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Obama Budget Asks For 1% Boost In Research
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-spend-it-all-in-one-place department:
sciencehabit sends this excerpt from ScienceInsider:
"One of the big three research agencies appears to be lagging behind its doubling peers in the president's 2013 budget request released this morning. The $4.9 billion budget of the Department of Energy's Office of Science would rise by 2.4%, to $5 billion. In contrast, the National Science Foundation would receive a nearly 5% boost, to $7.37 billion, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology a hike of 13%, to $860 million. These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling, a promise that President Barack Obama and Congress have repeatedly endorsed despite the current tough economic times. ... Obama is
asking for a 1% increase in overall federal spending on research, to $140 billion. Within that total, the White House seeks a similar 1% hike in the $30 billion devoted to basic research."


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New Horizons: One Billion Miles From Pluto
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's investigating-a-planetary-imposter department:
astroengine writes "On Feb. 10, NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons probe entered the homestretch of its mission. When you are sprinting across the solar system, 'homestretch' is the final 1 billion miles of your journey. That sounds like quite a long stretch! But the half-ton spacecraft has already logged 2 billion miles since its launch in early 2006. That's twice the distance between Earth and Saturn. Though the icy dwarf planet is still three years away from its close encounter, mission scientists call this the Late Cruise phase of the flight."

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Venture Capital in Detroit, Among Other Places (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's everybody-needs-some-money-sometime department:
If you have a startup idea kicking around in your head, you don't necessarily need to head for California, New York or Massachusetts to find venture capital. In today's video, Timothy Lord visits a venture capital firm called Detroit Venture Partners. (Yes, it's in Detroit.) This not an intimidating company, even though it has some big bucks and big names (including Magic Johnson) behind it. But this doesn't mean you need to rush to Detroit to fund your million-dollar idea. There are lots of local venture capital companies in the U.S. -- and chances are, wherever you are, there's one near you that's panting to invest in your can't-miss business opportunity.

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LHC Powers Up To 4 TeV
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's time-to-re-up-your-black-hole-insurance department:
An anonymous reader writes "Due to a decision made at Chamonix, the LHC will operate with a 4 TeV beam energy in 2012. This will allow them to collect as much data as possible (15 inverse femtobarns for ATLAS and CMS) before the whole accelerator complex gets shut down for about 20 months to prepare for even higher energies. 'By the time the LHC goes into its first long stop at the end of this year, we will either know that a Higgs particle exists or have ruled out the existence of a Standard Model Higgs,' said CERN's Research Director, Sergio Bertolucci. 'Either would be a major advance in our exploration of nature, bringing us closer to understanding how the fundamental particles acquire their mass, and marking the beginning of a new chapter in particle physics.'"

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Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-to-play department:
jfruh writes "Dan Tynan is a privacy blogger and longtime proponent of the use of browser plug-ins and other technologies that block advertisers from tracking your web browsing habits. He's also a professional tech writer who makes his living writing articles for free, ad-supported sites. But he doesn't feel those two facts are in conflict, and points out that users pay good money to ISPs for those 'free' sites."

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What the iPad 3 Looks Like
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-look department:
redletterdave writes "If you were expecting a radically different-looking tablet from the iPad 2, prepare for a minor letdown. In the same way Apple upgraded the iPhone 4 into the iPhone 4S, the exterior of the iPad 3 mirrors that of the iPad 2, despite completely renovated and upgraded innards. iLab Factory reportedly provided Sharp with the necessary parts to build the high-resolution iPad 3 display, and in a company blog post, various iPad 3 components are displayed alongside those of the iPad 2 for quick comparison. In addition to a new camera mount that will reportedly match or improve upon the 8-megapixel camera system in the iPhone 4S, the post also revealed that the iPad 3 will be approximately 1 mm thicker than its predecessor to house Apple's upgraded components, including a bigger battery, an improved camera, and a dual-LED lit system to make the 2048 x 1536 display even brighter."

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Hungary's Needy Given Money to Burn
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's idioms-to-the-rescue department:
Knowing that ideas are a dime a dozen and eager to think outside the box, Hungary's central bank is burning old currency to help the needy. The bank has found that the 40-50 tons of currency that needs to be burned every year is a blessing in disguise for people caught between a rock and a hard place due to the extreme cold sweeping across Europe.

