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Geezers Pick Stronger Passwords Than Young'uns
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's as-many-characters-as-the-post-it-will-hold department:
McGruber writes "Joseph Bonneau, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge, calculated the password strengths of nearly 70 million Yahoo! users. He compared the strengths of passwords chosen by different demographic groups and compared the results. People over the age of 55 pick passwords double the strength of those chosen by people under 25 years old." Does this mean that the younger users are more cavalier and naive, or are they simply more cynical about the actual value of strong passwords in the era of large-scale user-database compromises?

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Google Applies For Dot-LOL Domain
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's binary-code-of-ells-and-zeroes department:
judgecorp writes "Google has applied for the .lol domain in ICANN's sale of generic top level domains (gTLDs). Google also asked for .google, .docs, and .youtube at a cost of $185,000 each, in the round of applications which has finally closed. A glitch in the application system may have leaked some of the applicants' data to other applicants."

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CIPS Chimes In On Internet Predators Act
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-the-predators-you-were-looking-for department:
alphabet26 writes "The Canadian Information Processing Society has formally responded to the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act introduced in February of this year. Bill C-30 would grant authorities extended powers to monitor and track Canadians online. In the statement CIPS recommends that the Government of Canada 'prohibit access to personal information, related records/data, content, communications or records of internet use without the safeguard of a warrant.' CIPS is a non-profit organization that represents Canadian IT professionals and is a member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)."

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Speech Recognition Using the Raspberry Pi
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cheaper-than-my-watch-and-more-versatile department:
aonsquared writes "In a previous Slashdot story, I demonstrated a voice-controlled robotic arm using the open-source speech decoder Julius. This time, I have managed to port the system to a Raspberry Pi to control the same robotic arm, and as usual, posted the tutorial and source code. Some negative reviews of the Raspberry Pi are starting to appear, and they're missing the educational point of this device — I'm hoping this will counter the naysayers, and help inspire a new generation of hackers, as well as also bring open-source speech recognition the same attention as proprietary solutions (i.e Siri) are getting!"

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SSID As the New Community Bulletin Board and Yard Sign
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-are-in-bullet-range department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Megan Garber writes that wireless routers have become the lawn signs of the digital age, particularly in large apartment buildings, where almost every unit has a unique Wi-Fi network that will be detected in turn by all the other unique Wi-Fi networks, SSIDs can be a cheeky, geeky way to broadcast messages to your immediate neighbors. Most of us keep it simple with '275_Elm_Street,' 'Apt23,' or 'my_network,' but some get more creative with names like: 'Apt112IHaveYourMail,' 'PrettyFlyForAWiFi,' or 'WeCanHearYouHavingSex' — a great way to freak out your annoying neighbors without hiding in their bushes or peeping in their windows late at night. Now the team at OpenSignalMaps, which maintains a database of geolocated Wi-Fi access points, analyzed the data they've collected about wireless routers to see whether Wi-Fi names are 'being used to fly political colors' and have found, globally, 1,140 results for 'Obama' and an additional six for 'Romney' — an indication not necessarily of Romney's popularity relative to the president's, but of the attention that four years as president can confer. 'There's something uniquely contemporary and incredibly old-school about that kind of broadcasting: It's messaging meant only for your immediate neighbors,' writes Garber. 'The politicized network names are like lawn signs for people who don't have lawns.'"

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'Legitimized' Cyberwar Opens Pandora's Box of Dirty Tricks
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's he-who-is-without-sin department:
DillyTonto writes "U.S. officials have acknowledged playing a role in the development and deployment of Stuxnet, Duqu and other cyberweapons against Iran. The acknowledgement makes cyberattacks more legitimate as a tool of not-quite-lethal international diplomacy. It also legitimizes them as more-combative tools for political conflict over social issues, in the same way Tasers gave police less-than-lethal alternatives to shooting suspects and gave those who abuse their power something other than a club to hit a suspect with. Political parties and single-issue political organizations already use 'opposition research' to name-and-shame their opponents with real or exaggerated revelations from a checkered past, jerrymander districts to ensure their candidates a victory and vote-suppression or get-out-the-vote efforts to skew vote tallies. Imagine what they'll do with custom malware, the ability to DDOS an opponent's web site or redirect donations from an opponent's site to their own. Cyberweapons may give nations a way to attack enemies without killing anyone. They'll definitely give domestic political groups a whole new world of dirty tricks to play."

