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Aussie Politician Threatens To Contact Employers of Satirical Article "Likers"
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-not-to-do department:
Chuq writes "Tasmanian Liberal candidate for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, was the subject of a satirical article by NewExaminer on Facebook. Nikolic didn't like it, which is understandable. However he then went to considerable lengths to identify the people who liked the article, find out their employers (via their Facebook profiles) and 'name and shame' them on a follow-up post on his own page. Andrew Nikolic has a history of poorly handling conflicting views on his Facebook page, resulting in creation of another page, 'Andrew Nikolic blocked me.'"

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South Korea Plans Hashtag-Inspired Skyscraper
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ampersand-estates department:
cylonlover writes "The hashtag or "#" symbol has taken on a lot more use in recent years, especially with the rise of social media tools like Twitter, where it's used to highlight popular topics. So in a way, it's a fitting model for an apartment building designed to act as a self-contained neighborhood, which is exactly the idea behind the Cross # Towers planned for South Korea. Dutch architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is modeling the look of the proposed building after the familiar symbol, by placing two interlocking bridges between two skyscrapers, which will also support outdoor park areas to mimic the sort of spaces you'd normally find on the ground."

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Did a Genome Copying Mistake Lead To Human Intelligence?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's happy-accidents department:
A new study suggest that the sophistication of the human brain may be due to a mistake in cell division long ago. From the article: "A copyediting error appears to be responsible for critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin, new research finds.

When tested out in mice, researchers found this 'error' caused the rodents' brain cells to move into place faster and enabled more connections between brain cells."

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Brazil Retailer Using Facebook Likes On Its Clothing Hangers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 01:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's friend-your-shirt department:
TheGift73 writes "Retailer, C&A, is putting 'real-time Likes' counters on its hangers in locations around Brazil. The Like data is taken from C&A's Facebook page, where the company has listed its various wares for people to interact with. When a person Likes an item, that Like shows up on the hanger. It is meant to help customers with purchasing decisions. If they are unsure of one item, they can see how many people online think the product is a good buy."

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What Various Studies Really Reveal About File-Sharing
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-some-media department:
Dangerous_Minds writes "Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has an interesting look at file-sharing. It all started with a review of a Phoenix study that was used to promote SOPA. Wilson says that the study was long on wild claims and short on fact. While most writers would simply criticize the study and move on, Wilson took it a step further and looked in to what file-sharing studies have really been saying throughout the years. What he found was an impressive 19 of 20 studies not getting any coverage. He launched a large series detailing what these studies have to say on file-sharing. The first study suggests that file-sharing litigation was a failure. The second study said that p2p has no effect on music sales. The third study found that the RIAA suppresses innovation. The fourth study says that the MPAA has simply been trying to preserve its oligopoly. The fifth study says that even when one uses the methodology of one download means one lost sale, the losses amount to less than $2 per album. The studies, so far, are being posted on a daily basis and are certainly worth the read."

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Pirate Party Gaining Strength In Germany
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 07:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's patches-for-all department:
bs0d3 writes "For the third consecutive regional election, The German Pirate Party has breached the five-percent mark needed to enter the state parliament, winning 8.2 percent of the vote in state of Schleswig-Holstein. From the article: 'The big winners on the night were the Pirates, an upstart party that has shaken up the staid world of German politics with a campaign based on more transparency in the political process and internet freedom.'"

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Unblocking The Pirate Bay the Hard Way Is Fun
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's long-way-around department:
TheGift73 writes in with a link for those of you who like to do things the hard way. "Now that The Pirate Bay is being blocked by ISPs in the UK, millions of people have a new interest in accessing the site, even if they didn't before. The reasons for this are simple. Not only do people hate being told what they can and can't do, people – especially geeks – love solving problems and puzzles. Unlocking The Pirate Bay with a straightforward proxy is just too boring, so just for fun let's go the hard way round."

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Ask Slashdot: What Language Should a Former Coder Dig Into?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-your-chops-back department:
An anonymous reader writes "I was a consultant for nearly 20 years and I got into projects where I had to work with a huge variety of software, operating systems, hardware, programming languages, and other assorted technologies. After retiring from that I have spent the last 10 years in a completely different sector. Now I find myself wanting to really focus on coding for personal reasons. You can imagine how out-of-touch I am since I never really was more than a hack to begin with. I can learn syntax and basics in a weekend, question is, what Language should I become native to? Never liked anything 'lower-level' than C, and I don't have the funds to 'buy' my development environment....help me Slashdot, you're my only hope."

