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World's Largest Virtual Optical Telescope Created
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '12 at 12:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's very-very-large-telescope department:
erice writes "Astronomers in Chile linked four telescopes together to form a single virtual mirror 130 meters in diameter. Previous efforts had linked two telescopes but this is the first time that all four had been linked. 'The process that links separate telescopes together is known as interferometry. In this mode, the VLT becomes the biggest ground-based optical telescope on earth. Besides creating a gigantic virtual mirror, interferometry also greatly improves the telescope's spatial resolution and zooming capabilities.'"

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Facebook On Collision Course With New EU Privacy Laws
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ramming-speed department:
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook and other U.S. internet companies are faced with a new EU data protection regime, the Christian Science Monitor reports. U.S. concepts of free expression and commerce will battle European support for privacy and state legislation. 'Companies must understand that if they want access to 500 million consumers in the EU, then they have to comply. This is not an option,' said a spokesman for the EU Justice Commissioner."

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Researchers Feel Pressure To Cite Superfluous Papers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 09:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's academia-nuts department:
ananyo writes "One in five academics in a variety of social science and business fields say they have been asked to pad their papers with superfluous references in order to get published. The figures, from a survey published in the journal Science (abstract), also suggest that journal editors strategically target junior faculty, who in turn were more willing to acquiesce. The controversial practice is not new: those studying publication ethics have for many years noted that some editors encourage extra references in order to boost a journal's impact factor (a measure of the average number of citations an article in the journal receives over two years). But the survey is the first to try to quantify what it calls 'coercive citation,' and shows that this is 'uncomfortably common.' Perhaps the most striking finding of the survey was that although 86% of the respondents said that coercion was inappropriate, and 81% thought it damaged a journal's prestige, 57% said they would add superfluous citations to a paper before submitting it to a journal known to coerce. However, figures from Thomson Reuters suggest that social-science journals tend to have more self-citations than basic-science journals."

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Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 07:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's leveling-up-your-agility department:
__roo writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that an increasing number of companies are replacing traditional meetings with daily stand-ups. The article points out that stand-up meetings date back to at least World War I, and that in some place, late employees 'sometimes must sing a song like "I'm a Little Teapot," do a lap around the office building or pay a small fine.' Do Slashdot readers feel that stand-up meetings are useful? Do they make a difference? Are they a gimmick?"

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Doctors 'Cheating' On Board Certifications
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 05:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bad-handwriting-a-convenient-excuse department:
Maximum Prophet writes "After taking board exams, doctors have been routinely getting together to remember and reproduce as much of the exam as they can. These notes are then bound and reproduced. According to the American Board of Dermatology, the exams are protected by copyright laws, and any reproduction not approved by the board is illegal. While I have no doubt that the Board believes this, and pays lawyers to believe it as well, I don't think they understand copyright. Perhaps they should invest in better testing methods."

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Yes We Can (Profile You): a Brief Primer On Campaigns and Political Data
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's your-vote-is-one-cell-in-a-database department:
An anonymous reader writes "In the Stanford Law Review Online, Professor Daniel Kreiss discusses 'the history of political data, focusing on the recent proliferation in voter data and development of new voter-modeling techniques,' and how 'these data practices undermine privacy and democratic practice, even as they increase participation and voter turnout.' He writes: 'Underlying all of this is a vast data infrastructure that has made targeted online advertising and marketing possible, and has contributed to a revival of field campaigning over the last decade. Online advertising and field campaigning rely on voter modeling based on hundreds of data points culled from surveys, public records, and commercial information sources such as credit histories. This data details the location, demographics, political affiliations, social networks, behavior, and interests of citizens.'"

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Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's internet-gets-mad-when-you-get-grabby department:
bonch writes "After drawing criticism over iBooks Author's licensing language, Apple has modified it in a software update to make clear that Apple is claiming rights to the .ibook format itself and not the content therein: '[The license restriction] does not apply to the content of such works when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format.' In other words, the content may be sold on competing book stores as long as it is not packaged using iBooks Author."

