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US Senate Passes National Internet Sales Tax Mandate
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '13 at 09:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's man-vs-the-states department:
SonicSpike writes with the news that the U.S. Senate yesterday "passed a nonbinding proposal to allow states to collect sales tax on Internet sellers that have no presence within their borders. The proposal was an amendment to a 2014 budget bill that the Senate debated Friday. It was pushed by Senators Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, and Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and was designed to give backers a sense of whether they had enough votes to push forward with final legislation to impose an Internet sales tax. The vote showed they have plenty of backing to overcome any filibuster seeking to block a final sales tax bill."

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World's Largest High-Rise Data Center Opens In New York
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '13 at 09:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's closer-to-the-sun-more-solar-power department:
CowboyRobot writes with this excerpt from Wall Street & Technology: "[Wednesday of this week], Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the opening [of] a 1 million square foot high-rise data center [in the] old Verizon switching building at 375 Pearl Street. Sabey Data Center Properties, the owner of the property, has named the data center Intergate.Manhattan and says the building's location, power supply and connectivity to underground fiber make it an ideal location for a data center in New York City. ... Intergate.Manhattan has only one tenant so far, the New York Genome Center, a compute and storage platform for 12 leading medical institutions to tackle the big data challenges that will bring the benefits of genomics to patient care." Let's hope they keep plenty of fuel around for next storm season.

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Cisco To Buy Meraki For $1.2 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's circle-of-business department:
UnanimousCoward writes "Several outlets are reporting Cisco's intent to acquire Meraki for $1.2 billion. From the article: 'Cisco Systems of San Jose, California, says it is buying Meraki Networks of San Francisco for around $1.2 billion in cash. The news of the deal leaked on Twitter, when Cisco accidentally posted the news on its blog and swiftly removed it, but it was too late. Cisco is hoping to focus on smaller and medium-sized campuses with Meraki and its products.'"

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GIF Becomes Word of the Year 2012
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-other-arbitrary-news department:
mikejuk writes "GIF started out as a humble acronym 25 years ago, entered common parlance as the format used for web graphics and now achieves fame as a verb by becoming Oxford Dictionaries USA Word of the Year 2012. GIF as a noun has always been an all-capital letter noun. Becoming a verb has caused problems concerning the use of capital and lower case letters. The common form is to keep the noun in caps and add the verbal endings in lower case — as in GIFed,GIFing), However, an all lower-case spelling with the f duplicated (giffed, giffing) is also being used."

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Legalizing Online Futures Betting
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's playing-the-odds department:
Bennett Haselton writes: "Online political futures betting is in a legal limbo in the United States. But with the lifting of legal sanctions, and with the addition of one simple new feature, online futures betting could not only provide more accurate forecasts of the merits of different candidates, but also provide a tool for quieting partisan blowhards who think the opposing party's candidate is going to drag the country to hell. Let the blowhards bet!" You'll find the rest of Bennett's story below.

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John McAfee Launches Blog, Offers $25K Reward For "Real Killers"
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-the-run department:
An anonymous reader writes "The IT security pioneer John McAfee has launched a blog to document his life on the lam, as Belize police chase him down for suspicion of killing a neighbor. McAfee is using the blog to state his case, raise suspicions about Belize authorities and to offer a $25K reward to find the real killer or killers. From the article: 'McAfee writes that he is on run with a 20-year-old female named Sam, photos of whom are in the blog, along with a post from her. McAfee says a handful of friends and associates have been rounded up by police over the past week or so. His posts are filled with dramatic descriptions of his actions (including returning to his home in disguise to find police digging up his dead dogs and cutting off their heads) and lay bare his suspicions about Belize authorities. '"

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Dutch Cold Case Murder Solved After 8000 People Gave Their DNA
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-me department:
sciencewatcher writes "A 1999 cold case rape and murder in The Netherlands has been solved. Dutch police asked 8000+ men living within 5 kilometers of the crime scene to volunteer their DNA so that the murderer could be traced through (close or distant) family members sharing part of this DNA. As it turned out, the man now in custody turned in his own DNA, resulting in a 100% match. The request of the police was discussed here on Slashdot in September. The percentage of people participating was closing in on 90%, in the midsize town of the victim it was 96%."

