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Ask Slashdot: Hobbyist-Ready LCD Touch Panel For Embedded Projects?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-could-take-my-stack-of-dead-laptops department:
michael_cain writes "I've been asked (by family, friends) to consider several small embedded controller projects. A good starting point for all of them would be a backlit LCD graphics module with touch screen pre-mounted in a plastic enclosure with enough room behind the display for a custom circuit board. 320-by-240 pixels, 3.5 to 4.5 inch diagonal measure, monochrome is sufficient (but color is always cool), easily driven by an AVR or PIC type microcontroller. And priced at a reasonable point for a hobbyist! Anyone seen anything like this?"

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New Music Boss, Worse Than Old Music Boss
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-but-it-all-beats-laying-brick-in-ancient-egypt department:
frank_adrian314159 writes "David Lowery, musician (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), producer (Sparklehorse, Counting Crows), recording engineer (Archers of Loaf, Lamb of God), and geek (programmer, packet radio operator, ex-CBOT quant) talks about the economics of the music business and how the "old boss" — the record labels — have been replaced by the new boss — file downloading services, song streaming, and commercial online music stores. His take? Although the old boss was often unfair to artists, artists are making even less money under the new boss. Backed with fairly persuasive data, he shows that, under the new distribution model, artists — even small independent ones — are exposed to more risk while making less money. In addition, the old boss was investing in the creation of new music, while the new boss doesn't. This article is lengthy, but worth the attention of anyone interested in the future of music or music distribution."

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Yahoo Includes Private Key In Source File For Axis Chrome Extension
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's open-source-rocks department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Yahoo on Wednesday launched a new browser called Axis and researchers immediately discovered that the company had mistakenly included its private signing key in the source file, a serious error that would allow an attacker to create a malicious, signed extension for a browser that the browser will then treat as authentic. The mistake was discovered on Wednesday, soon after Yahoo had launched Axis, which is both a standalone browser for mobile devices as well as an extension for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. ... Within hours of the Axis launch, a writer and hacker named Nik Cubrilovic had noticed that the source file for the Axis Chrome extension included the private PGP key that Yahoo used to sign the file. That key is what the Chrome browser would look for in order to ensure that the extension is legitimate and authentic, and so it should never be disclosed publicly."

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US State Department Hacks Al-Qaeda Websites In Yemen
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hearts-and-minds department:
shuttah writes "In the growing Al-Qaeda activity in Yemen, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton revealed today that "cyber experts" had recently hacked into web sites being used by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, substituting the group's anti-American rhetoric with information about civilians killed in terrorist strikes. Also this week, a statement from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs revealed the presence an Al-Qaeda video calling for 'Electronic Jihad.'"

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Sales of Unused IPv4 Addresses Gaining Steam
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-em-before-they're-gone department:
netbuzz writes "A growing number of U.S. carriers and enterprises are hedging their bets on IPv6 by purchasing blocks of unused IPv4 addresses through official channels or behind-the-scenes deals. There is certainly no shortage of stock, as these address brokers have blocks available that range from 65,000 to more than a million IPv4 addresses. And it's not just large companies and institutions benefiting, as one attorney who's involved in the market says he represents a woman who came into possession of a block of IPv4 address in the early '90s and now, 'She's in her 70s, and she's going to have a windfall.''"

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Moxie Marlinspike Proposes New TACK Extension To TLS For Key Pinning
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Two independent researchers are proposing an extension for TLS to provide greater trust in certificate authorities, which have become a weak link in the entire public key infrastructure after some big breaches involving fraudulent SSL certificates. TACK, short for Trust Assertions for Certificate Keys, is a dynamically activated public key framework that enables a TLS server to assert the authenticity of its public key. According to an IETF draft submitted by researchers Moxie Marlinspike and Trevor Perrin, a TACK key is used to sign the public key from the TLS server's certificate. Clients can 'pin' a hostname to the TACK key, based on a user's visitation habits, without requiring sites modify their existing certificate chains or limiting a site's ability to deploy or change certificate chains at any time. If the user later encounters a fraudulent certificate on a "pinned" site, the browser will reject the session and send a warning to the user. 'Since TACK pins are based on TACK keys (instead of CA keys), trust in CAs is not required. Additionally, the TACK key may be used to revoke previous TACK signatures (or even itself) in order to handle the compromise of TLS or TACK private keys,' according to the draft."

