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Book Review: Liars and Outliers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
First time accepted submitter benrothke writes "It is said that the song Wipe Out launched a generation of drummers. In the world of information security, the classic Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C by Bruce Schneier may have been the book that launched a generation of new cryptographers. Schneier's latest work of art is Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive. For those that are looking for a follow-up to Applied Cryptography, this it is not. In fact, it is hard to classify this as an information security title and in fact the book is marked for the current affairs/sociology section. Whatever section this book ultimately falls in, the reader will find that Schneier is one of the most original thinkers around." Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review. Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive
author Bruce Schneier
pages 384
publisher Wiley
rating 10/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 978-1118143308
summary Brilliant book on trust and society, and it complex interrelation

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Disconnection of Millions of DNSChanger-Infected PCs Delayed
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-just-yet department:
tsu doh nimh writes "Millions of computers infected with the stealthy and tenacious DNSChanger Trojan may be spared a planned disconnection from the Internet early next month if a New York court approves a new request by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, six men accused of managing and profiting from the huge collection of hacked PCs are expected to soon be extradited from their native Estonia to face charges in the United States."

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Last Day To Tell Google To Forget You
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's please-don't-write-or-call department:
itwbennett writes "Google's new privacy policy will consolidate all your data at google.com — unless you erase it first. And today is your last day to do it. The change goes into effect tomorrow. Which is why the helpful folks at EFF have posted some simple instructions showing how to delete your web history at Google."

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FDA To Review Inhalable Caffeine
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's jittery-breathing department:
First time accepted submitter RenderSeven writes "Manufacturing .NET reports that U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and if its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement. AeroShot went on the market late last month in Massachusetts and New York, and it's also available in France. Consumers put one end of the canister in their mouths and breathe in, releasing a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly."

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PSVita Released In the USA and Europe
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
YokimaSun writes "Sony have today released the PSVita in the USA and Europe, the console comes with features such as dual touch pads at the front and rear, dual cameras at the front and rear, dual analog sticks, a 5-inch OLED screen, GPS, six-axis motion sensors and a three-axis electronic compass. The PSVita is Sony's attempt at stealing the thunder away from the 3DS but also bringing back the gamers lost to the likes of Android and IOS Devices. The PSVita in japan sold massively on its first release week but since has struggled and sold less than the PSP. With this in mind sites like Amazon have been offering many different deals to entice people to buy the console. Can Sony stop homebrewers from taking over this console?"

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Is It Time For NoSQL 2.0?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's hyperhack-the-hypergibsoncube department:
New submitter rescrv writes "Key-value stores (like Cassandra, Redis and DynamoDB) have been replacing traditional databases in many demanding web applications (e.g. Twitter, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others). But for the most part, the differences between existing NoSQL systems come down to the choice of well-studied implementation techniques; in particular, they all provide a similar API that achieves high performance and scalability by limiting applications to simple operations like GET and PUT.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Microsoft Files EU Antitrust Complaint Against Motorola Mobility
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's evil-fighting-evil department:
judgecorp writes "Microsoft has filed a complaint with the European Commission complaining that Motorola Mobility is charging too much for use of its patented technology in phones and tablets. The complaint follows a similar one by Apple last week, and will need to be resolved by Google as it takes charge of Motorola Mobility."

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Solid Buckeyballs Detected In Space
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's ophiuchi-chosen-for-space-burning-man department:
astroengine writes with an excerpt from an article at Discovery: "For the first time, 'buckyballs' have been discovered in the cosmos in a solid form. Until now, the only evidence in space for the bizarre little hollow balls of carbon atoms have been in interstellar gases, but with the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered buckyballs accumulating and stacking atop one another to form solid particles. 'These buckyballs are stacked together to form a solid, like oranges in a crate,' said Nye Evans of Keele University in England, lead author of a paper appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 'The particles we detected are minuscule, far smaller than the width of a hair, but each one would contain stacks of millions of buckyballs.'"

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UN Pushes Plan To Assume Internet Governance Role
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's the-un-is-always-right department:
no0b writes with an Op-Ed by the FCC Commisioner on a UN plan to gain more control over Internet regulation. From the article: "On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish 'international control over the Internet' through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices. "

BoingBoing offers a slightly different perspective; The Register offers a quite different perspective.

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The Recycling of the Tevatron
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's captain-planet-approved department:
ananyo writes with an excerpt from an article in Nature about the decomissioning of the Tevatron: "It is a 4,000-tonne edifice that stands three stories high, chock full of particle detectors, power supplies, electronics and photomultiplier tubes, all layered like a giant onion around a cylindrical magnet. During 26 years of operation at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, this behemoth, the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF), helped to find the top quark and chased the Higgs boson. But since the lab's flagship particle collider, the Tevatron, was switched off in September 2011, the detector has been surplus stock — and it is now slowly being cannibalized for parts."

Currently other projects are taking small bits and pieces of the Tevatron, but another Fermilab project, ORKA, wants to gut the collider to study kaon decay.

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KDE KWin May Drop Support For AMD Catalyst Drivers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's my-radeon-9100-is-displeased department:
An anonymous reader writes "The KWin window manager maintainer for KDE is looking at removing the legacy OpenGL 1.0 renderer from the KWin code-base due to the costs of supporting legacy hardware. This means dropping support for non-GL2+ graphics cards, which are all over six years old, but in the process would mean that for now there is no longer any support for the AMD Catalyst driver on the KDE desktop. Due to driver bugs, AMD's proprietary Catalyst software only works well with the GL1 renderer even though their latest hardware supports OpenGL 4."

