-sometimes-sucks department:
First time accepted submitter jimshatt writes "I want my kids to play around with programming languages. To teach them basic concepts like loops and subroutines and the likes. My 8-year-old daughter in particular. I've tried Scratch and some other visual languages, but I think she might be turned off by the English language. Having to learn English as well as a programming language at the same time might be just a little too much.
I'd really like to have a programming language that is easy to learn, and localized or localizable. Preferably cross-platform, or browser-based, so she can show her work at school (Windows) as well as work on in at home (Debian Linux).
By the way, she speaks Dutch and Danish, so preferably one of those languages (but if it's localizable I can translate it myself).
Any suggestions?"


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Pavel Vinogradov, At 59, Sets New Record As Oldest Spacewalker
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '13 at 10:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-kids-get-off-my-lawn department:
Florida today reports that cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov on Friday became the oldest person to have completed a spacewalk. From the article: "Working outside the Russian side of the international outpost, Vinogradov and cosmonaut Roman Romanenko put in six hours and 38 minutes of high-flying maintenance work. They set up a plasma physics experiment and retrieved a package that exposed advanced spacecraft materials to the deleterious space environment. They also replaced a reflector that is part of an autonomous rendezvous and docking system that will guide a robotic European space freighter to the station in early June." NASASpaceFlight.com has more details on the spacewalk, as well as the note that Vinogradov edges out "Story Musgrave, who was 58 when he flew the Hubble SM-1 mission in 1993."

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