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Italian Wikipedia May Shut Down Due To New Legislation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's citation-not-needed-if-it-bugs-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "Proposed legislation under debate in Italy has Wikipedia warning of a shutdown for the Italian version of the site. They say the law would create 'a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.' They further explain. 'Unfortunately, the law does not require an evaluation of the claim by an impartial third judge — the opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required, in order to impose such correction to any website. Hence, anyone who feels offended by any content published on a blog, an online newspaper and, most likely, even on Wikipedia can directly request the removal of such contents and its permanent replacement with a "corrected" version, aimed to contradict and disprove the allegedly harmful contents, regardless of the truthfulness of the information deemed as offensive, and its sources.'"

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Red Hat Acquiring Cloud Storage Company Gluster
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 06:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's investing-in-intangibles department:
Julie188 writes "One of the more interesting aspects of Red Hat's acquisition of virtual storage vendor Gluster on Tuesday is how it drags Red Hat into bed with its cloud competitor OpenStack. Red Hat made waves over the summer in the open source community when one of its executives threw punches at OpenStack's community, saying the community amounted to not much more than a bunch of press releases. In July, Gluster contributed its Connector for OpenStack. It enables features such as live migration of VMs, instant boot of VMs, and movement of VMs between clouds on a GlusterFS environment. While Fedora has already said that its upcoming Fedora 16 would support OpenStack, Fedora is a community distro and not beholden to Red Hat. However, Red Hat today promised that it would continue to support and maintain Gluster's contribution to OpenStack. It didn't, however, to promise to quit the smack talk."

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Looking Back On a Year of LibreOffice
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's keep-on-keeping-on department:
superapecommando writes "Simon Phipps, former head of open source at Sun and a backer of LibreOffice, looks at a tempestuous year for the OpenOffice fork. 'Once framed as an impetuous fork, LibreOffice has become the standard-bearer for the former OpenOffice community,' he says. 'It's far from perfect, of course. New open source projects never are and volunteer projects lack the corporate resources to make it look otherwise. But I have no doubt that it's working.'"

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Facebook Forming a PAC
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 04:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's politics-is-the-worst-kind-of-social-networking department:
DougDot writes "According to a recent SFGate article, 'Social networking giant Facebook is expanding its political footprint, confirming that it has filed the necessary paperwork to open a political action committee in advance of the 2012 elections. The move is the latest in a series of maneuvers boosting the Palo Alto company's political profile in recent years, joining a steady rise in lobbying spending, several high-profile fundraisers and the failed statewide candidacy of one of its key officers for attorney general last year.' With 800 million users in its social network, and with very deep pockets, we could have a new, powerful Congress-influencing entity steering American politics."

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Climate Change Driving War?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's driving-an-suv-is-now-an-act-of-war department:
New submitter Stirling Newberry writes "You may have heard of The Great Moderation (PDF), which argues that business cycles have become less volatile over time, and the Green Revolution, a set of initiatives that led to increased global food production. These, it has been argued, have led to a marked decrease in war across the world. But not so fast, says a study in Science. It may well be that periods of war, past and present, can be linked to changes in climate: 'The most direct way in which extreme climate shifts influence human society is through agriculture, Zhang says; a falling supply of crops will drive up the price of gold and cause inflation. Similarly, epidemics can be exacerbated by famine. And when people are miserable, they are likely to become angry with their governments and each other, resulting in war. But golden ages rise out of these dark periods, the team argues. For instance, a 100-year cold period beginning in 1560 caused shortened crop growing seasons. The researchers found a causal linkage with a decline in average human height by nearly an inch during this period, and the century was rife with disease and conflict. But the world began to warm in 1650; when Charles II was crowned king of England in 1660, the coronation sparked the Enlightenment era in Europe.'"

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NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's silence-will-still-be-permitted department:
An anonymous reader writes "A group of four NY state senators have written a paper suggesting that free speech should be looked upon as a government granted privilege rather than a right. They're specifically concerned about cyberstalking and cyberbullying, and are introducing legislation to make both of those against the law. Among other troubling concepts, they argue that merely 'excluding' someone from a group is a form of cyberbullying."

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AMD Brings New Desktop Chips Down To 65W
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's doing-more-with-less department:
crookedvulture writes "AMD's new Llano-powered A-series APUs have had a difficult birth on the desktop. The first chips were saddled with a 100W power rating, making them look rather unattractive next to Intel's 65W parts. Now, AMD has rolled out a 65W version of Llano that's nearly as fast as its 100W predecessor despite drawing considerably less power under load. This A8-3800 APU doesn't skimp on integrated graphics, which is key to Llano's appeal. If you're not going to be using the built-in Radeon, the value proposition of AMD's latest desktop APUs looks a little suspect."

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Microsoft Killed the Start Menu Because No One Uses It
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's apple-responds-with-stop-menu department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft recently killed the Start Menu and their explanation for it seems fairly straightforward: no one used it. Though this may be a bit of an exaggeration but Microsoft explains that use of the Start menu dipped by 11 percent between Windows Vista and Windows 7, with many specialized Start functions — such as exploring pictures — declining as much as 61 percent."

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R7RS Scheme Progress Report
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 12:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's quite-the-guile-scheme department:
John Cowan recently gave a talk on the progress of R7RS (slides), the next revision of the Scheme language
standard, at LispNYC. After the R6RS debacle,
the community stepped back and is now basing the next standard on R5RS;
the work has been split into two languages — R7RS-Small and
R7RS-Large. The first
working group
is preparing to issue a final draft
of the R7RS-Small language
(PDF; clocking in at 73 pages vs.
R5RS's 50) within the next few weeks. Read on for a summary of the
planned changes to R7RS (more or less in the order of presentation).