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Nanoparticles Stop Multiple Sclerosis In Mice
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's working-on-a-cure department:
HangingChad writes "Scientists have used nanoparticles covered in proteins to trick the immune system to stop attacking myelin and halt the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice. The nanoparticles, about 200 times thinner than a human hair, are made from the same material as dissolving stitches. Scientists compare the process an immune system 'reboot'. The process keeps the immune system from treating myelin as an alien invader and to stop attacking it."

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EU Working On Most Powerful Laser Ever Built
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that's-no-moon department:
kkleiner writes "On the coattails of CERN's success with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Europeans and the world at large have another grand science project to be excited about: the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project to build the most powerful laser ever constructed. These lasers will be intense enough to perform electron dynamics experiments at very short time scales or venture into relativistic optics, opening up an entirely new field of physics for study. Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets."

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You Can't Say That On the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watch-what-you-say department:
hessian writes in with a story about the arbitrary and often outdated online decency standards being imposed by companies."A bastion of openness and counterculture, Silicon Valley imagines itself as the un-Chick-fil-A. But its hyper-tolerant facade often masks deeply conservative, outdated norms that digital culture discreetly imposes on billions of technology users worldwide. What is the vehicle for this new prudishness? Dour, one-dimensional algorithms, the mathematical constructs that automatically determine the limits of what is culturally acceptable. Consider just a few recent kerfuffles. In early September, The New Yorker found its Facebook page blocked for violating the site’s nudity and sex standards. Its offense: a cartoon of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve’s bared nipples failed Facebook’s decency test."

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Ariane 5 Has No Chance, Says Elon Musk
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-tony-stark-talks-people-listen department:
Dupple writes with some remarks by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, as reported by the BBC, on the Ariane 5 launch vehicle: Musk is anything but a disinterested party, but he has some especially harsh words for the ESA rocket: "'I don't say that with a sense of bravado but there's really no way for that vehicle to compete with Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. If I were in the position of Ariane, I would really push for an Ariane 6.' Ariane's future will be a key topic this week for European Space Agency (Esa) member states. They are meeting in Naples to determine the scope and funding of the organisation's projects in the next few years, and the status of their big rocket will be central to those discussions."

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A Better Thought-Controlled Computer Cursor
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 03:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-know-what-you-want-to-do department:
An anonymous reader writes "Stanford researchers have developed a new algorithm (Abstract only) that significantly improves the control and performance of neural prosthetics — brain-controlled computer interfaces for individuals suffering from spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative disease to aid interaction with computers, drive electronic wheelchairs, and control robotic arms and legs. With this algorithm, monkeys implanted with multielectrode arrays in motor regions of their brain controlled a computer cursor more quickly and accurately than ever before, including navigation around obstacles. Further, the system maintained this high performance across 4 years, demonstrating long-term reliability. These improvements in performance and robustness are crucial for clinically-useful neural prosthetics, and pave the way for success in clinical trails."

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Ask Slashdot: Which International Online Music Stores Are Legit?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '12 at 12:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-googling-for-mp3s-isn't-enough department:
rjnagle writes "I'm an American lover of music who is interested in buying legally music from other countries. How do I know which CD/online music stores are legit and actually benefit the artist? I'm very cost-conscious and prefer indie music anyway, but the types of international music for sale on Amazon/iTunes tends to be from the bigger labels. Suppose I wanted to buy music from Pakistan/Ukraine/China/Brazil/Chad. What's the best way to identify which labels or online stories are authorized to sell them? Perhaps all I need is a list of the best known online music stores for each region (Yesasia.com, etc)."

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Windows Phone 8 Users Hit Some Snags
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 09:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's my-android-phone-freezes-way-too-often department:
symbolset writes "As reported on The Verge, many people are experiencing freezing, rebooting and battery problems on their new Windows Phone 8 devices. This WP8Central thread shows many of the issues. Affected devices include Lumia 920 and HTC 8X." Every phone and every OS has its problems, and happy users probably aren't as vocal; it would be good to know how Windows Phone users who are also iOS and Android users compare them for reliability.

