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Should Composting Be Mandatory In US Cities?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-moral-rectitude-stinks-to-high-heaven department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "After San Francisco enacted the nation's strictest regulations on composting in 2009, the city has increased the amount of food scraps and plant cuttings it composts to more than 600 tons per day, more than any other city in North America, and recently celebrated the collection one million tons of organic materials. Other cities have been watching as Seattle passed a similar mandate in 2010 diverting about 90,000 tons of organic waste from landfills in the first year and New York City is trying to figure out how to implement this type of program for its 8 million residents. The impact is potentially huge in terms of reducing the load on landfills as a study by San Francisco's Department of Environment shows that more than one third of all waste entering landfills could be composted instead. "We want to see composting be a standard for everybody," says Michael Virga, executive director of the U.S. Composting Council. "Urban, suburban, it doesn't really matter where you are." Although composting initially costs more than land-filling, over the long-term, the benefits will outweigh the costs. "We can reduce a large source of landfill-generated greenhouse gases, extend the life of our landfill, and generate a valuable resource for the community in the form of premium soil and mulch," writes Shanon Boase. "What's more, this industry generates additional jobs.""

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WikiLeaks Launches New Platform, Privacy Study
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tools-for-racking-the-mud department:
itwbennett writes "WikiLeaks has launched a new submissions platform, along with a study of the global trade in surveillance products. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told press conference attendees in London that all the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Gmail users in the crowd were 'screwed.' 'The reality is intelligence contractors are selling right now to countries across the world mass surveillance systems for all of those products,' Assange said."

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NVIDIA's Tegra 3 Outruns Apple's A5 In First Benchmarks
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-processor-left-behind department:
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA's new Tegra 3 SoC (System on a Chip) has recently been released for performance reviews in the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet. Tegra 3 is comprised of a quad-core primary CPU complex with a 5th companion core for lower-end processing requirements and power management. The chip can scale up to 1.4GHz on a single core and 1.3GHz on up to four of its cores, while the companion core operates at 500MHz. It makes for a fairly impressive new tablet platform and offers performance that <a>bests Apple's A5 dual-core processor in more than a few tests</a>. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime with optional keyboard dock and NVIDIA's Tegra 3 is set to be available in volume sometime around December 19th."

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Fire Burns Differently In Space
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's half-as-long-twice-as-bright department:
New submitter black6host writes with this interesting snippet from Space.com: "NASA is playing with fire on the International Space Station — literally. Since March 2009, the space agency's Flame Extinguishment Experiment, or FLEX, has conducted more than 200 tests to better understand how fire behaves in microgravity, which is still not well understood. The research could lead to improved fire suppression systems aboard future spaceships, and it could also have practical benefits here on Earth, scientists said."

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Carrier IQ Software May Be in iOS, Too
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's y'know-to-be-fair department:
New submitter Howard Beale writes with this excerpt from The Verge: "To date, the user tracking controversy surrounding Carrier IQ has focused primarily on Android, but today details are surfacing that the company also may have hooks into Apple's iOS. Well-known iPhone hacker Chpwn tweeted today that versions at least as recent as iPhone OS 3.1.3 contained references to Carrier IQ and later confirmed it's in all versions of iOS, including iOS 5." The details are still emerging; however, iPhone users will be happy to hear that while it's reported that the software is available to the OS, "the good news is that it does not appear to actually send any information so long as a setting called DiagnosticsAllowed is set to off, which is the default."

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30 Years of the BBC Micro
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's still-living-in-the-basement-probably department:
Alioth writes "The BBC has an article on the BBC Microcomputer, designed and manufactured by Acorn Computers for the BBC's Computer Literacy project. It is now 30 years since the first BBC Micro came out — a machine with a 2 MHz 6502 — remarkably fast for its day; the Commodore machines at the time only ran at 1MHz. While most U.S. readers will never have heard of the BBC Micro, the BBC's Computer Literacy project has had a huge impact worldwide since the ARM (originally meaning 'Acorn Risc Machine') was designed for the follow-on version of the BBC Micro, the Archimedes, also sold under the BBC Microcomputer label by Acorn. The original ARM CPU was specified in just over 800 lines of BBC BASIC. The ARM CPU now outsells all other CPU architectures put together. The BBC Micro has arguably been the most influential 8 bit computer the world had thanks to its success creating the seed for the ARM, even if the 'Beeb' was not well known outside of the UK."

