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Wikimedia Foundation Enables HTTPS For All Projects
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 08:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's secure-citation-needed department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Wikimedia Foundation has enabled HTTPS for all of its projects (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, etc.), to enable secure log-in and browsing privacy. Their blog post goes into detail about how the service is configured, linking to configuration files and implementation documentation. It also mentions that HTTPS Everywhere will have updated rules for this change soon."

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Sony Ericsson Helps Out FreeXperia Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's helping-hand department:
hypnosec writes "Smartphone maker Sony Ericsson has decided to work closely with developers creating custom Android ROMs for devices in order to learn from them. The company said in a blog post that it has decided to support an open source developer group called 'FreeXperia,' which creates custom Android ROMs based on the CyanogenMod for several Sony Ericsson phones like the Xperia ARC and Play. Sony Ericsson maintained that it does not approve of some of the work carried out by independent developers but was keen to work with people who were creating custom ROMs."

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3D Helicopter View Added To Google Maps
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 06:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's merging-the-flight-sims-and-directions department:
Zothecula writes "Those not content with getting a 2D top-down or 360-degree street level view of a planned route using Google Maps can now enjoy a virtual flight over the route thanks to Google adding a new Helicopter View. The new feature, which currently only works in a full browser and requires the Google Earth plugin, lets users see 3D view, and should come in particularly handy for walkers or bike riders looking for a more intuitive view of potentially tiring hills."

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Patent Troll Says Anyone Using Wi-Fi Infringes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-luck-with-that department:
akahige sends this excerpt from an article at TechDirt:
"The Patent Examiner blog has the incredible story of Innovatio IP, a patent troll that recently acquired a portfolio of patents that its lawyers (what, you think there are any employees?) appear to believe cover pretty much any Wi-Fi implementation. They've been suing coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels first — including Caribou Coffee, Cosi, Panera Bread Co, certain Marriotts, Best Westerns, Comfort Inns and more. ... The lawyer representing the company, Matthew McAndrews, seems to imply that the company believes the patents cover everyone who has a home Wi-Fi setup, but they don't plan to go after such folks right now, for 'strategic' reasons."

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Japan Re-Opens Some Towns Near Fukushima
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's going-home department:
JSBiff writes "Bloomberg, among others, is reporting that the Japanese government has partially lifted the Fukushima evacuation order, allowing residents to return to five towns previously in the evacuation zone. Additionally, a key milestone has been reached in achieving a full 'cold shutdown' of the damaged reactors — the temperature of all three reactors has dropped below 100 deg. C. It's a shame these people were unable to return home for six months. For people who lived closer to the plant, they might never be allowed to return home. Now, the question is: will residents actually want to return, other than to maybe retrieve stuff they left behind?"

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NASA, Google Award $1.35M For Ultra-Efficient Electric Aircraft
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's earning-green-by-being-green department:
coondoggie writes "NASA today awarded what it called the largest prize in aviation history to a company that flew their aircraft 200 miles in less than two hours on less than one gallon of fuel or electric equivalent. Their aircraft is the Taurus G4 by Pipistrel-USA.com. The twin fuselage motor glider features a 145 kW electric motor, lithium-ion batteries, and retractable landing gear."

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Sprint Bets Big On the iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's over-a-barrel department:
hazytodd was one of several readers to tip news of Sprint Nextel's plan to grab a piece of the iPhone action in order to halt the company's downward slide. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Sprint has committed to buying 30.5 million iPhones over the next five years (summary of paywalled WSJ story), which at retail rates works out to roughly $20 billion. "To sell that many iPhones, Sprint would have to double its rolls of contract customers, convert all of them to the Apple device or a combination of the two." A separate rumor at Boy Genius Report suggests the iPhone 5 may be a Sprint exclusive until sometime next year, with Verizon and AT&T getting the upgraded iPhone 4S until then. Apple is holding an event to unveil the new phone tomorrow.

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Rhapsody To Acquire Napster
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's should-they-call-it-napsody-or-rhapster department:
tekgoblin writes "Earlier today Rhapsody, the biggest premium on-demand music service in the U.S., announced that they would be acquiring Napster and finalizing the purchase of the company by the end of November. Best Buy, a huge global name in consumer electronics retail, is the current owner of Napster. Best Buy will only be keeping a minority stake after the sale of the company, while Rhapsody will acquire all Napster subscribers and additional assets."

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New Close-Ups of Saturn's Geyser Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's really-old-really-faithful department:
sighted writes "Over the weekend, the robotic spacecraft Cassini buzzed Saturn's moon Enceladus and its intriguing geysers. Cassini flew just 62 miles above the moon's surface — and right through its jets of water vapor and ice — both capturing pictures and 'tasting' the geyser plumes. Cassini makes another pass by Enceladus later this month. Even more pictures can be seen in the stream of raw images sent by the probe."

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Hitachi-LG Fined $21M For Price-Fixing Optical Drives
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hand-in-the-cookie-jar department:
wiredmikey writes "Hitachi-LG Data Storage, a joint venture between Hitachi and LG Electronics, has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $21.1 million criminal fine for its part in a scheme to rig bids and fix prices of optical disk drives. According to the Department of Justice, the company had conspired with others to rig the bidding process on optical disk drives sold to Dell, HP, and Microsoft. Court documents show that Dell and HP hosted optical disk drive procurement events in which bidders would be awarded varying amounts of optical disk drive supply depending on where their pricing ranked."

