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DoJ Investigates eBook Price Fixing
Posted by News Fetcher on December 08 '11 at 12:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pillaging-publisher department:
dave562 writes "The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust arm said it was looking into potentially unfair pricing practices by electronic booksellers, joining European regulators and state attorneys general in a widening probe of large U.S. and international e-book publishers. A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that the probe involved the possibility of 'anti-competitive practices involving e-book sales.' Attorneys general in Connecticut and, reportedly, Texas, have also begun inquiries into the way electronic booksellers price their wares, and whether companies such as Apple and Amazon have set up pricing practices that are ultimately harmful to consumers."

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Bill Gates To Help China Build Traveling Wave Nuclear Reactor
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-to-a-billion-people department:
First time accepted submitter BabaChazz writes "Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates says he is in discussions with China to jointly develop a new kind of nuclear reactor. During a talk at China's Ministry of Science & Technology Wednesday, the billionaire said: 'The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste.' Gates backs Washington-based TerraPower, which is developing a nuclear reactor that can run on depleted uranium."

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Iran Shuts Down US Virtual Embassy
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's close-it-down department:
bonch writes "Less than 12 hours after the U.S. launched a virtual embassy for Iran, the Iranian government blocked access to the website, directing visitors to a government page proclaiming the site illegal. The White House condemned the move, calling Iran's internet policies 'an electronic curtain of surveillance and censorship around its people.'"

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DARPA Seeks App Developers For War App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-out-the-free-section department:
MrSeb writes "DARPA has a problem on its hands: Satellites, unmanned drones (UAVs), and myriad other worldwide sensors are now so ubiquitous and omnipotent that the Department of Defense (DOD) doesn't actually know how to make the best use of them. In other words, the hardware is there, but the software isn't. To tackle this particularly tricky issue, DARPA is looking for smartphone app developers to help build 'sophisticated, adaptive applications.' Yes, DARPA wants to give smartphone developers access to the DOD's fleet of Hellfire missile-equipped UAVs. Instead of using a single, remote pilot to fly just one UAV, DARPA imagines 'an app [...] that allows a swarm of small deployed UAVs to be controlled as a single unit (a hive [mind] so to speak).' DARPA also wants app developers to help out with easy-to-use app interfaces, novel uses of smartphone-like sensors (accelerometers, cameras, gyros) — and ultimately, it wants to make a War Market where a soldier can simply log in with his DOD-issued smartphone or tablet and download Angry UAVs, Nuke Ninja, and other battlefield apps."

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Bluetooth Keyboards With a 10-Year Charge Promised
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I'll-wait-for-11 department:
angry tapir writes "Broadcom is working on a Bluetooth chipset that will give wireless keyboards a battery life of up to 10 years. If they had a battery life of as long as 10 years, that Bluetooth-based accessories could potentially never need new batteries, the chip maker said. A set of two AA batteries would be enough to power a keyboard using the BCM20730 Bluetooth chip to connect with a computer for its entire lifetime, Broadcom said."

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The Unique Candidates of the New Hampshire Primary
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's strange-bedfellows department:
30 Republicans and 14 Democrats are running for president in the New Hampshire primary this year, the largest number since 1992 when 62 candidates ran. Among other factors, the meager $1,000 fee to get one's name on the ballot makes New Hampshire an attractive place for unusual candidates. This year we have home-builder John Davis who "has budgeted $500,000 to visit all 3,143 counties in the U.S. in a 43-foot live-on bus emblazoned with a photo of himself brandishing a femur-size wrench and the slogan 'Let's Fix America.'" The oddly hatted Vermin Supreme of Rockport, Mass. is a perennial candidate who plans to run on a platform of mandatory tooth brushing and zombie preparedness. Vermin also promises a pony for every American. From the article: "If ever there were a year for has-beens, wannabes and neverwillbes pushing oddball solutions to serious problems and serious palliatives for problems no one has yet postulated, this may be it."

