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Did Anonymous Take Down CIA.gov?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's scheduled-demolition-of-the-old-bailey department:
jfruh writes "The CIA's website has been down intermittently since Friday, apparently the victim of a DDOS attack. One of the more interesting questions of the story is whether elements of Anonymous are behind this — a question that even prominent of the Anonymous movement can't seem to answer with any certainty. Perhaps this is obvious, but it seems that an anarchic, leaderless grouping can be hard to keep tabs on."

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Stanford's Francis Fukuyama Builds Personal Surveillance Drone
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's who-is-this-fukuyama-guy? department:
HerbieTMac writes "Political science professor Francis Fukuyama builds and flies his own personal surveillance drones. His current model requires ground visibility but he is working on the HAM license that would allow fully remote operation. His YouTube videos (video 1 , video 2) are particularly impressive." I had no idea that Francis Fukuyama had such technical interests.

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Linux Of the Future May Be About Which Environment, Not Which Distribution
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's mo'-zilla-mo'-zilla department:
itwbennett writes "In its 2012 roadmap, the Mozilla Foundation highlights plans to create its own soup-to-nuts mobile platform, known as Boot to Gecko. With this move, the Mozilla Foundation 'is finally shaking off its dependence on browser revenues and treading where Google, with ChromeOS; Canonical, with Unity on Ubuntu; and (most recently) the Plasma community's Spark tablet have already started: the creation of standards-based platforms that rely on robust web applications (in varying degrees) more than native-run apps to provide the user experience,' writes blogger Brian Proffitt. 'I very much think that we are heading for a time when Linux flavors will be identified by environments, not distributions.'"

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Laser Scanner May Allow Passengers To Take Bottled Drinks On Planes Again
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-haven't-they-banned-belts-and-shoelaces? department:
cylonlover writes "Besides having to remove our shoes, the volume limitations regarding liquids and gels in carry-on baggage has become a major hassle in the world of post 9-11 airport security. Hopefully, however, we may soon be able to once again bring our big bottles of water and tubes of toothpaste aboard airliners in our overnight bags. Britain's Cobalt Light Systems has developed a scanner called the INSIGHT100, that uses laser light to assess the liquid contents of containers, even if those containers are opaque."

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White House Wants Devastating Cuts To NASA's Mars Exploration
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's carl-sagan-grave-spin-powerful-enough-to-drive-generator department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "The White House released its proposed NASA budget for FY13, and while much of it remains the same from last year, one particular program got devastating news: Mars exploration got a crippling $226 million cut, more than 38% of its budget. This means killing two future missions outright and threatening others. The reasons for this are complex, including huge cost overruns on James Webb Space Telescope and the Curiosity Mars rover, but it also points to a political lack of valuing science in America."

A followup to news from before the budget was released, this has details on the actual proposed cuts and re-allocations.

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Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 02:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's youth-flee-iron-maiden department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that transit officials have started to get a handel on subway crime when they started playing Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Strauss at the Lake Street light-rail station after neighborhood residents complained about the station becoming a haven for rowdy teens and vagrants. 'If it encourages some people to wander away because it's not their favorite type of music, I guess that's OK,' says Acting Transit Police Chief A.J. Olson. The program is modeled after one is Portland that has shown early signs of success, though the numbers are so small as to be statistically insignificant and even supporters of the music haven't reached a consensus on whether such environmental changes actually deter crime or just push it down the block. Not everyone is sold on using 'lovely lovely Ludwig Van' as a deterrent. 'Classical music lovers hate the fact that urban planners use classical music to disperse youth,' says Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. 'Does it chase crime away?' adds Olson. 'It's hard to measure. But I do think it makes it a more pleasant place to wait for a train.'"

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ESA Discovers Unexpected 'Haze' of Microwave Transmissions
Posted by News Fetcher on February 14 '12 at 12:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's god-chain-smokes department:
astroengine writes "The European space observatory Planck has discovered something peculiar about our galaxy: it's humming in microwaves and, for the moment, the source of the 'hard' radiation surrounding the galaxy's core is a complete mystery. Also, the Milky Way is home to previously unknown 'islands' of cold carbon monoxide gas, helping astronomers uncover the distribution of star-forming regions."

