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Silicon Valley Values Shift To Customersploitation
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 07:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's but-being-treated-like-cattle-is-fun department:
theodp writes "Bill Davidow is the real Silicon Valley deal. Commenting on how Silicon Valley has changed over the decades, Davidow is not impressed, dishing out harsh words for Facebook, Apple, Google, and others. 'When corporate leaders pursue wealth in the winner-take-all Internet environment,' concludes Davidow, 'companies dance on the edge of acceptable behavior. If they don't take it to the limit, a competitor will. That competitor will become the dominant supplier — one monopoly will replace another. And when you engage in these activities you get a different set of Valley values: the values of customer exploitation.'"

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Carderprofit.cc Was FBI Carding Sting, Nets 26 Arrests
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 06:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's crime-pays-but-then-prison department:
tsu doh nimh writes in with news of a major sting operation against carders. From the article: "The U.S. Justice Department today unveiled the results of a two-year international cybercrime sting that culminated in the arrest of 26 people accused of trafficking in hundreds of thousands of stolen credit and debit card accounts. Among those arrested was an alleged core member of 'UGNazi,' a malicious hacking group that has claimed responsibility for a flood of recent attacks on Internet businesses."

The trick: the FBI ran a carding forum as a honeypot.

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Pentagon's In-Orbit Satellite Recycling Program Moving Forward
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 05:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's suddenly-babylon-five department:
An anonymous reader writes with an update on DARPA's plans to rebuild satellites in orbit. "A year old DARPA program which aims to recycle satellites in orbit has started it's next phase by looking for a guinea pig defunct satellite to use for evaluating the technology required. The program involves a Dr Frankensat 'complete with mechanical arms and other "unique tools"' and blank "satlets" to build upon.' Need parts! Kill the little one!"

If we're ever going to build space craft and other things in orbit, this seems like a great first step.

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EU Court Upholds Microsoft Antitrust Fines
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 05:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's chump-change department:
a_n_d_e_r_s writes "The ongoing saga of Microsoft's misuse of their dominant position in the EU marketplace to block competitors may be finally over, with the fine set to 860 million euros (just over 1 billion dollars). In 2004 Microsoft was ordered to provide certain information to competitors but failed to do so and was given an hefty fine. Now the EU General Court in Luxembourg has upheld the EU Commission decision and ruled against Microsoft."

This is a minor reduction (4.3%) of the original fine because of a minor technicality. Microsoft, naturally, is unhappy with the result.

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US Patent Trolling Costs $29 Billion a Year
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's gotta-give-those-courtrooms-something-to-do department:
New submitter Bismillah writes "This piece of research from Boston University seems to put an end to claims that patent trolling is 'socially valuable,' and instead is a social loss. 'We estimate that firms accrued $29 billion of direct costs in 2011. Moreover, although large firms accrued over half of direct costs, most of the defendants were small or medium-sized firms, indicating that [non-practicing entities] are not just a problem for large firms.' The total cost to society could be around $80 billion, according to the researchers. What's more, the costs have gone up fourfold since 2005."

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Dr. Dobb's 2012 Salary Survey
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department:
CowboyRobot writes "It's that time of year again, and Dr. Dobb's has posted the results of their survey of salaries of 3,500 developers and managers. 'While many salaries are flat, they are increasing overall, except for some heavily disfavored niches.'"

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Lying Online No Longer a Crime In Rhode Island
Posted by News Fetcher on June 27 '12 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-would-lie-on-the-internet-anyway department:
stevegee58 writes "In a sudden outbreak of common sense, Rhode Island repealed an obscure law enacted in 1989 that made it a crime to lie in online postings. Violations of this law carried a maximum penalty of $500 and up to a year in prison. From the article: '"This law made virtually the entire population of Rhode Island a criminal," said Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union. "When this bill was enacted nobody had any idea what its ramifications were. Telling fibs may be wrong, but it shouldn't be criminal activity." The law aimed to stop fraud, con artists and scammers, but also outlawed the "transmission of false data" regardless of whether liars stood to profit from their deception or not.'"

