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Political Campaigns Mining Online Data To Target Voters
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's watching-you-through-your-webcam-too department:
New submitter nicoles writes with this quote from an AP report:

"The Romney and Obama campaigns are spending heavily on television ads and other traditional tools to convey their messages. But strategists say the most important breakthrough this year is the campaigns' use of online data to raise money, share information and persuade supporters to vote. The practice, known as 'microtargeting,' has been a staple of product marketing. Now it's facing the greatest test of its political impact in the race for the White House. ... The Romney team spent nearly $1 million on digital consulting in April and Obama at least $300,000. ... Campaigns use microtargeting to identify potential supporters or donors using data gleaned from a range of sources, especially their Internet browsing history. A digital profile of each person is then created, allowing the campaigns to find them online and solicit them for money and support."

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LG Aims To Beat Apple's Retina Display
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 03:02 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's busy-times-for-pixel-collectors department:
angry tapir writes "LG Display has introduced a 5-inch full HD LCD panel for smartphone displays — the highest resolution mobile panel to date. The widescreen panel is based on AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) technology and has a 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution or 440 pixels per inch (ppi), according to LG. That compares well to Apple's Retina display, which has 264 ppi on the new iPad and 326 ppi on the iPhone 4S."

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What Would a Post-Email World Look Like?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's so-much-more-free-time department:
jfruh writes "Pundits have been gleefully predicting the death of email for years, but nobody has really been able to explain what will replace email, especially for the medium's archiving capabilities that businesses and governments have come to rely on. It's possible that email won't vanish, but rather become invisible, one component of an integrated communication stream that will be transparent to users but still present — and useful — under the hood. It may turn out that Google's Wave, which was built on this idea, was just a bit ahead of its time."

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EU Commissioner: I Will End Net Neutrality Waiting Game
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's net-neutrality-action-heroine department:
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from ZDNet:
"Europeans are a step closer to seeing new net neutrality rules put in place, after the release of an EU regulators' report on how often ISPs and operators throttle their services. On Tuesday, digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said the release of the report from by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) means she will make recommendations to the EU on preserving net neutrality, which aims to make sure ISPs do not unfairly restrict customers from accessing the service or application or their choice. 'BEREC has today provided the data I was waiting for (PDF). For most Europeans, their internet access works well most of the time. But these findings show the need for more regulatory certainty and that there are enough problems to warrant strong and targeted action to safeguard consumers,' Kroes said in a statement. 'Given that BEREC's findings highlight a problem of effective consumer choice, I will prepare recommendations to generate more real choices and end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe,' she added."

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RIM May Need To Write Off $1 Billion In Inventory
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's build-a-fort-out-of-blackberrys department:
benfrog writes "Blackberry maker Research in Motion may need to write off more than $1 billion in inventory, according to Bloomberg. The potential 'writedown' comes after RIM took a $485 million pretax charge to write down the value of its PlayBook inventory in December. RIM has said it aims to save $1 billion in operating costs this fiscal year by cutting its number of manufacturing sites and is 'reviewing its organizational efficiency' across the company, which may lead to job cuts of 2,000-3,000. Its shares have tumbled 75 percent over the past year and are down 90 percent from their all-time high."

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CS Professor Announces Run For VT State Senate On a Platform of Internet Polling
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's of-by-and-for-the-internet-people department:
Cynic writes "Having read pretty heavily on the topic, weighed the pros and cons, and seen a few relevant slashdot articles, I wondered why an elected representative couldn't use online and in-person polling of constituents to decide the way he or she votes. Though we are living in the 'information age' and have rich communications media and opportunities for deep and accessible deliberation, we are getting by (poorly) with horse-and-buggy-era representation. In the spirit of science and because I think it's legitimately a better way of doing things, I recently announced my candidacy for Vermont's State Senate in Washington County."
How do you think such polling could be best accomplished? Do you think it's worth trying? Whether or not you buy into it, it's something that's only been made feasible in recent times with modern technology.

