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US Appeals Court Says Bank Liable For Losses From Poor Online Security
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's perhaps-should-apply-to-more-than-banks department:
An anonymous reader writes with this extract: "Threatpost reports that a judge on the United States Court of Appeals this week ruled that People's United Bank's processes and systems for protecting customer accounts from fraud were not "commercially reasonable." The ruling in People's United Bank (formerly Ocean Bank of Maine) versus Patco Construction Company reverses a lower court's ruling in a case that stems from six allegedly fraudulent transactions that occurred over the period of a week in May, 2009 and drained close to $589,000 dollars from Patco's accounts. Patco alleged that People's United Bank did an inadequate job of protecting them against fraud, ignoring repeated 'high risk' warnings from the bank's fraud detection system. Now the Appeals Court appears to agree. The ruling could have broad implications in the U.S., where businesses that are the victim of account takeovers and fraudulent transactions are suing banks to recover lost funds."

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British Airways Plans To Google Passengers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '12 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's only-miscreants-and-terrorists-would-object department:
itwbennett writes "British Airways wants to be the airline where everybody knows your name. The idea behind the 'Know Me' program is that by using Google Images to ID passengers, they'll be able to recreate the 'feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant,' Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA told the London Evening Standard. But the more privacy minded among us know that the airline could end up seeing a lot more than your face."

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Social Networks, Suicide and Statistics
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '12 at 03:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-and-31-friends-like-the-black-capsule department:
mikejuk writes "The data that is available in social networks is often used to detect the opinion of the crowd — but can it reveal the state of mind of the individual. New research suggests that some simple but non-obvious characteristics of social network use are related to suicide. Data mining is usually about determining things of economic advantage, but in this case, suicide we have a personal loss and an economic one. A new paper by a group of Japanese researchers Naoki Masuda, Issei Kurahashi and Hiroko Onari claims to have found ways of detecting suicidal tendencies — or at least the tendency to think about suicide, so-called 'suicide ideation.' The study used the Japanese social network mixi, which has over 27 million members and allows users to join any of over 4.5 million topic groups — some focusing on the subject of suicide. This provided a study and control group to compare. The most interesting finding is that while users in the suicide group had lots of friends, they didn't have as many transitive relationships i.e. where A friends B friends C friends A. This suggests that it isn't lack of friends but a lack of tight social groupings that is a factor. The same technique could be used to investigate similar problems such as depression and alcohol abuse."

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ARM Publishes 64-bit "AArch64" Linux Kernel Support
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '12 at 12:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's avoiding-the-wrath-of-linus department:
An anonymous reader writes "ARM Holdings has made available Linux kernel support for AArch64, the ARMv8 64-bit architecture. No 64-bit ARMv8 hardware is yet shipping until later this year, but ARM has prepared the 36 patches amounting to 23,000 lines of architecture code for mainline integration."

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WHO Says Afghan School "Poison Attacks" Probably Mass Hysteria
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 09:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's blue-red-or-sugar department:
New submitter smugfunt writes "A number of incidents at schools in Afghanistan, especially girls' schools, have been attributed to poisoning by the Taliban. The World Health Organization has investigated 32 of them but found no poison. "Mass Psychological Illness is the most probable cause," they conclude, the Telegraph reports. The Taliban has consistently denied poisoning schools and have even consented to allow the education of girls in a deal with the government which allows significant Taliban control over the curriculum."

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Scientists Capture Shadow Cast By 1 Atom
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 07:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's eve-unavailable-for-imaging department:
slew writes "Scientist at Griffith University have shown the first absorption image of a single atom isolated in a vacuum. A single atomic ion was confined in an RF Paul trap and the absorption imaged at near wavelength resolution with a phase Fresnel lens. They predict this absorption imaging technique should prove useful in quantum information processing and using the minimum amount of illumination for bio-imaging of light-sensitive samples. Here's a pointer to the paper."

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After Android Trial, Google Demands $4M From Oracle
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's asking-politely-is-a-last-resort department:
MikeatWired writes "Google is seeking $4 million from Oracle to cover the costs it incurred during this spring's epic legal battle over the Android mobile operating system, reports Caleb Garling. In a brief filed with in federal court on Thursday night, Google lead counsel Robert Van Nest argued that Oracle is required to pay his company's legal costs because judge and jury ruled in favor of Google on almost every issue during the six-week trial. 'Google prevailed on a substantial part of the litigation,' read Google's brief. '[Oracle] recovered none of the relief it sought in this litigation. Accordingly, Google is the prevailing party and is entitled to recover costs.' Google has not publicly revealed an itemized list of its expenses, but the total bill included $2.9 million spent copying and organizing documents. According to the brief, the company juggled a mind-boggled 97 million documents during the case."