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Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we-have-outlived-our-usefulness-as-a-species department:
wasimkadak writes "This robot hand will play a game of rock, paper, scissors with you. Sounds like fun, right? Not so much, because this particular robot wins every. Single. Time. It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it's more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time."

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Australian Telco Causes Minor Panic While Preparing Web Filter
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-scare-the-wallabies department:
Twisted64 writes "Australia's largest telco, Telstra, has been frightening users of its mobile data services for the last week. Logging revealed that HTTP requests from a mobile device on Telstra's network were duplicated with a request from another server, located in Chicago. Eyebrows were raised on the Whirlpool forums, with fears that Telstra was giving up Australian browsing data to a U.S. company and therefore the U.S. government. Following a well-worded letter, Telstra revealed today that the reason for this behavior is that the company is preparing an opt-in web filter. Personally, while the idea of my browsing data being logged anywhere does not fill me with joy, the idea of the U.S. government having access to it (randomized or not) is probably going to be enough to make me switch to an inferior carrier once my current plan ends."

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U.S. Judge Grants Apple Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 08:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's too-pad-roddenberry-never-patented-the-padd department:
Bill Dimm writes "Apple scores a win against Samsung over a design patent. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a ruling granting Apple's request for a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States. She wrote, 'Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products. ... While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court."

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New Mineral Found In Meteorite
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 07:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's please-don't-call-it-unobtianium department:
Virtucon writes "The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite. 'Panguite’s primordial nature means that it was actually around before the Earth and other planets formed, meaning it can help scientists learn more about the conditions in the cloud of gas and dust that gave rise to our solar system.'"

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High-Frequency Traders Are the Ultimate Hackers, Says Mark Cuban
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 06:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-script-kiddies-of-the-financial-world department:
An anonymous reader writes "Billionaire Mark Cuban talks in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about how he thinks high-frequency trading can be quite damaging to stock markets. He goes so far as to call high-frequency traders the 'ultimate hackers.' He says, 'They're running software programs that have one goal, and that's to exploit the trading systems as early and often as possible. As someone who wrote software for eight years and who keeps up very closely with the technology world, that scared the hell out of me. The only certainty in the software world is that there is no such thing as bug-free software. When software programs are trying to outsmart other software programs and hack the world's trading platforms, that is a recipe for disaster. ... How many times an hour are there failures across individual equities around the world because of software running algorithms battling each other for supremacy to make a profitable trade? We have no idea. It's not a question of if or when we have meltdowns, it's just a question of how big and where. It's straight out of War Games. And that's before we even get to the possibility of nefarious or sovereign hackers getting involved.'"

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ADA May Force Netflix To Provide Closed Captioning On Content
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's information-neutrality department:
Shivetya writes "Last year Netflix was sued by the National Association for the Deaf for failing to provide closed captioned text through its on-demand streaming service. Now, a judge has denied Netflix's attempt to have the suit thrown out, saying that the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in any venue — not just physical structures. The easiest means to comply would be to remove all videos which do not have a closed captioning component, the other route would require Netflix to pay to have this done to any video it wants to provide. The implications to other providers is immense as well. The plaintiffs will still need to prove that Netflix is legally obligated to provide closed-captioning, but the ruling is still significant for recognizing that Internet sites may fall under the purview of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Watch TV In 2012?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's does-not-involve-3d-glasses department:
zaba writes "Once again, I can hear the tell-tale signs of a hard drive dying. This time, it's in the DVR for one of our TVs. In the U.S., are we at a point where, with a little technical savvy, 'cutting the cord' makes sense? If so, what are the best options? Does a refurb Roku (anywhere from 60-80 USD) make the most sense? Does building a mythbox or some such device make sense? For my family of four (ages 36, 30, 13 and 4), we are paying ~100 USD/month for two receivers (one with a DVR). What, in your opinion, is the best option to have TV service in two rooms of the house? Kid's shows could be in one room and adult shows in another. Or, all of it could be on one server (I have computers lying around) that could go to multiple rooms. We like the DVR for the instant access, but saving a hundred bucks a month would be nice as well. I can drop CAT-5 as needed, but Wi-Fi would be preferred. For programming, we currently have 'standard' cable and mostly watch the major networks. I would love to have ESPN, but can get my sports fix (mostly college football) through other means, I'm sure. How do you all watch TV? What have you found to be the best way to get what you want?"

