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Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to SlashdotTV! (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's film-at-eleven department:
You may have noticed that we've posted quite a few original videos on Slashdot in the past few months. Rather than being the work of a few rogue editors with newly-acquired Christmas cameras, this was part of the groundwork for a new site we're launching today. SlashdotTV, found at http://tv.slashdot.org, will let you easily find and watch all of our videos in one convenient location. In addition to Slashdot content, you also can watch videos from our sister sites, SourceForge and ThinkGeek. The site is brand new, and we're interested in hearing your feedback -- what you think about it, and what kind of videos you'd like to see. Currently, you can embed our videos on your own site or show them to your friends with our share feature. Commenting is coming soon. Check back often for new videos, and keep watching!

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Comcast Not Counting Their Video Service Against Bandwidth Cap
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 04:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's net-neutrality-really-works-after-all department:
tekgoblin writes something not quite worth rejoicing over. From the article: "Comcast Internet subscribers can rejoice. Comcast has recently announced that they will not be counting content streamed via their Comcast Xfinity App on the Xbox 360 against their bandwidth caps. Comcast claims that since the data is only traversing their internal Comcast network that it will not count towards your 250 GB limit a month."

Comcast is claiming this does not violate net neutrality laws (and it very well may not); a number of folks are not very happy about it. I've always been perplexed by the large media interests of most U.S. last-mile providers.

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The Fall of Data Haven Sealand
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's countdown-to-when-we-repeat-this-with-cloudland department:
Fluffeh writes "Ars has a great article about the history of Sealand, a data haven — a place where you can host almost anything, as long as it follows the very bare laws of Sealand Government. Quoting: 'HavenCo's failure — and make no mistake about it, HavenCo did fail — shows how hard it is to get out from under government's thumb. HavenCo built it, but no one came. For a host of reasons, ranging from its physical vulnerability to the fact that The Man doesn't care where you store your data if he can get his hands on you, Sealand was never able to offer the kind of immunity from law that digital rebels sought. And, paradoxically, by seeking to avoid government, HavenCo made itself exquisitely vulnerable (PDF) to one government in particular: Sealand's.'"

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Graphics Rendering Patent Suits Target Apple, Samsung, HTC, RIM, LG and Sony
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-invented-the-pixel department:
angry tapir writes "Formerly known as Silicon Graphics, Graphics Properties Holdings has filed six separate patent cases against Apple, Samsung, Research In Motion, HTC, Sony and LG with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The patent at issue in the lawsuits relates to floating point calculations to render graphics, and is registered as patent number 8,144,158 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office."

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UK's Largest Specialist Video Games Retailer Enters Administration
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's increment-steam's-kill-count department:
RogueyWon writes "The GAME Group, owners of high street chains GAME and Gamestation, which between them account for a large majority of the UK's specialist games retail market, have entered into administration. In the hours following the Group's entry into administration, hundreds of stores were closed and thousands of staff made redundant. While some of the factors behind the Group's downfall, such as stores located too close to each other and overly-ambitious international expansion, were likely unique to the UK-based company, other factors, such as price competition from supermarkets and online retailers, as well as a reliance on a fickle pre-owned games market, may have wider application."

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Particle-Wave Duality Demonstrated With Largest Molecules Yet
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 09:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's working-their-way-up-to-cat-sized-objects department:
An anonymous reader tips news that researchers have successfully demonstrated particle-wave duality in molecules that have masses of 514 and 1,298 atomic mass units.The academic paper can be found in Nature Nanotechnology.
"Thomas Juffmann et al. fired molecules composed of over 100 atoms at a barrier with openings designed to minimize molecular interactions, and observed the build-up of an interference pattern. The experiment approaches the regime where macroscopic and quantum physics overlap, offering a possible way to study the transition that has frustrated many scientists for decades. ... The relatively large phthalocyanine (C32H18N8) and derivative molecules (C48H26F24N8O8) have more mass than anything in which quantum interference has previously been observed. To have wavelengths that are relatively large compared to their sizes, the molecules need to move very slowly. Juffmann et al. achieved this by directing a blue diode laser onto a very thin film of molecules in a vacuum chamber, effectively boiling off individual molecules directly under the beam while leaving the rest unaffected. ... The researchers observed the particle nature of the molecules in the form of individual light spots appearing singly in the fluorescent detector as they arrived. But, over time, these spots formed an interference pattern due to the molecules' wavelike character.'"

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Japan's Damaged Reactor Has High Radiation, No Water
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's prefers-diet-coke department:
mdsolar passes along this quote from an Associated Press report:
"One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant's stability. A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor's containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity. The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades."