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Ruby Clouds: Engine Yard Vs. Heroku
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's silverest-lining department:
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Andrew Glover provides an in-depth comparison of Engine Yard and Heroku, two cloud-based, platform-as-a-service offerings for Ruby development. 'To put it simply, Heroku will appeal more to developers and Engine Yard will appeal to operations folks. Consequently, when evaluating the two platforms, one's choice usually comes down to what's more important: Heroku's rapid deployment via a hands-off infrastructure, or Engine Yard's total control over all aspects of application deployment, provisioning, and monitoring.'"

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Fate Saves Workprint of Manos: The Hands of Fate
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 02:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's won't-somebody-please-think-of-torgo? department:
SEWilco writes "One of the worst horror movies, Manos: The Hands of Fate, has come back from the grave. The work print was rediscovered during a move, and an attempt has begun to transfer it to digital HD medium." If you've never had the joy of watching MST3K's treatment of Manos: The Hands of Fate you're missing out on 90 mins of magic.

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Italian Court Rules Web Editors Not Responsible For Comments
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '11 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-my-responsibility department:
itwbennett writes "Internet freedom got a boost Wednesday when Italy's highest court ruled that the editors of online publications can't be held legally responsible for defamatory comments posted by their readers. The judges said online publications could not be treated in the same way as traditional print media and could not be expected to exercise preventative editorial control over readers' comments."

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Mobile Industry Rolls Out Game Rating System
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rated-g-for-good-luck-with-that department:
alphadogg writes "Mobile telecom trade group CTIA and the Entertainment Software Rating Board will roll out a rating system for mobile applications similar to ratings on other electronic games, the groups announced Tuesday. Six mobile application storefronts will support the rating system and will roll out the ratings in the coming months, CTIA said. AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless are the founding members of the rating system."
An opinion piece at Gamasutra points out that this initiative falls a bit flat without Apple or Google on board, since iOS and Android are so vital to the current mobile gaming industry. "In the long run, the ESRB/CTIA announcement could be another sign of shifting power in the gaming industry. Normally, the ESRB gets what it wants. But it has no leverage against Apple and Google."

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UK Plans Space Based Radar System
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pings-in-space department:
First time accepted submitter peepster84 writes "The UK government is to kick-start an innovative project to fly radar satellites around the Earth, with an initial investment of £21m. NovaSar-S would have a number of viewing modes that could enable it to perform a wide range of roles, from flood monitoring and land cover management to disaster mapping and maritime enforcement — notably ship tracking and oil spill detection."

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Anonymous Threatens Robin Hood Attacks Against Banks
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 07:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's forced-charity department:
gManZboy writes "Just in time for the holidays, hacktivist collective Anonymous has announced that it has teamed up with like-minded group TeaMp0isoN to donate to charity. The catch: they're using stolen credit data from big banks to make donations, in a campaign they're calling Operation Robin Hood. Is the #OpRobinHood campaign for real, or like previous threats against Wall Street and Facebook, just another hoax? Aesthetically, at least, the OpRobinHood video ticks all of the traditional Anonymous aesthetic requirements: a mashed-up 'p0isoaNoN' logo (green on black), a liberal dose of swelling choral music (via that movie trailer staple 'Europa,' by Globus), together with selected clips of Kevin Costner as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."

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Permafrost Loss Greater Threat Than Deforestation
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-the-cool department:
Pierre Bezukhov writes "Emissions from thawing permafrost may contribute more to global warming than deforestation this century, according to commentary in the journal Nature. Arctic warming of 7.5 degrees Celsius (13.5 degrees Fahrenheit) this century may unlock the equivalent of 380 billion tons of carbon dioxide as soils thaw, allowing carbon to escape as CO2 and methane, University of Florida and University of Alaska biologists wrote today in Nature. Two degrees of warming would release a third of that, they said. The Arctic is an important harbinger of climate change because the United Nations calculates it's warming at almost twice the average rate for the planet. The study adds to pressure on United Nations climate treaty negotiators from more than 190 countries attending two weeks of talks in Durban, South Africa that began Nov. 28."

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Inside the World's Largest LAN Party
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-bag-of-doritos department:
MrSeb writes "Last weekend, over 12,000 LAN party goers turned up at DreamHack Winter 2011 in Jonkoping, Sweden with a PC under the arm, on their back, or packed carefully in the trunk of their car. Every single attendee is squeezed into just three massive halls — the largest holding 5,000 computers — or four days, only taking brief breaks to sleep or check out one of the many stages (including some of the largest e-sport tournaments of the year). Being the largest LAN party in the world, DreamHack's infrastructure is suitably monumental: it takes days to lay the thousands of cables, and at the heart of the network is tower of Cisco routers that interface with a 120Gbps internet connection provided by Telia."