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Some USAF Pilots Refuse To Fly F-22 Raptor
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's conscientious-objector department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that some of the nation's top aviators are refusing to fly the radar-evading F-22 Raptor, a fighter jet with ongoing problems with the oxygen systems that have plagued the fleet for four years. 'We are generally aware of a small number of pilots who have expressed reservations about flying the F-22, and each of those cases will be handled individually through established processes,' says Maj. Brandon Lingle, an Air Force spokesman. Concern about the safety of the F-22 has grown in recent months as reports about problems with its oxygen systems have offered no clear explanations why there have been 11 incidents in which F-22 pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms. 'Obviously it's a very sensitive thing because we are trying to ensure that the community fully understands all that we're doing to try to get to a solution,' says Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command. Meanwhile Sen. John McCain says that the jets, which the Air Force call the future of American air dominance, are a waste of their $79 billion price tag and serve no role in today's combat environment. 'There is no purpose, no mission in Afghanistan or Iraq, unless you believe that al Qaeda is going to have a fleet of aircraft,' says McCain, a former combat pilot himself. '[The F-22] has not flown a single combat mission... I don't think the F-22 will ever be seen in the combat it was designed to counter, because that threat is no longer in existence.'"

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Biochemist Creates CO2-Eating Light That Runs On Algae
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's but-will-it-clean-my-desk? department:
An anonymous reader writes "Biochemist Pierre Calleja has a solution to reducing carbon emissions that doesn't require us to cut back on our use of carbon-producing devices. Calleja has developed a lighting system that requires no electricity for power. Instead it draws CO2 from the atmosphere and uses it to produce light as well as oxygen as a byproduct. The key ingredient to this eco-friendly light? Algae. Certain types of algae can feed off of organic carbon as well as sunlight, and in the process produce carbohydrate energy for themselves as well as oxygen as a waste product. Cajella's lamps consist of algae-filled water along with a light and battery system. During the day the algae produce energy from sunlight that is then stored in the batteries. Then at night the energy is used to power the light. However, as the algae can also produce energy from carbon, sunlight isn't required for the process to work. That means such lights can be placed where there is no natural light and the air will effectively be cleaned on a daily basis."

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How Accurate Were Leonardo Da Vinci's Anatomy Drawings?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ahead-of-the-curve department:
antdude writes "BBC News answers how accurate were Leonardo da Vinci's anatomy drawings — 'During his lifetime, Leonardo made thousands of pages of notes and drawings on the human body. He wanted to understand how the body was composed and how it worked. But at his death in 1519, his great treatise on the body was incomplete and his scientific papers were unpublished. Based on what survives, clinical anatomists believe that Leonardo's anatomical work was hundreds of years ahead of its time, and in some respects it can still help us understand the body today. So how do these drawings, sketched more than 500 years ago, compare to what digital imaging technology can tell us today?'"

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Apple Security Blunder Exposes Lion Login Passwords In Clear Text
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's whoops department:
An anonymous reader writes "An Apple programmer, apparently by accident, left a debug flag open in the most recent version of its Mac OS X operating system. In specific configurations, applying the OS X Lion update 10.7.3 turns on a system-wide debug log file that contains the login passwords of every user who has logged in since the update was applied. The passwords are stored in clear text."

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Study Aims To Read Dogs' Thoughts
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's squirrel-ball-cat! department:
jjp9999 writes "A new study at Emory University is trying to figure out what dogs think. The study uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to scan the dogs' brains while they're shown different stimuli. Results from the first study will be published by the Public Library of Science, where the dogs were shown hand signals from their owners. 'We hope this opens up a whole new door for understanding canine cognition and inter-species communication. We want to understand the dog-human relationship, from the dog's perspective,' said Gregory Berns, director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy and lead researcher of the dog project."

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Is Google the New Microsoft?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's Imitation-is-the-best-form-of-flattery department:
ericjones12398 writes "Google's come up with its solution for Dropbox: If you can't buy 'em, copy 'em. The search engine and online advertising giant replaced its popular Google Docs service with Google Drive, a cloud computing storage service designed to directly compete with start up Dropbox. This raises the question, has Google become the new Microsoft? Us ancient folk who remember the 1990s and the Microsoft anti-trust trial can certainly notice some parallels. A big, dare we say monolithic, company doesn't bother innovating on its own. It just waits for other companies to innovate, makes some changes for legally significant distinctions and enters into competition with the innovator. Sound familiar?

