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Should Developers Be Sued For Security Holes?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-to-blame department:
An anonymous reader writes "A Cambridge academic is arguing for regulations that allow software users to sue developers when sloppy coding leaves holes for malware infection. European officials have considered introducing such a law but no binding regulations have been passed. Not everyone agrees that it's a good idea — Microsoft has previously argued against such a move by analogy, claiming a burglary victim wouldn't expect to be able to sue the manufacturer of the door or a window in their home."

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Greatfire Keeps Tabs On Chinese Censorship, Automatically
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's perhaps-too-automatically department:
First time accepted submitter percyalpha writes "Greatfire is a website that automatically monitors Internet censorship in China. Recently, we improved our system to share all testing data with Herdict, a project at Harvard University on Internet blockages. User reports on Herdict of websites inaccessible in China are automatically imported into our system, and our data of websites blocked in China is also exported into the Herdict database. If you ever explore the first ten pages of the Herdict database, chances are all block reports are from China and imported from our system."

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CPUs Do Affect Gaming Performance, After All
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's that's-just-what-jesus-said department:
crookedvulture writes "For years, PC hardware sites have maintained that CPUs have little impact on gaming performance; all you need is a decent graphics card. That position is largely supported by FPS averages, but the FPS metric doesn't tell the whole story. Examining individual frame latencies better exposes the brief moments of stuttering that can disrupt otherwise smooth gameplay. Those methods have now been used to quantify the gaming performance of 18 CPUs spanning three generations. The results illustrate a clear advantage for Intel, whose CPUs enjoy lower frame latencies than comparable offerings from AMD. While the newer Intel processors perform better than their predecessors, the opposite tends to be true for the latest AMD chips. Turns out AMD's Phenom II X4 980, which is over a year old, offers lower frame latencies than the most recent FX processors."

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Hurricane Could Make a Mess of Republican Convention
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's gettin'-windy department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "ABC News reports that Hurricane Isaac, currently a tropical storm brewing southeast of Puerto Rico, is on track to hit Florida the same day that Mitt Romney and 50,000 Republican delegates, journalists, protestors and guests descend on Tampa for the Republican National Convention but whether it will skim the east coast near Miami or crash head-on into Tampa, is still up in the air. The worst possible scenario is that Hurricane Isaac stays on the western track, skating over the Caribbean Sea south of Haiti, crossing the primarily flat landscape of western Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico then curving east and hitting Tampa dead-on. 'Tampa is just as vulnerable as New Orleans was in the sense that the water will funnel into the bay area and from the storm surge which will flood completely the whole entire city of Tampa,' says meteorologist Max Golembo. 'It would be a disaster in the Tampa area.' If a hurricane or tropical storm is bearing down on Tampa, the priority of law enforcement is to evacuate residents, leaving GOP officials to make the decision of when to evacuate delegates says Hillsborough County Emergency Management spokeswoman Holly Wade. 'We have to look at a lot of factors, like timing and landfall,' says Wade. 'We provide the weather information, then we take that to the host committee, which decides if the event goes on or if the event gets altered.' A Category 2 hurricane could disrupt convention activities because the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the festivities, is within a mandatory evacuation zone for storms of that magnitude."

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XCOR Aerospace Plans a Florida Base For Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's lured-by-the-snakes-and-lizards department:
New submitter RocketAcademy writes "With the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex as a backdrop, XCOR Aerospace has announced its intentions to establish an operational base for the Lynx spacecraft in Florida. Plans call for XCOR to begin initial operations from a Florida location in 2014 with the Lynx Mark I prototype. As market demand dictates, XCOR may also establish a manufacturing and assembly center for the production vehicle, designated Lynx Mark II."

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New Judge Assigned To Tenenbaum Case Upholds $675k Verdict
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's and-now-law-school-in-miniature department:
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In SONY v Tenenbaum, the new District Judge assigned to the case has disagreed with the previous judge, and instead of reducing the $22,500 per file award to $2250 per file, has instead upheld the jury's verdict. The jury initially found defendant Joel Tenenbaum to have 'willfully' infringed the RIAA copyrights by downloading 30 mp3 files which would normally retail for 99 cents each, and awarded the plaintiff record companies $675,000 in 'statutory damages.' Tenenbaum moved to set the verdict aside on both common law remittitur grounds and constitutional due process grounds. Judge Gertner — the District Judge at the time — felt that remittitur would be a futility, and on constitutional grounds reduced the verdict to $2250 per file. The RIAA appealed. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals remanded on the ground that Judge Gertner ought to have decided the question on remittitur grounds and reached the constitutional question prematurely. By the time the case arrived back in District Court, Judge Gertner had retired, and a new judge — Judge Rya Zobel — had been assigned. Judge Zobel denied the remittitur motion. And then Judge Zobel denied the constitutional motion, leaving the larger verdict in place. I think it is reasonable to expect Tenenbaum to appeal this time around."