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Australian Consumer Watchdog Sues Apple Over iPad Marketing
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 06:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's does-not-stand-up-to-vigorous-kangaroo-attack department:
Fluffeh writes "Australia's competition regulator will today take iconic technology giant Apple to court for advertising its new iPad tablet as featuring '4G' speeds — which are not supported on Australian telecommunications networks. One of the key features of the new iPad is support for 4G speeds, however, the 4G speeds which the new iPad supports will not be available in Australia, with Apple's technical specifications page only listing it as supporting the 700Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum bands, neither of which are being used by Australian telcos to provide 4G services. The case may be a bit shaky, though, as Apple does state in the fine print: '4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the US; and on Bell, Rogers and Telus networks in Canada. Data plans sold separately. See your carrier for details.'"

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13-Billion-Year-Old Alien Worlds Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-was-orbiting-when-your-sun-was-in-diapers department:
astroengine writes "Two exoplanets have been discovered by scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy orbiting the star HIP 11952. But according to conventional thinking, these worlds shouldn't exist. You see, HIP 11952 is a 'metal-poor star and planetary formation is hindered around stars with low metallicity (PDF). This isn't the only thing; as metal-poor stars were the first stars to form when the Universe was very young, these two worlds also formed around the same time. They are therefore the most ancient exoplanets discovered to date."

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A Hybrid Car With Detachable Engine Proposed
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 04:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's plug-n-play department:
thecarchik writes "The SCI hyMod five-door minicar concept is the brainchild of a Romanian team made up of an engineer, a designer, and an automotive journalist. It uses what its designers call a 'dedicated logistics center' for the transformation from electric to gas-powered, in which the back end of the car containing a battery pack is removed, and replaced with one containing a gasoline engine module that drives the rear wheels. In normal urban use, the battery pack powers an electric motor that drives the front wheels. The hyMod combines elements of range-extended electric cars like the Fisker Karma and the Volt, plus a tiny, compact range extender, and perhaps even the Better Place automated battery-pack swap station."

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Boston Pays Out $170,000 To Man Arrested For Recording Police
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's better-than-a-strongly-worded-letter department:
Ian Lamont writes "The City of Boston has reached a $170,000 settlement with Simon Glik, who was arrested by Boston Police in 2007 after using his mobile phone to record police arresting another man on Boston Common. Police claimed that Glik had violated state wiretapping laws, but later dropped the charges and admitted the officers were wrong to arrest him. Glik had brought a lawsuit against the city (aided by the ACLU) because he claimed his civil rights were violated. According to today's ACLU statement: 'As part of the settlement, Glik agreed to withdraw his appeal to the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel. He had complained about the Internal Affairs Division's investigation of his complaint and the way they treated him. IAD officers made fun of Glik for filing the complaint, telling him his only remedy was filing a civil lawsuit. After the City spent years in court defending the officers' arrest of Glik as constitutional and reasonable, IAD reversed course after the First Circuit ruling and disciplined two of the officers for using "unreasonable judgment" in arresting Glik.'"

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FTC Privacy Framework Pushes For Regulation of Data Brokers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's suggested-recommendations-for-potential-guidelines department:
Trailrunner7 writes "The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new report (PDF) on consumer privacy and online tracking. Among the recommendations the commission makes is that data brokers make themselves known to consumers and be open and transparent about the data they collect. The FTC also says companies should be building privacy protections into their products by design, including implementing the Do Not Track mechanism once it's finalized. Data brokers are essentially an unregulated group of companies that collect, store and sell information about consumers and their behaviors and buying preferences. Privacy advocates and some lawmakers have criticized the industry's practices and called for some regulation. As a result, the FTC is recommending that the industry not only create a central site to inform consumers about the kinds of data they collect and sell, but also is pushing for legislation to address the industry's problems."

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Cops Can Crack an iPhone In Under Two Minutes
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-i-see-that-for-a-minute department:
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Micro Systemation, a Stockholm-based company, has released a video showing that its software can easily bypass the iPhone's four-digit passcode in a matter of seconds. It can also crack Android phones, and is designed to dump the devices' data to a PC for easy browsing, including messages, GPS locations, web history, calls, contacts and keystroke logs. The company's director of marketing says it uses an undisclosed vulnerability in the devices it targets to run a program on the phone that brute-forces its passcode. He says the company's business is 'booming' and that it's sold the devices to law enforcement and military customers in 60 countries. He says Micro Systemation's biggest customer is the U.S. military."