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Satellite Phone Encryption Cracked
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's our-fictional-military-characters-are-in-trouble department:
New submitter The Mister Purple writes "A team of German researchers appears to have cracked the GMR-1 and GMR-2 encryption algorithms used by many (though not all) satellite phones. Anyone fancy putting a cluster together for a listening party? 'Mr. Driessen told The Telegraph that the equipment and software needed to intercept and decrypt satellite phone calls from hundreds of thousands of users would cost as little as $2,000. His demonstration system takes up to half an hour to decipher a call, but a more powerful computer would allow eavesdropping in real time, he said.'"

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Canada's Internet Among Best, Report Says
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-just-good-at-having-moose department:
silentbrad writes "Canadians enjoy among the fastest, most widely available and least expensive broadband Internet in the developed world, says a report released Thursday. The report, based on the results of 52 million speed tests of broadband users across the G7 countries and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership, was produced by Montreal-based consulting firm Lemay Yates Associates Inc. on behalf of Rogers Communications Inc., the country's largest broadband service provider. It disputes the OECD's own report, published in July, that ranked Canada's high-speed Internet offerings significantly below those of other countries. The report comes days after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission revealed a sharp jump in the number of complaints it has received regarding Internet traffic-management practices, or 'throttling' in recent months."
And it's about to get a little better — reader ForgedArtificer points out that Rogers has promised to end all throttling over their network by the end of the year.

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83-Year-Old Woman Gets New 3D-Printed Titanium Jaw
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's will-be-next-bond-villain department:
arnodf writes "The University of Hasselt (in Belgium) announced today (Google translation of Dutch original) that Belgian and Dutch scientists have successfully replaced an 83-year-old woman's lower jaw with a 3D-printed model. According to the researchers, 'It is the first custom-made implant in the world to replace an entire lower jaw. ... The 3D printer prints titanium powder layer by layer, while a computer controlled laser ensures that the correct particles are fused together. Using 3D printing technology, less materials are needed and the production time is much shorter than traditional manufacturing. The artificial jaw is slightly heavier than a natural jaw, but the patient can easily get used to it."

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Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn On Computers Despite Complaints
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-little-privacy-please department:
The Lake City library is making news for their staunch position on the First Amendment, censorship, and the right to watch porn in the library. The problem started when library patron Julie Howe found a man watching some questionable material and asked him to move to another computer. The man refused and the librarian also refused to intervene when asked saying that the library doesn't censor content. "We're a library, so we facilitate access to constitutionally protected information. We don't tell people what they can view and check out," Seattle Public Library spokeswoman Andra Addison told Seattle PI. "Filters compromise freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. We're not in the business of censoring information."

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Web Guru To the Blind
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's evolving-web-sights department:
the_newsbeagle writes "Chieko Asakawa went blind at age 14, learned to program mainframe computers by sense of touch, and has spent her 27 years at IBM-Tokyo bringing personal computing and the Internet to the blind. From the article: 'By 1997 she had developed a plug-in that worked with the Netscape browser, mapping Web navigation commands to the computer keyboard's number pad and using text-to-speech technology to read out content. Computer stores around the world sold IBM's Home Page Reader, and Asakawa says its effect on the blind community was immediate, electric, and sometimes touching. ... Other browsers for the blind followed IBM's groundbreaking efforts, and Asakawa moved on to addressing a deeper problem: the fact that designers were unintentionally creating inaccessible websites. She and her team wrote a program called aDesigner ... to allow designers to experience a site as blind users do and to suggest ways to improve navigation for audio browsers.'"

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Steve Appleton, Micron CEO, Dies In Plane Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
CR0WTR0B0T writes "Micron CEO Steve Appleton was killed in a plane crash around 9AM on Friday, February 3rd. He was flying an experimental fixed-wing single engine Lancair, which crashed in between two runways at the Boise airport."

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ACTA's EU Future In Doubt As Poland Suspends Ratification
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hitting-the-brakes department:
superglaze writes "Poland has suspended its ratification process for ACTA, throwing the copyright crackdown into doubt for the whole European Union. ACTA is being handled as a 'mixed agreement' in the EU due to its criminalization clauses, so if a single EU member state (such as Poland) fails to ratify it, it is null and void across the entire union. If that were to happen, at least six of the remaining international signatories would have to ratify ACTA for it to apply anywhere in the world. Outside the EU, only eight countries — including the U.S. — have signed."