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Mario Bros. Clone Released For Atari 2600
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's impressive-homebrew department:
YokimaSun writes "The world of Homebrew Coding never ceases to amaze, even on an old system like the Atari 2600 a coder over at the Atariage forums has released a clone of the original Nes game Super Mario Bros with video, which has the first level from the classic game and eventually will have the first four worlds. Equally as impressive is this 3D Mario game written for the Sega Saturn."

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Ask Slashdot: IT Contractors, How's Your Health Insurance?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's health-care-vs-health-care-finance department:
An anonymous reader writes "In the tech industry, as the economy continues its downturn, IT folks in my circles who were either laid off or let go are turning to contract work to pay their bills. Layoffs and a decline in tech jobs has affected older IT workers the most. Many of us find it more lucrative and enjoyable in the long run and leave the world of cubicles forever. However, there is much to be said for working for a large company or corporation, and health insurance is one of the benefits we value most. But what happens to those who find themselves in this position at mid-career or later in life? Hopefully they have accumulated enough savings or have enough money in an HSA to survive a major medical emergency. Unfortunately, many do not and some find themselves in dire straits with their lives depending on others for help. I have been working IT contracts mostly now for the past 11 years and I've done very well. I belong to a group insurance plan and the coverage is decent, but as I get older, premiums and copays go up and coverage goes down. If you work contracts exclusively, what do you think is the best plan for insurance? Any preferences?"

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Microsoft Unveils First New Company Logo In 25 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's thought-that-was-the-foursquare-logo department:
Barence writes "For the first time in 25 years, Microsoft has issued a new company logo to usher in the Windows 8 era. Made up of a newly square Windows symbol alongside grey Microsoft logo type, it's been designed to closely match the logos for other products in Microsoft's portfolio, including Office and Xbox. The logo takes pride of place on Microsoft.com from today, and will be used in Microsoft's retail stores and on all future TV ads."

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OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu On Apple Hardware, Benchmarked
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's apt-get-me-a-new-version department:
An anonymous reader writes "OS X 10.8 has been benchmarked against Ubuntu Linux with some interesting results. From the tests on a Apple Mac Mini and Apple MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion was clearly superior when it came to the graphics performance, but the rest of the time the operating systems performed quite closely with no clear winner. OS X also seems to have greater performance issues with solid-state drives than Linux."

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'Wiki Weapon Project' Wants Your 3D-Printable Guns
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-round-of-illegal-shapes department:
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Earlier this month, University of Texas law student Cody Wilson and a small group of friends who call themselves 'Defense Distributed' launched an initiative they've dubbed the 'Wiki Weapon Project.' Their goal: to raise $20,000 to design and release blueprints for the world's first entirely 3D-printable gun. If all goes according to plan, RepRap users will soon be able to turn the project's CAD designs into an operational firearm capable of shooting at least one standard .22 caliber bullet, all in the privacy of their own garage. Wilson and his handful of collaborators at Defense Distributed plan to use the money they raise to buy or rent a $10,000 Stratysys 3D printer and also to hold a 3D-printable gun design contest with a $1,000 or $2,000 prize for the winning entry — Wilson says they've already received gun design ideas from fans in Arkansas and North Carolina. Once the group has successfully built a reliable 3D-printed gun with the Stratysys printer, it plans to adapt the design for the cheaper and more widely distributed Reprap model. The group had already raised more than $2,000 through the fundraising platform Indiegogo, but the site took down their page and froze their funds on Tuesday. They're continuing to seek donations through their website via Paypal and Bitcoin."

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Satellite Uplinks For the Masses
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's let's-see-the-pricetag-for-the-masses department:
kgeiger writes "Intellectual Ventures has spun out Kymeta to develop and mass-produce their mTenna product line. mTennas are based on metamaterials like the invisibility cloaks discussed on Slashdot and elsewhere. Metamaterials enable beam-steering that ensures an mTenna remains in contact with satellites even during motion. Kymeta will use 'established lithographic techniques' to make them. IMHO, these antennas may be as big a leap for mobile computing and remote communications as the invention of fractal antennas was for mobile phones."

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Revisiting the Macintosh ROM Easter Egg
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-engineers-play department:
eldavojohn writes "NYCResistor has published photos of what they call 'Ghosts in the ROM' after dumping Apple Mac SE ROM images from a roadside Motorolla 68000 era Macintosh and looking at all the data (they mention an Easter egg reference to this from 1999). They go into some nice detail about the strategy for extracting this data from a discarded unit and noticing structure. There's also other data that they weren't able to identify which causes one to wonder how many other Easter eggs are lying about in various ROM chips and what modern Easter eggs must be shipping with software/hardware today."

