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SAP VP Arrested In False Barcode Scheme
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's always-use-bitcoins-for-lego-arbitrage department:
redletterdave writes "With barcode scanning being so commonplace, nothing seemed out of the ordinary when Thomas Langenbach, the vice president of SAP, was found scanning boxes upon boxes of Lego toys before purchasing them. Little did anyone know, the 47-year-old Silicon Valley executive was actually engaged in a giant scam. Langenbach would visit several Target stores and cover the store's barcodes with his own, so when he would bring the boxes up to the register, Langenbach would pay a heavily-discounted price. For example, this tag swapping allowed him to buy a Millennium Falcon box of Legos worth $279 for just $49. Once he bought the discounted Lego boxes, the SAP executive would take to eBay (under the name 'tomsbrickyard') and sell the items. Langenbach reportedly sold more than 2,000 items on eBay, raking in about $30,000. He was finally caught by Target security on May 8, and he was arraigned on Tuesday on four counts of burglary."

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Russia To Establish Bases On the Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's reopening-the-tang-mines department:
ananyo writes "Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has said that Russia will pursue extensive, long-lived operations at the Moon's surface. "We're not talking about repeating what mankind achieved 40 years ago," Popovkin said, through a translator at the Global Space Exploration Conference in Washington DC. "We're talking about establishing permanent bases."
The heads of the space agencies for Europe, Canada and Russia, along with senior representatives from the space agencies of India and Japan were in Washington DC talking about the benefits of international collaboration. JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, also issued a clear pronouncement about targeting the Moon."


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Legislation In New York To Ban Anonymous Speech Online
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's enjoy-funding-the-internet-anonymity-police department:
Fluffeh writes "Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte said, '[this] turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.' Republican Senator Thomas O'Mara added, '[this will] help lend some accountability to the Internet age.' The two are sponsoring a bill that would ban any New York-based websites from allowing comments (or well, anything) to be posted unless the person posting it attaches their name to it. But the bill also goes further, saying New York-based websites, such as blogs and newspapers, must 'remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.'"

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FCC Boss Backs Metering the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on May 23 '12 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deposit-seven-cents-to-continue-reading department:
An anonymous reader writes "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has publicly backed usage-based pricing for wired internet access at the cable industry's annual NCTA Show. He makes the claim that it would drive network efficiency. Currently most internet service providers charge a flat fee and price their packages based on the speed of the service, while wireless providers are reaping record profits by charging based on usage, similar to the way utilities charge for electricity. By switching to this model, the cable companies can increase their profitibility while at the same time blocking consumers from cutting the cord and getting their TV services online."

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Mozilla Announces Web Development Learning Initiative
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's where-do-all-the-cat-pictures-come-from department:
bonch writes "Mozilla has announced Webmaker, a web development initiative aimed at teaching the average user the building blocks of the web. Users can join a 'code party' and learn web development with provided authoring tools, and existing developers can volunteer to run their own events. To kick it off, Mozilla is announcing the Summer Code Party starting June 23."

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EU Blocks France's Ban of Monsanto's GM Maize
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's renamed-to-freedom-corn department:
redletterdave writes with an update to news from a few months ago that France had banned the growing of Monsanto's genetically modified corn. After reviewing the evidence France submitted in support of the ban, the European Food Safety Authority has now rejected it. An official opinion (PDF) stated that they "could not identify any new science-based evidence indicating that maize MON 810 cultivation in the EU poses a significant and imminent risk to the human and animal health or the environment."

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SEC Calls For Review of Facebook IPO
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 09:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's somebody's-in-trouble department:
beaverdownunder writes "After losing another 8.9% of its IPO value in its third day of trading, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has called for a review of the circumstances surrounding Facebook's IPO on the NASDAQ late last week. Unable to sell Facebook short, investors have instead taken to short-selling funds that owned pre-IPO shares as revelations come out that the underwriters involved revised their Facebook profit forecasts downward in the days before the offering without similarly revising the opening share price. Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters Starmine has come out with a post-party Facebook estimate of a meager 10.8 per cent annual growth rate, valuing the stock at a paltry $US9.59 a share, a 72 per cent discount on its IPO price, signaling that the battered stock may not have found the bottom yet."

