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PC Sales Are Flat-Lining
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's more-like-personal-computer-is-changing-its-meaning department:
DavidGilbert99 writes "Gartner has released figures showing that PC shipments globally declined 0.1 percent in the last three months, making it the seventh consecutive month of little-to-no growth in the PC market. This was despite the launch a number of new Ultrabooks, the much-vaunted slim-and-light platform promoted by Intel. The decline has been put down to the poor economic situation around the globe, increased spending on tablets and smartphones instead of PCs as well as the imminent launch of Windows 8, making people hold out on updating their PCs."

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Microsoft Kills Windows Gadgets Via Security Update
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cutting-losses department:
benfrog writes "Microsoft has taken the unusual step of killing the Windows Gadgets feature completely via a security update. According to an advisory issued Tuesday, an attacker could take over a user's system if they are logged in as admin and they install a vulnerable gadget. Microsoft has pulled the plug on its official Gadgets Gallery and is offering a Fix-it that completely disables the Windows Sidebar and Gadgets. Researchers Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg are scheduled to give a presentation on the vulnerability at the upcoming Black Hat conference called We Have You By the Gadgets."

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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Track Bugs For Personal Software Projects?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-bugzilla-is-a-monster department:
An anonymous reader writes "One of my personal software projects grows bigger than I thought and the bugs becomes too many to just remember. I looked around for an open source bugs tracking system but found no ideal solutions. Ideally I wanted a simple system that does not need server setup and extra database setup, and can run under Mac OS X. Another option is a cloud service if it's affordable enough. Any suggestions from Slashdot?"

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Icelandic Court Rules: Wikileaks Will Get Contributed Credit Card Money
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-page-is-in-icelandic department:
First time accepted submitter mordur writes "An Icelandic District Court has ordered the payment processing company Valitor to immediately reopen the merchant account (Icelandic original) of DataCell and start processing credit card payments for the Wikileaks organization. Noncompliance on behalf of Valitor will result in daily fines of ISK 800.000 (approx. USD 60.000). Under pressure from the USA based international credit card companies, Valitor stopped all service to DataCell and, thus to Wikileaks, just hours after having started processing payment in July 2011. The court found that Valitor had failed to prove that the processing of payments for Wikileaks was contrary to the business policies of the international credit card companies, nor had the company proved that DataCell was in breach of the service agreement between the companies by serving Wikileaks."

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The Secret of Cornstarch Physics
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's never-invite-newton department:
sciencehabit writes "Filling a small swimming pool with cornstarch and water has long been a physicist's party trick. Step onto it slowly and you'll sink, but run across quickly and the oozy mixture will support your weight — almost as though it has turned from liquid to solid. Several reasons have been offered for the phenomenon, but now researchers believe they have the real answer. The key to figuring things out: plunging a 370-gram aluminum rod from a slingshot at around 1 meter per second into a cornstarch suspension." One meter per second doesn't seem very fast for anything launched by a slingshot, but any speed is good as long as it advances important knowledge like this.

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What's Wrong With American Ninja Warrior?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's where-to-begin department:
Reader Thom Stark (thomst) writes with a pointed review of this year's Americanized version of (awesome) Japanese TV show "Sasuke." "I've been a fan of the program the G4 channel calls "Ninja Warrior" since I first encountered it in mid-2005. For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it's a re-edited-for-American-TV version of a Japanese show called "Sasuke," with often-snarky English commentary and graphics overlaid on the Japanese original. "Ninja Warrior" is a fast-paced, wildly-entertaining program in which 100 contestants of varying skill levels pit themselves against a 4-stage obstacle course that grows ever more fiendishly difficult with each passing season. There've been 27 such seasons to date, and the most current incarnation has become so incredibly taxing that Batman himself would have trouble completing it. Now G4 has teamed up with its corporate parent, NBCUniversal, to bring the world's toughest obstacle course to America, and the resulting show, "American Ninja Warrior" turns out to be distinctly inferior to its Japanese progenitor. The final broadcast in a series that has run for six previous weekly installments appeared on July 9, with segments on both G4 and NBC, and I thought it was fitting that I mark the occasion with a critique of what I believe to be "American Ninja Warrior"'s fatal philosophical and production missteps, and contrast them with the original pitch-perfect product." (Read on below.)