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Basque Country Gov't Decrees State-Produced Software Should Be Open Sourced
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's if-they-can-why-can't-texas? department:
New submitter lsatenstein writes with this snippet from The H:"The regional government of Spain's Basque Country has decreed that all software produced for Basque government agencies and public bodies should be open sourced. Joinup, the European Commission's open source web site, cites an article in Spanish newspaper El Pais [English translation], saying that the only exceptions will be software that directly affects state security and a handful of projects which are being conducted in conjunction with commercial software suppliers."

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Is Australia's CSIRO a Patent Troll?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '12 at 12:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's always-thought-of-it-a-fairly-benevolent department:
schliz writes "Australian tech publication iTnews is defining 'patent trolls' as those who claim rights to an invention without commercializing it, and notes that government research organization CSIRO could come under that definition. The CSIRO in April reached a $220 million settlement over three U.S. telcos' usage of WLAN that it invented in the early 1990s. Critics have argued that the CSIRO had failed to contribute to the world's first wifi 802.11 standard, failed to commercialize the wifi chip through its spin-off, Radiata, and chose to wage its campaign in the Eastern District courts of Texas, a location favored by more notorious patent trolls."

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Liberated Pixel Cup Art Contest Launches
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 09:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's take-heart-take-part-take-money department:
Liberated Pixel Cup is an ambitious project backed by the FSF, Creative Commons. the Mozilla Foundation, and OpenGameArt to "program a bunch of free software games"; before the programming can get properly underway, though, they're looking for art that the game logic can manipulate, and they're using a contest to organize collecting it. Now, writes new submitter paroneayea, "Liberated Pixel Cup has announced that the art contest phase has just started. Several other bits have been announced as part of the post, including prize amounts, and a style guide, asset directory, and interactive demo section. Let the liberated pixeling commence!"

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Apple, Google: Battle of the Cloud Maps
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 06:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-about-open-street-maps? department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google has sent invitations for a June 6 event in which it will apparently unveil 'The Next Dimension of Google Maps.' Meanwhile, rumor suggests Apple is preparing its own mapping service for iOS devices. The escalating battle over maps demonstrates the importance of cloud apps to tech companies' larger strategies." I only wish my phone would hold by default the X-million data points that my outmoded (but cheap and functional) dedicated GPS device does, without quite so much cloud-centric bottlenecking, and leave all expensive data use for optional overlays and current conditions.

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Rights Holders See Little Point Creating Legal Content Sources
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's regulatory-capture-has-only-just-begun department:
aesoteric writes "Six weeks after Hollywood lost a landmark internet piracy case in Australia, it appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy. Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available. The results appear to support the studio's policy position that legislation is a preferable way of dealing with the issue." The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.

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Making ZFS and DTrace Work On Ubuntu Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's crossing-the-platforms department:
New submitter Liberum Vir writes "Many of the people that I talk with who use Solaris-like systems mention ZFS and DTrace as the reasons they simply cannot move to Linux. So, I set out to discover how to make these two technologies work on the latest LTS release of Ubuntu. It turned out to be much easier than I expected. The ports of these technologies have come a long way. If you or someone you know is addicted to a Solaris-like system because of ZFS and DTrace, please, inquire within."

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With a Math Degree?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 03:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-many-ply? department:
First time accepted submitter badmojo17 writes "After achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a public school math teacher, my wife has found the profession to be much more frustrating than she ever expected. She could deal with having a group of disrespectful criminals as students if she had competent administrators supporting her, but the sad truth is that her administration causes more problems on a daily basis than her students do. Our question is this: what other professions are open to a bright young woman with a bachelor's degree in math and a master's degree in education? Without further education, what types of positions or companies might be interested in her as an employee?"

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Hollywood Agent Ari Emanuel Wants a Magic 'Stop Piracy' Button
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's take-two-they're-small department:
closer2it writes "At this week's All Things D conference, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher invited Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel. He spoke about things like TV not dying, cord-cutting being some kind of myth, and that googlers are smart guys and they should do something about the stealing of content. Josh Topolsky, from The Verge, apparently challenged him (video) on this point, asking: 'Aren't you saying that the road is responsible for the fact that someone drove on it before they robbed my house?' Emanuel didn't like this analogy, and even ended the reply asking Topolsky where he works. Mike Masnick also wrote a piece about the interview. I guess that if the Internet has enemies, I'd say Emanuel gives them a face."