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Ask Slashdot: Ubuntu Lockdown Options?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-internet-for-you department:
First time accepted submitter clava writes "We have a desktop Java testing application that is going to be administering tests to students on lab computers running Ubuntu 10.x. These computers are used by the students for other purposes and we're not allowed to create special users or change the OS configuration. When the testing app is launched, we need to restrict users from exiting the app so they can't do things like search the internet for answers or use other applications. Is there a good way to put an Ubuntu machine in kiosk mode or something via our application and have exiting kiosk mode be password protected? Any ideas are appreciated."

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Original Star Wars Camera Sells For $625,000
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-drallish-crowns department:
An anonymous reader writes "A Panavision PSR 35 mm motion picture camera used by George Lucas to film Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hopewas was sold for $625,000 surpassing all expectations and setting new world record. The camera package included a Panaspeed motor, matte box, follow focus, a Moy geared head, Italian-made Elemack camera dolly and lens and two 1000 ft. magazines. True Star Wars fans will be delighted to know the camera is still functional and has been completely restored."

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Voyager 1 Exits Our Solar System
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's so-long-farewell-auf-wiedersehen-goodbye department:
eldavojohn writes "The first man-made craft to do so is now entering a 'cosmic purgatory' between solar systems and entering an interstellar space of the Milky Way Galaxy. With much anticipation, Voyager 1 is now 'in a stagnation region in the outermost layer of the bubble around our solar system. Voyager is showing that what is outside is pushing back.' After three decades the spacecraft is still operating and apparently has enough power and fuel to continue to do so until 2020. The first big piece of news? 'We've been using the flow of energetic charged particles at Voyager 1 as a kind of wind sock to estimate the solar wind velocity. We've found that the wind speeds are low in this region and gust erratically. For the first time, the wind even blows back at us. We are evidently traveling in completely new territory. Scientists had suggested previously that there might be a stagnation layer, but we weren't sure it existed until now.' This process could take months to years to completely leave the outer shell but already scientists are receiving valuable information."

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Two-Thirds of Lost USB Drives Carry Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bugs-everywhere department:
itwbennett writes "Antivirus firm Sophos acquired a passel of USB sticks lost by commuters on trains in the Greater Sydney metro area at an auction organized by the Rail Corporation New South Wales. The company analyzed 50 USB sticks and found that not a single one was encrypted and 33 of them were infected with at least one type of malware."

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Library of Congress To Receive Entire Twitter Archive
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-more-than-144-characters department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Library of Congress and Twitter have signed an agreement that will see an archive of every public Tweet ever sent handed over to the library's repository of historical documents. 'We have an agreement with Twitter where they have a bunch of servers with their historic archive of tweets, everything that was sent out and declared to be public,' said Bill Lefurgy, the digital initiatives program manager at the library's national digital information infrastructure and preservation program. Researchers will be able to look at the Twitter archive as a complete set of data, which they could then data-mine for interesting information."

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EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's making-it-free department:
Diggester writes "Jailbreaking is a way to break off from the limitations imposed by the mobile vendor to download additional applications and themes etc. which aren't available otherwise. It provides root access to the device by use of custom kernels. It is common with the iDevices and has been rendered legal by the efforts of EEF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) in July 2010. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is now <a>determined to make Jailbreaking legal for all the consumer electric goods</a>. They have asked the US copyright office to declare it legal to jailbreak all the devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles etc. no matter who the vendor is. The aim behind this plead is to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prohibits such an access to the user."

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Quantum Coherence Found Fueling Photosynthesis
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's spooky-energy department:
Gaygirlie writes "Ars Technica has posted an interesting article about new findings regarding quantum physics and photosynthesis. Their excerpt for the article: 'Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis. Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it has been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear.' Here's a little background info for those unaware of what coherence and quantum coherence are."

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Facebook Tells India It Won't Help Censor the Web
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's censor-it-yourself department:
An anonymous reader writes "Indian Communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal yesterday announced a proposal to have technology companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Twitter pre-screen user generated content so that community sentiments are not hurt. Social media platforms are being asked to censor whatever politicians deem objectionable and too offensive for the Internet. Sibal called a news conference when the story broke, and following it, Facebook responded to say that it can't help in the effort."