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Apple-Approved Fair Labor Inspections Begin At Foxconn
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 09:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's five-minute-tea-break-required-between-beatings department:
redletterdave writes "Apple announced on Monday that the Fair Labor Association has begun inspecting Foxconn's Chinese factories, upon Apple's request. Apple said that Auret van Heerden, the president of the FLA, is leading a group of labor rights experts in the first round of inspections at the sprawling plant in Shenzhen, China, more informally known as
'Foxconn City.' The FLA's independent assessment — completely supplementary to Apple's own auditing practices — will involve interviewing thousands of Foxconn employees about the working and living conditions, including working hours, compensation, managerial issues, and health and safety conditions. Foxconn has 'pledged full cooperation with the FLA,' and will reportedly allow unrestricted access to all of their operations. The investigative team will report their findings in early March on the FLA's website. Apple's other suppliers, including Quanta and Pegatron, will be inspected later this spring. By the time summer rolls around, the FLA hopes to have covered 90 percent of facilities where Apple products are built and assembled."


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GNOME 3: Beauty To the Bone?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 07:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's needs-more-ponies department:
someWebGeek writes "According to the GNOME design crew, as reported by Allan over at As Far as I Know, GNOME 3 will represent a new approach to GNOME application design. The design patterns being developed and employed may effect a new, prettier interface, but more importantly a new mindset about the entire project, a mindset intended to encourage greater deep beauty in the application layers below the user interface. Maybe...for now, I'm sticking to the sinking ship of KDE in the Ubuntu ocean."

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EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 05:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's rocka-google-rola department:
angry tapir writes "European regulators have given Google the green light to take over Motorola Mobility. The U.S. $12.5 billion deal faced strong opposition from open source and consumer rights advocates, including Consumer Watchdog, but the European Commission announced on Monday that the acquisition could go ahead, without conditions."

Later in the day the DOJ announced an end to its investigation, greenlighting the acquisition in the U.S. as well.

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Ask Slashdot: Making a Tablet Run Only One Application?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 04:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's write-your-own-exokernel department:
An anonymous reader asks "I'm working for a medical centre who want to make a tablet with various videos and webpages about smoking cessation available in their waiting room. The tablet can't access the Internet because of security policies. I'm planning to use a local server with copies of the (Creative Commons) videos and pages accessed through local webpages using the tablet's browser. How can I make only the browser be available to the tablet users? Ideas? Suggestions?"

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Cryptome Hit By Blackhole Exploit Kit
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's leaks-were-sleeping-around department:
wiredmikey writes with an excerpt from Security Week:"Whistleblower site has been hacked and infected by the Blackhole exploit kit. ... Cryptome co-founder John Young however told SecurityWeek that the Cryptome site is in the process of cleaning everything up, and that process should be finished by the end of the day. Founded in 1996, Cryptome publishes thousands of documents, including many related to national security, law enforcement and military. On Feb. 12, a reader advised the site that accessing a file had triggered a warning in their antivirus about the Blackhole exploit kit. Cryptome examined the file and found this command at its end: . Subsequent analysis found thousands of files on the site had been infected."

Cryptome has certainly seen worse.

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MIT's Online Education Prototype Opens For Enrollment
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-they-face-the-wrath-of-khan department:
OldHawk777 writes with news that MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's online learning initiative, has opened free enrollment for its first course: 6.002x: Circuits and Electronics.
"Modeled after MIT’s 6.002 — an introductory course for undergraduate students in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) — 6.002x will introduce engineering in the context of the lumped circuit abstraction, helping students make the transition from physics to the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. ... 'We are very excited to begin MITx with this prototype class,' says MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif. 'We will use this prototype course to optimize the tools we have built by soliciting and acting on feedback from learners.' To access the course, registered students will log in at mitx.mit.edu, where they will find a course schedule, an e-textbook for the course, and a discussion board. Each week, students will watch video lectures and demonstrations, work with practice exercises, complete homework assignments, and participate in an online interactive lab specifically designed to replicate its real-world counterpart. Students will also take exams and be able to check their grades as they progress in the course. Overall, students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours each week on the course."