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Activision Turning The Walking Dead Into a First-Person Shooter
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-and-refreshing-take-on-the-fps-genre department:
An anonymous reader writes "Activision, along with developer Terminal Reality, is turning The Walking Dead into a first-person shooter. For those of you who aren't familiar, The Walking Dead is a story about a group of people who are trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. It began as a comic book series, and was adapted into a successful television show by AMC. Now, apparently Activision feels the world needs another zombie shooter, and thinks The Walking Dead is the perfect backdrop. The game will 'revolve around Daryl Dixon and his brother Merle on a "haunting, unforgiving quest to make their way to the supposed safety of Atlanta." Players will control Daryl as they attempt to avoid detection from zombies that hunt using sight, sound and smell and will choose between fighting them or using stealth to avoid detection.' A video game adaptation of the story already exists as an episodic adventure game."

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Mozilla Downshifting Development of Thunderbird E-Mail Client
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's sometimes-it-hits-the-fan department:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla will be announcing next week that they will effectively be taking away resources from Thunderbird's development. Mozilla believes it's better for the developers behind the open-source e-mail client to work on other projects, i.e. Firefox OS. They claim they will not be outright stopping Thunderbird." You can also read the letter at pastebin.

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Raspberry Pi Model A Makes First Appearance
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's any-color-so-long-as-it's-arm department:
An anonymous reader writes "It's easy to forget that the Raspberry Pi currently shipping is the more expensive model of the board. It is actually called the Model B as it sports more features than the $25 Model A. The main differences include a lack of an Ethernet port and the associated networking chip, as well as the presence of only being one USB port instead of two. There was originally going to be less memory on the Model A (128MB instead of 256MB), but the Raspberry Pi Foundation managed to make enough cost savings during a redesign to increase the amount to 256MB on the cheaper version. With all the focus being on the Model B, we haven't actually seen the (near) final Model A board yet. But that changes today, as Eben Upton has just shown off the $25 board."

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Church of Scientology Enlisting Followers In Censorship
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-luck-with-that department:
DrEnter writes "Apparently, the recent very public divorce of Katie Holmes and devout believer Tom Cruise is reflecting negatively on the Church of Scientology. Adding to this are other recent issues causing problems for 'church' leadership. In response, the 'church' has decided to encourage its followers to censor online chatter and comments about the 'church' and the divorce. This Yahoo blog post sums it up nicely. In short, they are encouraging members to complain about people posting negative comments about the 'church' as violating the Code of Conduct' in the posting venue. I can only imagine they are hoping these complaints will just be rubber-stamped and respected without investigation, but I think the campaign deserves a bit more attention."

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Yahoo and Facebook Resolve Patent Dispute
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sharing-is-caring department:
benfrog writes "Yahoo and Facebook have resolved their patent dispute. The two companies have struck a deal which brings Yahoo's lawsuit against Facebook to an end and expands their existing ad and content partnership. The two companies confirmed the deal in a press release. No money changed hands."

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Ask Slashdot: Old Dogs vs. New Technology?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's tips-from-an-all-star department:
xTrashcat writes "I am 22 years of age and have been working in the IT field for over a year. I try to learn as much about technology as my cranium can handle; I even earned the nickname 'Google' because of the amount of time I spend attempting to pack my brain with new information. Being 22, it is, I speculate, needless to say that I am the youngest of my coworkers. If there is a piece of software, hardware, a technique, etc., I want to know everything about it. On the contrary, nearly all of my coworkers resent it and refuse to even acknowledge it, let alone learn about it. For example, we just started buying boxes from a different vendor that are licensed for Win7. A few months later, we decide that a computer lab was going to get an XP image instead of Win7. After several days worth of attempts, none of our XP images, even our base, would work, and it left everyone scratching their heads. We were on the verge of returning thousands of dollars worth of machines because they were 'defective.' I was not satisfied. I wanted to know why they weren't working instead of just simply returning them, so I jumped into the project. After almost 30 seconds of fishing around in BIOS, I noticed that UEFI was enabled. Switched it to legacy, and boom; problem solved. My coworkers grunted and moaned because they didn't have to do that before, and still to this day, they hate our new boxes. So in closing, I have three questions: What is the average age of your workplace? How easily do your coworkers accept and absorb new technology? Are most IT environments like this, where people refuse to learn anything about new technology they don't like, or did I just get stuck with a batch of stubborn case-screws?"