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New All-Sky Map Shows the Magnetic Fields of the Milky Way
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's discerning-eye department:
An anonymous reader writes "With a unique new all-sky map, scientists at MPA have made significant progress toward measuring the magnetic field structure of the Milky Way in unprecedented detail. Specifically, the map is of a quantity known as Faraday depth, which among other things, depends strongly on the magnetic fields along a particular line of sight. To produce the map, data were combined from more than 41,000 individual measurements using a novel image reconstruction technique. The work was a collaboration between scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), who are specialists in the new discipline of information field theory, and a large international team of radio astronomers. The new map not only reveals the structure of the galactic magnetic field on large scales, but also small-scale features that provide information about turbulence in the galactic gas."

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Will Windows 8 Be Ready For Release In 2012?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's too-little-too-late department:
MrSeb writes with an excerpt from an Extreme Tech article on the Windows 8 release timeline: "...A Microsoft vice president announced that the Windows 8 beta would begin in late February 2012. The beta will be feature-complete and will allow developers to begin listing their apps in the Store. The timing of the beta is curious, and ultimately quite telling. ... The first public build of Windows 8 ... emerged in mid-September 2011; by the time the beta rolls around, it will have been ruminating for more than five months. If we follow the timeline forward — it took 10 months for Windows 7 to go from beta to public release — then it's possible that Windows 8 might arrive just in time for Black Friday 2012, or perhaps not in 2012 at all. Will its late arrival affect its chances of cutting out a swath of the tablet market from Apple and Android? Or will Windows 8 be different enough that it will do well, no matter when it arrives?"

In related news, an anonymous reader notes that IDC predicts Windows 8 will be irrelevant to the traditional PC market.

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Intel and Micron Unveil 128Gb NAND Chip
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's rotating-disks-are-so-90s department:
ScuttleMonkey writes "A joint venture between Intel and Micron has given rise to a new 128 Gigabit die. While production wont start until next year ..., this little beauty sets new bars for capacity, speed, and endurance. 'Die shrinks also tend to reduce endurance, with old 65nm MLC flash being rated at 5,000-10,000 erase cycles, but that number dropping to 3,000-5,000 for 25nm MLC flash. However, IMFT is claiming that the shrink to 20nm has not caused any corresponding reduction in endurance. Its 20nm flash uses a Hi-K/metal gate design which allows it to make transistors that are smaller but no less robust. IMFT is claiming that this use of Hi-K/metal gate is a first for NAND flash production.'"

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Study Shows Many Sites Still Failing Basic Security Measures
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's remember-stack-smashing department:
Orome1 writes with a summary of a large survey of web applications by Veracode. From the article: "Considered 'low hanging fruit' because of their prevalence in software applications, XSS and SQL Injection are two of the most frequently exploited vulnerabilities, often providing a gateway to customer data and intellectual property. When applying the new analysis criteria, Veracode reports eight out of 10 applications fail to meet acceptable levels of security, marking a significant decline from past reports. Specifically for web applications, the report showed a high concentration of XSS and SQL Injection vulnerabilities, with XSS present in 68 percent of all web applications and SQL Injection present in 32 percent of all web applications."

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Webhosting For A Large Art Project?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's disk-ain't-cheap department:
First time accepted submitter heleneleh writes "I'm in a class at school on Electronic Writing and for my final project I'm trying to upload the entire contents of my computer to a webserver that will preserve the directory structure (I plan on using rsync so that it is continually updated as my files change). I need about 500 GB of space, and I'm willing to spend some money, so I was hoping Slashdot could suggest a reliable hosting service for that type of project. Traffic shouldn't be too high, but the storage space and ssh access are key. If there's another way to do this, I'd love to know about it."

I've noticed a lot of VPS providers charge almost nothing for processor time and RAM, but disk is still pretty expensive.

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RIM Gives Up After Losing Initial Battle Over BBX Trademark
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '11 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's it-turns-out-apple-owns-ten-too department:
First time accepted submitter Mastadex writes "RIM's brand new BlackBerry mobile OS, due in early 2012, was expected to be called BBX. But due to a recent court ruling against it, RIM has dropped BBX and opted simply for 'BlackBerry 10.' Software company Basis International said a U.S. federal court in Albuquerque has granted a temporary restraining order against RIM, barring it from using Basis's BBX trademark. The court decision bars RIM from using the trademark at its Asian DevCon conference on Wednesday and Thursday in Singapore."

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