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Microsoft Makes Skype Easier To Monitor
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-have-a-look department:
In a follow-up to a story earlier this week, derekmead writes "Skype has gone under a number of updates and upgrades since it was bought by Microsoft last year, mostly in a bid to improve reliability. But according to a report by the Washington Post, Skype has also changed its system to make chat transcripts, as well as users' addresses and credit card numbers, more easily shared with authorities. As we've already seen with Facebook and Twitter, big Internet firms aren't digging their heels in against government requests, which shouldn't come as a shock; angering the authorities is bad business. The lesson then is that, while the Internet will always retain a vestige of its Wild West days, as companies get bigger and bigger, they're either going to play ball with governments or go the way of Kim Dotcom."

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Researcher Wows Black Hat With NFC-based Smartphone Hacking Demo
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's unsafe-at-any-speed department:
alphadogg writes "At the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, Accuvant Labs researcher Charlie Miller showed how he figured out a way to break into both the Google/Samsung Nexus S and Nokia N9 by means of the Near Field Communication (NFC) capability in the smartphones. NFC is still new but it's starting to become adopted for use in smartphone-based purchasing in particular. The experimentation that Miller did, which he demonstrated at the event, showed it's possible to set up NFC-based radio communication to share content with the smartphones to play tricks, such as writing an exploit to crash phones and even in certain circumstances read files on the phone and more."

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OpenBSD's De Raadt Slams Red Hat, Canonical Over 'Secure' Boot
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-you're-not-a-fan-then department:
An anonymous reader writes "OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt has slammed Red Hat and Canonical for the way they have reacted to Microsoft's introduction of 'secure' boot along with Windows 8, describing both companies as wanting to be the new Microsoft."

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Flight 4590 Didn't Kill the Concorde; Costs Did
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-day-again-fast-transport department:
pigrabbitbear writes "If the plane were around today — which some still fantasize about — it'd be like powering a stretch Hummer with dolphin blood. The airlines couldn't sell enough tickets on the small plane to even make up for the amount of fuel it needed to guzzle on its journeys, let alone cover maintenance for the technological marvel. (A Concorde's taxi to the end of a runway used as much fuel as a 737's flight from London to Amsterdam.) Customers were fine with ordinary travel times for a fraction of the airfare and the plane only took transatlantic journeys, because going over land was too disturbing. Too much noise."

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Champions Declared In AI Poker Tournament
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-way-to-win-is-to-cheat-on-judging department:
the_newsbeagle writes "The annual computer poker competition has just wrapped up, in which artificial intelligences battled each other over the (virtual) Texas Hold 'Em table. A researcher who worked on one of the top programs, the University of Alberta's "Hyperborean" program, has blogged about this year's competition and entrants for IEEE Spectrum. His first post explains the rules of the game and why it's tougher for a computer to win at poker than at chess; his second post describes Hyperborean's strategies, and the third gives the results and takes stock of Hyperborean's performance."

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HP Offers Free Access To OpenStack
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 12:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's like-amazon-apis-but-open-source department:
krow writes "HP Cloud is offering free access to Open Stack via its public cloud. Adoption of the Open Stack APIs is growing, and we [note: "krow" is also known as Brian Aker, once Slashdot's "database thug," later the creator of the Drizzle database, and now an HP Fellow] are offering up access to push tool integration and adoption around the APIs. Most recently we have been able to add support for on-demand Jenkins orchestration via the JCloud's plugin. API as well as console access is being made to the computer, object storage, and CDN interfaces. There are images being provided for different Linux distributions, and additionally images for Bitnami, ActiveState's Stackato, and Enterprise DB's Postgres images."