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Best Buy Cuts 650 Geek Squad Techies
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-who-will-install-my-monster-cable department:
tripleevenfall writes "Best Buy has cut approximately 650 jobs from its Geek Squad division, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The cut represents about 4% of Geek Squad's total workforce. The consumer electronics giant said the workers primarily service televisions and appliances in consumers' homes. Best Buy's performance has struggled to keep up with changes in consumer electronics , as the weight of its big-box format inhibits it from fending off competitive pressure of online retailers."

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Software-Defined Radio: the Apple I of Broadcast?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's will-it-sell-for-hundreds-of-thousands-in-35-years department:
benfrog writes "A company called Per Vices has introduced software-defined radio gear that Ars Technica is comparing to the Apple I. Why? Because software radio can broadcast and receive nearly any radio signal on nearly any frequency at the same time, and thus could "revolutionize wireless." The Per Vices Phi is one of the first devices aimed at the mass hobbyist market to take advantage of this technology."

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Early Look at Steampunk Action-Adventure Game Dishonored
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's neo-victorian-deus-ex department:
Dishonored is an upcoming first-person action-adventure game in a steampunk setting. It's being developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. As the game nears its October 9th release, Jim Rossignol of Rock, Paper, Shotgun got some hands-on time with the game, and was impressed by how it is shaping up:
"The level I played saw me overpowering a government official from his laboratory high on a building above the lavish pseudo-London cityscape, and lugging him out to a riverside rendezvous. Initially I went in through the front door, bluntly killing the guards with a knife and sneaking inside. But I could have used all manner of other entrances, and other powers. I could have slipped in undetected by distracting the guards. I could have possessed a rat – zooming into the hapless thing in a manner of bodily possession/transformation reminiscent of forgotten FPS Requiem: Avenging Angel – and then rematerialized once I’d run in through grates and rat holes. I could have possessed an NPC and used the meatsuit to pass through the energy-field barricades. Or I could even have employed a short-ranged teleportation power, blink, and leapt and mantled my way up across the rooftops."

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Book Review: Head First Python
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 12:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
Michael J. Ross writes "Veteran computer programmers — adept with languages such as PHP, Perl, and JavaScript — typically have no trouble learning an additional language, often just by reading online tutorials and stepping through sample code. But for those new to programming, that approach can prove difficult and frustrating. Yet nowadays there appears to be growing interest among such people for learning how to write programs in Python, especially as it is seeing increasing use by Google and other organizations, and is often chosen as the primary teaching language in schools. For such budding programmers, one possible starting point is the book Head First Python." Read on for the rest of Michael's review. Head First Python
author Paul Barry
pages 494 pages
publisher O'Reilly Media
rating 6/10
reviewer Michael J. Ross
ISBN 978-1449382674
summary A gentle introduction to the Python programming language.

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UN Declares Internet Freedom a Basic Right
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-true-i-read-it-on-the-internet department:
The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a landmark resolution (PDF) declaring that internet freedom is a basic human right. They wrote: "...the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice, in accordance with articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights." The council also called upon all countries to "promote and facilitate access to the Internet." The article points out that this comes alongside a report from the Pew Internet Center, which asked a group of internet stakeholders how they think firms in the private sector will handle the ethical issues that arise with countries wanting to censor or restrict internet access. The responses were varied, but skepticism was a recurring theme: "Corporations will work around regional differences by spinning off subsidiaries, doing what’s needed to optimize on future profits."

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Is Python a Legitimate Data Analysis Tool?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-end-it-is department:
Back in May we discussed using Python, R, and Octave as data analysis tools, and compared the relative strength of each. One point of contention was whether Python could be considered a legitimate tool for such work. Now, Bei Lu writes while Python on its own may be lacking, Python with packages is very much up to the task: "My passion with Python started with its natural language processing capability when paired with the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK). Considering the growing need for text mining to extract content themes and reader sentiments (just to name a few functions), I believe Python+packages will serve as more mainstream analytical tools beyond the academic arena." She also discusses an emerging set of solutions for R which let it better handle big data.

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University Sues Student For Graduating Early
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's slow-down department:
"A student who attended a private German economics and business university is being sued by the school because he finished his degree too quickly. Marcel Pohl finished 60 exams in 20 months, completing 11 semesters worth of work in only 3. The school says it is due an extra €3,000 for lost income because, "its fees are the total price for the studies, independent of how long the studies last." "When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn't be true. Performance is supposed to be worth something," Pohl said.

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