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Facebook Files For a Patent To Track Its Users On Other Sites
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's right-hand-not-tracking-left-hand department:
suraj.sun sends word that a recent Facebook patent application details specific methods for tracking its users while they're using other websites. Michael Arrington pointed out over the weekend that this follows explicit statements from Facebook employees that the social networking giant has "no interest in tracking people." Quoting the Patent Application:
"In one embodiment, a method is described for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain. The method includes maintaining a profile for each of one or more users of the social networking system, each profile identifying a connection to one or more other users of the social networking system and including information about the user. The method additionally includes receiving one or more communications from a third-party website having a different domain than the social network system, each message communicating an action taken by a user of the social networking system on the third-party website. The method additionally includes logging the actions taken on the third-party website in the social networking system, each logged action including information about the action."

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Judge Rules Boss's "Firing Contest" Created a Hostile Work Environment
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-this-job-and-shove-it department:
Branded the "boss from hell" by his employees, 57-year-old William Ernst lost a court battle with ex-workers over unemployment benefits. An Iowa judge has decided that Ernst's "firing contest" memo wasn't the best management strategy, saying, "The employer’s actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize. This was an intolerable and detrimental work environment.” The memo reads in part: "New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!! To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today's date, today's time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope."

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Ask William Shatner Whatever You'd Like
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's make-it-count department:
He's Canadian, he's proven himself a successful comedic actor and writer, filmmaker, and musician, but (no matter what else he does) in many people's minds he will always be James Tiberius Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise. Now, William Shatner has agreed to answer your questions. We'll pass on to him a selection of the best reader questions; you might want to read up on Shatner's official home page (and the Wikipedia link above) to knock out some of the most obvious ones. We'll pass on to him a selection of the best questions. Note: it's tempting to pile them on, but please try to follow the interview question guidelines by posting one question per post — ask as many questions as you'd like, though. Shatner is on vacation right now, but will work on answering your questions when he gets back.

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The Nine Circles of IT Hell
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-then-on-again department:
snydeq writes "Dan Tynan takes us on a tour of the nine circles of IT hell, a place 'not unlike the underworld described by Dante in his Divine Comedy.' 'But here, in the data centers, conference rooms, and cubicles, the IT version of this inferno is no allegory. It is a very real test of every IT pro's sanity and soul,' Tynan writes. From IT limbo, to tech lust, to stakeholder gluttony, to tech-pro treachery, the IT inferno is not buried deep within the earth, it's just down the hall. 'Thankfully, as in Dante's poetic universe, there are ways to escape the nine circles of IT hell. But IT pros beware: You may have to face your own devils to do it. Shall we descend?'"

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Why Linux Is Good For Low-End Smartphones
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's i've-never-needed-more department:
jfruhlinger writes "Nokia's announcement that it was developing a Linux distro for low-end smartphones, shortly after abandoning the Linux-based Meego OS for Windows Phone 7, was a little puzzling. But it actually makes good business sense in the smartphone world. While WP7 aims for the high end, there's a market for cheaper and less complex phones that still beat boring old feature phones, especially in emerging economies. And, unlike Symbian and the heavily tweaked Meego, Linux can be quickly and cheaply brought to market as a low-end smartphone OS."

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UK To Get £50m Graphene Research Hub
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-the-experiments-begin department:
twoheadedboy writes "The UK Government has made a big commitment to the development of the 'wonder material' graphene, the most likely candidate to replace silicon in computing chips in the future. A £50 million Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. It is hoped the facility will help commercialize graphene. The University of Manchester, where the material was discovered, welcomed the announcement and will be one of the possible locations of the hub. Right now, universities will be getting ready to apply for their chance to host the graphene hub."

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HTC Android Backdoor Leaks Private User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-a-sieve department:
Trailrunner7 writes "There is a serious security issue with a variety of HTC Android phones that enables any app with Internet permissions to access a huge amount of private data on the device, including call logs, email addresses, SMS messages, last known GPS location and more. The problem was introduced via an update to the HTC phones that installed a tool called HTCLogger that collects the data."

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World's Most Powerful Telescope Begins Search For Origin of the Universe
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's where-the-sidewalk-ends department:
MrSeb writes "The largest astronomical installation in the world is now operational. ALMA, or the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, is a vast radio telescope made out of 66 12- and 7-meter dish antennae situated 5,000m above sea level, in Chile. Its purpose is to seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go where no telescope has gone before. But no, seriously: its job is to peer into the past and investigate ancient stars and nebulae, peer at exoplanets that might support human (or alien) life, and hopefully learn more about interstellar creation and destruction. For now only 20 out of 66 antennae are in place, but when it is complete — late next year — it will have a resolving power far greater than Hubble, according to the European Space Observatory (ESO) that operates ALMA."

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Wiki Editor Helps Reveal Pre-9/11 CIA Mistakes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-non-denial-denials department:
An anonymous reader writes "Kevin Fenton was reading the Department of Justice's 2004 Inspector General report on pre-9/11 intelligence failures. Parts of it didn't make sense to him, so he decided to add the information in the report to Paul Thompson's 9/11 timeline at the wiki-style website History Commons. Eventually, Fenton's work led him to uncover the identity of a CIA manager who ran the Bin Ladin unit before 9/11, when agents there deliberately withheld information about two 9/11 hijackers from the FBI. That manager was named Richard Earl Blee and he is now the subject of a documentary by Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy, of secrecykills.org, who confirmed his identity using techniques right out of the 70s film All the President's Men. Blee, along with Cofer Black and George Tenet, have found the work disturbing enough to release a joint statement denying some of the allegations."

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Theater Professor's Firefly Poster Declared Threatening
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wait-until-they-find-out-about-reavers department:
ocean_soul writes "Probably because nothing more threatening was happening and they need to prove their usefulness the school police at University of Wisconsin-Stout decided a Firefly poster with the quote: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed," was a threat to the safety on campus. Wasn't that a quote about not killing people?"

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