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Canadian Govt To Introduce Massive Internet Surveillance Law
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-are-you-looking-at? department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian government will introduce
new Internet surveillance legislation tomorrow
that will mandate a
massive new surveillance infrastructure at all Canadian ISPs and remove
the need for court oversight of the disclosure of customer information.
Michael Geist has a detailed FAQ
on the history of the bill, the likely contents, the lack of government
evidence supporting the need for the invasive legislation, and what
Canadians can do about it."


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Sony's New CEO To Look Beyond Hardware
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's somewhere-out-there department:
angry tapir writes "Sony's new CEO says the company needs to move on from its hardware roots. From its inception, the company has defined itself through its gadget lines — Walkman, Vaio, Cyber-shot, PlayStation — but incoming CEO Kazuo Hirai, who will officially lead the company from April, says Sony must now focus more on the software and platforms they access. He said he wants to model the company after its successful PlayStation gaming business, which he helped turn around, where 'hardware drives software, and software drives hardware, and it's all tied in by the network.' Sony is forecasting nearly US$3 billion in losses for the fiscal year through March."

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Apple Launches New Legal Attack On Samsung
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's history-repeating department:
walterbyrd writes "Apple Inc has asked a federal court in California to block Samsung Electronics Co Ltd from selling its new Galaxy Nexus smartphones, alleging patent violations. In a suit filed last week in San Jose, Apple said the Galaxy Nexus infringes on patents underlying features customers expect from its products. Those include the ability to unlock phones by sliding an image and to search for information by voice."

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"Liberated" Tunisia Still Censoring Websites
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-don't-think-that-word-means-what-you-think-it-means department:
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "Tunisia's high court will decide on Wednesday whether to allow censoring of websites
containing pornography or 'calls to violence.' It's disappointing that censorship
continues in post-revolutionary Tunisia, but it's enough of an improvement over
the old regime, that anti-censorship cyber-activism efforts would probably best be
spent on helping other countries."
Read on for Bennett's analysis.

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Is Santorum's "Google Problem" a Google Problem?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's google-juice-nobody-wants department:
theodp writes "Fortune contributor Dan Mitchell argues that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's 'Google problem' isn't Google's problem at all. 'The fact that searching for 'santorum' puts the profane, anti-Rick Santorum site SpreadingSantorum.com (NSFW) at the top of Google's search results,' insists Mitchell, 'is not an example of a "Google bomb," despite the widespread use of that term to describe the result.' In the same camp is Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, who also says that Santorum has a search engine problem, not a Google problem. 'It's just that everyone fixates on Google,' Sullivan adds. Which is perhaps to be expected, since Google is the King of Search and also has ties to SpreadingSantorum creator Dan Savage, having featured the sex-advice columnist in Google's The-web-is-what-you-make-of-it Chrome ad campaign (for Savage's admirable It Gets Better Project, not SpreadingSantorum). So, considering Google's vaunted search quality guidelines, is some kind of change in order? Sullivan, while making it clear he opposes Santorum's views, nonetheless suggests Google is long overdue to implement a disclaimer for the 'Santorum' search results. 'They are going to confuse some people,' he explains, 'who will assume Google's trying to advance a political agenda with its search results.'"

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Best Practice: Travel Light To China
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's micro-sd-in-dental-work department:
Hugh Pickens writes "What may once have sounded like the behavior of a raving paranoid is now considered standard operating procedure for officials at American government agencies, research groups and companies as the NY Times reports how businesses sending representatives to China give them a loaner laptop and cellphone that they wipe clean before they leave and wipe again when they return. 'If a company has significant intellectual property that the Chinese and Russians are interested in, and you go over there with mobile devices, your devices will get penetrated,' says Joel F. Brenner, formerly the top counterintelligence official in the office of the director of national intelligence. The scope of the problem is illustrated by an incident at the United States Chamber of Commerce in 2010 when the chamber learned that servers in China were stealing information from four of its Asia policy experts who frequently visited China. After their trips, even the office printer and a thermostat in one of the chamber's corporate offices were communicating with an internet address in China. The chamber did not disclose how hackers had infiltrated its systems, but its first step after the attack was to bar employees from taking devices with them 'to certain countries,' notably China. 'Everybody knows that if you are doing business in China, in the 21st century, you don't bring anything with you,' says Jacob Olcott, a cybersecurity expert at Good Harbor Consulting. 'That's "Business 101" — at least it should be.'"

