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Kazakh Gold Medalist Is Played Borat Anthem
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's Kazakhstan-you-very-nice-place department:
Wo-wo-wee-wah! It looks like the Kuwaiti officials at an international shooting event never got the memo that the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan wasn't an actual documentary. Gold medalist Maria Dmitrienko stood stoically while the offensive national anthem from the film was played during the awards ceremony. From the article: "Coach Anvar Yunusmetov told Kazakh news agency Tengrinews that the tournament's organizers had also got the Serbian national anthem wrong." Nice!

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US Mobile Carriers Won't Brick Stolen Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's unfriendly-balancing-acts department:
WheezyJoe writes "NBC News has some disturbing security video of people getting assaulted for their smartphones. Such offenses are on the rise. Police chiefs like D.C.'s Cathy Lanier are asking U.S. mobile carriers to brick phones that are reported stolen, in order to dry up what must be a big underground market for your favorite Android device or iPhone — but right now the carriers won't do it. Such an approach has had success in Australia and the U.K."

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ISPs Sign On To FCC Anti-Botnet Code of Conduct
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hey-guys-be-nice-ok department:
Trailrunner7 writes "The U.S.'s leading Internet Service Providers signed on to a new FCC code of conduct to limit the impact of major cyber security threats, including botnets, attacks on the Domain Name System and Internet routing attacks. AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile and Verizon were among the ISPs that participated in the agreement. 'The recommendations approved today identify smart, practical, voluntary solutions that will materially improve the cyber security of commercial networks and bolster the broader endeavors of our federal partners,' said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski."
A fact sheet from the FCC provides details on the recommendations, but they're pretty vague: "The CSRIC recommended ISPs participate in a U.S. Anti-Bot Code of
Conduct
(PDF) that encourages ISPs to engage in: (1) end-user education to prevent bot infections; (2) detection of bots; (3) notification of potential bot infections; (4) remediation of bots; and (5) collaboration and sharing of information." They also recommend broader adoption of DNSSEC and the development of an "industry framework" to combat IP route hijacking.

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Record-Setting 100+ T Magnetic Field Achieved At Los Alamos
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
New submitter schrodingersGato writes "Researchers at the Los Alamos campus of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory achieved a record-setting 100.75 Tesla magnetic field. To do this, scientists placed a resistive magnet (a sophisticated electromagnet) coupled to massive bank of capacitors within another magnet fixed at a 'lower' magnetic field. A short-lived pulse two million times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field was generated. The magnet itself made an eerie sound as it was energized (video). Prepare for the birth of Magneto!"

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The Spanish Link In Cracking the Enigma Code
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's paul-harvey-good-day department:
peetm sends this quote from the BBC:
"When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, both Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy sent troops to help the nationalists under Franco. But with the conflict dispersed across the country, some means of secure communication was needed for the German Condor Legion, the Italians and the Spanish forces under Franco. As a result, a set of modified commercial Enigma machines were delivered by Germany. ... A key figure in trying to understand it was Dilly Knox, a classicist who had been working on breaking ciphers since World War I. He was fascinated by the machine and began studying ways in which an intercepted message might in theory be broken, even writing his own messages, encrypting them and then trying to break them himself. But there was no opportunity to actually intercept a real message since German military signals were inaudible in Britain. However, the signals produced by the machines sent to Spain in 1936 were audible enough to be intercepted and Knox began work. ... Within six or seven months of having his first real code to crack, Knox had succeeded, producing the first decryption of an Enigma message in April 1937."

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Battling Fish Fraud With DNA Testing
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's these-are-not-the-eels-you-are-looking-for department:
itwbennett writes "High demand, high prices, and nearly identical cheaper alternatives is a recipe for fraud. Eel fraud, that is. This has led Japanese researchers to develop a method to cheaply and quickly batch-test DNA by taking small tissue samples from thousands of eels. 'If a non-local eel is found in a batch, more tests will be performed to find the guilty foreigner.'"

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Researchers Tweak Mouse Neurons To Activate Specific Memories
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shine-a-laser-in-your-brain-to-find-your-keys department:
An anonymous reader writes "According to new study published in Nature (abstract), MIT researchers have figured out how to trigger specific memories in rats by hitting certain neurons with a pulse of light. From the article: 'The researchers first identified a specific set of brain cells in the hippocampus that were active only when a mouse was learning about a new environment. They determined which genes were activated in those cells, and coupled them with the gene for channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), a light-activated protein used in optogenetics. ... The light-activated protein would only be expressed in the neurons involved in experiential learning — an ingenious way to allow for labeling of the physical network of neurons associated with a specific memory engram for a specific experience. Finally, the mice entered an environment and, after a few minutes of exploration, received a mild foot shock, learning to fear the particular environment in which the shock occurred. The brain cells activated during this fear conditioning became tagged with ChR2. Later, when exposed to triggering pulses of light in a completely different environment, the neurons involved in the fear memory switched on — and the mice quickly entered a defensive, immobile crouch.'"