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How To Pull Location Data From Encrypted Google Maps Sessions
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's step-one-create-1:1-model-of-the-earth department:
Trailrunner7 writes "In the last couple of years, Google and some other Web giants have moved to make many of their services accessible over SSL, and in many cases, made HTTPS connections the default. That's designed to make eavesdropping on those connections more difficult, but as researchers have shown, it certainly doesn't make traffic analysis of those connections impossible. Vincent Berg of IOActive has written a tool that can monitor SSL connections and make some highly educated guesses about the contents of the requests going to Google Maps, specifically looking at what size the PNG files returned by Google Maps are. The tool then attempts to group those images in a specific location, based on the grid and tile system that Google uses to construct its maps."

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Europe's 'Right To Be Forgotten' Threatens Online Free Speech
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's when-rights-fight-rights department:
An anonymous reader writes "Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor for The New Republic, explains why the E.U.'s proposed data protection regulation known as the right to be forgotten is actually 'the biggest threat to free speech on the Internet in the coming decade.' In the Stanford Law Review Online (there's a shorter version in TNR), he writes: 'The right to be forgotten could make Facebook and Google, for example, liable for up to two percent of their global income if they fail to remove photos that people post about themselves and later regret, even if the photos have been widely distributed already. Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.' According to Rosen, the 'right' goes farther than previously thought, treating 'takedown requests for truthful information posted by others identically to takedown requests for photos I've posted myself that have then been copied by others: both are included in the definition of personal data as "any information relating" to me, regardless of its source.' Examples of previous attempts this might bolster include 'efforts by two Germans convicted of murdering a famous actor to remove their criminal history from the actor's Wikipedia page' and an 'Argentine pop star [who] had posed for racy pictures when she was young, but recently sued Google and Yahoo to take them down.'"

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Despite Media Confusion, Raspberry Pi Boards Still On Schedule
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-it's-not-one-thing department:
Last Friday, an article in Eurogamer about the Raspberry Pi's upcoming release threw a wrench in the mental gears of anyone hoping to soon order one of the long-awaited (and much anticipated) boards, which had been expected to be ready for orders sometime this month. The piece was based on an interview with David Braben — since picked up, and subsequently corrected, by others as well — and it gave the impression both that a sudden delay had cropped up in the schedule (so that the boards wouldn't be available for consumers until September), and that the price might rise as well. The Raspberry Pi site says that both of these were mistaken, and clarifies (with some bold print, even): "You will be able to buy a Raspberry Pi from the end of February, from this website. The 'consumer release' that Eurogamer is talking about is actually the educational release, which, as you’ll be aware if you’ve been hanging out on our forums, will come with a kid-targetted software stack, a heap of written support materials, and a standard case." That educational version sounds like it's got enough value added to justify a higher price and a longer wait, but you can unwrench those gears if you're just interested in the plain (unboxed) board instead.

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Ontario Teachers' Union Calls For Health-Related Classroom Wi-Fi Ban
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's frying-their-developing-brains department:
New submitter KJE writes "The CBC is reporting that an Ontario teachers' union is calling for an end to new Wi-Fi setups in the province's 1,400-plus Catholic schools. The Ontario English Catholic Teacher's Association (OECTA) says computers in all new schools should be hardwired instead of setting up wireless networks. The OECTA, in its paper (PDF), said the 'safety of this technology has not thoroughly been researched and therefore the precautionary principle and prudent avoidance of exposure should be practiced.'"

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Twisted Metal Designer Rails Against Storytelling Games
Posted by News Fetcher on February 13 '12 at 01:01 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's are-you-a-bad-enough-dude-to-rescue-the-president? department:
eldavojohn writes "Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe gave a DICE Summit presentation in which he argued against 'games that have been intentionally made from the ground up with the intent and purpose of telling a story or expressing a philosophy or giving a designer's narrative.' He went on to say essentially that it's a waste of time and resources when the focus should be on gameplay, not story. While some parts of his presentation are warmly welcomed by the gaming community (like his instructions for game execs to get a BS filter), this particular point has some unsurprising opponents. His argument against a 'cinematic narrative' was probably strongest with his comparison to the movie Saving Private Ryan, where Spielberg made the Normandy Beach invasion scene as close to a documentary as possible. The audience could sit back and appreciate that. But if you made a game where the player is in that position of the soldier then that historically accurate imagery and top shelf voice acting doesn't really matter, the only thing the player should be thinking is 'How the **** do I get to that rock? How do I get to the exit?' Is Jaffe right? Have game makers been 'seduced by the power and language of film' at the expense of gameplay?"

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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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