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Alan Turing Papers On Code Breaking Released By GCHQ
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
peetm writes "Two 70-year-old papers by Alan Turing on the theory of code breaking have been released by the government's communications headquarters, GCHQ. It is believed Turing wrote the papers while at Bletchley Park working on breaking German Enigma codes. A GCHQ mathematician said the fact that the contents had been restricted 'shows what a tremendous importance it has in the foundations of our subject.'"

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Pioneer Anomaly Solved
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's space-anchor department:
First time accepted submitter gstrickler writes "After years of work recovering and analyzing old mission data and vehicle schematics, a just published analysis(Pdf) provides strong evidence for anisotropic thermal radiation being the source of the slowing of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft. The theory isn't new, but the recovered data and new analysis provide solid evidence that at least 80% of the deceleration is accounted for by anisotropic thermal radiation. Members of The Planetary Society were instrumental in recovering the data and helping fund the analysis. The lesson is, in space, it matters what direction your heat radiating surfaces point."

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FBI Seizes Server Providing Anonymous Remailer Service
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's arrogance-of-power-button department:
sunbird writes "At 16:00 ET on April 18, federal agents seized a server located in a New York colocation facility shared by May First / People Link and Riseup.net. The server was operated by the European Counter Network ("ECN"), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe. The server was seized as a part of the investigation into bomb threats sent via the Mixmaster anonymous remailer received by the University of Pittsburgh that were previously discussed on Slashdot. As a result of the seizure, hundreds of unrelated people and organizations have been disrupted."

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Posting Photos of Olympics Could End Land You In Court
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's land-you-a-lesson department:
hypnosec writes "With London's summer 2012 games due to take place in the very near future, you'd think that organizers would make more of an effort and persuade people to show more of an interest — yet it appears the complete opposite has happened, with strict guidelines banning athletes from posting photos of themselves on Twitter with products that aren't official Olympics sponsors, as well as prohibiting videos or photos to be taken from the athlete's village. Oh and just for good measure, fans could find themselves barred from sharing videos and photos on Facebook and YouTube of themselves delighting in said Olympics action."

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Power-Saving Web Pages: Real Or Myth?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's raise-your-hand-if-you-think-real department:
An anonymous reader writes "Are dark webdesigns an energy saving alternative to a snow white Google? The theory is websites with black backgrounds save energy, based on the assumption that a monitor requires more power to display a white screen than black. Is this a blatant green washing ploy by Blackle.com, or an earnest energy saving tweak for a search tool we use every day? To find out, PCSTATS hooked up an Extech Power Analyzer to a 19" CRT and a 19" LCD and measured power draw — turns out there is a not insignificant difference ..."

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In Google's Moon Race, Teams Face a Reckoning
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 11:48 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cheese-mines-should-be-enough-incentive department:
waderoush writes "The Google Lunar X Prize, announced in 2007, challenges private teams to send remote-controlled landers and robot rovers to the Moon by December 31, 2015. At the moment, 26 teams are still in the running — but organizers say 2012 could be the shakeout year, as many teams realize they can't go it alone or that they can't raise the tens of millions of dollars needed to reserve a launch vehicle. Xconomy talked with officials at Google, NASA, the X Prize Foundation, and two of the competing teams, asking whether the prize is really winnable in the face of the formidable fundraising obstacles the teams face. The piece also looks at the technology being developed by two of the teams (Moon Express and Team FREDNET), why lunar exploration matters to Google, and how Tiffany Montague, Google's manager of space initiatives, is working to improve the teams' chances."

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Expect Mandatory 'Big Brother' Black Boxes In All New Cars From 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's manufacturers-salivating department:
New submitter Kraftwerk writes "A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards. Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for 'Mandatory Event Data Recorders' to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so. 'Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,' states the bill."

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Finding the Obamas In the 2000 Census
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's magnet-for-your-haystack department:
An anonymous reader writes "This 'how-to' example of accessing demographic data from the U.S. Census 'American FactFinder' zooms down to the block level in Chicago to (possibly) find the Obama family in the year 2000."

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UT Dallas Professor Captures the Mobile Interactions of 175 Texas Teens
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-would-you-think-that-was-creepy? department:
nonprofiteer writes "A University of Texas-Dallas developmental psychology professor has used a $3.4 million NIH grant to purchase Blackberries for 175 Texas teens, capturing every text message, email, photo, and IM they've sent over the past 4 years.Half a million new messages pour into the database every month. The researchers don't 'directly ask' the teens about privacy issues because they don't want to remind them they're being monitored. So many legal and ethical issues here. I can't believe this is IRB-approved. Teens sending nude photos alone could make that database legally toxic. And then there's the ethical issue of monitoring those who have not consented to be part of the study, but are friends with those who have. When a friend texted one participant about selling drugs, he responded, 'Hey, be careful, the BlackBerry people are watching, but don't worry, they won't tell anyone.'"

This sounds like an American version of the "Seven Up" series.

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12 Ways LibreOffice Writer Tops MS Word
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's depends-who's-asking department:
Open source office software is has gotten pretty good over the past decade or so; I got through grad school with OpenOffice (now known as LibreOfifice), and in my estimation was no worse off when it came to exchanging files with classmates than were friends with different versions of Word. Now, reader dgharmon writes "Writer has at least twelve major advantages over Word. Together, these advantages not only suggest a very different design philosophy from Word, but also demonstrate that, from the perspective of an expert user, Writer is the superior tool."