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Apple Hacker Charlie Miller To Demo Dangers of Near-Field Communications
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's these-icons-sure-are-clastic department:
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's hacker nemesis Charlie Miller, who the company banned from its app store developer program, apparently hasn't been waiting around for his suspension to be lifted. His latest pet project is hacking near-field communications (NFC), and at Black Hat USA in Vegas this month, he will demonstrate the dangers of using your smartphone to pay your cab fare. (But when his Apple 'sentence' is up, look out)."

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Google Nexus 7 Parts Cost $18 More Than Kindle Fire
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's business-model-is-what-matters-though department:
judgecorp writes "The parts for a Google Nexus 7 tablet cost only $18 more than the materials for an Amazon Kindle Fire, according to a teardown by IHS. This means while Amazon initially took a loss on each tablet sold, Google will break even on its 8Gb tablet, and make a small profit on the 16Gb model."

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Entrepreneur Offers Crowdfunding For Health Startups, Including His Own
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's get-in-on-the-laetrile-options department:
awjourn writes "As the SEC hashes out the final rules for crowdfunding equity investments in startups, one NYC entrepreneur is jumping into an industry that popular crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter won't go anywhere near: health. His company, MedStartr, launched July 11 with six companies seeking to raise money from the crowd for their health products and services. Among them, EndoGoddess, an app diabetics can use to track their blood sugar. Even MedStartr wants to raise funding on MedStartr. But will crowdfunding fly in healthcare, and more importantly, will regulators at the FDA and SEC be on board with it?"

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Nearly Half a Million Yahoo Passwords Leaked
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's drop-in-the-bucket department:
An anonymous reader writes "Some 450,000 email addresses and associated unencrypted passwords have been dumped online by the hacking collective "D33Ds Company" following the compromise of a Yahoo subdomain. The attackers said that they managed to access the subdomain by leveraging a union-based SQL injection attack, which made the site return more information that in should have. According to Ars Technica, the dump also includes over 2,700 database table or column names and 298 MySQL variables retrieved during the attack."

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Aereo Wins Preliminary Injunction Hearing
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stream-away department:
bs0d3 writes "Aereo, a company that offers live broadcast TV via the internet to New York City residents, has won a preliminary injunction hearing. A federal judge has rejected a bid by major U.S. broadcasters to stop Aereo from rebroadcasting some of their programming over the Internet. District Judge Alison Nathan said that while the broadcasters have shown that they faced irreparable financial damage if the venture were allowed to continue, Aereo also showed it would face severe harm if the requested preliminary injunction were granted. The full injunction denial ruling can be found here."

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2 Year Data Retention For Australian ISPs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's save-your-reciept department:
freddienumber13 writes "Following similar acts passed by foreign governments, the Australian government is now seeking feedback on its plans to bring into law the requirement for ISPs to retain user data for up to 2 years. They're also seeking changes to the law that would allow undercover ASIO agents and its sources to commit crimes which would include, for example, hacking into your computer."

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Melinda Gates Pledges $560 Million For Contraception
Posted by News Fetcher on July 12 '12 at 12:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greater-good department:
theodp writes "Melinda Gates has pledged $560 million as part of a campaign to expand access to contraception for women. From the article: 'The funding commitment was unveiled on Wednesday at the London Summit on Family Planning alongside pledges totaling $4.3 billion from the British government and leaders from African nations wrestling with the health and social problems brought on by high rates of unplanned pregnancy.'"

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EU Commission: CETA 'Totally Different From ACTA'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 11:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-rose-by-any-other-name department:
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers will remember the hullaballoo that arose yesterday over a leaked version of CETA containing key clauses that were 'nearly identical to ones found in ACTA.' Now the European Commission is saying you shouldn't believe every leak you see and that the 'language being negotiated on CETA regarding Internet is now totally different from ACTA.' Well, maybe with the exception of language that appears in both CETA and ACTA but didn't 'originate' in ACTA and therefore doesn't count."