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World's Most Powerful x86 Supercomputer Boots Up in Germany
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's wherever-it-wants-to department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Europe's most powerful supercomputer — and the fourth most powerful in the world — has been officially inaugurated. The SuperMUC, ranked fourth in the June TOP500 supercomputing listing, contains 147,456 cores using Intel Xeon 2.7-GHz, 8-core E5-2680 chips. IBM, which built the supercomputer, stated in a recent press release that the supercomputer actually includes more than 155,000 processor cores. It is located at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre) in Garching, Germany, near Munich. According to the TOP500 list, the SuperMUC is the world's most powerful X86-based supercomputer. The Department of Energy's 'Sequoia' supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., the world's [overall] most powerful, relies on 16-core, 1.6-GHz POWER BQC chips."

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Google Announces Plans, Pricing For Kansas City Fiber Network
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-but-austin-soon-ok? department:
Kiyyik writes "Google just announced the details behind their inaugural fiber optic service in Kansas City. They're doing a set of packages including $120/month for tv plus internet, $75/month for internet alone, and regular 'conventional' internet for a one time $300 fee. Rollouts are starting in the central areas and will work their way out on a demand basis: at least ten percent of a neighborhood must sign up for the service before Google will come in and start hanging fiber."

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Resurrect Your Old Code With a DIY Punch Card Reader
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's convert-your-existing-recipe-cards department:
First time accepted submitter mchnz writes "Need to read in some old punch cards? Have a hankering to return to yesteryear? I've combined an Arduino, the CHDK enhanced firmware for Canon cameras, and the Python Image Library to build a reader for standard IBM 80 column punch cards. You can see it in action in "Punch Card Reader — The Movie" or read more about it." This is an inspiring, intimidating project.

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Ask Slashdot: Preempting Sexual Harassment In the Workplace?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's force-breeds-resistance department:
zwei2stein writes "My team of about 10 men (IT guys) is expecting a new colleague: a female one. It is guaranteed that there will be remarks, double entendres and innuendos with huge potential of getting worse. We already have women in teams who can somehow handle this (and deliver apropriate verbal slaps). How would you deal with this? We talked about some simple, fun ways — anyone who [acts inappropriately] will have to wear an embarassing tie, etc. — instead of swear jar, having a sexual innuendo jar and even fairly harsh punishments (like people losing their bonuses for the month or their extra vaccation days). I'd like to figure out a solution that would be effective, not call much attention to itself, and not be quickly abandoned." What has your workplace done to create a good culture on this front? And what hasn't worked?

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The World's First 3D-Printed Gun
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-ok-you've-got-my-order-now department:
MrSeb writes "An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, who goes by the name HaveBlue and is an AR-15/M16 enthusiast, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear. HaveBlue's custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal. ... While this pistol obviously wasn't created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. This means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked — could print their own lower receiver and build a complete, off-the-books gun." Here come the illegal shapes. Note that the legal fiction of receiver-as-firearm is true in the U.S., but may not be in other jurisdictions, and that no gun license is required in most of the U.S. to purchase or possess a semi-automatic weapon.

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Nokia Aborts Meltemi Linux-Based Feature Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you're-finnished department:
judgecorp writes "Nokia has closed down the Meltemi low-end Linux phone which was supposed to replace its System 40 devices. The platform had never been officially announced and now, apparently, will never see the light of day. Feature phones still make up a giant market where Nokia has dominated, but this leaves its upgrade path in question."

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Google Scrambles To Restore Google Talk From Outage
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cloudy-out-there-today department:
alphadogg writes "Google Talk, a desktop and mobile text and voice chat service used by many Google Gmail customers, suffered a widespread outage Thursday morning that the company said was affecting 'a majority of users.' The outage, first reported by Google a little before 7am eastern time, was being restored about 4 hours later, according to Google. Meanwhile, users of the downed cloud service took to Twitter and other avenues to voice their displeasure."

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New Mac Trojan Installs Silently, No Password Required
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's look-ma-no-hands department:
An anonymous reader writes "A new Mac OS X Trojan referred to as OSX/Crisis silently infects OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and OS X 10.7 Lion. The backdoor component calls home to the IP address 176.58.100.37 every five minutes, awaiting instructions. The threat was created in a way that is intended to make reverse engineering more difficult, an added extra that is more common with Windows malware than it is with Mac malware."