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Ask Slashdot: How To Share a SharePoint Site?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-much-wood-would-a-woodchuck-chuck department:
New submitter grzzld writes "I am a systems analyst for a County in New York. Last year I made a SharePoint site that manages grants and it was well received. So much so that it won a NACo award. Since then, there have been several requests from other municipalities from around the country who would like to get this SharePoint site. The county is trying to figure out how to protect ourselves from people making money from it and having people hold us liable if it they use it and something goes awry. I am afraid that ultimately nothing will be done and the site will not be shared since at the end of the day it is much easier to not do anything and just say no. I proposed that we license it under an Open Source agreement but I am not versed enough in the differences between all of them. It is also unclear to me if I could do this since the nature of the 'program' is a SharePoint site. It seemed like CodePlex would be a good place to put this since it is Microsoft centric and it an open source initiative. I just want to contribute my work to others who may find it useful. The county just wants to make sure they can't be held liable and have somebody turn my work around and make a buck. How can I release this to the world and make sure the county's concerns are addressed?"

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Cringely Predicts IBM Will Shed 78% of US Employees By 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's should-switch-to-fashion-branding-with-cool-logo department:
Third Position writes "Cringely with more predictions about IBM: 'The direct impetus for this column is IBM's internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing U.S. employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.' So far, Cringely's pronouncements about IBM have been approximately true, even if he missed the exact numbers and timeframes. Is he right this time?"

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Leisure Suit Larry Comes Again (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 08:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's everybody-loves-Larry department:
In this exclusive video interview, Slashdot chats with Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe, who is working with Replay Games and Kickstarter to bring Larry Laffer to a whole new generation of computers. They'll maintain the original Larry style of being naughty without crossing the line into porn, which is appropriate for an 80s game about a 70s dork who wears a (shudder) leisure suit. You can donate to this effort through Kickstarter if you like. (We aren't getting paid to say this, and it's a labor of love for Al, too, who is more recently famous for running the hokey daily comedy email newsletter, CyberJoke 3000.)

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Fark Founder Drew Curtis Explains How Fark Beat a Patent Troll
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's righteous-chip-on-his-shoulder department:
Velcroman1 links to this coverage of Drew Curtis's explanation of how his company, Fark, managed to beat a patent troll's lawsuit alleging infringement of a patent on distribution of news releases by email. From the article: "It boils down to one thing: don't negotiate with terrorists," Curtis said during a talk at the TED 2012 conference in Long Beach, Calif."

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In Calif. Study, Most Kids With Whooping Cough Were Fully Vaccinated
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's conventional-wisdom-isn't-always department:
An anonymous reader writes with this extract from a Reuters article: "In early 2010, a spike in cases appeared at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, and it was soon determined to be an outbreak of whooping cough — the largest seen in California in more than 50 years. Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease. 'We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That's what started catching our attention,' said Witt."

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Google Earth Incorporates Crowdsourced Balloon Images
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's inflatable-overlords department:
garymortimer writes with this excerpt from sUAS News: "The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science announced today that community-generated open source maps — captured from kites and balloons — have been added to Google Earth. The 45 plus maps are the first aerial maps produced by citizens to be featured on the site, and are highlighted on the Google Lat Long Blog. The Public Laboratory is an expansion of the Grassroots Mapping community. During an initial project mapping the BP oil spill, local residents used helium-filled balloons and digital cameras to generate high-resolution D.I.Y 'satellite' maps documenting the extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — at a time when there was little public information available. Expanding the toolkit beyond aerial mapping, Public Laboratory has been growing into a diverse community, both online and offline, experimenting with new ways to produce information about our surroundings. The lab's DIY kits cost less than $100 to assemble."

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HP To Certify Ubuntu 12.04 LTS For Its Proliant Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's buzzword-laden-nod-to-middle-management department:
An anonymous reader writes with this dose of nice news (untranslated from the PR-ese) on the Linux-in-business front: "Mark Shuttleworth has announced at the OpenStack conference that Canonical has received a ringing endorsement from HP in the form of certification for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on the ProLiant server systems. Responding to customer demand, HP has decided to officially support the popular flavor of Linux giving sysadmins another flexible software option to leverage their current and future hardware."

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Florian Mueller Outs Himself As Oracle Employee
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hey-it-beats-not-saying-it department:
eldavojohn writes "So you're commenting on your highly visible blog about patent case after patent case that deal with corporations battling over open source stuff, what does it matter if you're taking money from one and not the other? If you don't see any ethical problems with that, you might be Florian Mueller. Groklaw's PJ (who has been suspicious of Florian's ties to other giants like Microsoft for quite sometime) has noticed that Florian Mueller has decided to go full disclosure and admit that all his commentary on the Oracle v Google case might be tainted by his employment by Oracle. It seems he's got a bunch of consulting money coming his way from Oracle but I'm sure that won't undermine any of his assessments like Android licenses violate the GPL or that Oracle will win $6 billion from Google and Google was "at risk" of not settling despite the outcome that the charges later dropped to a small fraction of the $6 billion. Like so many other times, PJ's hunch was right."

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Major OpenSSL Security Issue Found (and Fixed)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's resume-transmission department:
tearmeapart writes "A major security issue has been found in all OpenSSL packages. You probably want to download your preferred OpenSSL package as soon as possible. Changes to the CVS repository are detailed on the OpenSSL timeline."

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Open Source Electric Cars — Good Idea Or Not?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's do-you-beat-your-electric-car department:
thecarchik submits this interesting bit of flame: "Many are keen on the concept of open source electric cars — that is, electric cars where the built-in software can be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and in theory, the cars can be improved. Only it's a really, really bad idea. ... Even carmakers themselves have trouble with software--Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma — so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea. Changing the characteristics of an electric car isn't as simple as re-jetting the carbs or swopping out the air filter." Whether software is controlling electric cars or not seems to me beside the point; access to the underlying software doesn't guarantee improvements, but blocking access to it doesn't stop car makers from making software mistakes — it only ensures that those few interested hackers who might be able to work around them have a harder time of it. (Not that tweaking car software is new, or going away.)

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