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Scientific Literacy vs. Concern Over Climate Change
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's apparently-knowing-is-not-actually-half-the-battle department:
New submitter gmfeier writes "An interesting study reported in Nature Climate Change indicates that concern over climate change did not correlate with scientific literacy nearly as much as with cultural polarization. Quoting: 'For ordinary citizens, the reward for acquiring greater scientific knowledge and more reliable technical-reasoning capacities is a greater facility to discover and use—or explain away—evidence relating to their groups’ positions. Even if cultural cognition serves the personal interests of individuals, this form of reasoning can have a highly negative impact on collective decision making. What guides individual risk perception, on this account, is not the truth of those beliefs but rather their congruence with individuals’ cultural commitments. As a result, if beliefs about a societal risk such as climate change come to bear meanings congenial to some cultural outlooks but hostile to others, individuals motivated to adopt culturally congruent risk perceptions will fail to converge, or at least fail to converge as rapidly as they should, on scientific information essential to their common interests in health and prosperity. Although it is effectively costless for any individual to form a perception of climate-change risk that is wrong but culturally congenial, it is very harmful to collective welfare for individuals in aggregate to form beliefs this way.'"

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Another Afghan School Poisoned — 160 Girls Hospitalized
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's setting-a-bad-precedent department:
An anonymous reader writes "Back in April, we discussed news of an anti-education attack on an Afghani school, which poisoned 150 Afghan schoolgirls. Now, a hospital in the same province has admitted 160 more girls who seem to have suffered a similar attack. 'Their classrooms might have been sprayed with a toxic material before the girls entered, police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer said. He blamed the Taliban. The incident, the second in a week's time, was reported at the Aahan Dara Girls School in Taluqan, the provincial capital. The girls, ages 10 to 20, complained of headaches, dizziness and vomiting before being taken to the hospital, said Hafizullah Safi, director of the provincial health department. More than half of them were discharged within a few hours of receiving treatment, Safi said. The health department collected blood samples and sent them to Kabul for testing.'"

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Mono Abandons Open Source Silverlight
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's singing-in-an-empty-theater department:
mikejuk writes "The Mono project is about the only group of people actively talking up .NET and developing it, but in an interview Miguel de Icaza has admitted that Moonlight, the Mono version of Silverlight, isn't worth the effort any more. He said, 'Silverlight has not gained much adoption on the web, so it did not become the must-have technology that I thought would have to become. And Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming. These days we no longer believe that Silverlight is a suitable platform for write-once-run-anywhere technology, there are just too many limitations for it to be useful.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Find a Job In China For Non-native Speaker?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ask-nicely department:
An anonymous reader writes "My fiancée has recently been accepted into a Chinese university into their Ph.D. program, and I've been looking at jobs in China (specifically the Beijing area) and not having any success. I'm a developer with 8 years of experience (java), mostly on the server side, so I'm not lacking in the general experience, but the problem is I don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese. I am a native English speaker from Canada though. The only jobs I've had any responses from were teaching positions for simple English which isn't exactly my first choice. Has anyone had any experience or success as a programmer finding a job in China, without being able to speak the native language? Any websites I should be focusing on?"

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Can Windows 8 Succeed In a Cloud-Based World?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's where-does-your-computer-end? department:
New submitter Nerval's Lobster writes "To say that Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 8 is a bit of an understatement. The upcoming OS needs to prove that Windows can stay relevant in a world where desktop-based programs are increasingly giving way to cloud apps, and mobile devices are eclipsing PCs as the center of people's computing lives. Can Windows 8 succeed in that mission? The real answer will have to wait, but in the meantime I've laid out some potential success-or-failure factors over at SlashCloud."

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The Netherlands Rejects ACTA, and Does One Better
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-hold-your-breath-for-the-us-congress-to-join department:
First time accepted submitter Peetke writes "The Dutch House of Representatives unanimously accepted a motion to urge the Cabinet to reject ACTA [Dutch original] (if they ever get the change to do so; it may already end in the European Parlement). Additionally, an even stronger motion was accepted to reject any future treaty that may harm a free and open Internet. This is a good day for the Internet."

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Audio Surveillance, Intended to Detect Gunshots, Can Pick Up Much More
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's he-ain't-heavy-but-he's-a-very-good-listener department:
New submitter groovethefish writes "This NYT article highlights the use of electronic listening devices installed on utility poles, buildings, and other structures, then centrally monitored for gunshots. The company SureSpotter claims it helps reduce time wasted by police searching for the source of gunfire in their patrol areas, but the privacy implications are just hitting the courts. If they are monitoring 24/7 and also pickup conversations along with gunshots, can that be used against the people who are recorded?" Evidently, Yes: the linked article describes just such a case. Continues groovethefish: "The company line, from the article: 'James G. Beldock, a vice president at ShotSpotter, said that the system was not intended to record anything except gunshots and that cases like New Bedford's were extremely rare. "There are people who perceive that these sensors are triggered by conversations, but that is just patently not true," he said. "They don't turn on unless they hear a gunshot."'"