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Facebook: Legal Action Against Employers Asking For Your Password
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nip-this-in-the-bud department:
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook today weighed in on the issue of employers asking current and prospective employees for their Facebook passwords. The company noted that doing so undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user's friends, as well as potentially exposes the employer to legal liability. The company is looking to draft new laws as well as take legal action against employers who do this."
A least one U.S. Senator agrees with them.

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AT&T Charged US Taxpayers $16 Million For Nigerian Fraud Calls
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hand-in-the-cookie-jar department:
McGruber writes "Bloomberg News is reporting that AT&T got more than $16 million from the U.S. government to run Telecommunications Relay Services, intended to help the hearing- and speech-impaired. However, as many as '95 percent of the calls in AT&T's hearing- impaired program were made by people outside the U.S. attempting to defraud merchants through the use of stolen credit cards, counterfeit checks and money orders.' According to the DoJ, 'AT&T in 2004, after getting complaints from merchants, determined the Internet Protocol addresses of 10 of the top 12 users of the service were abroad, primarily in Lagos, Nigeria.' The DOJ intervened in the whistle-blower lawsuit Lyttle v. AT&T Communications of Pennsylvania, 10-01376, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). The DOJ is seeking triple damages from AT&T."

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U.S. Gov't To Keep Data On Non-Terrorist Citizens For 5 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's innocent-until-eventually-suspected-of-something department:
arnott writes with this excerpt from the Washington Post:
"The Obama administration has approved guidelines that allow counterterrorism officials to lengthen the period of time they retain information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism. The changes allow the National Counterterrorism Center, the intelligence community's clearinghouse for terrorism data, to keep information for up to five years. Previously, the center was required to promptly destroy — generally within 180 days — any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism was evident."

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Do Women Make Better Bosses?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's technically-they-make-all-of-them department:
Hugh Pickens writes "David Mielach reports on a new study which finds that women in management positions lead in a more democratic way, allowing employees to participate in decision-making and establishing interpersonal channels of communication. 'In line with known gender differences in individual leadership, we find that in workplaces with more women managers, more individualized employee feedback is carried out,' says study author Eduardo Melero. 'Likewise, we can see evidence, although weaker, that in these workplaces decisions are made more democratically and more interpersonal channels of communications are established.' The research was based on data from the Workplace Employment Relationships Survey, a survey of workplaces in the United Kingdom. Melero analyzed this data by looking at the number of women in management positions in companies and the leadership tactics employed at those companies. He found increased communication between management and employees in companies with women in management positions led to more well-informed decisions, since employee feedback will be utilized in the decision-making process. Still, correlation does not equal causation. 'One might question the direction of the relation: is it women managers who are the behind these policies, or is it that more progressive organizations are more accessible for women leaders than other workplaces (PDF)?'"

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'Antimagnet' Cloak Hides Objects From Magnetic Fields
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 07:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-let-ian-mckellan-get-his-hands-on-this department:
ananyo writes "Researchers have made a cloak that can hide objects from static magnetic fields, realizing a theoretical prediction they made last year. This 'antimagnet' could have medical applications, but could also be used to subvert airport security. The cloak's interior is lined with turns of tape made from a high-temperature superconductor. Superconductors repel magnetic fields, so any magnetic field enclosed within a superconductor would be undetectable from outside. But the superconductor itself would still perturb an external magnetic field, so the researchers coated its external side with an ordinary ferromagnet. The superconductor tries to repel external field lines, whereas the ferromagnet tries to draw them in — together, the two layers cancel each other out (abstract)."

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With Cinavia DRM, Is Blu-ray On a Path To Self-Destruction?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's push-play-watch-film department:
suraj.sun tips an article at AnandTech about a Blu-ray DRM scheme called Cinavia. The author makes the case that software like Cinavia is hastening the death of a Blu-ray industry already struggling to compete with online media streaming. Quoting:
"In our opinion, it is the studios and the Blu-ray system manufacturers who have had the say in deciding upon the suitability of a particular DRM scheme. Consumers have had to put up with whatever has been thrust upon them. The rise in popularity of streaming services (such as Netflix and Vudu) which provide instant gratification should make the Blu-ray industry realize its follies. The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud. ... The addition of new licensing requirements such as Cinavia are preventing the natural downward price progression of Blu-ray related technology. Instead of spending time, money and effort on new DRM measures that get circumvented within a few days of release, the industry would do well to lower the launch price of Blu-rays. There is really no justification for the current media pricing."