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Machine-Guided Learning Matches Teachers In Study
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's open-your-books-to-beep-boop-beep department:
New submitter dougled writes "A study at six universities found that students taught statistics mainly through software learned as much as peers taught primarily by humans. And the robots got the job done more quickly. '... our results indicate that hybrid-format students took about one-quarter less time to achieve essentially the same learning outcomes as traditional-format students.' They add, 'There is every reason to expect these systems to improve over time, perhaps dramatically, and thus it is not foolish to believe that learning outcomes will also improve.'"

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Sci-fi Writer Elizabeth Moon Believes Everyone Should Be Chipped
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 07:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'm-sorry-have-you-met-humanity department:
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The BBC has an opinion piece from science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon who believes that everyone should be chipped or barcoded at birth. Her reasoning is that it would prevent identification mistakes and even allow soldiers to identify combatants from non-combatants. Her comments came as part of a discussion on future wars hosted by the BBC World Service."

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The Price of Military Tech Assistance In Movies
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 06:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's as-american-as-propaganda-pie department:
derekmead writes "Last week at Camp David, President Obama met up with fellow NATO leaders to discuss the road ahead in Afghanistan. Although no one there used the language of defeat, the implicit message was clear: the war has gone nowhere in the past few years and it's time to start packing up. Meanwhile, what raked in $25.5 million at the box office? Battleship. And who provided director Peter Berg with the war technology that beats the aliens? The U.S. military. He's not the only one: the past few years have seen an explosion of high-profile cooperation between the armed forces and the movie industry. If the most powerful armed force in history isn't winning in reality, it certainly is on the big screen. And like so many problematic aspects of late capitalism, the military-Hollywood complex has a grimly understandable logic."

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Inventor of the TV Remote Control Dies
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
An anonymous reader writes "Yes, kids, you used to have to walk across the room to change the TV channel. That changed with the introduction of the 'Flash-Matic,' a revolutionary device that was 'Absolutely harmless to humans!' and could 'even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen.' Eugene Polley, inventor of the now ubiquitous TV remote-control died Sunday of natural causes at age 96. In 1996 Polley received an Emmy for his invention, but during his 47-year career, he was awarded numerous patents and worked on projects ranging from advances in radar to push-button car radios."

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Researchers 'Map' Android Malware Genome
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nefarious-base-pairs department:
yahoi writes "Researchers at NC State are sharing their analysis and classification of Android malware samples under a new project that they hope will help shape a new way of fighting malware, learning from the lessons of the PC generation and its traditional anti-malware products. Xuxian Jiang, the mastermind behind the Android Malware Genome Project, says defenses against this malware today are hampered by the lack of efficient access to samples (PDF), as well as a limited understanding of the various malware families targeting the Android. The goal is to establish a better way of sharing malware samples and analysis, and developing better tools to fight it, he says."

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Microbots Made of Bubbles Are Controlled By Lasers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's fantastic-voyage department:
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Hawaii have turned bubbles of gas into non-mechanical 'microbots' that they propel and steer with a laser. The laser heats up specific areas of the fluid that the bubble are in, and temperature gradients push the fluid towards the hot area, moving the bubble along. By using an array of lasers, the researchers can control the speed and direction of multiple bubble bots independently; this capability is not possible with other types of microbots, such as those controlled by a magnetic field, which affects all robots simultaneously. The University of Hawaii researchers hope their non-mechanical microbots can be used to assemble and manipulate microscopic structures, including live cells. In one experiment, they used the bubble bots to position 100-m-diameter glass beads to form the letters 'UH.'"

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At Long Last, a Private Cargo Spaceship Takes Off (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's ad-astra-per-aspera department:
Tuesday morning at 0344, right on schedule (and it had to be right on schedule), Elon Musk's baby finally left the launch pad on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). Two babies, actually: the Falcon 9 launch vehicle is what we watched as it took off from Cape Canaveral -- the first private spaceship headed for the ISS -- with the Dragon spacecraft perched on its nose. The Dragon carried over 1000 pounds of supplies and experiments for the ISS. The launch went off without a hitch. But don't stop holding your breath quite yet; Dragon isn't scheduled to dock at the ISS until Friday.