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Slashdot Asks: How To Best Record Remote Video Interviews?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's otherwise-we-will-torture-you department:
You've probably noticed that Slashdot's been running some video lately. There are a lot of interesting people and projects in the world we'd like to present in video form, but some of them are too far away for the corporate overlords to sponsor travel to shoot footage in person. (Another reason my dream of parachuting to McMurdo Station will probably never manifest.) We've been playing around with several things on both the software and hardware side, but in truth, all of them have some flaws — whether it's flaky sound (my experience with the otherwise pleasing RecordMyDesktop on Linux), sometimes garbled picture (Skype, even on seemingly fast network connections), or video quality in general. (Google Hangouts hasn't looked as good as Skype, for instance. And of the webcams built into any of the laptops we've tried, only Apple's were much worth looking at. Logitech's HD webcams seem to be a decent bargain for their quality.) We've got a motley bunch of Linux, OS X, and Windows systems, and can only control what's on our side of the connection: interviewees may have anything from a low-end laptop with a built-in webcam to elaborate conferencing tools — which means the more universal the tools, the better. (There may not be any free, open source, high-quality, cross-platform video conferencing tools with built-in capture and a great UI, but the closer we can get, the better.) With all that in mind, what tools and workflow would you suggest for capturing internet conversations (with video and sound), and why? Approaches that minimize annoyance to the person on the other end of the connection (like the annoyance of signing up for an obscure conferencing system) are especially valuable. We'd like to hear both sides, so please chime in if you've had especially good or bad experiences with capturing remote video like this.

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Political Party's Leadership Election Hit By DDoS Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's politics-of-the-future department:
New submitter lyran74 writes "Saturday's electronic leadership vote for Canada's New Democratic Party was plagued by delays caused by a botnet DDoS attack, coming from over 10,000 machines. Details are still scarce, but Scytl, who provided electronic voting services, will have to build more robust systems in the future in anticipation of such attacks. Party and company officials say an audit proved the systems and integrity of the vote were not compromised."

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Mozilla Releases HTML5 MMO BrowserQuest
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-got-your-game-in-my-interwebs department:
New submitter rasmuswikman sends this quote from an announcement at hacks.mozilla.org:
"BrowserQuest is a tribute to classic video-games with a multiplayer twist. You play as a young warrior driven by the thrill of adventure. No princess to save here, just a dangerous world filled with treasures to discover. And it's all done in glorious HTML5 and JavaScript. Even better, it's open-source, so be sure to check out the source code on GitHub!"

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Ask Slashdot: What Defines Success In an Open Source Project?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's having-people-care-enough-to-complain-endlessly department:
rbowen writes "Nine years ago, Slashdot readers discussed what makes an Open Source project successful. The answers were varied, of course. An academic paper summarized the results, agreeing (albeit with more precision) that motivations for Open Source projects are varied. Has anything changed since then? In the era of mobile apps, social media, and Google Ad revenue, have the definitions of Open Source project success changed at all? Have your reasons changed for being involved in Open Source?"

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Inside the Mummification of Space Shuttle Discovery
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's intersection-of-sad-and-fascinating department:
longacre writes "When Space Shuttle Discovery goes on display at the Smithsonian next month, it will be a shell of its former self, with most of its critical systems removed. This article has a behind-the-scenes look at the removal of the engines and their replica replacements, as well as photos of the orbiter in various states of deconstruction. 'From the very beginning it was understood by all parties involved — including the orbiter recipients — that the orbiters will be made safe and inert prior to display, as was made clearly evident in NASA’s request for proposals to house the orbiters. Discovery’s preparation for display took a year and cost approximately $28 million. Since the Smithsonian is a federally owned institution, this cost was borne by the U.S. government, unlike the other institutions that have to foot the bill for the preparation and delivery of the orbiters. The price tag did not stop the frantic push to get one by an eager group of contenders. At stake was not only a piece of American history and the prestige of housing an orbiter but the potential draw for millions of new paying visitors to the recipient museums.'"

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Richard Clarke: All Major U.S. Firms Hacked By China
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's information-liberation-cyberarmy department:
bdking writes "Former White House cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke says state-sanctioned Chinese hackers are stealing R&D from U.S. companies, threatening the long-term competitiveness of the nation. He said, 'The U.S. government is involved in espionage against other governments. There’s a big difference, however, between the kind of cyberespionage the United States government does and China. The U.S. government doesn’t hack its way into Airbus and give Airbus the secrets to Boeing [many believe that Chinese hackers gave Boeing secrets to Airbus]. We don’t hack our way into a Chinese computer company like Huawei and provide the secrets of Huawei technology to their American competitor Cisco. [He believes Microsoft, too, was a victim of a Chinese cyber con game.] We don’t do that. ... We hack our way into foreign governments and collect the information off their networks. The same kind of information a CIA agent in the old days would try to buy from a spy. ... Diplomatic, military stuff but not commercial competitor stuff.'"

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Google I/O Sells Out In 20 Minutes
Posted by News Fetcher on March 27 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's improved-throughput-explains-all department:
netbuzz writes "Last year it took almost an hour, but this morning Google's enormously popular conference for developers sold out in about 20 minutes, Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president of engineering, told his followers on Google+. 'While we're overwhelmed with the interest and enthusiasm around Google I/O, we know it can be very disappointing and frustrating when an event sells out this quickly,' he wrote. Those who did not get tickets were not only disappointed and angry, but mystified as to why they were left out of a first-come, first-served sale despite being online and ready to buy the second the bell rang. And, of course, tickets were quickly being scalped on eBay." Of course, everyone who gets in drives away in a free Tesla.

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