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Patent Expires On Best Selling Drug of All Time
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's low-cholesterol-for-everyone department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The US patent has just expired on Lipitor, the best-selling drug of all time, as the first generic versions go on sale, marking the end of a brand that has dominated the drug industry, lowered the cholesterol of tens of millions of patients, and generated $10.7 billion last year in annual sales. But drug manufacturer Pfizer, dependent on Lipitor for almost one-fifth of the company's revenue, does not intend to go down without a fight. Pfizer is employing unprecedented tactics to hold onto as many Lipitor prescriptions as it can with an aggressive marketing plan and forging deals with insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and patients to meet or beat the price of its generic replacements because even at the lower price, Pfizer has a huge profit margin because of the relatively low cost of materials for Lipitor. Some deals require pharmacies to reject prescriptions for low-cost generics and substitute a discounted name-brand Lipitor while other deals block generic makers from mail-order services that account for an estimated 40 percent of all Lipitor prescriptions. 'Pfizer's tactic of dressing up as a generics company is pulling the rug under the incentive system created to foster the development of generic drugs,' says attorney David A. Balto."

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GamePro Shutting Down After 22 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 04:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's is-this-the-new-gamepro-killer department:
redletterdave writes "Popular gaming magazine GamePro has shut down its U.S. operations after 22 years of publications by its parent company IDG. GamePro's website, which has been online for about 13 years, will be converted to a gaming channel and incorporated into PCWorld on Dec. 5. Sources within the magazine say GamePro's employees, including its executives, received phone calls this morning with the news. The news comes as a relative surprise, as GamePro experienced its highest traffic ever last week. The company also released its first quarterly magazine earlier this month after deciding monthly print issues were too costly to maintain."

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Book Review: The CERT Oracle Secure Coding Standard For Java
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
brothke writes "It has been a decade since Oracle started their unbreakable campaign touting the security robustness of their products. Aside from the fact that unbreakable only refers to the enterprise kernel; Oracle still can have significant security flaws. Even though Java supports very strong security controls including JAAS (Java Authentication and Authorization Services), it still requires a significant effort to code Java securely. With that The CERT Oracle Secure Coding Standard for Javais an invaluable guide that provides the reader with the strong coding guidelines and practices in order to reduce coding vulnerabilities that can lead to Java and Oracle exploits." Read on for the rest of Ben's review. The CERT Oracle Secure Coding Standard for Java
author Fred Long, Dhruv Mohindra, Robert Seacord, Dean Sutherland, David Svoboda
pages 744
publisher ddison-Wesley Professiona
rating 10/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 0321803957
summary Definitive guide on the topic

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China Wants Cyber Crisis Hotline
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hello-we're-hacking-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "China should look at establishing a cyber crisis hotline with the United States, according to a Chinese newspaper seen as a window into official thinking. Discussions about a crisis hotline might seem an obvious first step in improving relations. But if it's a sign the Chinese government is beginning to think about how to coordinate a rapid, unified response to cyber emergencies, then it is an extremely important one."

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How Tiny Worms Could Help Humans Colonize Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's send-in-the-worms department:
Pierre Bezukhov writes "The roundworm has about 20,000 protein-coding genes — nearly as many as humans, who have about 23,000. Furthermore, there is a lot of overlap between our genome and theirs, with many genes performing roughly the same functions in both species. Launching C. elegans roundworms to Mars would allow scientists to see just how dangerous the high radiation levels found in deep space — and on the Red Planet's surface — are to animal life. 'Worms allow us to detect changes in growth, development, reproduction and behavior in response to environmental conditions such as toxins or in response to deep space missions,' said Nathaniel Szewczyk of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. 'Given the high failure rate of Mars missions, use of worms allows us to safely and relatively cheaply test spacecraft systems prior to manned missions,' he adds."

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Are Data Centers Finally Ready For DC Power?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '11 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's edison-wins-again department:
1sockchuck writes "It's been five years since a landmark study outlined the potential benefits of DC power distribution in data centers. But adoption of DC in data centers remains limited, even as the industry aggressively pursues a wide array of other energy savings strategies. Advocates of DC distribution are hoping a new study will jump start the conversation about DC distribution, which can save energy by eliminating several wasteful AC-to-DC conversions within a data center. Meanwhile, an industry association for DC power adoption, the EMerge Alliance, has formed a new technical standards committee for data centers, and is advancing a 380-volt DC power standard. Will DC distribution ever gain momentum in data centers?"

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