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51% of Internet Traffic Is "Non-Human"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 06:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-all-bots department:
hypnosec writes "Cloud-based service Incapsula, has revealed research indicating that 51 per cent of website traffic is through automated software programs; with many programmed for malicious activity. The breakdown of an average site's traffic is as follows: 5% is due to hacking tools looking for an unpatched or new vulnerability within a site, 5% is scrapers, 2% from automated comment spammers, 19% the result of 'spies' collating competitive intelligence, 20% derived from search engines (non-human traffic but benign), and only 49% from people browsing the Internet."

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FBI Tries To Force Google To Unlock User's Android Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's open-says-me department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Those multi-gesture passcode locks on Android phones that give users (and their spouses) fits apparently present quite a challenge for the FBI as well. Frustrated by a swipe passcode on the seized phone of an alleged gang leader, FBI officials have requested a search warrant that would force Google to 'provide law enforcement with any and all means of gaining access, including login and password information, password reset, and/or manufacturer default code ("PUK"), in order to obtain the complete contents of the memory of cellular telephone.' The request is part of a case involving an alleged gang leader and human trafficker named Dante Dears in California. Dears served several years in prison for his role in founding a gang in California called PhD, and upon his release he went back to his activities with the gang, according to the FBI's affidavit."

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Jawless Creature Had the World's Sharpest Teeth
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's his-bite-is-worse-than-his-bark department:
ananyo writes "An extinct primitive marine vertebrate had the sharpest dental structures ever known — with tips just one-twentieth of the width of a human hair, but able to apply pressures that could compete easily with those from human jaws. The razor-sharp teeth belonged to conodonts, jawless vertebrates that evolved some 500 million years ago in the Precambrian eon and went extinct during the Triassic period, around 200 million years ago. The creatures roamed the planet for longer than any other vertebrate so far–– and despite their lack of jaws, they were the first creatures to evolve teeth ( abstract )."

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Reversing the Loss of Science and Engineering Careers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hiring-for-the-future department:
walterbyrd writes "In response to the alleged shortages of qualified American engineers and technology professionals, numerous initiatives have been launched to boost interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers and to strengthen STEM education in the United States. Unfortunately, these programs have not proven successful, and many blame the laziness of modern students, the ineptitude of their teachers, poor parenting or, when there are no more other excuses remaining, they may even jump to moral decay as a causative agent. However, the failure of STEM is due to the fact that the very policies that created the shortages continue unabated. This is not a uniquely American problem. The best way to increase interest in STEM degrees is by making certain that STEM careers are actually viable."

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Possible New Human Species Discovered In China
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's family-tree-gets-another-branch department:
BayaWeaver writes "These are exciting times in anthropology. Recent analysis of fossils first discovered in China in 1979 indicate that a human-like species may have co-existed with modern humans as late as 11,500 years ago. This presumably new species has been nicknamed Red Deer Cave people because of their apparent taste for the extinct giant red deer. Other species recently discovered include: the 'hobbits' on the Indonesian island of Flores which are also thought to have been around until 12,000 years ago and the Denisovans discovered in 2010 that co-existing with modern humans in Siberia about 30,000 years ago."

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Watch How the Moon Was Formed
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-wonder-who-owns-that-moon? department:
itwbennett writes "A pair of NASA videos released today show the moon as you've never seen it before. In one video, you get an up-close tour of the moon's craters, thanks to video and images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. In the other, you can watch an animation of the moon's creation and evolution."

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The Laser Unprinter
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's does-it-work-on-tattoos? department:
MrSeb writes "You've heard of laser printers — and now a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in England have created a laser unprinter that can remove ink without damaging the paper. Despite both methods using lasers, their (un)printing approaches are fundamentally very different. In a laser printer, a laser is used to give individual 'pixels' on a piece of paper a positive charge (a separate heat source is used to fuse toner). In the laser unprinter, picosecond pulses of green laser light are used to vaporize the toner, or ablate in scientific terms. The primary goal of unprinting is to cut down on the carbon footprint of the paper and printing industries. Manufacturing paper is incredibly messy business, with a huge carbon footprint. Recycling paper is a good step in the right direction, but it still pales in comparison to unprinting. In a worst-case scenario, The University of Cambridge unprinting method has half the carbon emissions of recycling; best-case, unprinting is almost 20 times as efficient."

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Yahoo's Own Lash Out At Company Over "Weaponized" Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's any-tool-in-the-box department:
Velcroman1 writes "Yahoo is suing Facebook for patent infringement — and the people responsible for Yahoo's patents are outraged. Andy Baio sold Upcoming.org to Yahoo in 2005 for an undisclosed sum, and agreed at the time to help the company file for patents based on the site he had invented and the code he had written. Baio was hesitant to do so, but told Wired.com that he thought he was helping as a precautionary measure. 'I thought I was giving them a shield,' Baio said. 'It turns out I gave them a missile with my name permanently engraved on it.' He helped Yahoo file for eight patents, four of which were later granted. And while none were cited in the Yahoo complaint, Baio said a handful were now 'weaponized to use against people like me.'" bdking points out that Mark Cuban is sick of the patent fiasco as well but his approach is slightly different. "He's rooting for Yahoo to 'destroy' Facebook in its patent lawsuit. Why? Because if Yahoo collects, say, $50 billion from Facebook and forces the social networking company out of business, consumers will revolt and demand patent reform."