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Debate Over Evolution Will Soon Be History, Says Leakey
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's overlapping-domains department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "According to noted paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, sometime in the next 15 to 30 years scientific discoveries about evolution will have accelerated to the point that 'even the skeptics can accept it.' 'If you don't like the word evolution, I don't care what you call it, but life has changed. You can lay out all the fossils that have been collected and establish lineages that even a fool could work up. So the question is why, how does this happen? It's not covered by Genesis. There's no explanation for this change going back 500 million years in any book I've read from the lips of any God.' Leakey began his work searching for fossils in the mid-1960s and his team unearthed a nearly complete 1.6-million-year-old skeleton in 1984 that became known as 'Turkana Boy,' the first known early human with long legs, short arms and a tall stature. At 67, Leakey conducts research with his wife, Meave, and daughter, Louise, and the family claims to have unearthed 'much of the existing fossil evidence for human evolution.' Leakey, an atheist, insists he has no animosity toward religion."

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Fedora 17 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sounds-like-a-movie-title department:
ekimd writes "Fedora 17 aka "Beefy Miracle" is released. Some of the major features include: ext4 with >16TB filesystems, dynamic firewall configuration, automatic multi-seat, and more. Major software updates include Gnome 3.4, GIMP 2.8, and GCC 4.7. The full feature list can be found here. Personally, I still find Gnome 3 to be an 'unholy mess' so I'm loving XFCE with Openbox."

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Digging Into the Electrical Cost of PC Gaming
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's with-compound-interest-you'll-die-rich-in-nazeroth department:
submitter MBAFK writes "My coworker Geoff and I have been taking power meters home to see what the true cost of PC gaming is. Not just the outlay for hardware and software, but what the day-to-day costs really are. If you assume a 20 hour a week habit, and using $0.11 a KWH, actually playing costs Geoff $30.83 a year. If Geoff turns his PC off when he is not using it, he could save $66 a year."

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Hundreds of IP Addresses Make Pirate Bay a Hard Target
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's fleeting-contact-on-the-sonar department:
jones_supa writes "Last week The Pirate Bay added a new IP address which allows users to circumvent the many court-ordered blockades against the site. While this proved to be quite effective, the Hollywood backed anti-piracy group BREIN has already been to court to demand a block against this new address. But that won't deter The Pirate Bay, who say they are fully prepared for an extended game of whac-a-mole using the hundreds of IP addresses they have available. Courts all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site, and the end is still not in sight."

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Startup Skips IE Support, Claims $100,000 Savings
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-about-being-platform-agnostic? department:
darthcamaro writes "Guess what — you don't have to support Microsoft's IE web browser any more to build a successful website. In fact, you might just be able to save yourself a pile of cash if you avoid IE altogether." (Here's the story, from a few days back, in Canada's National Post, about the frugal financing of social startup Huddlers.) Evidently, no one complained about the lack of IE support either. I'd like to read more details about what $100,000 worth of IE-specific development would buy, though; not being dependent on IE sounds great, but loses some sparkle if it means requiring Chrome or Firefox.

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64 Complaints Received On UK Cookie Law
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's these-cookies-taste-awful! department:
judgecorp writes "Privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, has already received 64 complaints under the UK's Cookie Law, which requires sites to get permission to track users with cookies. The law only came into effect on Saturday, and many sites do not expect to comply soon. To make life more complicated, the ICO has updated its advice, apparently allowing 'implied consent' instead of actually making a user click a box to give permission for cookies."

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"Open Source Bach" Project Completed; Score and Recording Now Online
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's refined-free-software-zealots department:
rDouglass writes "MuseScore, the open source music notation editor, and pianist Kimiko Ishizaka have released a new recording and digital edition of Bach's Goldberg Variations. The works are released under the Creative Commons Zero license to promote the broadest possible free use of the works. The score underwent two rounds of public peer review, drawing on processes normally applied to open source software. Furthermore, the demands of Bach's notational style drove significant advancements in the MuseScore open source project. The recording was made on a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial piano in the Teldex Studio of Berlin. Anne-Marie Sylvestre, a Canadian record producer, was inspired by the project and volunteered her time to edit and produce the recording. The project was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign that was featured on Slashdot in March 2011."

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