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Crowdsourcing and Scientific Truth
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's truth-by-committee department:
ygslash writes "In an
opinion piece in the New York Times Sunday Review,
Jack Hitt states that comments posted to on-line articles, and elsewhere on line,
have de facto become an important factor
in what is accepted as scientific truth
. From the article: 'Any article, journalistic or scientific, that sparks a debate typically winds up looking more like a good manuscript 700 years ago than a magazine piece only 10 years ago. The truth is that every decent article now aspires to become the wiki of its own headline.'"


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3D-Printed Circuit Boards, For Solder-Free Printable Electronics
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's printing-hardware department:
An anonymous reader writes "Check out the latest success of the OpenSCAD 3d-printed electronics library. To use it, you just need a 3D printer and some conductive thread. OpenSCAD generates a component holder, and conductive thread wraps it all together — no solder, no etching chemicals, no sending out for anything. The instructable takes you through all the steps from schematic to circuit, and includes a more useful example: the fully printed LED flashlight."

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Low-Cost Indian Tablet Project Falls To Corruption
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 05:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's failure-to-launch department:
symbolset writes "The first Aakash tablet proposed for India schools has failed. Datawind managed to deliver the $45 Android tablet as reported here previously, but suffering a breach in faith by both their contract manufacturer and the accepting agency in India had to put the project on hold. Facing a loss in revenue it's turning into a disaster for the small Canadian company as they are now proving unable to deliver both the Aakash tablet and the parallel retail product. Senior executives have begun to flee. The company has presold a great many tablets, and delivery failure reports are beginning to mount. Is this the Phantom console of this decade?"

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Leave Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Alone!
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's statute-of-limitations department:
theodp writes "Over at The Daily Beast, Dan Lyons says Resumegate is overblown and says it's time to stop picking on Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson. Even without the circa-1979 CS degree some incorrectly thought he possessed, Lyons argues that Thompson is still perfectly capable, his critics have ulterior motives, and his competitors have all lied before. 'Forgive me for being less than shocked at the idea of a CEO lying,' writes Lyons. 'Steve Jobs [college dropout] used to lie all the time, and he's apparently the greatest CEO who ever lived. Google lied about taking money from Canadian pharmacies to run illegal drug ads, but finally had to come clean and pay $500 million in fines to settle the charges. Mark Zuckerberg [college dropout] last fall settled charges brought by the FTC that his company had made "unfair and deceptive" claims—I think that's like lying—and, what's more, had violated federal laws.' So what makes the fudging of a 30-year old accomplishment on the Yahoo CEO's resume a transgression that the 'highly ethical and honest folks in Silicon Valley' simply cannot bear? 'Facebook is a cool kid,' explains Lyons. 'So is Apple. Yahoo is the loser kid that nobody likes.'"

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Facebook Says It's Filtering Comments For Spam, Not Censoring Them
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 01:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you're-not-worthy-you're-not-worthy department:
bhagwad writes "Apparently Robert Scoble tried to post a long comment on Facebook only to have a message pop up saying 'This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can't be posted. To avoid having your comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.' If true, this is huge. For one the self-moderating system of comments has always been the rule so far. And with countries like India rooting for the pre-screening of content and comments, is Facebook thinking of caving into these demands?" Facebook says there's a more innocuous explanation: namely, that the comment triggered a spam filter.

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How Romanian Fortune Tellers Used Google To Fleece Victims
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '12 at 10:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's hey-dad-take-this-as-a-free-lesson department:
Hentes writes "The internet has made many things easier, but unfortunately this also includes crime: it seems that nowadays not even people wanting to know their future are safe from fraud. Two fortune tellers are being investigated, after the Romanian police uncovered that they have utilized some extraordinary help in their clairvoyant acts. The pair used information collected from internet search and social networks to gain the trust of their customers, claiming that they could see their personal data through their crystal ball. In some cases, they also used high-tech surveillance techniques such as hidden cameras and phone tapping. But they didn't stop at merely spying on their victims: their most bizarre case involved a scuba diver dressed as a monster." Nice to know that internet-based fraud isn't limited to motivational speakers with real-estate seminars and other get-rich-quick flim-flam.

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