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Baserock Slab Server Pairs High-Density ARM Chips With Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-need-only-lust department:
Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at Slash Datacenter that a portion of the predicted low-power-ARM-servers future has arrived, in the form of Codethink's Baserock Slab ARM Server, which puts 32 cores into a half-depth 1U server. "As with other servers built on ARM architecture, Codethink intends the Baserock Slab for data centers in need of extra power efficiency. The Slab supports Baserock Linux, currently in its second development release (known as 'Secret Volcano'), as well as Debian GNU/Linux. While Baserock Linux was first developed around the X86-64 platform, its developers planned the leap to the ARM platform. Each Slab CPU node consists of a Marvell quad-core 1.33-GHz Armada XP ARM chip, 2 GB of ECC RAM, a Cogent Computer Systems CSB1726 SoM, and a 30 GB solid-state drive. The nodes are connected to the high-speed network fabric, which includes two links per compute node driving 5 Gbits/s of bonded bandwidth to each CPU, with wire-speed switching and routing at up to 119 million packets per second."

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New eBay EULA Prohibits Class Action Lawsuits
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-are-they-the-tsa? department:
First time accepted submitter dangthill writes "On August 21, eBay updated its end-user agreement by adding a binding arbritration clause. By accepting the new agreement, users forfeit their right to join class action lawsuits and instead must submit to arbitration. However, users may opt-out by mailing eBay a signed notice. eBay joins Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, Valve and other companies attempting to prevent class actions after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled such tactics valid."

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Recent Warming of Antarctica "Unusual But Not Unprecedented"
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's earth-ain't-static department:
First time accepted submitter tomhath writes with a link to the abstract (full article paywalled) in Nature of an "Ice core study that concludes that climate change and associated melting of ice in Antarctica is more the norm than the exception, including rapid warming cycles as we appear to be in today. Study concludes: 'Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia. The connection shown here between past temperature and ice-shelf stability suggests that warming for several centuries rendered ice shelves on the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula vulnerable to collapse.'"

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ToorCamp: Adventures In an American Hacker Camp
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's funny-thing-about-stereotypes department:
jcatcw writes "While a tech camping event might sound like an oxymoron, hackers, makers, breakers and shakers assembled at the northwestern tip of the USA for ToorCamp and dispelled the notion that all hackers avoid sunshine and the great outdoors. As you would expect from a hacker conference, there were workshops like the one for lock picking and a plethora of presentations from "hacking computers to brain hacking, from brewing soda to fighting robots, from civil rights to lightning guns." Then unique aspects of this cool hacker camp get more bizarre . . like the laser that was so bright it required FAA clearance to deploy it, the ShadyTel community 'payphone,' the Temple of Robotron, an RFID implantation station, bike jousting, dancing robots and of course campfires. Need an even stranger adventure that's also in the ToorCon family of hacking conferences? There's the upcoming WorldToor, the first ever hacker conference in Antarctica."

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Ask Slashdot: Single-Handed Keyboard Options For Coding?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-don't-like-the-nose-based-keyboard? department:
First time accepted submitter dubbreak writes "I was recently injured in a car accident which will limit the use of hand for six weeks or so. I'll be taking a little time off, but deadlines march on, and I'll need to be (semi) productive after my initial recuperation. What is you experience with single handed keyboards or other input option that require one hand at most? The current project is mainly C#, so I've need to be able to type brackets, semicolons and parentheses quick and painlessly."

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Sources Say ITU Has Approved Ultra-High Definition TV Standard
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pore-decision-making department:
Qedward writes with this excerpt from Techworld: "A new television format that has 16 times the resolution of current High Definition TV has been approved by an international standards body, Japanese sources said earlier today. UHDTV, or Ultra High Definition Television, allows for programming and broadcasts at resolutions of up to 7680 by 4320, along with frame refresh rates of up to 120Hz, double that of most current HDTV broadcasts. The format also calls for a broader palette of colours that can be displayed on screen. The video format was approved earlier this month by member nations of the International Telecommunication Union, a standards and regulatory body agency of the United Nations, according to an official at NHK, Japan's public broadcasting station, and another at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Both spoke on condition of anonymity."

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Booted From Airplane For Wearing Anti-TSA T-shirt
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's more-than-3-ounces-of-sarcasm department:
Cigarra writes "PhD student Arijit learned the hard way that in Brave New America you can't mock TSA's Security Theater and go on about your business. According to a recollection in RT.com: 'After being vigorously screened and questioned multiple times, Arijit says he was finally given permission, once more, to board his plane. The pilot of the aircraft, however, had had enough of the whole ordeal and asked the Delta supervisor to relay the message that, due to the discomfort the shirt had caused, neither Arijit nor his wife would be allowed to board the aircraft.' Just how much humiliation is the general American public willing to tolerate in the name of 'security'?"

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