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Playbook OS 2.0 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's all-playbook-makes-jack-unproductive department:
Alt-kun writes "On February 21st, The Blackberry Playbook finally received its long-promised overhaul. Called Playbook OS 2.0, this major upgrade provides native email and calendaring apps, limited support for Android applications (the developer has to repackage the app for the Playbook), and a bunch of other features. There are some fairly positive initial reviews, although one can no doubt expect a lot of too-little-too-late naysaying from various quarters as well. The Globe and Mail article also contains this somewhat interesting note: '...until RIM began deep discounting ... the device languished way behind rivals such as the iPad in terms of market share. One recent report by Toronto-based Solutions Research Group, however, pegs RIM's share of the tablet market at around 15 per cent, a big jump after discounting over the holiday buying season.'"

ZDNet has some screenshots of the new features, and El Reg has a piece on an interesting bit of the new software.

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Man Ordered To Apologize To Wife On Facebook
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's play-nice-children department:
New submitter Marillion writes "Photographer Mark Byron was so bothered by his pending divorce and child visitation issues that he blasted his soon-to-be ex-wife on his personal Facebook page. That touched off a battle that resulted in a Hamilton County judge ordering Byron jailed for his Facebook rant — and to post on his page an apology to his wife and all of his Facebook friends, something free speech experts found troubling."

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Intel Opening Foundry To Third Parties
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's open-the-trigate department:
angry tapir writes "Intel is exploring whether it can branch out as a foundry by opening its chip manufacturing facilities to more third-party customers. Intel has expanded its chip-to-order business by signing up additional customers to take advantage of its 22-nanometer process facilities."

In particular, two FPGA design companies will be using Intel's fabrication plant, and "the unit has more than two customers but others are not disclosing their plans yet."

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ACTA Referred To Europe's Top Court For Analysis
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's maybe-the-sky-isn't-falling department:
superglaze writes "The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is to get an extra level of scrutiny in the EU after the European Commission said it would refer it to the European Court of Justice, to check it really does comply with fundamental freedoms in the union. This obviously follows mass protests over ACTA, and it seems justice commissioner Viviane Reding was the one who pushed for ECJ scrutiny. It's not currently clear if this will delay the European Parliament ratification process, but it is hard to imagine the parliament voting on ACTA (scheduled for June at the moment) before the ECJ has had its say — and no-one can say right now how long that will take to happen."

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Adobe Makes Flash on GNU/Linux Chrome-Only
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 06:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's firefox-users-storm-headquarters department:
ekimd writes "Adobe has anounced their plans to abandon future updates of their Flash player for Linux. Partnering with Google, after the release of 11.2, 'the Flash Player browser plugin for Linux will only be available via the 'Pepper' API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe.' Viva la HTML 5!"

And it appears that Mozilla won't be implementing Pepper anytime soon.

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Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's quality-in-quantity department:
Hugh Pickens writes "AP reports that global competition is squeezing lemons out of the market and forcing automakers to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles. With few exceptions, cars are so close on reliability that it's getting harder for companies to charge a premium. 'We don't have total clunkers like we used to,' says Dave Sargent, automotive vice president with J.D. Power. In 1998, J.D. Power and Associates found an industry average of 278 problems per 100 vehicles, but this year, the number fell to 132. In 1998, the most reliable car had 92 problems per 100 vehicles, while the least reliable had 517, a gap of 425. This year the gap closed to 284 problems. It wasn't always like this. In the 1990s, Honda and Toyota dominated in quality, especially in the key American market for small and midsize cars. Around 2006, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler were heading into financial trouble and shifted research dollars from trucks to cars after years of neglect and spent more on engineering and parts to close the gap. Meanwhile Toyota's reputation was tarnished by a series of safety recalls, and Honda played conservative with new models that looked similar to the old ones. Now it's 'very hard to find products that aren't good anymore,' says Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the Edmunds.com automotive website. 'In safety, performance and quality, the differences just don't have material impact.'"

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Astronomers Confirm a Hot and Steamy Exoplanet
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 03:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's water-the-chances department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "The extrasolar planet GJ 1214b was discovered in 2009 orbiting a nearby (40 light year distant) red dwarf star. The planet was quickly found to have a thick atmosphere, but it wasn't known at the time if the composition was water vapor or a hazy shroud of particulates. New Hubble observations confirm the atmosphere of the exoplanet is rich in water, comprising up to 50% of the atmosphere's mass (PDF). At 230 degrees Celsius, this means the planet is shrouded in steam."

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Google Heads Up Display Coming By the End of the Year
Posted by News Fetcher on February 22 '12 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's paging-manfred-macx department:
kodiaktau writes "Google is working to deliver a heads-up display allowing users access to email, maps and other tools through a wearable interface. According to the NY Times' sources, the device will be available later this year, and sell for prices comparable to smartphones. 'The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS. ... The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby, according to the Google employees. The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly — although Google expects some of the nerdiest users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed.'"

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Obayashi To Build Space Elevator By 2050
Posted by News Fetcher on February 21 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-ahead-and-book-your-rides-now-it's-a-sure-thing department:
mattr writes "Japan's Obayashi Corp. has announced plans to build a space elevator by 2050. They are famous for wrecking skylines with the over-sized bullet train station in Kyoto, the world's tallest self-supporting tower Tokyo Sky Tree and just recently, the beginnings of the Taipei Dome. It will take a week at 200 kph for your party of 30 to reach the 36,000-km-high terminal station, while the counterweight along 96 km high, a quarter of the way to the Moon."

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