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NASA Considers Privatizing GALEX Astrophysics Satellite
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 03:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's I-hear-zuckerberg's-good-for-it department:
hogghogg writes "The GALEX spacecraft (surveying the Universe in ultraviolet wavelengths at which the atmosphere is close to opaque) is coming to the end of its budget life, but it hasn't finished imaging the entire sky and is still (fairly) functional. A group at Caltech wants to keep it running, so NASA is considering transfer of ownership under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act, which 'allows the transfer of government-owned excess research equipment to educational institutions and non-profit organizations.' Many NASA missions are terminated for budget reasons at the end of a prescribed period, even while the hardware is still highly functional. Although this is the first-ever transfer from NASA of a functioning satellite, maybe this is just the start for a class of privately run astronomical and Earth-observing facilities in space?"

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Twitter Gets Satellite Access
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 01:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-to-monetize-per-country-filtering department:
jimboh2k writes "Satellite operators Iridium and Thuraya have signed on to provide access for Twitter users outside of normal mobile coverage. The service acts like the SMS function already available on the social network, allowing users to tweet during emergencies."

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Australian Govt Holding Secretive Anti-Piracy Talks
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '12 at 10:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-pirates-are-secretive department:
daria42 writes "Looks like Australia's Government prefers to keep its ongoing anti-piracy discussions behind closed doors. It held an initial meeting in September last year to try to get the content and ISP industries to thrash out an agreement on how to handle Internet piracy. Consumer representative groups were explicitly blocked from attending the meeting, and attendees are not allowed to reveal what was discussed behind closed doors. Now a second meeting has been held, and again, no information has been revealed about what's being discussed. Quelle conspiracy?"

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Reddit: No More Suggestive Content Featuring Minors
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '12 at 07:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-but-what-about-miners? department:
First time accepted submitter say_hwat writes "Today Reddit announced that it has banned subreddits dedicated to posting sexualized imagery of people under the age of 18. Last year, the site came under fire for r/jailbait, a subreddit dedicated to posting images of people under 18. The subreddit was shut down, but many others, such as r/gaolbait and r/bustybait, continued existing or sprung up afterwards. The policy change today came hours after a thread on Something Awful called for a public campaign against Reddit's lax attitude towards the sexualization of children. The Something Awful thread creator claims that Reddit's administrators know about child pornography being traded, but refuse to act. Among others, the thread creator cites r/preteen_girls as being particularly egregious."

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An Open Alternative To Kickstarter
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '12 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's great-cycle-of-nature department:
angry tapir writes "Crowd-funding website Crowdtilt officially launched last week, expanding upon the collective fundraising model pioneered by Kickstarter to enable raising money for any project — even a beer blitz. Like Kickstarter, Crowdtilt allows users to create a fundraising campaign with a tipping point. If the effort falls short of the set amount, would-be donors are not charged. However, unlike Kickstarter, the platform allows users to "group fund anything." Users can initiate campaigns without first getting the approval of service administrators, which they must do on Kickstarter."

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Why Microsoft Developers Need a Style Guide
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '12 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's offense-is-the-worst-thing-in-the-world department:
snydeq writes "What your interface communicates to users can be just as important as what your software does, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister in discussing the latest edition of the 'Microsoft Manual of Style', a style guide aimed at designers and developers who create Microsoft software, as well as those who write about it. 'The gist of much of Microsoft's advice is that a user's relationship with computer software is a unique one, and it's important to craft the language of software UIs accordingly,' McAllister writes. 'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'"

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Dealing With an Overly-Restrictive Intellectual Property Policy?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '12 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's they'll-take-a-mile department:
An anonymous reader writes "I am very happy with my current job, but there have always been a few ideas for things I've wanted to develop on the side. Ideally I'd keep my day job, reserving mornings, evenings and weekends to see if the side-projects could become viable. The problem is: my employer has an IP policy that states that anything I do while under their employ is theirs, even when I'm off the clock. Does anyone have suggestions about workarounds, magic loopholes, false identity for the side projects? Anything?"

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