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AT&T Expects Data-Only Phone Plans Within 2 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-in-any-big-rush department:
An anonymous reader writes "AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said today that he expects wireless carriers to start offering data-only cellphone plans within the next 24 months. 'Analysts see such plans as a logical extension of trends in wireless technology. Smartphones with data service can already use it for Internet phone calls and texting through services such as Skype. Phone calls are also taking a back seat to other things people do with their smartphones. AT&T has been recording a decline in the average number of minutes used per month.' He says there isn't a specific plan in the works — he just think it's inevitable."

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Fox News Ties 'Flame' Malware To Angry Birds
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's there's-bad-men-in-our-internets department:
eldavojohn writes "The title of this hard-hitting piece of journalism reads 'Powerful 'Flame' cyberweapon tied to popular Angry Birds game,' and opens with, 'The most sophisticated and powerful cyberweapon uncovered to date was written in the LUA computer language, cyber security experts tell Fox News — the same one used to make the incredibly popular Angry Birds game.' The rest of the details that are actually pertinent to the story follow that important message. The graphic for this story? Perhaps a map of Iran, or the LUA logo, or maybe the stereotyped evil hacker in a ski mask? Nope, all Angry Birds. Describing LUA as 'Gamer Code,' Fox for some reason (popularity?) selects Angry Birds from an insanely long list in their article implying guilt-by-shared-development-language. I'm not sure if explaining machine language to them would alleviate the perceived problem or cause them to burn their desktops in the streets and launch a new crusade to protect the children."

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What Should We Do About Wikipedia's Porn Problem?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's make-a-wiki-about-it department:
Larry Sanger writes "In 2011, the Wikimedia Board committed to installing a 'controversial content' filter even weaker than Google's SafeSearch, as proposed by the '2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content.' Since then, after growing opposition by some Wikipedians, some board members have made it clear that they do not expect this filter to be finished and installed. Nevertheless, Wikipedia continues to host an enormous amount of extremely gross porn and other material most parents don't want their kids stumbling across. And this content is some of the website's most-accessed. Nevertheless, children remain some of Wikipedia's heaviest users. Jimmy Wales has recently reiterated his support for such a filter, but no work is being done on it, and the Foundation has not yet issued any statement about whether they intend to continue work on it."
(In case it isn't obvious from the headline and summary, these articles discuss subject matter that may not be appropriate for workplace reading.)

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Google To Require Retailers To Pay To Be In Google Shopping Results
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's search-neutrality-in-action department:
gambit3 writes "In a move to squeeze more cash out of its lucrative Web-search engine, Google is converting its free product-search service into a paid one. Online retailers will now have to bid to display their products on Google's Shopping site. Currently, retailers include their products for free by providing Google with certain data about the products. Google then ranks those products, such as cameras, by popularity and price. 'We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.'"

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Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's guns-don't-kill-people,-except-when-they-do department:
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The BBC is reporting on a new law in Venezuela that effectively bans the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition to private citizens. Previously anyone with a permit could purchase a firearm from any commercial vendor but now only the police, military, and security firms will be able to purchase firearms or ammunition from only state-owned manufactures or importers. Hugo Chavez's government states that the goal is to eventually disarm the citizenry. The law, which went into effect today, was passed on February 29th, and up to this point the government has been running an amnesty program allowing citizens to turn in their illegal firearms. Since the law was first passed, 805,000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered from gun dealers. The measure is intended to curb violent crime in Venezuela, where 78% of homicides are linked to firearms."

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The Cost of Crappy Security In Software Infrastructure
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's measured-in-dollars-and-annoying-calls-from-relatives department:
blackbearnh writes "Everyone these days knows that you have to double- and triple-check your code for security vulnerabilities, and make sure your servers are locked down as tight as you can. But why? Because our underlying operating systems, languages, and platforms do such a crappy job of protecting us from ourselves. The inevitable result of clamoring for new features, rather than demanding rock-solid infrastructure, is that the developer community wastes huge amounts of time protecting their applications from exploits that should never be possible in the first place. The next time you hear about a site that gets pwned by a buffer overrun exploit, don't think 'stupid developers!', think 'stupid industry!'"

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