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Laser Powers Lockheed Martin's Stalker Drone For 48 Hours
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-up department:
garymortimer writes "Lockheed Martin (LMT) and LaserMotive, Inc., recently demonstrated the capabilities of an innovative laser power system to extend the Stalker Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flight time to more than 48 hours. This increase in flight duration represents an improvement of 2,400 percent. Stalker is a small, silent UAS used by Special Operations Forces since 2006 to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions."

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New Nanodevice Creates a Near Perfect Electron Stream
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-cross-the-streams department:
SchrodingerZ writes "Scientists from the National Physics Laboratory of the United Kingdom have teamed up with the University of Cambridge to create a new electron pump that creates a single electron stream. "The device drives electrical current by manipulating individual electrons, one-by-one at very high speed." The pump takes single electrons, and pushes it over a barrier with an indent for the electron to fall into, and is then sent to the opposite side of the barrier with astounding precision. "By employing this technique, the team were able to pump almost a billion electrons per second, 300 times faster than the previous record for an accurate electron pump set at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the USA in 1996." Although the current was very small (150 picoamperes), this event could cause a shift from the ampere measure of current to a smaller, more precise unit of measurement for electrical current."

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Bloodsucking Parasite Named After Bob Marley
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's three-little-reef-fish department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that Gnathia marleyi, a tiny crustacean that feeds off the blood of reef-dwelling Caribbean fish, has been named in honor – for lack of a better term – of the Jamaican musician Bob Marley. Marley, who died in 1981, was an iconic exponent of the Jamaican-born music known as reggae. One of his standards is "No Woman, No Cry." Marley joins the "I have a species named after me" club that includes Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, Mick Jagger,and Beyonce. "I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music," says Paul Sikkel, an assistant professor of marine ecology at Arkansas State University. "Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley." Juvenile gnathid isopods hide within coral rubble or algae so they can launch surprise attacks on fish, and then infest them. As adults, the parasites don't eat. "We believe that adults subsist for two to three weeks on the last feedings they had as juveniles and then die, hopefully after they have reproduced," says Sikkel. Specimens of Gnathia marleyi will be housed indefinitely at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. "We are currently discussing with AMNH the possibility of creating an exhibit featuring this species that could be viewed by the public,.""

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Earliest Americans Arrived In Waves, DNA Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's where-are-you-from? department:
NotSanguine writes "Nicholas Wade of the New York Times has written an article about a new DNA study that suggests the earliest Americans arrived in 3 waves not 1. 'North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada. Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia, one by people who became the ancestors of today's Eskimos and Aleutians and another by people speaking Na-Dene, whose descendants are confined to North America.' The study, published online (paywalled) investigated geographic, linguistic and genetic diversity in native American populations."

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How a 1960s Discovery In Neuroscience Spawned a Military Project
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's did-you-see-that department:
Harperdog writes "This is pretty fascinating: The Chronicle of Higher Ed has an article about a DARPA project that allows researchers to scan satellite photos, video, etc., and have a computer pick up differences in brain activity to tell whether an image has been seen...images that might flash by before conscious recognition. From the article: 'In a small, anonymous office in the Trump Tower, 28 floors above Wall Street, a man sits in front of a computer screen sifting through satellite images of a foreign desert. The images depict a vast, sandy emptiness, marked every so often by dunes and hills. He is searching for man-made structures: houses, compounds, airfields, any sign of civilization that might be visible from the sky. The images flash at a rate of 20 per second, so fast that before he can truly perceive the details of each landscape, it is gone. He pushes no buttons, takes no notes. His performance is near perfect.'"

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In Face of Flame Malware, Microsoft Will Revamp Windows Encryption Keys
Posted by News Fetcher on July 11 '12 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's reinforcing-the-walls department:
coondoggie writes "Starting next month, updated Windows operating systems will reject encryption keys smaller than 1024 bits, which could cause problems for customer applications accessing Web sites and email platforms that use the keys. The cryptographic policy change is part of Microsoft's response to security weaknesses that came to light after Windows Update became an unwitting party to Flame Malware attacks, and affects Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems."

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