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Supreme Court Orders Do-Over On Key Software Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-trade-backs department:
Fluffeh writes "It seems that the US Supreme Court has an itch it just can't scratch. A patent granted to the Ultramercial company covers the concept of allowing users to watch a pre-roll advertisement as an alternative to paying for premium content and the company is demanding fees from the likes of Hulu and YouTube. Another company called WildTangent is however is challenging Ultramercial's "invention" as merely an abstract idea not eligible for patent protection. Add to this a recent ruling by the Supreme Court restricting patents — albeit on medical diagnostic techniques and you get into a bit of a pickle. The Supreme Court is now sending the Ultramercial case back to the lower courts for another round, which doesn't mean that the court disagrees with the original ruling, but rather that it thinks it is a patent case that is relevant to the situation and they want to re-examine it under this new light."

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Obama To Agencies: Optimize Web Content For Mobile
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's phone-of-the-people department:
CWmike writes "President Barack Obama has ordered all major government agencies to make two key services available on mobile phones within a year, in an effort to embrace a growing trend toward Web surfing on mobile devices. Obama, in a directive issued Wednesday, also ordered federal agencies to create websites to report on their mobile progress. The websites are due within 90 days. Innovators in the private sector and the government have used the Internet and powerful computers to improve customer service, but 'it is time for the federal government to do more,' Obama said in the memo. 'For far too long, the American people have been forced to navigate a labyrinth of information across different government programs in order to find the services they need.'"

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Bioethicist Jonathan Moreno Talks Jacked-In Soldiers And Military Neuroscience
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 05:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's weapon-of-the-future department:
pigrabbitbear writes "Who's driving a lot of neuro research? The military. Much of it is health related, like figuring out how to make prosthetics work more seamlessly and helping diagnose brain injuries. But the military's involvement highlights the basic ethical quandary of neurological development: When our brains pretty much define who we are, what happens when you start adding tech in there? And what happens when you take it away? Jonathan Moreno is quite possibly the top bioethicist in the country, and along with Michael Tennison, recently penned a fascinating essay on the role and ethics of using neuroscience for national security. He also recently updated his book Mind Wars, a seminal look into the military's work with the brain. In this interview he discusses brain implants, drones, and what will happen when military tech hits the civilian world."

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Google Funds Raspberry Pi And CS Teachers For UK Schools
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's google-a-better-grade department:
nk497 writes "Last year, Eric Schmidt slammed British computer science teaching, saying the UK was wasting its computing heritage — since then, the Government has agreed to re-examine how the subject is taught. 'Rebooting computer science education is not straightforward,' Schmidt said. 'Scrapping the existing curriculum was a good first step — the equivalent of pulling the plug out of the wall. The question is now how to power up.' To help, Schmidt has now promised funding from Google to train 100 teachers as well as give classrooms Raspberry Pis, via charity Teach First."

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Groups Launch $200M Gigabit-per-second Broadband Project
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greased-lightning department:
alphadogg writes "An Ohio startup company has raised $200 million to fund gigabit-per-second broadband projects in six university communities across the U.S., the company announced Wednesday. Gigabit Squared will work with the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U), a coalition of 30 universities focused on improved broadband, to select six communities in which to build the ultra-fast broadband networks, they said. The two organizations will select winning communities between November and the first quarter of 2013, Mark Ansboury, president of Gigabit Squared, said. The new project comes at an important time, when many commercial broadband providers have stopped deploying next-generation networks, said Blair Levin, executive director of Gig.U and lead author of the FCC's 2010 national broadband plan."

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Four Years' Jail For Bredolab Botnet Author
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's do-not-pass-go department:
angry tapir writes "The creator of the Bredolab malware has received a four-year prison sentence in Armenia for using his botnet to launch DDoS attacks that damaged multiple computer systems owned by private individuals and organizations. G. Avanesov was sentenced by the Court of First Instance of Armenia's Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun administrative districts for offenses under Part 3 of the Article 253 of the country's Criminal Code — intentionally causing damage to a computer system with severe consequences."

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SETI Pioneer Jill Tarter Retires
Posted by News Fetcher on May 24 '12 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's time-to-go-home department:
ananyo writes "After 35 years, astronomer Jill Tarter is retiring from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) — a field she helped pioneer and popularize, most recently at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Tarter, who inspired the late Carl Sagan to create the fictional character Ellie Arroway, heroine of the book and movie Contact, says she will instead focus her efforts on what she calls 'the search for intelligent funding.'"