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Amazon Re-Opens Affiliate Program In California
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's books-and-taxes department:
An anonymous reader writes "Due to Governor Jerry Brown temporarily repealing the tax law opposed by Amazon, the Amazon Associates Program has been brought back to California."

Amazon will still have to collect sales tax in California in 2013 unless Congress intevenes before then.

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Belgian ISP Ordered to Block The Pirate Bay; Telecomix and TPB Offer Workarounds
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's when-will-politicians-learn department:
bs0d3 writes "Today a court ruling in Belgium over-ruled an earlier court ruling and is ordering an ISP to block The Pirate Bay. It's been announced that the type of block to be used by the ISP is a simple DNS filter which is similar to ones used before in Denmark. In Denmark, the dns block was extremely easy to circumvent and the attention to The Pirate Bay actually increased Danish site traffic after the block. Today an hacktivist group called Telecomix; which is more recently known for helping to establish communications during the Internet blackout in Egypt, is offering their help. Their custom made 'censorship proof' DNS service is designed for situations just like this. ISP customers facing a block can simply use Telecomix's DNS server instead of the ISP provided one to access blocked sites such as The Pirate Bay."

The Pirate Bay also has suggestions for getting around the DNS block.

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Spock Gives Up the Con
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's retire-long-and-prosper department:
tverbeek writes "Leonard Nimoy announced at the Creation Con in Chicago, celebrating the 45th anniversary of Star Trek, that this would be his last appearance at a Trek convention. He spoke for an hour, which at least suggests that he's making this move by choice and not out of necessity. He's 80 years old. 'Live long and prosper,' he told the crowd."

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SAIC Loses Data of 4.9 Million Patients
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's keep-them-tapes-safe department:
An anonymous reader writes "Government contractor SAIC just can't seem to get a break. Still fresh off of the Citytime scandal they have now had a data breach where backup tapes of 4.9 Million personnel health records were stolen from an employee's car. To add insult to injury, evidently the tapes were not encrypted either: 'Tricare did not indicate whether SAIC encrypted the information on the stolen tapes, but Raley said, "It's very hard to encrypt a backup tape."'"

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Airline Offering Plane Crash Survival Course to Frequent Flyers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's survivor-class-seating department:
British Airways is giving their best customers a competitive edge in the event of disaster by offering a course on surviving a plane crash. Beginning next year, members of the airline's Executive Club can cash in air miles to take the four-hour safety class. From the article: "Andy Clubb, the BA manager running the course, told the Independent: 'It makes passengers safer when travel ling by giving additional skills and information, it dispels all those internet theories about the brace position, and it just gives people so much more confidence in flying.'"

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OCaml For the Masses
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cue-up-the-language-bigots department:
CowboyRobot writes "Yaron Minsky of Jane Street argues that the time has come for statically-typed functional languages like OCaml and Haskell. He cites many reasons and illustrates what he says is the most important, concision: 'The importance of concision is clear: other things being equal, shorter code is easier to read, easier to write, and easier to maintain.'"

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News From Apple's iPhone Event
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's lots-and-lots-of-flavorful-apples department:
Apple is currently announcing various things about a new iPhone; the CNN Live has coverage as it is happening. Watch for updates as more information comes in. PC Magazine is^W was running a live commentary stream (it broke). The New York Times has a working live stream for those of you who like to read instead of watch.

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China's Alibaba Interested In Buying Yahoo
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-they'll-have-cuter-jingles department:
jfruhlinger writes "Alibaba is a company that most Americans probably haven't heard of, but it's a hugely important Internet player in China, owning the Yahoo! China site as well as a host of other marketplace Websites. It's 40 percent owned by Yahoo, but now, in what seems a bit like a snake eating its own tail, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has declared his interest in buying the embattled Internet portal outright." The San Francisco Chronicle has a Bloomberg News article with more details; they report that Alibaba is actually one of three parties looking into a joint bid for Yahoo, the others being the equity firm Silver Lake and Russian tech investor Digital Sky Technologies.

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One More Thing For Apple Stores: Food?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's durn-good-idea department:
mattnyc99 writes "Esquire raises an interesting question on iPhone 5 day: What if Apple stores had cafes? From an analyst cited in the article: 'In line with the Genius Bar concept, I could see them taking a part of the store and making it a café atmosphere where customers could interact with technology in a relaxed environment.'"

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For Academic Publishing, Princeton Goes Open Access By Default
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's congratulations-and-kudos department:
First time accepted submitter crazyvas writes "Princeton University will prevent researchers from giving the copyright of scholarly articles to journal publishers (except if a waiver is requested). The new rule is part of an Open Access policy aimed at broadening the reach of their scholarly work and encouraging publishers to adjust standard contracts that commonly require exclusive copyright as a condition of publication. Universities pay millions of dollars a year for academic journal subscriptions. People without subscriptions are often prevented from reading taxpayer funded research. This is a bold first step in changing the face of how research (especially when taxpayer funded) works in the country, and a step towards weakening the current culture of charging increasingly exorbitant prices to view academic research publications."

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Is Off-Shoring a National Security Threat?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's never-buy-outside-your-zip-code department:
An anonymous reader writes "Should the U.S. government hold developers more responsible for the quality of their code? One top cyber security analyst says more regulations would be a mistake. 'Any attempt to regulate software quality and security simply drives the software industry off-shore for good,' he says. 'Similarly, requiring trusted on-shore production ensures two things: (1) falling behind world progress as we aren't the only smart people and we are a minority, and (2) costs rise in a way that makes on-shore-mandated software cost-uncompetitive on the world market.'"

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