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Chatbot Eugene Wins Biggest Turing Test Ever
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it'd-be-easy-to-win-over-xbox-live department:
An anonymous reader writes "Eugene Goostman, a chatbot imbued with the personality of a 13-year-old boy, won the biggest Turing test ever staged on 23 June, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. Held at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, UK, where Turing cracked the Nazi Enigma code during World War 2, the test involved over 150 separate conversations, 30 judges, 25 hidden humans and five elite, chattering software programs. 'Thirteen years old is not too old to know everything and not too young to know nothing,' explains Eugene's creator, Vladimir Veselov."

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While the U.S. and Iran Negotiate, War Commences In Cyberspace
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 02:02 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's breaking-the-ice department:
An anonymous reader writes "A series of reports shows that the U.S. and Israel are engaged in a cyber war with Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons. Oddly enough, at the same time, the United States and others nations are trying to negotiate with Iran. As America and others start the world's first undeclared cyber-wars, dangerous precedents are being set that this type of warfare is without consequences. Such ideas could not be further from from truth."

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EU Commissioner Reveals He Will Ignore Any Rejection of ACTA
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-at-first-you-don't-succeed department:
Dupple tips a story at Techdirt about comments from EU commissioner Karel De Gucht, who made some discouraging remarks to the EU International Trade committee about the opposition to ACTA: "If you decide for a negative vote before the European Court rules, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue to pursue the current procedure before the Court, as we are entitled to do. A negative vote will not stop the proceedings before the Court of Justice. ... If the Court questions the conformity of the agreement with the Treaties we will assess at that stage how this can be addressed." De Gucht also spoke about proposing clarifications to ACTA if Parliament declined to ratify it, which, as Techdirt points out, doesn't make much sense: "Remember that ACTA is now signed, and cannot be altered; so De Gucht is instead trying to fob off European politicians with this vague idea of 'clarifications' — as if more vagueness could somehow rectify the underlying problems of an already dangerously-vague treaty."

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Bill Gates Says Tablets Aren't Much Help In Education
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-it-worked-on-star-trek department:
An anonymous reader writes "In a detailed interview on the future of education, Bill Gates was surprisingly down on tablets in education — considering that Microsoft just released Surface. He said low-cost PCs are the thing for students, and he dismissed the idea that simply giving gadgets to students will bring change. Quoting: 'Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher. And it's never going to work on a device where you don't have a keyboard-type input. Students aren't there just to read things. They're actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it's going to be more in the PC realm—it's going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive.'"

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Are Open-Source Desktops Losing Competitiveness?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-enough-squabbling-over-rounded-edges department:
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Penz has been a user of KDE since version 1.2, and he led the development of the Dolphin file manager for the past six years. Now, he's quitting KDE development and handing off Dolphin. His reasons for quitting KDE development are described in a blog post. Penz speaks of KDE losing competitiveness to Apple and Microsoft due to increased complexity and other reasons. 'Working on the non-user-interface parts of applications can be challenging, and this is not something that most freetime-contributors are striving for. But if there are not enough contributors for the complex stuff behind the scenes and if no company is willing to invest fulltime-developers to work on this... well then we are losing ground.' Are open-source desktops losing?"

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Injected Proteins Protect Mice From Lethal Radiation Dose
Posted by News Fetcher on June 26 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-only-spock-knew-about-this department:
ananyo writes "Two anti-clotting compounds already approved for use in humans may have a surprising role in treating radiation sickness. Last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan renewed anxiety over the lack of treatments for radiation poisoning. It was long thought that the effects of exposure to high doses of radiation were instantaneous and irreversible, leading to destruction of the gut and loss of bone marrow cells, which damages blood-cell production and the immune system. The two compounds are thrombomodulin (Solulin/Recomodulin), currently approved in Japan to prevent thrombosis, and activated protein C (Xigris). Treating mice with either drug post-exposure led to an eightfold increase in key bone marrow cells needed for the production of white blood cells, and improved the survival rates of mice receiving lethal radiation doses by 40–80% (abstract). And yes, the lead author's name really is Geiger."

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