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Ex-Sun Employees Are Taking Java To iOS
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's drinking-the-beans department:
An anonymous reader writes "Ex-Sun employees did what Sun/Oracle failed to do since the iPhone launched. They brought Java to iOS and other mobile devices. They are getting major coverage from Forbes, DDJ, hacker news and others. They are taking a unique approach of combining a Swing-like API with a open source and SaaS based solution."

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Comcast Launches Superfast Internet To Fight FiOS
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's market-laws-are-like-physical-laws department:
jfruh writes "Comcast customers who dream of superfast download speeds drooled when they heard the company would be offering 305 Mbps service. There's only one catch: the high speeds are only available in markets where the cable giant is going head-to-head with Verizon's FiOS service. It seems that competition really does improve service quality when it comes to ISPs."

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Spanish Superjudge To Represent Assange
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's special-uniforms-all-around department:
First time accepted submitter ccguy writes "Spanish ex-judge Balsazar Garzón will represent wikileak's Julian Assange in his extradiction case. In the past 30 years Garzón has led the most important investigations in Spain: Against drug cartels, against terrorist groups (ETA), and against corruption. He's also famous for his attempt to extradite Chilean dictator Pinochet to Spain to judge him for crimes against humanity. In his last investigation Garzón ordered in-prison conversations between corrupt politicians and their lawyers to be monitored. This is legal in Spain if the goal is to prevent further crimes to be committed (such as the inmate telling his lawyer to destroy evidence, or offshore funds). This caused Garzón to be disbarred as a judge. The president of the Supreme Court that signed this disbarment (Carlos Dívar) was later on made to resign, after it was discovered that he used taxpayers' money for deluxe vacations."

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Ask Slashdot: Open Source Employee Vacation-Day Tracking Software?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-about-open-source-sexual-harassment-training? department:
First time accepted submitter sprior writes "I'm looking for preferably open source software that a business would use to track vacation/sick days for employees and so far have come up empty. I found WaypointHR which looks defunct and I'm looking at OrangeHRM which looks half defunct, half bait and switch, and half strange in general with a bunch of website bugs thrown in. Along the way I've seen a couple of other OS projects which look defunct as well. I realize that a solution might be more than just vacation tracking because once you configure the employee info for a company you tend to want to use that for more than one thing. Paid solutions are a possibility."

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Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's goodness-of-their-hearts department:
An anonymous reader writes "Gabe Newell wants to support Linux because he think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in PC space. He wants to move away from a closed ecosystem of Microsoft Windows 8. He recently made a rare appearance at Casual Connect, an annual videogame conference in Seattle. From the allthingsd article: 'The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior. We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It's a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that's true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.' Some Linux users think that this is a win-win situation for Linux users as it will brings good game titles on the Linux system that haven't been there and it will protect steam business model from both Apple and Microsoft."

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The Rise of the Junkweb and Why It's So Awesome
Posted by News Fetcher on July 26 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lowest-common-denominator department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Have you noticed your Facebook stream or looked at reddit lately? A huge chunk of what goes by lately are photos with text over them, usually quotes about this or that. 'It's the Junkweb,' writes Chris Brogan. 'Why "junk?" Because the original intent of the Internet was that links were gold, that searchability was key, that this ability to find anything and use resources from wherever was magic. And this new web? The web of pictures with text over them? They're junk. They're a dead end. The picture is the payload.' Facebook and Pinterest are doing what so much of our 'awesome' tech hasn't been able to do well: let the everyperson into this universe. For whatever reason, the 'photos with text' experience gives us that feeling we get when we read magazines. 'It makes the texty text of blogging a lot less stark. It draws our eyes in. It's fast to consume, and it brings an emotional response faster.' Now with the release of Google's Panda search technology, it has been acknowledged that links and pages aren't everything and with Google+ goes the realization that it's no longer a links-only world. who shares is as important as how it's shared. 'I'm spending far more time on the Junkweb than I am on the Smartweb,' concludes Brogan. 'Deny it, if you want. The numbers show otherwise. We are in love with this new method of interacting.'"

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