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"Part-Time" Scientists Aim To Build Autonomous Moon Rover
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's do-your-own-driving department:
First time accepted submitter ziegenberg writes "The lunar rover 'Asimov' developed by the Part-Time Scientists, and due to land in 2014, will be the first autonomously navigated rover on the Moon. It's autonomous navigation system is a major technological leap. While the Russian Moon rovers Lunokhod 1 and 2 in the early 70s were fully controlled from Earth, today's Mars rovers like NASA's Mars Exploration Rover 'Opportunity', which has been tirelessly exploring the Red Planet since 2004, are autonomous. However, Opportunity requires nearly three minutes to process a pair of images — a delay that causes it to move at an average speed of just 1 cm/sec or less. New developments by the technology partnership between the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics and the PTS have created, for the first time, an autonomous navigation system for a rover that has the capacity to process multiple images per second. The technology boosts a stereo camera that Asimov will use to calculate its own motion, generate a 2.5-dimensional environmental model, evaluate the site and determine a collision-free path — all in real time."

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Axis, Yahoo's New Browser
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-kid-on-the-block department:
markjhood2003 writes "Fresh on the heels of Slashdot's discussion of the lack of browser choice on mobile devices comes the announcement of Yahoo's new web browser Axis. According to VentureBeat, the browser runs on iPad and iPhone as a separate standalone browser and as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, with support for Android and Windows Phone coming soon. It actually appears to bring some innovation to mobile search, displaying results and queries on the same page for more productive navigation between the two."

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Apple and Samsung Ordered Talks Fail - Trial Date Set
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 06:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's off-to-court department:
Fluffeh writes "Apple and Samsung just can't come to an agreement, even when the two CEO's are court ordered to hash it out over a two day period. US Judge Judy Koh had ordered the sit down prior to court proceedings between the two giants, but the talks resulted in nothing more than each side confirming it's position. Although Apple CEO Tim Cook said 'I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it' he also said 'if we could get to some kind of arrangement where we'd be assured [they are inventing their own products] and get a fair settlement on the stuff that's occurred.' Perhaps Tim is worried that Samsung is still the primary component supplier for mobile products, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or perhaps Apple has bitten off more than it really wants to chew with the litigation between the two getting to truly epic and global proportions."

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MIT Creates Superhydrophobic Condiment Bottles
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that's-some-fast-mustard department:
An anonymous reader writes "First we had a superhydrophobic spray that meant no dirt or sweat could stick to your clothes. Then a hydrophobic nanocoating was created for circuit boards to make them water resistant. Now MIT has gone a step further and solved one of the ongoing problems of using condiments: they've figured out how to make a food-safe superhydrophobic coating for food packaging. It means ketchup and mayonnaise will no longer be stuck to the insides of the bottle, and therefore there will no longer be any waste. What's amusing is this seems to be a happy accident. The MIT team was actually investigating slippery coatings to stop gas and oil lines clogging as well as how to stop a surface from having ice form on it. Now their lab is filled with condiments for continued testing of their food-safe version."

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Scientists Turn Skin Cells Into Beating Heart Muscle
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's grow-your-own-organs department:
An anonymous reader writes "By taking skin cells and turning them into stem cells, a technique that is already well known, researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Technology were able to generate beating heart cells — a medical first. "We have shown that it's possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young — the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born," Lior Gepstein, study author and professor of medicine said."

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Kim Dotcom Demands Access To Seized Property To Defend Himself
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-my-hard-drive-go department:
redletterdave writes "On Wednesday, Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz and his legal team visited the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand, to demand access to the data stored on his computers and hard drives that were confiscated during the police raid, and also requested a judicial review of the general legality of the search warrants police used to raid his mansion. Dotcom's lawyer, Paul Davison, argued that his client needs the data for a few reasons: To mount a 'proper defense' case, to fight possibly being extradited to the U.S., and also to show that 'excessive police action' was used during the raid. Dotcom could prove this in court because the entire raid was recorded by CCTV data, which is stored on Dotcom's confiscated computers. Even though the FBI demanded Dotcom turn over the passwords for Megaupload's encrypted data, he refuses to give up any passwords until he can regain access to his seized property."

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Nanotech Solar Cell Minimizes Cost, Toxic Impact
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-if-we-could-just-make-it-small department:
bonch writes "Researches at Northwestern University have developed an inexpensive solar cell intended to solve the problems of current solar cell designs, such as high cost, low efficiency, and toxic production materials (abstract). Based on the Grätzel cell, the new cell uses millions of light-absorbing nanoparticles and delivers the highest conversion efficiency reported for a dye-sensitized solar cell."

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