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Tax Loopholes No Longer Patentable
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 11:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-rid-of-stupid department:
Knowzy writes "A section of the America Invents Act disallows issuing a patent 'on a strategy for reducing, avoiding or postponing taxes,' according to Forbes. The article describes one such strategy in some detail. The USTPO has already issued 161 of these 'business method type' patents. 167 more were pending. The law only applies to future patent applications, leaving enforcement of existing patents an issue for the courts to decide."

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Brain Power Boosted With Electrical Stimulation
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 09:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-up department:
Zothecula writes "With the possible exception of those affected by hyperthylmesia — a rare condition where a person has an extraordinary capability to recall events from their past — most of us wouldn't mind having our memory enhanced. That's just what appears to have happened to a group of mice when targeted areas of their brains were electrically stimulated. The treatment triggered an increase in the creation of new cells in the hippocampus, with experiment results suggesting the mice's spatial learning improved. The researchers responsible say the results could have implications for the treatment of memory disorders in humans."

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Google Accused of "Cooking" Search Results and Charging MSFT Too Much
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 07:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's piling-on department:
cozzbp writes "Google is being scrutinized by the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee for supposedly "cooking" their search results. In an independent study comparing search result for products, Google Shopping consistently ranked 3rd. Eric Scmidt denied these accusations at a Senate hearing Wednesday." On top of all that, Microsoft is alleging that Google overcharges them as much as fifty-fold for advertising prices as compared to other buyers.

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What You Eat Affects Your Genes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-are-what-you-eat department:
purkinje writes "Tiny bits of genetic material, called microRNAs, can make their way from the food you eat into your blood stream, and change how your genes are expressed, according to a new study. A team of Chinese scientists found tiny bits of white rice microRNA floating around in people's blood after a meal. When they looked at what was happening on a cellular level, they found that the microRNAs were changing gene expression, decreasing levels of a receptor that filters out LDL (bad) cholesterol. When the scientists gave mice both rice and a chemical to block the microRNAs, their levels of that receptor returned to normal---showing that the microRNAs weren't just swimming through the blood stream, but acting on genes in the animals' cells."

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Walmart Goes Solar In California
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's price-drop-on-the-sun department:
tekgoblin writes "Walmart today has announced that it plans to install solar panels on more than 75 percent of its stores in the state. From the article: 'When completed, Walmart’s solar commitment in California is expected to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is equal to powering more than 5,400 homes. It will also avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equal to 4,100 cars off the road and provide 20 to 30 percent of each facility’s total electric needs.'"

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Microsoft Dumps Partner For Fake Support Call Scam
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has broken its relationship with one of its Gold Partners, after it discovered that the partner was involved in a scam involving bogus tech support calls. India-based Comantra is said to have cold-called computer users in the UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, claiming to offer assistance in cleaning up virus infections. The calls used scare tactics to talk users into opening the Event Viewer on Windows, where a seemingly dangerous list of errors would be seen. This 'evidence' was used to trick innocent users into believing they had a malware infection, and for Comantra to gain the users' confidence. Duped users would then give permission for the support company to have remote access to their PC, and hand over their credit card details for a 'fix.' Security firm Sophos says that internet users have been complaining about Comantra's activities for over 18 months, and it has taken a long time for Microsoft to take action. Comantra's website still retains the Gold Certified Partner logo, although their details have been removed from Microsoft's database of approved partners."

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Apple Too Big For the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-stock-ticker department:
An anonymous reader writes "Apple is clearly the hottest tech stock on the market right now and the company is clearly at the vanguard of technological innovation. Consequently, many have wondered why Apple isn't part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOJA). As it turns out, Apple's astronomical share price effectively prohibits the company from joining the DOJA as it would disproportionately influence the index."

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Storing Hydrogen At Room Temperature
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-that-cool department:
cylonlover writes "Hydrogen storage, along with hydrogen production and the lack of infrastructure, remains a major stumbling block in efforts to usher in hydrogen as a replacement for hydrocarbon-based fuels in cars, trucks and even homes. But with the multiple advantages hydrogen offers, developing hydrogen storage solutions has been the focus of a great deal of research. Now an MIT-led research team has demonstrated a method that could allow hydrogen to be stored inexpensively at room temperature."

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Book Review: Digital Evidence and Computer Crime
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
brothke writes "When it comes to a physical crime scene and the resulting forensics, investigators can ascertain that a crime took place and gather the necessary evidence. When it comes to digital crime, the evidence is often at the byte level, deep in the magnetics of digital media, initially invisible from the human eye. That is just one of the challenges of digital forensics, where it is easy to destroy crucial evidence, and often difficult to preserve correctly." Read on for the rest of Ben's review. Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers, and the Internet
author Eoghan Casey
pages 840
publisher Academic Press
rating 10/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 978-0123742681
summary Definitive reference on the subject of digital evidence and computer crime

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Fukushima: Myth of Safety, Reality of Geoscience
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-the-low-down department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' has published a special Fukushima issue with interesting/deep/new pieces written by leading experts on the nuclear disaster in Japan. Fukushima: The myth of safety, the reality of geoscience, which shows that in the decades after the nuclear plant was built, the authorities discovered historical records that showed Fukushima was vulnerable to a giant tsunami, but they did nothing to protect the plant. But there's a globalized twist to the issue: The Bulletin has also translated these lengthy expert analyses of the disaster into Japanese. As Bulletin editor Mindy Kay Bricker explains: 'Those in genuine need of erudite analysis are, of course, those directly affected by the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese population. Stellar coverage by Western news outlets might win awards, but what is the point if those who most deserve the information never benefit from reading it?'"