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French President Proposes Jail For Terrorist Website Visitors
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-it-quacks-like-a-terrorist department:
howardd21 writes "French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is only a month away from an election, argued that it is time to treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography. 'Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison,' he told a campaign rally in Strasbourg, in eastern France. 'Don't tell me it's not possible. What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too.' Is this a good move for security, or just another step towards a totalitarian society that prohibits free expression?"

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Steve Jackson Games Shows Off Their Latest Tabletop Games at SXSW (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's round-and-round-the-little-dice-roll department:
Steve Jackson Games occupies a special place in the history of gaming, not only for publishing some of the best-known tabletop games ever published, especially their distinctive microgames, but the company's failure to roll over in the aftermath of an FBI raid more than 20 years ago led to the creation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Since 1980, Steve Jackson and company have been publishing games -- and a magazine, and even a book. The company is based in Austin, Texas, so while I was at SXSW, I had a chance to meet up with SJG's Chief Operating Officer and Managing Editor, Philip Reed, who gave a quick overview of what's new on the table. (Har har.)

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Domestic Drilling Doesn't Decrease Gasoline Prices
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-the-flaming-begin department:
eldavojohn writes "As the political rhetoric heats up, there's something puzzling about drilling inside the United States. Essentially, it doesn't reduce what we pay at the pump. From the article, 'A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by The Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump.' If the promises that politicians made when they opened U.S. drilling were true, then we should be paying about $2 a gallon now. Instead it's $4 a gallon. Minnesota Public Radio pulls some choice quotes from both parties and wonders why this decades-old empirical observation goes seemingly completely unnoticed."

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Megaupload Host Wants Out
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '12 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's time-to-tap-out department:
angry tapir writes "Carpathia Hosting, a US company hosting the frozen data of millions of users of the file sharing site Megaupload, has gone to court to argue it should not keep the files if it is not being paid. The company has filed an emergency motion in the US Federal Court in the state of Virginia seeking protection from the expense of hosting the data of up to 66 million users. 'While Carpathia has never had access to the data on Megaupload servers and has had no mechanism for returning that data to Megaupload users, we have been attempting over many weeks to resolve this matter to the satisfaction of all parties involved, in a manner that would allow for Megaupload users to be in a position to ultimately recover their data,' Brian Winter, the company's chief marketing officer says."

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Queensland Police to Look For Unsecured WiFi Spots
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '12 at 11:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's going-down-under-cover department:
OzPeter writes "As a part of National Consumer Fraud week, the Queensland Police are going war driving in order to identify insecure WiFi setups. from the press release 'The War Driving Project involves police conducting proactive patrols of residential and commercial areas to identify unprotected connections. Police will follow this up with a letterbox drop in the targeted area with information on how to effectively secure your connection.' While some people may like having an open WiFi AP its interesting to see that the Police also feel that 'Having WEP encryption is like using a closed screen door as your sole means of security at home. The WPA or WPA2 security encryption is certainly what we would recommend as it offers a high degree of protection.'"

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Hobbit Pub Saved By Actors Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '12 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's gandalf-the-generous department:
Fluffeh writes "Recently the Hobbit Pub in England was sued for rights infringement, but it seems that Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen are going to repony up the cash to keep the pub alive . Landlady Stella Roberts said she had been shocked by the actors' offer. She said: 'I had a telephone call on Saturday evening, while we were trading, from Stephen Fry's business partner and manager. That's when he told me. I was very shocked. They've said as soon as they finish filming they would like to come down and visit the pub.' However Ms Roberts said she was not celebrating just yet. She added: 'Until everything is in black and white, on paper, we're going to be a bit reserved because it could be $100 this year and $20,000 next year.'"

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As Nuclear Reactors Age, the Money To Close Them Lags
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '12 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-could-go-wrong department:
Harperdog writes "A worrying bit of news about nuclear reactors in the U.S. from the NYT: 'The operators of 20 of the nation's aging nuclear reactors, including some whose licenses expire soon, have not saved nearly enough money for prompt and proper dismantling. If it turns out that they must close, the owners intend to let them sit like industrial relics for 20 to 60 years or even longer while interest accrues in the reactors' retirement accounts.'"

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