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AC and DC Battle For Data Center Efficiency Crown
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who-made-who department:
jfruh writes "AC beat DC in the War of the Currents that raged in the late 19th century, which means that most modern data centers today run on AC power. But as cloud computing demands and rising energy prices force providers to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of their data centers, DC is getting another look."

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Book Review: Google+: the Missing Manual
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
Michael J. Ross writes "Prior to Google+, the company's previous attempts at social networking — Orkut, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Wave, and Buzz — were largely failures, and tended to frustrate users who had devoted time and effort to contributing content and establishing connections with other users, only to see the services wither on the vine. In contrast, Google+ appears to be receiving far more nurturing by the Internet behemoth, and as a result has arguably better chances of not just surviving, but expanding to the point of eventually challenging Twitter and Facebook. Like its rivals, Google+ offers online help information to explain to newcomers the basics of how to use the service. But there is little to no advice on how to make the most of its capabilities, and even the basic functionality is not always clearly explained. That is the purpose of a new book, Google+: The Missing Manual." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review. Google+: The Missing Manual
author Kevin Purdy
pages 232 pages
publisher O'Reilly Media
rating 7/10
reviewer Michael J. Ross
ISBN 978-1449311872
summary An introduction to Google's social networking service.

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The Average Consumer Thinks Data Privacy Is Worth Around 65 Cents
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's money-talks department:
chicksdaddy writes "Threatpost is reporting today on the findings of an ENISA study that looked at whether consumers would pay more for goods in exchange for more privacy. The answer — 'Sure...just not much more.' The report (PDF): 'Study on Monetizing Privacy: An Economic Model for Pricing Personal Information' presents the findings of a laboratory study in which consumers were asked to buy identical goods from two online vendors: one that collected minimal customer information and another that required the customer to surrender more of their personal information to purchase the item, including phone number and a government ID number. The laboratory experiment showed that the majority of consumers value privacy protections. When the prices of the goods offered by both the privacy protecting and the privacy violating online retailers were equal, shoppers much preferred the privacy protecting vendor. But the preference for more privacy wasn't very strong, and didn't come close to equaling consumers' preference for lower prices. In fact, consumers readily switched to a more privacy-invasive provider if that provider charged a lower price for the same goods. How much lower? Not much, researchers discovered. A discount of just E0.50 ($.065) was enough to sway consumers away from a vendor who would protect the privacy of their personal data."

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Iran Blamed For Major Cyberattack On BBC
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's who's-to-blame? department:
Qedward writes "Iran is privately being blamed for a major cyberattack on the BBC that blocked access to its popular Persian TV service and disrupted the Corporation's IT using a denial-of-service attack. The multi-pronged March 2 attack took down much of the BBC's email, overloaded its telephone switchboard with automatic phone calls, and blocked a satellite feed for the BBC Persian station. BBC servers were also on the end of a DDoS. In an unprecedented tactic, the BBC has trailed a speech to be given this week to the Royal Television Society in which Director General Mark Thompson will mention the attacks in some detail while stopping short of formally naming Iran as the perpetrator."

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10 Ways To Celebrate Pi Day
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's irrational-holiday department:
alphadogg writes "There are holidays, and then there are holidays for nerds, and March 14 (3.14) is one of those. Based on the mathematical constant number that represents the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle, Pi Day has grown to become somewhat of a day to celebrate for mathematicians and techies. Here are 10 things to do on the big day."

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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's too-many-cooks department:
Sparrowvsrevolution writes in with a link to Forbes story about the lackluster code produced by government agencies."Humans aren't very good at writing secure code. But they're worst at it when they're paid to do it for the U.S. government, according to a study that will be presented at the Black Hat Europe security conference in Amsterdam later this week. Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer of bug-hunting firm Veracode plans to give a talk breaking down a vulnerability analysis of 9,910 software applications over the second half of 2010 and 2011. Government-built applications came out far worse than those created by the commercial software industry or the finance industry. Only 16% of government web applications were secure by OWASP standards, compared with 24% of finance industry software and 28% of commercial software. By SANS standards, only 18% of government apps passed, compared with 28% of finance industry apps and 34% of commercial software. Wysopal and others blame the difference on a lack of accountability of federal contract developers, who aren't held to security standards and are even paid extra to fix their bugs after creating them."

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Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 09:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's you're-all-criminals-but-i-like-you-anyway department:
An anonymous reader writes "Suren Ter discusses privacy, piracy, and the future of filesharing. Suren produced the virally popular YouHaveDownloaded.com, which displays all downloads on the public BitTorrent network associated with an IP address."