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Adobe Pushes Emergency Flash Player Security Fix
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's slap-on-the-patch department:
wiredmikey writes "As expected, Adobe today released a security update for its Flash Player. The out of cycle update addresses critical security issues in flash player as well as an important universal cross-site scripting issue. Adobe reported that one of the vulnerabilities (CVE-2011-2444) is being exploited in the wild in active targeted attacks designed to trick the user into clicking on a malicious link delivered in an email message. To illustrate the importance of keeping systems up to date, including Adobe Flash products, the fact that the RSA cyber attack was executed using a spear phishing attack with an embedded flash file should serve as a friendly reminder. RSA was breached after an employee opened a spreadsheet that contained a zero-day exploit that installed a backdoor through an Adobe Flash vulnerability."

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Massachusetts Attorney General, Victim of iTunes Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's poking-the-bear department:
chicksdaddy writes "Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said on Tuesday that her office would be inquiring into long-standing complaints about fraudulent purchases that leverage Apple's popular online music store. Coakley was herself a victim of identity theft in recent months, telling the audience that her stolen credit card information was used to make fraudulent iTunes purchases. When asked (by a Threatpost reporter) about whether such fraud constitutes a reportable event under the Bay State's strict data breach notification law, 201 CMR 17, Coakley said that her office would be looking into that question and demanding answers from Cupertino, which has steadfastly refused to respond to media requests regarding user reports about fraudulent iTunes purchases, and which has not reported the breaches to Massachusetts regulators."

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EFF System To Warn of Certificate Breaches
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's early-warning-system department:
snydeq writes "With its distributed SSL Observatory, the Electronic Frontier Foundation hopes to detect compromised certificate authorities and warn users about attacks, InfoWorld reports. 'The EEF, along with developers at the Tor Project and consulting firm iSec Partners, has updated its existing HTTPS Everywhere program with the ability to anonymously report every certificate encountered. The group will analyze the data so that it can detect any rogue certificates — and by extension, compromised authorities — its users encounter, says Peter Eckersley, technology projects director for the EFF.'"

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Designer Creates "Euthanasia Roller Coaster"
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-you-have-to-go department:
disco_tracy writes "Lithuanian amusement park worker and current PhD candidate in London's Royal College of Art's Design Interactions department, Julijonas Urbonas, has made a design for a hypothetical coaster that could be the future of humane euthanasia. Urbonas says that it is engineered to give a person a way to die with 'with elegance and euphoria.' From the article: 'The three-minute ride involves a long, slow, climb -- nearly a third of a mile long -- that lifts one up to a height of more than 1,600 feet, followed by a massive fall and seven strategically sized and placed loops. The final descent and series of loops take all of one minute. But the gravitational force -- 10 Gs -- from the spinning loops at 223 miles per hour in that single minute is lethal.'"

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Julian Assange's Unauthorized Autobiography
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's unleash-the-biography department:
macwhizkid writes "After signing a major book deal for his autobiography, Julian Assange backed out (allegedly worrying about self-incrimination) but failed to return his £500,000 advance payment. The publisher is understandably unhappy with this outcome, and intends to publish the 'world's first unauthorized autobiography' from an early draft Assange submitted. The book will be in stores tomorrow, but I'm still hoping it'll be published early on WikiLeaks..."

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Pakistan Seeks To Block Facebook Again
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-farmville-for-you department:
Mightee writes "Pakistan, which was in the news last year for blocking Facebook over a 'Draw Mohammad Day' competition, is seeking to ban the social network again due to the second round of the same competition, reports Pakistan Today. Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, presiding over the Lahore High Court, ordered the Ministry of Information and Technology to block access to Facebook nationwide on the charge of 'spreading religious hatred on the Internet.' The court also directed the ministry to police the Internet and block all other websites that were found guilty of the same charge, but it spared search engines like Google (which it is targeting for other reasons)."

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Amazon To Offer Kindle ebooks Via Public Libraries
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's adapt-or-die department:
destinyland writes "Amazon announced this morning that they're making Kindle ebooks available for free in America through 11,000 local public libraries. 'We're thrilled that Amazon is offering such a new approach to library ebook...' said one Seattle's librarian, and one Kindle blog listed out the top advantages to having them available in libraries."

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Comcast Launches Program For Low-Income Families
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's internet-for-the-people department:
wasimkadak writes "Comcast rolled out its Internet Essentials program nationwide today, offering low-income families in its service territory $10/month Internet connections and access to $150 computers. Any family with at least one child who qualifies for the free lunch program at public schools can subscribe to a low-speed (1.5Mbps) Comcast Internet connection for $9.95 a month. Comcast guarantees that it won't raise the price and offers the plan without equipment rental or activation fees. Subscribers also cannot have 'an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment,' and they can't have had Comcast Internet in the last 90 days."

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Yahoo Blocked Emails About Wall Street Protests
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-didn't-type-the-magic-word department:
itwbennett writes "People trying to email information about the Wall Street protests on Monday using Yahoo mail, found themselves on the receiving end of messages from Yahoo claiming 'suspicious activity'. ThinkProgress.org has a YouTube video of users trying to send emails that mention the 'OccupyWallSt.org' web site, which seemed to be the magic phrase to get your email blocked. Via Twitter, Yahoo announced the blockage was now fixed, but 'there may be residual delays.'"

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NASA Announces Space Apps Challenge
Posted by News Fetcher on September 21 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's discover-aliens-for-fun-and-profit department:
coondoggie writes with an article in Network World about a development challenge put forth by NASA. From the article: "NASA said it would host an open source-based application competition that it hopes will deliver a new generation of software that can address space, weather and economic issues. NASA said it will coordinate with other interested space agencies around the world on an International Space Apps Challenge that will encourage scientists and concerned citizens from all seven continents — and in space — to create, build, and invent new applications that can address world-class issues."

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