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Firefox's Web Push Notification System Announced
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's convergent-alert-evolution department:
eldavojohn writes "Describing Notifications as 'somewhere between email and IM,' Mozilla has announced this push technology as a way to receive notifications from websites without having to keep them open in your browser — as well as receiving them on your mobile device. A JavaScript API reveals early interface ideas by the team. This core concept is not new — both Google and Apple have their own push notification systems for Android and iOS respectively. However, 'It's important to note that this push notification system is distinct from the existing desktop notification mechanisms that are already defined in pending standards. The desktop notifications that websites like GMail and Seesmic Web display to Chrome users, for example, will only work when the website is left open in a tab. Mozilla's push notification system moves beyond that limitation.' Mozilla is attempting to take push notifications to the entire web for any website to use."

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Did North Korea Conduct Secret Nuclear Tests?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's poking-around-inside-atoms department:
gbrumfiel writes "In May of 2010, North Korea made the bizarre claim that it had achieved nuclear fusion. Many, many commentators (including faithful Slashdot readers) mocked the dear leader for his outlandish boast, but could there have been a kernel of truth in the claim? Apparently some odd radioactivity was spotted by detectors surrounding the North just days after the announcement. Now, a new analysis by a Swedish scientist suggests that the radiation may have leaked from covert experiments into boosting fission warheads. The evidence is tentative at best, and many are skeptical, but it does seem that something odd was up on the Korean peninsula that spring."

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Windows Phone 8 Detailed, Uses Windows 8 Kernel
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's starting-from-scratch department:
MrSeb writes "Thanks to a leaked video — a video that Microsoft made for Nokia — we now have lots of details about Windows Phone 8 (WP8). From deep Windows 8, Skype, and SkyDrive integration, through to the addition of NFC 'wallet' payments and BitLocker encryption, it sounds like Windows Phone 8 will be close to iOS and Android in terms of features. The interesting stuff is under the hood, though: WP8 will have the Windows 8 kernel instead of the Windows CE kernel of its predecessors. Through the Win 8 kernel, WP8 will support native code and multi-core processors. It will also have the same network stack, security, and multimedia support as Windows 8. While Win 8 apps won't be directly compatible with Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore says developers will be able to 'reuse — by far — most of their code.'"

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RIAA Wants To Scrap Anti-Piracy OPEN Act
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-far-enough-by-half department:
silentbrad writes with these selections from an article at Ars Technica: "The Recording Industry Association of America found itself in an unusual position this week: opposing an anti-piracy bill that's gaining momentum in Congress ... the RIAA argues the bill won't be effective at shutting down rogue sites. The trade group warns of 'indefinite delays' as claims of infringement are investigated. And it complains that the process envisioned by OPEN would allow for 'endless submissions by parties such as Google,' further gumming up the process. All the while, the alleged rogue site would be able to continue operating. The RIAA also warns that the need to hire an attorney to navigate the ITC's arcane legal process will 'put justice out of reach for small business American victims of IP theft.' The trade group complains that sites aren't held responsible for the infringing activities of their users, a rule the trade group says 'excuses willful blindness and outright complicity in illegal activity.' RIAA also says it's 'virtually impossible' to prove that a site infringed willfully, as OPEN requires."

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What's the Damage? Measuring fsck Under XFS and Ext4 On Big Storage
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's disks-groaning-with-shame department:
An anonymous reader writes "Enterprise Storage Forum's long-awaited Linux file system Fsck testing is finally complete. Find out just how bad the Linux file system scaling problem really is."

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Anonymous Posts Audio of Intercepted FBI Conference Call
Posted by News Fetcher on February 03 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sounds-like-a-job-for-rupert-murdoch department:
DrDevil writes "A member of the computer hacking group Anonymous has hacked into a telephone conference between the FBI and Scotland Yard (London Police) and posted it on the internet. The Daily Telegraph has a comprehensive article on the hack. The audio of the call can be heard here." Reader eldavojohn snips as well from the AP's story as carried by Google: "Those on the call talk about what legal strategy to pursue in the cases of Ryan Cleary and Jake Davis — two British suspects linked to Anonymous — and discuss details of the evidence gathered against other suspects."

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