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Coffee and Intellectual Property
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-puts-the-coffee-lotion-(tm)-on-its-skin department:
cervesaebraciator writes "A 'Coffee Branding Workshop,' sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization, was held recently in Arusha City, at which the Director General of the Tanzania Coffee Board presented a paper titled 'Supporting the Coffee Sector with added Value Products Through Intellectual Property and Branding.' The paper encouraged the use of intellectual property claims, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and designs, as sources of income which can be used to support agriculture in Africa. The Director General claimed that '[Intellectual property rights] are the basis for today's knowledge based economy and international competitiveness.' This is no doubt related to a broader effort to advance western style intellectual property in Africa through claims of the benefits it offers agriculture. Promoting western style intellectual property law as a means of third world development is a popular strategy for WIPO, the only branch of the UN to have significant wealth deriving from contributions independent of Member States. On a related note of interest to Slashdotters, there is a history of tension between WIPO advocates and FOSS advocates." I hope they take advantage of the marketing possibilities offered by civet-processed coffee.

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Dual-Booting PengPod Tablet Can Run Linux/Android
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's first-in-relation-to-what department:
New submitter garbagechuteflyboy writes "The PengPod is the first dual-booting tablet; It's able to run both Linux and Android. Pengpod is now running the latest Plasma Active which gives this powerful Linux tablet features that were previously only available to iPad and Android tablets. PengPod is currently selling pre-orders on Indiegogo." garbagechuteflyboy adds links to articles about the dual-OS tablet at liliputing, at Ars Technica, and at PCWorld. "First dual-booting tablet" seems like a hard claim to back, but it's nice to see a tablet marketed with Plasma Active in mind.

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Nintendo Wii U Teardown Reveals Simple Design
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's to-thine-own-hand-be-true department:
Vigile writes "Nintendo has never been known to be very aggressive with its gaming console hardware and with today's release (in the U.S.) of the Wii U we are seeing a continuation of that business model. PC Perspective spent several hours last night taking apart a brand new console to reveal a very simplistic board and platform design topped off with the single multi-chip module that holds the IBM PowerPC CPU and the AMD GPU. The system includes 2GB of GDDR3 memory from Samsung and Foxconn/Hon-Hai built wireless controllers for WiFi and streaming video the the gamepad. Even though this system is 5 years newer, many analysts estimate the processing power of Nintendo's Wii U to be just ahead of what you have in the Xbox 360 today."

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Hounded By Recruiters, Coders Put Themselves Up For Auction
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's even-uncle-sam-wants-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "When Pete London posted a resume on LinkedIn in December 2009, the JavaScript specialist stumbled into a trap of sorts. Shortly after creating a profile he received a message from a recruiter at Google. Just days later, another from Mozilla. Facebook reached out the next month and over the course of the next two years, nearly every big name in tech – attempt to lure him to a new employer. He received 530 messages in all, or one every 40 hours ... the only problem? Pete London didn't exist."

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Linux On the TI-Nspire Graphing Calculator
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's awesomeness-alert department:
An anonymous reader writes "Developers been working hard for the past few months to get Linux ported to the TI-Nspire calculator. The port is not yet fully stabilized nor quite ready for broad consumption and requires some user-level knowledge of Linux systems, but is definitely worth a try. Experimental support for root filesystem installed on USB mass storage is being worked on, so that Datalight's proprietary Flash FX/Reliance filesystem used by TI's OS isn't a limit anymore. This also means that the native TI-Nspire OS image is not replaced by the Linux system, and Linux can been booted on demand. Support for USB keyboard, X server, directFB, Wi-Fi (with the help of a powered USB hub) and text-based Internet browsing is progressively being added and tested."

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Hacker vs. Counter-Hacker — a Legal Debate
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '12 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's shhh-this-is-the-conspiracy-room department:
Freddybear writes "If your computer has been cracked and subverted for use by a botnet or other remote-access attack, is it legal for you to hack back into the system from which the attack originated? Over the last couple of years three legal scholars and bloggers have debated the question on The Volokh Conspiracy weblog. The linked webpage collects that debate into a coherent document. 'The debaters are:

Stewart Baker, a former official at the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson with a large cybersecurity practice. Stewart Baker makes the policy case for counterhacking and challenges the traditional view of what remedies are authorized by the language of the CFAA.

Orin Kerr, Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law at George Washington School of Law, a former computer crimes prosecutor, and one of the most respected computer crime scholars. Orin Kerr defends the traditional view of the Act against both Stewart Baker and Eugene Volokh.

Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, founder of the Volokh Conspiracy, and a sophisticated technology lawyer, presents a challenge grounded in common law understandings of trespass and tort.'"

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