When asked about his views on piracy: "Just like I told a French journalist and to the lady at the Washington Post, pirates are thieves and they do steal. Yeah yeah, 'when I steal your DVD, you have no DVD, but when I copy a file, you still have a file' — I get that BS. We all know that it’s BS too. However, SOPAs and PIPAs create tyranny. If given the choice between thieves and tyranny, I’d rather stay with the thieves."

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AT&T Threatens To Shut Off Service of Customer Who Won Throttling Case
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's unlimited-within-limits department:
suraj.sun writes in about the recent small claims case against AT&T's throttling of 'unlimited' plans. From the article: "AT&T has about 17 million smartphone customers on 'unlimited' plans, and has started slowing down service for users who hit certain traffic thresholds. Spaccarelli maintained at his February 24 small-claims hearing that AT&T broke its promise to provide 'unlimited' service, and the judge agreed. In a letter dated Friday, a law firm retained by AT&T Inc. is threatening to shut off Matthew Spaccarelli's phone service if he doesn't sit down to talk. Spaccarelli has posted online the documents he used to argue his case and encourages other AT&T customers copy his suit."

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SOPA-style Amendments Dropped From C-11; DRM Provisions Not
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's our-more-sensible-northern-neighbors department:
New submitter Ashenkase writes "Michal Geist reviews what stayed and what was rejected by the Bill C-11 Committee Review. Looks like SOPA-style amendments are dropped except Digital Locks. There is still a chance for Canadians to have their voices heard before third reading: 'The Bill C-11 legislative committee concluded its clause-by-clause review yesterday as eight government amendments were added to the bill and all opposition amendments were defeated. The amendments included an expanded enabler provision and some modest tinkering to other elements of the bill. There are still several steps needed before the bill passes including third reading at the House of Commons, Senate review, and ultimately royal assent, but Canadian copyright reform is well on its way to completion before the summer starts. In the days leading up to the clause-by-clause review, many focused on three key issues: no SOPA-style amendments such as website blocking or warrantless disclosure of information, maintaining the fair dealing balance found in the bill, and amending the digital lock provisions. By that standard, the changes could have been a lot worse. The government expanded the enabler provision, though not as broadly as CIMA requested. Virtually all other copyright lobby demands — website blocking, notice-and-takedown, iPod tax, copyright term extension, disclosure of subscriber information — were rejected. Moreover, the provisions supported by consumer and education groups including user generated content protection, time shifting, format shifting, backup copies, Internet provider liability, and statutory damages reform were left untouched. This represents a major victory for the many Canadians and groups such as Open Media that spoke out on these issues.'"

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Details of Initial "Disc to Digital" Program Emerge
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's digitize-your-digital-video-disc-today department:
MojoKid writes with an excerpt from an article at Hot Hardware: "Walmart's burgeoning partnership with the Ultraviolet DRM system backed by major Hollywood studios and their plans to 'assist' customers in registering DVDs with the Ultraviolet system, made headlines not long ago. Walmart has also since announced additional details to the program and it's a clever attempt to drive more users to Vudu, Walmart's subsidiary movie streaming service. Here's how the service works. 'Starting April 16th, 2012 in more than 3,500 stores, Walmart customers will be able to bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to Walmart and receive digital access to their favorite titles from the partnering studios. An equal conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to High-Def (HD) for $5.' Anyone who doesn't have a Vudu account will have one created for them as part of this process. That's part of the genius to the plan. If customers embrace the offer, Walmart signs up hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people for Vudu. Even better, from Walmart's perspective, is that first-time users who pony up $2 for a digital version of their DVDs are effectively paying to create Vudu accounts."

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Looking For iPad, Police Find 750 Pounds of Meth
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's youtube-more-addictive-than-meth department:
An anonymous reader writes "Hot on the trail of a stolen iPad using the 'Find my iPad' feature in iOS, Police in San Jose tracked the stolen device back to an apartment complex where they then stumbled onto 750 pounds of meth. All told, the meth is worth about $35 million on the street. The seizure was one of the largest drug busts in recent memory."

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It's New. It's a League. It's for Gamers. It's the League for Gamers! (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on March 14 '12 at 07:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's get-your-nose-out-of-that-monitor-and-help-change-the-world department:
Intrepid correspondent Timothy Lord writes, "I talked at SXSW with Kari Hale of League For Gamers, an organization started just a few months ago by Red 5 Studios founder CEO Mark Kern. (Kern was also team lead for World of Warcraft.) League for Gamers shares some of the goals of groups like the EFF and EPIC, but — as you might guess from the name mdash; is tightly focused on the world of gaming. The group owes its existence to SOPA; the money used to start it up had initially been budgeted for Red 5 Studios' appearance at the most recent E3, but E3 sponsor's Entertainment Software Association's support for SOPA led Kern to withdraw from the show. Kari gave a quick rundown of the origins of the League, what it hopes to accomplish, and what sorts of efforts it's so far undertaken."

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