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60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-cat-pictures department:
CWmike writes "The maximum areal densities of hard disk drives are expected to more than double by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli. Hard drive company Seagate has also predicted a doubling of drive density, and now IHS iSuppli is confirming what the vendor community already knew. Leading the way for greater disk density will be technologies such as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), which Seagate patented in 2006. Seagate has already said it will be able to produce a 60TB 3.5-in. hard drive by 2016. Laptop drives could reach 10TB to 20TB in the same time frame, IHS iSuppli stated. It said areal densities are projected to climb to a maximum 1,800 Gbits per square inch per platter by 2016, up from 744 Gbits per square inch in 2011. Areal density equals bit density, or bits of information per inch of a track multiplied by tracks per inch on a drive platter. This year, hard drive areal densities are estimated to reach 780Gbits per square inch per platter, and then rise to 900Gbits per square inch next year."

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Depressed People Surf the Web Differently
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's quick-distractions department:
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Medical Daily:
"Researchers led by Sriram Chellappan from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, collected internet usage data from 216 college students enrolled at the university. The usage data was collected anonymously without interfering with the student’s normal internet usage for a month. The students were tested to see if they had symptoms of depression and analyzed internet usage based on the results. Depressed students tended to use the internet in much different ways than their non-depressed classmates. Depressed students used file-sharing programs, like torrents or online sharing sites, more than non-depressed students (PDF). Depressed students also chatted more and sent more emails out. Online video viewing and game playing were also more popular for depressed students."

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Canadian Telcos Secretly Supporting Internet Surveillance Legislation
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-can-trust-us department:
An anonymous reader writes "Canada's proposed Internet surveillance was back in the news last week after speculation grew that government intends to keep the bill in legislative limbo until it dies on the order paper. This morning,
Michael Geist reports that nearly all of the major Canadian telecom and cable companies have been secretly working with the government for months on the Internet surveillance bill. The secret group has been given access to a 17-page outline (PDF) of planned regulations and raised questions of surveillance of social networks and cloud computing facilities."


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Another Raspberry Pi? $49 ARM Single-Board Computer With Android
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-bigger-than-a-breadbox department:
n7ytd writes "Announced today and running on an 800 MHz VIA core, the 170 x 85mm 'APC' is expected to ship this July. It has 2GB of flash storage and 512MB of DDR3 memory. 'A modified version of Google Android 2.3 uses up most of that 2GB of flash storage, but there are external storage options. On the back I/O is a microSD slot, and of course you could hook in an external USB 2.0 drive. VIA spent a lot of time customizing Android to enable keyboard and mouse support which natively it does not support. ... On the I/O panel you get VGA output, HDMI output (up to 720p playback with hardware acceleration), four USB 2.0 ports, gigabit LAN and audio out and microphone in.' With a 'Neo ITX' form factor, VIA touts the single-board computer as a 'bicycle for your mind.'"

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Microsoft Tests Social Search Waters With 'so.cl' Network
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's solution-looking-for-a-problem department:
benfrog writes "Microsoft just quietly launched so.cl in an experiment to more closely unite web searches and social networking. It's not intended as a stand-alone social network — users can log in with Facebook or Windows Live IDs, and it will share your searches publicly by default. "As students work together, they often search for the same items, and discover new shared interests by sharing links. We see this trend today on many social networks, such as Twitter, where shared links spread virally and amplify popular content. So.cl experiments with this concept by automatically sharing links as you search." They've also (wisely?) put Bing Search at the center of the site."

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Moon Methone Meets Cassini
Posted by News Fetcher on May 22 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's deep-space-exploration department:
MistrX writes with a tidbit about what the Cassini probe is up to nowadays. From the article: "NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn's tiny moon Methone as part of a trajectory that will take it on a close flyby of another of Saturn's moons, Titan. The Titan flyby will put the spacecraft in an orbit around Saturn that is inclined, or tilted, relative to the plane of the planet's equator. The flyby of Methone took place on May 20 at a distance of about 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers). It was Cassini's closest flyby of the 2-mile-wide (3-kilometer-wide) moon. The best previous Cassini images were taken on June 8, 2005, at a distance of about 140,000 miles (225,000 kilometers), and they barely resolved this object."

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